Ah, how wonderful it is to have a tidy uncluttered clean home.
We had company last weekend, so I used it as a good excuse to do a deep clean of our house ahead of time. How oddly exhilarating a day of good hard cleaning is! Since then I’ve been tidying up twice a day, as I know that I do much better when I keep on top of things rather than end up overwhelmed and avoiding the mess after falling behind.
I did a bit of a mini-clean this weekend again,
handwashing and relanolizing the wool diaper covers,
marking (I teach an online course),
baking (the best banana bread ever, according to my husband),
before finally putting my son to bed and, after one last quick kid-free tidy, relaxing for the evening.
It’s so much more peaceful to spend the day in a tidy house (or, even better, outside).
My biggest difficulty as far as cleaning and decluttering goes is throwing stuff away. I’m terrible at it. Firmly against it, actually. After all, you never know when that desk calculator with the dead batteries and broken pen might come in handy – and, in any case, it was a gift. And that sweater you’ve never worn – it is really quite pretty and one day you might want to wear it. And all those empty containers – well, containers can be useful for so many things, right? Countless things! You can’t throw them away. And that old tennis ball that doesn’t bounce anymore – it’s still a ball. You can, you know, roll it around or something.
It would seem I have issues.
BUT last week I forced myself to let ago of a few things (including the above-mentioned broken desk calculator and flat tennis ball). My husband is much better at this than I am. A little too good, I thought, as I pulled a Christmas card from his Oma out of the trashcan. Honestly! Not a sentimental bone in his body.
Now, perhaps someone could tell me – what do I do with all these rescued greeting cards??
We’ve been having such a nice summer so far. One of the perks, perhaps, of having an unemployed husband. The company my husband worked for closed last month, so he’s out of work and hanging around at home all day instead. Ask me how easy it is to get stuff done with him around all the time – actually, no, it’s probably safer if you don’t.
But in the meantime, we’re taking advantage of a family summer. Lots of time outside, visiting the duck pond, swimming in the pool, going for long walks. Today we visited the Experimental Farm, a large functioning farm in the middle of the city.
At first the boy wasn’t too sure about all the big animals – horses, cows, bulls, sheep, goats, and a donkey (named Eeyore, if you’d believe it). Wide blue eyes stared over my shoulder at these new noisy creatures. By the time we got to the petting calves, he was excited to look but quite uncertain about touching.
The playground, on the other hand, was most exciting.
He got to run around in his spiffy new “big boy” shoes – Robeez Tredz – climbing the play structures, going down the slide, standing on things that were meant to be sat on, worrying his poor mother who tries so hard not to hover…
But eventually naptime arrived, so we headed out after one last look at the huge bull and gorgeous Clydesdales. My husband agreed with my sympathy over the plight of the poor dairy cows but, perhaps sadly, couldn’t be persuaded that it was sad enough to become vegan over. Oh well. Another discussion for another time, maybe.
Back at home I laid the sleeping baby on our bed and slipped off his big boy shoes. He hasn’t wanted to take them off since getting them the other day. This was unfortunate at first because the new shoes took some getting used to, making him trip a lot, which in turn made him frustrated, but neither did he want us to take them off for him. Anytime he did have to take them off, you could be sure it wouldn’t be long until he brought them over to you wanting them back on again. He’s been doing the same thing with his clothes lately – he goes into his dresser drawer, pulls clothes out until he finds something he wants, then brings it to you to put on him. Which explained why I came home recently to find him wearing a pajama shirt two sizes too small.
It’s hard to believe he’s already 15 months old. My 8lb 10oz newborn is now a squirmy 23.5lb ball of constant movement. He walks, talks, thinks, and explores. He loves to dance, to be chased around the house, and to climb everything in sight. This morning he shoved Daddy awake with repetitions of “twuck! twuck!”, wanting Daddy to lift him onto the windowsill so he could watch the garbage truck he had heard pull up. He waves at buses every single time he sees or hears them – even when he only hears them drive by outside or sees them in a book. So far he’s had a grand total of three kindly bus drivers wave back at him, bless their hearts.
In addition to “twuck”, he can say
and can sign nurse (which he does, frequently).
He can give hugs and kisses, which delights his father to no end (and his mother too, of course).
And every day brings something new.
I am so blessed.
I’m pretty much amazed by my son.
I love watching him discover new things. It’s so exciting. It’s neat to see the wheels turning in his head, the light bulb moments when he puts two and two together, the ah-ha! and repeated experimentations as he explores the world around him.
His most recent discovery is echoes. There are a few places we walk through every day that he’s noticed are particularly good as far as echoes go. As soon as we walk in the door of the parking garage, for instance, he starts his “ah! ah! ah! oh! oh! oh!”, grinning away as his voice echoes off the cement walls. Same with the elevators, the mail room, the entrance way. It’s one of those things that had never occurred to me that he would discover one day. I mean, I just never thought of it. Echoes. How fun!
Speaking of fun, we’ve started swim class at the local pool again, along with our own swim time in the outdoor pool at our condo. He starts grinning as soon as his toes touch the water. He’ll be a regular fish in no time, the way he keeps trying to swim out of my arms already.
Not only does he think he can swim alone, but he thinks he’s ready for Mom and Dad’s shoes too. He opens the closet and pulls out Mom’s sandals or Dad’s big shoes, then works away at trying to get them on his feet, looking ever so pleased with himself when he succeeds.
Most of all, he’s just plain fun. We had our first pillow fight today – he giggled like crazy as I (softly) knocked him over with the pillow, then he’d take the pillow and plop it on my lap, laughing some more when I fell over too.
I just love that boy’s laugh.
I just love that boy.
Ten things I’m grateful for today…
1. My husband. Happy birthday, sweetheart. Thank you for showing me what unconditional love looks like. Thank you for allowing me the privilege of watching our son dissolve into a fit of giggles as his Daddy plays with him. And, most of all, thank you for not running far far away when I told you, perhaps prematurely, that God told me I’d marry you someday. I hate to say it, honey…but I told you so.
2. My son. There aren’t words for the joy that you have brought me. I now understand what they mean when they say that to be a mom is to forever have your heart go walking around outside your body. I love your smile, your giggles, your cheeky grin as you run out of my reach, your eager desire to be involved in everything I do, your warm body snuggled against me each night, your oh-so-serious face and expectant eyes as you politely sign “milk” when you want to nurse – oh, darling, I just love everything about you.
3. My Saviour. Sometimes it hits me – what You’ve done for me, the grace You’ve shown to a miserable wretch, the love beyond knowledge. Other times…oh, Lord, You’ve been so merciful to me even while I’ve so often gone about my day without giving You a second of my thought or time. Fill me anew with that longing to know You deeply, to spend time in Your Word, to seek You in prayer. Create in me a clean heart, oh Lord, and renew a right spirit within me.
4. Chocolate. It’s only fitting that chocolate be on the list, considering how often it has got me through a stressful day.
5. Whiteboards. Oh, the unspeakable joy of wiping away yet another completed task from a long whiteboard to-do list.
6. Kindred spirits. In a society that values convenience over knowledge, it is such a blessing to have those who understand why you choose to do things differently.
7. My sister. I was so mean to you when we were kids. Mom always told me to be nice to your siblings, as they’d be the only ones to stick around when you were older. I get it now. Sometimes it feels like you’re the only person who has remained a constant in my life. No matter how long we go without getting a chance to talk, I always know that as soon as I pick up the phone or write an email, you’ll be right there, same as always, ready to chat as though we’ve done so every day of our lives. No matter what I’ve done, you’ve never treated me any different. You’re the only person who has ever been like that to me. I don’t tell you this enough, but I love you and I deeply treasure your friendship.
8. The sun. Blue skies, green grass, red flowers. Long rambling walks with my son, stopping to inspect every ant and leaf that catches his eye. Slowing down.
9. Green smoothies. Sliced apples. Watermelon. Farmers’ markets.
10. That increasingly rare gem – a truly good book.