Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Of this and that....

Where do I begin?

At the end of March it was deemed necessary to destroy my bathrooms. My husband was direly predicting failure for a second year at the American River 50mile Ultra marathon. I went WAY off program on Weight Watchers and I fear the scale come Thursday, when I have promised to step back onto that scale and find out how much I weigh. Again. Even if Jessica Magallanes is the one recording my weight. My home is still a mess. Well, that wasn't really news. But it is a constant source of distress to my husband, and therefore to me.

Sooo. The bathrooms first? For about 6 months now my husband and I have been increasingly aware that there is black mold in our bathroom. It is growing not only in our shower in a manner that is much to forward, but is also growing THROUGH the the drywall and paint. Not happy. We were also told that the toilet needed to be reseated in the communal bathroom, as there was water leaking. Hmmmm. Apparently that was a rosy assessment of the state of my bathrooms. Water was not "leaking" but flowing profusely from both the toilet, and from under the tub. The floor was not properly sealed at the edge of the bathtub. We knew this. We could see the linoleum curling away from the tub. But we blithely ignored it for quite a long time, as we didn't know exactly when my parents will be claiming this house and rebuilding it. Why spend money now when it is only going to be ripped apart in a year or two? So was our thought process, and so continues to be our thought process about much in our home. But my parents have decided (perhaps partially because their current home is being entirely rebuilt due to the recent flood in their home) that they would like to try to live in their multi-level home for as long as possible - maybe up to 10 more years. While on the one hand this is great news, as I would not have to move anytime soon, it also means that things like leaky bathrooms and black mold cannot be ignored indefinitely. So they had someone come over to look. Someone turned out to be no one other Steven Geiselman - a blast from my past as the little brother of a couple a my good friends from high school. I knew he had been doing construction, but I didn't know that he was starting to step out as a contractor.

Well, he came in and looked at my less than stellar bathrooms, and discovered that the floor was nearly completely rotted in the communal bathroom from all the years of water flowing over it. So out it came. The whole floor.

There was nothing but joists and dirt below.

A whole new floor was built, my vanity with matching tile to the shower was in pieces, and there were holes that just could not be fixed in the wallpaper.

So...I inherited a vanity from my parents house, delved in the mystic arts of wallpaper removal, and presto change-o, we have a lovely little bathroom in the hall. (Side note - I hate walking on dirty paper for days on end.)

Once that was done we went to Sacramento for the weekend. Really. We did. For up in Sacramento is the American River 50 mile Ultra marathon. The same race that beat Javier last year, much to his chagrin. But he signed up again, determined to finish this year. And they the job trials began. I know that I have blogged about this in bits and pieces, but here it is all together. Last October Javier's company (of the last 8 years or so) was bought by an investment group bent on creating a massive printing conglomerate for the west coast. So... 2 companies became 1. Always a joy. But Javier seemed to be immediately recognized as a valuable employee, was sent for training in Vancouver, Canada on a new software system, and was a major part of the team creating the new workflow system. Then he was offered a management position. (There was much rejoicing). Then his schedule changed to a strange system of 7 days on, 7 days off - but he seldom got his 7 days off - usually there were meetings or more training scheduled in there.

In the midst of this he was having great difficulty finding the time and energy to properly train for a 50 mile run in the mountains.

Finally, we get there. We wander around a little the day before.

Already I'm much happier because for all his worry, he was a lot less stressed out than last year. 

We were able to enjoy the time together.

We were able to go to the start line without children ( a good thing when you need to be there before 6am....

And I have to say, I LOVE watching him come running in to the aid stations

... cheering him on as he grabs a bite to eat, gets more water, checks his shoes, and then off he goes. It's kind of like being part of the pit crew for a race car - only runners move a lot slower. The kids like seeing him come in - we're working on the waiting part. I think next year I'll have it better laid out. Anyway, He started off much better this year, making good time - but towards the end he was coming into the stations later and later, but always before the cut-off. At the very end, as we all waited by the finish line (12 hours after the start) I bounced on my toes, watching the runners come in - smiling, crying, shaking, or just plain happy to have finished the race. I watched the clock. I moved. I encouraged the kids to play nicely. I watched. I worried. I began to ask how many more racers were left on the course. 10 became 5. I watched them start to dismantle the finish line. Flags and barricades were coming down. 5 racers became 3. I stopped asking. I stood there, hoping fervently that he would make it across the finish line before the clock turned on the fateful 13 hours allowed to finish the course. And then I saw him come into view around the corner. The kids began calling and shouting "Dada! Dada!" And relief and joy just filled me. He finished - at 12:55:55. That is 12 hours, 55 minutes, 55 seconds. He had finished with 4 minutes to spare. The last racer to cross the finish line. But most important - he had finished. I think that was one of the best moments. Something he had worked so hard to achieve, something he had wanted so badly. It was really a wonderful thing to see him get his finishers jacket. A jacket that only someone who has finished this 50 mile race will have. Really wonderful.

And I was so happy to be there, and happy that his mother got to see him finish too. It was a wonderful day. We celebrated by having chinese food delivered to the hotel room - he wasn't going much farther that day.

It was a nice drive home the next day - we stopped and visited with his Uncle Sonny for a few hours, where the boys were especially excited to have a few acres of yard to run around in and eat a nice home cooked meal for a change (amazing how much you miss home cooked food after a few days of restaurants and fast food).

It was really good to get home again.

Then it was time to start ripping out our shower. Remember the black mold? Turns out the hot mop (read black tar water barrier under your shower) had been leaking for a few years, and the mold has been growing enthusiastically under our house. So, we tear out our shower - or more precisely, Steve tears out the shower and replaces wet wood and puts in state of the art "greenboard" for the walls, and gets everything ready for the hot mopper. The hot mopper came yesterday and filled my bedroom and bathroom ( and the rest of the house too ) with the unmistakable smell of tar. Today we were supposed to be seeing the tile guy - but as it is tax day, he had other pressing business to attend to. I don't mind. It meant that I got to go to Mops (a mothers group) and have a hot breakfast that I didn't have to cook, and tea with lovely ladies and just relax while my daughter gets to play in another room. A good way to spend a morning. Tomorrow the tiling begins, and I am one step closer to getting my bathroom back, and getting construction workers out of my bedroom every morning. Sigh. I miss being able to climb in bed with my husband for a little in the morning. Javier has been sleeping in Maia's room during the day while the construction goes on. But soon, we will have our space back, and it will be better than it was before, and I am grateful.

As to weight loss, I need to get back in there again. I have always struggled with my weight, but still managed to be a happy person none the less. But I am feeling less and less able to keep up with my active boys, and I want to go hiking and play soccer, and ride our bikes to the beach, and all those wonderful active things. It is time to put the full force of my being into really getting rid of this extra weight. Besides - it will be fun to make my husbands eyes pop when I put on a dress and high heels again. :D I actually miss that. Shallow? Maybe. But human too, I think. Jen and I have decided to help each other in this - so we are going to start being accountable to each other. In fact, I know that she has some idea up her sleeve, and can't wait to hear what she's got cooking for us. Wish me lots of luck, and lots of lost poundage. Maybe I'll even post a few pictures of me - ugh. That will definitely be some incentive to lose those pounds! Being comfortable in front of a camera would be a good thing too.

Well, that brings us up to date -

I'm still knitting the Wabenschal. I'm working on Liam's Tomten (but slowly) and just for fun I crocheted a little cap for Maia yesterday. It was good to do something a bit different with the yarn. I've been too busy to get into any complicated projects, too tired to think of complicated patterns, but bored with garter stitch right now. I need a really complex lace shawl to start after all this work is done. That will make the garter stitch more relaxing and less boring I think. ;D

And finally, I need to make a pledge to start doing my Flylady again. Anyone want to join me? I have really got to get my house under control. This has always been a struggle for me. And even though I am good at ignoring it, there comes a point where I snap. And that just isn't good because I yell at my babies for not cleaning their toys up. But really, I haven't helped them develop any habit of doing it. I know it's my fault ultimately, but in the heat of the moment, I am still not a happy person to be around. My family deserves better. And especially my husband. He works so hard for us - he deserves a restful home, not a cluttered and dirty one. So I will begin with a true baby step. I will shine my sink each day. I will put a gold star on my calendar each day I do it. And I will tell someone about it, everyday. (Yes, the blog will count as a person.. hehe)

I'll check in tomorrow and let ya'll know how it's coming along.


Jen in CT said...

Congratulations and big hugs to Javier! He looks great!

Hi to Steven! Dood, how freaking cool is THAT?!

Yes, Flylady. Let's do it.

Want to do a Kiri Shawl KAL? Or, there's always the swallowtail shawl which is now free from Knitting Daily.

Jen D. said...

Kinda floored me. He looks a bit like my big brother Scott right now - reddish hair and a beard. But it is cool seeing him again.

We're on. Flylady.

Swallowtail is Free at Knitting Daily? I must have missed that....

Hmmm Kiri, or swallowtail... dear or dear. I'll have to ponder that. I want to do both. Maybe we should do rock paper scissors? :D

Robin R said...

Say hi to Steve from Doug and I. And congrats to Javier. 50 miles? Yikes!!

We're actually having a bit of spring weather here (interspersed w/ a brief, freak snowfall Monday night.) It's amazing how cheerful I get when the sun is shining! :)

Kate C said...

Funny how Steven always pops up out of nowhere. I saw him a couple of years ago when he came to visit my brother. Tell him I said hi too!

Congrats to Javier, that's a real accomplishment!!!