I'm three months from having our first baby, we're working on getting the nursery set up, JM is doing all the ladder work - taping off the ceiling and spackling any pin holes to prepare the walls for paint - it's going to be cornflower blue. We're having a boy. I'm behind him, spraying the last of the wallpaper with DIF remover (which, by the way, I later discovered contains a chemical known in the state of California to cause cancer... joy).
Something makes him curious and he chips away at a piece of loose ceiling spackling in the corner. Black mold. Fuck. "Just go ahead and get out of the room while I see just how bad this is..."
I'm waiting down the hall, in the kitchen and it just keeps getting worse. My tears start to well up. Just what am I supposed to do with this disaster? Every time we decide to dive into a home project we uncover some kind of puttied-over royal disaster the owner before us left behind - intentionally hidden in my opinion. Because why would any home owner trying to sell NOT intentionally hide any terminal damage?
This puts a screeching halt on our baby room revamp and, worst case scenario - a potential halt to our living in this house. My list of tasks for today has grown exponentially, my emotions are running insanely high and I'm indescribably angry. I can't decide where to start, so last night - after finishing all the laundry (which is a major feat of strength and endurance) and watching the Walking Dead, I start making a list. This list, so immeasurably overwhelming, compels me to stay awake and work toward accomplishing something. I know it's too late at night to get anything on the list finished, but I can certainly start something and I definitely can't sleep - so what's the harm? I ended up cleaning the master bath tub. It's all I could do. It's the only thing that sounded satisfying. So I did it.
I am just so incredibly disappointed in myself. I look around this house and I know I haven't taken the best care of it. Since buying it in 2012, my complacency has created an open door for pests, water damage, mold, financial burdens and so much more. What a lesson to learn! I am so upset with myself. So angry. I knew going into home-ownership that I would need to be committed, that I would need to dedicate time and attention to this place. I KNEW THAT. And yet, I didn't do it. Or, I didn't do it enough, rather. In many ways, I've tried - maybe. I feel like I have, but who knows. I put on a great facade. I make it look well kept. It's not. It's a polished shit hole. Truly. And we're stuck with it.
So where do we go from here, right? We call our insurance agent first and ask what our policy covers because the next step is to call a home inspector to investigate how bad the damage actually has gotten. And when that person does their assessment, I want to be prepared for what comes next, whether it be a $5000 bill for damage repair or a $500 deductible for our insurance - whatever. I need to be prepared.
I talked to my dad on the phone this morning. That always helps me feel better. He said something I already knew, but hearing it from him makes it seem more real - we just need to make a list of improvements or fixes we need to make and then each weekend, we need to work on fixing or improving something - anything. Because with a baby, it's only harder. Obviously. And without a plan, none of it will ever get done. And we need to do all the things on our list without hemorrhaging money from our pores. I guess it can be done ... I'm not really sure, honestly. I just keep going back to one specific question.
Why did we buy this house?