As much as we were NOT looking forward to the moving process, the purple mats didn’t want to be moved either. The mats… Oh my! Our purple mats were so securely stuck to the floor of the Kindermusik room, they had become ONE with the floor. I had to buy a long handled scraper, and it still took two of us over an hour to remove just one. And that is just a smidgeon of the story about moving our Kindermusik studio to our new location at United Methodist Temple: 2700 S. Florida Ave. Lakeland, FL.
These soft and comfortable large purple mats, from Gorilla Mats, were a considerable investment I made for our Kindermusik families when we moved to our room at the Redemption Church in June. They were recommended by a fellow Kindermusik educator who loves hers. And I HAD to find an alternative to the primary colored square foam puzzle mats, which were soooo distracting. Do you hate those foam puzzle mats too?
As soon as I stepped on these 8 mm yoga mats, my body relaxed… it felt kind of magical. And I love the deep purple color, of course. My Kindermusik families agreed it has been so much more comfortable throughout our circle time and musical play on the floor. We end most every class laying down on these mats, watching the dancing lights, listening to relaxing music. Recently, we have started saying that we are going to “Relaxing Land” (based on how we end one of our circle dance songs, Clapping Land.. It is a routine we all look forward to, even some of the most active children, once they get into the ritual nature of this time together.
Because of how intensely these mats stuck to the clear coat on that painted cement floor, we were not sure what it would take to remove them intact. These mats were my highest concern for getting moved in top condition to the new studio. It would have been so much easier to buy new ones, but I am the type of person who does not like to waste… the product… or the money. (We had only been using them since June.) Often that means it costs more in time, and that was certainly the case here.
Unfortunately, my husband and son, my usual accomplices in such undertakings, were down in Naples working on a job.
You should have seen my face when I first heard they were going to be out of town this whole week and weekend of the move.
I am, however, incredibly grateful to my handiman / expert painter / dedicated husband, Charlie, and his willing apprentice, my son, James for their hard work throughout October as they helped me repair and paint ALL of the walls in BOTH the Waiting room AND Kindermusik room
After teaching on Thursday morning, all of our Kindermusik instruments, props and everything except the furniture, and the mats, were moved to the new location with Lisa’s help. The pastors at Redemption Church were kind enough to help me and my dad on Friday morning move all the furniture. All that was left… were the mats.
“I’m NOT leaving, and you can’t make me.” Said the purple mats.
My dad and I started to see what it would take to remove these mats. We had what we believed to be the right tools…. A few different sizes of flat bladed scrapers that painters use. This was working…. Sort of…. Little by little in tiny increments as every ½ inch required pulling by one person and scrapping it from the floor by the other. Listen, I LOVE my dad, and he is a brilliant problem solver, can do most anything, and is willing to do anything for me. But he is a BULL in a china shop and has no patience for such finesse work. I did not believe these mats would survive in good shape with his help. Lisa agreed to come help me and was the perfect partner for such a carefully approached extraction. But, oh… my… hell… THAT is a LOT of physical effort on both our parts.
I had to go buy a long handled scraper, and it still took two of us over an hour to remove just one mat.
Lisa and I left at 2 pm to pick up our children at school, knowing there was multiple hours worth of hard physical work ahead of us. We agreed to meet on Saturday.
I did NOT want to put her through MORE of this hard labor. That is not even CLOSE to being part of the job description when she agreed to help me with my enrollment and bookkeeping. She has become so much more than that, a friend who always “has my back” on the variety of projects I deem necessary as part of a full Kindermusik studio that strives to bring families together through music in a variety of ways. I call her my Easy Button… We even have the red button from Staples on her desk. She just makes life easier for me, and for our Kindermusik families.
So I connected with another friend, who is the strong tall handyman type of guy, named Jimbo, who agreed to go with me Saturday morning to remove these mats. And I went home, took some Aleve, and took a long nap!
Friday night, at 10:45, Lisa sent me these two pictures. She and her husband, Leiden, snuck over, without telling me, and worked for hours to remove the other 4 mats. All of them… DONE!
Wow! Just wow! Oh, my heart… I am so blessed to have friends like this. My back will need to send them a separate thank you note as well. I am definitely taking them to dinner at the Bay Street Bistro for this amazing act of kindness.
Leiden says if I have to move my Kindermusik studio again, Lisa has to submit her resignation. Charlie says he has resigned twice, and “it does me no good.” LOL
“I’m NOT level, and you can’t make me.” said the floors in the new room.
In the new location, the room that will be used for our Kindermusik activities had a brown old, old carpet that took up about a third of the room in the corner. This had to be removed and the floor had to be FLAT and LEVEL so the mats would fit in the room.
When I initially measured the room for these mats, I was astounded to find out that the mats fit within an INCH of where the bathroom door opens from the far corner of the room. This was only one of the factors leading me to believe this is the place we are meant to be.
To remove the carpet and flatten the floor, I called upon Geoffrey, owner of Frogs Floor Care, to take care of this project, as well as all the floors in the studio. He said the glue under the carpet was the WORST kind of glue to remove, but they did their best with this tough job. There are definitely some jobs that I am well aware that there are other people who have the experience and the tools to do a job WAY better than I can. Geoffrey is the BEST to call for floors.
Some pieces of tiles were missing, leaving significant indentations that would sure effect the surface of the mats. Since Jimbo and I did NOT have to remove the carpets from the other place on Saturday morning, (THANK YOU, LISA!) we worked to even it out and further preparing the floor and the side floorboards for these mats.
“I won’t fit, and you can’t make me.” said the purple mats in the new room.
After these mats were removed, the bottom of the mats were so sticky, it was like a 6×9 foot tentacle of an octopus with zillions of tiny sticky suction cups that stick to everything and leave black dots wherever it has been placed.
That afternoon, as I tried to put the first mat into place by myself, it became evident the mat did not have a perfect 90 degree angle and wasn’t fitting into the corner of the room. I figured out how to cut it so it WAS at a 90 angle… then I realized the walls in the CORNER of that room are NOT perfectly at that angle, and had to cut it again… just right… to fit.
It was about that time my friend, Kristin Ausmus, called to ask how I was doing. She responded well to my wailing, and rushed over to help me wrangle this sticky bunch of oversized octopus tentacles full of messy suckers. This awesome woman has been a huge help with cleaning and preparing the studio all this month.
Kristin started Kindermusik with her oldest child when he was just 15 months old, and her first three children went all the way through to graduate from our Level 5 program for young musicians at 7 years old. She is now enjoying it all again with her 1 year old. It is hard to remember a time when she wasn’t an active part of my Kindermusik family, and she has become a dear friend. Thank goodness she came to my rescue.
Somehow I didn’t get the memo that I had to have these kinds of skills as a Kindermusik teacher. But we figured it out, and I was able to cut the end of the first mat to fit in the corner and the second mat to match it side by side. The third mat… was a PERFECT FIT and didn’t need to be cut. WHAT? How did that happen? I laughed out loud. Needless to say, the Gorilla mats are not all a perfectly cut 6×9.
The last two mats, laying long ways across the end of the other three needed to be cut to make the full mat of 15 x 18 foot, but… I was becoming a pro… and I didn’t need to match the angle so perfectly.
“I CAN DO THIS.” said Ms Debbie to the stubborn mats and everything else that was a challenge in this move. “I get by with a little help from my friends…”, she sings.
The purple mats are down and there are just a few things that are critical to get us started with our classes this Tuesday, Nov. 5. It will take a bit longer to get everything the way I want it.
But as I stepped foot on these purple mats in place in our new room… my body relaxed. I knew we had moved in.
Kindermusik in Lakeland, Florida has a new home.
I look forward to making music with your family here, on these purple mats, soon.
Music for Celebrating Seasons
- One Saturday each month
- Register for one or more
9:30 – Babies up to 20 months
10:30 – Mixed ages: 1 – 5 years
This could be your first Kindermusik experience to enjoy together, or… This could become an anticipated monthly family ritual.