but my back is weak....
My energy level has been good the past week. I've been really motivated to get stuff done so I can feel finally ready for the baby to come. Maria and I spent the weekend digging through storage boxes of unorganized kids' clothing. We had a year or so when we had clothing coming in faster than I could organize it. When I was pregnant with Jack, I had an ultrasound at 30 weeks that said he was a girl...and hand-me-downs of baby girl clothes followed. Then, 10 weeks later...Jack was born. Not a girl. And hand-me-downs of baby boy clothes came. Then we had clothing that Maria had outgrown, clothing that Jack had outgrown, clothing for Jack to grow *into*, and finally, when Kain arrived, clothing Kain had outgrown as well. After Christmas, I dug through these boxes and pulled out Maria's outgrown clothing (7 boxes worth!) and gave it to a friend with two smaller girls. I'd given away Maria's tiny clothes a long time ago. These things were all size 7 or bigger. Even if this baby is a girl, that's too many years to hang onto something someone else could be using. Then I dug out clothing that Kain had outgrown and gave it to a friend of mine that has a boy a couple of years younger than Kain. This same friend has given me almost everything Jack has ever worn, so I felt like it was the least I could do...and it truly wasn't much. Not a lot of clothing survives Kain and is still worth passing on.
So, this weekend, I had clothes Jack had outgrown, clothes that didn't yet fit Jack, and assorted baby clothes. We sorted and organized these, pulling out all neutral baby stuff, including cloth dipes, to be washed and ready for Peanut in May. We boxed up and labeled "baby boy" and "baby girl" stuff so that these things would be easy to find when we bring home...well, whichever type of baby we happen to have. And then there's a couple of boxes of "toddler boy" and "preschool boy", and one lone half-full box that contains a few too big things I have been given for Maria and Kain.
At the same time, I was able to pull out spring and summer clothing for the kids as well. This week I plan to switch out their clothes, sort out what fits, and figure out what holes I need to fill. In the process I can finish moving Jack's clothes into Kain's room and free up his dresser and changing table for the baby.
In other news, we had our first family yard day yesterday! It was beautiful weather,,,just cool enough to stay comfortable, and sunny...so sunny that I got my first sunburn of the year. Maria and I raked. And raked. And raked. We just wanted to do this one messy corner of the front yard by the fence, but once we got over there it we found out that apparently every leaf in the whole neighborhood had blown into this one corner. It was a *lot* of raking. Maria's chief job was climbing in and out of the yard waste can and stomping leaves down, a la the "I Love Lucy" grape stomping episode, which coincidentally we just saw on TV the other night. Then I dragged Kain out of the house and put him to work helping me rake a much smaller corner. Kain and I also weeded a big overgrown flower bed, gathered fallen branches and sticks out of the front yard, and hacked down some brush growing along the fence. The kids weeded out the little beds around their baby dogwood trees and we planted some wildflower seeds around them. Not the best choice...some of these flowers will probably grow bigger than the trees...but it was a low-maintenance choice. With that, the front yard was done, and we took a long lunch break and had Chick-Fil-A out on the back deck.
After lunch, we tackled the back yard, with considerably less energy...my back and hips were killing me at this point. Kain and Maria hacked down large weedy overgrowth around the huge flower beds that wrap around the back yard and hauled the mess to our quickly growing brush pile. I cleaned up our large deck of the considerable mess of leaves and branches, cleaned up some outside toys, and spray painted a large, rusty, wrought iron plant stand that I'm hoping to use to bring indoors and grow some herbs in pots. I also cleaned out the assorted large pots on the deck and planted some seed in those. John, this whole time, was busy hacking down the rainforest that has grown in the three foot path between the garage and back fence. I wanted to do some work in the other flower beds, but I reached a point where I just couldn't do anymore. We took an early dinner break and had pizza and movie night.
This morning I am sore and achy, but I'm proud of what we got done. We still have plenty to do, at least enough to fill one more family yard day for sure. Those large flower beds out back still have to be weeded and seeded, and there's a few smaller ones too...the previous owners sure loved flower beds. And there's some brush along the back fence, and lots of sticks and branches to pick up, the gravel driveway and path that wrap around the house needs to be herbicided (is that a word?), and the siding on the north side of the house needs to be cleaned. After the yard waste can is emptied on Thursday, we will need to fill it right back up and keep it filled each week all summer long to get rid of that huge brush pile. But we made a lot of progress, and I'm proud of my little work crew.