Today was a day of little triumphs interspersed with little tantrums. I am proud and ashamed to claim I was involved in both. We’ve been trying to get the “nursery” ready. I use nursery loosely as it is not a tricked out baby room with a cohesive theme and all the little must-haves. Though it isn’t a traditional looking nursery, it is lovely. The walls are deep yet mellow green, echoing the color of the leaves that flutter outside the window from May to October. One wall is set at an angle and meets up with a gabled wall, the effect, to me, is the sensation of being in a magical tree house. There has been a full size bed in the room that was purchased several years ago for a visit from my sister. To say that the mattress was uncomfortable would be a gross understatement, it was also loud, failing in its role as a place to crash with sleepless little ones. Every movement was punctuated with a squeaky groan and, many times, a posturpedic punch to the rib from a moody coil.

We were talking about getting a dumpster to get rid of things like the mattress and kitchen sink, but I am loathe to pay upwards of $400 to get rid of our junk. Last night I posted on Craigslist that we had a full size mattress and box spring as well as a queen size mattress without a box spring. It was more effective than I could have imagined as I received an email within minutes, MINUTES! of posting, asking about the full set. This morning, after Sean and I, with the help of a very earnest Avery, moved the bed, a teenage girl and her parents came to take it away. Tomorrow we are set to give the queen mattress, a bed frame, a box of pots and pans and a few other items to a family who have lost their farm. I am delighted to have lightened our load all the while making things a little bit easier for others (I’d be lying if I didn’t say I was also happy to avoid having a garage sale. There is something so unseemly to me about having people paw through your stuff, unwanted though it may be, and having them nickel and dime you.)

We have things from the baby shower sitting in the back of the car which we’ll now be able to move into the baby’s room. Sean will set up the crib while the girls and I hang pictures and arrange little things throughout the room. I hadn’t realized how important it was to me to have that room set, which led me to my next oh-my-god-I-must-cross-this-off-my-list item (I hadn’t known I had a list going), clothes for the hospital. When I was pregnant with Avery I went and picked out stretchy, soft pajama bottoms and yoga pants to wear in the hospital. I have since gotten rid of them and have been worrying on and off about how I have nothing packed for the hospital.

Sean took the girls for a run while I trotted (hobbled) to Old Navy and picked up fresh new lounging bottoms and tank tops and long sleeve shirts. Thanks to a coupon and a few returns my dazzling post-delivery hospital wardrobe rang in at a delicious $28. Yay!

We had a kinda-homemade dinner of rotisserie chicken and salad at the table. The girls were adorable, grinning over their many servings of hard boiled eggs and comically inhaling the butter of of their sweet wheat artisan bread. Briar sat with wide eyes as we struggled through the nightly power-play with Avery, a volatile game of chicken that often ends with a trip to time out. She teetered between tattling and protecting, but with the exception of one moment of true older sister glee, she demonstrated a preference to have her kid sister with us, behaving and enjoying.

As we headed up to bed, a chirping herd, I felt the oddest contentment. It hadn’t been a perfect day, as I had guilt about leaving twice and doing it with such delight. There were tense words as we struggled to get the bed downstairs and wrestled with the energy of two kids desperate to get outside in weather that is till too cold and wet to allow for much fun. Money is tight, time is short and energy is limited, but somehow, at the end of the day, everything felt right.

We read stories, laughed and cuddled. The four of us seemed to understand, forgive and appreciate the hurdles before us collectively and individually. We are figuring it out, each of us stretching and extending, pushing to find what we need and how we can help. It is a graceful kind of awkwardness, this searching, and days like today make me so proud of how hard we are each trying. I think it is the perfect embrace in which to welcome this little somersaulting wonder in my belly.