Probably one of the biggest changes had to do with the kids' beds. Dave's parents had a bunk bed which split into two single beds, which they wanted to get rid of. (We absolutely do not want a bunk bed so that the fact that it split into two single beds is very important.) So my dad kindly went over there, disassembled it, and reassembled one of the beds for Sam. Sam's toddler bed (which was bigger than the toddler bed Rachel had been sleeping in) went to Rachel's room. The second not-bunk-bed is in our basement waiting for Rachel to get a few years older. So here is Rachel's room before...
...and below is Rachel's room after, including a close up of her new big girl bedding! (The bed and the dresser had to switch places.)
Here is Sam's room before...
...and here is Sam's room after. The bed didn't fit along the wall anymore so it sticks out into the room.
Another room they left their mark on was the dining room. Ten years ago this August, my dad and I took the Trans-Siberian Railway from Beijing through to Moscow, via Mongolia. While we were in Ulaanbataar we each bought a gorgeous Mongolian quilt. And then mine sat in a Rubber-Maid bin. And there it stayed until Dave claims he didn't even know I had it.
The night before we left, my mom was looking at the blank wall in the dining room (the one the "Happy Birthday" banner is on in the picture above) and she commented that my Mongolian quilt would look really nice there. And words cannot express how much I absolutely loved that idea. While the colour of our dining room isn't one that I hate, I have never been happy with it. This room has felt rather empty to me and devoid of colour. Now it looks amazingly pulled together and I love it! (A dining room tour coming soon :) And yes, I realize I did tours of a few rooms in our house in the fall and I will finish the rest of the rooms. Hopefully soon.)
And just so you can see how absolutely gorgeous this quilt is, here's a close up.
Mom and Dad also attacked the yard. When we left there were still huge snow piles and we hadn't been able to get into our back yard to clean up from the ice storm we had shortly before Christmas. When we got home tons of yard debris had been cleaned up and was ready for the yard waste people. And my mom even planted pansies in our window boxes. It was the first thing I noticed when we turned into the driveway from the airport. "Oh! Look at the pansies!!!" And yes, those would be the same pansies the squirrels have been digging up, although I don't think they've been in there since I used the cayenne pepper. Cayenne for the win?!?!
Dad also replaced our broken back door motion sensor light and our very leaky kitchen faucet and gross old sprayer. Now we have a faucet and sprayer all in one. Yay!
They also successfully instituted an 8pm bedtime for both of our kids which Dave and I have tried our hardest to stick to. Sadly, although the kids were waking up at 7:30 for Mom and Dad, for us they are waking up closer to 7, which is a little early for us non-morning people. (Last week I unintentionally blamed my parents for the early wake-ups. I didn't mean to do that. Mom and Dad were only responsible for the early bedtime, not the super early wake-ups. However earlier bedtimes do mean earlier wake-ups, if this all makes any sense.)
So Mom and Dad, if you ever want to come back, watch our kids for two weeks while Dave and I go on vacation, and make some more welcome changes, we can start a list! Just kidding. Mostly :)
Speaking of ch-ch-ch-changes, these past few nights I have been instituting an earlier bedtime for myself too and then trying to wake up earlier. I've learned (again) that when I wake up before the kids, our mornings go a lot better. Unfortunately, I really struggle with going to bed early so I'm trying to get in the habit again. I am so not a morning person.
And now for some blog housekeeping...
I really like responding to each and every comment I get but, as you may have figured out, I am really bad at doing so in a timely fashion. What with Dave's hand injury, our New Zealand trip, and getting over jet lag (which I would say is successfully done at this point! Yay!), I am almost two months behind on blog commenting. However, I am going to catch up, likely starting today. Of course I've said that every day for the past week :) If I have your e-mail address, you will get about a zillion e-mails from me, but if I don't then you will see my responses to you on the original post so you can go back to mid-March and start reading :) Or you can just send me your e-mail address! (It's natashajk at gmail dot com, if you don't have mine.)
And thus ends the blog housekeeping. Man, I wish actual housekeeping was this easy :)