My cousins were raised to be gentlemen. When I visit them, they all treat me like a... girl. It's nice, actually, to have someone carry my suitcase for me but when they do it, I chuckle. They act like I can't carry it... like it's too heavy for me. I always ask them how they think I manage when they're not around. It's not that I don't appreciate their chivalry... I do. But I'm used to doing the heavy lifting. As a single woman/mom, I have no choice. I do all the 'guy' stuff around the house... I mow the lawn, I take out the trash, I shovel the snow, etc. It's fine, too... most of the time. This weekend, however, it would have been nice to have a man around...
Remember when I said I was going to redecorate Ryan's room for her birthday? Yeah, I did that. It was a job. A man-sized job. Hell, it was a giant-Hagrid-sized job. See, our house is small... moving the big pieces furniture out of the room in order to redo it wasn't really an option... so I had to work around them. That doesn't sound like a really difficult task, does it? Not if you're just painting... you just throw a dropcloth over everything and have at it, right? Well, what if I told you I was removing wall-to-wall carpet to expose hardwood floors? And what if I told you I'd never done anything like it before?
Lordy, lordy. I painted Ryan's dresser first... easy peasy. Then I painted her walls. Not so easy, given how much I hate painting. I'm not detail-oriented enough to be a painter. I mean, when it comes to work, I'm all about the details... but painting? Yeah, not so much. Let's just say it's a good thing the carpet was coming up, as it was splattered pretty consistently with 'Spaqua' paint by the time the walls (and some of the woodwork, which wasn't actually supposed to be 'Spaqua'... does anyone know how to get paint off woodwork?) were finished. Then came the carpet...
I had to Google "How do I remove wall-to-wall carpet?" to find out what to do. It didn't sound that hard. Pfffffttttt. It was hard. It wouldn't have been so hard if the room was empty but figuring out how to work around a daybed (and trundle) and honkin' big dresser? It was hard. It was super-duper hard, people. I used muscles I didn't know I had... well, muscles I didn't know I still had (I thought they'd disintigrated into fatty blobs of goo a long time ago). But I did it. And then came the stupid tack-strips that were nailed around the perimeter of the room... I had to pry them off the floor. That, my bloggy friends, was %*&$#*-ing hard. I hit myself in the mouth with the prybar. I poked myself in the eye with a piece of wood... with nails attached. If I'd had any sense, I would have driven it straight through my eye and into my brain, ending it all right there.
I am woman, hear me whimper in pain and exhaustion.
Did I mention that it was hotter than Hell here this weekend? Or that I had PMS? Or that I was all alone (as a 10-year-old creates more work, not less). I was horrible to poor Ryan. I did apologize in advance because I knew it was going to be a rough few days. See, I do DIY because I have to... not because I want to. I want to pay people to come in and do it for me while I spend the weekend at the beach. But my bank account is a bitch.
Ryan tried to be a good sport when I yelled. Mostly she just stayed far away from me (which only proves how smart she is). At one point, though, she came in her bedroom (during the tack-strip prying part) and she said, "Ewww, I can actually smell your sweat." Yes, she did. Would you think less of me if I told you I very nearly threw a big hammer at her? I don't care. I very nearly did. In my head, I did. But she was right. I smelled awful. The sweat was actually dripping off me and pooling on the wood floor. In fact, later that night, when I went next door to feed my vacationing neighbor's cat (the cat who loves me and crawls all over me and licks my face), he sat on my lap for about 3 seconds... and then he got off and wouldn't come near me again.
But it's done. And it's gorgeous. Her room is this bright, fresh aqua color... she has a hot pink and white dresser, and a new comforter in aqua, hot pink, lime green, and brown stripes. On her new wood floor is a rug in all the colors of her comforter, patterned in butterflies and swirly designs. She has some new pictures on the walls and a bulletin board loaded with all her swimming ribbons and medals. And when she sat on her bed today and looked around at everything she picked; at everything she wanted; at everything I did, her face was as bright and happy as her new room. I loved it. And I told her that if she ever, ever, ever, in her entire life, doubts that I love her, all she has to do is think back to the past few days... and she will know I love her more than anything on the planet (and that I am never redecorating her room again. Ever).
And with that (and the top-to-bottom cleaning and furniture rearranging I did myself in the rest of the house), I'm done with most of the crazy-busy stuff that's been going on. School starts in a week (whoo hoo!!!) and other than work and the Booby Walk training, I can settle down to a somewhat normal schedule. I'm ready for fall!!
Sorry for being such a crap blogger lately. But I'm back... I hope you're all still out there and haven't given up on me! XOXO