Today was so filled with exhausted happiness. Not only because the girls had a great party, but because the weight of my horrible house was finally lifted off my shoulders today.
I'll talk about my house and then about the girls. But first a couple of pictures because, well, because.
We bought this house primarily because it's a big open floor plan and we pictured kids running from one end of the house to the other. Lots of space to play, we could have people over, it's great that way.
But then my cats got a hold of it. A few years after we moved in, we replaced the carpet that was here because it wasn't all that great and my cats had begun to pee on it. We were going to do so well at keeping it clean and not let it get gross again, cleaning up any urine spots instantly and really trying to redirect the cats back to the litter boxes. But my cats are simply more powerful than my carpet cleaner (not to mention they're total assholes) and within a year it was disgusting again.
Then I had twins and the house got awful. We started using about half of the house has just a perpetual storage area, throwing shit in there that we didn't want to deal with. When the girls started spending time on the floor, we slowly began to pull out the carpet and put down laminate flooring. One room at a time that we could then completely baby proof and turn into a giant baby cage.
Just before the girls first birthday, we finished the main area of the house. We put up baby gates to blockade the room of perpetual storage and just let it ferment. It's been so gross, and so buried in general crap and stuff that I've been feeling buried and caged in to this one big room of the house. All the crap was within eyesight and all of the gross was within smell distance.
The last few months it's really been getting to me. I've been almost depressed because of the buried feeling. Couldn't really invite anyone over because even when in the decent part of the house, I was always paranoid that the person was just holding their nose and counting the minutes until they could politely leave. And of course, I wondered if it lowered peoples opinion of me, like the gross became a part of me.
But no more! K has been off work the last week so he could spend time with his father who is in town from Florida for the girls birthday. Between day trips with him and life in general, K and I (mostly K) have been working our asses off getting the house ready for a birthday party. Several trips to the dump, completely redoing the backyard to make a nice play space for the girls, and of course pulling up that horrible carpet and putting down laminate.
It's done!!! The house is almost completely opened up to the girls now. There's a small section that's still gated off because my parents treadmill is taking up space until they move it in a month or two, but for the most part the house is open! OMG and it's fucking cleanable!! The carpet was so bad and there was so much garbage that it just wasn't cleanable. Now, I can sweep real quick, do spot wipes of the floor where needed and take the steam mop to it every few days to sanitize and de-sticky. I can have friends over! People can walk through my door without me apologizing profusely for living this way! And the girls can run!
Today we had a great party for the girls. I honestly didn't think many people would be interested in coming over to watch two toddlers eat cake, but a lot of people did. I think I have to accept that more people enjoy our company than I tend to realize.
The day just went right. The girls went down for their nap about 1pm and were both asleep within minutes. That NEVER happens. Especially Middie Biddie, but it did today! They got up around 4pm so we were able to give them some dinner before people started arriving at 4:30pm.
We had their new water table and sandbox set up in the backyard and once some of the kids were here, everyone went outside to play. All the kids had a great time, Teeny Tiny required 2 wardrobe changes from soaking herself with water then getting in the sandbox. The kids were aged 2-9 and all played together with no meltdowns. It was awesome! K fired up the grill and his father brought over some awesome seafood and everyone pigged out on burgers and scallops. I wish I had taken pictures of all the kids playing in the yard, but I was so pooped from prepping the house that I just wanted to live it rather than bother recording it.
About 5:30pm, we got out the cakes - two small ones for the girls (because they were so dainty with their first year smash cakes, I wanted a second shot at it) and then a big one for the rest of the party. We set them up in their table, stuck hats on their heads and I informed the party of how we'll do the happy birthday song. We sing it twice, first for Teeny Tiny, then again for Middie Biddie. We sang and presented them with their cakes and let them do what they wanted to do while we served cake and ice cream to the rest of the party.
Teeny Tiny refused to let go of a Dorito chip and sometimes used it as a scoop for her cake. There was a hysterical moment where Teeny Tiny slid Middie Biddies cake over to her and I thought "Oh crap, here we go, let the cake flinging and toddler meltdowns begin" but then she immediately slid her cake over to Middie Biddie! She swapped the cakes a few times and it was so funny!
Then the girls opened presents and there were new toys and paper shrapnel everywhere. Middie Biddie and her cousin played a chasing game and it just thrilled me to watch her truly playing WITH another kid and not just in the area of another kid.
The party wound down, we put the girls to bed after everyone left, and they spent about 2 hours laughing their heads off before finally falling asleep.
One other little home making thing we did today. On either side of one of our closets, there's a small amount of white wall. I assigned one side for Teeny Tiny, the other for Middie Biddie, and I had them stand in their spots, put a book on their head, and marked their height. It's a little thing, but it's a quintessential "this is our home" kind of thing that I finally started today.
I've said before that I'm not a big fan of babies. Never liked them, don't think I ever will. But I like kids. I've always wanted kids. After 5 years of struggle, 2 twin pregnancies, lots of IVF, loss, two newborns at a time, post partum depression, struggle and strife, I actually, finally have KIDS. It's a great day, let the games begin!