Christmas Week Weeding
We actually managed to fill our digital camera's memory card this weekend, which made me realize that I should have asked for a second card (and a second battery, for that matter, since the current one doesn't hold a charge very well anymore) for Christmas. D'oh! I guess we can look for cards and batteries at the after-Christmas sales this week (if we ever make it to the mall).
I'd planned on writing a post about our Christmas in Virginia and filling it with photos from the aforementioned memory card, but at the moment Al is hogging the Mac so he can sort out which of the 30GB of music and audiobooks in the iTunes library he wants for the 4GB Nano I got him. That post, which should logically preceed this one, will instead follow it.
The other plan that changed this week was the one that involved us driving up to Boston for a few days. On the way down to Virginia on Saturday we made a list of all the things that we wanted to weed/reorganize in the house (everything from Austen's toybox to the cookbook shelf in the kitchen), and we realized that we'd rather spend this week working on the weeding than sitting in traffic or finding that the friends and relatives we'd hoped to see had left town to see other friends and relatives.
The Christmas/New Year's week seems like a good time to take stock of our lives as they are and how we'd like them to be, and to determine what's really necessary, what's nice to have, and what goes under the heading of "what the hell were we thinking when we got this???" How fitting to start the new year appreciating the things we have and not drowning under mounds of things we no longer (or never did) need. As such, we will be passing on a box of infant clothes, bottles, (unused) breastmilk storage parephenalia, and toys to friends who've had babies recently or to local charities. We will be donating books and videos to the library and its used bookshop. We'll be putting the racing snowboard that Al bought a few years ago and realized he would never use up for sale on eBay.
For every new something that we've received for Christmas (or bought recently), we will attempt to get rid of any item the new item has superceeded. (For example, I finally got two the half-sheet baking pans I really wanted, and I will donate to Goodwill three nonstick cookie sheets that I'll probably never use again.) We will refuse to be guilted into keeping a couple gifts that are just so not us and will attempt to trade them in for something that we will use every day, like good measuring spoons or a 3-qt. saucepan with a lid. I know how sad I was when Al returned the first iPod I attempted to give him (for his birthday in July), so I'm conscious of the fact that I might be hurting some feelings by trading in a gift, but I'm hoping that the giver (a) will never know, or at least (b) would be happy to know that we're using something we wanted rather than letting their goodwill gather dust in an upstairs closet. [Al traded in that original iPod for the driver he wanted, and he's got a Nano he loves now, so it's all good.]
As part of this weeding process, we'll also be reorganizing what was once a perfectly-arranged kitchen. What's changed are not our cooking or eating habits, but rather the makeup of our family: We now have a toddler who can get into all the lower cabinets and the bottom half of the pantry. We're perfectly happy to let him have all the plastic containers, empty butter boxes, pots, and spatulas he wants to play with, but we'd rather he didn't crush all our cookies and crackers or empty bags of flour onto the floor. Sadly, the Snack Drawer's days are numbered.
I promise that in between all the weeding this week there will eventually be posts with photos, including Austen's thirteen-month update. Stay tuned!