Tuesday, March 13, 2012

A Twist...

So, maybe we won't put a new tub in. Maybe we'll just have a large shower; frameless glass (in place wall on the shower head side, swinging glass door on the other side, maybe even a hinged seat inside?).

Pros --
1. We don't really use the bathtub as such; we're shower people. (Also, we're planning on a hot tub when we get to doing the backyard.)
2. We're planning on staying here at least until Princess graduates high school (six and a half more years).
3. Our concept gives us a good space for washing the dogs, too. B is getting a bit on the older side & has a little difficulty jumping into the tub.
4. Financially, it would be a "wash" (no pun intended); no tub cost (which would include the price of moving some of the plumbing if we went with a 32" deep model), but more tile (or whatever flooring we choose for inside; I'm thinking an aggregate-type) and the tub faucet would have to be sealed.
5. Resale for a single or couple who have no children, possibly an older person who could even be confined to a wheelchair.

Cons --
1. Resale for a single or couple who *do* have children.

I honestly can't think of any other cons; since we're planning on staying here for a while, this makes more sense to us. Plus, if the future seller wants a tub, they can pay to have it changed. The rest of the house will have been maintained/upgraded, anyway, so as long as everything passes code, that's a very minor expense.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Thank Goodness For Architectural Software...

... and for the fact that my husband knows how to use it.

We've got the majority of the bathroom now figured out. It's nice to use this software to see how things will look; I just wish it had more options for some things. For instance, it has a few vessel sinks (including one very similar to the one we're going to go with), but only a couple options for faucets. It doesn't have partial glass enclosures, either; only full ones.

Minor problems aside, I think we've figured out everything except the lighting. We have an idea of what we want, and where, but I think the better plan is to wait until we talk to the contractors to see what code is before our final choices are made.

Speaking of contractors, when we were at Home Depot yesterday, we ran into Julie (the designer who ran H.D.'s side of things for our kitchen project). Turns out we don't need to use Steve (the chauvinist G.C. who ran our kitchen project); they have two other companies they use for bathroom remodels. She also gave us a suggestion for the tile work we want done, if we don't end up going through them to do the whole thing.

I'll be honest, if Steve isn't in charge, I'm kinda tempted to let H.D. run the whole thing again. There are some pieces/parts we'll have to order from other places (online, Lowe's, etc), but that would make things quite a bit easier if we didn't have to coordinate all the different companies (plus, I wouldn't have to hire a G.C.). They even do (limited) glass partitions! Then again... we *can* do most of the work ourselves.

So, here's the breakdown:
1. Toilet -- white, round, high seat, dual flush, soft close lid.
2. Tub -- white, 60" X 32" X 20" (or so), non-jetted. Haven't finalized design for frameless enclosure/partition (can't do that 'til we decide on which company will do them). Coordinating faucet set with the one for the vanity.
3. Surround -- 12" tiles in a grey/black, sanded finish. Unsure if we should go all the way to the ceiling or leave a 12" gap for circulation...?
4. Cabinetry -- cherry American Woodmark (to match kitchen); one over-the-toilet unit, vanity unit, & linen closet. Soft close doors/drawers.
5. Linen Closet -- same dimensions & options as the one in the kitchen (including slide-out shelves & soft close doors). They *will* open the other direction!
6. Floor -- heated, same tile as the surround.
7. Vanity -- same countertop as the kitchen, basic round vessel sink, old-fashioned-look water pump style faucet (corner counter-mount, since we can't find the style I want in a wall-mount). Similar look to our current unit within, though.
8. Trim -- floor will match the rest of the house, cabinet trim will match cabinets.

Now, besides lighting, did I miss anything? What do you guys think; does this sound doable & nice?

Friday, March 2, 2012

Update on Squeeks

Ace has had, as of today, three weekends (one of which was a long weekend) withheld for, as we see it, no good reason. From the emails I've seen from Maleficent, if she has anything to say about it, we won't be getting any parenting time, ever.

She continues to heavily monitor Squeeks' phone, text, FB chat, email, etc messages/conversations. Even when Ace texts or calls her when she's supposedly "free to talk", her mother eventually drags the conversation out of her, and Ace gets another nasty email from her.

How, I wonder, did we go from "I can't deal with her anymore; I'm done; you take her." to "You're a sh*tty father; there are *some things* going on over there; you can't see her at all."? My guess: she's fallen completely off the sanity train.

At first, Ace wasn't going to do anything; just wait it out, chat with Squeeks via text or FB chat once or twice a week to make sure she's okay. He reminded her that her mother is in violation of the current p/t order, and has had these cycles in the past. He also reminded her that the option to move in with us is open at LEAST until she's out of high school.

Then, we got more *nastygrams* (as I like to call them), demanding he stop telling Squeeks "lies", they had "an agreement" (her idea of "an agreement" is the email she sent stating that Squeeks is no longer coming down for p/t due to looking for, and perhaps having, a job, plus driving lessons), and that if he's so sure she's "breaking the law" by withholding his parenting time, he needs to take her to court.

Here's the problem with that -- the court (unfortunately for those fathers who are fully involved in their kids' lives, even in the face of a split) still favors the mother. There are very few statutes in place to help non-custodial parents in these situations.

Admittedly, most non-custodial parents (in my experience) suck. Most of them have no idea what "in the best interest of the child" means. Ace, though, is different. I wouldn't have married him if he had little-to-no interest in his children. And, I find serious fault with the "justice" system that failed to see how valuable he could have been in their lives, and how her erratic behaviors were NOT in her children's best interests.

He went from full custody (when she abandoned them for 8 months while she "couch"-hopped), to 48%, to 30%, to less than 20%... and now, nothing for a month and a half. Possibly, nothing for the rest of Squeeks' childhood (she turns 18 in June, 2013). GamerBoy finally "got it" once he moved out; his mother is the one who kept Ace from him. Their relationship is not what it should be, but it's better than it was even 6 months ago.

Anyway, this past Tuesday evening, Ace (as required by court order; better safe than sorry) sent Maleficent his notice of summer parenting time dates. This nastygram was worse than the majority of recent ones; the gist being "You are not getting parenting time. You're never getting parenting time. Are you stupid?"

We've talked about the legalities, being as my situation is on "the other side" of things. But, the biggest difference here is this: Ace is, and always has been, an active, loving, encouraging, supportive (both financially & emotionally) parent. So, I have given my opinions about what he could do if he so chose.

Princess texted her yesterday; both girls said "I miss you" to each other. That got us thinking in an additional direction... Ace isn't the only one affected by all of this. Maleficent is not only keeping Squeeks from her father, she's also keeping her from her sister & I.

And, he decided, perhaps now is the time to put up a fight.