First-off, re: my last post, I took about an hour to lie down by myself and just feel whatever I felt… mourning, sadness, anxiety, whatever. By the end of the hour, I was feeling about ready to rejoin the world (and had pressing work emails anyway) and I was laughing and being silly with Matt and Margaret by the end of the night. I was awake for awhile last night and vented a bit on Twitter, in which I figured out that I have some Feelings about Margaret’s birth and I’m scared of this child’s birth. (The possible cystic fibrosis diagnosis is a worry, but it’s not the only worry I have this pregnancy, in other words.) I did some searching and came to Labor progress with Spinning Babies, which mentioned the “5-cm slump” in labor. That’s about where mine stalled, and if I’d known about it and had better support through it, I might have had an unmedicated birth after all. I’m gonna keep poking at this and thinking about it to figure out exactly what I can do differently.
Second: PEE IN THE POTTY! Margaret’s been refusing diapers, so we’re just kind of letting her go naked (she generally refuses clothes even if it’s snowing outside and I’m in layers). She asks for a diaper if she can tell she needs to pee, but sometimes she can’t tell until it’s too late. She also used to cry so hard if that happened, since she hates feeling wet anywhere on her skin, but lately it’s been just a little frustrated cry and then watching curiously what we do. I decided to just start taking her to the potty after an accident. Just now she had one, and she didn’t cry or refuse the potty (like she’s done earlier), and said “I did it!” when there were a couple drops of pee in the potty, and then we cleaned up and washed hands and everything. I hadn’t planned to even try to potty-train her this early, but if she doesn’t want to wear diapers and will learn how to use the potty instead, then hell, no more diapers for Margaret!
And finally, to the point of this post: Via Twitter today I found the site Slow Your Home. It fits in with this general reducing crap/making reusable things/homesteading simple life thing we’re aiming at. Three weeks away from a move, I’m not going to get drastically into it (though moving is a great time to declutter, either in the sense of “I don’t want this enough to move it, so it’s going to Goodwill/in the trash/etc.” before the move or the sense of “Why did I bother packing, moving, and unpacking this? It’s going to Goodwill/in the trash/etc.” after the move). But it’s lots to think about as we get settled into the new house.
Matt and I talked about it a little over dinner, and I came up with a five-year plan that he also agrees with: Let’s be unpacked.
That’s it. That’s the whole plan. (We’ve got one small child and will soon have two, so I didn’t want to aim too high.) Within five years of moving in, I just want to have every single box unpacked, anything that’s stored put neatly away in organized bins (and I bought a bunch of those for the move anyway), everything to have its place, and no more temporary anything. No more ugly mismatched curtains because we’re never in a place long enough to buy curtains that fit the windows. No more shoving things in cabinets and drawers “just until…”. No more making do.
We’re off to a good start already, I think. Every room on the main level has new, solid flooring and a fresh coat of paint on the walls. Both bedrooms actually have matchy decor, and both bedrooms will have art in them. (Art! No more bare walls or tacked-up posters!)
Margaret’s bedroom The kids’ room has curtains and a decorative valance, Margaret’s toddler bed has a comforter and at least one set of nice sheets, and there’s a dresser and toy bins and diaper bins and everything. Our bed has a real headboard, a custom matching nightstand, coordinating lamp, a new duvet, and at least one set of matching sheets. Matt and I both have real dressers with mirrors. I just bought curtains that should coordinate with everything, and we will have real, matching curtains hanging in the bedroom for the first time in our lives together.
All this stuff sounds a little vain and the opposite of living simply, but for me, it’s healing. I hate looking around our house now (our living room, especially) and seeing all this mismatched, good-enough-for-now, patchy crap. The bare white walls that we talked about painting but never did. The cheap particleboard desk I’m sitting at to type this, which is about a year old and broken already — compare that to the rolltop desk I’ll have in my new office (a hand-me-down, but better quality) and the table that will be Matt’s new desk (used to be a dining table and needs another coat of paint, but it’s solid). That’s the difference I’m talking about. I’m not going out and buying all new everything. Those dressers are hand-me-downs and a Craigslist buy, for example, but they’re solid pieces of furniture that will last for decades more. Some of the curtains are hand-me-downs or reused, but put up because they already matched. I’m making rag rugs for the floors out of T-shirts that we don’t wear but couldn’t bear to donate. The difference is that I’m consciously choosing things that fit just right for the room they’re in, not just some cheap placeholder.
And I want the whole house to be like that in five years. No drawers that we just don’t open. No junk accumulating in corners or on flat surfaces. Nothing that we’re just dealing with because it needs fixing. No bare rooms that we’ll get around to decorating eventually. I want everything to have a place and to be functional and beautiful in its place.
So I’m gonna start by folding some laundry before bath and bedtime.