Posts Tagged ‘housework’

My Week(325) in iPhone Photos

Monday, January 30th, 2017

My wrist hurts a little less so hopefully I can get through this before any children need to be fed. Based on a very scientific method called “I told my friends my wrist hurt and they suggested it might be the same thing they once had” I have diagnosed myself with De Quervain’s tenosynovitis. Basically, yes, your wrist hurts, you’re a woman, you’ve recently been pregnant and you do a lot of baby care. That seems like a pretty definite diagnosis, even though the treatment is “take some ibuprofen and stop lifting so many babies”.

Sunday:

The plan is to turn this into a playroom that is sometimes a guest room

Lashes

My children are as good at ignoring me as I am at ignoring them

Monday:

Today’s task: clean the toys that were on the front porch

Shopping helper

The other baby needs cuddly naps too

Tuesday:

Everyone wants to help

Salt is important

More lashes

Wednesday:

This is not Linc’s bed, but don’t tell him that

The waiting room at my OB’s office has an actual working fireplace

No more pile of shoes by the back door!!!!

Thursday:

Help, I can’t find my body!

 

Remember: not being on Jeopardy makes you a failure

 

Belleh

Friday:

Good humans stand on tables, I guess

I give this a B+, will drink again

Saturday:

Caroline’s first protest

Good job, Hartford

Finn is still skeptical that anyone would be against equal rights

If my baby would agree to take a nap I could officially get caught up on blogging for the rest of the week, but as of right now he thinks biting me and laughing is more fun that sleep. It’s not my favorite. I’d much prefer crossing stuff off my to-do list, because I am on a roll and the chances that I might actually get ALL THE LAUNDRY IN THE HOUSE put away are pretty good. Miracles do happen.

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Care and Feeding

Monday, February 25th, 2013

I am in a mood, by which I mean I’ve got a serious case of the why-do-I-even-bother’s? Some days nothing feels as pointless as being a stay at home mom, especially when it’s February and we’ve barely left the house in days and neither kid is sleeping through the night and they openly scoffed at the super cute macaroni craft I was counting on to keep us from strangling each other on Monday. Stop rolling your eyes at me and make a damn necklace already. 

The second I pick up a room it gets destroyed. As soon as I make a snack it’s gone and Caroline needs “somethin’ else eat”. I get 90% of the clothes laundry done and realize every sheet and towel in the house is filthy and needs to be washed. 60 seconds after I scrub the bathroom floor Evan has peed on it. Again.

It doesn’t help that I am losing – desperately – the fight against clutter and kids’ toys. For every box I take to Goodwill or basket I drop off at the consignment shop with a note that says “DONATE ANYTHING YOU WON’T TAKE FTLOG GET IT AWAY FROM ME” it seems like 5 more things appear in the house. I am totally out of places to put toys, so piling them up and shoving them into corners is the current strategy and that strategy sucks. Permanent removal is the only feasible plan of attack. I need 3 uninterrupted hours, a dozen trash bags and a memory-wiping device so Evan doesn’t ask “Mommy, what happened to my broken fire truck? I LOVED my broken fire truck!!!”

But that’s not going to happen. Instead, I’m going to put clean clothes on children, wash dirty clothes, feed children, wash dirty dishes, put away clean dishes, clean floor, clean other floor, clean other floor, clean first floor again, wash dirty children, put children to bed, clean the kitchen, wash myself, collapse. Because even though at the end of the day I have practically nothing to show for it, I’m exhausted. And that’s the worst part – nothing to show for it. I don’t have a spotless house or an organized pantry or a freezer full of meals or anything else beyond a headache. How come I can never get ahead?

I realize most of my angst is a result of a long, cold winter and a particular stage of childhood that requires maximum assistance. (Obviously a newborn requires a lot more full-time care but a newborn is incapable of dumping 200 Legos out on the floor. I’m looking at a ratio here.) There’s only so many cleaning-up games they’re willing to play before they realize those aren’t very good games at all. Closeness and familiarity are the enemies this time of year and a change in routine is the only solution. We need to be out of the house, if only so I can end the day with the same mess I woke up to, not one that’s 10 time worse. I’ve pretty much given up on February and I’m hoping too much TV, too many granola bars and too many dust bunnies don’t do the kids any permanent harm for the rest of this week.

C’mon March, I know you can do better.

p.s. We did manage to get Caroline’s room clean today – floor vacuumed and everything! – which is enough of a dent in the disaster that I’m already feeling better. This is how the kids “helped” me clean:

cleaning day

Moping

cleaning day-5

Hiding

cleaning day-2

Posing

cleaning day-3

More posing

cleaning day-7

Reflecting

cleaning day-8

Rocking

cleaning day-6 copy

Resting

cleaning day-9

Playing

p.p.s. The gingers can even make February bearable. I love them to pieces.

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Escape

Saturday, July 31st, 2010

Thanks to much advice here and offline, I have decided I am definitely going to go to Virginia sans baby next weekend. I think the absolute deciding factor was that in a few short months I’m going to have a newborn again and it will probably be at least another year before the chance to escape sleep in presents itself again and without a break I’m afraid the burnout will be fast and painful.

I’m slightly giddy already thinking about how much fun spending time with my two very best girlfriends from high school will be. I might not be quite as much fun as I was at my own bachelorette party (drinking lighter fluid is probably not a wise choice when one is pregnant)(or any other time)(I thought it was just really strong alcohol)(shut up I was 22) but I love these girls dearly and don’t see them nearly enough. And with no baby to put to bed/run home to check on I can stay out until I collapse from pregnancy exhaustion at 10 pm as late as I want. My minivan is going to be quite useful as the DD vehicle too. We shall call it the Swagger Wagon. Maybe I’ll even write it on the side.

Plus, I am really looking forward to what I am sure will be a renewed appreciation from my husband for all I do around here when I get home. Two and a half days isn’t exactly a long time but I’m hoping it’s long enough for him to learn…

– Just how quickly laundry piles up when you don’t do a load for three days.

– What it’s like to be solely responsible for lunch and dinner (although who am I kidding, he’s getting fast food all weekend).

– The terror that is 11:30 am. Too early for a nap, too screamy and miserable for playing.

– The mystery of where all this DAMN PET HAIR comes from.

– Where we keep the paper towels/Tylenol/Swiffer/plastic plates/mini-bagels/eight million other things I feel like he’s always asking for instead of just looking. zOr remembering, since I TOLD HIM YESTERDAY.

– What it’s like to never ever get to use a bathroom alone/with the door closed.

– How difficult it is to just “run out to the store” when you have a child who may or may not be in the mood for “running out” to anywhere.

– How lucky you feel when nap time lasts 3 hours.

– The amazing moment when you actually hope the baby wakes up because you miss him.

– The first two hours of the day when Baby Evan is always happy and fun and the most darling child on the planet.

– Strangers in every kind of public place instantly falling in love with your kid and how proud you feel when he smiles at them or waves bye-bye.

I am also looking forward to missing my kid, in the sense that it will be a nice long break during which maybe I can forget some of the particularly awful moments as of late and just focus on how much I really do love being a mom. To paraphrase, it’s hard to miss it when it WON’T GO AWAY, you know?

(P.S. I feel sort of like I’m talking about this wedding/bridal shower an ENORMOUS AMOUNT considering I’m not the one getting married. But it’s going to be the first real grown-up type event I/we’ve gone to since Baby Evan was born so in my book it’s pretty much the equivalent of being invited to The Oscars.)

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Reality Strikes Back

Thursday, April 22nd, 2010

I’ve gotten a lot of feedback from the Twitter Home Tour (and thank you to everyone who stopped by) but I don’t think anyone bothered to read my disclaimer. Guys, my house is not clean. It’s not even KIND OF clean. I actually think I’ve scared all my real life friends out of ever inviting Baby Evan and me over for a playdate because they’re afraid I’ll judge their houses based on the TOTAL LIES in my post. Not only did I move crap around like crazy for those pictures, I took them in such a way that hid most of the dirt. Notice the total lack of close-ups on…anything. If you could SEE the actual, visible dirt on my floors and the pet hair on every horizontal surface in the house you would feel a lot – A LOT – better about your own housekeeping. No one would ask me how I find the time for everything, or how I keep it all together or wonder if I’m secretly a speed freak who doesn’t every sleep because she’s too busy baking pies and hunting down glass chickens on Ebay.

And so, in the interest of honesty and for the sake of Baby Evan’s social life, please enjoy a little more reality.

My real kitchen

This isn’t actually my kitchen when it’s dirty. This is what I consider CLEAN. There are only some dishes in the sink. MOST of the ingredients from dinner last night are put away. All the junk is to the right of the stove, which is where the junk goes, and thus it is considered put away.

The reason there are dishes in the sink is because there were SO MANY I couldn't fit them all in the dishwasher.

I suppose complaining about my lack of counter space when I use it this ineffectively makes me a whiny bee-yotch but guuuuuuys, where am I supposed to put this stuff? And don’t say “away” because that’s TOTALLY FULL of crap too.

And then there's THIS.

Mere hours after I posted the home tour, E decided it was time to get moving on the First Annual Rewiring Of A Really Old House Because We Need To Move ONE Outlet. Because the previous owners (always read as: preeeeeevious owwwwwwwners while shaking fist at sky) painted over wallpaper – textured wallpaper – what should have been a  20 minute project now involves scraping, sanding, patching, spackling, and painting the WHOLE KITCHEN. So I’m living in a construction zone. The dust, it is epic.

More junk.

Here we have three – count ’em – diaper bags, none of which I am currently using; a pile of unread magazines that date back to January that I can’t bring myself to throw away (or better yet, STOP SUBSCRIBING TO IDIOT YOU DON’T READ THEM ANYWAYS); my knitting bag; a dirty glass from two days ago and some trash. All things sitting (as in, currently, as I type this) right next to my couch. Besides the trash, that’s actually where this stuff goes.

Ah yes, the crowning joy of my decorating.

That right there is a genuine early 21st century early childhood entertainment device and tactile experience. Someday it will be a real collector’s item. That is, if the cats don’t get to it first. A smart person probably wouldn’t leave it inflated in the middle of her house all the time. Too bad smart people don’t live here.

Also, for the record, we eat far more fast food than is wise, I’ve never (literally, never) vacuumed our bedroom, I currently have laundry in every stage except for “clean and put away”, half the plants I bought are still sitting unplanted on my porch, I haven’t showered or brushed my hair today and tonight I fully plan to sit on my ass watching 30 Rock instead of doing any of those things.

So please, friends and readers, don’t shun me for what you see on the internet. It is full of lies.

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Friday, January 8th, 2010

Can someone PLEASE help me explain to my husband how hard and exhausting and exactly like a job taking care of a baby is? How although on the surface it might look a lot easier than driving to an office every day, in the end you get to leave an office but you never get to leave a baby? And how even if you don’t really, truly, 100% believe that being a stay at home mom is work it is NEVER a good idea to accuse your wife of “playing” all day while you’re at your Real Job? And not just because when you say shit like that your wife might storm out of the house and leave you dinner-less, but because it really hurts her and makes her feel useless and unappreciated? Yes, please help me explain that.

(Sidenote for fairness: in my uncompleted posts queue right now is an entry about how awesome E was during The Great Sickness of 2009 and our holiday travels. He slept with the can’t-put-him-down-or-he-screams baby almost every night and did at least 50% of the daytime comforting. He’s also helping with the night weaning, which proves he cares about my sanity at least a little, as it doesn’t matter to HIM if the baby nurses all night. But yesterday I did not care about any of that.)

From the point of view of someone who doesn’t have kids, my day looks easy. Get up, eat breakfast, workout class, hang out with friends, lunch, some housework, errands, computer time, start dinner, serve dinner, clean up kitchen, watch some tv, do a little knitting and then bed. Yawn, a life of leisure.

But when you do all that stuff with a baby it looks like this: Up at 6 am with baby, nurse baby, change baby, dress baby, make sure baby is occupied long enough to go pee, rescue dog from baby, run upstairs to brush teeth and put on clothes, clean up baby spit up, get the baby a snack, clean up snack, clean up baby, change baby, eat an apple, nurse baby, get baby and all baby’s stuff in the car, take baby to baby-themed stroller workout class, take baby to breastfeeding group, entertain baby while trying to have adult conversation, put baby back in car, take baby home, try to get baby to nap, nurse baby, rock baby, nurse baby, baby falls asleep, jump in shower, start laundry, finally find something to eat…and that’s just before noon. I could keep going but I’m trying to finish this post before the baby wakes up from his nap. As you can see, baby-free time is precious around here.

Now from E’s point of view, at least 70% of that “work” is my own fault. I don’t HAVE to go to Stroller Strides. I don’t HAVE to go to breastfeeding group. I don’t HAVE to go to the store with the baby. I can stay home. I can run errands on the weekends. I could, quite easily, never leave the house. Like, duh, that’s why pizza delivery was invented. I could also quite easily go TOTALLY FRICKIN INSANE and end up babbling incomprehensibly about poopoo and diapeys and numnums and nappy naps. I’ve already used all those words at least once this week. The edge is near.

It doesn’t help my case that on the weekends I try to give myself as much time off as possible, so E sees me sitting on the couch while the baby naps and imagines that’s how I spend all my days. Never mind the clean socks in his drawer and the toys in the toy box and the milk in the fridge and the food on the table. Never mind the baby is dressed and fed and happy. Never mind my lack of a full night’s sleep for the last 9 months. Obviously if I have time to knit a sock mitten wrist warmer AND maintain a blog, taking care of a baby is cake. And since our not-ever-officially-negotiated-but-status-quo relationship is I’m in charge of the household, why should he have to do more work after his Real Job is done? What do I mean I can’t unload the dishwasher and watch the baby at the same time?

I know I have friends and readers who are thinking to themselves RIGHT NOW that I got myself into this and it’s really my fault for having such an old-fashioned, gender-stereotypical marriage. You’re thinking you’re way too smart to marry a guy who doesn’t have a truly feminist and shared view of parenting so you won’t ever feel like this. And I hope you’re right. But I think every parent in every kind of relationship ends up feeling unappreciated at some point, be it every day of their marriage or just for a few hours once in a while.

The hardest part of this whole thing is sometimes I feel like I DON’T do enough. I feel like since I don’t earn a paycheck I need to earn the right to stay home. I feel like dishes in the sink or unfolded laundry or a funny smell coming from the living room (which turned out to be BURNT CAT VOMIT from where the cat threw up on a radiator) are big black marks against me in my Wife & Mother Weekly Performance Review. I mean, there are moms who have three kids and a real job and a house and a dog and still manage to make organic, homegrown, vegetarian lasagna every night with time left over to volunteer at the soup kitchen. I definitely don’t work as hard as that mom. I don’t want to work as hard as that mom. I want to be happy. I just want to be happy.

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