We have managed to exhaust ourselves, and it’s not even the move yet.
On Friday we went to the bank and got the bank draft for the notary, covering the down payment, the taxes, and the notary fee, another huge step that made it all a bit more real. We stopped by the license bureau to renew my driver’s license, had lunch together, bought a new toaster (you didn’t seriously think we could live without one for two weeks, did you?), researched washer/dryer sets, scoped Home Depot for new closet doors for the master bedroom (or at least something which which to cover the twelve feet of mirror that both of us find creepy), packed the knick-knacks, statues, and photographs, and stopped by the yarn store for some weaving supplies. (And good thing too, but that’s later in the story.) I drove hard to finish a freelance assignment I’d begun the day before, but I ran out of time. t! dropped off a slew of boxes for us, bless him, and stayed for supper.
Saturday I packed the wall of books in my office, my altar, and my knick-knacks. Once I’ve cleared the last few lingering things like cables and gloves off the bookcases we should be able to dismantle them, giving us a new place to stack packed boxes. Then pretty much all that’s left in here that I can do is my writing desk and the reference stuff and plastic bins of fibre-related stuff underneath it. Saturday afternoon Ceri called, saying that she was in her local hospital under observation for her blood pressure, and we talked for a good long time about stuff in general and possible premature delivery. We had steak and corn on the cob for supper, our first corn of the year, and it was tasteless and cardboardy. We’ll try again.
Sunday morning we had the upstairs neighbours down for brunch, the last one we’ll have like this. We’d packed our waffle iron (oops) but Blade brought his down to learn how to make HRH’s awesome waffles. There was equipment failure, though: the iron plates had too-small grooves and so the waffles self-destructed every time, so we gave up and I used the batter to make pancakes instead. But the company was good! While brunch was happening I got another call from Ceri, telling me that they were transferring her for possible induction to the same hospital I’d been transferred to, the one with the neonatal intensive care unit. We both got a bit weepy, me because I knew exactly what she was going through, and Ceri because she knew that I knew: I’m not ready yet, I was supposed to have more time.
We packed two-thirds of the kitchen that afternoon, until I had to stop because my back and hips were aching too much and my energy was wiped. Scott called and told us that the hospital was going ahead and inducing. At about four o’clock I brought out the loom and started measuring out a warp with the yarn I’d bought on Friday. I’d been planning a very different kind of blanket experiment to test a new technique I was considering using for my gift to them for the baby, and suddenly the experiment had a focus and a reason. I had the warp measured, threaded, sleyed, and wound, with half a blanket woven by the time we went to bed.
Monday morning we were pretty wiped. HRH took the boy to preschool, and I returned to the freelance project that I hadn’t managed to finish on Friday like I’d wanted to. Scott called around ten to let us know how things were progressing and to ask us to bring the stack of books and the camera I’d set aside on Saturday, expecting to go keep Ceri company before they decided to transfer her. I finished my project, handed it in, invoiced, handled my address change with the company, and officially booked off for the duration of the move. Then HRH and I drove up to the hospital we knew very, very well to drop off Ceri’s things and speak with Scott while Ceri rested.
Once home again, I realised that shoehorning a full workday into the morning had left me too burnt out to move on to packing the books in the living room, and HRH wasn’t much better, so I wove the rest of the baby blanket while we watched the middle part of The Return of the King (we’ve been re-watching the Lord of the Rings extended films at night because we’re too tired after a day of packing to do anything else). With every weft pass I was thinking health and safety, health and safety. I was going to finish it no matter what, because I was determined that this child was going to have something handmade especially for her ready even if she was a month ahead of schedule. When HRH went to pick the boy up I hemstitched the ends and took it off the loom. Since this was a new technique that I’d never tried before, I was worried that it might fall apart. But it didn’t, and it was exquisite; I foresee much potential with this technique indeed. I laid it out on the bed and took some photos (which will be shared in a project-devoted photo post once it has been gifted, I promise!), then prepared for the final step, which included felting it slightly in the washing machine. I used the gentle cycle just to be sure, and good thing. The so-called gentle cycle tore open all my protective layers and ties, leaving the blanket to agitate loose in the hot water, which is exactly what was not supposed to happen. I checked on it in time and rescued it, though, and while it’s felted a wee bit past what I wanted, it is certainly a success and I am thrilled with it.
After I put Liam to bed I drew myself a hot bath, because I have somehow screwed up my lower back and hips as badly as I did around the time I was pregnant (which, I have just realised, is the last time I moved, duh). I have to keep reminding myself to take it easy, but the repetitive motion of packing boxes and reaching up and down for things is doing a number on me. I downed some Tylenol and at the last moment paused, then took the phone into the bathroom with me, just in case.
Well, twenty minutes into the bath the phone did indeed ring, and I was out like a shot, grabbing a towel and the handset. Sure enough it was Scott, with the wonderful news that Ada Emily had been born just before six o’clock, right around the time I was pressing the water out of her completed baby blanket and hanging it on the clothesline to dry. I had finished it just in time for it to be ready for her. He told me to go ahead and tell people, and off he went to post quick notes on Facebook and Twitter from home.
When we got off the phone I sat down and had a very therapeutic cry. When someone else is going through something traumatic that you’ve been through, you worry about them. You know everything will be fine, but you still worry, and you feel for them, and I walked around most of the weekend becoming increasingly stressed and agitated, knowing what they were going through and being unable to help them any more than we were already doing, being a sounding board and support. Also moving a hell of a lot of energy around, through the blanket and otherwise, which is probably another reason why we were exhausted; the last time we did energy work that intense was when our own premature son was in that hospital and we were working for his health. There’s something about babies and births that makes you fight with everything you’ve got.
We all slept in an hour and a half later than usual this morning (apparently we’re all tired, what a surprise), which led to everyone scrambling out of bed in a panic and the boys leaving around the time they usually get to preschool. Today is the living room: we pack the books, an easy task (though long and tiring, because I did two English degrees and I’m a professional writer, and I’m not apologising for it) but one that disturbs me, because once the books are packed the house has officially been torn apart, and I still have another week and a half to live here. And that’s the halfway point packing-wise. There’s more kitchen, the rest of my office, and we’ll do some more of the boy’s room in the next day or so.
I have a double batch of bread rising to bake for Ceri and Scott so they’ll have two loaves in the freezer when they get home, I’m doing laundry, and the dishwasher is about to go on. I’m caught up on news and correspondence. HRH brought me a breakfast sandwich so I’m fed. Let’s do these books.