Anyway, Fridays are my cleaning days. I've had my three younger siblings here this week so they were able to help out. But instead of helping by cleaning, they did so by watching Kale and Addison. Let the cleaning therapy begin. In the middle of cleaning, I decided to make some sugar water for the hummingbird feeder. I set it on the stove to boil and then went to get the kids' laundry ready. I was changing crib sheets when I smelled this awful burning smell.
My sisters, Mimi and Liza, were at the dining room table doing their schoolwork (they're homeschooled and I got to teach this week), and just as I ran into the kitchen asking, "What's burning?!", Mimi jumped up and nearly dropped to her knees to crawl under the smoke billowing throughout the kitchen.
I do not exaggerate.
The amount of smoke from the burned sugar water wafted throughout the apartment and actually surprised me. I grabbed the pot off the burner and ran it outside on the balcony, then took the kids to our bedroom where, thankfully, there wasn't any smoke yet. I shut Mimi, Liza, Crash, Kale and Addison in there and they spent the next ten minutes in there jumping on the bed, taking all the Kleenex out of a box, and "sorting" our dirty laundry while I fanned the smoke alarm, set up fans, and opened all the windows.
We haven't had the windows open because of the pollen in the air...both John and I have awful allergies and so the AC has been on. The moment I opened the balcony door, I started sneezing like crazy. (Thank you for nothing, Clariton...)
I. Was. Miserable.
I smelled like smoke. I was sneezing, relying on the Kleenex that was now scattered throughout my room to keep me going. Ugh.
I decided that we needed to air out the place for quite a while, so I packed the kids up and we went to the playground...where the day turned around.
Oddly, this HUGE interruption to our day turned out to be just what I needed. I needed some time away from the constant cleaning that needs to be done, and the indoors...
|Kale picking flowers for Mom|
|He stacked his dandelions on the bench before tossing them off...|
I needed to stop and smell the roses (or dandelions), and to just be. It was exhilarating to just let go...it was as if God was telling me to just stop trying to be supermom/sister and while I don't ordinarily need to have a reason to go outside, today I did. The weather was perfect (I was chilled just sitting with Addison until she fell asleep) and then I went swinging with Liza, down the slide with Kale, and watched Mimi and Crash build sand castles in the sandbox.
|Mimi's sand castle|
|Crash's sand castle...he later added a bridge.|
We went barefoot for a while, feeling the sand in our toes, which was an excellent feeling. My siblings wanted to know all about the two stray cats they saw who live somewhere around here and eat out of the dumpster. They affectionately named the two tabbys "Garr" and "Bidge". We were just outside, carefree and having fun...
...then, as clouds moved in, I remembered that the girls had to get back to schoolwork and after 45 minutes, the apartment should have been aired out enough to breathe. So we headed back inside (where we could, indeed, breathe quite easily!) No sooner had we washed up and had a snack when a soft rain started falling, sounding absolutely refreshing and washing all the pollen out of the air.
I thanked God...He blessed me with a soft rainfall so that I wasn't constantly sneezing. I felt like He was thanking me for not being frustrated and upset about the smoke and burned sugar water, and for taking the opportunity to spend time with my siblings and children.
We kept the windows open all day, and I haven't needed a Kleenex since this morning.