We simply can’t leave December well enough alone around here. Why, just two weeks ago, I was still busily shopping for Christmas presents. Mike and I were still uncertain which children had enough gifts or even what exactly we’d managed to pile in shopping bags and Amazon boxes all over the floor of our walk-in closet. But somehow we pulled it all off. Again. By midnight Christmas Eve the living room was glowing with wrapped and labelled presents and, by 7:00 the following morning, Christmas lights were on in an otherwise still dark house, Christmas music was playing, and eight kids were happily eating stocking treats and exclaiming their thanks and excitement over their overly generous piles of gifts.
Pulling all of that together at the tail-end of a month full of events and activities, birthdays and parties might have been seen as a perfect climax – one that should have been followed by putting our feet up and refusing to budge for a solid week or two. But . . . no. We’d finally finished our basement – well, mostly. Shower curtains and bathroom mirrors still need hung, and paint cans and tools still need to be cleared out; but, never mind that, we immediately began moving and arranging every single child in our house into new sleeping quarters – taking down and putting up beds and cribs, changing dressers, unearthing piles of toys and clothes from closets and cupboards in rooms where too many kids had kept too many things for too long. It wasn’t a simple or clean (or grump-free) process! And, mixed with it all, we had new Christmas toys and gifts, and the house all cluttered with December’s decorating . . . which is why, while we were in the midst of transferring clothes from this dresser to that, and sorting things to get rid of, it struck me as a perfectly reasonable time to start taking down all our Christmas decorations (to pile on the table and then fit into storage boxes). Mike surprised me with new couches for Christmas, so we also hauled those in and unwrapped them from their giant boxes (which of course had to become forts for the kids), our old couch was squashed in the entryway while we waited for a family member who wanted it to come pick it up, the loveseat was moved to our room while we rearranged further. Mike had to work all week. Yet somehow, miraculously, some semblance of order seems to have landed here now, and, with the tornado-like whirlwind it all came out of, I’m mystified as to how it possibly happened. (Particularly since we also managed to fit in an especially happy birthday for me and a slightly-too-busy 17th wedding anniversary.)
Anyway, now we can finally do something nice and relaxing to help life take on a predictable, calm pace again. Like . . . have a new baby. (!!!) (In truth, for being slightly against this whole business of forcing room changes all mixed in with Christmas, I am hugely relieved to have gotten the bulk of it done before having a newborn in the mix. [A two-year-old and a one-year–old in the mix was already . . . rather enough.])