Little Bear and I have had rough nights all week long, ever since his very unpleasant visit with the pediatric urologist Monday afternoon. Doctors who deal with crying children all day must have boatloads of extra graces; I can't even imagine how stressful and saddening that must become. Poor Little Bear is old enough now to remember that the clinic is where he gets vaccines, and he started the wailing and clinging to me before the nurse even weighed him. It was a trying afternoon for everyone, and there's been a good deal of crying since.
We made it through Mass pretty well yesterday, though. Happy belated feast of St John Chrysostom! I was so glad we went; after the past week, I felt as though the collect was speaking very much to me: "...grant us, we pray, that, having been instructed by his teachings, we may be strengthened through the example of his invincible patience." Invincible patience.
After Mass, Little Bear and I accompanied my mom and siblings cranberry picking along the trails of the borough cross-country ski area. It was in the high 40s with a light rain falling, so Little Bear got all bundled up: two sweatshirts, an extra pair of my old socks pulled up to his knees, and a pair of socks over his hands. (Making mittens this week!) Our usual spot had been picked over, but we came into good berries a little farther along and Little Bear laughed and crawled around through the woods and up and down the muddy trail with my youngest sister while the rest of us kept an eye on them and picked. When he was worn out, I put Little Bear on my back in the ergo while I kept picking; he was asleep in minutes, and I got another half quart before my back was all done being held at an awkward angle with a 22.5-LB child sprawled across it. I'm so glad we were able to go! I hadn't gotten cranberries (lingonberries) since moving back to Alaska after college, and they are so good!
Maybe you've heard the productivity theory for SAHMs that says that you'll get more done if you start the day off by getting all the way dressed right away, shoes, makeup, et al? It's always sounded ridiculous to me, but after a week of not sleeping at night and wrangling a fussy toddler during the day, with a mile-long to-do list before I could go berry picking, I decided it couldn't hurt to try. Did I feel absurd vacuuming the apartment in lipstick and heels, pencil skirt and chignon? Yes, yes I did; but the vacuuming did get done, which is more than I can say for my attempts earlier this week.
Our house-hunting continues. We saw two houses today, and goodness, they were different! The first was built within the last ten years, bright, well-kept; three bed, two bath, with a lovely kitchen and dining area. It sat on about an acre of land with a fair number of small trees, but not so many that you couldn't see the neighbors. The heating system was interesting: a toyo stove (oil-burning) sits in the large kitchen/dining/sitting area, and a fan system draws the excess hot air up through a vent and pumps it through ductwork to the bedrooms and bathrooms. The current owners haul water to fill the underground holding tank, although having it delivered is also an option. We liked the place quite a bit, but without a garage, they were asking more than we really felt it was worth.
The second was built in the 1960s, and being log, it did show. Not that it was in terrible condition, but if you've been in old log structures, you can just tell when they are starting to feel their age... It sat on almost two acres of largely uncleared land, and had two small bedrooms, one bath (with no "bath," just a large shower), as well as a loft/bedroom up a steep ladder from the living room. The kitchen had been completely redone in 2009, and was beautiful! The crawlspace walls held a lot of unenclosed wiring, though, and there were bulbs hanging in odd places in the shed and detached garage, and it just left an overall impression of being old and in need of a good bit of fixing up. At this point we really aren't looking for that much of a project; who knows how many more concerns an engineer's report might find, if we spotted enough to make us leery of it?
After we all lazed in bed until after 8 this morning, Little Bear fought sleep for the rest of the day; he finally napped for a scant hour just before we had to leave to see the first house, and refused through all of the time in the car, all my attempts to get him to bed early, everything. See if Mama lets you sleep in again soon, little munchkin. We were very grateful that he went down at the usual time without a fuss!