Professional photographers were in our house for over eight hours today, standing under curtains behind giant architectural cameras taking long exposure shots inside our home. Juniper kept asking, "Who's that guy?" about men carrying heavy suitcases full of strobe lights and umbrella lamps and camera equipment that cost more than our house.

After those pictures of our house were featured on Design*Sponge a few weeks ago, we were contacted by the editors of a home magazine that wanted to do a spread on our neighborhood, including the interior of our house. This is a very fancy magazine that has annual design awards for "Best Bathroom Over $100,000" and "Best Bathroom Under $100,000." When they initially asked us, I said, "We wouldn't even win 'Best Bathroom Purchased Entirely with a $200 IKEA Gift Card'" and expressed concern that the art director would find our DIY paint jobs and marker-stained carpets appalling. Still, they said they were interested.

The thing is, the photos that led them here showed only four rooms of our house, and only six or seven walls of those four rooms. And I have a confession to make: behind the camera in every one of those shots was a pile of dirty clothes and other crap, and walls covered in wallpaper. Middle-aged-cat-lady wallpaper. There were entire rooms left out because they were hideous, like the bathroom with blood-red painted wallpaper that made you feel like you were peeing inside a giant, beating human heart. Because we didn't know what the magazine people wanted to take pictures of, we took it upon ourselves to get everything done before they got here, including stripping all the wallpaper and re-plastering the walls in the evil blood-red bathroom.

Taking down middle-aged-cat-lady wallpaper, while certainly frustrating, is also strangely fulfilling, as though exorcising from your home an evil demon who wears sensible shoes and lots of makeup and listens way too intently to gardening shows on NPR. In a way, it was nice to have the photo shoot looming, because it made us work hard and now the house feels done and we are happy with it and we no longer have to deal with a malignant spirit constantly trying to put extra-warm clothes on Juniper and switch the TV channel to Lifetime. "The mystery of the cross commands you!" we shouted. "The blood of the martyrs commands you! This house is ours now! Begone!"

Still, getting shit done these past couple weeks would have been a whole lot easier without a kid who has all these goddamn "needs" during the day, and a dog underfoot making everything even more difficult. One thing that drives me nuts about this dog is how he is always dumping some toy in my lap that he wants me to throw to him. We spend hours playing fetch in the park, but he has a one-track mind and constantly stands in front of me with a toy at my feet while he points and wags his tail and looks at me with eyes that are almost impossible to resist. He doesn't care if you only toss it a few feet, so long as you continue to do so for hours and hours and hours. I have been training him to stop. The only other shitty thing about the dog is that with the onset of 80 plus degree weather, he has started shedding. Everywhere.

Needless to say, I have been doing a lot of vacuuming. Luckily, we have a Dyson. I know it emasculates me to admit this, but I love it. Vacuuming with a Dyson is kind of like being a streetwalker with a heart of gold who gets picked up by Richard Gere in a silver Lotus Esprit. Sure, it's still work. But it could be a whole lot worse.

When we brought home the Dyson, the dog and the kid were terrified of it. They would both shriek and the kid would hop on the dog's back and together they would hightail it off to furthest corner to cover their ears and do breathing exercises until I was done. Juniper is still unable to appreciate the majesty of this vacuum, but the dog has outgrown his fear. He now follows me around the house, dropping his toy directly in the path of the vacuum cleaner, knowing it will get knocked away. He rushes a few feet away to retrieve it, then drops it right back in the Dyson's path.

While the dog did this as I vacuumed before the arrival of the photographers, it suddenly dawned on me that my wife wasn't the only one using James Dyson's masterpiece of root cyclone upright vacuum technology to make me her little bitch.