Friday, December 31, 2004

New Year's Eve Cleaning

I think I've read that in some traditions cleaning the entire house before the New Year arrives is customary. For us, it was necessary.

All the windows in the house were just replaced and it left a bunch of dust and bits of vinyl throughout the house. Since the workers left yesterday afternoon, I can't count how many loads of bedding, throws, clothes, assorted baby toys and coverings, etc., we've run. Plus pretty much every piece of furniture has been moved and more vacuuming than we've done since we moved in has occurred.

And we're still not done. The new windows are installed properly (as opposed to the old horror-show windows we had before, which means we lost some windowsill space and Evelin is busy repotting plants and trying to find new homes for others).

Despite the disruption, the new windows look good, and they should keep the inside temperature more consistent no matter the outside temperature. Plus they open and close at our command, as opposed to the old ones, some of which only held open/closed with the help of a dowel pin.

According to the windows guys, the windows we had were only manufactured and installed for a short period of time in the early to mid 1970s. They were basically two storm windows sandwiched together, so in a sense they were double-insulated, but not in a good sense.

The new ones are the full monty: tilt in for cleaning, easy to open/close, divided panes above a single pane, Argon-gas filled, UV coated, and so forth. It already seems warmer and quieter.

Of course, the two days of installation weren't the easiest on Celeste. I was working at home (after a half day on Wednesday, I was coughing and sniffling too much and was basically ordered home by my department), which left Evelin free to take her out for a walk to get away from the dust and noise, but much of the day was spent with her in a closed off room that had already had the windows changed out. And now we're keeping some windows cracked to help air out the smell from the caulk.

Actually, I'm not sure what's up with the little girl. Over Christmas, she was at her best — smiling, playing nicely, even letting out her first real giggles — but the past two days she's seemed a little sullen and more than a bit cranky. Last night she was screaming so bad when we tried to put her to bed that I thought she might have an earache or something. (It turned out there's no fever, and while she is a bit stuffed up, she doesn't seem to be abnormally so. She has a pediatrician's visit scheduled for next week, so we'll ask lots of questions then.)

Evelin is pretty sure she was overtired between bad naps during all the work and post-work cleaning, plus we were trying to clean things up and probably missed many "Hey! I'm tired!" signs.

It probably doesn't help that I'm holding her less and playing with her less at the moment: I don't want to spread my germs to her, and I've been a bit on the wiped-out side of things. That's not fair to Celeste or to Evelin, but hopefully this will pass soon and we'll all be back to normal. At least the windows are all already cleaned.

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