Well, first of all, you are super excited and scream like a banshee. Which I don't actually know what that is. Once you calm down, you celebrate the rest of your birthday. Then you get your mother's favorite Chicago-style pizza. Yum. And then Oma revealed her plan: She was here for four weeks to clean, cook, and re-decorate. YEAH!
And yes, Germans eat pizza with fork and knife. And yes, I had way too many pieces. With Chicago-style that is probably actually only two.
She was going to clean for me, do laundry every day, do whatever needed to be done. She'd cook every day. And we would re-decorate. You see, I hate my fire place room. Yes, the room that should be the neatest in the house. At this point, I had still visions of it with a lovely couch or fuzzy rug. But instead it was a dump. We have no garage and no pantry. So guess in what room everything ended up in? And then there was the whole living room paint mishap. I had wanted to paint the living room in a certain shade of green. When the paint looked wet, it looked good. But when it dried, it was not great. In fact, it looked like asparagus. We all got used to it but whenever someone visited, there was a certain cringe when they entered the living room. :-) It did wake you up, if nothing else. And our dining room was too small for the furniture from our old house. It was an obstacle course. While that didn't bother me so much, the dump of a fire place room did bother me a lot. Every day. My mom and I talked about it over the phone but I could not see a solution. When she got here, she proposed the following:
Buy a couch!!!! (She hated our old one and it was starting to fall apart)
Re-paint the living room.
Move the pantry and all storage shelves into the old dining room.
Move the dining room into the much larger fire place room.
Seal old dining room with curtains on both entrances so that visitors would not see the junk (or me for that matter)
Get dressers for Nathan's room.
Get dresser for girls' room.
Hang double-curtains in girls' room.
It took me a day to adjust to the thought that my fire place room would never have a pretty two-seater with a fluffy rug in front of it. But after I got over that, it turned out my mom's idea was genius!
I had already started to get rid of stuff we didn't need. So we had a last minute garage sale and get rid of all the stuff that is crowding your house. You know what is awesome? People hauling your stuff away and giving you money for it. That is great! My mom quite enjoyed this. So did Hannah. She was really good (Hannah, that is) and played by us all day.
One of the few things I hated to let go: Abby's little cupboard we bought when she was a baby. For three girls in one room, it simply takes away too much room and offers very little storage. Funny things is, until I saw that pictures I hadn't thought about this furniture piece once.
My favorite picture of Isabelle. Doesn't it look very 80s?
Much to my mom's dismay, she got here during baseball season. Actually she may have just discovered how much she hates baseball. We even had a dry-erase board night where we tried to explain it. To no avail. The nice side-effect of that though was that the girls got to stay home and Oma watched them and cleaned and cooked while we watched the game. It was amazing: I actually knew what Nathan did during the game! But I did miss my girls. It is not the same without them. Oma even kept Hannah and was in complete control. Amazing! And while I was gone, she kept working on stuff, such as deep-cleaning my house. :-)
Isabelle in a beautiful Hanna Andersson dress we found at a thrift store. She loved it. Then she sat in something that created big black stains that won't come out. Grrrrr.
Oma also cut everyone's hair, including my friend Kim's.
Oma and Hannah, best of friends. They got along so well, that Hannah didn't even mind me going away at night to baseball games. And Oma got her to eat real food! Until then, she refused to eat ANY real food. I was up nursing all night again so she would get enough food. Oma getting her to eat real food was a life-saver. Within a few weeks Hannah slept through the night.
What other wonders did Oma perform? Tune in next time!