Total life overhaul

Hi March! How are you going?


Guess what we’re in the middle of? Renovation Hell. Yes! We are finally underway, and we’re not doing this thing half-arsed. I mean, why would you try and minimise upheaval and stress when you’re thirty weeks pregnant?


So what we’re doing is knocking down the wall between the kitchen/dining and living room. We’re also completely gutting and replacing both bathrooms, as well as completely gutting and replacing the kitchen. We’re putting in a new hall cupboard, and all the bathroom carry-on means we have to move the wardrobe in the baby’s room from one end of the wall to the other.


Because we’re doing such a massive overhaul, we figured we might as well replace our crappy wonky walls and ceilings at the same time (and insulate while we’re at it) so the upshot of all this is…


My kitchen used to live there


Our house is in ruins, and so we are currently residing with Mum and Dad.


Since that photo was taken on the first morning the builders had access to our house, the vast majority of our lovely little abode has been stripped back to it’s outside walls and framing. Erm, it’s just a teensy wee bit frightening. In that OH MAN TOO LATE TO GO BACK NOW kind of way.


A bit like how I feel re: Baby.


Speaking of which, we have started antenatal classes, and for those of you who have never had the joy of experiencing this rite of passage I can tell you… it’s a really weird situation to find yourself in. For those of you who have been there done that, you know what I mean.


There you are, sat in a room with a bunch of other nervous looking couples, trying to soak in everything you need to know about what should happen and what might go wrong in the rest of your pregnancy and labour. All the while you’re feeling a bit self-conscious when the teacher starts talking about your privates, and trying not to giggle when she folds up the grubby little baby doll and shoves it through a pelvis.


There are bean bags piled up in the corner and I’m wondering what we’ll have to do with those. So far the classes have been pretty close to what I’d imagined based solely on offerings courtesy of TV shows and movies, and based on those I am getting a bit nervous about what lies ahead. Roleplaying? Graphic birthing videos from the eighties? Yikes.


I’ll keep you posted…


Sorry I haven’t been doing that much lately – keeping you posted. I am tired a lot, and of course we’ve had a huge amount of stuff to look after between work/baby/renovations, so I hope you understand. Of course you do because you’re lovely.


What’s going on with you guys anyway? Please feel free to share your renovation and/or antenatal class stories!

25 thoughts on “Total life overhaul

  1. WOW ! I don’t know how you can cope with the major renovations & pregnancy .
    Stay strong and get lots of naps 🙂

  2. Hi Jane 🙂 Have you heard of hypnobirthing? My sister is 30 weeks preggos with her second baby, and is using hypnobirthing this time around, because her first labour was problematic. Anyway, I had no idea what this was so I youtube’d it and kind of got sucked in to watching these crazy clips of women giving birth, and they just breathe calmly through the entire process. It looks so weird (!) but apparently it’s amazing. Anyway, I’m a total outsider on this stuff, having never had kids, but my sis got all her pregnant friends onto hypnobirthing so I thought I’d mention it here too. All the best with the renovations!

  3. OK so i know that being pregnant is supposed to make you want to ‘nest’, but this is taking things a bit too far Jane! 🙂
    I just really, really hope that at least one bathroom and most of the kitchen is in working order by the time the bebe comes along 🙂
    Good luck!

    1. Theoretically the whole lot is supposed to be done by end of March (excluding painting), and baby isn’t due until May – so we have a little wriggle room.

      I certainly hope we’re done by the time he comes along or I WILL cry.

  4. My favourite ante-natal story: the teacher telling us that ‘babies are safest on the floor’, and putting down the doll to demonstrate. She then proceeded to drop something on the doll’s head. Funny and cringe-worthy at the same time!

    How are you feeling, bubba kicking out your ribs yet? Show us another belly pic please!

    1. We have been very slack at taking photos! When I first got pregnant we had all these ideas about doing weekly shots etc, and then the morning sickness kicked in and I suddenly didn’t feel like posing in front of the camera. Then I guess we just got lazy!

      I’ll make an effort to take some more pics soon.

      Baby is kicking all over the shop, including ribs. I have no point of comparison, but he seems very active to me…

  5. It’s funny – when we buy a house I’m actively going to look for one that has a separate kitchen and living room (dining area is okay in the kitchen) and NOT knock the wall out. Our house now has had that wall knocked through and, while you do get more space and more light, it means that the heater can’t heat the lounge properly, the jug boiling and cooking noises drowns out the sound of the TV, and the power points aren’t in the right place for everything. And cooking smells get through the rest of the house. I guess you’ll do a better job of things than that, but I don’t really get the whole open plan thing.

    As for the antenatal classes, I have no experience of those and nothing to say, but I do remember the birth video we had to watch in fourth form. It was a 1970s video of some Swedish people having their first baby and they’d shaved the lady. Then our teacher said how much it itched when the hair grew back and it was far too much information, when we were already being bombarded with the gruesome reality of life. That is all.

    1. I liked the separate rooms when we first moved in, but the kitchen was restricted and the only way to get the best out of it was to bust into the lounge. Plus I can definitely see the advantage of being able to keep an eye on the little guy in the lounge while I’m Nigella-ing it up in the kitchen.

      Our place was extended in the 60s and the layout is weird, you had to walk through the kitchen to get to one of the bathrooms. Now we’ve sorted out that issue as well. The flow of the house overall is much better. Luckily because we’re gutting everything we get to choose where all the new powerpoints go. Hopefully we don’t cock it all up!

  6. It’s great to hear the update Jane.
    I grew up (and still am) in multiple renovation sites… I hope you guys call home emprovement quites after this house so that your offspring never has to plaster for pocket money like I did.
    I’m in my 2nd week of my 2nd year of my coms degree at AUT, AND RADIO AND STUDIO ARE FABULOUS.

    1. I can highly recommend the radio major… only because I did it!

      Make the most of your time at AUT – I had such a blast doing that degree.

      As for the renovations – I don’t think I’m keen to undertake major renovations ever again. We’ve at least been smart enough to hire a builder who doubles as a project manager so there’s little to no DIY involved on our behalf.

  7. life is busy here, i have started my first placement and loving it! Going to be hard to go back to my job after…..
    It is good to hear what is going on in your life, I can’t imagine dealing with renovations but good on you for doing it now before baby comes. Looking forward to seeing the end pictures!

  8. Ahhh, renovations. The never ending “joy” that comes with home ownership. I spent 3 months with the “kitchen” consisting of a jug, toaster and microwave on the lounge floor. Just have the hallway and laundry to complete now (3 years later), then no doubt we’ll begin a new round of changes.

  9. Probably quite good doing renos while pregnant, its a visual hurry up to the tradesmen every time they think about slacking off. Fingers crossed it all goes smoothly. We moved house and then 5 nights later our little guy arrived, 3 weeks early. Luckily some very good friends set up baby’s room for us so he has somewhere to sleep when we got home. Wouldn’t recommend it, but it all worked out in the end!

  10. You probably don’t want to hear that with no warning or reason in the slightest our daughter decided to arrive 4 weeks early. We didn’t have renovations to contend with, only jobs and animals and that was enough to put us in a spin.

    On the positive side, for every baby that comes early is another that comes late so hopefully your little guy at the very least goes full term. 😉

  11. Hi Jane, in the antenatal videos we watched every woman seemed, er, rather full in the pubic hair area. One’s thatch was so bountiful the lost city of El Dorado could have been hiding in there and we would have been none the wiser. Weirdly, our teacher told us there’s not many couples who volunteer for their birth to be filmed for educational purposes, but almost all that do come from Nelson. Enjoy the spectacle!

  12. The best antenatal advice we ever had (as a father of of 2) was simply 3 rules. if your baby is hungry – feed it, if it’s tired – let it sleep, and if it’s dirty – bathe it. Where it sleeps, how you feed or what you bathe it in are all pretty much meaningless. Worry less and sleep more. You’ll need it.

    1. And parent of the year award goes to the fellow who feeds their infant jello, beds them in sock draws and bathes them in public drinking fountains. Bravo Doctor

      1. Up for it are you or was your reply meant to be humorous?

        Point 1 – I said “how you feed” not what you feed. Boob, bottle – make your own choice and don’t allow others to make you feel guilty about your choice. Your baby! By the time number 2 comes around that obsessive boiling of bottles for 5 minutes becomes a quick rinse under hot water.

        Point 2 – Nothing wrong with a sock draw(sic) with a wee mattress in it. Fits a new born safely with no chance of baby rolling out. Babies can sleep anywhere – cars, portacots, laps. My point was that you don’t NEED all the “you must have this” danish designer cots with 100% organic cotton sheets from NatureBaby – though they do look very Urbis and if you have the money why not? I would also say that for us, cotton was the best on our kid’s skin.

        Point 3 – Who would bathe a baby in a public drinking fountain? But I would bathe a baby in a sink, bucket, stream (if camping) shower or shub. I don’t need something like this for USD$40 ( but from experience a product like this was useful –

        I was saying keep it as simple as you can, where you can as it can be daunting. When number one came home we looked at this little bundle in the card pod, looked at each others and went – “what the hell do we do now!” and the 3 rule mantra helped us sort out what was important.

  13. By meaningless I mean your baby could sleep in a padded out sock drawer rather than a $2,500.00 hand-carved tibetan baby cot hand carved by 100 year old artisans from organic yak trees.

    1. I just googled “tibetan baby cot hand carved by 100 year old artisans from organic yak trees.”… and Yup, totally meaningless 🙂

      Agree with the advice too.

  14. All I know about renovations are that it will be either On Time, On Budget or How You Wanted It. There are no combinations so you only get to pick one. Watch Grand Designs on TV and see if that isn’t the case.

    I’m not going to join in the one-downmanship of “my birthing story is worse than yours” but Dr Bob is right. You are the expert on your child. You have their best interest at heart and in the long term so long as they sleep enough, eat well and are clean(ish) they grow.

    My favourite saying is “Grandparents are allowed opinions but not votes”.

  15. It’s normal to worry abt wat lies ahead. I was like u in my 3rd trimester but my midwife assured me our bodies are made to do it. It’s a great relief after baby is born though it’s true it isn’t called labour for nothing. If I can do it, so can u 🙂 My wee boy was born 3wks ago.

  16. I cannot get over how much your hair (let alone tummy) has grown since your stuff blog. So excited to have found your blog 🙂 and to hear of your amazing, fantastic news, even if I am a bit late haha

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