Sunday, May 29, 2011

Little Touches, Playroom Edition

As I stated in this blog, I've gone on a cleaning rampage. I have officially finished the dining room and, early this morning (around 1 AM), I finished the playroom. My goal was to dust, sweep and mop all the surfaces; hang new shelving and finish floor pillow covers for the girls. This morning, it was all about that last floor pillow.

Here are the results! (Click the photos to supersize.) I must say that I am very proud of myself. My dinky sewing machine broke halfway through the first pillow, so I had to sew those suckers by hand. And, of course, the embroidery is all hand done because I definitely don't have the money for one of those cool Martha Stewart embroidery machines.

The embroidered circles were my original design. In fact, I did a small version way before the girls arrived. I had planned on doing the pattern on curtains for their room, but that fell through. Then I started searching online and came up with the felt butterflies for the second pillow. I knew when I did the butterflies that I was going to love it more than the embroidered circles, but that's OK. I will not (will not, will not, will not) redo that circles pillow because I love it too.

The playroom will be ongoing--adding new art, replacing old toys. But for now, it's seems quite complete. When I finish the entire house, I shall have pictures.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Road Trip!

Last week, the girls and I (along with Aunt Mandi) came back from a trip to Maryland to see my dad. He was meeting his granddaughters for the first time, and it was absolutely amazing to watch him with them. I'd say a majority of the trip was a grand success. The other parts not so much.

The girls did very, very well in the car. Our attempt to drive overnight so they would sleep didn't go quite as planned. We ended up stopping at a hotel both coming and going. Both times being more for the adults than for the children. I think next time we'll travel during the day and just have plenty of leg-stretching, energy-expressing, eating stops since it seemed the day travel went better for everyone. I'm obviously no longer a spring chicken who can stay up all day and drive all night as well.

The visit was lots of fun. We nearly abandoned all sense of schedule, which I took better than I thought. The girls actually took naps in their strollers while we were out. They loved being out and about in the city--seeing people, museums, and lots of birds. The only thing that really seemed to make them unhappy was mealtime at Dad's. There was lots and lots and LOTS of screaming and crying every single time we had a meal. Dani tipped over in one of the chairs--scaring the crap out of everyone in the room. I don't know if that fall is what triggered the unhappiness for the rest of the trip, but as long as those girls weren't up to the table having a meal, they were relatively happy. (They also didn't particularly like when I left the room, but that's not a new thing.)

We successfully survived our first long trip. I'm not so scared of taking more now. I have learned to now pack every bit of medicine they might need. Be prepared for all kinds of weather, no matter what the Weather  Channel says. Travel with painters tape or plug covers. Having single umbrella strollers is nice because they take up less room and make for easier maneuverability in museums and public transportation, but they suck when it comes to storage, so take a big backpack and deal with the bag searches.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Super Spring Clean

I used to be a neat freak, and I've always been a procrastinator. Adding two little ones to the mix did not make matters better. My need to clean and straighten was quickly replaced by my need to eat and sleep.  But now I just can't take it anymore. I see dust on bookcases and fans, dingy spots on my beautiful white rug (Yes, I have a white rug in my sitting room...about one foot from Lillie's highchair.), stacks and stacks of junk mail piled up everywhere. I actually twitch a little when I walk into certain rooms.

Summer begins on June 21. That's seven weeks away. I plan to spend the remainder of this spring cleaning my house. And yes, I am insane.

I do not intend to spend every free moment cleaning. That's just crazy talk! I do, though, have a plan. An actual plan written on index cards with little boxes next to each task that can be satisfyingly checked off as I accomplish them.

I will go room by room and do some serious organizing and cleaning. I will dust baseboards and get cobwebs out of corners, vacuum a mattress, wash curtains, scrub a refrigerator and steam clean the wood floors. (If anyone can recommend a good steam mop, I'm all ears.) I plan to locate my staple gun that went missing some time last year. I'm sure it's hiding with other things that have gone into hiding.

It began last week when I put together the first of two bookcases for my office and actually got books off the floor. I continued this week with freeing the dining room of dust and cleaning the window. Next up, remove the rug and play mat from the playroom and take care of those floors as well as dust the piano. I'm sure I'll find a (un)healthy amount of Cheerio bits.

There's an interesting saying I found that states, "Cleaning while the kids are home is like shoveling snow while it's still snowing." Well, it's going to be snowing in this house for a long while, so I just have to get over it and do my best.