and we didn’t even see a single shark

I had been thinking about taking the girls to the beach back in July, when Catie was on her summer break, but there were all kinds of stories in the news about people getting bitten by sharks, and it kind of freaked me out. I fully realize that it’s statistically far more likely that we’d get hurt in a car accident or a million other ways before anything involving a shark. But I already have a weird phobia about open bodies of water – I’m fine in swimming pools, but I hate boats, and at the beach I don’t go in the water past my knees. So just the idea of sharks was enough to keep me away.

Then last week, I realized it was August, it’s been weeks since there have been any shark incidents on the news, and I really hated the idea of skipping out on something that’s become an annual tradition for our family. So, on Saturday, we loaded up the car and went to Wrightsville Beach for the day.

It’s about a 2-hour drive to the coast, which isn’t that bad, although it’s long enough for the girls to really get on each other’s nerves and start fighting. At some point I felt like the cliche of every parent on earth when I yelled, “I will turn this car around and we will go back home if you do not leave each other alone FOR THE LOVE OF GOD!” (My mom would probably find that hilarious, since it’s pretty much verbatim what she said to us on countless road trips when I was a kid.)

Once we got to the beach, the girls had a blast, and you’d never know from the pictures I got that they were at each other’s throats in the car just mere moments prior.

Beach!
See? Total angels. Ha. Haaaaaa.

Catie has been taking swim lessons this summer, so she’s gotten a lot braver in the water, but she’s still very careful in the ocean. She found some other kids around her age and hung out with them, building sand castles and jumping waves.

Catie in the ocean

Lucy is a little more unsure about the ocean, but she had fun lying on the sand and waiting for the waves to roll up over her. She also had me carry her out to jump waves, which was fine, since we stayed in the very shallow water.

Lucy kept lying on the sand, waiting for the waves to roll up over her

After about 4 hours, when they’d completely worn themselves out, we loaded everything back into the car, grabbed some dinner, and headed home. Both girls slept most of the way, and I hated to wake them up when we got home, but they both needed showers after playing in the sand for so long. They got to bed way later than normal, but since it was a Saturday night, no big deal.

That night, around 2:30 a.m., Lucy came into my room and said, “Mama, I throwed up in my bed.” Chris stripped the sheets off her bed while I cleaned her up. She spent the rest of the night and most of Sunday feverish, puking, and miserable. Poor little goose.

Fortunately, it was just a 24-hour bug, because by Monday morning, she was completely fine. I kept her home on Monday anyway, because daycare wants them to be fever-free for 24 hours before they go back to school, and I wanted to keep an eye on her. Kids bounce back so quickly, though, she really was completely fine all day. And she was excited that she got to come with me up the street to meet Catie at the bus stop, since she’s normally at daycare and doesn’t get to do that.

A series of "waiting for Catie's school bus" selfies.
A series of “waiting for Catie’s school bus” selfies.

Unrelated to anything: I’ve decided I’m tired of the girls having bangs, because their hair grows so fast and their bangs constantly need to be trimmed. So we’ve started growing them out. (Hence why Lucy’s hair is pinned back in those above pics.) It’s an annoying process, always trying to find hair clips in the morning, and convincing Lucy not to pull hers out halfway through the day, but I think it’ll be worth it in the long run. I know I’m biased and all, but I happen to really like seeing their entire faces.

August 12, 2015Permalink 2 Comments

how we spent our summer vacation

I haven’t blogged much lately, so I sort of forgot to mention that Catie finished 2nd grade a few weeks ago, and she’ll be a third grader as of Monday.

Last day of 1st grade vs last day of 2nd grade. She's grown so much this year, and Catie is now a 3rd grader!

At the same time, Lucy has moved up to the pre-K class at daycare, which feels completely surreal, because it’s the exact classroom where Catie was, 4+ years ago when I was pregnant with Lucy.

Show & Tell at daycare. Lucy opted to wear her Anna dress and bring her matching Anna doll, because what else would you expect? (...And a fruit snack for the car ride because carpool is long & boring.)
(She’s a big fan of Show & Tell day.)

Catie has pretty much outgrown the “school-age” camp at our daycare, most of the kids there are in kindergarten or first grade, and she didn’t want to go anymore. She was scheduled to go to Science Camp for one week (it was last week, and she loved it), but she asked if for the rest of her summer break, she could just stay home with me.

I should explain a little about my job here, because I don’t talk about it much: I work on a small-ish team at a large company. My team is maybe 70 or so people, but we’re spread out all over the U.S., and some people are in the U.K., Russia, and China. My manager is based in California. Because of time zone issues, working from home makes more sense than a set 8 to 5 office schedule. It has its downsides; I often end up working late at night after the girls are asleep, when I’d much rather curl up on the couch with Chris and watch the Daily Show. But it also means that my daytime schedule is super-flexible. I know most working parents don’t have this type of telecommute option, and I feel very fortunate that I can have this flexible schedule working at a job I happen to love.

So, Catie wanted to have some “lazy time” at home, and I don’t mind, because she’s pretty self-sufficient and easy to have around. The problem is that I didn’t want her to sit on the couch playing Minecraft all day. (I have no issue with Minecraft, I think it’s actually good for their creativity to build things, but there’s no video game in the world that needs to be played all day.) And since I’m working, I can’t completely disrupt my schedule to help entertain her with various projects.

She did this same thing during her 3-week spring break in April, and I made a deal with her that if she wanted to stay home, she was going to have to run with me, because at least she’d be getting SOME exercise and fresh air. And let me say, that was a terrible idea. The thing I love about running is that I can lose myself in it and zone out, and you cannot zone out when your 8 year-old is whining that it’s too hard and she wants to just walk for a while. So I’d get irritable and start barking at her like a drill sergeant, she’d get pouty, and it just sucked.

Now, though, it’s July and it’s too hot to run most days. (I have a rule that I don’t run if the heat index is above 85. I love running, but I’m not a masochist.) So on this summer break, our daily exercise break is to go to the pool; Catie plays while I swim laps. I’m normally hyper-vigilant about watching my kids in the pool, but Catie is so cautious, she never goes past the water that’s 3 1/2 feet deep because she doesn’t want to be in over her head, and there are always 2 lifeguards on duty. So she’s fine, she plays with the other kids and has fun, and for a few weird minutes I feel like one of those stay-at-home moms who can do nothing but hang out at the pool with their kids on a weekday. Except not, because I swim laps for about 30-40 minutes, then we come home and shower so I can get back to work.

[Side note: swimming is WAY harder for me than running, and I am ridiculously bad at it. With running, I know I’m slow, but I don’t care because: whatever, I’m running. With swimming, I feel like a baby elephant flopping around in a bathtub.]

Also, if she’s had too much screen time, I bought Just Dance 2015 for the Wii, and yes ok, it’s still a video game, but at least she’s up and moving. I’ve done it with the girls a few times, and that game is a workout. So, if she starts whining that she’s bored: ok, go try to beat your high score on “Dark Horse” by Katy Perry.

(I admit, I mainly bought the game because it includes “Let It Go.” Try to guess which one of my kids has the high score on that one. Go on, guess. Hint: it’s exactly who you think it is.)

And really, she’s been great. She hasn’t whined much, and she’s spent a lot of time working on little art projects (as the growing stack of her drawings on my desk can attest), not playing video games. It’s been really nice having her around.

At the same time, I’m excited for her to start school on Monday. Partly because I want to get back into our regular routine, but also because THIRD GRADE. She’s getting so grown up! It’s both weird and completely amazing to witness.

July 23, 2015Permalink

on Southern Pride

Things happen in the news sometimes, and I think “hey, I should blog about that,” because I have a lot of opinions on a particular subject and my thoughts can’t fit in a 140-character tweet. But then I never actually sit down and write it out.

(Well, ok, I did last July during the whole birth control ACA Supreme Court case. I guess political posts are something I do once a year now.)

Ok. So. The Confederate flag.

I grew up in Mississippi. The Confederate flag is one of those things that I’ve seen my whole life, in one capacity or another (bumper stickers, flying outside of people’s houses, on the damn state flag, etc). And I don’t want to write a whole long thing about whether or not the Confederate flag is racist, because it is undoubtedly, inarguably racist, and there are no less than a million books and articles you can read about it if you don’t believe me.

(Examples: What This Cruel War Was Over, which quotes the actual secessionist documents, or The Surprisingly Uncomplicated Racist History of the Confederate Flag, which focuses more on the 20th century, pro-segregation use of the flag.)

But there’s a weird thing I keep thinking about in this argument. The people who are in favor of the Confederate flag say it represents “heritage, not hate.” You hear that a lot. I hate that phrase, for what it’s worth. I think it’s a cop-out.

I’ve also heard people say, “I’m a Proud Southerner!”

And it got me thinking about pride in general, and the different things we take pride in.

I’m proud of my kids. I’m proud of my career. I’m proud to be a in a loving relationship with a good man. I’m proud to have built such a strong support system of friends and family in my life.

But being proud of the geographical place where I was born doesn’t make sense to me, because I had nothing to do with it. I’m proud of the things that I’ve accomplished, things where I actively made a choice that led to a good outcome – like, for example, I’m proud that I graduated from college.

Am I proud to be from Mississippi? No. Fortunate, maybe. I suppose growing up in Mississippi gave me a particular perspective on life that I might not have had in other places. I don’t think that perspective is any more or less valid than anyone else born in any other place, though.

I’m also fortunate that I was born into a good family that loves me, supports me, and has helped me to become successful in life. But really, the geography doesn’t matter at all, it’s the people themselves.

And on the subject of family and heritage: my great-great grandfather was a little boy at the time of the Civil War, too young to become a soldier. He had several older brothers who did fight for the Confederacy in the Civil War, and a few of them died in combat. (I believe there were 8 boys total, but I can’t remember how many of them fought in the war. It’s been a long time since I did that genealogy project.)

I also know, because there are African-Americans in Mississippi with the same last name as we had – which is one of those highly unusual, “Americanized spelling of a Swiss name” type of last names – that obviously at some point, my ancestors owned slaves.

But here’s the thing: it’s not hard for me to acknowledge that I love my family, and also acknowledge that my ancestors fought for the wrong side. Those two concepts are not mutually exclusive.

And to be clear, I’m not ashamed of them either. Just as I don’t take pride in anything I didn’t accomplish, I also don’t see the point in apologizing for my great-great grandfather’s brothers, who died over 100 years before I was even born. I have no control over what they did. I’m sure that at the time, they thought they were on the right side of history. And until someone invents a time machine, I can’t go back to try to enlighten them about race issues.

So, yes, I suppose the Confederate flag is part of my heritage. I’ll own that.

But just because it’s associated with my past, doesn’t mean it has to be part of either my present or my future.

June 25, 2015Permalink

road trip weekend

I think one of the keys of a successful relationship is accepting the fact that your significant other has interests that you find totally boring. I’m not sure what mine are that bore Chris (celebrity gossip and social media stuff, probably), but his is playing Magic the Gathering. If you’re not familiar, it’s a card game with wizards and spells and whatnot. Sort of like Dungeons and Dragons, but even geekier (if that’s possible).

And in the grand scheme of things, it could be worse. At least he doesn’t ask me to watch any type of sporting events on TV. (I have a lot of women friends who love sports, but I am not that girl. I would rather watch paint dry than watch a football or baseball game.) And when he plays, he has to go to a game store where they play in groups, so it’s a more social hobby than most.

This past weekend there was a big Magic tournament in Charlotte. Chris wanted to go, and I had the girls for the weekend and no big plans, so I thought it would be fun to tag along with him. My brother and his girlfriend recently moved to a new apartment in Charlotte, and they have a new puppy and kitten, so I knew we’d have fun visiting with them while Chris played in his tournament.

(Side note: there were something like 4,000 people in this tournament. Chris and I joked that if a bomb went off in that convention center, IT helpdesks across the Southeast would be virtually wiped out, because that’s the type of person who plays Magic the Gathering.)

Friday afternoon, Chris and I packed up the car, picked up the kids from daycare, and set off for Charlotte.

Picked up these messy-haired ragamuffin children, & we're road-tripping to Charlotte for the weekend. They're kinda excited.
They were pretty excited.

We stopped for dinner along the way, so we ended up not getting to Charlotte until about 9:30, well after the girls’ bedtime. They were so wound up from the trip, they ended up not falling asleep until after midnight.

Catie is totally in love.
Catie is totally in love with my brother’s puppy, Annabelle.

My brother’s girlfriend Mandy was trying to tell Catie how to get Annabelle to obey commands, and Catie obviously doesn’t spend much time around dogs, because she said, “Ok, Annabelle, if you want a treat, can you sit?” I tried to explain that dogs understand one-word commands better than full sentences, but it was very sweet that she tried to phrase it so politely.

Even Lucy, who is typically indifferent about animals, is pretty enamored with my brother's puppy.
Even Lucy, who is typically indifferent about animals, came around and played with Annabelle for a while.

Samson, my brother's kitten, wisely kept his distance from my loud children all weekend.
This is Samson, the kitten, who kept his distance most of the weekend. Most cats tend to be a little skittish around loud children, so I don’t blame him.

Saturday, Chris got up early and went to the convention center for his tournament. The kids and I goofed around for a while, then my cousin Renee (the cousin whose wedding we went to last October) came over and we all went out for lunch together. It was great to see her and catch up.

It was so hot over the weekend (in the mid-90s) that doing anything outside like a playground was just impossible. So after lunch, my brother dropped the girls and I off at a nearby kids’ museum so they could run around and burn off some energy indoors where it’s air-conditioned.

Flying an airplane at the kids' museum.
They had fun.

At the kids’ museum, they have a big stage in the middle of the main room, and every hour they have some type of presentation. One was a science experiment (which was pretty cool), and they also had a puppet show. We were sitting on the floor to watch it, and the emcee was trying to get the kids all excited. She said that the puppet show was going to be about the circus. She asked the audience, “What types of animals are in the circus?”

Catie leaned over to me and whispered, “Tortured ones.”

Which I mean… ok, I laughed. It was kind of a snarky and rude answer, but she knew that, so she just whispered it to me rather than saying it out loud. And it’s not like she’s wrong.

(As for how she knows about Ringling Brothers’ animal abuse: she once asked if we could go to the circus, and I said no, because they mistreat their animals, so I won’t give them any of my money. She obviously remembered that.)

Chris played in his tournament until pretty late that night (he got back after 10 p.m.), so in the meantime, the kids and I went out for dinner with my brother and his girlfriend.

In hindsight, I should’ve known that going out to dinner was a bad idea. (Foreshadowing!) Lucy hadn’t slept nearly enough the night before, and she’d skipped her nap that day, and she was starting to get kind of whiny. We walked to the restaurant (it was about 4 blocks from their apartment), and even though they live in a really pretty area, the walk was pretty unpleasant in the heat. Then we got to the restaurant and the hostess said it would take 30 minutes to get a table. Red flags everywhere that we were headed for Meltdown City, and I missed them all. Lucy is normally so easygoing, I just wasn’t expecting it.

We finally got a table (it was more like 45 minutes than 30), the waiter came over for our drink orders, and I ordered an apple juice for Lucy. The waiter said they didn’t have apple juice. And Lucy just completely freaking lost her mind. She was wailing, “Aaaaaapple juuuuuuuuice!!” over and over, and this was not fake tantrum crying, she was completely distraught, real tears and snot everywhere. I realized pretty quickly I wasn’t going to be able to calm her down because she was too far past the point of exhaustion. I told my brother what to order for me, and told him to have it boxed up to go. I left Catie with him and Mandy, and I carried Lucy outside.

And I carried Lucy – all 40 pounds of her – the four blocks back to my brother’s apartment. (In case you’re wondering, yes, my back still hurts from that.) She stopped crying once we were outside and lay her head on my shoulder, and I thought she might fall asleep while I was carrying her, but she didn’t. Near my brother’s apartment, there’s a Starbucks, and we stopped so I could buy her an apple juice. That seemed to help perk her up a little.

Once we got back, I got her bathed and in her PJs, and she fell asleep on the couch watching cartoons on Netflix. I moved her to the air mattress that she and Catie were sharing, and she kind of half-woke up when I moved her. She said, “I’m going to watch TV for a while, but when I go to sleep, I’ll stay in my bed all night. And if I have something to tell you, I’ll just tell you in the morning.” I stroked her hair and said, “Ok, baby girl,” and her eyes closed and she was asleep again within seconds. She didn’t make a peep until 7:30 the next morning.

I really hope that when the kids are older and I look back on these little trips we took, that I remember the fun stuff like watching them laugh running around together in a kids’ museum, or singing along with silly pop songs on the radio, and not the parts like Lucy losing it in a crowded restaurant.

Nice one, Lucy.
More of the good stuff like this, not the meltdown stuff.

And credit where it’s due: I always think of Catie as being my high-strung, more anxious kid, but she is an excellent traveling companion. The last several times we’ve taken trips, she’s been so easy, she doesn’t whine, she’s extra-patient with Lucy, and she’s just been great. She still gets stressed if her routine at home is thrown off, but I guess when we travel, she accepts that we’re going to be off routine anyway, so she adapts and it’s totally fine. I look forward to doing this type of thing when Lucy is a little older (past the “needing a nap” stage, anyway), because I think it’ll be even more fun.

Uncle Chris & Mandy's house has a big couch with a big TV. They've wasted no time making themselves at home.

On Sunday, we packed up our stuff, and said our goodbyes to my brother, Mandy, and the puppy and kitten (that was the hard part for the kids). We made one quick stop by the convention center downtown so Chris could get a couple of his cards signed by the artists who designed them. (It’s kind of a “thing,” and it supposedly increases their value. Like getting baseball trading cards autographed, I guess.) After that, we headed home. The kids slept in the backseat for a large portion of the drive, so it was a pretty easy trip.

Overall, it was a fun weekend, Chris enjoyed his tournament, the girls had a blast, and I’m glad we all went together. That said, it sure was nice to get back home last night.

June 15, 2015Permalink

Lucy is 4

Yesterday, Lucy turned 4 years old.

So, that Timehop "then & now" feature... Wow.

We had her birthday party on Saturday, and since I learned at Catie’s birthday that having a party at our house is actually not all that stressful, we decided to do Lucy’s party here too. (Until Catie’s party, I’ve always farmed out the birthday parties to different venues: a bounce house place, the science museum, whatever. Playing hostess stresses me out beforehand when I’m trying to get my house clean and organized, but it ends up being a lot more fun.)

There were 4 kids from Lucy’s daycare who came to her party, and because it’s Lucy, everything had to be Frozen-themed. And since we were going with that anyway, I decided to go all out with a couple of special party guests:

Lucy with Elsa and Anna

There’s a local company where you can hire any of the Disney princesses to come to your child’s birthday party – I get the impression that they’re mostly college girls with licensed Disney costumes – so we had Elsa and Anna come to Lucy’s party. And I have to say, if you have a princess-obsessed little girl, and you have the opportunity to hire a “professional” princess for your kid’s birthday party: DO IT.

hugs with Anna
I MEAN COME ON.

The princesses were great, they have a whole little agenda for birthday parties: they had story time, they had a little arts & crafts project, Elsa put eye shadow & little sparkles on all the girls, Anna painted their nails, we went outside so they could get “sprinkled with pixie dust” (which I’m 99% sure was glitter hair spray), and then we sang happy birthday and had cake.

It was so fun. Lucy keeps asking how far a drive it is to Arendelle, and when Elsa and Anna can come to our house again.

doing a group photo with a bunch of 4 year-olds, this is about as good as it gets
Best group picture I could get. They’re only 4, you can’t expect too much.

The 3 little girls who came to the party were TOTALLY on board with the princess thing; the one little boy there wasn’t into it at all, and he mostly hung out with Catie and they had play swordfights. Although it’s funny that he was the only boy Lucy wanted to invite – she calls him “boy Jackson” because there are 2 kids at her daycare named Jackson, one is a boy and one is a girl. (The girl is, obviously, “girl Jackson.”) They’ve been in the same class since they were 2, and they adore each other.

As Jackson was leaving the party, I asked him and Lucy to smile for a picture for me. They automatically put their arms around each other and Lucy put her hand on his chest, and I swear this is the pose of every senior prom portrait ever taken.

I asked Lucy to smile with her friend Jackson & they defaulted to Prom Pose.
Totally saving this for their wedding slideshow someday.

The weekend was also great because my sister flew in, and my brother and his girlfriend drove over from Charlotte for the weekend. (My brother and his girlfriend just recently adopted both a puppy and a kitten, and brought both along. Catie went nuts over them; Lucy was pretty much indifferent – if it isn’t a baby or a princess, it doesn’t hold her interest.) It was fun to get to visit with them, and the girls love having them around.

Sunday was Lucy’s actual birthday, and since we did the party on Saturday, and my siblings went back home on Sunday morning, we spent the afternoon at the pool with my cousin and her kids.

Lucy's party was yesterday, so we celebrated her actual birthday with a couple of hours at the pool with her cousins.
Lucy didn’t seem to have any complaints.

A couple of years ago, when Lucy was two, I remember saying that I wanted a fast-forward button so I could skip ages 2 and 3. The toddler tantrum years are my least favorite, potty-training is the WORST, and I just wanted to skip ahead to 4. Four is so fun! And what do you know, we finally made it here at last.

Happy birthday, Lucy Goose. You are a ball of pure comedy, joy, and delight, and I couldn’t be happier to be your mama.

June 1, 2015Permalink

a decade

If I had stayed married, today would be my 10th wedding anniversary.

I guess it says a lot that the day doesn’t register much with me anymore. I didn’t even think about it until I looked at my phone this morning and noticed the date. I’m not sad about it at all, it just feels like some sort of notable milestone. Ten years. A whole decade. And I’m not sure my life could look more different now than it did ten years ago: I was in my 20s, had no kids, lived in Seattle, had a completely different career path. It’s all changed so much in a relatively short amount of time.

I guess it’s one of those Sliding Doors moments where you wonder what would happen if you’d taken another path in life. What if I had never married Dave in the first place? What would my life look like then? But I can’t venture too far down that road. Despite the failure of my marriage, and all the pain and suffering it caused, if I had chosen any other route in life, I wouldn’t have Catie and Lucy. How could I possibly regret any choices I made that brought those two amazing little people into my life?

I don't think I'll ever get tired of watching Catie read to Lucy.
I mean seriously. Just look at them.

My dad once made a comment about Chris, that “it’s too bad you didn’t meet him first.” I pointed out that if I had, he wouldn’t have the two granddaughters he adores so much. And besides that, I think the failure of our previous relationships is a pretty critical element of what makes my relationship with Chris work: we’re both keenly aware of our own flaws, and how things can go wrong in a relationship, and we actively work on not repeating those mistakes with each other.

Ironically, today is also Chris’s anniversary with his ex. Different year – his was 2004, mine was 2005 – but it’s a little weird that we share the same anniversary of the day we married other people. We also separated from our respective ex-spouses at nearly the same time; Dave and I split in August 2011, Chris and his ex split a few weeks later, in September 2011. I don’t really believe in the concept of fate, but it does feel like God or the universe or something was looking out for us, and made sure that we were both where we needed to be at the right time.

Chris & me at my cousin's wedding a couple of weeks ago. We clean up ok.

Whatever it was – God, fate, random coincidence, whatever – I sure am grateful for it.

Ten Years Ago Me probably wouldn’t recognize Current Me, but I can honestly say that if I had to do it all over again, I wouldn’t change a thing. So in that regard, I guess I can say “happy anti-versary” to me.

May 15, 2015Permalink

Mother’s Day house cleaning

This past weekend was Dave’s weekend to have the kids, and even though it was Mother’s Day, we didn’t really feel the need to change it up. I mean, I guess if the girls had been upset about it, we would’ve altered the schedule? But it’s just a day, and it didn’t feel like a huge deal to any of us.

The kids both made cards for me, which I got on Friday. The daycare teachers always come up with some little craft project for Mother’s Day, which is how I got this little flower pot with Lucy’s face on it.

Kudos to Lucy's daycare teacher: Mother's Day flower pot with my crazy girl's face on it.
I laugh pretty much every time I look at it.

Catie made a comment, “For Mother’s Day, I’m going to let you sleep as late as you want.”

I thought that sounded nice for a second, then I said, “…Do you mean because you’re going to be at Dad’s?”

She laughed and said, “Yeah.”

So, that was Mother’s Day. I slept late, Chris brought me flowers, we had dinner with his mom, and I had some time to relax. I also took on a big house tidying/re-org project over the weekend, which was nice to do without the kids here.

My house was built in the 80s, so like a lot of houses in its era, it has a separate living room and den. The living room is kind of the “grown-up room,” and the den has been designated as the kids’ playroom. Mainly because I think it’s ugly. It’s got dark green carpet and wooden beams along the ceiling, and I just think it looks dated and old. There’s a lot of updates I’d love to do (new carpet, painting), but it’s a rental house, so I can’t.

But the playroom has a problem with getting trashed pretty quickly. See, exhibit A:

IMG_3511
Looks like a damn Toys R Us exploded in my house.

It’s just… not very inviting. Since the kids were gone, and it’s so much easier to do these things when they aren’t around, I cleaned out a whole bunch of toys they don’t play with anymore. (If the girls are here, I can’t get rid of anything because suddenly toys they haven’t touched in two years become their most precious belonging, and there are wails of, “…but I LOVE that!” It drives me crazy.) So I’ve stashed away 4 hefty bags of toys, and my rule is that the things they notice are missing and ask for will be returned, but everything else goes to Goodwill in 6 months. I’m betting they won’t notice or miss 99% of it.

I also bought a small bookcase to organize some of their smaller bins, and hung up some curtains, and boom.

IMG_3522

So much better!

I mean, the carpet is still ugly, nothing I can do about that, but I feel like the room overall looks more finished. I think there’s something about adding curtains, in particular, that makes a room feel less “naked.”

And yes, I know the kids will trash all my hard work within 20 minutes of their arrival home tonight, but for now, I’m really enjoying it.

I also cleaned out a whole bunch of other stuff, which I didn’t take before-and-after pictures of, so you’ll just have to take my word for it that it looks a lot better. And it felt like a really great Mother’s Day gift to myself, to have a tidy house.

And as much as I really didn’t mind not having the kids yesterday, because it was so nice to have the weekend off, I’m also really excited for the girls to come home tonight, so I can get all the extra hugs and kisses I didn’t get yesterday.

May 11, 2015Permalink