As I write this, Eleanor is napping in her crib. I am sitting on the porch swing, enjoying a warm breeze and sunshine. Since we found out about the lead last July, the side porch has been off-limits. But now with the siding and indoor/outdoor carpet, we can again swing in peace and tranquility.
We are done hiring contractors. The only lead abatement item left is stripping the two living room doors/frames that we weren't willing to replace. I've ordered some paint stripper and we are going to take care of that ourselves. (And of course, pictures will be posted!)
I said that we're done hiring contractors, and I desperately hope that's true. We are done with all the work that we were planning on. But of course, it's the unforeseen that always gets you!
But the contractors finished the siding in early May—just in time for my month off before summer semester started this week. It was perfect timing. I've greatly enjoyed being home with Eleanor, and again feeling safe and healthy in our home.
We did one more massive cleaning, top to bottom, after the contractors were done. Since then, we've let the cleaning slide a bit. We're not on a total cleaning strike, but I am enjoying the feeling that I can see a little bit of dust on a picture frame without worrying that I'm poisoning my child. Now that it feels like the danger has passed, I do want to institute a saner, gentler cleaning schedule. I'm sure I'll get around to that soon.
Eleanor's lead levels have been normal since last November, but she does get tested one more time, at her 2-year appointment in July. I feel like we've done everything we can to protect her since we realized the magnitude of the problem, but I will be reserving my final sigh of relief for when I hear her levels are still okay.
But for now, I'm enjoying the peace and quiet. I'm enjoying being outside without guilt and fear. In particular, I'm enjoying that a house on the street behind ours is getting a new roof. I hear hammering, chatter, nailguns, the radio, and miscellaneous clatters. Which reminds me that we had our roof replaced the week before Eleanor was born. They finished on Saturday, and Eleanor was born on Sunday morning. So the whole contractor ordeal started even before she was born.
And now, it's over. Or at least hopefully on a long hiatus. Working on the garden around the deck felt like we were moving on. Getting back to projects that we wanted to work on, instead of being in disaster-containment mode. I know that the list of house projects never really ends. I just hope that, in the future, the projects are ones of our choosing, on our own timeline.