Monday, June 20, 2011

Grandma and Auntie Karen visit

Tim's mom and sister came to visit for just a few days, and it was like a breath of fresh air around here.  It was a busy, productive and fun 3 1/2 days.  We did everything on my little list of things to take care of, plus another thing or two not on the list.

Here was my original list:

1) Lower my bed frame so that the co-sleeper will fit next to it.  This was on Tim's to-do before deployment list, but he somehow never got around to it (I don't resent him for that, but Saturday night we were all resenting him for that).  We had no idea what this task would entail. What a crazy two hours that was, the three of us trying to disassemble and reassemble that big bed with all those adjustable parts!  We had no manual, so we had to figure it out, step by painful step.  At one point, I stood in a half-crouch, holding two parts of the bed together, looking all determined, when Karen said, "You stop standing like that!  I don't like that posture!  You look like you're going to have a baby!"  When we were done, we had a good laugh (and all of us wished for a drink!).  If only we had on video the moment where we stood there and watched the rails fall and then the footboard collapse with a whump! that sounded final.  We almost gave up.  But we persevered, and now we are experts on the disassembly and reassembly of a bed frame.  It's actually quite easy now that we've done it!  But no part of the process was intuitive for any of us.  It took us 20 minutes just to figure out how to detach the rails from the headboard and footboard.  I was the one who bumbled into the answer to that, and it seemed like such a victory, but little did I know that was just the beginning..  Tim told me he laughed out loud at the idea of the three of us struggling with that bed, but I think we were a good team.  We did it!

2) Move the giant suitcase full of bags to the attic.  That was just something that was taking up space in my closet, and it had to go.

3) Cover the half moon-shaped window in the girls' room so the sun doesn't wake them up quite so early anymore.  This was accomplished by Karen tracing the window with paper, and making a cover for it out of foam board.  I'm hoping for this to just make a difference of about a half hour every morning.

4) Go shopping for new bathroom towels and rugs for my bathroom because they were getting old and worn out; and I've washed and set aside most of them for the birth.  They helped me pick them out.  They're chocolate brown and very deluxe.  It's so nice to finally have new towels and rugs.

Here's what was added at Carolyn's suggestion:

5) Clean up the floor of the back porch, set up the table, and put in an outdoor rug.  I was glad she brought this up because our back porch has been nothing but a graveyard for hornets ever since we moved in, and there is no good reason for that.  I was thinking I'd wait until the end of summer when the patio furniture would go on sale, then buy some things and set it all up then.  But after Karen set up the patio table and chairs we already had, I wondered why we hadn't done it before!  With a clean floor and the addition of a rug, we now have a functional space instead of a wasteland.  It's very welcoming now, saying to me, "Come on out and have a seat." At my mom's suggestion, I got a real plant to put in one of the corners.  I will do my best to keep it alive.  It's supposed to be low-maintenance, so we'll see.  I have one other houseplant that I've managed not to kill for over a year, so maybe I'm getting better.  I was completely dazzled by the selection of plants at Lowe's, and I hope that one day I have the time and energy to plant and tend to flowers in my front and back yard.  For now, baby steps.
I LOVE this rug.

Here's what I added reluctantly after facing the reality that it was time:

6) Convert Annie's crib to a toddler bed.  Gulp! I've long been dreading this transition because of  this and this.  These days I need the rest every afternoon in such a bad way that I've been reluctant to change a single thing about Annie's sleep routine, even if it doesn't quite make sense to keep everything the way it is.  As Carolyn pointed out, she already gets in and out of her crib herself anyway; this will only make it safer.  That is true, but it seems like as long as she had the crib she could be relied on to sleep in it every afternoon, even with the capability of getting out anytime she wanted.  Now that she has the toddler bed, and it's so much easier to get in and out, she may decide to just get crazy at naptime instead of going to sleep.  And then I'm in real trouble because I need the nap even more than she does.  I get scary tired every day after lunch -- can't see straight, can't think straight, and I even get lactic acid burning in my leg muscles as if I've been working out and not just putzing around the house.  I can skip my nap every now and then, but the thought of kissing it goodbye altogether scares me to death.  But what can I do?  She's growing up and I can't keep her a baby forever.

Annie likes her bed the way it is now, and she slept soundly last night, even through a loud thunderstorm.  Now we will wait and see how naptime goes..
I worked them to death while they were here, especially Karen, who did most of anything that required taking apart, putting together, hauling of things in or out of the attic, washing the floor of the porch, and probably a few other things I forgot.  I was completely spoiled, hardly allowed to do anything.  I also enjoyed a pedicure Friday afternoon with free babysitting.  We also did about two weeks worth of shopping in two days.  They need a vacation after this!

But it wasn't all work and no play.  On Friday morning we went to the beach and had a great time.
On Saturday we went to downtown New Bern, where we had dinner, went walking, and had ice cream at the girls' and my favorite, Cow Cafe.  We had lots of good eats, and a couple of giggly little girls to entertain us.

"I see you, Mama."
On Sunday afternoon, once Annie's bed had been converted, that was it for home improvement projects and shopping trips.  It was finally time to just relax and hang out and enjoy the 95 degree heat.
Isn't this the cutest little kite?  It's a colorful little gecko that Karen got for the girls while we were at Bed, Bath and Beyond.
It was hard to see them go this morning, but for me, looking around at what's been accomplished around the house in such a short time makes it a little easier.  I am grateful to them both.  We'll be seeing them again in September (Karen) and October (Carolyn).

Now we start counting down to the next visit, which will be Tim Sr on July 14.  About two weeks after that, Timmy will be making his appearance.  We're going to do our best to fill this next month with as many activities as we can handle.  Delaney starts a little preschool summer camp tomorrow morning.  It is Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 9 to 12.  I can sign her up for just one week or all of them.  I'm going to take it week-by-week and see how it goes.  The theme of the first week is baking, of which Delaney is definitely a fan.  If they let her break an egg she'll be really happy.  If she brings me home something she baked, I'll be happy.:) 

Besides that, I'm thinking that spending time with friends and going to the pool will make these next few weeks go by fast.

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