Stacking doors and sibling rivalry

They say having a house is like having another child. At least once a week I'm off to the hardware store to get something so I can fix something else. Besides the small things that always need repairing, we're also forever changing the structure. We only built the house just over 3 years ago, but already it's had more cosmetic surgery than Cher and Joan Rivers combined.

Our latest project is to change one of the patio doors into the stacking variety so that the garden is more accessible:

Even though I'm not doing the work myself (and I am using a great construction guy), because I'm a perfectionist, it requires so much supervision I might as well buy my own hard hat.  We're almost there though. The new doors are in and the plastering has been done. Now to try and find some bloody tiles that match the old ones! Why on God's green earth these companies churn out tiles only to discontinue them a few month later I'll never know! If I can't find the same ones, it means chopping up the entire patio floor and putting new tiles down.

Tomorrow is a reprieve from house repairs though, because my little chicken sausage turns 1! Alyssa was born on 5 June 2012 and she has survived the torment of her older sister... and is almost old enough now to give Tayla-Jean some of her own medicine back :). When that day actually comes and my older daughter meets her match, we're hoping there will at last be peace in the valley! Either that or it'll be World War III.
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My house with a hole.

It was a rough night last night. Little Alyssa had a 39C temperature and was not a happy camper. Someone told us that kids having temperatures all the time is just nature's way of letting parents know quickly that the child is sick and not just grumpy. We took her to the doctor this morning and it tonsillitis (again).

Tayla-Jean (my 3 year old) is doing much better since having her tonsils removed about 2 months ago. Here she was this morning taking photos of me while I was taking photos of her.

It's been a stressful few days in the Pilgrim household. We've been doing a small renovation to our patio, knocking out a wall and about to put a stacking door in it's place. There was a water pipe that we had to cut, but realised we couldn't shut off the house's water supply as the shut off valve had broke. It's taken 4 days to replace the valve. In the process, the water drained out the geyser and blew the element (which meant after the hot water back-washed into the toilets, we had no hot water left).

I've now replaced the element, and put a "non-return valve" on the geyser so we no longer have hot water in the loo (a steaming bowl of excrement is not a nice smell).

The irony is, even when the element in the geyser blew we should STILL have had hot water because it's a SOLAR geyser too. So, with all these mini disasters we realised the solar panels aren't working!  So that will hopefully be fixed today. I've spent 3 solid days with contractors ... keeping a house functioning is an expensive task!

When I need to retreat for a few minutes I would normally go to my "man cave", but that was converted into a kid's playroom a few months ago. So I do the next best thing... I buy something online! Any yes, it's always a gadget.

My new one is being delivered by UPS from the UK this morning... it's ANOTHER CCTV camera! This one is a Y-Cam HD Outdoor Bullet Camera. I swear hosting Big Brother must have rubbed off on my psyche.

After spending all the money on contractors to fix everything that's gone wrong and also buying the camera, maybe I should focus on actually buying the stacking doors now so I don't have a gaping hole on the side of my house.
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House renovations are NEVER easy.

Nicole and I decided to make a small renovation on our patio. It involves removing an existing door and window as well as knocking out a wall cabinet so that stacking doors can be installed. It seems simple enough.
But of course, nothing in life is that simple.

There's a water pipe in the counter (for a sink we never installed). To break away the water pipe we had to switch off the water mains. When we tried to do that, we realised the "shut off valve" to the house had broken which meant we couldn't shut off the water to the house. So the plumber had to shut off the entire complex's water to replace the valve.

Besides the fact that he had the wrong part so didn't land up replacing it yesterday, when he did put the water back on... our geyser no longer worked! Aaarrrgghhhhhhh!!! This morning it was off to the gym for a quick shower.

So instead of attending an LG launch this morning, I'm waiting for the electrician and plumber.

But things are all relative. Waking up this morning and seeing the devastation of the Oklahoma tornado, my problems are minor.
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The never-ending house alterations.

Today was one of those days when I woke up and decided that I'm going to get things done. It's more rare than an honest politician, but I got a bee in my bonnet and attacked my "to do" list with intense vigour!

Not that it was major things on the list, but its nevertheless little things that niggle at you until you do them. For example, I had to go to the pet store and buy more doggy poo anti bacterial carpet cleaning spray. No, not for my chihuahua, but for my 11 month old baby. She's got into a habit of plopping one out on the carpet the moment she has a moment of naked freedom. She's like a streaking dwarf that craps as she goes.

Also, we've decided that since my office has become a playroom, we need to convert a window into a full on sliding door into the garden. If fact, we've already done so many alterations to our house even though it's only just over 3 years old!  The reason behind it, is that we built the house BEFORE we had kids. Since our first daughter was born, our lounge location has changed 3 times (necessitating chasing cables into walls etc) and our lounge suite has changed 3 times as well to suit the new room.  My lounge surround sound system for watching movies... is now where the dining room is. At least we have good sound while chewing on chicken.

I guess with a house... it never ends! :)

It's a short blog as I'm about to go on radio and do a show. Until tomorrow!  ...
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