Did you know your gums often get more sensitive while you're pregnant? I got accustomed to them bleeding more often when I flossed, but I was not ready for the sheer torture of the metal pick against the gumline when I got my twice-yearly dental checkup last week. And to make matters worse, they said I needed a crown replaced, AND a filling aside from that. So yesterday we had part one of the crown replacement, wherein they numb you (thank the gods), hack and drill for half an hour to get the old crown off, and fit you with a new one. Okay, fine, no caramels on that side of my mouth. But the positive way to view this is:
a) I survived these appointments without being so traumatized that I was sent into labor.
b) I only have the one appointment left, which is supposed to go much faster.
c) It makes me more confident about getting through labor. After all, though labor and childbirth involve a lot of interesting pain, the pain is all part of a natural process. Also, childbirth almost never involves metal being directly and violently applied to your bones, an event which is not natural in the slightest.
As to the labor issue, I feel like I'm ready, but my house is not, my replacement at work is not, and it would really interfere with my holiday plans, so my deepest hope is that we can hold off till around mid-January. Got that, LemonDrop? Good.
As to why the house isn't ready: we had this sweet little plan to enrich the aesthetics of the main floor by putting down new flooring, replacing the dishwasher and microwave, and installing new countertops and backsplash in the kitchen. Not too difficult, in theory. Then, in removing the old countertops, some of the kitchen wall came off and revealed the water pipes behind the sink, and, oh my, one of them was leaking. Furthermore, the deeper the investigation went into the house's plumbing in general, the weirder it looked. We brought in a plumber, who ascertained that in his four years of work here so far, he has never seen such a screwy system. And it definitely needs replacing, because not only was some of it leaking, but it was a mix of old galvanized pipes and newer copper pipes, and evidently that's a bad interaction, because copper accelerates the deterioration of galvanized metal. (I write this tidbit down because I won't remember it a year from now otherwise.)
In addition, just to be weird, the previous owner had sent some of the new copper pipes in a roundabout maze in the walls, for no apparent reason, before routing them where they were supposed to go (i.e., a shower). And the plumber found at least one spot where two pipes were joined together, but not soldered, and thus would have burst any day. Now, we know the previous owners were flakes, and the man of the house in particular liked to hit the cheap vodka a little too hard, but we had at least hoped that the plumbing would be in decent shape, because he was a plumber. Turns out he wasn't much of one.
So, of the previous owners' work on the house, we have only changed the floor coverings, the ceilings, the paint colors, the electrical wiring, many of the light fixtures, the heating system, and now the plumbing. And in future we plan to replace some of the windows, doors, and staircases. In fact, we're kind of hard-pressed to think of anything they did right. However, once again, let's face the bright side:
a) It was a damn good thing we discovered the plumbing issue this way, rather than through more disastrous means, and could get it fixed now, while the kitchen walls were torn open anyway.
b) The new stuff is going to look beautiful, especially in comparison with the previous look.
c) Likely enough, points a and b, along with all our other work, will increase the value of the house.
d) I personally don't have to do any of this. Being 8 months pregnant is a great excuse to stand aside and nod and say, "Yeah, I like that blue. Looks good." But a thousand kisses to Steve, who is tackling a great deal of it; and to his parents, who are here helping out; and of course to Vassily, the nice Ukrainian man from Beacon Plumbing who is replacing all our pipes with good new copper, properly soldered together, while Steve and in-laws lay down the new wood floor. We have proposed naming our son Vassily in tribute, if this job gets done in the two days promised.
Merry Christmas and Happy Chanukah (to go with my calendar's spelling) to you all!