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hobokenkitchen

When It's All Just Too Much.

hobokenkitchen
9 years ago

So this has been a pretty sucky week and a half.

A variety of things have gone wrong. Some small, some not so small and I am wondering whether to laugh or cry as I lie here awake at midnight.

1: Went to buy a used car. Discovered my credit has gone from 798 to 689. Why? Because HSBC (with whom we have been premier customers for 7 years) reported a $10 overdraft as 'late' not once but twice. On an account which was meant to have overdraft protection. When we had (a lot) of money in other accounts.

2: Got tired of asking our GC to explain what almost $4000 of charges to our credit card were for. Went to Home Depot. After extensive searching found out that $940 were building materials that should not have been on our account. GC claims it was a mistake. This is the second time this has happened. The first time Sherwin Williams added $120 of painting equipment to our order without authorization and the SW guy I spoke to about it told me he 'didn't need a lecture' when I told him he couldn't just add our GCs items to OUR order (on our cc).

3; Got a great deal on a floor model tub. Yay, except that it means we now own two tubs for one bathroom.

4: Received a letter from Chubb stating that the insurance appraisal for the new house came back slightly lower than our coverage and that this policy change would result in an INCREASE of $417. Umm wha????

5: A limb from a tree we were having removed fell on the porch crushing the railing and taking out part of a gutter. Yes it could have been much worse, but still.

6: No one showed up to work at the house on Thursday or Friday. GC said he was coming all day so we waited in to talk to him... and he never showed. On Saturday he was meant to come at 9am to talk to me. He still hadn't arrived at 2pm. Apparently this is ok because he considers himself to be 3 weeks ahead of schedule. We will probably have a baby in 3 weeks and have no kitchen and no master bedroom and mess everywhere. We are clearly not on the same page regarding time lines here.

7: my husband left for a business trip on Friday for a week thereby missing our 9 year anniversary and the holiday weekend. Since he left:

1: The sun room flooded in a corner.

2: I had to go (by myself) to labor & delivery to be monitored due to kidney pain.

3: we have record heat and when I turned on the air con we had a flood of water come through one of the brand new recessed lights. My pregnant butt climbed the ladder into the attic and it looks like two pieces of plastic pipe have come apart so I think that must be it. I am lying here bathed in sweat as we speak. Thank god we put in a ceiling fan and thank god the electric in this room works.

8: The kitchen cabinets should be ready 2nd week of June. I have zero confidence that we will be ready for them.

9: The tile quote for the master bathroom came back so ridiculously high that it was out of the question. Now they've reduced the price by $4,000 making it almost within reach. Could probably save a couple of thousand and do something less exciting, but don't want to regret getting something ordinary when we could have had extraordinary.

10: Running tight on funds - we kept our other house so don't have our usual renovation budget handy. This month has been full of surprise costs and start up charges. Received an email this evening from our tenants (around the same time I was putting a bucket under the pouring recessed light and watching the thermostat rise) that the air con in our other house isn't working either. Have to get that fixed also.

11: Tried to unscrew a light bulb from the fixture above our wet bar. Bulb broke in the socket.

12: Our dog has a cyst on her back. It popped on Thursday. $200 and may need to be removed if it comes back @ approx $800.

Think that may be more or less it. I may just go and have a nervous breakdown in a corner somewhere.

A lot of this is self inflicted (tub/ tile choices, etc), but we could really use a break. Our budget took a beating with unexpected structural issues which doesn't help.

Now we have an emergency trip to the hospital to pay for and you know even with insurance that's not going to be cheap.

Fingers crossed things ease up over the next week - at least until my husband gets home. I have a friend coming to stay on Wednesday and the house is a disaster and now we have no air con and she won't be able to turn on the lights in her room because water was pouring through one.

Oh and I keep hearing weird noises in the house. We're in a very safe neighborhood, but I'm a giant wuss and scared of being here by myself with so many people having keys (we'll change them once work is complete).

Anyone else feeling overwhelmed? What do you do when it all gets to be too much and you run out of money to throw at it?

Comments (67)

  • hobokenkitchen
    Original Author
    9 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Thanks again all - I can't tell you how much better it makes me feel to get sympathy from people who really understand what a renovation process is like. Most people just don't really get it.

    My family are all in England so can't go and stay. My MIL is in Virginia - 6 + hours away. I'm sure she would help if she could, but she feels the heat even more than I do and if she were here I would be more worried about her being uncomfortable.

    We also don't really know the neighbors well enough to ask for favors yet and my friends are back in Philly. I did have a friend come up for lunch yesterday and another is coming to stay from Hoboken tomorrow (please let the air con be fixed!!!). So at least I'll have some company. Hopefully we'll get to know people in our new area soon.

    I'm ok though. The whole team showed up this morning (thank goodness) and are working on the kitchen room, so keep fingers and toes crossed that we can get to a point soon where dry wall can go up which will free up our cabinet guy when he is ready to install the cabinets - thank goodness he installs the cabinets himself and he did our last kitchen so we know him and trust his work.

    Roll on Friday when DH gets back - he was so worried when I had to go to the hospital, he was the one who called the doctor for me. I think we are both looking forward to him coming home!

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  • tea4all
    9 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Hobokenkitchen, I'm so glad a friend is coming Wednesday to stay with you!! That means just today alone--not really alone 'cause all GWers are here for you! Although I've not lived through a reno yet (we are in planning stages), many good people here (GW) have had that experience. They have given you wonderful advice. Please follow it and take good care of you and your baby. You 2 are priority #1. Starbucks is a great idea--AC and a good book will be a good break for you. Enjoy it! I'll be praying for you and Baby.

  • cat_mom
    9 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Hobokenkitchen, you vent all you need!!! Sometimes we just need to let it out, and you certainly have every right (and reason) to with the crap that's been going on in your world!

    I hope this week is the beginning of better times!

    (((HUG)))

  • Liz
    9 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I am so sorry that everything seems to be falling at once. I hope things start to turn around. Renovating can be so stressful dealing with all the hiccups along the way. I hope things start going better for you.

  • AnnaA
    9 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    HobokenK, so glad that this is a place for you to vent! It does a body, mind, and baby good to speak up and know what's hit you IS big and momentarily overwhelming!

    I echo the wisdom above, and sounds like today is already showing signs of being a bit better.

    I hope you can claim some peaceful alone time too - our homes are not peaceful when ripped apart and everyone and anyone can come in at any moment. Starbucks - or even a local library with AC and cushiony chairs, and all the free magazines you could want..and a nap...sounds wonderful!

    Hope today keeps getting better!

  • mtnrdredux_gw
    9 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I only read the OP, so sorry if I missed something in the ensuing messages.

    But, goodness, it's like 87 today and you are three weeks away? Let everything else go for now, put your feet up, and let someone else take care of it all. YOu deserve a rest.

  • rosie
    9 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Hugs from Georgia, too, HobokenK. It sounds like you could handle everything well enough if you had your air conditioning working. Just take good care of yourselves.

  • lascatx
    9 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Glad things are looking better today, but I would tell DH's boss his wings are now clipped until after the baby arrives and you are both home and settled. I'd sure try to have no travel a month on either side of the delivery date, especially with all you have going on.

    I'd also have those HD and SW accounts closed and pay for materials on invoice. I'd never give anyone else carte blanche with my credit, especially after he's blown it twice. At a minimum, once the work is done, check your accounts carefully and then request a new card so no more charges can be made to the numbers he was using.

  • hobokenkitchen
    Original Author
    9 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Just had a good cry. My poor Mother is freaking out as she managed to call me right in the middle. She's now suggesting we move to England. Lol. : )

    This is what the ceiling looked like this morning:

    and as I left the house:

    This is in one of the two rooms that was 'done'. Of course.

    I'm going to have to see what it looks like when I get home and decide whether I have to cancel my friend's visit (this is the guest room).

    I'm happy that it's being fixed, but once again this takes away from the kitchen being worked on.

    We really need to catch a break.

    For the record we changed our credit card number and at Sherwin Williams yesterday when he asked if I wanted our contractors name on the invoice for pick up I said no, just ours. If SW puts any more charges on our bill I will flip.

    Next up is calling HSBC. Just hope I can get through that call without bursting into tears in the middle of Starbucks. These hormones are really something!!

    DH will not be travelling for a while. Last year he was gone for two weeks for this same thing. Thank God it's not two weeks this year. I don't know what I would have done!

    Oh and Starbucks just tied to overcharge me for my tea. It's a conspiracy! ; )

  • ayerg73
    9 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Moms always know when to call! It's hard to be so far away from family, but even a phone call can do a world of good.

    Please don't tell your friend not to come. You need reinforcements! You can camp out if you need to - but you need someone to commiserate with!

    I hope this week turns around for you.

  • blfenton
    9 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    "Oh and Starbucks just tied to overcharge me for my tea. It's a conspiracy! ; )" LOL.

    First of all ((((HUGS))))). After all this having a baby is going to be a breeze. You're used to a schedule that doesn't have any reason to it, unexpected expenses, people not listening (kids never listen), a messy house, sick pets (wait til the baby gets sick), and may there never be a kid on that tree limb when it falls.

    A year from now, and what a fast and great year it will be, you will love this story. But in the meantime continue to vent here and hopefully it helps. That's the great thing about this particular forum is the amount of support people give to one another. Have a good cry and STAY off of ladders, pleeeeaaaase!

  • tea4all
    9 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I second ayers73--please do not cancel your friend's visit. A friend comes to be with you, not your house. She would want to be a support to you regardless of accommodations.

  • lascatx
    9 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    OMG. I wish I could grab my brother (who was laid off from an IT job but has helped me with some fixes on my house and does beautiful dry wall work) and come up there to give you a hand. There is a reason for the saying "When it rains it pours" -- and "things happen in threes", etc. There are times when life just overwhelms you. It's a totally different set of circumstances for me right now, but I fully understand and wish I could give you more than words.

    You were brave to be taking on all this work while PG (if you were PG at the start), but I'm sure the plan was to have everything done before now so you could enjoy when the baby arrived and not worry about it. Hopefully, that may still happen.

    My little older and crustier side says maybe it's time to use the hormones to your advantage. Crying and slightly irrational pregnant women can frighten men who need frightening and invoke the empathy, sympathy and chivalry of those who don't. Tell them they can work every night to get it done 'cuz you are about to be up every night taking care of a baby who was supposed to have a quiet and finished place to come home to. Assure them their phone numbers will be on auto dial for those sleepless nights worrying about when X or Y will get finished. Don't curse the hormones -- let them work for you. There may be times you can't control it or have the choice anyway. ;-) Have a good laugh about it when you can.

    Have the friend come. I think you need someone to lend a shoulder. We can all live with drywall repair -- just keep the suitcase closed and things covered.

    Would it help any if I told you the part around the hole in the ceiling looks lovely? ;-) (((( ))))

  • weissman
    9 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    >>>but I would tell DH's boss his wings are now clipped until after the baby arrives

    This is a really bad idea. Many bosses would not take kindly to being given ultimatums from an employee's wife. This is your husband's issue, not yours. In this economy, it's better to be cautious on issues like this.

  • suzanne_sl
    9 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Now is the best time to meet the neighbors. There is nothing more compelling than a pregnant woman in need - and you are really are in need when a ladder needs climbing to look for the source of water pouring through the ceiling! Even people you don't know well will come through for you when you really need the help. Somewhere among them may be a good friend-to-be.

    I trust the kidney pain was just Jr. using your innards for a punching bag or mild dehydration. These last three weeks will be physically and psychologically trying. Definitely have your friend come. She won't mind sleeping on the couch and being hot. That's what friends do, and gladly.

    Hugs!

  • hobokenkitchen
    Original Author
    9 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Ok, I spoke to the bank manager at HSBC. He asked for an email outlining the issue - he said he could see it was a small overdraft because the 'interest fees' were for like .20 cents.

    Fingers crossed I hear back from them and it's not just radio silence.

    Also contacted Chubb to ask for an explanation on the $417 increase in premium for less coverage. I received this response:

    "Regarding the alarms, I can have the fire alarm credit re-applied to the policy if you can send me a certificate of installation from the alarm company. Once re-applied the fire alarm credit would be $470.
    On the burglar alarm, Chubb will only apply a credit if the security system is monitored. Since it is not, the credit cannot be re-applied to the policy. If the burglar alarm system does become monitored and I receive a certificate of installation from the alarm company, the additional credit for this will be $63."

    What does this mean? I understand the burgler alarm part (although I ALWAYS told them it was installed but not monitored), but what installation certificate for fire alarms can they be talking about?

    We've owned 7 homes in the US over the years and never received a certificate of installation for fire alarms? The insurance appraiser did an external evaluation only. Why not make an appointment to come in and verify the presence of the alarms?
    There's also a huge siren on the side of the house which goes off when the fire alarms go off. I know because I set it off accidentally and it was deafening.

    The attic ladder climbing took place at 10.30pm. No way was I going to go and knock on a neighbors door at that time of night. I just don't find it easy to ask for help like that I guess. Even from friends and especially from people I don't know. : (

  • hobokenkitchen
    Original Author
    9 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Ok got clarification on the fire alarm monitoring. Apparently any company can issue an istallation certificate but the fire alarms need to be centrally monitored.

    This hasn't been a problem before because all our houses have been in the city and very close to hydrants and fire houses.

    I wonder how much a central monitoring system for the fire alrms is going to cost......

  • desertsteph
    9 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    "please do not cancel your friend's visit. A friend comes to be with you, not your house."

    definitely don't cxl your friend! have the guys move the mattress into another room if needed. have a 'sleep over' party.

    stay off the ladder!

    do post pics of the bathroom / tile. and what you want it to be... and see if anyone here can come up w/ a cheaper way to that end.

    hope that bulb wasn't one of those mercury bulbs. if things get bad again (still?) contemplate finding the person who designed a bulb using mercury in it. AND what we could do to that idiot person.

    on the cyst - there's hope. I had one on my back for about 14 yrs. about 10 months ago it got infected and popped (gross). good news is that so far it hasn't grown back. over the past yrs it would drain at times but always come back. This time it doesn't seem to be doing that - and that's a good thing!

  • SparklingWater
    9 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Too much for you, so close to delivering. Just let it all go for now, sit in some AC and relax with soothing music and thinking home much you'll enjoy your baby nine years into your marriage with a man you greatly love. Years from now you'll have a great story to tell. Right now, the most important choice is your health and protection.

    Be careful with HSBC. I wised up to them a few years ago and cancelled ALL accounts they managed.

    ((Hugs)) to you and yours from VA.

  • suzanne_sl
    9 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I don't think they're asking that the fire alarms be monitored, just the burglar alarm system. I think they're asking for proof that wired fire alarms have actually been installed, as opposed to our alarms that are fastened to the ceiling with replaceable batteries that you may or may not remember to replace.

    Yes, you can bother the neighbors at 10:30 p.m. Look for whoever still has a light on, and if there's no light, just choose someone. Here's an analogy that may make this clearer:

    When my boys were about 6 and 8, we were camping at Yosmite Nat'l Park in one of the wilderness campgrounds. We were chatting around the campfire with a family from Germany. The boys needed to use the restroom and went off in the dark. It wasn't far and they were experienced campers. When they came out, they went off in the wrong direction and got lost. When they figured out they were lost, they argued about asking for help. One said that everyone was asleep and shouldn't be bothered, and the other was lobbying for asking. About the time we thought they'd been gone overly long, the child who wanted to ask for help prevailed. They asked a random person who brought them to us just about the time we were ready to send out a search party. That guy didn't even stay to give us what-for for letting them wander around in the dark. In a campground in the wilderness. In a campground built in loops where it would be easy to wander off down a trail that was headed further off into the mountains with steep slopes to fall down. Was the guy bent out of shape to be asked to help two lost little boys? Nope.

    Would your neighbors be bent? Nope, not unless you asked the one who's a total sociopath. Sometimes you just need to ask and trust that human decency will prevail. For Jr., ask, it's really OK. There are not many times in your life when you'll be 9 months pregnant and as vulnerable as you are now. A year from now if you saw someone in your same situation, would you hesitate to climb that ladder, or whatever, in the middle of the night? Nope, you'd do it in a heartbeat and gladly. This is not a good time to be shy, although I totally get that. Besides, all the neighbors want to see what's going on with your reno.

  • hobokenkitchen
    Original Author
    9 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    They definitely want the alarms to be monitored.
    So now I have to call around all the companies and find someone who can do it and how much it will be. Like I need another chore to do. Sigh.

  • lascatx
    9 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    weissman, of course I didn't mean literally that she should call her DH's boss and give him an ultimatum, but I would expect that her husband and his boss wouldn't schedule any further travel that wasn't essential right now.

    Hoboken, around here monitoring seems to run about $20 a month. It ensures a faster response time and a response even if no one is home, so it can result in less risk of loss -- translates to a reason for a lower premium. Shouldn't be complicated or anything you can't change easily down the road, so try to keep it simple.

  • hobokenkitchen
    Original Author
    9 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Here is the 'dream tile'.

    It would be two Calcutta marble framed 4 x 3' 'plaques' of the marble/ glass mix feature tile on each back feature wall - one above the tub and one in the shower.
    The surrounding tiles would be matching glass tiles, not in that tiny size, but in 3 x 6 subway size.
    Shower floor is more glass tile in 1 x 1s.

    The side walls and floor would be the porcelain calcutta marble. Walls in 9 x 18s and floor in 18 x 18 laid on the diagonal.

    Plaques like this;

    The new tub:

    Floor plan:

    Floor plan with tile:

    The wall that will have the tub with the plaque above and 60" double vanity on the right wall (opposite the window).

  • mtnrdredux_gw
    9 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Chubb is a total pita on alarm systems. Unfortunately, they are also the best insurer for high end homes with high end finishes.

    I have to chime in on your dream tile, which is indeed dreamy! But do you think it is a good fit for your house? Wasn't it New Hope or Solebury? I think of that as a less formal vibe. I am not saying you need to go all plaids and wood, but if you are trying to talk yourself out of the tile, a good angle is that it as lovely as it is on its own, it may not work with the house? How about just a huge slab of marble ... i love that look,

    I love the bateau tub, I have a very similar one. Warning they are tricky to get out of... but they look so good who cares.

  • beekeeperswife
    9 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I am in the school of thought that monitoring is good. We had the last house monitored for burglar & fire, and the thing I liked best about it was that if we were on vacation, and the fire alarm went off, someone would come. It wasn't that expensive. We were able to get a discount (like you) on our insurance. New house, new alarm system, new monitoring company. Something about knowing my puppies were safe even if we were away was a good thing. (yes, they stayed elsewhere, but if it was a day trip and a neighbor was watching them...)

    Please stay safe. Try to find something to keep you calm. The baby will appreciate anything you can do to find that peace. I know it's hot. Hopefully, the heat will pass soon. Have you tried the frozen lemonades at McD's? I have had 2 now. I cannot go back again. They are very good.

    New Hope? Really? My stomping grounds growing up. Such a lovely lovely lovely place.

    Hang in there.

    bee

  • lascatx
    9 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I love your tub! It is all going to come together. Hang in there!

  • cakelly1226
    9 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I am so sorry for all your troubles! I have a DH who travels a lot and it always seems to be when the crazy stuff happens:( Hang in there and take care of yourself! You have to worry about your body and that little baby inside:)

  • hobokenkitchen
    Original Author
    9 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Yes beekeeperswife - we're in New Hope - do ever get up here to visit? If so let me know and you can come and check out our money pit, I mean new house! ; )

    mntrdredux, I don't find the tile all that formal really - maybe it's the porcelain 'marble' floor, but that looks quite warm to me. I almost feel like a whole slab of marble would be more formal.

    Also while I love this area and agree that there is a laid back feel, a recurring theme in most of the houses we saw when we were looking was that we didn't love the finishes.

    From all the work I've done looking at alternative 'special' tile, I don't think that we would save a significant amount by going the other 'special' route we liked (now that they've brought the price right down on the dream tile).

    I think the alternative would be a wood look tile on the floor and white bevelled subway tile on the walls. I think that could bring the cost down fairly considerably.
    From rough calculations I think we could use the wood look tile on the floor, these subways on the wall and trim pieces: http://www.anchorbaytile.com/Cottage-Lane-Subway-Tile-Beveled-3x6-Inch-p/abtclb3600.htm#ReviewHeader

    I think as it stands we could save approx $2800 if we went that very simple (but still elegant) route.

    Or maybe we could nix the plaque in the shower and do all glass in the shower. If we did that I think we would be about $1500 apart in price between the special and the simple.

    Decisions, decisions......

    Here is a link that might be useful: bevelled subway tiles.

  • rhome410
    9 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    That tile certainly is extraordinary...or more!

    I think you have a great sense of humor and patience, and are pretty extraordinary yourself. I loved your 2nd post, especially what you said about your hubby, now 9 yrs in. It made me smile. I can tell you really do see and appreciate the good sides of things. But wow, what a tough week, and you certainly have the right to frustration, tears, and a little wussiness during the lonely nights.

    I have nothing much to add to the kind advice and love you've gotten already. It's just rotten when you realize you can trust no one to do everything right, even with they try, and you have to stay on your toes at all times. But try to rest, and enjoy the time with your friend... And with your baby where he/she is, because, if you're like me, you'll miss that. Having them out is wonderful, of course, but the relationship you have right now is unmatched, too, and all yours. You are doing great, and accomplishing a lot, one step at at time... Really.

  • mtnrdredux_gw
    9 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I think you could certainly forego the plaque in the shower, because what you will really notice when you walk in is the tub wall. ANd when you are in the shower, you will also be looking out at the tub wall.

    That said, Is the ceiling going to remain sloped? Have the tile people done a mock-up of the tub wall with the plaque? You may not like the way the "extra triangle" at the top relates to the symmetry of the framed plaque?

    Not to talk out of both side of my mouth, but whatever you do, you should really like it. You don't seem at all excited about the other choice, and I think it's a mistake to settle. You don't want to walk in there every morning and think, "I should have...."

    I know that probably doesn't help much ...

  • sbp59
    9 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    You're in New Hope Solebury! Well, then plenty of people to put you in good hands - LOL! We lived for 7 years in Canal Walk; I do miss it and miss having the best neighbors ever!
    They say when it gets to be too much - quit looking at it all at once...and based on my experience seems to make sense. Keep congratulating yourself on how much you have done!

  • PRO
    Heritage Chrome
    9 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Hi Hoboken...I was actually thinking of you throughout the day. Funny how that happens on a forum. Your post just really struck a chord with me. I guess our posts crossed this a.m. I've finally had a moment to sit and read and this is the first place I clicked. It sounds like many, if not all the issues are getting some attention. A friend wouldn't be a friend if she didn't shush you and come help anyway. Just let her know she's camping out and also have the honor of being your right-hand lady! I'm glad you vented and got things off your chest. I'm also glad to see 50(!) posts and counting. It's so lovely here.
    Stick to your guns..again, step on the GC's head a few more times and tell him he should be ashamed for his (in-)actions. A little finger wag and new-Mom voice will hit him like nothing else can. He will quake.

    Hugs all around and take care
    Deborah
    (PS..that tile is da-bomb!!!) Love it!

  • hobokenkitchen
    Original Author
    9 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I know, I can't believe I got 50 responses either. I feel really touched that people would take time out of their day to give a comforting word. I really did need it today.
    I'm feeling much better this evening. 3 more nights and DH will be home and tomorrow morning my friend arrives early and will come with me to my prenatal appointment at the doctor's.
    I also made the decision NOT to reclean the hallways and dining room floor this evening. I hope my friend understands. I am usually such a clean freak, but hopefully she will get that it's just too much. I had it all done, but taking down a ceiling has a way of making a mess!
    I am just trying to take everyone's advice and take it easy.

    Thanks so much again everyone - I can't tell you how much I appreciate everyone's kind words and comfort.

  • williamsem
    9 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    That marble/glass feature tile is the most beautiful tile I think I have ever seen. If I had a nicer house, I would take that and design my bathroom around it. Seriously. And the second tub you bought is much more fitting with the room now that you posted some more pics.

    The reality is you have 9 months to make a whole person. If it's too much right now so close to the baby's arrival, I would agree you might need to adjust your timeline with the contractor. Figure out what is the absolute minimum that needs to be finished when the baby comes. Paint and trimmings can be put off. That may relieve enough of the burden to make it manageable. And make sure the contractor understands it HAS to be done. If he needs a dose of full on PG hormone crazy, so be it.

    So glad to hear a friend is coming. If you have a clean bed and a working bathroom to share, I'm sure the rest doesn't matter.

    In our house, I travel more and DH is the one who stays home and always gets into some sort of trouble. To the point where I need to post on Facebook for our friends to be sure to pick up if he calls. It's no fun in the other side either! I'm sure DH is worried sick.

    Hopefully by the time the baby is out of diapers you will be able to look back at all this and laugh! Hang in there!

  • Mom23Es
    9 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Lots and lots of hugs. Everything is harder when you're 8 or 9 months pregnant. Focus on youself and your baby as much as possible. Everything else will somehow come together. And really, I hope you're not doing too much cooking with a newborn anyway! Lots of bottled water, wine, bleu cheese, cold deli sandwiches, and sushi. Enjoy all the carry out you can. :)

  • hobokenkitchen
    Original Author
    9 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    An update:

    I am in bed - air con is running and not leaking. Spare bedroom has new sheet rock. Ok so it's not finished being patched and painted and there's only 3 working lights, but there's no hole in the ceiling and no bucket so it's a definite improvement! : )

    In addition my husband tells me he watched a tv show on baby sleeping. This is so unlike him as to not be true and therefor melts my heart even more.

    In addition I have received 2 phone calls from my Mother, a phone call from a friend in England and lots of texts from friends today. Bear in mind I haven't mentioned any of this to anyone really. I think a lot of people had sixth sense that I needed a cheer up today.

    Feeling so much better - in no small part thanks to this thread.

    Good night all! : )

  • lascatx
    9 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Glad things are on the mend. I went through both pregnancies with no AC. DH told me I wouldn't need it, but I remember 104 and 110 with no air circulation in the upstairs of the house. I have pictured of the fans and blankets on the floor of our living room when I couldn't sleep upstairs. I know how miserable that can be even without a hole in the ceiling (and yes, anything being done on the ceiling makes a mess). Enjoy the visit with your friend.

  • kngwd
    9 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Hey Hoboken!

    So I'm in Frenchtown - maybe 20 minutes on the NJ side of the river! And I happen to work for Chubb!! Yes, we are a PITA when it comes to alarms!!! : ) Have to have the certificate to get the credit. And be thankful they didn't come in - if they don't know the house is being worked on, you would've been hit with an increase for that too!!!
    And the cold front is on it's way!!!
    Hang in there!!

  • CEFreeman
    9 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    lascatx, please tell me you kicked that man to the curb.
    Sadism (and you taking that bunch of crazy hoo-ha) is insane.
    Or should it be called "passive aggression"?

    If a person, let alone a pregnant person ready to explode physically, mentally and emotionally is hot and wants some AC?

    WHY NOT!?!

    Oh, and hoboken? Glad things are looking up. :)

  • hobokenkitchen
    Original Author
    9 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Lascatx; I would KILL me husband if he told me I didn't need air conditioning in over 100 degree heat. You poor thing - I struggled enough that night in the high 80s!

    Kngwd - so we're neighbors?! Chubb does know we're doing work so now we don't have the 'extended coverage', but some other one. Gotta love it! Lol.

    I still have to call around monitoring companies - the only one I've seen so far had a mandatory $40/ month monitoring fee locked in for 3 years which seems like an awfully long time to be locked in.

    I was hoping to pay less per month than that if possible.

  • lascatx
    9 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Hope that $40 is high, but maybe we get a break cuz monitoring is not as important where people live with shotguns at their bedsides. I'm only half kidding. LOL

    In a couple of weeks it will be 21 years since we moved into that townhouse but DH still hears about the no air conditioning and the grass fire burning on the hill behind us when we moved in on occasion. ;) Not too much though because I had complications after that first birth and nearly died. I also had preterm labor (was begging to go back tot he office), and once home had a baby who would cry constantly the first three months or so. He would come home at lunch and find us both crying so I think he got it rough enough. By the time we moved, our landlord was all the villan we needed. I was home on maternity leave due to the risk of preterm labor again when he told us he wanted to put the house on the market. He agree to let us move after the baby was born and then served us with an eviction notice anyway. Kept our security deposit because the thinnest carpet possibly available was worn -- the house was 7-10 years old. Of course it was! He wanted to put the money in the stock market because real estate was flat at the time. I hope he did -- the market crashed that fall and the real estate market started picking up. :D

    And just for the record -- he knew the house and the climate and told DH and I both we wouldn't need AC. DH had lived in areas with natural fog AC so he really believed we wouldn't need it.

  • hobokenkitchen
    Original Author
    9 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Lascatx - that sounds like quite an ordeal! Glad it was a long time ago! : )

    I'm doing much better. Air con still works, my friend is here and no more disasters (touching wood).

    I also had a prenatal appointment yesterday and met a woman with a 3 week old who lives in Lambertville and we have a coffee date for next week. Also found out the doctor I saw lives a couple of minutes from me and got an email from his wife with all sorts of tips in it.

    People really are very kind. : )

    DH is back tomorrow. I cannot wait. Fingers crossed for no more trips for a while!!

  • rhome410
    9 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Husbands and pregnancies... don't get me started. LOL "I know you're supposed to be on bedrest, but I need you to help me move the kids' beds into their room." And "Are you sure you're ready to go to the hospital?" He was afraid we'd be there forever, like for our first... Instead he almost got to deliver #2 in the car. It sounds like you got a true gem, Hoboken. :-D

    Things sound SO much better... DH back, dear friend on hand, and developing a new support system. All great stuff. I hope it's smooth sailing from here.

  • colorfast
    9 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Hoboken,
    I'm so glad things are going better. I haven't had time to log on but I was thinking about you. You are tackling the key problems and letting go on the others.

    Now that I have seen your tile, I can see why you are in love. I'm not sure you need the beautiful swirly picture in the shower as well as the tub. Given that the door is at the shower end, you will look to your right upon entering and as stated by a previous poster, your tub area becomes the focal point. If you and DH feel you can afford it, that tile would be stunning, but perhaps save a bit of cash by doing just the one tile "picture."

    PS. Please, please stay off ladders. I don't want to go in long stories, but unlike many of the "old wives' tales" during pregnancy, falling can be quite serious.

  • research_queen
    9 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I think you deserve, at the very minimum, a spa day :)

  • lascatx
    9 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Glad the better times are continuing, and I know when DH gets home tomorrow everything will be easier to deal with. I've had times when DH leaves town and everything hits the fan. Do you think they do that just to make sure we still need them when they get back? ;-) LOL

  • hobokenkitchen
    Original Author
    9 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Things not looking great again.

    Yesterday we discovered that 2 of our 3 new Totos arrived broken. I guess it's not that big a deal as they will be replaced, but now we have to wait again for new ones.

    We had a meeting with the GC on Tuesday night to discuss how things are going. It didn't go well. He says that I am nice to the whole crew, but not to him and that's why he barely comes to the house.

    He said the whole crew had noticed 'how I treat him' and that in 10 years of business he has never had this problem before. So now I feel uncomfortable in my own home. Now I'm wondering if it's me that's the problem.

    He called the following day to apologize for how he spoke to me, but I really don't much want to talk to him at all any more.

    He is asking us to eat a lot of extra expense (including most of the $940 Home Depot bill) because of all the 'extras' he has done including 'thousands' in additional plumbing work for free (?). He says we can go over the contract again but it will end up costing us thousands because he will charge for all the extras he's done.

    We appear to now be paying for wiring and other items I had no idea would be on the list. I thought he was paying for behind the walls stuff and we were paying for the 'pretty' stuff (including paint, but wiring??).

    My husband has stepped in to talk to him and yet I don't feel satisfied with that arrangement either. GC was meant to go to Home Depot for $80 worth of unidentified stuff (paid for by us) and when the Home Depot person called for our cc number (which GC no longer has) it was for $175. For 'wiring and boxes'. Huh?

    The problem is I just don't trust him and I guess the GC feels that and is (understandably) offended by it. But when we ask for receipts he flashes them at us and then says he needs them back. It's like the Hone Depot receipt debacle all over again.
    But we DO have extra issues that SHOULD be resulting in extra charges - the problem is getting numbers out of him for the extra issues is tough. So our sunroom leak issues and retiling (over the existing) bathroom floor are costing an additional $2400 on top of the $940 which he owed us from the Home Depot thing, but we didn't know that until he's ripped out carpeting and the place is a disgusting mess and we have no choice really but to do the work. I just wish he would tell us what this stuff would cost before starting it!

    I don't know what to do at this point. I feel like every time we question something he has a million explanations and excuses which never really tell you anything. He talks a mile a minute and you can't get a word in edgewise. I know we should be paying for the unexpected stuff, but the way it happens is so backwards and confusing to me and I end up wondering what is going on.

    Why for example have we paid $500 for insulation product as part of the contract as well as $814 in insulation as part of that Home Depot bill (that's NOT part of his $940 building materials which was all dry wall) and yet he says the remainder of the insulation in rolls downstairs isn't ours. It's his? He says we have to eat the $500 for insulation that was in the contract because he underbid the installation part of insulating and because we owe him so muc for the extra plumbing (which he hadn't mentioned before and we thought was included).

    Another example. He ran wiring for the baby's room high hats and ceiling fan. Told me the switch was slightly off center and not to straighten it or it might short. A couple of days later it stopped working. He says it's a coincidence and the wiring must have been 'chewed by rats or squirrels' and that it's an unforeseen issue. this seems like a remarkable coincidence to me.
    I thought if we contracted that he was installing 4 recessed lights and a fan, that meant they should work?
    The house has a newer panel with a ton of electric amps, but I guess that doesn't mean no problems.
    Maybe we're being unreasonable in our expectations. Apparently most people around here tell him to go ahead and fix unforeseen issues and just send them a bill. It's very possible as there's a lot of money around here. But we would like to know what things will cost in advance. He seems to take this as a personal insult. :(

    DH thinks he's on cocaine. I would not be surprised.

    I am exhausted and this has turned into a book. Sorry. Just needed to vent again.

  • hobokenkitchen
    Original Author
    9 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    EDIT: it's not all woe and misery.

    The nursery lights do now work and the nursery is almost done. I think it's cute - I'll post a pic when the last couple of pictures have been hung.

    Also HSBC has been suitably apologetic and is removing the late notes from my record, which apparently should improve my credit again within the next 30 to 60 days. Not soon enough to stop Amex reducing my credit line or get me a lower rate on the car loan, but you can't have everything.
    At least they are profusely apologizing.

    Also the neighbors are being lovely. Came home to a baby outfit and huge key lime pie a couple of days ago and I already asked a neighbor for help looking into records for our real estate tax appeal.
    I am going to follow the advice here and really try and take people up on offers of help where I can.

    We were also invited to a BBQ with neighbors last Sunday which was fun.

    I had tea 'dates' with two women I have met in the area - one is my doctor's wife who happens to live 5 minutes from us, and one is a new Mom I met at my visit last week. Who knew the OBGYN office would be a good source of new friends!? Lol.

    So yes, not everything is bad. Once again I feel better just for having written it down. Amazing how that works.

  • kateskouros
    9 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    hey! i have to admit i'm not up to speed with you since i'm being a bit ADD and crushed for time -so i can't read through such lengthy threads. BUT omg. LOOK what i've missed! that tile is to absolutely DIE for. i'm drooling. it makes me want to rip out my bathroom and start over!

    how are you feeling?
    when are we having a baby?
    do we have a new contractor?

    ok. never mind. i'll try and catch up with the reading tomorrow. i've just been so SWAMPED here. hope you're well...