Week 12: Monday

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Mandy cradled her daughter in her arms while Frank tossed Parker in the air. It was 3:00am and they had been woken up three times that night by their children’s fussing. Matilda in particular was hard to please. “Come on, Honey. Smile for Mommy. Pretty please? Won’t you give Mommy a pretty smile, Matilda?” she begged. Matilda just wailed and screamed, which made Parker wail and scream, too.

“Ouch!” Frank yelped, hopping on one foot while still trying to calm his son. Mandy looked over at him with a furrowed brow.

“What happened?”

“I just tripped over Matilda’s teddy bear. Why isn’t it in her crib?” he grumbled with frustration. “There’s just not enough room to be leaving toys around.”

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“She must have thrown it on the floor in one of her tantrums and I didn’t notice. Sorry, Sweetie,” Mandy apologized. It really is getting too crowded in this house, she thought to herself. When I built the Charm Manor, I didn’t take into account the fact that Dad might still be living when I had my own children. In any case, Matilda and Parker can’t share a room for much longer, anyway, and they certainly can’t stay in our room forever. I have to do something to fix that.

“There’s just not enough room in this house for eight people,” Frank sighed. “It’s sweet that you’re letting your sister’s family stay here, Mandy, but even you have to admit it’s getting to be too much. With your father needing more and more supervision and medical care and Josiah, Marcie and Christopher taking up space, and the babies in constant need of attention, maybe it’s time to admit you can’t handle it anymore,” he told her gently. Mandy glared at her husband.

“I refuse to kick my sister and her family out, if that’s what you’re suggesting, Frank,” she said coldly. “I love them all. They are all my family and therefore they all stay in the Charm Manor. It’s the way my mother wanted it and she entrusted me to carry on her legacy. I won’t disgrace her memory by throwing away all she worked for and disregarding her wishes as to what should be done in this family!” Frank sighed.

“You’re right. I’m sorry for suggesting that, but we still need to do something to fix this predicament. It’s driving me crazy, tripping over toys in the living room and trying to sleep with two screaming children two feet away from me,” he persisted. Mandy nodded. She’d agree with that, at least. She’d almost broken  her leg the other day tripping over a toy boat Parker had left on the stairs. She bit her lip, thinking. The floor plan they had now was only suited to make rooms bigger, not add rooms. The rooms themselves were a good size for the family, there just weren’t enough rooms.

“I’ll try to think of something, but let’s just try to get the kids to sleep first. I’m exhausted,” Mandy yawned, continuing to cradle Matilda.

Once Parker and Matilda were finally asleep again, Mandy went to bed brainstorming ideas for creating more space in the mansion.

The next morning before Mandy had to go to work, she could be seen in the dining room, with stacks of large papers littering the entire table. She had a pencil and various protractors out, intently drawing up the new renovations to the house. Whenever someone tried to interrupt her to ask what she was up to, she would tell them to shush and let her be. No one argued with the Charm heiress.

Finally, just as her carpool honked from the road, Mandy grinned and held up a large sheet with the Charm Manor’s new extension. She had finally come up with a way to extend the second floor without compromising the beauty and elegance of the building’s outer shape. She grinned and rolled it up, placing it in her briefcase. “Bye everyone! I have the new floorplan done! I’m taking it to City Hall to get the building permit now!” she announced.

When she arrived home again, she was practically skipping. She ran into the living room, waving the blueprints in the air. “We have a building permit!” she squealed. “We need to get building right away!”

Marcie offered up her promotion money from being promoted to Top Gun to help pay for the extension after looking over the drawings and approving of them. She was still in her new uniform and Christopher couldn’t stop blabbering about how cool his mom looked. She was only one promotion away from achieving her life’s dream of becoming an astronaut.

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Mandy got to work right away, hiring contractors to come and begin building. The family had to live in a warzone for a few months while it was finished up, but everyone was glad for the extra space they would have once it was finished, especially Mandy and Frank, who were more than sick of sharing a room with two fussy babies.

When it was finished, Mandy brought her entire family upstairs to see her floorplan put into action. “Well, at first I thought it would be impossible to extend the second floor without having to butcher the first floor of the house,” she explained. “Then I got this idea; pillars! If I had pillars placed at the back of the house, it would provide support for extra rooms without having to touch the first floor at all. And with the new overhang at the back of the house, we can put a perfect garden patio overlooking the cliff underneath it, so the back will look just as elegant and sophisticated as the front,” she beamed.

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“Wow, impressive,” Josiah nodded with a smile.

“Now there have been three more rooms added to the second floor. The two rooms off to either side are Parker’s and Matilda’s new bedrooms, and the room in the middle is the new playroom. No more tripping over toys around the house,” she boasted. “Of course, if we ever need another bedroom, the playroom can easily be converted to one,” she added.

“Mandy, this looks amazing,” Marcie said, nodding her head in approval of the new addition. “This is exactly what everyone needed. I was getting really annoyed with having to turn the volume up on the television to drown out Parker throwing his blocks around. No offense, kiddo, but your aunt likes having her child-free zones,” she chuckled, ruffling Parker’s hair. Parker giggled and squirmed in his father’s arms.

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“Hee hee, playroom  for me n’ Mattie!” he shrieked. Mandy and Frank gasped.

“Who taught you how to talk, Parker?” Frank asked.

“Uncle Joseeah,” he replied, pointing to Josiah, who smiled sheepishly.

“I had some extra time on my hands,” he explained with a shrug. “I got promoted to Quartet Member and Parker was the first person to congratulate me,” he chuckled.

Mandy and Frank introduced their children to their new bedrooms. Matilda was just as grouchy in her new room as she was with her parents. Parker liked his new room until he realized that he couldn’t share it with his sister and started wailing. “But I want Mattie!” he wailed. Soon enough, Parker got used to sleeping without his sister. Besides, she was always there to play with during the day.

The new extension to the Charm Manor made life a lot easier for the Charm family.

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