Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Countdown to the move - Day 41

I woke up 10 minutes before the sitter arrived this morning. The kids were still sleeping.

It was 7:40-something. Absolutely glorious!

The morning started as it always does; bringing the kids into my bedroom, feeding Maddie a bottle, changing soggy diapers, easing into the day with Jake (and the Pirates). We made our way downstairs once Amy got here, all of us in our bedheaded glory, and I realized that in 5 short days I will miss our Christmas ritual of snipping a paper chain off of our Christmas countdown link and watching Robbie remove the next character from its pocket on our advent calendar and placing it up on the manger scene.

Christ is coming! Soon.
I haven't made it into a church service in a few weeks for various reasons (illness, volunteering, etc.) and so I am REALLY looking forward to our Christmas Eve and Christmas morning services. I have yet to sing about His coming this month with The Body. I have really missed that.

Back to our day - I took advantage of my babysitting time and called retailers to round up more boxes, and also called gutter cleaning companies to set up for both houses' gutters to get cleared out. Check it all off the list. (*aaahhhh, that felt good.) My mom showed up to help again - seriously? I am so lucky. - and we split up my morning errands and met back at the house for more packing.

The kids were needy this morning. Even though we had a babysitter in the house to free my mom and I up to work, the kids weren't buying it. I was starting to get frustrated by the fact that I couldn't get any traction on the packing I had intended to complete today. Robbie had accidents all morning until I waved the white flag and put a pull up on him. I tried to soften my heart and see things from a different perspective, realizing that he gets anxious when we pack boxes and can't (or won't) always verbalize how it makes him feel. He couldn't get into the pottying groove this morning, and I couldn't get into my peace-of-mind groove. I should have seen the obvious - that this process can throw all of us off in different ways, myself included, and should have had more grace with him. Thankfully my mom had tanked up on patience this morning (it's her strong suit - wish I had gotten more of it in my genes), and tenderly talked with him, sat with him, snuggled him into a blanket and discussed fun and festive things like our tree and how soon Christmas is coming, until he was content again. My mom helped me with a lot of things today, and not just stuffing STUFF into boxes, although she did that at an incredibly fast pace too.

We took a break for lunch, which was her famous homemade beef vegetable soup (try as you may, and I have, to replicate it and you will fail!). Just as we were licking the bowls clean my dad showed up to help me take loads over to the storage unit! This isn't the first time he's done this and it is so. much. help. We loaded up my mom's SUV and my van from top to bottom with boxes, mostly filled with books which translates to HEAVY, drove across town, and unloaded it in record time at the storage unit. I picked up more packing tape and newsprint on my way back, and arrived home to find Robbie and Ellie squealing with delight as my dad made pennies 'disappear' into thin air, and my mom had packed up another 10 or so boxes in the basement. The house feels lighter and cleaner and our productivity today is visible.

I had decided that since we literally worked all day long, tonight we would drive the kids around and look at Christmas lights. So I fed them dinner and when Rob got home we gave them baths, put them in their Christmas pj's and slippers, filled their Santa sippy cups with chocolate milk and the secret compartment with sugar cookies, and headed out to look at lights. I will miss this Christmas season when it's over. I'm not ready to give up the anticipation of it all, the lights and the smells and the decorations! I will not, however, give up my Christmas Blend addiction once the holidays are over. I may be converting from DD's coffee in my french press to Sbux... jury's still out.

I made the kids snuggle up by the tree before we left. Rob is an expert at getting them together and making them smile. The beauty of traditions is that we have Christmas pj's from 3 years ago that I rotate the younger kids through. Maddie's set for this year (which were gifts to the kids from my Aunt Sherry!) were in the laundry... so she wore Ellie's from 2 years ago and fit right in.

My favorite:

The kids used their 3D glasses in the van that make every twinkle light cast the shape of a candy cane, and they kept us laughing with their hilarious side comments as we drove through town. My favorite:

Me: Ellie, aren't those lights adorable?
Ellie: Yeah... I'M ADORABLE! You adorable too, mommy.
Me: {laughing} Thanks, El! What's daddy?
Ellie: Daddy's a BOY.
Robbie: Daddy's HANDSOME!

We picked up boxes at a retailer at the beginning of our trip, drove around for a while, ordered take out about half way through, and picked it up on the way home. It was one of our poorer choices as far as take out goes, but it was a very sweet way to end the day overall.


- For family that gathers when there's a need or work to be done. For the many ways my parents still 'take care' of me/us. For my little guy, who tried to help today by putting his matchbox cars into 2 little boxes and brought them to me, telling me with a quivering chin and all the bravery he could muster that he was ready to help me pack his toys. For an always-too-short catch up phone call with a dear friend across the country that warmed my heart. For grace and forgiveness when I am less than I should be, and fall short of who I want to be. For the fight for inner peace, knowing that being in the fight, even when I don't feel like I'm winning, is better than being oblivious to it.

And because I forgot my thanks yesterday!...


- For Christmas cards that carry images of those we love, little parcels of joy trickling in each day. For neighbors who drop off holiday popcorn and well wishes with our move. For twinkling lights everywhere that make sitting in traffic / construction a little less painful. For a husband who walks in the door each evening happy to come home to us (even when I'm not much to come home to!).

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