Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Nesting: Part III (I hate wallpaper)

We took possession of our new house on January 28th. I don't think I've sat down since, except maybe to sleep.

The official verdict: moving in your late second/early third trimester of pregnancy sucks ass. So, so much ass. I made the switch to the third trimester on Monday, and we're still involved in the moving process (e.g. we have stuff in two houses still), so I'm moving in my third trimester. Ugh.

By the way, I informed my OB/GYN that I would be moving "soon" way back in... I think it was October? She told me that I could sit, wrap up glasses and plates and put them in boxes, but not to lift anything. She'd be appalled at what I've spent the past month doing--packing storage totes, unpacking storage totes, getting up on ladders, painting walls (with cheap, VOC-laden paint), tearing down wallpaper, covering myself in joint compound and operating an orbital sander on a wall covered with I-guess-it-could've-possibly-been-lead-based paint.

Hey, if I don't do it... it won't get done. My husband works from 8 AM to 5 PM, Monday through Friday, and I'm not going to sit on the couch and eat cookies when I could be accomplishing things (although sitting down and eating cookies is really tempting). So... try not to judge me too much, okay? I wore a respirator mask for the sanding and tried to take some breaks in between inhaling volatile organic compounds. I'm still being kicked at, so I doubt I did too much damage to Pax's tiny little baby brain.

So far, about 90% of our possessions occupy the new house. This is after the epic mess that was the rental of the U-Haul truck last Saturday. The bedroom dresser is still at the old house, but the dresser we're trying to sell is at the new house. Why? I don't know. We've been borrowing my dad's pick-up truck every night to move things back and forth.

We've also been sleeping on a futon. My husband hates sleeping on futons because they hurt his back, and although I actually like futon mattresses, I keep whacking my head on the frame and there really isn't enough room for the two of us on the futon, especially since our pets like to sleep with us. The first couple nights we stayed here, the futon mattress was just on the floor of the living room--we basically got snowed in here while we were working, and luckily my husband had shoved the mattress into a friend's truck earlier the day and brought it over. Once we got the frame, my husband put it together so we'd have a place to sleep while we worked on the master bedroom.

Let me tell you all about the master bedroom. This is what it looked like under the regime of the house's previous owner, an old lady with questionable taste:

I refused to sleep in the bedroom while it was covered with that wallpaper. You can't really see how horrible the carpet is in this photo, but please trust me--it's pretty horrible. The wallpaper was improperly sized and you can see where it is starting to peel away from the wall. Everything in the house was covered with a fine layer of dirt and some yellow spots that look suspiciously like mildew of some kind. The lace curtains are just overkill on the old-lady look that permeates the entire house.

I'd never taken down wallpaper before, but I did have a vague idea of how to go about it. I asked my dad for advice, and he gave us a wallpaper perforator and a bottle of DIF. So my darling husband ran the perforator over the wall and sprayed it down with the DIF, and we tried to peel the paper up. It didn't budge, so he scrubbed the wall down with the perforator again and used the entire bottle.

The wallpaper was not coming off, so we began to use a handheld steamer. The steamer did the trick, but now the wallpaper was coming off in awkward bits and pieces, thanks to overuse of the perforator. Also, the perforator had gone straight through the paper and into the wallboard, making lots of neat little holes.

After peeling the paper off of one wall, we made a discovery: the wallpaper was not properly sized to the wall when it was applied, and whoever was responsible put stripes of blue paint on the wall the hide the mistake. When steamed, the blue paint peeled up with wallpaper, taking little chunks of wallboard with it. We were basically making holes in the wall by removing the paper.

This is where I come in with a tub of joint compound, a putty knife and an orbital sander. I had to repair massive pieces of wall. I was helped out by an N95 respirator mask--my one claim to safety--and spent an entire day spackling and sanding. At one point, I had the realized that I should probably not be holding an orbital sander next to my stomach. Luckily, some research showed that orbital sanders operate at about 70-90 decibels, and so it is unlikely that Paxton is going to come out deaf because mommy got a little happy with the power tools.

After repairing the wall, we spent an extraordinary amount of money (do not ask how much we've spent so far on moving, you will die) on paint. I feel like I've been painting forever. I'm still not technically done painting, as I need to touch up a few places around the closet.

However... tonight, we will be sleeping in our own bed. It may only be the mattress and box spring on the floor, but we will be in a bed, in the bedroom, and not on the futon. There will be adequate room for myself, my husband, and whatever animals care to join us, my husband's back will not hurt, and I will not injure myself on a railing. We are going to purchase bed rails this weekend, place the bed in it's final location (under the window on the right) and move the dresser and nightstands in. My mom also wants to buy us a cream/brown reversible comforter for our anniversary--that's okay with me! Our old bed linens don't match the new color scheme, haha.

I'm so excited to sleep in a real bed tonight. Between moving, the waddlimp, general pregnancy aches, and sleeping on the futon... my everything hurts. It's time to get some relief!

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