Whew! Life has been a bit of a whirlwind recently! I keep getting further and further behind on laundry, and I am not even sure what we've been eating because I haven't planned and cooked proper meals for quite a while now. It's all been good/fun/important stuff that has kept us in this hectic state, but some calm and peace would be very welcome right now. Violet started developing a runny nose late yesterday and then had a miserable night, so I cleared our schedule today and declared it to be a day of staying home in comfy pants. Having a sick 20-month-old is pretty wretched (the coughing! the snot! the terrible toddler moods!), but I will admit that I could really use this quiet day after the harried tumult of the past two weeks.
Those two weeks have seen us close on our house (hooraaaaaaaaaaaay...), the sellers rent back from us for a while, and then us take possession of the house. It is now really ours, and I am super excited. I started work on the mantel, which I am refinishing, and then this week people came in to refinish our floors. We're having them use an environmentally friendly finish on the floor, which I am kind of excited about. It's low-VOC and LEED complaint and all those good things, and I perused the internet to find people who have had it on their floors and folks seem very happy with its durability and whatnot. After the hardwood floors, we will have somebody come in to wire for the speakers in the media room and then somebody to do all the painting, and I am still working on getting somebody to refinish the front door. It's probably under 3 weeks now until we get to move in and it is hard to communicate just how HAPPY this makes me.
Yesterday Grace had her first day at her new preschool so there has been much scrambling around to meet-the-teacher and parent meetings and making it to the first morning drop-off WITH all the appropriate items and WITHOUT being late. I think it is going to be a fun year for Grace; her two teachers seem so sweet and engaged in small children and serious about this as an important and wondrous part of life. She is going five mornings a week, which is only slightly more hours weekly than she did last year but going everyday is going to be new for us. It is mainly going to be an adjustment for me, I think; I have to get us all out the door dressed appropriately with a lunch packed EVERY MORNING. For FIVE DAYS A WEEK. Shocking, I know.
Speaking of getting dressed and packed up and where one is supposed to be, I have recently been bemoaning how much time my exercise habits now take up. By the time I drop off whatever children I have with me at the childcare room after having packed them what they need and me what I need, then work out, then pick them up and drive home and then take a shower and do my hair and so forth, I have used up almost two hours (or more, when I work out for 90 minutes instead of an hour). Multiplying this by how many times a week I am trying to exercise, I am up to about how many credit hours I was teaching before Violet was born. So much time! I wish being in shape wasn't so much WORK. I am hoping that after we are settled in the new house, more of my time and energy gets freed up so that eventually I can return to sewing and fun things like that and eventually having a job again without returning to my slothful, non-exercising ways.
On Labor Day, instead of staying home and doing laundry and buying groceries as some priorities would have directed, we went on our first outdoorsy outing here in Utah. It was SO MUCH FUN. We drove out to Big Cottonwood Canyon and hiked a little trail to Donut Falls. It was a perfect first hike to try out with Grace, as it was just 1.5 miles roundtrip and there was this great waterfall to see. There were a lot of people there because of the holiday and the beautiful, slightly cool weather, but it was still fun. We had an inauspicious beginning to our hike as Violet threw an absolute fit for about the first 20 minutes. She wanted so desperately to walk and be independent but I had to keep her in the Ergo as she isn't a good enough walker to navigate rocks and a bumpy trail and so forth. Oh, how she protested! Oh, how angry she was at being thwarted! Rob said it was like being the one with a crying baby on an airplane, except WORSE, because all these people had come out to enjoy nature and trees and mountains and there we were with our tantrumy screamy toddler. We just kept moving forward and eventually she calmed down after she screamed herself hoarse and hungry and thirsty. For a while we thought it was going to be an absolute failure of an outing but Violet calmed down and then shortly afterwards we arrived at the falls and it was just lovely. I climbed about a third of the way up the falls but turned back when it got too slippery to scramble up the boulders with my balance compromised by Violet strapped on me, while Rob and Grace went all the way up and got to see the circular hole in the rock for which the falls are named. We had such a good time, and I can't wait to see more fun outdoorsy things here in our new home state. If we make a habit of such things, I am going to need some appropriate shoes or clothes or something. I wore my one pair of jeans and was reminded how much I just abhor wearing jeans-- so uncomfortable. And the shoes I wore (a really old pair of retired running shoes) went into a pile to be donated because they were making my feet numb. Another benefit to hiking-- I get to buy a new outfit!