Monday, January 31, 2011

Dust and all

My house is driving me crazy. Toys are everywhere. Dishes always need to be washed. The laundry stands in piles and in baskets around the house in various states of dirty, clean, unfolded and folded. There is baby clothing both boys have outgrown to sort through and pass along. Toys and baby gadgets we no longer want or need. A bag of miscellaneous items for donation. Boxes of framed photos that haven't yet been hung on the walls. Dust. Crumbs. Smears. Cat fur collecting on the couch. Recycling to sort and put in bins. Shoes just screaming to be lined up or put away in closets. I am home a lot lately. It is winter in New England and we have lately been pummeled with snow and frigid, frigid temperatures. Too snowy and too cold to take two little ones outside most of the time. We do it anyway any chance we get, but we are home more than we are out doing things. I spend a lot of time thinking about ways I wish I could improve my surroundings, our living space. But, I don't spend much time actually doing any of it. Between feeding two kids and ourselves, diaper changes, clothing changes, reading books, naps, etc. there isn't much time leftover to hang pictures or beautify our place. When I do get a chance to clear away some clutter, vaccuum and give most surfaces a wipe down, it does look pretty nice in here. But, it never lasts. Today, I found myself trying very hard to accept this state of affairs. To give myself a break. It's winter in New England for godsake! Not easy to cart away bags and boxes of unwanted items. Not easy to escape the dust that accumulates or dirt that gets track in. I looked around and tried to say, "So what. So what if there's a baby swing in my bedroom being used as a clothes hanger. So what if there is a plastic bin full of baby clothes in my dining room. So what if every corner of every room has a pile of toys in it. So what if there are bits of dried up Play Dough on the kitchen floor. So what." It won't always be this way, I told myself. Spring will come. We will clean. We will clear out. That's what we do in the spring. January is over. It is light out past 5 p.m. these days. The light is coming. The days are lengthening. Soon enough, we can clean and beautify, both indoors and out. "I can't wait until we can sit out on the porch and drink coffee," Matthew said today as he and Jonah played in the snow in the front yard. Yes! That WILL happen. Soon enough. Soon enough we can escape the indoors and stomp in the mud, smell the grass, feel the warm breeze, soak up the sun. It will come. It will. Until then, we will bake, drink tea, make soup, make finger paintings, build tall Lego towers, watch Julian learn how to crawl, run circles around the racetrack in the house, read lots of books, venture out when we can to the library, play in the snow, go out to a warm and cozy restaurant with our kids who actually behave really well at restaurants and simply be grateful for it all. Dust and all. ~ Nicole

Saturday, January 29, 2011


Tonight, I am home alone. Both kids are asleep (for now anyway). Matthew is working. I was in my pajamas by 7:15. I am drinking chamomile tea. A bunch of my girlfriends are meeting up in a few minutes to have drinks. I was supposed to go, but I am the babysitter tonight. I am both happy and sad to be home alone in a quiet (for now) house. It's peaceful, but I find myself so rarely in this type of environment, in this state of things, that I have forgotten a bit how to do this. Nothing. Or, whatever I want. Or almost whatever I want. (Probably not going to turn the stereo up real loud and dance around.) I could start watching a movie, but I worry that Julian will wake up and interrupt it and I won't get very far into the movie before deciding to just give in and take him to bed with me. I have a book, but ... There's Julian. See?