A mess of snow clothes was also by the front door.
School books were scattered around the music room. Blankets and novels laid paired up and abandoned in various cozy spots around the house. Dinner had been waffles and the waffle irons were still out on the counter. Rachel hadn't washed them (it was her dish day) since she'd stayed up late to finish baking the cookies she'd started on Sunday.
Laundry was literally piling up all over because while I'm somewhat immune to needing to change my outfit when I get spit up on, everyone else feels the pressing need to change their clothes immediately. And Phoebe spits up a lot, so all her burp cloths were dirty, too.
The kids had been "creative" in the basement and had pulled out every type of toy we own—dress ups mingled with blocks and toy food and the dollhouse accessories...
As I said, it was like a literal bomb had gone off.
Andrew and I spent Monday evening taking turns pacing with Phoebe, who was suffering so badly from her reflux that she genuinely couldn't even lie down or fall asleep. When Andrew was holding Phoebe, I was working. While I was holding Phoebe, Andrew was working.
But not at cleaning the house. No!
We have actual jobs, you know!
And then, suddenly, it was 2:00 in the morning and Andrew, who I believe had a screaming Phoebe, texted me to say, "Oh, by the way, the bug guy is coming tomorrow morning."
The bug guy. Is coming. Here. To our house...that looks like this...in the morning?!
And it was basically Andrew saying, "Good luck to you!" because he works downtown on Tuesday mornings so he'd be getting up and leaving early, which meant we need to get to bed because it already was early in the morning.
So I sighed a heavy sigh, and we went to bed.
And then before we knew it, it was morning again.
Andrew left the house before anyone was really up. I called the kids for a meeting in my room while I fed Phoebe. Only Rachel came. She was the only one up. So I charged her with waking up her siblings so we could split up the house and get to work.
The thing about having this many kids is that the house gets messy fast. But the thing about having this many kids is that it really doesn't take too long to set things right when we put our minds to things. Many hands make light work, and all that.
So Rachel went to wake her siblings up. She made the mistake of sitting on Zoë's bed to inform her it was morning.
I made the mistake of telling Zoë she could read before bedtime and then...forgetting to give her any indication that it was time to go to sleep. So Andrew caught her still reading after 10:00 PM last night.
She did not wake up a happy camper. When she saw Rachel sitting on her bed she lifted up her legs and started kicking her—hard!
But eventually all the kids got up and we tidied the house in
no time about an hour and a half. The bug guy came, I answered the door, and he said, "Is that your baby?! When were you even pregnant?!"
"I was hugely pregnant the last time you were here!" which was in October.
"I guess I didn't notice."
Thankfully he's pretty good at overlooking leftover messes, too.
Andrew ruined his shoes while spreading mulch in the front yard.
They're not trash yet, but they're so mud-coated that they're not good for much else other than work shoes now. And that's fine. Miriam also just about trashed another pair of her shoes and I can't—for the life of me—figure out why the girls went out there in shoes and not rain boots!
Oh, well. It's a small price to pay for the work they did.
Andrew ordered a new pair of shoes when he decided his were unrecoverable. It is January 19th now so he's been waiting for his shoes to be delivered for about three weeks now. According to the tracking app, they are at Norcross, which is basically right here, and every day he gets a text message saying his package is on the truck and will be delivered today, but every day no package comes.
So we're pretty sure they lost it.
I've been anxious for packages to arrive, myself. I have a number of books coming that I need to read for class. Andrew and I have been hanging around the front door like vultures, constantly checking to see if any packages have arrived, and when we see that one has, we descend upon it like piranha, so eager are we to get our hands on the contents.
The other day I noticed that some packages had come, so I went outside to get them and noticed that Andrew's shoes had finally arrived! I knew they were his shoes because instead of coming in a box or an envelope, they were in one of those horrible plastic packages—you know the kind that are, like, heat-sealed around the edges and are impossible to open (and are surely terrible for the environment)?
I thought it might be funny to hide the package from him and then reveal it to him after he got all disappointed about it. Which sounds mean when I type it all up, but it sounded funny at the time!
But as I was having this thought, Andrew started coming out of the house after me, so I quickly kicked his shoes away from the front door, towards the garage, and bent down to pick up the other packages so I could distract him with those.
Now, we live on a rather steep hill, and those heat-sealed plastic packages are rather slick, and—wouldn't you know it?!—it those shoes went skittering across our driveway like they were sliding on ice! When they got to the side yard is when I really began to panic because by now—and quite suddenly—it was getting dark and the side yard is ridiculously steep. Practicing our basketball shots on the driveway is highly motivating because if you miss the rebound you know you're going to have to chase after that ball all the way down to the creek because once it gets on that hill, there is no stopping it.
Well, Andrew's toboggan shoes were heading right toward that hill!
I didn't have any shoes on, myself, but now it was starting to rain and I didn't want Andrew's shoes to get lost in the yard in the rain and have to go stomping through the mud to find them in the morning. I mean, this was just supposed to be a friendly little prank. I hadn't meant to destroy his brand-new replacement shoes that he had waited so long for!
So despite not having shoes on, and despite of the coming darkness and the rain, I darted after the shoes to intercept them before they went catapulting down that darn hill!
I was too late.
The shoes—in their slick packaging—hit that hill and took off like there was no tomorrow.
So I took off after them—in the dark, in the rain, in bare feet—and was horrified when the that package—that otherwise would have been impossible to open—hit a rock and split open, sending that brand new pair of shoes flying in opposite directions.
I felt terrible and just as I was trying to decide which shoe to follow...I woke up.
Not to pull the classic elementary school creative writing assignment ending, but..seriously, guys. That was my dream! I dreamt that Andrew's shoes arrived and I tried to prank him and ended up chasing his shoes through the backyard in my bare feet...in the dark...in the rain...
Andrew was laughing so hard when I told him this dream, not because the dream is particularly funny but because why would dream about something so completely inane in such exquisite detail? I honestly don't know the answer to that.
Andrew's shoes still haven't arrived.
My books are trickling in.
I have weird—yet boring—dreams.
But as much as the bug guy scenario sounds like the mundane kind of nightmare my brain might cook up to serve me in the middle of the night, that story was true.