Oh my chapped, aching hands, we did it! We finished Olivia's bedroom, cleaned the entire flipping house and pulled off a rather succesful-I-must-say-Chinese New Year party, all in the course of 24 hours. (!!!!!) We didn't intend to have so much to do right before a gathering, but with dry times, Alex on two business trips and just the busyness of unschooling, we faced a deadline of Saturday, 5pm. For two weeks, Olivia had been camping out in the studio on the roll-a-way bed, her mattress and boxspring were in the hall, along with bags of her books and belongings, to say nothing of the boxes and boxes of flat-packed items awaiting a new home in her new bedroom. And though we always make every effort to keep things tidy, it was pretty much a losing battle, especially upstairs, what with all the dust, sheetrock and painting supplies, tools, ladder, cat hair dust bunnies...you know, the usual. Downstairs was being barely maintained and I only managed to get half the Chinese New Year decorating done by the end of last week, and we had shopping to do? meals to make? homework to check? egads! We did have a nice surprise when the kids were invited to spend Friday overnight with some of their homeschool classmates in Bristol, which allowed us to work into the wee hours without affecting their sleep (sleep? What's that?) So the kids packed up their stuff, got all their homework together and Alex dropped them at class early on Friday morning and we wouldn't see them again until the party.
So, Friday morning, and this is where I was at: 1am bedtime the morning before, filthy house, tons of things to load into Olivia's room, furniture to assemble, oh, and did I mention, I still had a wall and some trim to finish as of 11am? Oh yeah, that.
By about 4pm, I have all the painting done, which means we can now clean the room and then begin loading it. We first moved her wardrobe into place and assembled her desk. The bookshelf came next and while I made sense of all the books, papers, art supplies, cds and assorted belongings, Alex built the bed.
The next couple of hours we spent moving things back into her room, hanging art and making the bed. We finally called it a night/morning around 2am, having eaten nothing since lunch and feeling like decorating zombies. We set the alarm clock for 6am as we still had the entire house to clean when we got up.
Sarturday morning and afternoon, as I cleaned the upstairs, I snapped some photos of Olivia's room. I was so excited for her to return home and see it for herself. When she had left for class, remember, I was still painting. That afternoon, feeling dog-tired and okay, a bit weepy, I stood in her bedroom with only the company of Max the cat and took in all our work. I was, am, so pleased with how it came out. I was so hopeful Olivia would be too(she is).
around 2pm Saturday
One of the things I wanted to feature in Olivia's room was her photography, which was the underlying inspiration for her room design. I'm really happy with how this came out.
With the party at 5pm, I have no time to spare when I hop in the shower at 3pm--but hey, the whole house is clean (Alex did the entire downstairs while I did the upstairs) and Alex heads to the store to pick up some odds and ends for the party. Whew! By this point I feel as though I've been in labor for the past 24 hours (and consequently, we'll do this again, like paint the livingroom, great idea!, because we will have forgotten the pain and work involved).
about 5pm Saturday
By 5pm, we're greeting friends, preparing food, shuffling dishes, and in walk our kids, delivered from their sleepover, safe and sound, looking tired but happy. Olivia disappears with friends up to her room, so I don't get to see the look on her face then, but I see it later. She's pleased. We've been getting lots of extra hugs. That is what makes it all worth it--her happy, feeling like she has a space that is true to her and shows off her interests, that's what matters. So yes, we'll do it again, without a second thought.
Oh, the party. Yes, we had a great turnout, lots of good company, babies, littles under the table with sticky Chinese jellies, just about everyone crammed without a care in our tiny kitchen, eating yummy food and belly laughing.
We were so tired by midnight on Saturday, having done a second cleaning after the party, that each step up the stairs caused sobbing. Not really, but you know, that's how we felt.
All day Sunday we drank leftover nada coladas, Shirley Temples, ate homemede sushi and more Chinese jellies (do not eat alone if you are an elder, it says so on the package), while enjoying the squeaky clean house and pretty decorations and flowers. Then we simply snuggled together around the fire and watched movies all day. It was bliss.
In other news, happy Bench Monday, and oh, by the way, where's our snow? It's February, it's Maine, we need snow. Oh, but there's no such thing as global warming, correct? Yeah. Enjoy your snow, Baltimore.