We have sprung forward and Grace is on spring break from her little preschool and we have had our first 70-degree days; spring is undeniably springing before my very eyes-- springy spring spring spring. The weather has been just beautiful for the past few days, with sunny afternoons warm enough for short sleeves and everyone coming out to enjoy the scant few weeks of enjoyable outdoors that we get here in north Texas.
Sadly, the spring weather has not caused us to magically become healthy but rather we are still swimming in a hazy sea of germs and illness. Perhaps more accurately, we are swimming in a hazy sea of convalescence, as it seems like everyone who was most recently sick is slowly getting better. Specifically Violet has had a cold (fever, messy nose, coughing) and although you would not be tempted to call her "healthy" if you saw the effluvia coming from her nose right now, she does seem better than she was a few days ago. She had a few nights of being up feverish and coughing and unable to get comfortable, and thus it was rough going for a few days. She is on her second or third night of more normal sleep, and therefore so am I, a fact for which I have a bone-deep gratitude to match the bone-deep exhaustion I was sporting a few days ago.
Speaking of Violet, she is becoming such a little toddler and leaving more and more of her baby self behind. She staggers around the house on her own independent pursuits and missions. Too often, they involve putting her toothbrush in the toilet or removing all of the DVDs from our media drawer, but it is highly entertaining to see her sober inventiveness and determined exploration. She went outside to play in the backyard for the first time ever this past weekend when our weather was so nice, and it was a huuuuuuuuge hit, a grand success to the point of woeful wailing when we needed to come back inside. She has added "ALL DONE!" and "UP!" to her vocabulary, the latter of which she takes to mean both pick me up and put me down. It is a general purpose word for changing position, I guess. She is often very serious these days and will tuck her little chin down and scowl at us from beneath furrowed brows when she is not feeling quite enthused about the situation. I feel like she is learning a lot about autonomy and independence these days; she is still all for cuddles and nursing and downtime in the Ergo but I see her ever more aware of her own desires (and the thwarting thereof) and ever less the baby who contentedly does whatever I want her to.
Most of last week was taken up with work we were having done to get our house ready to go on the market. We had all our front landscaping ripped out and new bushes put in, our backyard cleaned up (leaves from last fall still lingered in neglected, half-composted piles amidst a sea of branches and brushy stuff), and a lot of our rooms repainted. Some of our walls needed a bit of repair (thank you, shifty clay soil) and some of the paint was just dirty so I'd say 1/3 of our walls got repainted. Most of the rooms stayed the same color (kitchen still white, Grace's bedroom still purple, etc) but we did decide to change our pretty blue living room over to beige, along with the connected dining room. I am generally no fan of beige, but I figured if we were already painting three walls of that room and the house was going to be listed within a few weeks, we might as well play it safe and go neutral. So the inside of our house is just about ready to go and the outside of our house is looking quite spiffy, with the major exception of the HUGE PILES of ripped out bushes and branches and yard refuse sitting on our curb. The city does bulk pick-up one week out of the month for our neighborhood and supposedly it should get picked up by Wednesday. I think that's pretty much the last thing we're waiting on to take pictures and then list our house.
(Sidenote: Yesterday Rob tried to fix our original-to-1953 back screen door, which was sticking badly upon opening or closing. His attempts actually made it worse and the door was in terrible shape anyway, so we decided just to remove the whole thing and leave only our main back door. He carried the door out front to our giant pile for bulk trash pick-up and NOT THREE MINUTES LATER, a couple pulling a huge open trailer filled with the most motley assortment of junk/clutter/rubbish came up and drove away with our craptastic screen door perched atop their haul. It was like they were watching our pile waiting for us to put something good in it and then immediately jumped in and got it. I only wish they would have taken more.)
Despite the beautiful weather, I have a bit of apprehension about this spring as I sit here with the next few months stretching before me. Our house will be on the market, which means a lot of stress and cleaning and packing the kids out of the house at a moment's notice and the like. Rob has yet more conferences to travel to this spring, which means solo parenting, and there are trips for ALL of us scheduled to see both sets of our parents, which means the exertion of traveling with small children combined with the task of having our house ready to show while we are out of town. And we still have a lot of uncertainty about where we will live and what our lives will look like starting this summer, which means that both Rob and I are starting to get twitchy about it and are longing for a bit of certainty, a bit of a plan. I shall take a deep breath and do one thing at a time and focus on how overwhelmingly blessed I am and remember that I do have certainty about things that are more important than real estate or job interviews.