It's been a while, hasn't it? Back in the summer I thought it would be so wonderful when school started, because then I'd have three of the kids gone all day and I could both focus on the baby and also get some work done around the house. I was dreadfully wrong on one account: I am spending tons of time with my baby, but I can't get ANYTHING done. He's a busy boy, you see. He scales shelves, threatening to pull them over or to reach the mess maker/dangerous object we stowed out of his reach. He unfolds laundry as fast as I fold it. If I go to the bathroom without him, as I occasionally need to do, he paints the plasma tv with red cookie icing (this is not an exaggeration, but I can't figure out how to link to a particular FB status). If I go into the kitchen to wash dishes and don't make sure he's strapped to a booster seat, he hides behind the couch, takes off his pants, and, shall we say, enjoys some naked time. He demands Thomas tracks and videos and chicken noodle soup and peas and chocolate. He puts things in the fish tank and pulls all the books off the shelves twenty times a day and wants to go OUTSHIDE! Once there he makes a beeline for the street and the neighbors' yards to climb all over whatever ornamental lawn stuff they have. He exhausts me. I have said many many times that if he had been one, two, or three, there would be no four, and that seems to hold more true with each day that goes by.
And then there's the big kids. Parent/teacher conferences went so well, our kids did so well in school academically that I was lulled into a false sense of security. In the past week I've had two sets of parents contact us about undesirable behavior on the part of my two oldest kids. It's nothing too big, and out of respect for their privacy I won't detail what it is, and I am grateful that both sets of parents felt comfortable coming to us to talk about it, but it has had me distressed. I know that in both cases they are things that will become part of family folklore and they'll sit around as teenagers and say "Remember when I/you did XXX?" and they will all bond over it, but it is no less troublesome in the moment.
And then there's our house. It is a disaster and I'm trying to unload a bunch of baby stuff that I've been holding on to for so long for who knows why and it needs to go. I've listed my pack and play, gymini gym, and toddler bed on craigslist but so far no luck. I'll end up donating them if they don't sell, but we really need the money for Christmas this year, even with the warnings to our kids that Christmas is not going to be like it has in the past. We have a small budget and we will stick to it, but we still could use the help (see also,blown engine in August).
So while I haven't been on here, or really anywhere, I've been sequestered in my house, scrabbling around for babysitting so I can work around my house, doing laundry and cleaning and decluttering and tossing and redoing my kids' rooms, all things I can't do when I have to watch Nemo, too. We went to Ikea for the very first time (!) and wonder why we never went before (seriously, I am in love with that place now and want to marry it and have its babies) and dropped $$$ but bought two dressers, two mattresses, and one set of bunkbeds for what it would have cost us for just one bedframe at a regular furniture store, and we did this to the girls' room:
This replaced a twin canopy bed that had been mine as a little girl. It went into storage for when we move to a new house, then one of the girls will get it back because they will not be sharing a room any longer than is absolutely necessary.
This is the dresser that goes with the canopy bed, and we moved it into the place where Sunny had been sleeping in a toddler bed (yes, at 5 1/2 years old, she's TEENY). It is now Sunny's dresser. We got this for Trout:
It looks so pretty with the metal bed and the purple walls that inexplicably don't look purple in these pictures. It feels good to be getting things in order around here, but it is both time consuming and slow going to get there. We will be going back to Ikea to get another set of bunk beds for the boys as soon as we get the girls' room put back together with the minimal stuff we'll allow them to keep in their rooms. They got so bad and we are so cramped for space we're doing a Clean House on their rooms, i.e., take everything out, only put back a minimum amount of stuff to make it easy to maintain, and pitch/donate/dynamically reallocate the rest. Then we have to do the same with with Legoland, aka Little Man's room, which will become the boys' room and the baby will no longer be sleeping in my room. Wish us luck.
This past weekend we went to my inlaws' house to visit because my husband's aunt and cousin were out here from Chicago. My SIL and one of her daughters came, too, so we had the five kids running around and screaming and yelling and giggling and carrying on while the seven grownups visited, and it was wonderful. I was reminded of the holidays at my grandparents' house and running around with five of my cousins and my sister and all the crazy times we had. Those memories were a big part of what sparked me to agree to a fourth kid in the first place, and I was struck with the fact that had my grandmother not died the way she did, had my cousins and their families not gathered at her bedside, we wouldn't have had yesterday because we would not have had Nemo, and yes the other kids would have played together had we not had him, but their number and him, his wonderful busy gigglyness and his happy busy temperament, made for a different gathering, a more robust and noisily joyful time, than would have happened had he not been here. And I once again counted all of my blessings, even, especially, the exhausting ones.