We had an incredibly busy few weeks renovating from morning until midnight most days--with occasional breaks to feed our children and to put on another DVD. Here's a synopsis of what we did from when I last wrote:
- removed the old tiles
- opened up a doorway to get the tub in
- replumbed the entire bathroom & the WC
- rewired the bathroom
- installed new tiles & grout
- installed the jacuzzi
- ripped out and put in new flooring
- plastered the walls, then applied paintable wallpaper and painted the walls/ceiling/trim
- installed light fixtures & heated towel rack
- repaired the cracks & peeling plaster in the ceilings
- re-wallpapered one wall
- tiled the wall where the sink will go
- built a cover for all the pipes & electrical work
- removed old wallpaper, installed new wallpaper
- repainted all the walls & trim
- installed a sink made from an antique marble-topped coiffeuse
- gilded 3 mirrors with Lefranc & Bourgeois' dorure liquide (gilding liquid). This stuff is amazing, by the way. I bought a bottle of tin and a bottle of classic gold. They're small at 75 ml but they go a long way.
- Removed crumbling paint and plaster from one of the walls (due to water leaking from the neighboring building)
- wallpapered all the walls--a temporary fix but at least it looks 100x better
Oh, and we also repainted the rest of the apartment (walls, ceiling, trim) except for the attic bedroom. French paint is...weird. When it dries, it turns flaky and powdery. I'm used to American paint that turns into a stretchy film.
Why did we go through this insanity?
We had to get the house entirely ready for a TV show! I can't write about it until it airs, but it's on HGTV and it will be fun to watch :) Filming took place over 5 full days.
The day after we finished filming, we started a new project: taking out the dividing wall in the living room. We're back to having plaster dust everywhere.
We have "Pierre," an electrician and master-of-most-trades via HelpX, assisting us for the next few weeks. After the ceilings, walls, and floors are patched up, we'll rewire the attic bedroom, retile the WC, and finish lots of other small projects.
Here's our living room minus the dividing wall
Dio helping with the demolition
And I'm stressed
So, on top of all of the renovations and filming, our boiler back home broke. It's only 3 years old and supposedly still under parts & labor warranty. It took our installer almost a week to figure out how to get the right part ordered. Lots of drama and phone calls later, and in the end we bought a replacement boiler at our expense (helped by a huge manufacturer's discount, but still $$$). Then our oven back home broke too. The poor family renting our house has been camped in our master suite with several space heaters going. They're cosy enough as long as they don't venture outside the bedroom! I've been trying to get things repaired ASAP but of course things can only happen as fast as the parts arrive.
Now let's talk about Ivy!
I missed Ivy's 22-month update and am determined to get this one done on time. She has such a vibrant personality. She's whip-smart and speaks 3-4 word phrases in French and English and often both. She loves to nurse and will tell me exactly where she wants to sit and which side. Typical things she said today (with translations, too!)
- Non, pas ça manteau. Ce manteau. No, not that coat. This coat.
- Non, pas ca pipi. No, I don't want to go pee.
- Epic! Encore Epic! (Epic is her favorite film. She asks to watch it several times a day.)
- My chaud. Manteau off. I am hot. Take my coat off.
- My baby. I am a baby.
- "ih" ça chair. I want to nurse in that chair. "Ih" is how she says nurse. No idea why.
- My chaussures sale. My shoes are dirty.
She had 3 non-consecutive nights of sleeping all night. I had a party...and then it ended. Now she's back to waking up 2-3 times a night. Argh. This girl is the trickiest sleeper we've ever had.
She loves to stick her tongue out. She has a bouncy run and she holds her arms out when she runs, almost as if she'll flap away.