Haven’t had much time to blog lately. Between trying to get a bunch of work projects wrapped up before the J-Man’s three-week break from school starts – which won’t happen since it ends tomorrow and I’m nowhere near done with anything – and the baby’s impending arrival becoming more and more (or less and less?) pending, I’m beat.
The absolutely, drop-dead, gotta do it project we have to finish before the baby comes is flooring. (Really, there are lots of projects that are critical, but I’m in denial about them.) It may not seem like the most important step on the baby to-do list, but the little room off our bedroom where the baby will sleep has been the home of our two cats for the last three years. I’ll leave out the sordid details from there except to say that the carpet needs to be ripped out.
We decided to slowly but surely (i.e., as the money fairy leaves unmarked 10s and 20s on our doorstep) to replace all the carpet upstairs. Just buying the first 200ish square feet of it with all the stuff that goes with it definitely brought some stimulation to our economy last weekend courtesy of our federal tax refund. Well, we had some money for 24 hours at least. But we gotta do it.
We also had to move out an entire bookcase full of books from that room, and the only place that could go temporarily was into a closet. Since wood flooring needs to acclimate to your house for a few days before you put it down, 11 boxes of it are laid out in another bedroom, which I also had to clean out last weekend (it’s been our junk room for the last four years). This involved cleaning out decades of strata of old papers, files, mementos, and just plain junk – generating a few hundred pounds of paper and cardboard recycling and trash. The only real good news is that we reclaimed some shoeboxes we can use to make shoebox tasks and games for the J-Man.
The big fun for today was me moving a giant elliptical machine by dragging it 25 feet across a carpeted floor to its new and hopefully final resting place in our bedroom. Being able to move this monstrosity at all – let alone across the house – did make me feel abnormally manly and stuff, but the feeling was short-lived as now I just feel sore, tired, and old. But anyway, this leaves the baby’s new room almost empty. So, next is ripping up carpet. Destruction!
As a serial procrastinator, time pressure is a great motivator for us. But the J-Man’s quarter at school ends tomorrow, which means free time becomes nearly non-existent. We’ll figure out somehow how to keep making progress on baby prep. The most important thing is that the baby not come before April 20, when school starts back. The structure school provides him is going to be critical to his adjustment to the new baby, not to mention that if Mary goes into labor during the day, he has somewhere to be until someone can run over and pick him up.
The hardest part about the next three weeks really will be to establish some sort of better routine at home for him so he doesn’t end up completely wigged out like last time. There’s no way we can recreate what they do at school here at home. We just aim for whatever is the best we can do, but last break was rough. We gotta do better. It will help tremendously that this break it (presumably) won’t be snowing and that it should be pleasant many more days than not. Outside time = better days for everyone.
Our next big step with him is going to be to establish a much more robust picture communication system, something I spent most of today working on. While I’ve come to have both a deeper appreciation and a deeper disdain for Boardmaker, I was able to generate a boatload of pictures to use with his new communication book. Pictures of that to come in a future post.
I think I’m running off adrenaline right now – and an unhealthy, steady stream of caffeine – and that’s not a great way to live for me. It works for a while, but then there’s the inevitable crash, and I don’t have time for that right now. I realized that I have a very eclectic set of goals for between now and when the baby is born. It’s everything from the flooring to the picture communication to the routines to random, annoying, stress-amplified stuff like figuring out how to arrange the cat paraphernalia in the house so our two autistic felines won’t pee all over the place. Yeehaw.
Chaos is nothing new to us, but I think we’re all finally clueing in to how much everything is going to change here in a few weeks. If it was just Mary and me, it’d be stressful but manageable. But the weight of wanting to do everything we possibly can to make this transition for the J-Man as easy on him as we possibly can make it is feeling really heavy right now.
I was saying to one of the teachers at school this morning, he’s taught me that I underestimate him at my own peril. It’s our job to worry I suppose, but he’s made it his job to shine.