Sunday, December 30, 2012

Falling forward... warp speed to the new year

Yep, I'm still here, somehow. Where have I been? I have been to the other side and back again on a journey that I can only call The Great Sewing Room Disaster of 2012.

WARNING: These pictures are of a REAL person's home. I live here. I homeschool. I have not cleaned my house for your benefit. This is not a perfect or even finished home.

I had already started to move things before thinking to take pictures...
Most of the stuff from my sewing room in the homeschool room.

Now that Mr. Ireland's busy season has slowed a bit,  I have a little time to catch you all up with our progress (or lack of) here at Ireland Manor. It won't last long, so I won't promise to be here more frequently. Any day now the cold will return and Mr. Ireland will be back at it, working long hours and late nights. He's a good man, he is.

With the arrival of October I went from summer frenzy to fall panic. The mess in the living room from all of my sewing stuff  nearly gave me a fit of anxiety every time I went upstairs. For weeks I dreaded tackling the pile and being so busy with daily life, it just couldn't be done. The boys were STILL NOT keeping their rooms clean and the kitchen was/is looking like we might have to remodel it much sooner than we anticipated because there was an undetected leak under the sink that has destroyed that cabinet. All of this had me screaming: Can I go on vacation right now?!

Living room swapped to homeschool area

Well, we did go on vacation. I booked a trip to Oahu (thank you airline miles!) for the Mr. and I in early December and set to work on the upstairs. I am one of those people that just HAS to have a clean house when I leave on vacation  - what is the point of going if you come home to a dirty house that you will have to clean?! Even worse is having people stay in your home while you are gone (someone had to watch our kids) and expecting them to work around the unfinished construction and random piles of stuff. It was the motivation I needed to finish moving things.

Homeschool/Craft room now takes up living room.
I spent a couple of days here and there, largely skipping school lessons in November, to move things around. With a final push from my friend Niki, it was done! It is not pretty yet and there is still a large pile of boxed up books taking up the far end of the room, but it is functional and there is so much more floor space! We have 3 craft/homeschool tables for kids to spread out at and I have a big desk for my teacher's books and magazine collection (Pinterest was made for people like me!) It is the beginning of a crafty homeschool mom paradise and so much more practical than the previous living room arrangement.

My messy homeschool mom desk.
 Mr. Ireland and I moved the triple bunkbed to the little boys room and the two older boys are patiently waiting for me to paint their matching twin bed frames. By removing the top bunk board from the bed, the little boys can stand up on the middle bunk, but not jump out because of the rails and we don't have to worry about our 1 year old or 3 year old jumping from the top! It has also eliminated the little boys jumping across their room from one bed to another.

We are also in the middle of refinancing right now. While we wait to close, life has returned to something resembling "normal". It's hard to get anything done when you don't have any money! The list is still there, but there is nothing I can do about it and I can rest just a little bit. I say this every year, but next year, I am NOT going to keep pushing us so hard during Mr. Ireland's busy season, when I am mostly a single parent. Someone remind me of that next fall, yes?
Kids taking turns on the doorway swing
I finished a sweater that I had been working on for 3 years!

 I have had enough time to set up the doorway trapeze bar and swing we bought for the kids 2 years ago, and even enough patience to have the mini trampoline out daily. The kids are really enjoying the swing and trampoline. We avoided a lot of the cabin fever that usually comes with cold weather.

Speaking of cold weather - we have had a backwards winter! Very cold weather during November and early December, hardly any snow, and then December 25th the sky clouds over and dumps a foot of snow! Unfortunately, I lost a duck in the cold snap. I found her the morning of the 24th. I blame myself - I had been trusting my oldest boys to check for eggs and they weren't doing a very good job. I found her frozen on a stash of 6 or 7 eggs. It was very sad and difficult to see. With the snow came warm weather and after a few days of melting, I was able to go out today and chip away many of the layers of ice and straw. I rehomed the remaining ducks a few days ago and the chickens are beginning to lay again. Good old hens.
The whole family helping shoveling snow :)

 As soon as our loan closes we will begin work again. Living in a home you are remodeling is a special kind of torture. It means never being able to unpack, not having a regular routine, pushing to get projects done just so you can have a day off and doing that all while you are trying to keep up with daily life with many children. I am enjoying the break, but I can honestly say I am ready for that upstairs bathroom to be completed. I'm pretty tired of sharing a bathroom with our 4 sons! Now I wonder who's turn it is to scrub toilets?...

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