This week has been filled with more than the usual chaos.
We are getting new windows installed. Mom and Dad wanted to help us with a large house project and windows it is!
It started Saturday as I headed out the door for a 5-hr church meeting, leaving the in-laws in charge of the kids while Brian stained window trim. He tipped chairs, drawers and tables in the dining/kitchen area and spread out an IVCF table covering and drop cloth.
It had been a good day of meetings but when I came home and the smell of stain hit me, I suddenly wanted to run far, far away.
We opened some windows, ate dinner on a 6-foot table in the kitchen and survived.
Monday morning, our kitchen was overtaken by Andy and Matt. One of three new pendant lights bit the dust and I couldn’t open the freezer to eat my new Tonight Show yummy Fair Trade ice cream to cope with the chaos.
But then I saw my new view.
Today, my parents were visiting and after 2 hours of power tools, we hit the road for aquarium. I snuck into a very short line for a car wash on the way, pleased with myself for checking a “to-do” item off my list.
Apparently the door of the car wash was frozen shut. Some large, plastic flat piece of … plastic was carried into the gas station. Then back out. About 25 minutes later, we got back on the road. This is why I pack snacks.
Finally, we arrived at the aquarium: away from all of the power tools, drafts (from them entering in and out), sneezing from the dust and generally being aware that 3-5 grown men are reguarly passing by you as you try to go to the bathroom while your 3 or 5-yr old may suddenly open the door and reveal your visitation to the porcelain quiet space.
We enjoyed the walk into the aquarium and then, Elam had to go to the bathroom. Then again. This time, explosive diarrhea. After 15 minutes of pleasant time in the facilities, I was grateful my mom had XS out in the actual aquarium feeding the fish.
10 minutes later, Elam was running around, healthy as a horse. Then, potty emergency again.
After another trip and another explosion, I sat down in front of the zebra shark and sting rays. I figured I had spent 35 of 45 minutes of this trip in the bathroom. Yay.
This afternoon, as I cleaned up laundry, vacuumed and dusted, my three lovely children ran around the house, creating more chaos. The installation crew had left and I was trying to recapture some order to this house.
As I dusted the basement toys, vacuumed the carpets and picked up trash in corners, I was actually, truly grateful for the chance to deep clean down here. I had brand new, big windows letting in the light. Reminding me how much the light can chase away the cold and darkness.
As I listened to my kids pretend to take a boat to China (“my China” as XS says) I was grateful for them. I didn’t grow up with my sisters and played alone a lot. Sure they were loud, obnoxious, sometimes pushy and probably dangerous (there was couch jumping and a rope involved) but they were happy as three siblings can be.
These kids drive me to the limits of any good parent. I have resorted to giving myself stickers, remember, when I achieve a no-yelling day. I wonder sometimes how to get through the next hour, much less another week ahead while Brian goes to a grad school class.
But then I think of the pure joy they have in being together. Of how they learn from each other. How they are never lonely. How they wanted to have a family sleep over tonight because the boys couldn’t have their room back to normal.
And despite this crazy renovation project adding dust and cleaning jobs that I really do NOT need, we get to let more light into our house.
PS: we are currently also in process of pulling Calista’s front tooth. Chaos ensues.