J’s Birthday & So Much More

It’s been a little chaotic around our house.

Did I tell you that we had a tragic wet basement issue? It is too boring to go into the whole thing. There were roots attacking our walls leading to water leading to mold, so we pulled down some drywall and pulled up some carpet and shoved a bunch of furniture over, and now we’re in the process of trying to get things back to normal. Cute W’s replaced the drywall, but we still need to finish that, paint, replace carpet, and put the room back together. So that is a bummer and it also reduces the living space in the house, and it is a small house. Oh, and we’re probably going to have to scrap our perennial garden and its lovely trees or else it will just happen again.

Meanwhile, J’s birthday was last week, and she’s been so very busy with school and volleyball that she just wasn’t up for planning any sort of celebration or coming up with birthday wishes except for one: a new bedroom. She just turned 15, and she was pining for some more grown-up furniture like a full-sized bed, a desk, and stuff that doesn’t look like it was made to coordinate with her pink-walled princess phase (which is when we got it). This ended up being a bit of trouble, because my plan was to provide her with her new room and that would be, like, her whole, entire birthday. I had this vision of arranging the furniture and new bedding and, I don’t know, maybe some flowers in a mason jar like some sort of HGTV makeover show. But then she was so busy and overtired that she was in no condition to make crucial decorating decisions, and I didn’t want to decide for her, and it became a source of stress for both of us.

We ended up buying her a new bed (the headboard and footboard ended up being a better deal at the mattress store in Mohawk Commons than what I saw on the internet).

Sadly, our crazy-pants house has such a teensy, twisty staircase that we failed at the first delivery because they couldn’t manage to jam a full box spring between the walls (even after I’d removed the banister and slathered it with grease. Okay. I really only removed the banister, but I would have slathered it with grease if it would have helped). So we had to cough up more cash for a split box spring, just like we’d had to do for our queen (M’s bed is so old that it doesn’t have a box spring at all).

When we were talking bureaus, I mentioned the lovely antique dresser that had been languishing in my closet since we turned our sunroom into a bathroom, and when she took a look at it, she was psyched.

Once I realized that she liked classic hand-me-downs, I suggested that if she was interested in my desk, I’d been thinking about acquiring a standing desk for myself. Done, she said. That desk is so big that we almost couldn’t jam it up the stairs, either, and Cute W and I felt extraordinarily pleased with ourselves when we managed it. I’ve replaced my desk with a less beautiful but very functional desk that I can crank up and down to switch from standing to sitting.

So all of these bedroom changes have worked out well, but it took a massive amount of time to shop for stuff, move our belongings around, organize the new stuff and try to sell the old stuff. It’s still a bit of a work in progress, honestly. But it’s mostly livable now.

While all this has been going on, we’ve also had soccer games, volleyball games and an all-day tournament, business travel for Cute W, my organization‘s fundraiser, the homecoming game and dance, a team-bonding activity at Ellms for J, college application stuff for M, and an overnight college trip for M. Oh! And I have learned that one of the duties of being a parent of a soccer-playing senior is that I need to create a 20-page scrapbook for my daughter following a detailed set of instructions. So. . . that’s awesome.

Now J, who worked and played herself into exhaustion over last weekend, is sick. She stayed home from school yesterday and was glad to have a day off to atone/watch television and catch up on homework today. M, meanwhile, used the day off for travel and is arriving back home late tonight, then she has a big soccer game after school tomorrow (they are 11-1 at this point, which is starting to make each game see more high-stakes than a mediocre season would be), and the game will be followed by Back to School Night at the high school for us parents, the first and only year that we’ll have to juggle two kids’ schedules for the same night. So we’re still going at a slightly frantic pace, but now that our belongings aren’t strewn all over the house, it’s feeling a bit more manageable.

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