I’m posting this from the parking lot of Starbucks, while Charlie naps in his car seat…. because #2020.
While trying to post this from the duplex, the webpage kept saying “Still Loading,” and I truly laughed out loud. That is 100% the best analogy to describe our life right now.
First of all, we’ve had shoddy Internet since we moved in, and it has gotten progressively worse. This means that to accomplish tasks online, we are sharing Chad’s hotspot on his phone. As that stupid wheel on the screen spins, my heart starts to race. I’m trying to channel all the zen (breathe in: peace, breathe out: %*!#) inside of me, but it’s easier said than done depending on the current level of chaos. Allow me to elaborate on how this renovation is going down, because just like the webpage, it is still loading!
We moved into the upstairs unit of the duplex at the end of August. Due to all kinds of issues with inspections (re: termite damage) and construction (re: fixing said termite damage), we were unable to close until October 8th. If you know me well, you can just imagine how many times I recreated our timeline of events that ended with us posting our Airbnb for occupancy. (FYI - we thought we would be renting out the basement unit beginning Sept. 25. So laughable! We are hoping for Thanksgiving rentals at this point, and I’ve totally given up on planning it.)
With the title finally in our hands, we (and by we, I mean Chad) immediately began demo of the upstairs unit. I hope you don’t lose your lunch seeing the photos of our formerly-roach-infested-quarters, because it is disgusting!!
Chad ripped out the kitchen cabinets (which I sold for $100 on Facebook Marketplace so we didn’t have to rent a dumpster or a truck to get rid of them!), knocked down the kitchen peninsula, scraped the tiles off the floors in the bathroom and kitchen, ripped out the bathtub/toilet/sink, and removed the water heater (we replaced it with a tankless unit for space-saving), washing machine, and dryer, (also selling all of this and kitchen appliances on Marketplace). Whew!!!!
We packed bags and moved our family into the downstairs unit, along with all the stuff we brought from Michigan for the Airbnb. Luckily we had beds! Construction began with electrical work and plumbing the week of October 12th. The entire upstairs unit needed re-piped to code, plus we added can lights/new outlets. That was a cheap week… $$$$
After the plumbers turned our house into Swiss cheese (see above), it was time for drywall repair and some tile work. By the end of this week (October 23), the upstairs will be drywalled and the laundry room will be tiled for the arrival of our stackable washer/dryer. And then Monday, October 26, the kitchen cabinets will be installed.
While all of this has been happening, we’ve been decorating the Airbnb unit we’re living in and jumping through 1,000 hoops to get our Airbnb license secured in Charleston. Oh my gosh, you guys. That is also “STILL LOADING!” Charleston must not want people to be able to do this!! (re: the online portal is only accessible using ONE internet browser and you have to download and activate a special plugin - I’d imagine many people give up right there.) The process has involved so much paperwork, countless trips to the DMV and every city building that exists, and a whole bunch of calls/emails. We are getting closer, but if you’re in a city that has strict Airbnb regulations like Charleston, plan ahead. It’s truly a job in itself.
If you’re wondering how we are able to orchestrate all of this with two kids/a dog, while working, during a pandemic, let me break down a typical day for you!
7:30 - Wake up (yes, we totally sleep in these days and I cannot believe my alarm used to be set for 6)
8:00 - I work while Chad takes Harper to the dog park and Emmy to the playground (remember, I’m only working 10 hrs/wk, so I look for times to squeeze in quiet work time whenever I can!)
8:30 - Chad (usually) makes breakfast
9:30 - Chad begins work
10:00 - We have snacks and I take the kids to the playground or to do something else that’s fun. During this time, Chad manages all of the contractors coming in and out of our house and makes any necessary calls, in addition to his “work work”.
11:30 - We eat lunch all together
12:00 - Quiet play at home
1:00 - NAP - This is when the grind happens. From 1-3, I’m able to crank out endless tasks. From grocery shopping, to cleaning, to doing laundry, to Airbnb application errands, to paying bills, to purchasing and selling furniture, to attending appointments, to cranking out stuff for work, I could put in a day’s worth of tasks in two hours. Chad helps during his lunch break, too!
3:30- Everyone is up/ Snack
4:00 - Play at home
5:00 - Evening adventure (beach… park… long walk… dinner out…farmers market... etc.)
6:00 - Dinner
7:00 - Baths
8:00 - Bed
8:00 - 10:00 - relax!!!!! (Or catch up on stuff)
Our days are full, but so are our hearts. We are having an absolute blast sharing these experiences/memories with our babies, and I wouldn’t trade any of this chaos for a forty hour work week in an office. While there have been so many tough times this year, I am not taking for granted what 2020 has given me. I’ve found so much JOY in making the choice to cut back my hours to stay home with my loves and tackle the duplex.