Tuesday, June 5, 2007

One Week to Travel

The push through these last few days has been quite draining. Neither of us has been getting much sleep, and our productivity during the day is beginning to flag. Now, the timing for Ann couldn't be better, since this is happens to be the last week of school and Friday is the last staff day. However, at my office, just because teachers are our customers, doesn't mean we take the summer off.

Both at work and at the house, the realization is dawning: not everything is going to be finished by the time we head out.

I just spent two hours tonight working on the safety gate at the top of the stairs. The side of the staircase where the latches go is a built-in bookcase, and even though it's hardwood, the panel isn't deep enough to accept the screws to hold the latches in place. I knew that last week, so Sunday I cut, stained, and varnished some 1x2s to fit into the end of the bookcase as reinforcements. Tonight I glued the 1x2s into the bookcase, drilled pilot holes, and successfully drove wood screws to bring it all together.

The side of the staircase where the hinges go is --- just ---- this off from a wall stud. So I had to drive sheetrock anchors in to attach the hinge plates to.

If the plastic hinge dealies for top and bottom were identical, I could have saved the next 15 minutes of re-reading the directions and calling Ann in for a consultation. (Kidco: your "Safeway G20" is sturdy and made of highly durable material. But your documentation is extremely confusing. Ann has an MA in English and I write sales copy, and we're both confused!)

Got the hinges up (in what we think is the correct orientation.) At least the gate sits nicely. As I line up the latch pieces on the bookcase side, I notice that there's no vertical "give" to the gate at all. You (the adult) are supposed to press on the latch, lift the gate up a little, and it is supposed to ease over the plastic thingy and swing open. No way the gate was going to lift over the plastic thingy.

No springs. The gate uses springs to hop up over the latch. I have a very nice new section of "wall".

Just went to the Kidco website - yes, I can buy replacement springs for $1 each (need 2) plus $5 shipping & handling. Maybe they have spare parts at Babies 'R' Us or Burlington Coat Factory... so there's another unplanned lunch hour trip.

I still haven't done my thank-you cards yet either.

Yeah, yeah, "this is just what it's like being a parent"...

OK, not to give you, dear reader, the wrong impression, because we are ecstatically happy and IT'S JUST ONE WEEK TO GO! We're just fried, that's all.

We'll get some sleep on the plane.


Anonymous said...

Scott and Ann:
Having a bit of a melt down at this point in time is normal. Just remember that we are backing you up all the way. If things remain to be done, leave us a list. We want to be involved in this life changing event.

Love Grandparents to be, Ken and Barb

Ann & Scott said...

Following up -- no spare parts kits at the baby stores. And while I was able to find all sorts of compression springs at the Ace in White Bear Lake, none were right for our gate.

Metric springs or something.

So I have *written away* for spare parts from the manufacturer in Chicago. Yes, with an envelope and a check and stamps -- they don't have an online ordering option. It seems so quaint and backward to do it this way today, steam trains and horses and such, but even just ten years ago most companies didn't even have websites!

Amazing how the Internet has completely changed how we see and act and think. To be able to write this blog in China will be amazing on the one hand and completely mundane on the other...