This blog is my place to vent and share resources with other parents of children of trauma. I try to be open and honest about my feelings in order to help others know they are not alone. Therapeutic parenting of adopted teenagers with RAD and other severe mental illnesses and issues (plus "neurotypical" teens) , is not easy, and there are time when I say what I feel... at the moment. We're all human!

Thursday, March 8, 2012


Bear has always had issues with the shower. He used to take 45minutes to an hour long showers once or twice a day. Several years ago Bear had pulled off the soap dish so many times we finally couldn't get it to go back on, so we'd told him he could only take baths and needed to be careful not to get the wall wet. Let's just say he wasn't careful, and now 8 tiles have fallen off and the wall board has dissolved in many places. We'd hoped that limiting him to baths would save our water bill, but he started taking 45 minute to 2 hour baths (pretty sure he fell asleep), which doesn't sound so bad, except he left the water running full blast and the drain open during that time. Our water bill has dropped significantly since he left.

A big discount store had a 20% off everything in the store sale so the kids and I got almost everything we need to redecorate the kids' bathroom that had become Bear's bathroom, because no one would use it since it was so disgusting and always smelled (he SPITS in the house - all over the walls, all over carpets... plus the usual boy issues (bad aim), med side effects that he didn't clean up, his hoarding issues, and just lack of cleanliness). I've been trying for weeks to get someone to call me back about getting the tub wall retiled and let me know if there is water damage from where the linoleum is peeling up.

I plan to completely renovate the bathroom. No more cartoon fish wallpaper! Was planning on just painting directly on the wall paper, but in removing some of the decorative items I damaged the paper so I'm going to have to figure out what to do with the walls now. I'm thinking a white marble with grey stripes.

The kids picked a pretty teal shower curtain, soft purple rugs and an expensive dark mosaic glass toothbrush holder and matching bowl. We already had matching towels, but Kitty was using them and they have bleach marks all over them. We'll probably stick to each kid having their own towels and being responsible for them.

Kitty won't be using this bathroom because she is not capable of keeping it clean. She tends to leave dirty clothes everywhere, including used feminine hygeine products. I can't blame the other kids for refusing to share with her, so she'll continue to share our bathroom.


My step-father is installing the doors for Ponito's new bedroom and he is a total perfectionist so they're still not done. As soon as they're done I'll paint the doors and since I'll have the paint out I'll repaint Bear's door (never actually painted it when we replaced it a few years ago because the primer looked so much like the builder's white on the rest of the doors and now it's covered in black smudges).

Hopefully that will get me in the mood to repaint a LOT of things. Still need to repaint the floor in the front room where we'd ripped out the disgusting carpet (until we can afford to get it replaced). Of course Bear's room needs to be completely repainted to cover all the spit stains, grafitti, patches, and of course the mural that he destroyed.

I've been so totally unmotivated about getting all the renovations done in the kids' rooms, but my mom decided to come over for one hour a day and we got more done in the hour she was here, then I've gotten done in weeks.

Luckily I had patched all the holes in Bear's room in the morning before she came over. So while my mom started priming near the ceilings (less likelihood of spit), I scrubbed the lower walls and furniture (*EEWWW!*). We completely primed over all the patches, graffiti and Mom's (formerly) beautiful mural. We even had time to drain most of the fish tank. It was all gross and depressing, but it went fast with someone to talk to. S

Finally got a contractor to call me back about fixing the tile in the kids' bath, but he couldn't come out to give me an estimate until Saturday morning so I went online and requested bids. I didn't want to do a lot in there until I knew what was going to happen with the wall (if we're going to have to rip out the whole wall, then I might just completely change the tile to something nicer than 4" white squares.

Decided to request bids for someone to give me an estimate to replace all the carpeting too. 5 or 6 decent size rooms and a long hall and stairs - over 1600 sq ft. It's 18 yrs old and looks it. If it's not too expensive then this is a good time to do it (while only one child is actually living upstairs - Ponito is moving upstairs as soon as the doors are done).

My mom came over and started painting Bear's bedroom while I scrubbed the bathroom, since a contractor was supposed to come over to give me a quote on the wall repair, and the room was disgusting. I had found 3 cans of white paint and didn't know which one actually matched the wall color (builder white). I left my mom to figure out if any matched, and frantically scrubbed the bathroom. She said it was one of the full cans and started painting. It wasn't until she'd left and I was doing touch up work on the wall she'd finished that I realized it didn't match!

We had to repaint the whole room anyway, but now have to paint the ceiling too. I havn't had any rollers for my roller, so we've been doing it all with a 3 inch brush. We picked up new rollers when we bought more paint so it will hopefully go a little faster.


I guess the recession is over because so far only 2 of the 5 contractors so far have shown up out (one more is scheduled for Saturday morning).
The carpet and roof guy was here for 4 hours. He's with Sears, anyone here ever used them? The quote seemed high, but have no one to compare it to yet. They were the only one who answered my request for bids.

We're looking at carpeting about 1600sq ft and their $15,000 quote includes moving all the furniture in the room, the highest quality carpet (Hubby picked) and installation. I think we'll lose a $1000 discount because we didn't commit today (which upsets me a little because I'd told them this wouldn't be happening until we at least found out what our tax refund was going to be. I would have waited until we had that information before we requested a quote. He also quoted to replace the roof which was over $20K. *Yikes!*

The tile contractor says he's giving us a big discount for replacing the section of the bathroom wall that is damaged (we talked extensively about our kids - he's got a pregnant teen). (Dropped from $800 to 650).

The good news is he says we can just glue the linoleum back down and regrout (of course the flooring guy said it should be replaced). So I'll scrub the floor, glue it back down and regrout it and then all but the tub/shower will be reusable again.


I found out on Wednesday that the Center wasn't going to let Kitty come home during the week on Spring Break next week (she'd miss too many therapy sessions which would violate their contract) so they told us to take her for the whole weekend THIS weekend. Uuuuummmmm.... NO!

For one thing, I have barely even touched her room to get it ready (there's still tupperware full of ranch dressing, piles of clothes from when I washed and sorted everything, some stuff we moved out of the playroom to get it ready for Ponito to move into - that needs to be disposed of since Kitty's room needs to be streamlined to avoid being overwhelming for her). Plus I've been focusing on cleaning Bear's room and the bathroom.

The grandparents are out of town this weekend, we're down to one vehicle because Hubby's car's transmission is dead, a contractor is coming, Bear has a dentist appointment AND most importantly, BIOMOM WILL BE IN TOWN! She's coming through on her way to visit the youngest sibling's biofather. She'll have the young sibling (my kids have never met because she was born after they moved in with us), and the older sibling (I think she's 14). The middle sister has apparently been living with her biodad for almost a year.

Bear is pretty stressed about it, but except for a few text messages to me, he hasn't asked for any support.

I was slightly tempted to let Kitty come home this weekend so she could see the siblings (it's been over 5 years), but... it's just too much. At some point I'm going to have to tell her about it. We told her about Bear moving out last weekend. Maybe this is the weekend to spring this on her.


Making the drive to visit Kitty tomorrow. We'll take her off campus for a few hours, and then next weekend she'll come home on pass all weekend. I didn't get to work on her room at all today because I spent so much time with the contractors.

Didn't think about the fact that the carpet/roof guy would be looking at the ENTIRE house. I knew my house wasn't looking great, but hadn't realized how much I'd let everything slide until I was showing it to a stranger. The little piles of confiscated junk, outgrown/sorted clothing, pet hair, kid junk, paperwork, and overflowing trash cans... the worst was having to talk to him about all the biohazardous waste issues we have -spit and pet byproducts, but mostly the fact that we have overflowing toilets at least monthly. I think he almost vomited when he heard me talking about the carpeted bathroom that is soaked in waste, and Hubby suggesting we just replace it with new carpet even after I said the issue was going to continue).

The only good thing about the experience was he did admire the "bones" of the house. He was actually very complimentary of the design. Now I just have to completely clean the house from top to bottom.


schnitzelbank said...

It might be worth your time to find contractors through a site like Angie's List. They have unbiased reviews. Yelp is another source, but they don't have contractors on there like Angie's List does.

Suzy said...

I would also check out the Home Depot and Lowes stores in your area. If you buy the carpet from them, their installation costs are fairly low. I am doing hardwoods in my house (1600 sf less the bathrooms, and it is turning out to be less than half of your bid - and carpeting is less expensive to buy and install. So long story, check around. Also, if you are going to retile, it may be worth it to buy your tile yourself and then hire a contractor to install it. It is not a difficult project and you may save quite a bit. Do you have space in your garage? If so, you may even hire college students to move your big furniture to the garage and then back in after the carpeting is laid. Get your estimates in writing and by line item (carpet, labor - and what each item entails). Also that $1000 rebate is just a catch to make you sign the contract quicker. Shopping around you will probably save even more.

bearie1 said...

Sears is not likely to be the best, or least expensive, option. Just saying...........


marythemom said...

Thanks guys! I ended up going through Service Magic (Angie's List costs money to join). I found some much more reasonable quotes.