Friday, October 07, 2011

House update

You know that episode of Fawlty Towers, where Basil gets in the Irish builder who consequently removes the door into the dining room? Last week we had our own Irish concreters, not builders, come through to give us a quote. One was young - well about our age - and the other older. The Younger was besotted by our Jack Russell and had him describing his dog, just like ours, back home in Ireland. The older told us that his wife had just left him and thus needed a hug from me to compensate!

Before I go any further with the concreting quote, let me just update you on what's happening (or not happening) with our renovation/extension. My husband has succeeded in getting himself appointed with a Builder/Owner status. This is good, because we got some quotes from builders that just had us saying, thanks but no thanks. Our next option that we looked at is us managing the build ourselves. Or my husband doing it. I have faith in him that he will do a fantastic job. In fact, I think that if we go in this direction, by the end of it, he will look up - and all around him - and say, I built this.

So for the last few months, we've had all sorts of tradies come through our door. Structural engineers, electricians, carpenters, and now the concreters. Our quotes are slowly coming in, and yes it's going to be an expensive adventure, but we think we should manage it.

So back to the concreters. After obliging The Older with a quick hug, they proceeded outside where my husband showed them the site and access etc. Traipsing back inside, I once again had to give The Older a hug, and as they left, the Older told my husband that he'd have a 'ball-park figure' for him the next day. Once the front door closed we looked at each other and burst out laughing, and my husband did a very good impression from the Fawlty Towers episode.

Anyway, this leads me to the last update, that I've decided to take next year off from studying. The main reason is timing and secondary money. Currently the two children do two days of daycare whilst I go to classes. The daycare fees are killing us. If we didn't have to pay for an extension there wouldn't be a problem.

If I continued next year, it would mean that I would graduate with a view of working as a teacher in 2013. My son starts prep that same year, and I think it would be better to be more flexible as we go through transition into school. As he is on the spectrum, this could prove to be very important, and if I commit to a new job, then I don't think I'll have that flexibility. However, by taking 2012 off from studying, I can take my youngest out of daycare, and then in 2013, resume that final year that will then allow me to be around more in case I'm needed. It also means that my youngest can then take over my son's daycare hours and it won't make too much difference to the hip pocket.

So, like all parents, it's a big juggling act, but I think that this will be the best way to go.

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