Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Makeover Mayhem

One day last spring, I was lamenting the perpetually chaotic state of my older girls' (10&12) room. Holy toledo, it was bad! So I threatened my daughters with, "One of these days you're going to come home from school and find that I've cleaned, de-cluttered, and rearranged your room the way I want!"

I expected some eye-rolling in return, but what I got was two wide grins and two enthusiastic OKAY's!

Dang it.

So I struck a deal with my girls: if they would watch the two younger children for me, I would lock myself in their room and prepare a surprise makeover. They readily agreed.

Daughter #1 is a ginormous fan of "Lord of the Rings." Daughter #2 loves monkeys. The room decor evolved into something like "Lord of the Monkeys." (The motherless living room and kitchen, meanwhile, were more like "Lord of the Flies," but that's another story.)

Long story short, it was a BOATLOAD of work! I had furniture, power tools, sewing equipment, painting supplies, and hardware scattered from corner to corner. There was stud-finding, counter-sinking of screw heads (I might be a wee bit proud of that one), hot-glue, repairing of dresser drawers, duct tape, shelf-building, custom-sewn bedding, yard-sale scavenging, and hours upon hours of peeling extra vinyl around quotes from "Lord of the Rings."

Here's where Year of No Fear came in (aside from tackling a gargantuan project that I put off for 4 months . . . ): Not long before my self-imposed deadline, I ran to Wal-Mart to quickly purchase some monkey fabric for a bulletin board. As I was choosing my fabric, the fabric girl wandered out of the fabric section. I waited at the counter for her to cut my fabric (that's 5 "fabric"s in 3 sentences, if you're wondering), but several minutes went by with no assistance. I even dinged the "ring for help" bell! I hate dinging those bells. It makes me feel all bossy and pushy. (Stop mocking me.)

I was anxious to get back home and nobody was coming! More customers were beginning to line up behind me. One lady had even gone to automotive to request a page, but no luck. So I stood there feeling more and more irritated. Visions danced through my head of a smug fabric girl engaged in all sorts of irresponsible, time-wasting activities while I stood helplessly waiting!

Then a thought came to me: If I was my friend, K, who's not the kind to stand around waiting for assistance, what would I be doing? I would be picking up the fabric desk phone and demanding some help, that's what! (K later confirmed that I was correct.) So I did! I picked up the phone, hit some numbers until someone answered (the fitting room, as luck would have it?), and explained my plight.

Turns out the fitting room carries about as much clout as automotive. Nobody appeared.

By now I had been waiting at least 15 minutes. What would K do next, I wondered? Of course she would pick up that fancy pricing gun, print her own sticker, cut her own fabric, and skitter off to the checkout stand, that's what! (K informs me that I was WRONG, but I didn't know that until later.) So I grabbed the pricing gun, scanned my fabric bolt, and started fiddling around, trying to get it to print a sticker.

You know, they make that look really easy. IT'S NOT. Ten minutes later, when the fabric girl FINALLY showed up, I was still punching buttons with a furrowed brow. Upon being caught red-handed, I immediately decided that the poor girl had probably been the helpless victim of sudden and prolonged gastrointestinal distress, and who was I to judge? I sheepishly handed over the gun with a flimsy apology, which she sheepishly took with NO apology (it's hard to apologize for gastrointestinal attacks), and nothing more was spoken while she cut and priced my fabric.

My audacious courage didn't save me any time, but I did watch her like a hawk so the next time she goes AWOL, I'll be all over that pricing gun!

The makeover was a success, and the children survived their week as orphans. (Yes, that's a hammock. She's slept in it going on 2 years now. I will either be known as the coolest mom ever, or the chiropractor's standing Caribbean cruise fund.)

My Belated Wednesday question for you:
Who wants to makeover the younger kids' room?

Ha, just kidding.



Bean said...

Wow! I love the room. I need you to come help me at my house! I love to do that kind of stuff but it's always so hard when your kids don't want to keep it looking nice.

bestgrandkidsever said...

Awesome makeover!! Lucky daughters!!

Anonymous said...

My son slept in a hammock in his Hawaiian room for two years, until he announces one day the hammock was stunting his growth. We all laughed, because we knew our families short genes had doomed his growth long before the hammock did!!

Love the room!

Laura said...

Holy cow! I am so impressed. (And here I thought painting my living room was so impressive. . .) If I didn't live 5 hours away and have to work 92 hours in the next 10 days, I would totally come help you with the other room.

Jill said...

You are definitely the coolest mom ever! The room looks great!

Mandi said...

I'm lovin' your professional site! Aunt Arlene (hmm, can I call her that, too?) says we should trade secrets. I'm sooo not a professional-- I have nothing to give. But we should definitely "trade"! It'll be soo one-sided :). Anyway, about Aunt Arlene, I have yet to learn the secret family recipe of her bread. She's kind enough to stoop to my level and she says she'll teach me. . .

Savannah said...

I love how you did the room! And just FYI for everyone, it looks even better in person! VERY impressive! I don't think I could do all of that by myself, I'd get too overwhelmed! Way to take charge at WalMart. We have the WORST Wally World in history here in Medford. I love that you tried to take care of yourself! That's awesome! I'm not that brave, but maybe next time I'll try!

Mrs. B said...

Aw, shucks, thanks y'all. Bean's right - I'd rather look at the pictures than the actual room, which is a tad messier now.

Mom - no luckier than yours!

Anonymous - Hilarious! Can I tease him about that in a couple of years?

Laura - your living room is VERY impressive! Prepped, painted, and cleand up in 90 minutes? I'm insanely jealous!

Jill - How the heck did I redo a room with so little Ikea merchandise?

Mandi - you'll be ruined for all other bread! Feel free to call her Aunt Arlene, and perhaps you'd like to know (or not) that Bob goes by Hunkle/Punkle Bob around here! I'd love to trade the very few secrets I have.

Savannah - I got overwhelmed just READING your last work post! I will never in my entire life be that organized or efficient.