Monday, December 9, 2013

Houston, We Have A Toilet! (And The Lessons That I've Learned)

I had originally intended to publish this post this past Friday but the bathroom project along with making a birthday cake and celebrating our baby turning three turned out to be more than I expected. The fun part is that over the weekend we got the toilet installed so this bathroom progress update is even more exciting to share!

Probably the most comical thing about this whole bathroom project is the fact that we originally thought that we could do it in one week...ONE WEEK! (Turns out #bathroomremodelweek was a unique hashtag to use on Instagram because everyone else knew that idea was crazy, except me.)

Four weeks later...

We realize that we didn't know what we were getting ourselves into not to mention that there were a few bumps along the road. For instance on the very first day of demo Sam got a wound on his hand that was a full blown infection up his arm two days later. He had cleaned it out well but we think that the old gloves that he was wearing was the cause of the problem. Thankfully the infection went away once he was given a shot and put on antibiotics.

gutting our bathroom

While Sam was recovering my dad started working on replacing the old window.

installing a new window in our bathroom

This wasn't something that we were originally planning on doing but it made sense to do since the window needed to eventually be replaced and there was no better time than the present.

installing a new window

Our project week came and went and all that had been accomplished was the demo and the window with no toilet in sight. We were originally hoping to tackle more during that first week but with Sam's injury and some unexpected work things that came up we decided to slow down the pace and not rush the process. 

In theory that was our plan anyway...


the demo on our bathroom project

Sam and I had a previously scheduled trip on the calendar and headed out of town for three days while the kiddos hung out with Grandma & Grandpa. With the help of an awesome neighbor, my dad was able to remove the cement floor. We were shocked and amazed to return and find that this step had been completed...jack hammer and all! 

The next step was laying some plywood down for the new floor.

At this point we were back to our normal routines which meant that there really wasn't much rest since every available free moment was spent trying to get the bathroom up and running. This is where the whole Sarah doesn't work well on no sleep thing comes in (not to mention that I hadn't prepared myself to be living in a war zone for this long.) 

The sheet rock was next.

sheet rock going up

All of the sheets got measured, cut and installed. A little mud & tape...and sanding was up next. Things started to look like a real room again.

everything is taped and sanded in the bathroom

My dad did a great job prepping the walls and getting everything ready to be painted. (If you missed my previous post...we could have never pulled this off without his help & expertise...thanks dad!)

It took days for this whole process because of drying times and trying to squeeze work into normal every day stuff that we already had going on. Our youngest just might go through "Thomas the Train" withdrawal since he was allowed to watch more episodes than normal while the twins were at preschool and I attempted to help with the project. 

I began the painting with a coat of primer while my dad created a beautiful window treatment out of paper towels and duck tape. It could totally work, right? ;-)

primer on the walls

After the primer we went shopping to pick things out like a back splash and paint color. It is amazing how you dream about someday doing these things and then the opportunity presents itself and the stress alone can make the whole thing so daunting. All I could think about was that in 20 years someone was going to HATE whatever I picked out. Needless to say we tried to go neutral with the room but still give it a modern look that we like...afterall, we are the ones who live here.

I shared how I narrowed down the choices to pick a gray that everyone loved (Spoiler Alert...we went with #2 and LOVE it!) I applied one coat of paint and then we decided that the floor should go in before painting the final coat.

the floor is going in

Once the floor was grouted my dad began cutting and installing the trim. On Thursday my job was all about caulking, filling nail holes and painting the trim.

On Friday I put the final coat of gray paint on and then went into mommy mode and whipped this cake up. I joke about the "whipping" it up part. Seriously, don't be impressed...I was sweating. Figures that I would be working with globs of icing right when the water was turned off so that the sink could be installed. Thank the Lord that we had Twizzlers on hand to cover the sides of the ears that were crumbling apart! And I discovered reason number 502 why having baby wipes on hand are a life saver.

a mickey mouse cake

The best part to this whole story took place over this past weekend...the toilet went in! 

Happy dance...happy dance!

We still have the medicine cabinet to install as well as the back splash that will be going in behind the sink. After those small projects are done I will be back with a full reveal (I can't believe that it is the same room! I keep finding excuses to walk by the bathroom...it looks AWESOME!!!)

That is where we currently are.

How in the world did we think we could do all of this in a week?!?!

Now I get super real about what this project has taught me. First of all, I realize how tense I get when my expectations are different than reality. I now realize that I had no clue what the process of renovating a bathroom would be like. I made assumptions that because it only contained a toilet and sink it would be easy...I was wrong. For years I have seen my dad get beaten up by homeowners who didn't have realistic expectations of what a project really entailed. Suddenly I found myself as one of them. Everything was taking way longer, costing more money that I had imagined and living in the chaos was getting to me. 

Later I had to apologize and make sure my dad knew that he hadn't done anything wrong I just had no clue what remodeling a bathroom looked like and I was tired...and I was totally wrong for getting upset at him in the process...not to mention getting upset at Sam and some innocent children roaming the grounds. 

I also was getting sick and tired of dealing with the whole one bathroom for a lot of people thing. Not to mention having to walk upstairs every time I needed to use the bathroom. Then there was that moment where I was complaining to a dear friend and was stopped in my tracks when I realized that her beautiful house has one bathroom...on the second floor. 

Hello Sarah...

Thankfulness is way more important.

No matter what the project might be...and how stressful things get...I am responsible for my actions and attitudes in the process. I guess I learned that having a happy heart should be more important to me than anything else.

After all, this bathroom will probably get changed in 20+ years...however my family is with me for the long haul. No house project is more important than them...

Have you gone through a stressful remodel job? Have you ever re-done a bathroom? Do you have any remodeling projects coming up?

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