What I Did During Winter Vacation

I haven’t been on a vacation since my honeymoon. When I was working, my vacation days were reserved for sick kids. Once I went with my husband on a business trip weekend to Peoria, Illinois. Have you ever been to Peoria? Then you know that wasn’t a vacation. One silver lining I see to my current situation is having every other weekend “off.” The first weekend I had was spent catching up on sleep. The second weekend was spent Christmas shopping. During both of these weekends I had a chance to clean the house from ceiling to floor, finished laundry, planned menus, bought groceries, organized, and a lot more. Basically, what normally takes me all week to do while chasing little munchkins can get done in two or three hours on my off days. I can get the house to a baseline level of clean, which is marvelous. It’s beautiful. I should take pictures to show people when they come over to prove that it was clean at one point. But I digress, that is for another post.

This weekend was much more productive. My mom had redecorated her house, and was giving me the old living room carpet to put in our basement for a playroom. My plan was to get it moved over and rolled out. I had the big room downstairs emptied, ready to add about 600 square feet to our living space, but I couldn’t move the stuff over until Saturday. Friday night I had a lovely dinner with my sister, followed by some window shopping. When I got home, I wasn’t ready for bed, and I didn’t want to clean. On a whim, I decided to paint the hall bathroom. That room had been ignored for years until it was fixed up to woo renters. After moving back in, I had wanted it painted but that project was on the back burner. On my mind was lavender, which I thought would look nice with the slate gray tile. But, it was ten o’clock, hardware stores were closed, so what was I to do? I used the paint color we picked out when we first bought the house–an earthy gray tone that (luckily) works beautifully with the tile.

I found the paint can in the basement, unopened for seven years. The label had worn off so I’m not sure what the name of the color is. Thankfully one gallon was enough. Two coats later and the room is mostly done. I have some touch ups and clean ups to finish, but it looks great. In time and with good Target sales, I’ll be finding some pictures and accessories for the room to finish it off. I’m also going through old stuff to see if anything I already have will work. I would like to do some of these home improvement projects using what I already have, since much of it was bought with these intentions.

Saturday, after the second coat of paint, I started working on getting the carpet over. My mom and I were able to load it into the van, but unloading it and getting into the basement would require some extra help. Wonderful Brother-in-Law Rich arrived to help. So between my mom, Rich, and my neighbor who pushed my van out of a snow drift when it got stuck when I was trying to back into my driveway, the playroom was underway. I need to spend a bit more time on Pinterest for more ideas for the playroom. So far, it has carpet, a TV and DVD player, and yeah, that’s it. Come garage sale season, I’m going to look for a cheap kitchen table set so the kids can have an area to color, write, play games, whatever, and for some cheap furniture so they can play movie theater. I have to go slow and be frugal with this project, but I’m excited to give them a big space that is for them, especially when it’s too cold and messy to play outside.

Among those projects, I did my ritualistic cleaning. Woo. I’m fun, I know. And with the energy I had left, I kicked the ass out of most of the remaining snow and ice on my driveway. It felt good. I went to bed last night exhausted, my muscles fatigued, my brain spent, and it all felt good. Accomplishing all of these tasks is good for my soul, since trying to do it with the kids around is difficult if not impossible. I didn’t have to find a sitter, I didn’t have to stop to feed the kids or wipe their butts, I could just go, go, go, until I was ready to stop. I even had a chance to linger around Target for awhile! I had to remind myself that I could linger, but I had to leave eventually because I was starting to get that Target high where you find yourself ready to buy everything. What a rush.

It may be odd to view what I described as a mini-vacation, but for me, it was heaven. I’m glad to have my babies back home with me though. It gets to quiet and too clean when they are gone. But it was fun surprising them with the changes.

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