David's "official" 5th Birthday party is this coming Saturday. His birthday was last month, but with our vacation and the holiday we ended up having a June party. Such is life.
My house is a mess. Cluttered and un-dusted, and needing some real TLC. I decided last weekend that I would take a room each day and do a real cleaning top to bottom. Which if I weren't working or doing 100 other things might be relatively easy to do. But I'm already disgusted with myself that I've fallen off the pace.
Usually husband does the floors. I hate to do the floors. Really. And he's better at it, so I let him do it.
Problem is, S. is the all or nothing type of guy. His version of cleaning is one block of time... get in there and get it done... no matter what.
Case in point- Saturday, I asked him to replace the shower head in our bathroom shower (the old one was nasty, I bought a fancy new one from Target). He not only replaced the shower head, he continued to almost pass out from fumes scrubbing our fiberglass shower to within an inch of its life. Two hours later... "shower's done honey!" and he had scrubbed and cleaned himself into a tizzy and subsequently comatose on the recliner. He had burned himself out.
I can't clean that way. I need to spread out the cleaning in a methodical fashion. My crazy cleaning is reserved for special occasions, such as about an hour ago.
I went into the kitchen looking for some cheese curls. (Don't mock me, it's a simple pleasure)
I opened the bag and a couple fell on the hardwood floor. So, I bent down to toss them and I saw what looked like one of David's Lego pieces. I reached for it, and realized it didn't feel like plastic.
It wasn't a Lego, it was a GIANT DEAD HOUSEFLY.
That sucker must have flew in the house and died trying to chow down on the nice red tomatoes on my countertop.
It was time for some evasive cleaning action.
I can't have dead insects on my floor. No way, no how.
Problem is, now I started the kitchen, so I have to finish it.
Last week was such a blur. So much going on at work. The funeral. Just a long and emotional week.
So on Saturday I was looking for something mindless to occupy my time and spent the better part of the morning sorting trains, cars, dinosaurs, legos, pirates, ninja turtles, and puzzles. It was The Great Playroom Cleanup.
I wish I had a "before" picture, to truly appreciate the end result. Let's just say I couldn't walk on the floor. Literally... I stepped on a pirate with a sword that stuck to my foot. It didn't draw blood (well that would have been a better story) but I can tell you I had the imprint of Captain Hook on my foot all day.
You see, S. and I differ on the use of the playroom. He says that it is a kid zone, meaning, it can be messy 24/7 with some minor cleanup now and then.
I am a bit more radical with my thoughts... in that, a playroom should be clean overall (how can you play when you have no room to walk?) and organized. Take a bin out, put it back. Anything David plays with for the day has to go back to its home at the end of the day. With the exception of the trains, that can stay out since I've spent an hour building the track. Because only Mommy has the spacial skills to build a track, and it's far too taxing on my brain to have to do it over and over.
Anyway... I am thinking of labeling the bins (not that David can read them yet) to complete the room. Overkill?Perhaps.
The one thing I've learned though the last three years of infertility is I must maintain order where I can. It balances out the fact that I have no freaking control over my body and the little control I have restores my blissful balance.
So, the playroom is my control point.
Now if only I could apply that to the family room...
I had some time on my hands this morning after dropping David off and before sitting down to work. So, I decided to throw something in the crockpot for dinner.
I have this awesome high-tech crockpot I got over the holidays from Williams-Sonoma (see above pic), and I am always looking to use it. I know it seems odd to get excited over a crockpot, but it truly makes me feel all Martha Stewart'ish.
I decided to make some old-fashioned beef stew. With all the good stuff like carrots, parsnips, portabello mushrooms, etc. And for good measure, half a bottle of red wine. Ok, a quarter. That's the only way wine will be passing my lips today, don't worry.
I previewed the recipe last night and thought, heck, I'll just throw everything in there and fire it up for 10 hours or so. I even had pre-cut cubed stew meat, so I was on my way.
Of course you have to first brown the meat, and then cut the veggies, and then make a special sauce. So, "throwing it together" was not really how it went down.
It was more like "turn the kitchen upside down for 45 minutes, make a huge mess, and have a meltdown over onions I just brought YESTERDAY that turned out to be rotten".
It was not a pretty sight. I rushed browning the meat and spilled flour on the floor too.
After all was said and done, my 20 minute prep was more like an hour and twenty after I had to clean up the mess I made.
I'll let you know how it turns out. I may share the recipe if I get a thumbs up from the peanut gallery.
For now, I am letting my beautiful crockpot make magic.
Do you all keep file boxes for your important data? You know, bills, and such?
I am having a bit of a time with parting with my data. I keep a box for each year and organize into folders for bank cards, utilities, investments, health/medical stuff, insurance, etc.
The reality is once I get through the year, the only thing I ever pull out again is usually tax related items. Because, drilled into my head from previous experience is the fact that the only really important stuff to hang onto are tax files.
Now that I do 75% of my bill paying online, I have less paper, but I'm still buried from accumulated paper over the years.
We've been married for almost 13 years, hence almost as many boxes cluttering my upstairs closet. I did make an effort, oh, about 6 years ago to weed through the data, and I consolidated 3 years into one box.... but then I got bored and never finished.
I don't want to turn into my MIL and have 40 years of data rotting in the basement.
So what do you all do for organizing your household paperwork? What do you keep? What do you toss?
And more importantly, how do you dispose the data? I have TWO shredders that worked for like a month, and died. I'm not buying an industrial shredder for one clean-up effort. But I must shred and have no resources to shred large quantities of paper.
Because I am buried in useless paper that would be much happier as recycled paper.
Things are finally getting back to normal here from the holiday. Yesterday we lugged the last box of Xmas decor into the basement and my family room looked a lot bigger again without a tree and a mountain of toys.
I had this crazy idea, back before Halloween... that for each holiday of "stuff/decor" I was going to buy color-coordinating containers to put stuff in rather than miscellaneous cardboard boxes. So all my Fall decor is in orange 18-30 gallon plastic containers... and now (after raiding Target of the last clearance aisles) 10 red and green containers for the holiday decor.
The goal is to get rid of as much cardboard as possible.
1. Because the storage area in the unfinished side of the basement is risky (we had one flood a year back and I feel much safer with all my stuff in plastic and up/off the floor)
2. Keeps my sanity when I have to ask S. to bring up any seasonal stuff.
3. I feel organized.
4. Cardboard sucks and there's only so many times you can tape and retape a box.
All of David's (baby) clothes that he outgrew are also in big blue containers. Stacked in the corner should we ever need them again.
The crazy thing about all of this, is I feel so much better not wading through junk downstairs anymore. There was a time (before the basement was partially finished) when our basement was a graveyard... a dumping ground. When we were forced to organize and throw out stuff it took us TWO FULL DAYS and an entire dumpster.
Soon I can rest easy that my basement is a friendly environment, and not have that perpetual monkey on my back that I need to clean and organize. Sometimes tasks like that can be so overwhelming.
Next up after the basement is finito, the walk-in closet above the garage. 7x10 feet of more stuff I probably don't need. Half of it is old baby stuff. Most days when I have to venture in there for something I don't spend a lot of time. It's currently a wasted space that could function as a sitting room, or a crafts room.
No matter what happens this year, I do plan to get rid of all of the contents (some of the stuff can't be reused anyway). I feel like having it stare me in the face is doing me no good. Just a reminder that I've been perpetually waiting for 2 1/2 years.
Cleaning is good. Sorta like cleansing the soul at the same time.
But this year I will freely admit I am DREADING holiday shopping. It's just once more stress component added on to my work situation, S. work issues, babymaking issues, the fact that I don't have time to houseclean, so forth and so on. Et cetera!
No, I'm not a scrooge.
But considering I am one of those people who usually puts a lot of thought into the "perfect" gift, I am a bit, well....... guilty this year.
I am declaring.... "Christmas Lite"
As in, we will be focusing on the part of Christmas that is not rushing around or standing in line at the mall. Let me back up... I would gladly stand in line at my favorite local bakery for sweets, but I won't be at Macy's behind the person opening a new, revolving account at the register when 30 angry people are in line.
We will celebrate the holidays with the things we enjoy most- being together with those we love and counting our blessings that we still have the opportunity to laugh and reminisce.
If you are a member of my dear family, please don't expect the perfect gift this year. More than likely, your gift will be a gift card. It's not that I don't love you enough... it's that I love you too much to give you a lousy gift you don't want because I will be soooooo off the mark this year (my brain being off-kilter and all).
Having my friends and family is all I want this year.
and a BFP at the end of my next cycle, that would be good too...
Thank god this week is over. I can't even put my finger on what's been REALLY bad about this week, it's just the overriding panic about everything that has gone wrong lately.
It's catching up with me. I just can't get my ass out of the rut I am in. I haven't even switched over to my newest handbag I bought two weeks ago. It's sitting in the bag, wrapped tenderly, saying "OPEN ME! You spent good money on me and I am the IT color for the Fall season, and FALL will be over before you know it!"
I've not been eating particularly well. I've been drinking a lot of coffee and soda. I have not exercised in three weeks. I have skated through every day of work in the last 4 months. I have washed and rewashed the same load of laundry all week because I can't remember to put it in the dryer. I have an intense need to drown myself in chocolate, but I don't have any.
I am the dog tied to the bumper of Chevy Chase's moving car in the movie "Vacation". Beat up and forgotten.
ok, bad analogy, sorry.
And let's talk about yesterdays blood draw. Thanks to everyone WILLING that hCG number down, it did go down (again) to 12. No Metho yet. Crazy as it sounds, I am happy about that, although I know that zero may still be far off. I am still technically pregnant SINCE MAY. I may hold some sort of record I think.
At the risk of sounding like a broken record. Let me sum up the year: pregnancy in January, miscarriage in January. TTC in March, April. Pregnancy in May. Miscarriage in JULY. THREE MONTHS LATER.. still not near a new cycle.
Add it up folks... I've only had AF TWICE this year. And I wonder why I am crazy. It's pent-up hormones. I feel like an android. I think my body forgot about me too.
If you live in NJ, and feel rumbling under you feet today.... it's not an earthquake. It's just me exploding from my nuclear meltdown.
You know, dust with your feather duster, your Swiffer, your old t-shirt...
do you dust your house?
Be HONEST. I really want to know.
Because I can't think of anything I would choose to do less, than, say, iron (I hate ironing too).
My Mom dusts. Of course, she dusts less now that she doesn't have to be a role model to my brother and I since we moved out from home long, long ago. She was never like the lady you used to see on those commercials that would run her finger down your baseboards. Heaven forbid. She was a casual duster.
I am the "only dust when I have to" duster. I just don't think of it as important. I'd rather have clean clothes and a clean bathroom than worry about the inch of dust on top of my bureau.
Sure, I dust when I see it (and it looks bad). I dust the TV and computer stuff often actually because they are magnets for that black dust.
I dusted after I had my basement and office finished. I HAD to. That sheet rock dust was everywhere. I think I scrubbed every inch of the place.
But, dusting is not a priority for me. Never will be.
So, confess...... do you dust? How often? What is your tool of choice?