Saturday, September 25, 2010


My Mattie turned 11 yesterday.
It's hard to reconcile the 11 year old with the smiling pink little bundle I brought home from a Boston hospital...the baby who was so angelic that I had to ask my mother if I should wash her clothes when I changed her into her pajamas because they were still so clean...the baby who slept through the night from about the first night on...who sat with a basket of books at age one and amused herself for hours...the little girl I cannot remember ever throwing a temper tantrum....who loved school from the moment she began at age four...who had the cutest imaginary friends named Curtsy, The Stinker, and the the Skunk Family....who is so remarkably good she has only gotten in trouble at school only once...who makes me laugh with her fantastical ideas...who is as cool as her father and as creative as her grandma, who just this week asked me if she was normal because she is always done with her schoolwork first and fastest....well....maybe its not so hard to reconcile after all. It just went by so fast.  She is such a help to us...unloading the dishwasher ever night, watching her siblings, helping at church, learning to cook.  I was determined to give this sweet girl a wonderful birthday present:

So I planned her surprise room redo. The minute she left for school, I dug in to the plan.  But by 10 a.m. I was ready to sit down and cry.  By then, a bagel had gotten caught in the toaster and sent plumes of sickening black smoke through the house.  I realized with disgust that the upstairs air conditioner was broken...again.  The paint I chose to paint the ceiling...and painting ceilings is something I detest...was all clashed with everything.  And the desk I was trying to spray paint was covered in runs.  At that point, I was pretty sure there was no way I could possibly finish on time and I was utterly discouraged.  Running to the store for more paint meant getting cleaned up and wasting more time.  It didn't look good.

But, I knew I had some white paint left from the walls and if I used that, I might be able to rush the paint job since I wouldn't have to worry about cutting in.  I asked Robb to get me more paint on his lunch break and I dug into painting the dresser drawers.   By three thirty, I had the dresser and the desk and the ceiling painted, with the air conditioning man installing a new fan motor.  A roast was in the oven and the birthday cake was made.  Painting without the air conditioning was miserable, but I think I sweated out the last of the virus that has been kicking our bums all week.

Robb came home early to help me load in the room.  I had uncharacteristically planned where everything should go so I could bark out orders while hanging the bulletin board I made from a ceiling tile, and positioning the paper lanterns I found on clearance at Pier One. New bedskirt, sheets, and the bedspread I dyed the day before, plus the pillow cover I sewed really came together on the bed, and the new plants look super cute.  The end result, as you can see, has a great retro vibe that is not to little -girlish and not too grown up.  Her dad is tempted to hang out in the seating area  to watch an old movie with the kids and I am tempted by the craft table.   All of the bright colors she loves pop against the white walls and ceiling.

She was so thrilled and surprised, she could hardly talk.  She said her knees felt funny.  Then she said she would be staying in her room permanently and that I should bring her meals on a tray because she was never leaving.  She said she was the happiest girl in the world.

Little did she know that before she had birthday cake, she would open her very own cell phone.  We probably went a little over the top, but this sweet girl deserved it.


betty crocker said...

Ok, I admit, that made a little weepy...I love that girl, no matter how big she gets!

Gingiber said...

That is so precious! What a lucky 11 year old to have such an amazing room!

Mother B said...

Happy Birthday are very special and isn't your Momma and Daddy the bomb! I can't wait to come and see it in person.

Sara said...

I remember Curtsy...

carahinojosa said...

You are amazing. Please come to Sugar Land and do something about my sorry bedroom.

Life with Kaishon said...

That is it.
You are the very best Mom on the planet! And, you have just given me the most fantastic idea! For Kaishon's birthday, that is what I am going to do! Redo his room! I am so excited. I am calling my boss right this second to make sure I can take that day off! Oh, I am so excited.

Thank you for helping me be a better Mommy!

I love that she is such a good girl and a blessing. She is a treasure!

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