Saturday, April 15, 2017

Helping Out

Not sure exactly what you call it but we've been helping out our kids.  Our daughter and her husband are in Virginia Beach and they recently had their second little boy.  Our son and his wife live in Fairfax and they are embarking on their biggest project to date. They are redoing their downstairs bathroom and getting a whole new kitchen.
We have been in Virginia Beach since mid December and we'll be here until mid May.  That will be our longest stay in one spot since we started full-timing in May 2009.  Its been a great time and we have helped out in a couple of ways.
First - we have spent most days at our daughter's place which is about 35-40 minutes from our campground.  We go over to her place 4-5 times a week and help baby sit.  Having one active 2 year old is busy enough, and with a new baby added to the mix - it adds to the challenge.   I would say the second one is a game-changer but upon reflection, That applies to those with a third toddler.  THAT's a game changer! Right now it is completely manageable and our being there works out in many ways.
We've helped take the pressure off during those early weeks. When we are there she can take a breath and grab a nap here and there on those afternoons when both boys are asleep.  Plus we also get to bond with the oldest who is in the midst of being a two year old!  He is a handful at times but he is also the sweetest, cutest, most lovable, smartest little boy around.
I never thought I would be a 'Papa' or that Pam would be a 'Mama'. But little kids have a way of making you comfortable with whatever label they tag you with.  We learned early on that we had to come up with our 'name'.  We picked Grandpa and Grandma but those were a little tough to pronounce so we're now Mama and Papa.  And we are fine with that.
We are happy that Spring has come with its warm weather as the little guy loves to play outside!  And he loves to have someone out with him.  There is zero resistance when that little fella grabs me by the thumb and tugs me follow him and 'pay'.  Its his version of "lets go outside and play".   No surprise, he can wear me out in a hurry.  
I bend over and follow him around as he pushes his little race car and I trail with the little boat.  He looks back every few steps to make sure I'm still there.  It's another version of Extreme Workout.  
He also has found the magic of playing cars. I like to watch him with a couple of cars in his hands as he rolls them on top of the coffee table. Sometimes he walks down the hall and 'drives' his cars on the wall.  He's in a world all his own and I wonder what goes on in that little mind.
200 miles away, outside of Washington D.C., our son and daughter-in-law are remodeling their home. They decided to redo their downstairs bathroom and their kitchen.  We've visited them a few times in the last six weeks and have helped on getting those projects done.  We are about 90 percent done and currently at their place to finish up somethings.
The kitchen and bathroom started about three weeks ago.  We cleaned out the kitchen in true 'demo' mode. We removed all the cabinets and appliances and ripping up the flooring.  Then we rented a van and carted all the waste to the city dump.  The appliances went to the contractor doing most of the mechanical work in the kitchen.  He added a new gas line for the stove and rerouted and added some electrical outlets.  The other contractor did the tile floor.
Phew!  Its been a big job but its been quite the transformation.  From this:
To this:
The marble counter tops are going in on Tuesday and they are pretty excited about it.  Then the sink and disposal get installed and the kitchen will be complete.

Our son did the downstairs bathroom with a little help from us.  
He took off the vinyl squares, removed the toilet, the sink and stand, and the medicine cabinet.
Next, he cut tile and laid them down in place. After he got all the pieces like he wanted them, he pulled up a few at a time and laid on Thinset mortar. All the pieces went back into place and he put in the spacers.
After letting it dry, he installed the toilet, sink and new light.
They also put in a nice new mirror. I didn't get a picture of it yet but will when I get pictures of the new kitchen. I'll get those after the counter top, sink and appliances are all up and running. Shouldn't be too much longer until its done!

Its fun to see our kids become handy around their homes and do all sorts of projects.  And fun to help out.
So that's some of what we've been doing the last few weeks during our long stay here in Virginia.

Thanks for joining us today on the Roadrunner Chronicles!


  1. Sounds like a great life for you two, and for your family as well. Nothing like a remodel to cheer things up, especially when you have some help. Nice to see you are doing well.

  2. Well you guys have certainly stayed busy!! What fun though to have such a wonderful playmate!!!
    I am sure your kids really appreciate you all being there to help out.
    Great job on the remodeling!!

  3. Great you are having fun with your grandson, bet he really enjoys it also. Happy Easter.