This weekend we’re having an additional eight people sleeping at our home, and there will be a total of 22 of us for meals. My kids have asked, and this has been echoed by others since, where in the world are we going to put everyone?!?
Well, living in a five bedroom apartment, we’re obviously going to be sleeping in closer quarters than usual, but I think it will be workable. Here’s the plan: dd17 will move out of her room, which is the official guest room. The parents and their two year old will sleep in that room (we have three beds there).
Dd17 will move into the room with dd15 and dd11, where they will be joined by our eleven year old guest. There’s room for three beds to be opened at one time (though we officially have four beds there), so two of our girls will double up in one bed – they told me they’ve done this before and prefer it to the other option I offered them.
Then, ds18 and his friend will sleep in the older boys room, where ds12 and ds9 usually sleep. Last night all four of them slept there (there are two beds in that room that each have another bed underneath that can be pulled out, and there’s floor space for all four beds to be out at once). But for the weekend, we’ll have a nine year old boy here, so that changes the arrangement.
So ds9 will move out of his room and into the little’s room with our nine year old guest. Usually, the three littles sleep there. But now, ds2 will sleep in our room which he loves to do anyway! Then, ds5 and ds4 will be in their usual beds, and our four year old guest (boy) will sleep in the bed where ds2 usually sleeps. The two nine year old boys will sleep on mattresses on the floor with sleeping bags in this room. So all of the boys will be upstairs, where they have their own bathroom.
We rearranged the living room furniture to accommodate the furniture we needed to move in for Chanukah lighting – the living room window is high and a regular table wasn’t high enough to allow the menorahs to be seen. I was a little concerned how we’d have room for our dining room table to be extended, along with an extra table, along with an extra table for the menorahs, but it looks like it will work out well.
We borrowed a couple of blankets from a neighbor, but otherwise have enough sleeping bags and blankets for everyone. I washed all the linens this week so we have plenty of fresh sheets for everyone. The main challenge is pillows – I have exactly enough for each family member, and three kids have recently complained that their pillows have disappeared! Don’t ask me how that’s possible – we don’t live in a huge living space, they haven’t put them in the wash (you know how things sometimes disappear once they’re in the washer) and our home isn’t cluttered with lots of extra stuff that would cover them up, so I don’t know where they could be. Anyway, I might end up stuffing pillow cases with clean sheets if I can’t get hold of some otherwise.
Now, as far as meal arrangments: we borrowed ten plastic chairs from a neighbor – we have ten additional plastic chairs of our own, but they are the wider version with armrests, about the width of 1.5 of the other chairs. They limit how many people we can seat at the table, but by borrowing these chairs we won’t need to add a third table, which I really didn’t want to do – it would just feel too crowded. If you’re wondering why I bought chairs that aren’t so space efficient, the answer is that I didn’t – my wonderful neighbor lent them to us when we first moved here and didn’t have a stitch of furniture, and then insisted that we keep them. They’re perfect for a porch or garden, but less so for indoor seating. They are very comfortable, though!
Dd17 wanted to invite a friend, but her friend said she wanted to be home this weekend, so she’ll come on Monday, right after our weekend guests leave.
>>So much activity and so many people would stress me out, but you seem to thrive from all the extra energy!<<
Well, it’s not like we’re being forced to have people over – they’re people we want to have! We feel so fortunate that our friends are traveling here to visit us, since it’s an intimidating proposition for us to spend the weekend anywhere. To me, this makes our Chanukah more special, and my kids feel the same way. They enjoy when we have guests eating over – a couple of weeks ago I didn’t invite anyone in time, and they missed it. And they especially enjoy when we have guests sleeping over – it makes the weekend more full and fun for them.