31 October 2016

Halloween 2016

Quick Monday morning post before I dive into my Monday blitz of cleaning. I have a new accountability system in my planner and I added "Blog" to my agenda for this week. I guess we'll see how well it works by how many times I blog this week, huh?

Happy Halloween, everyone!

This is honestly the extent of my Halloween decorations this year. Abigail painted the big one in school.

We're not doing anything.

I don't have any deep-seeded religious reason; I just don't have the energy this year. With three kids all still in diapers, I have to do everything to make anything happen around here. I just don't care enough about Halloween to waste energy and money on it. I'd have to buy three expensive costumes or try to make a costume on the cheap that would end up costing way too much anyway because it seems like DIY stuff always does. And I'm just going to bundle a winter coat over the costume anyway because rule #1 of Michigan Halloween is that it must be cold and/or rainy to go trick-or-treating. Then I have to lug a baby and convince two children that the scary music isn't that scary, the skeleton hanging from the tree is safe to walk under, the scarecrow/guy-thing propped up on the front porch isn't going to get them, and they should walk down the sidewalk with other kids in costumes and make up so gory it makes me cringe. All while keeping Abigail - the runner - safe.

Once we get home and I sort out all the candy the girls can eat (Reese's Cups, M&Ms, Twix) with the stuff that is too hard or difficult for little mouths (Laffy Taffy, Skittles) and the stuff I. Am. Not. Dealing. With. (Suckers. Who decided those were a good idea?) then I have a giant bowl of TEMPTATION sitting on my counter that I grab from every time I walk by, even though I don't even like half the crap in there.

The home front isn't much better. I have to buy a giant bag of expensive candy to give to all the neighborhood kids, lock Roxy up somewhere in the basement because girlfriend is not a fan of scary costumed people walking up to her house, and, of course, bedtime is right in the middle of trick-or-treating.

We didn't carve or paint or glue construction paper to pumpkins. We didn't go to the pumpkin patch. The only spider webs on my porch are the ones real spiders made that I haven't yet dusted away. ('Cause you know cleaning the porch is one of my top chore priorities.)

People keep asking me, "Are you taking the kids trick-or-treating?" as if my kids' childhood happiness depends on Halloween 2016; as if the decision I make this year will dictate our lives for every Halloween to come. When I voice my reasoning, they try to come up with solutions as if I was begging for help. I'm not saying Halloween is immoral. I'm not saying sugar is bad. We celebrated last year. All I am saying that I don't feel like dealing with it this year.

Phew, thanks for letting me get that off my chest! I had no idea how much pent up frustration I had over it all! Anyway, the natives are restless and it's 19 minutes past the start of the chore blitz. Blog!

20 October 2016

October Lately

I haven't blogged much lately, partly out of depression and partly out of busyness. Matt went up north for a weekend for his dad's annual whiskey tasting. He got home and three days later, I went up north for a few days of his mom's girls' crafting weekend. I got home on a Friday, sold at my first Mom-to-Mom sale on Saturday, and then Matt went out of town again on Monday for a work conference. He got back on Tuesday evening, but then had to stay super late in the office on Wednesday and leave today (Thursday) by 6am for another conference. He'll be back home this evening, but has to head into the office on Saturday to get caught up, all these conferences are making it difficult to hit his deadlines.

The big thing I've been avoiding talking about is that my milk dried up. I'm not sure what started it (about two months ago) and I tried very hard to resurrect it, but it's gone. I don't really want to get into details because I don't want to talk about it because it's depressing.

So anyway. Crafting weekend (actually Wed-Fri) was amazing.

I did bring Theodore, who pulled to stand for the first time and said his first word, "Mama."

Crafting-wise, I got so much stuff done! From when I first woke up until I fell asleep at night, all I did was crochet. I finished a cozy sweater, several items for the Mom-to-Mom sale, and crocheted a few new pieces to sell.

My mother-in-law is a devout Catholic and everyone in attendance was a devout Catholic and we had some excellent discussions. Just holed up all weekend listening to some very holy women share some very enriching stories while I just sit back and crochet. For three days.

Alright, I've run out of time- the natives are beginning to riot. The Mom-to-Mom sale went fabulously, I made more money than I expected. I came in with way too much product ($1300 worth), so I signed up to do two more sales and there is a third one I will sign up for when it becomes available.

04 October 2016

Cleaning: Blitz Style

I've adopted a new cleaning style and I'm totally digging it! And this is what gets me going nowadays: talking about cleaning. I know, but it (cleaning) is a huge part of my life as a stay-at-home mom/housewife, ya know?

So, Matt was telling me about this article he read in which the author works super hard one day a week. I think there's been a few books written on the topic actually, but it's finally getting around to us. Anyway, as soon as he told me about it, I had a sudden realization. That's totally me! That's exactly how I work! I strive to do a few chores a day, inspired the moms I most admire in my life, but in reality, I work really hard on Mondays, then randomly during the week, either I'm sick or the kids are sick or there's doctors appointments or someone is having a REALLY BAD DAY or I just plain don't feel like sweeping. So I sit around feeling like a lazy failure and the to-do list gets pushed off and off and off until suddenly the stars align and I blitz out a super productive day. Every week. So why not plan life to go like that?

So for the last month and a half, that's exactly what I've done. I picked Mondays because, for some reason, I am always feeling very motivated on Mondays. So every Monday after we eat breakfast and send Abigail away on the bus, I strap Theodore into the Ergo and clean. I do the dishes; I wipe down the counters with the special granite counter protector; I put away the random piles of stuff that have accumulated on the bench all week; I sweep, Swiffer (mop), and vacuum every room on the main floor and the basement; I put away all the toys and clutter than has gathered on the bookshelves, the coffeetable, and the bar; I clean all three bathrooms; I tidy up the playspace in the basement; I use the special wood protector on the kitchen table; I dig the missing toys out from under the bed and the dressers. I clean.

There are a few chores that Eleanor likes to help with, but mostly she just plays by herself in whatever room I'm cleaning. She gets the routine. I do have a few "special" toys (toys I put up high that she only gets when I really need her to be distracted that I sometimes break out, and I'm also prepared to let her watch Curious George and Sofia the First all morning, but I have yet to need the Babysitter Television for my Monday Blitz.

I'm usually done by lunchtime. I'm pretty organized anyway - tidying is just a matter of putting things back where they belong. Everything already has a place where it belongs. As much as it seemed like it during my old schedule, cleaning a 3 bedroom ranch house is not a marathon kind of feat. One Monday a month, I'll do a little extra work - completely clearing off the counters before I wipe them, moving furniture when I mop and vacuum, and on those days, I usually finish between lunch and naptime.

Cleaning reminds me how blessed I am to be out of that tiny apartment. I'm still in love with my house. I would definitely buy it all over again. Without a doubt.

Then during the rest of the week, I only have to do the dishes and pick up the toys before bed. We can run errands, be sick, be lazy, go to the park, whatever we want without guilt. I totally love it.

I don't do laundry on Monday Blitz, though. For some reason, laundry just gets forgotten amongst all the other chores. I used to do all my laundry on Thursday, but I'm going to try spacing it out and doing one load per day all week. I'll even set timers on my phone to go off at the same time every day: "Move clothes to dryer!" "Get clothes out of dryer!" We'll see how that goes.