Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Day Four: Play, play, play, and play some more

Day four came and so did the little girl I babysit.
She is precious and sweet,
but she is two
and when she is put in a room with my two year old they can get into all kinds of messy mischief in the blink of an eye.
Seriously, I do not dare turn my backs on them.
Not for a second
and tasks that I could do in the same room as them,
like pick up toys,
straighten up the couch, etc,
are completely futile
because they will undo anything I do faster than I can redo it.
I did some dusting in the living room, 
but mostly I played 
I played dress up
I played legos
I played toddler "hide and seek"
(That's where you throw a blanket over them and pretend you can't find them).
I took turns flying them around the room
(A free workout!)
And when the day was over and her dad came to pick her up
I threw together a pasta dinner with whatever crap I could find in my cabinets and retreated into a good book, while Dr A took over watching the kids for the couple of hours before bed. (They were tired too, so that meant playing video games with them- a real hardship.
Honestly I was too tired to even care about all the cleaning I didn't do.

Got Grass

On day three I got no cleaning done.
I dropped LC off and changed into the grungiest clothes I own and headed over to cut grass for some relatives. It's about 10 acres of grass and I go around with a weedeater after cutting the bulk, so it's an all day affair.
It's hard work, but it's also pretty nice. 
Lucas gets to spend the day with his Grandpa 
and I get to soak up the sunshine belting out 90s pop songs 
safe in the knowledge that no one can hear me over the engine's rumble.
It was supper time by the time I finished,
so I shook off as much grass as I could and picked up some subs on my way home.
I hate the idea of paying for a gym,
because there is so much in the world that needs to be done,
that I refuse to waste my time and money to ride a bicycle in place.
I know it's not as efficient as working out at a gym, 
but my sore muscles are a testament to it's effectiveness.
Feeling chubby?
Go for a run.
Work on your yard.
Go hiking and clear sticks and weeds off the trail (seriously good exercise).
Dig a garden.
Chase your kids around
for a more extreme workout "fly" your kids around.
Visit an elderly relative and help out with whatever obviously needs to be done.

I did a load of laundry after supper, 
but my heart wasn't in it 
and bed time followed soon after. 

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Clean and Mean

I'm a terrible house keeper.
There is no denying it.
I bounce from art project to art project leaving a trail of craft supplies in my wake.
I do the dishes.
I wash the laundry.
I vaccuum the floor,
but not much else.
I'm only fairly sure that my sink is silver under the coat of paint residue from rinsed out paint brushes that's coated it since the first week we moved in.
It has certainly caused a few issues:
I'm not going to invite you in if you stop by unannounced.
I'm not surprised when we trip and fall over toys left in the hallway, 
because the kids aren't going to pick them up.
I'm not going to pick them up,
so they can stay in the hallway, until someone steps on them and breaks them and they get to go to that toy box in the sky aka the trash can.
I thought my family hated how messy I am.
Certainly they'd be happier if their toys weren't getting broken underfoot.
If they could sit down on the couch without shuffling almost the entire collection of Dr Seuss's books back toward the shelf from whence they came.
If we could sit down at the kitchen table for a meal without first rehoming a dozen pine cones and a glue gun.
So, I made 
Become a Better HouseKeeper
my first goal for my weeks of focus
and I made everyone miserable
but the most miserable of all was me.
I started with the laundry.
I can't remember the last time ALL the laundry was clean.
Probably sometime before our oldest was born.
It turns out that when all the laundry is clean we do not have enough space to put it.
A drawer in our dresser broke when Peter tried to fill it with the 99,000 pairs of socks that had at long last been reunited with their mates.
I put dresses on hangers and then was unable to put them in the closet because it was too full.
(Which is weird, because I literally never buy clothes. I'll pick a few things up at the thrift shop when I need something specific, like a red shirt for spirit day, or a blouse for a wedding, but aside from the ill fitting cardigans I'm routinely gifted at Christmas, it's really rare for me to buy clothes- so how did this happen?????)
So I stopped cleaning the house and filled three garbage bags full of things to drop at Goodwill.
All of that was on day one.
I had cleaned ALL DAY and hadn't even really finished the laundry, which really put me behind on my goal to have the entire house sparkling by the end of the week.
Day 2 came and I attacked.
I set aside the unfinished laundry and went after my kitchen
Which was hard,
not because cleaning is hard,
(which it kind of is)
but because it was a beeeeaaauuutiful day outside.
Every fiber of my being wanted to be outside in the sunshine,
but I was already so far behind.
By the time the sun set the floor sparkled
the table was bare
the fridge was emptied of everything past it's prime.
But the day was gone,
and any satisfaction I may have felt by completing the task was abated by the pile of dirty laundry that had grown by 6 outfits.
It loomed like a monument to my failure as a home maker.
Any satisfaction I may have felt at all was completely undone less than 24 hours later by an unknown person spilling an unknown substance all over the floor creating a dry ocean of stickiness.
I'm not cleaning it up.

Tuesday, May 09, 2017

Improvement through documentation

I can't remember where I first heard the idiom
"That which is measured is improved."
I think it must have either been in reference to either study habits or weight loss, but I'm not sure which.
Of course, that idiom plays hand in hand with the old researcher's concept of 
"That which is measured is often altered simply by the act of being measured." 
(This is the reason why weight watchers et al require frequent weigh ins- measuring is one method of improving something. In this example I come back to weight loss, so perhaps it was originally in reference to weight loss that I heard it.) 
Anyhow, I sat down and made a list of ways I'd like to improve my life (not going to share that here, at least not just yet. Simple things, mostly. 
But not easily measurable for the most part.
How do you measure "Being a better Mom"
So, of course I come back to my first love, writing.
By writing down my efforts and the results I can give myself a record, a measuring stick for which there is no unit of measure.
By making it public I create a sense of accountability for myself (even though I'm pretty sure no one reads this blog anymore).

For the first week I've been focusing on 
"Be a better housekeeper"
I'm already on day four.
It has not gone well.
I thought that by more fully dedicating myself to keeping a cleaner house I would improve not just my life, but my family's life as well.
I was wrong.
More on that next time.