This weekend, my Mom came down from Deland and stayed overnight. We were renovating Tatiana's room, and she came down to help.

She was a great help. We couldn't have done it without her. I just wish I had an extra room, because she insisted on sleeping on the couch.

We had already emptied most of the room before she got here. This was a considerable source of consternation to me. We had just cleaned the house for Tatiana's birthday party, and we'd managed to keep it mostly clean for three weeks before Eri emptied out Kayla's room. That mess stayed in our living room for two weeks. It was really depressing.

When I came home on Friday, I found a replay of the earlier debacle. The living room was full of Tatiana's belongings, and the hallway was stuffed with bookcases so it was as narrow as a submarine corridor. But they'd painted the room, and it looked great! Yellow on the bottom, lilac on the top.

We spent the night planning Saturday's activities. Rather than buying the expensive full-sized loft bed at Ikea, we decided to find or build a loft kit for Tatiana's bunk bed. (The two bunks are separated; Kayla's got the other half in her own room.) Then we'd stop by Lowe's to pick up a closet organizer kit, which I would build.

Saturday morning we threw that plan out the window and went to Ikea. We wasted 30 minutes trying to rent a truck, then decided to strap the boxes to the roof. We wanted to get in and out, but we spent more than an hour there.

We spent most of Saturday building the beds. We had gotten Tatiana to disassemble her bed, so I reassembled it in Kayla's room and put the bunk beds back together while Grandma, Eri, and Tatiana tried to assemble her bed.

When they got tired of that, they boosted out to Lowe's to pick up the closet kit. Melissa and I assembled the loft bed while they were gone. They had put a couple of the pieces on backwards, but we managed to compensate without disassembling.

When they got back, the bed was mostly put together. We finished up the bunk beds while they finished the bed. (I lifted an entire bed on to the top by myself. It just seemed easier than interrupting everyone to get help.)

It was too late, and we were all too tired, to put together the closet kit. It was one of those hanging-rail things, so I laid it out on the floor to show everybody my plans.

Sunday I installed the rails while Eri, Grandma, and Tatiana went out to get... I can't remember what. By the time they came back with lunch, I had the thing together. Then Tatiana reassembled her room while I rested. I forced her to vacuum, and she yelled at Grandma -- so she didn't get to go to Bed, Bath, and Beyond to get her new sheets, curtains, and lamps.

The family was coming over for a visit (and to pick up Grandma), so we started cleaning the house. Tatiana couldn't make rational choices about what to keep and what to give away, so we put all her remaining stuff in the garage. I warned her that in two weeks I'm taking anything left to Goodwill.

We had about 15 minutes to enjoy our clean house before the family arrived. I cannot describe the satisfaction of sitting in your own clean house. It was marvelous.

Now we've cleaned out the main house, Kayla's room, and Tatiana's room. Melissa's room is next, but it'll have to wait until we've saved a little more money. She wants an actual loft covering about 1/4 of her room. After that, we'll have to approach the master bedroom, which is a job I'm not looking forward to.

Tatiana is happy with her room, and I've got my clean house back. Everybody's happy.