Polishing Up the Home, pt 6

Every once in a while, I get a seemingly random burst of energy and motivation to take care of things around the house. This is one of those times. And lucky you! You get to hear all about it.


First up, I finally – FINE. UH. LEE. – bought a garden hose reel.

What the hell Belle? That’s your leading item? I can hear you thinking.

I’ve always wanted one, but it seemed unnecessary. I mean, it’s not like I use the garden hose on a daily basis. I did last summer, to water our fresh sod, and I use it occasionally to fill up the dumpling’s wading pool or water plants. I’d always just re-looped it back on the ground and figured that was good enough.

However, each time I’ve come across it in the past few weeks, it’s been a tangled mess. The last straw was that I used it to fill the dumpling’s pool a couple of weeks ago. The tangles and kinks frustrated me and I spent a good half hour re-looping it back into an orderly fashion. Not three days later, the landscaping crew used it to plant our new tree and left it in another tangled heap. I almost cried in frustration, but decided then and there to at least look at hose reels.

I was in Home Depot a couple of days ago for other items and found one that was very reasonably priced. I brought it home and experienced near-nirvana as I wound the hose onto it. Even being the tangled mess that it was, it took mere minutes to wind properly. Then I wheeled it to the back of the house, hooked it up, and stepped back to marvel at the neatness. The hose reel deeply satisfied me and Luffy just laughed when I told him. So now I’m telling y’all.


This may be TMI, but ever since the dumpling started having real poops (you know, once they start eating real foods and those dreamy breast milk poops are gone) […. did I just really describe stool as “dreamy”? maybe it’s a pregnancy thing], we’ve dumped solids into the toilet during diaper changes. The dumpling has, within the last few months, also taken a liking to helping us flush the toilet afterwards. On one such occasion, the toilet seat/lid slammed down a bit too hard and the brittle plastic cracked.

It happened a few days before we left for our trip, thus I just got around to purchasing a new seat and installing it. I was very pleased with my handy work, removing the old seat, cleaning underneath (gag), and installing the shiny new one. Then I stepped back and realized that it’s off center.

GASP!

I kind of want to fix it, but I’m also waiting to see just how much it bugs me before breaking out the tools again.


Also in potty-related news. We took the toilet roll holder out of the primary bathroom when the dumpling started walking. Toilet paper is a magnet for little kids, right? So we figured we’d just avoid the whole issue by having the toilet paper up out of reach.

Luffy asked me a couple of weeks ago where the holder was, as we could probably re-install it now. I looked and looked, but couldn’t find it (of course) so I purchased a new one. Felt like a queen, using toilet paper on an actual holder. So nice! So fancy!

I installed that Tuesday afternoon. Wednesday evening I left the dumpling playing in the bathtub (sans water, he was just hanging out in it because reasons or something). I was out of the room for literally two minutes and came back in again to find that he’d unrolled the toilet paper all over the floor. He looked mighty proud of himself too, that little cutey.

Oh well, so much for avoiding that mess, huh?


This one isn’t so much about polishing up the home as it is keeping it clean.

I know a lot of people can’t stand hair, as in loose strands, on the floor, in your food, etc. I felt like I had a pretty high tolerance for hair in most places (my weakness was the shower drain, shudder), probably because I shed so much.

Notice the past tense up there? Had a pretty high tolerance.

I can no longer stand the sight of loose hairs, nearly anywhere. It grosses me out to find it on the kitchen or bathroom floor. Or by the sinks. Or pretty much anywhere. I think because I have such short hair now? In the past, I could pretty much guarantee it was my own hair and maybe that helped the gag reflex. But now I know that any hair over like three inches in length is definitely NOT mine and I just can’t with it anymore.

Ewe.

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Room conundrum

So here’s the thing: writing things down here has always, always helped me sort out the positives and negatives of a given situation. Allowing the stream of consciousness to tumble out and committing it to paper has a way of allowing me to sort through issues.

All of that to say: I’m sorry. We’re probably about to have a very boring conversation here. But I must! So sorry?

As Luffy so helpfully reminded me the other night, we have five short months until the arrival of little bao. Plus, with the anatomy scan on the schedule and just a few short weeks away, that means I’m very near the tipping point of pregnancy – when your countdown becomes shorter than the count-up. Gulp

We are very prepared for this arrival of this baby in terms of the day-to-day items he or she will need. I’ve kept everything from the dumpling’s early days, so we have plenty of clothing (and you best believe I care not one iota if my newborn girl is wearing blue or firetrucks or – GASP – boy’s clothing). We also still have our swing and bassinet and rock-n-play (though that has technically been recalled… not sure if I’ll still use it or not). We’re even re-using our infant bucket car seat because ours is in excellent condition and hasn’t hit its expiration date yet. And I’ll just add newborn diapers to our Amazon Prime list. We have wipes and receiving blankets and burp clothes. We have our Kiinde bottles, though I’ll need to buy the inserts again once this little person starts taking bottles. Plus new nipples; we can splurge right? I suppose this one could like pacifiers, which we do not have, but meh. Stores are open. Amazon Prime is available. My sanity requires brief outings in the postpartum period anyway, so why not pick up a package of boogie wipes from Target when little bao is ten days old?

[Side note – I have never understood why pregnant women feel the need to stock up on stuff beforehand. There’s an entire forum of women asking about stocking up on things like diapers because you’ll always need them! Yeah, but what if you bought all Size 1 and bring home a preemie? What if you bought newborn and bring home a 10lb baby? What if your kid is allergic to the Huggies you bought? Besides the whole you’ll always need them thing they always talk about spacing out the expense. But like, why? You either buy them now or in five months. It’s not like the cost of diapers is going to skyrocket in the next five months. The only time I can see front-loading expenses like this is if you happen upon some insane deal – like buying an entire stash of cloth diapers for an 18mo old for like $5 or something. That I get. Having five packages of diapers – one of each size! – before your child arrives? That I don’t.]

So we’ve got the stuff.

What we don’t have is the room plan.

Let me give you a brief overview of our home. We have three “spare” bedrooms in our house. The largest is currently our guest bedroom, with a queen-size bed. The second largest is current the office / playroom / kitty room. The smallest is the dumpling’s room. I really like our current layout. In fact, I keep putting off making this decision in hopes that I’ll randomly open a closet door in the near future and discover some Narnia-esque bedroom exists that I didn’t know about so we can keep everything as-is for the new baby.

But alas, that’s (probably) not going to happen, so here are our options:


First up, a few things that are going to happen regardless of which option gets picked:

  • The guest bed will be moved into the office. My mom actually had a really great idea about finding a new bed that either folds away or up somehow, so that the bed isn’t always in the way. Which is an awesome idea because a queen size bed is going to take up 95% of the room. We’ll definitely have to move the dumpling’s toys out of there and perhaps even the cat tower. Not sure what we’ll do with all of that. It helps the decision process that this room can’t be used as a full-time bedroom because it has two huge downsides: (1) a window that is truly the size of the room itself and nearly impossible to cover and (2) a shared wall with the living area and entry way which means I would forever and always be tiptoeing around my house for fear of waking the child.
  • The guest bedroom is currently a vivid, brutal shade of red. Classing it up even more is the fact that the previous owners were kind enough to patch holes in the drywall, but just lazy enough to do it in white. So picture a fire-engine red room with random white splotches and a few blue stars painted on the ceiling. It’s a bit much, is all I’m saying. I really think I’ll bite the bullet this time and paint. And because all of that stop-sign red paint is going to take a lot of coats of primer, I’m likely going to hire out the work. And if I hire out the work, I might want to paint more than just one room. So I may wait until we know if little bao is a boy or a girl to perhaps paint his or her room accordingly. And even if I don’t do that, the paint in our master bedroom is showing plenty of signs of aging, so perhaps we’ll repaint that too. Maybe. We all know the pace with which I move on home projects.

Option 1: Leave the dumpling in his room. Make the guest bedroom into little bao’s room.

  • Pros: The dumpling doesn’t have to move rooms and we don’t risk him feeling as though the baby has kicked him out of his space.
  • Cons: The guest bedroom is the largest bedroom and giving it to the smallest person in the household seems a bit… odd? Unnecessary? I could see the dumpling really enjoying the extra space to play in. Though, on the other hand, we will have to make the crib-to-bed transition soon and a bunch of toys in his room probably won’t help matters.

Option 2: Move the dumpling into the guest bedroom. Have little bao in the dumpling’s room.

  • Pros: The dumpling has more room to play, since he has the bigger room. All the those toys that are currently in the office could be moved into his larger room, meaning we won’t be tripping over a toy kitchen and the million pieces of toy food in our living room or something.
  • Cons: Must be done on the sooner side as we don’t want the little guy thinking he’s being booted out by the baby.

When I write all of this out, it seems startlingly simple. I mean, there are really only two options!

The only other potential option would be for the kids (OMGAH – kids plural! I’m going to have multiple children!) to share a bedroom. I can definitely see this happening in the future, perhaps when little bao is at least a year old, and especially if little bao ends up being a boy. What I have a hard time picturing is the dumpling sharing a room with an infant. I know parents swear their kids don’t wake each other up, but I just can’t picture it. Plus, the dumpling is very stimulated by our presence. Whereas other parents say they just tell kid to roll over and go back to sleep if they get woken up, I can easily picture the dumpling being like ok yeah but you’re here so let’s play!

ANYWAY – that brings me to my last hesitation about the whole arrangement and my wish for the Narnia-esque bedroom: pretty much no matter how I arrange things, the dumpling and little bao will share a wall. And that just makes me nervous. I know – I know! – parents sweat their kids don’t wake each other up, but this is one of those things I’ll just have to see to believe. In the meantime, I think I’ll fret over it a bit.

And that sums it up! To move the dumpling or not to move him? I’ll have to ruminate on it a bit. Check back later.

A personal triumph

Guys. I have grown as a person. As an adult. I have learned the lessons that history tried to teach me. I have succeeded in the face of adversity, against a foe more determined and persistent than I.

That’s right. I successfully dealt with a 4am smoke detector chirp without losing my cool.

In the wee hours of Sunday morning, I heard the dumpling cough. He’s got some seasonal congestion and I seem to be sleeping even more lightly than usual due to pregnancy, so I was just alert enough to catch it.

Chirp

[silence]

Chirp

[silence]

Chirp

[silence][crap]

We actually have some birds in the area that sound convincingly enough like smoke detectors going off, so at first I thought it was a bird. After realizing that the chirps were far too precisely spaced to be wildlife, I got out of bed to investigate and found that the unit in the guest bedroom was indeed emitting a low-battery chirp. I briefly tried to get to it with a step stool before relenting and dragging the ladder in from the garage.

Everyone loves 10 foot ceilings until it’s 4am and there’s a smoke alarm going off.

Anyway, thanks to my prior, hard-earned lessons in smoke detectors, I knew enough to not mess around with the stupid thing. I deftly pulled it down from the ceiling, disconnecting the A/C back-up power and pulling out the batter. You’ll remember, we replaced these things not two years ago (as the sticker on the side helpfully reminded me – Installed: May 2017). The batteries were supposed to be long-life batteries and the expiration date said June 2020, but what do I know?

My true crowning achievement this time though (besides knowing that pulling the whole thing down (a) is the only way to make it stop chirping and (b) won’t make the rest of the units sympathy chirp in search of their lost brother)? On Sunday’s to-do list was purchasing brand new batteries for the entire fleet. Six shiny, new 9 volt batteries were acquired. 5 were installed. (We need to borrow our neighbor’s 20-foot ladder for that pesky master bedroom one and they’re out of town.) I was not about to f*ck around with the rest of them. They were all installed at the same time, with batteries purchased at the same time, and I can just see the next 5 months of my life being taken over by random 2am chirping sessions.

No thank you.

Ahhh, feels good to grow as a person.

Pancake morning

If someone – a friend, a neighbor, a random journalist interviewing me – were to ask me for my top two parenting tips (Parenting hacks! Click here for 5 hacks you’ll never believe work!), it would be:

  • Always cut the sticker sheets in half, or quads, or hell, sticker-by-sticker.
  • Never, ever ask a kid what they want to eat. You tell them what they’re eating.

I have been burned so many times by asking the dumpling what he wants for breakfast. Especially back in the hellacious 18-month-old toddler-hell-demon phase, when he seemed primed for a tantrum each morning day night 24/7. Because inevitably, he’d say something we didn’t have (sausage!) or something just flat-out unacceptable (cake!) and I’d have to break his poor heart that we didn’t/he couldn’t have that. Mean mommy.

Luckily, he seems to be past that for the most part (though, as a side story don’t get distracted Belle! side story at the bottom*). This morning, he refused all of my offerings though until he spotted the syrup in the pantry (and that should be my actual tip up there – never let them see in the pantry). He decided he wanted syrup! For breakfast!

“What are you going to put the syrup on?” I reasonably asked him.

He pondered this for a minute before very seriously answering me.

“Pancakes.”


Now let’s pause here for a second. This right here is the type of situation that makes my working arrangement invaluable to me. My job may not have a lot of upward movement in terms of responsibilities or job titles (I’ve been doing the same thing for six years at this point), but I don’t care. They pay me well and I literally can’t put a price on working from home half the week. Because if I had to go into the office this morning? I would have had to say no to impromptu pancakes. If I’d had to go in yesterday, I wouldn’t have been able to take the dumpling for a walk at 7:30. If I’d had to go in Tuesday, I wouldn’t have been able to witness the dumpling sing-shouting Twinkle Twinkle Little Star at the neighborhood park. It’s wonderful to have more time with him in the evening (especially when he was little and had a 7pm bedtime), but the mornings are where the real perks lie.

Most of the mornings, I don’t have to rush him out the door, trying to make sure I’m not late myself. And if there’s one thing every parent knows, it’s that rushing a preschooler means that everything will take twice as long as they staaaaaaaaallllllllll. Fact. Instead, our mornings are leisurely spent eating breakfast, reading books, or watching Daniel. We’re able to be flexible getting him out the door, depending on his moods, which makes everyone’s morning a thousand times easier. We can take a walk or run an errand (I’ve definitely taken him to the grocery store in his jammies when I discovered we were out of milk). And I don’t have to worry about getting myself presentable for work because I just need to be dressed. That’s it! No hour-long commute or putting on business casual clothes. No making sure I have everything I need for the day before heading out (and I can’t tell you how nice that was as a pumping mother). Our mornings are far less stressful, and most times downright pleasant, because I work from the house.


“Pancakes?” I said, skeptical at first, “… that does sound pretty good. Can you help me make them?”

“YES,” he enthusiastically answered me.

So we set about making pancakes. I measured ingredients, he poured them into our bowl. We stirred and stirred and stirred, taking turns (mama stir fast? he’d ask me when it was time for me to do the real whisking). We got them into the skillet to cook and debated who should flip them. He, of course, got the first batch and ate them at the counter while I continued to make pancakes. Once Luffy got his (and took them to eat at his computer in the living room), the dumpling decided that he wanted to eat on his chair in the living room. So he hopped down and took his plate to dada for help getting set up in his chair. He adorably chowed down, asking for milk or help cutting up pancakes. I stayed in the kitchen, devouring my own plate of pancakes while also finishing up cooking the batter (I like to freeze any leftovers so that I can pull them out when he requests them later). I also took care of the dishes and was charmed when the dumpling brought me his empty plate to wash.

From the living room, I heard this exchange:

“Did you tell mama thank you for making us pancakes?”

“Yes,” he answered, but that wasn’t accurate and Luffy knew it.

“Can you tell her again?”

[pitter patter of a running preschooler]

“I love you,” he tells me as he peers at me around his tower.

[sound of my heart melting]

“Awe, I love you too sweet boy. And you’re welcome for the pancakes.”


Side-story: While he doesn’t make wild requests anymore (most of the time), we do run through this hilarious conversation occasionally:

“Mama! I hungry, I want breakfast,” he’ll say to me, rubbing his presumably empty tummy.

“Ok, let’s get you breakfast,” I’ll say, walking into the kitchen.

“Do you want yogurt?”

“No! I want breakfast.”

“Ok, how about crackers?” (meaning his Belvita crackers)

“No! I want breakfast!”

“Hmmm – a strawberry bar?”

“NO! I want breakfast!”

“Ok, what about an apple? Or applesauce?”

“NO mama, I want breakfast!”

“I know child! What do you want for breakfast?!” is what I always want to say in response to that sass. I abstain though. Go me.

Yarn Acquired

So my instincts were right last week: Michael’s did indeed cancel my order after I made it. I guess they couldn’t find that last skein either. I managed to find it at a different Michael’s that was far away, but not unreasonably (especially given my alternatives were either trying to tie in another color (asymmetrically I might add) or ripping out half my work to tie another color in in a more aesthetically pleasing way). The dumpling and I went to pick it up Saturday so that I could finally continue work on his blanket. I actually think it’s every-so-slightly thicker than the original skein I purchased, but I have have nothing to base that on other than it feeling different. I just keep telling myself that the dumpling isn’t gonna care, so no big deal. I’m hoping to wrap it up this week!

Our outing to get the yarn ended up being (mostly) fun. When I drove out there, I suddenly realized I’d been to this particular shopping development before. It’s one of those really nice ones – more “lifestyle” than retail. Lots of restaurants mixed in with the stores and outdoor seating and decoration. Very walkable (even with the unusual winds we were having that afternoon). I remembered that Luffy and I had gotten cupcakes at a little bakery around the area. I made the mistake of telling the dumpling, as we were walking back to the car from Michael’s, that we’d get a treat. So of course, when I went to put him in the car – intending to drive around the property to see if my memories were correct – he did not understand at all.

“Treat mama! Treat!”

At least I didn’t specifically mention the cupcakes of my memory! We took off though, on foot, for the other side of the property. We did indeed find the cupcake shop I remembered (go Belle!) and picked up a big confetti cupcake to share and a few minis to take home to dada.

It took me a bit of time to get him to actually share with me, but I am proud to say that he at least did decide to share with me at some point. Which was a relief because that cupcake was entirely too large to be had by his little self. After we ate 2/3 of it, I let him run around picking flowers tearing the petals off and tossing them to the wind. I’m sure the landscaping crew was delighted. Passerby certainly were.

Unfortunately, due to the post-sugar crash and a confusing sighting of dada (who was at the house and most definitely not in a store), I had a really hard time getting him back in the car. I was thankful we were already outside because he just screamed at me from his seat. It started with him wanting to get dada from wherever he had glimpsed “him” and morphed into requests for more cupcake. now. now. now. cupcake. cupcake. CUPCAKE WOMAN – I DIDN’T STUTTER.

I held my cool and maintained the phrase “no cupcakes in the car” and repeated it over and over and over while he howled at me.

I debated our next errand which was to Target to buy him his own flashlight, but (a) I was doubtful we could get through it without woe and fie and (b) getting him his own flashlight seemed a bit like a reward for a good boy and not the one currently melting down in the backseat. We ended up going and getting stuck in traffic, but he had calmed down before we reached that point.

When we finally pulled into the Target parking lot and I went to get him from his seat, he told me “I not [frustrated] mama.”

!!

How sweet is that?

I complimented him on calming himself down and reiterated that I know it can be frustrating to not get what you want. But what a big boy he was! To calm down by himself!

We went on to buy him his own red flashlight, much to his delight (he’s obsessed with flashlights – I’m actually only buying him his own because the only one we have is one of those high-powered ones and he keeps accidentally blinding us while he’s playing with it) and he and Luffy had a great time while I was at the boss’s birthday party – or so I hear.*

*Which was told to me the next morning while on our way to brunch. Each statement was prompted by Luffy with a “did you chase dada?” and met by the dumpling with a pause and a consideration and a “mama, I chase dada!” It was an adorable exchange.

Perfectly balanced

I know! I know! I have no right to use that quote, my only excuse is that it really does perfectly capture my day yesterday.

I had yesterday off – perks of working in a small office. (Lest you start getting jealous, I should point out that we only get 9 paid holidays a year. Which is actually still above national average, apparently, but still. My real gripe is that each year, a quick perusal of the holiday schedule makes me think that I get 10 holidays each year, until I notice that, without fail, each “yearly” holiday schedule shows New Years 0x and New Years 0x+1 which is just a little bit of false advertising if you ask me… which you didn’t, but you’re here so…)

Wow – off to a real exciting start here!

Anyway, I had yesterday off. Daycare was open, so I dropped that little dude off at school and came back to the house to tackle the first part of my planned day: a deep clean of the living room and kitchen. It was prompted by one too many sticky spills over the weekend, plus the fact that I haven’t truly mopped our home in an embarrassingly long time. You know how it is: I want to mop, but you can’t just mop. Mopping requires vacuuming first. Vacuuming requires tidying up. And if I’m tidying up, I might as well organize. And have you ever tried to organize with a two-year-old underfoot? It doesn’t go so well.

So yeah, I took advantage of my day off to organize the living room, kitchen and office. The dumpling’s play food, for instance, has been reunited with his play kitchen. Trucks are in the living room. Train sets have been reunited. I relocated a child’s table to the office for crafts (it used to be his dinner table, post-highchair rebellion but before he could really join us for dinner). According to Luffy, the dumpling was delighted to find it in the office and sat down to color immediately.

I vacuumed the floors, the rugs, under the rugs. The couch, under the couch. I mopped. I moved the couch to mop under it when I discovered a very crusty patch of what I could only assume was baby spit-up (ewe). My steam mop made quick work of the leftover mess, though the living room smelled distinctly like spit-up for a while after that and I realized that I had totally forgotten about that smell.

I spent the first few hours of my day off deep cleaning and it was glorious. I’m one of those people that finds a tangible sense of well-being in a well-cleaned and organized home. I know that it won’t last long (see above: two-year-old underfoot), but it was well worth the hours. I wrapped up about 2:30 and sat down to a small glass of champagne (a kudos to my efforts!) and crocheting. Spent a happy couple of hours adding on the the dumpling’s blanket and then went to teach my exercise class.

All in all, a very well-balanced day!

Not what you came here for

I know we have things to talk about… doctor’s appointments and opinions on cycles and all that. But I can’t talk about any of that right now because I can barely hear myself think. And I was going to tell you all about that, but then I realized that I have told you nothing about that so HOLD ON TO YOUR HORSES! Belle has a lot to talk about today.

Let’s go back to mid-October. I know right – how have I not mentioned any of this since October??? The answer is that it’s just been moving along so slowly that it’s been a mostly boring process. Anyway, mid-October, a Saturday. It was raining and we’d just gotten back from lunch. Since it was raining, I closed the garage door before getting out of the car to get the dumpling out. As I walked around the back of the car, a fat droplet of water splashed to the ground in front of me. As I peered up at the ceiling, I spotted a the telltale inverted puddle on the ceiling. Roof leak. Well crap.

I climbed up to the ceiling and, thankfully, didn’t find the lake of water that I feared. I did notice a slow drip down one of the roof’s beams, confirming a roof leak. As it appeared to be a very slow leak, I wasn’t too terribly concerned. I called several roofers on Monday morning, knowing that it might be a while before anyone could get back to me (lots of storms in the area mean busy roofers). While waiting to hear back on the calls I had placed, I had a guy call me, based on some information I had given to HomeAdvisers. We agreed to meet in a couple of days, when I’d be at the house (and when the forecast was finally free of rain).

I was hoping for some guidance on whether to repair or replace the roof. I didn’t know how old, exactly, our roof was. We haven’t done any roof work and when we bought the house, five years ago, they certainly weren’t advertising a new roof. That places good odds that the roof is at least seven years old. Depending on how expensive or extensive the repair would be, it might be a better idea to replace the roof.

But then, my new roof-savior appeared. Ryan was knowledgeable and extremely helpful and quite willing to go toe-to-toe with our insurance company. I was impressed that first meeting when he had Allstate’s (our insurance company, though he didn’t know that beforehand) claim number in his contacts. We called them up on the spot to start the claim process. I was even more thoroughly impressed when Ryan rattled off the date and time of the storm (which had rolled through in June!). And thus we began our journey with Allstate.

I won’t give you all the back-and-forth though there are a few highlights:

  • Somehow, the claim we filed that first day didn’t get entered correctly. It appeared in Allstate’s system as a claim number with nothing attached. It took me calling in several times to get the issue sorted out and the process started for real.
  • We had a very contentious first inspection when Allstate’s ladder guy refused to label our roof as hail damaged. Incongruently, they agreed that the vents and gutters had hail damage and that the interior damage was also storm related. So all the trimmings are due to hail damage and the inside damage is due to the storm, but not the roof? Not that the roof was fine, mind you. Oh no, everyone agreed that the roof was shot. The first ladder guy argued that it was blistering instead.
  • We requested for a re-inspection almost immediately, with Ryan adamant that Allstate should cover the roof.
  • After the first inspection, when we knew this process might take a bit longer than anticipated, Ryan had his guys put on a temporary cover to seal up the roof a bit better. The next time it rained, I was appalled to discover that rain water sluicing off our garage door when it opens, what I had assumed to be a little quirk (quick! run around the car before you get wet!), turned out to actually be a symptom of the leak. I had been dealing with this little quirk for months. MONTHS. And I’d never realized.

And that brings you up to just a few days before Christmas. Our re-inspection was scheduled for Friday, December 21st. We had an adjuster, a quality control inspector, and a senior ladder assist from Allstate, as well as our own contractor, Ryan. So many people! After some initial disagreement (the ladder assist “didn’t see” hail damage on his first pass through), Allstate finally agreed to recognize the hail damage and cover the full roof replacement. Merry Christmas! You’re getting a new roof!

So that’s what we’re doing today! Getting a new roof! The materials were delivered early yesterday morning. The dumpling was living his best preschooler life as he gleefully watched the forklift drive up and down our driveway. I about had a heart attack this morning when I spotted someone walking across our backyard before dawn this morning, only to realize that it was the roofers, here bright pre-dawn and early. (The dumpling adorably decided the noise he was hearing was thunder.)

And now I must confess that while I am very distracted from all the hammering, my primary reason for writing all of this down is so that in several years, when I can’t remember when we put the new roof on, I can look back and figure it out. (Which is the only reason I know when we put the floors in.) Yay for adulthood, when every year starts to run together!