Doug likes to start projects

Why has Doug dragged the fridge to the middle of the kitchen floor? Are we doing something different? When I was pregnant with Amy I sent a note out to family and friends about Doug’s projects. It said:
     Although bits of information about Doug’s pregnancy have gotten out, I have failed to keep everyone updated on his progress. So, I will now try to give everyone a brief synopsis of his pregnancy so far.
     Month 2 is spent with Dan Dan The Carpet Man Kissimmee, tearing up the carpeting, carpet pad and long nail strips which hold the carpet down. Despite the slow process, there are only a half dozen or so nails that puncture family members’ feet.
     Month 3 starts off promising with the old cabinets and sink being removed from the basement room that we are making into our bedroom. The result is a monster pile of debris in the back yard. Sarah’s room has been painted and eventually the outlet plates and vent covers will be put back up. Painting is also begun on the hallway and living room. The trim has swatches applied to look at different colors. I am hopeful that the trim will someday all be one color. For reasons still unclear to me, Doug decided to go ahead and start removing the drywall in Tommy’s bedroom because he will someday be building a closet in that room.
     Month 4 we are given a dishwasher to help keep up with the huge amount of dishes that our family uses daily. After flooding the kitchen twice, the dishwasher is installed and provides shiny, clean dishes several times a week. Someday the cabinet surrounding the dishwasher will be put back up. Swatches of greens have been applied to the kitchen walls now. The installation of a railing on the staircase has begun. Doug has also started putting functional doorknobs on all the upstairs doors.
     Month 5 occurs prior to spring, but is marked by the basement flooding. In order to find the source, large pieces of wall board, insulation and trim are ripped out and thrown into the backyard pile. Since the flood, all of the bedroom furniture has been crammed into the middle of the room and covered with piles of clothing and shoes. However, a few pieces of the furniture in the bedroom have since been removed from their 2×4’s and assorted blocks that elevated them during the flood. We did at least clean the mountains of cat litter that acted as dams to slow down the flow of water across the room. The initial flooding lasted for 3-4 days and was followed by a smaller flood a few weeks later. With the second flooding came a drip in the kitchen/dining area ceiling. A large blue tarp stapled to the roof stopped the ceiling drip. The flooding interrupted the massive demolition that was occurring in the upstairs bathroom. The cabinets were ripped out and thrown into our famous backyard pile. The wall between the sink and the toilet was removed and the toilet relocated to the living room. The entire floor foundation has started to be rebuilt. Apparently not challenged enough, Doug has started to strip and re-paint the staircase. This means that in order to go from the upstairs to the one functioning bathroom, the children have to walk around the exterior of the house. I am uncertain whether the neighbors are more entertained by the pajama marches around the house at night or the umbrella parades around the house during the rains.
     Month 6 of Doug’s pregnancy is spent working on the landscaping. This means cutting down a large tree which was “going to fall someday” that he will someday move out of the yard. It also meant spending a part of each day using gasoline to burn the front lawn. The smell is less than pleasant but Doug is unphased by everyone’s concern that new grass might not like the toxicity of the dirt. Long trenches were added to the charred front lawn (and side and rear areas of the house as well) in an effort to create a drainage system that will prevent future flooding. The idea is that someday rocks and pipes will added to the trenches. Until then, the yard strongly resembles a war zone. Doug thoughtfully added some rotting landscaping timbers for people to walk on to get from the street to the front door. He also changed another of the upstairs doorknobs. Everyone was very appreciative when Doug re-installed the upstairs toilet. The new linoleum is down but not completely glued. There is no seal between the floor and the tub, so a small waterfall effect is created in the downstairs bath whenever the children get too rowdy in the bathtub.
     Month 7 I got very excited because Doug started working on the walls in the bedroom. This consisted of removing all the remaining insulation and framework from our bedroom walls. The view of yellow cinder blocks and dangling outlets is somewhat disconcerting in the place where I had hoped to be putting a crib this month. It also involved putting holes in the wall between the bedroom and the garage so that small beams of light can shine across the bedroom at night. Doug did stay up all night for several nights installing shelves over the dryer and the spot where the washer will someday be.
     Month 8 of Doug’s pregnancy, he felt driven by the obviously brief amount of time left before the new arrival and moved into high gear. Of course, he might have been affected some by my hysteria over the condition of the house. However motivated, this month was marked by Doug completely removing the basement bedroom’s door AND frame. They are now leaning on the hole where they once protected us from the elements of mother nature. I have been reassured me that if I need out of the room because of fire or some other crisis, I need only push hard and it will go tumbling down. This fails to give me comfort. Additionally, Doug now spends a little time each day with a sledge hammer in the downstairs bathroom. I am grateful that he hasn’t yet removed the rocking toilet or the only functional bathroom sink from that bathroom, but my frequent visits to the bathroom in the night are marked by the pain of walking on broken tiles and large chunks of cement that were once a shower stall. He started painted a small shelving piece for me and it is now a mixture of unpainted wood, white primer and the green that it may eventually be. Doug did build Sarah’s closet so that she could finally have a place to hang her clothes. It is a beautiful closet and he shows it to everyone as proof that he can actually complete a project.
     Month 9 of Doug’s pregnancy has him putting more holes in the basement office ceiling and walls in order to reroute water pipes. Additionally, he is cleaning out the garage and storage room (the large silver box that really belongs on the back of an 18-wheeler) in our front yard. This is done by bringing in dusty boxes filled with things that haven’t been touched for two to ten years and leaving them all over the living room.  I may have forgotten some things, but this gives you a pretty good idea of how pregnancy affected Doug.

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