How's that saying go? When the cat's away, the mice will play? Well we definitely had some little mice through our house this past weekend. And, thankfully not the literal kind.
Saturday morning Michael took a call from my mom asking about the state of the painting project in Brenna's room. Trying to keep up with our normal activities, plus get her room painted has been a big challenge, especially since he can't work on Saturdays. But he is down to the trim on one side of the room so he explained what he'd done and made sure Mom understood the complete disaster that the room was in. Brenna had been sleeping on her mattress in Daniel's room because we had piled everything on her boxspring. Not only that, but she's not exactly known for picking anything up or putting anything away, even when it has a place. So there were clothes strewn everywhere and mixed with things she'd pulled out of boxes. Basically it was an organizational nightmare. But mom and dad were ready to bring over the mattress Brenna had been waiting for (one that was the same size as her boxspring) so Michael just tried to make sure they knew what they'd be walking in to.
That night when we brought the kids home they were clearly excited about the work that had been done in Brenna's room. They thought we didn't know, so every time Daniel nearly dropped a hint Brenna would shush him loudly. Playing along, we told them that as soon as we got home, everyone had to help unload the van and then get their clothes ready for church the next morning. Brenna asked if I'd help her pick out something (which she never asks and doesn't need) and I agreed.
Once everything was in the house, everyone headed up the steps to the second floor ... and this is where we found our first evidence of mice. Michael turned the corner into our room with a suitcase and he didn't have to unlock the door first. I knew our door had been locked. I'd had lots of reasons for doing so, not the least of which is Carrie's fascination with all the bottles and tubes in our bathroom. As I followed Michael in, asking questions and getting no answers, the scene got worse. Our room wasn't neat when we left because we had used it to help clear the downstairs... but I hadn't left bags dumped upside down or things strewn across the floor. And I definitely did not leave razors or open pencil sharpeners in the middle of the room.
The sheepish mice had no answers, but only one is tall enough to reach the untwisted paperclip above the door used to pop the lock. With that evidence, she did admit to unlocking the door and allowing the other kids in. No amount of 'you know better' and 'a locked door means stay out' or 'what on earth were you thinking?' or 'these are dangerous things - someone, namely Carrie, could have gotten seriously hurt' or 'what if she'd taken other things from the bathroom?' or 'why did you unlock this door? Just tell me why.' could drive an answer from her. She simply had no good reason.
Frustrated, scared of what might have happened, and pretty much mad, we followed her and Daniel up the steps to their rooms. We knew immediately that something had changed up there because out in the hall between their rooms we saw this:
And it wasn't there before we left. Mice! Big strong mice apparently.
To the left is Brenna's room, where we followed her into the dark. She refused to the turn the light on, which I must honestly say didn't help with the already high level of aggravation we were feeling. I think she was trying to create drama - but maybe not exactly the kind she was getting.
Eventually Michael just flipped the switch and we saw a scene similar to this, except Brenna was sitting in the middle of the bed and that white blanket wasn't there.
Her new mattress was in place, along with all of her new bedding. The bed had been turned and all of the mess had been gathered and restacked. Her pillows were neatly displayed and the trunk had been moved to the end of her bed. Even the fully loaded bookcase had a new home.
Her room is entering the final stages at last. With the help of Grandma and Papa, she almost has the room she designed. Her paint color. Her bedding choice. Her arrangments. Indeed while we were away, the mice DID play. Or rather worked!
Brenna is so pleased with her room that she has so far refused to pull down the comforter to sleep. She doesn't want to mess up the pillows so she sleeps on top the blankets and uses an extra one to cover up. If only I could figure out how to transfer that to also not wanting to drop things all over the floor!
It's no secret that this pregnancy will be characterized as the one that drained all my energy. I have all the plans in the world for this house, but cannot seem to get things done, along with the normal household chores. I priortized Brenna and Daniel's rooms because they had given up so much and been so flexible and helpful during all the months our other house was on the market, and the time we spent at my parent's house. I thought for sure their rooms would be done by end of January. But it's March and I'm running out of time. The focus simply has to shift to the baby room pretty soon. I don't know that either Brenna or Daniel's room will get completely 100% finished before the end of April, but after all the work my parents did, I do know that their rooms will be liveable and cute, reflecting their likes and personalities. We'll get to the final touches - pictures, organizational decisions, Brenna's desk, curtains, etc. - as we can. Perhaps even over spring break.
On the other hand, maybe I should just go out of town again for the weekend - that seemed to work pretty well!