Friday, December 30, 2016

Finishing Up December in a Whirlwind

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.

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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.)

Photo Dec 16, 10 16 40 AMPhoto Dec 20, 2 04 14 AMPhoto Dec 23, 1 00 37 PMPhoto Dec 24, 6 54 27 AMPhoto Dec 24, 7 08 24 AMPhoto Dec 25, 3 59 02 AMPhoto Dec 25, 5 01 46 AMPhoto Dec 30, 8 57 42 PM

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.])

3 comments:

Marilyn said...

Oh goodness, it makes me feel all frantic just to think about all that shifting around! But what a happiness and relief to have it getting done! Also: Junie has that IKEA pig and his name is Oinker. And I love him (because SHE loves him so), so I'm happy your pig-lover got him too! (They have a little BABY version now at IKEA, so next time you're down there...) :)

Happy times. I know it's easy for me to say that, from afar, but I am so excited for all these fun changes. And a new baby coming is the BEST way to overcome the after-Christmas let-down. What larks, Pip!

Kara said...

Makes me tired to read, but I'm happy you're happy. If anyone was to convince me that families were worth it, it'd be you.

Nancy said...

Marilyn and Kara -- I'm glad for some appropriately sympathetic tiredness! It has been exhausting! It exhausts me just thinking about how we've gotten to this point! Though, with seeing how much work each finished thing has been (yesterday and today I finally cleaned the bathrooms and put up shower curtains etc -- I wasn't prepared for scrubbing paint droplets off tile and installation grime from bathtubs, etc), I keep feeling amazed that each thing IS done and so relieved that I'm not discovering how much work it is as I adjust to this new baby! I can't even believe we've mostly done it really!

And Marilyn, I love that you keep recognizing the IKEA things. I've been so happy with everything Mike found there that I'm all the more sad it isn't closer! The pig is funny. Mike and Abe stopped there (after moving his brother) to get a dresser, but saw a stuffed camel and thought it would be cool for one of the kids, but then, around every corner it seems they kept finding ANOTHER "perfect" stuffed animal. "A chicken! Mette must have that!" "Look how soft this bunny is!" "Ha! A rhino! That's so cool!" "Goldie sure loves pigs . . .". Til, in the end, they came home with stuffed animals galore. Sadly Summer wasn't as thrilled with her giant shark as we'd hoped.

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