My in-laws are visiting for 17 DAYS. Not that I'm counting or anything, but we're only on day 4. (Lord, help me...)
In preparation for their visit, which only happens every couple of years, I went nuts on our house -- organizing, cleaning, sprucing things up. It was absolutely exhausting, but I'm really pleased with how things look right now. Our sun porch, which is also our entryway, used to be a dumping ground for everything we couldn't fit in the house. It's where we had the trash can, recycling, extra pots and pans, our second fridge, R's bike, all of our shoes, outside toys, etc. It was a mess. So I cleaned it all up, threw out a bunch of stuff, brought all the kitchenware back into the kitchen, and even created a little place to sit and put on shoes. The porch needs a coat of paint and a new rug (and a new ceiling and light fixture and...), but it looks 1000 times better than it did. It's open and airy and clean now, and when you enter our house, it actually looks inviting. Yay!
In the living room, I organized 90% of the Lego sets and put them in bins, updated my mantlescape with new framed photos and artwork, and put gifts from the in-laws on display. The coffee table is still covered in Legos, but since it's really the only place for R to play and spread out, that's fine with me.
For the kitchen, I picked up two new tablecloths and a few sets of cloth napkins. We've been using cloth napkins as much as possible recently to save paper, but usually we just use plain white ones. I turn them inside out and refold them repeatedly so we can use them several times before I wash them. (Is that gross?) But, with company here, I wanted to have something nicer. We're not tablecloth people normally, except for major holidays. Okay, really, just on Thanksgiving. Our kitchen table is beat up and nicked and has white rings on it, and we don't mind at all. I like furniture that looks well-loved and used. But A's family is a lot more formal. They use the nice china and tablecloths and crystal every time they entertain.
So, on Wednesday evening after all my preparations, we had A's parents over for dinner. We had a really nice visit and dinner together. (The next night was another matter, but I digress...) Here's what I learned, though: Never to try to pretend that you live differently than you actually do. Because after I had set the table for dinner, R wandered through the kitchen and exclaimed in earshot of my mother-in-law, "Wow, Mommy! What is this thing on the table? It's so nice! Where did you get it? It looks so special! I really like the covering! Look at these fancy napkins!"
What could I do but laugh? I love my sweet little man. Even when he totally rats me out. :-)