Here's a bit of what we've been up to:
- Sorting through 3 years worth of kids' clothes. The kids' closet had become impossible, full of bags and boxes of clothes that they had outgrown. We hadn't gotten rid of anything since I passed along some baby girl items to my sister more than a year ago! (And before that, nothing -- just letting it pile up! Yikes!) With my mom's help, we sorted through everything, ending up with 9 bags of boy's clothes and almost as many bags of girl's clothes (I lost count and the girl bags are piled up in the closet; no way am I going in there and waking them up for such a detail!)
Pile A, bags of boy's clothes. Passed everything along to A for her little one on the way -- was so happy to be giving it to someone who could use it! The girl's clothes will be going to my friend T very soon. Whew!
Here's what it looked like about halfway through .... all those shopping bags used to be filled and stacked precariously in the closet!
- Preparing for Valentine's Day. We cooked several dozen gingerbread heart cookies (some to give away at BJ's preschool, most to keep here at home since there are one of S's favorites)
We also made a bunch of cards. He needed 16 for his classmates, so I made 26. I know, I know. But he did end up giving away several more beyond the 16, to his teachers and (naturally) to his beloved J.
It was a fun project: I cut fabric hearts out of my scrap stash, and we used paintbrushes to apply Elmer's glue to everything, making little collages on construction paper.
I then wrote "Happy Valentine's Day" inside on every card but one. BJ insisted that one of the cards for one of his teachers should say, "Do you like chasing kids?" (Apparently, one of the assistant teachers, a student at the college, likes to play tag with the kids. BJ isn't entirely sure he approves of this.)
- Recycling! We donated our old TV, broken DVD player, and kaput window AC unit to a local electronics recycling drive, benefiting the Ainsley House in Campbell. I was SO glad to get those out of the way and to do something good at the same time!
- Gardening! In between the rain storms, Mom and I have been hard at work in the front yard, which needed it sorely. It isn't quite the right time of year, I'm afraid, but if it didn't happen now it just wasn't going to happen. Weeding out oxalis (again....) planting bulbs (a dozen agapanthus and calla lillies, and over 100 gladiolus) and seeds (poppies and sweet peas), digging out four nasty rose bushes that had seen better days (one of which must have been almost as old as the house, given the size of the root ball) and removing several dying lavender bushes. Laid down a bunch of mulch Still haven't figured out what to do with the bed right in front of the house, but it looks a sight better out there.
- Remembering what it's like to be grown ups! S and I had our first real date night in a looooong time. We did what used to be our favorite cheap date: slices at Pizza My Heart and a double feature at the Stanford Theater.
We saw two fun but bizarre WWII flicks: "The Major and the Minor" and "Miracle at Morgan's Creek." In between the movies, listening to the organ (they have a live organist! is that cool or what?) we said to each other, "So this is what it's like to be grown ups?" I think we'd almost forgotten.
- Laughing! Lots of laughter, for mostly silly reasons: watching the kids run around, remembering funny family moments and inside jokes, teasing each other.... Giggling at BB's repeated insistence on showing my parents their picture from the refrigerator each time they arrive at the front door. Accompanied by her observation that my mom is "squinting in the sun." Or chuckling at BJ as he asks another stumper, "Are the stars infinity?'
Among other noteworthy amusing moments: BB's announcement to my mom: "I'm not having trouble with you any more, Giki!" (This from the kid who has had a bit of difficulty warming up to my mom; she's definitely been partial to my dad on previous visits.) And sure enough, she's definitely been more friendly this time around. Very nice to see.
- And on top of that, the usual cooking, cleaning, shopping, washing dishes, doing laundry.... the stuff that has to happen with a household full of folks!
All in all, it's been balm to the heart and salve to the soul to have my family here with us. (And not just because they work so hard to help out!) It is always a joy to have them visit, and as the kids get older that's even more so. We will miss them terribly when they leave on Wednesday. I'm choked up already, just thinking about it.