I realize that it’s been over a month since I’ve written anything. Because I’ve been dealing with “stuff.” Literally. It’s everywhere.
Let’s start with dog “stuff:” no, not that kind of dog stuff. I’m thinking of the afternoon I got back from picking up the kids from school and discovered that, in the twenty minutes I’d been gone, the dog had ripped the under-the-kitchen-sink cabinet door off its hinges and gotten into a full bag of trash. That’s a full bag of trash, all over the kitchen floor, with a cabinet door laying on top of the mess like a fancy embellishment. I tend to operate under the theory of “if you’re going to look back on this and laugh, you might as well laugh now,” but I’m pregnant and hormonal and I didn’t laugh. I cried. (Bending over to clean up an entire bag of trash is becoming not only uncomfortable but downright impractical. Thank goodness for helpful children.) That story, though, was only a lead-in for more “stuff.” Thankfully, the rest of the stuff isn’t as nasty as a full bag of trash.
Baby “stuff:” We’ve been extraordinarily blessed with a huge amount of things for the baby. We’ve gone from “we have a nine- and a seven-year-old–we have nothing for a baby” to “I think all we have to buy now is a baby monitor.” It’s been absolutely unbelievable, and I’m so grateful. It’s also been all over the house, because, since we’ve never had babies in this house, I have no idea where to put any of it. The big stuff, in a way, is easier to handle than the little things: while loading a swing and a playpen in the car I was actively thinking about where to unload them when we got home. It’s the bags of things like baby bottles and sippy cups that are wearing me down; I’m going to have to clean out an entire kitchen cabinet to fit all this stuff.
So yes, baby “stuff:” a laundry basket FULL of baby toys sat in our garage until I got tired of tripping over it (our garage is not THAT big), and then I brought it in and it sat on our kitchen counter. For days. Along with baby clothes passed on from my sister, which sat piled up on top of the dryer. Also for days. Which then met with….
Car “stuff:” We got a new car! (Well, a new-to-us car.) We found a great deal on my “I’ve wanted one for six years” seven-seater CX-9, which then leads to cleaning out your old car so you can trade it in. Which means another bag of “stuff” culled from my old car, sitting on the kitchen counter. Next to the laundry basket of baby toys. (Feeling crowded yet?)
I finally, finally went through the bags and bins (and yes, an especially supportive friend came over and helped, because there comes a point where you don’t have the wherewithal to do it alone) and had a clean counter for a matter of days. That’s about the time where our decision to homeschool one of our kiddos kicked in, and we ended up with…..
Homeschooling “stuff:” math manipulatives and library books all over said counter. (Again….where am I going to put all this stuff???)
This doesn’t count all the normal “stuff” of everyday life; school papers and newspapers and toys and shoes and books. (I joked with my husband that when my son leaves stuff laying around, it’s in a big pile on the side table in the kitchen. When my daughter leaves stuff laying around, she seems to dribble it everywhere.) Now, with two winter storms in less than a week, we also have snow-related “stuff:” that giant pile of wet laundry and shoes that ends up next to the back door. (One point for me: yesterday I had everyone just throw it all in the washer. Immediately.)
To top it off, throughout the background of all this physical “stuff,” I’ve got ongoing mental “stuff.” The phone call from the doctor’s office: Your glucose test came back fine, but you’re anemic. The phone call from the principal: About your son…. The announcement from my husband: You know those work from home positions? I scored one. (YAY!! But….where will all THAT “stuff” go?!?) All the “stuff” that rolls around in your head, 24/7, and makes you want to crawl back under the covers until it just goes away. (Maybe that’s the anemia talking. Or maybe it’s just that it’s February.)
So, bit by bit, we’re piecing things together over here. Very slowly, things are finding homes. I’ve had a clean counter for, I think, three days now….maybe I’m on a roll. Hopefully, little by little, we’ll get new things put away in their new homes and we’ll start in on new routines and maybe I’ll even be able to write about it a little more. Maybe, hopefully, in a more positive, not-so-whiny way. Thanks for letting me vent.