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We have absolutely no playground equipment in our backyard so we basically mooch off our neighbors, who have a killer swing set and happen to be like the nicest people in Westchester (yes, the ones who baked the banana bread!).

So when my other neighbors (also very nice) wanted to get rid of a plastic toy house, I bounded across the street and was basically willing to show my breasts in-exchange for the house casually mentioned we’d take it.

And then I got a closer look. DIRTY. Like really dirty. Like it came with wildlife.

But no matter. A perfect opportunity to show my girls the meaning of hard work.

About half way through our scrubbing and rinsing, I started to wonder if I should give up teaching my girls the meaning of manual labor and just teach them the value of the American dollar by buying them a brand new, super clean house.

But I couldn’t imagine how to even get rid of this big plastic thing, so we kept scrubbing.

As it happens my friend Lanie (with two year-old twins, and another on the way) was visiting from Atlanta and if you think I’m above putting an exhausted pregnant woman to work, well….

lanie scrubbing

obviously not.

I gave her water breaks.

Um… well, I meant to. And in all fairness, she never mentioned anything about being thirsty.

And as you can see from the photo, the house now looks pretty good. Or at least good enough to play in without getting completely wigged out.

So now we move on to our next project.

Our new TV stand.

Yeah, way back in our city days (like 3 weeks ago), our doorman or super would have put this together for us. Now it sits on our bedroom floor in random, confusing pieces and Rick and I are not sure what to do about it. We would follow the directions except they include no information that would actually assist us in putting this together.

tv stand

I’m thinking that maybe we can just prop the TV on this pile.

P.S. I wanted to keep you all updated on the plight of poor Ruth Madoff. Ella commented that Ruth is not only having trouble securing an apartment, but her hair salon is refusing to highlight her hair. Which we all know is way worse than being homeless.

P.S.S. My mother saw “The Hangover” and thought a) it was hilarious and b) Bradley Cooper is way handsome.Β  I mean, she couldn’t exactly remember the name “Bradley Cooper” but we were easily able to pinpoint the hot guy in the movie.

So great. Now I have to fight Jennifer Aniston, Renee Zellweger and my mother for this man. The whole thing is becoming very high maintenance. And no, because I know you’re wondering, I did not discuss the elevator scene with her. Oh, you know the scene I’m talking about.

40 Responses to pee-wee’s playhouse was far less dirty

  • merlotmom says:

    You’ll have to fight me too, sister! I luvs me the Bradley. BUT…I cannot remember what happened in the elevator. Please, please put me out of my misery. Reminder please

  • stoneskin says:

    I would have gone for an American dollar demonstration, but making a pregnant lady clean the house was a great idea, I’ve made a note of it for any future situations when I need work done…

  • Kirsten says:

    Seriously? You left a building where there is a man who will put together furniture for you?? Seriously????? I might just have to move to NYC.

    I still owe you a name for your new car. I’m thinking Henry for some reason, but that doesn’t seem to fit. I’m still thinking it over.

  • Abby Siegel says:

    You already have a cute husband so stay away from Bradley!!! Us spinsters need love too. Also, after seeing that pic of Lanie I’m glad you turned down my offer to visit this wknd. If I come to the burbs I expect to be pampered and served filet mignon. Just ask my mom. πŸ™‚

  • JoeyfromSC says:

    Nice score on the playhouse;)

    haha@putting the tv on the pile…I am horrible at putting furniture together!! My best friend is genius at it, so I leave all of that to him…I do give direction if needed lol

    Your blog always cracks me up and I appreciate the smiles:)

  • Jennifer H says:

    I’m dying to see that movie! I’ve loved him since Alias…

    You scored, getting that playhouse. Good luck with that TV stand..you might have to learn Mandarin to make any headway there.

  • You’d better start scouting for the next playhouse victim. Because, if you are planning to keep it outside, soon there will be spiders, or cobwebs, or something else that will make the girls squeal in terror and they will cease to play in it. Of course, you can just wait for the next greenhorn suburbanite to show up on your block and palm it off on her.

    Also, Magic Eraser does wonders for clean-up jobs like that.

    Oh, and if that TV stand is a problem, you might want to abandon the idea of ever shopping at IKEA.

    But would your doorman really have put it together for you? I’m stunned. No wonder folks persist in living in the city.

  • kristen says:

    ok, LOVE that you posted that article about ruth madoff, heehee, sort of makes my day.

    we were exactly like you and rick when we first moved here and because my husband is handy-man challenged, (read jewish), i’ve become the ‘super’, ‘doorman’, or dumbass who now does all the assembling and handy repairs and yes, even boiler maintenance.

    and it’s why i’ve got our exit plan in place: girl graduates high school, parents sell house and RUN back to manhattan where girl has a pull-out couch for a bedroom. heehee.

  • Jeanne says:

    The first time I read “I gave her water breaks” for some reason, it translated as “I made her water break.”

    Which, you know, might be a little over the top….

  • jean says:

    I bought a bed frame from Ikea for my daughter’s sorority room which she and I were planning on putting together (chuckle). It came with directions but we quickly realized that there were just too many parts…luckily her friend and boyfriend happened to be coming by and he offered [reluctantly agreed] to put it together for us. During the two hours he methodically followed directions/assembled the thing, it became increasingly plain to see that she and I would have never been up to the task!

  • Wendi says:

    A post that starts off with a dirty playhouse and end with a dirty elevator scene. I smell a Pulitzer here. πŸ™‚

    And the guy in the elevator is Tod Philips, the movie’s director.

  • Don’t you know all suburbanites are required to own a pressure washer? How else do you keep your patio looking crisp and clean and something out of a Pottery Barn summer catalog?

    That playhouse would have been clean in 5 minutes.

  • Kate says:

    having put together baby furniture about 3 months ago… i concur. whoever puts those “instruction” manuals together is either drunk or very, very sarcastic.

  • tracey says:

    Wait a minute: Your dOORMAN WOULD DO IT???

    Oh my gosh. That is the most unusual thing I have ever heard, EVER!

    I am the furniture assembler in my house. Armed with a screwdriver, hammer and butter knife (those are REALLY handy) I can put anything together. I assembled most of our baby furniture with each pregnancy. If not me, then who would do it, eh? NO ONE, that’s who.

  • Oh, I hate the diagrams, the tiny little things that look sort of like screws but aren’t, exactly. The “some assembly required” footnote is the bane of my existence. Find a handyman, fast!

  • Suzie says:

    Awesome post! I can’t believe you put the pregnant mom to work, though! Have you no shame? πŸ™‚ She’s a keeper, tho! And I can’t put anything together, which is why we never buy stuff from IKEA. Thanks for a great MamaBird fix!

  • MN Mama says:

    Holy buckets! Lanie it pregnant! I am so excited! I love the picture. I announced it my kitchen. Isabelle came over to see the picture and wanted to how the baby gets in there. Todd is right now explaining how the sperm and the egg get together. Ugh! Have a super day!

  • We have a very dirty plastic house on our back deck. We bought it for Oliver on his 2nd birthday thinking it would be a huge hit. It’s only two years later that anyone plays with it. And by “playing with it” I mean Oliver climbing on top of it and standing. I hate that hideous piece of crap. We’d trash it – but that would involve taking it apart. And the lethargy that sets in when I consider that project makes me consider moving into a new house with a plastic crap-free deck.

  • MommyTime says:

    I have discovered that all “some assembly required” items (with the possible exception of sandwiches) assume that you have a whole lot of experience assembling — preferably things you designed yourself. And they tend to think you own a lot of tools.

  • Ella says:

    Thanks for the shout out πŸ™‚
    I only speak IKEA, so I can’t help you with the TV stand.
    I too am a little surprised that furniture assembly is part of a doorman’s duty. Now I can see the attraction when you read real estate ads and they say “doorman” along with 2b 1.5ba…
    My kid had a playhouse–it became overrun with spiders and now it is the chicken coop.
    Just hose that muthah down every week or so and you’ll be fine.

  • Aunt Marcia (Guess Whose?) says:

    You married a Jewish man…they are not known for being able to change a light bulb. My father was considered the ‘handyman’ among our relatives because he could hang a picture on the wall without banging his finger or demolishing the wall. We were lucky….

  • Inna says:

    I can come build it for you. As long as you don’t mind if it gets build backwards… cause that’s how I built our nightstand. And then I spent the next 2 hrs removing all the nails which I had diligently hammered quite well. The fiance barely (as in he made fun of me all day) noticed the major holes on the “right” side of the thing… stupid ikea and their strange instructions.

  • misty says:

    we just bought a tv stand from ikea and put it together. you really should have gone that route… though the instructions are equally as helpful, they entertain you with the drawings of naked obese people who are, quite oddly, genderless- assembling their own version of your furniture…

  • Betsy says:

    Hints for the suburburbs
    1. A power washer is very handy. My neighbors borrow ours all the time.
    2. to get rid of anything large, but still in okay shape- dirt is not generally a problem- set it on the curb with a FREE sign. It will be gone overnite.
    3. To assemble furniture. look at the pictures on the box. They are often more helpful than the directions. Or invite handy friends out for a visit. Or if you get really desperate try the local phone listings for handyman. There are people out there you can pay to put stuff together. If you lived a lot closer I could put it together for you. Good luck.

  • I feel like I can come here and consult your blog for how to make it in the suburbs. I am one month behind you (we move from the “city” this Wednesday) and thanks to you, I have a step-by-step tutorial on what to do (secure backyard playground equipment is number one).

    The only thing you can’t help me with is how to put together a TV stand.

    That’s OK. I guess you can’t know everything about the suburbs. (Which is probably a good thing.)

  • Oz says:

    We got a hand-me-down plastic house recently, too. We sprayed it off with the hose and planned to scrub it with bleach but then I went and had a baby, so it’s going to stay dirty awhile longer. I’m telling myself all that dirt is building my son’s immune system.

  • Lanie's mom says:

    Kelsey, you are so lucky to have a friend like Lanie but not as lucky as we are to have her as our daughter. Love the picture of Lanie and Flectcher (who peed in the potty yesterday for the 1st time). Advise from 45 years of marriage, avoid assembly required–go to the movies instead.

  • Lanie says:

    I was happy to help with the playhouse. Have the girls played in it yet? It was so great to see you. I would not have been much help with the TV stand. . .

  • Julie B. says:

    Feel free to bring the kids over to play in our backyard oasis of kid crap. We’re practically neighbors…Katie has everything to do, but has this ridiculous notion that I should play with her because she doesn’t want to play by heeerrssseeelf…

  • Valerie says:

    Lanie looks great! But I also thought at first that you made her water break — I’m glad that was not the case. I haven’t yet seen the Hangover, but now I REALLY want to.

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kelcey kintner