Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Grammy Comes To Visit - Part 1

Drum roll, please! Yes, I'm finally writing about my mom's visit. I hope it meets expectations!

Before I write about the time we actually spent together, I feel that I should mention about all the work I did before my mom came. There is no explanation for this but I always put a lot of thought into getting our house ready for my mom (or both of my parents) when she visits. One of the great things about my parents is that they love my siblings and I just the way we are, flaws and all. It is not necessary to impress them or try to earn their love each time we meet but I still always want to put my best foot forward so that I can show them that all their hard work was not in vain. They turned out a responsible adult and they should be able to enjoy the fruits of that. Right?!

One of my biggest goals was to finish the walls in Natsuki's room before my mom got here. Chikara had to go to a conference for 3 days the week before my mom came and at first I thought the timing was lousy but then I realized that with Chikara gone I could get a lot more work done (silver lining!). I managed to finish puttying every square inch of the walls and the day before my mom came, I sanded the walls and painted them white. A friend of mine who is a contractor was able to find some FREE leftover white paint from a job he had finished. I had pretty much decided on the paint color for the walls but I wanted to get my mom's opinion so I was relieved to at least have the white paint so the walls would have more of a finished look to them than just the putty. These are some pictures of the room before we moved the bed in there for her.

You can kind of see that there's still an unfinished part on the wall where the hole used to be. I followed my contractor friend's advice and cut a larger hole so that the patched area could be stronger. I went to a home center that's farther away from our house to buy sheetrock because I heard that they sold smaller pieces which is what I wanted. When I got there I discovered that they did sell smaller squares but you had to buy four at a time and the price was $12. One regular-sized piece of sheetrock was only $3 but so big and heavy that it was awkward for me to carry around. I decided to just get the big piece but when I took a look at them, they had two difference thicknesses of sheetrock, 9.5mm and 12.5mm. The 9.5mm thickness didn't look right so I took a sheet from the 12.5mm pile. When I got to the register, Sakura and Misaki were fighting about something so I didn't check with the lady about the thickness. I'm sure you can see where I'm going with this. I wrangled the sheetrock into the car BY MYSELF (seriously, it was weird that no one came to help me), wrangled it out of the car, measured twice, cut once, got it all the way upstairs only to discover it was not thick enough. The piles must've been mixed up. Grrr. At that point I didn't have anymore time to fiddle with it before my mom came so I just left the not-thick-enough piece in there so it didn't look quite so scary.

Another funny thing that happened was when I opened the cannister of white paint. There was something floating in it and when I glanced in, it was furry and covered in white paint and for a brief second I thought it might be a mouse. I slammed the lid shut and stood there for a few seconds unwilling to look again. I realized that nothing was moving so I opened it again and when I got a good look I realized that there were five rollers floating in the paint! Obviously they didn't anticipate that anyone else was going to use it so they had just left it that way. My heart was beating so fast. I had a good chuckle but then I still had to figure out how to take the rollers out without getting paint everywhere!

I also organized closets and washed sheets and cleared corners until I finally ran out of time and momentum. Chikara wasn't sure why I was so bent on getting everything done but I wanted it all out of the way before my mom came so we could just enjoy our time together.

Finally the day came for mom to arrive and the girls and I were so excited that we could hardly concentrate on anything else. We got to the airport a little early but once we checked the arrival boards, we realized that we were going to have a lot of time on our hands because almost all incoming flights were delayed by an hour or more. Fortunately Kansai Airport is a place we all enjoy so we ate some dinner and then found a wide area for the girls to run around without annoying *too* many other people. Then we got some coffee and dessert at Starbucks and went down to wait for my mom to get through immigration and get her bags.

When she did come through the doors, there were hugs all around except for Natsuki who wasn't too sure about Grammy. After a few minutes, she did talk to Grammy but definitely didn't want to be held. We figured we had two whole weeks for Natsuki to get to know Grammy so we didn't push it. I should've taken a picture at this point but we were just so glad that mom had finally arrived that we whisked her away to the car and started for home.

Once we got home, Grammy opened her suitcases and gave each of the girls a present. Misaki immediately asked about her birthday present but Grammy said she had to wait. Once the girls were in bed, mom got out all the other stuff she had brought for us. My dad had been gathering tools and supplies from the home center to help me complete my project and soon there was a huge pile in the middle of the living room. I almost wanted to start puttying and painting right then and there. Tools are way too much fun. Thanks Dad for all your hard work. I'm now well-equipped to tackle any project in the house!

Next out of her suitcase were magazines and books and snacks, basically a lot of stuff I had requested, and once all that was out, mom had emptied one whole suitcase. I kind of felt bad that she had had to carry all of that around for us but I was glad to see it all, too. Again, I should've taken a picture since it was a magnificent sight. I thought for sure that mom would be exhausted by this point in the day but we ended up talking for a few more hours before we all reluctantly went to bed.

The next few days were spent mostly at home. Emi and Misaki had school and I had to teach English on the Tuesday. Mom was waking up early each morning due to her jetlag but we would still stay up late at night talking anyways. We made some plans for the next few days. One of the main events that mom came for was Misaki's preschool recital which was on the Thursday and then Friday we would be at home again but on Saturday Chikara would be home so we could use the car and go do some shopping. I wanted to buy material for curtains and duvet covers for Emi & Misaki's new room but I didn't want to drag everyone through the fabric store. Chikara said we could go by ourselves but I'll tell that story in a minute...


Anonymous said...

I think that room looks awesome! Good job!! It seems so far like you had a great visit. Can't wait to hear more!!!

Love Kim!

Christelle said...

Your Mom looks so young! She doesn't look like a Granny yet :) Looking forward to hearing more about your visit. (And I'm very impressed with your handywoman skills as well).

Kim said...

Hi! I'm so glad to see you've started your update! I've been looking forward to hearing all about that remodeling job! And it is so great your Mom got to come too!

Anonymous said...

The walls look great. Your mom was very impressed with the quality of the finish that you have achieved and I can tell that is not easy impressing her with things around the house. She even implied in so many words that you did a better job than I normally do. I was crushed to say the least. It was a pleasure getting you all of the tools, books and DVD's?videos. I look forward to the rest of the story. Love, Dad

Andrea said...

The room looks great! I totally agree about wanting something finished and out of the way so you don't have to worry about it. That stinks about the sheetrock though. Naturally it would be wrong because you worked so hard to get it!

It sounds like it was a wonderful visit and it's so great to see your mom with your girls!