Monday, November 26, 2012

Why Moms Do All Of The Work: Cable Men, Hoarders and Helpers

We have always been family on the go.  We race around at breakneck speed, saying yes to one more volunteer opportunity, one more night out with friends, one more little getaway until we find ourselves right smack in the middle of a Do It Yourself Hoarders episode.  

You enter the episode by waking up, tripping on a pile of outgrown clothes and opening your eyes to a room full of junk.  Piles of junk.  Piles and pile and piles of junk.  It is usually in my bedroom, and friends that truly know me, know that if my house is clean, my bedroom is absolutely not.

Why, you may ask?  Because if I have to clean the house, I gather everything form all over the house that is not in its place and dump it in my room for later consideration.  Once the rest of the house is clean, I am way too tired to actually clean my room.  Sometimes, it can be months before some things get considered.  Right now I have a pile of hand me downs and a whole bunch of Christmas gifts just waiting to be shipped out for Christmas.

This Hoarders Episode is more acutely brought to light when the cable guy arrives to fix the modem.  Our modem is in the garage.  I figured, why clean the house if he is going to be in the garage on a Sunday morning?  What happens in the garage, doesn't always stay in the garage.  In fact, that cable guy was in our house right quick parading past the unscooped kitty litter, unwashed dishes, half finished laundry, jumble of shoes...well, you name it and he paraded past it.

I want to say our house doesn't always look like this, but on the weekend, it usually does.  After our family has an extended holiday weekend, it especially looks like this.  

Was my husband ever furious!  He went into his speech about how our kids need to get to work and that we should all have our list of chores and that we absolutely never should have our house looking like this.  He was saying this as I was scrubbing his breakfast pan from the day before.  Remember, honey, you thought it would be nice to make a big breakfast?  Now 24 hours later I am scrubbing eggs off the bottom of a yucky pan, your yucky pan.  I didn't even get any of the eggs!

This unleashed my wonderful husband into the Tasmanian Devil of garage cleaners.  Considering the inside of the house, he banished himself to the garage.  He put all of the kids to work cleaning their rooms (don't look in the closets or under the bed, mind you).  I cleaned my room....I am still cleaning my room on Monday morning...

Husband's idea of cleaning the garage and putting things out for recycling and garbage can be seen below.  He didn't factor in the raccoons.  I can guarantee that I was the only mom outside at 7:40 in her Wonder Woman pajamas cleaning up his cleaning job for 45 minutes.  Not alone making breakfast, doing laundry and cleaning up from breakfast.

Clearly, moms would never have left the garbage in this state.  It would have been quicker to do all of the recycling and garbage today by myself.  AND, I wouldn't have to clean slimy egg shells and other assorted food off the cement!  Moms do all of the work because their "helpers" don't understand the big picture.  The big picture could include raccoons or why you don't pile a bunch of furniture in the area of the garage that you need to get in and out of on a daily basis.  Or hanging your daughter's bike up and parking the car in front of it when she needs to be racing to school early in the morning by bike.

Well, I do love him.  He did try hard.  They all try hard.  Unfortunately, happy Monday to me.  It looks like a  multiple espresso kind of day.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Monday Morning Kitchen Counter Chaos

Monday is an interesting day at our house.  You can always tell what kind of weekend we had by what the house looks like on Monday morning.  Usually, my hiking group drags me up a mountain first thing, so I can ignore it for about 4 more hours, but today, I am home and can't ignore it any longer.  What a perfect time to sit down and write!

Although Roxy, our puppy, is trying to chew through my computer cord and Sara, our portly cat, is keeping a watchful eye on the situation, I am going to explain the Monday chaos scale.

Level 1
If it's been a great weekend, full of friends and activities our house is a level one disaster.

Level 2
If it's been a busy weekend full of commitments and activities, our house is a level two disaster.

Level 3
If we've had a lazy weekend and basically sat around and did nothing our house is a level three disaster.

So, levels one, two and three.  The truth is, they are all the same.  Monday morning is just a brutal wake up call as to how lazy and disorganized we are during all levels of activity.  The only way the house stays clean is if we go on vacation, the cleaning lady comes and cleans it, and then it will remain clean until the minute we get home.  We bring our bags in and tadaaaa, we are right back to Levels 1-3.

I'll bet that:

1.  No one has an outdoor patio umbrella outside their bedroom door in the hallway inside their house.

2.  You don't have a signing stuffed pumpkin Halloween candy holder and a tablecloth in your landing of your stairway.  Not at the bottom or the top, mind you, right in the middle of the up and down, there is a collection of empty storage boxes, just hanging out.

3.  You don't have fluffy stuffing from puppy toys all over your house.  Every room is accounted for at my house, no one is left out.

4.  On the kitchen counter you won't find (at your house):  a pitcher, a barbie, yarn, an empty bottle of ibuprofen, peppermint bark, Elmer's glue, skull head appetizer picks, sunglasses, hiking sleeve, a bottle of soda, picture adhesive dots, car key, sunglasses, hot pizza peppers, one barbie shoe, and all of the other food type of stuff you might expect to find on a kitchen counter.

This is just the kitchen counter, if I move onto the kitchen floor list, things might really get interesting...but, I won't do that to you or myself today.  I am going to drink my tea, read the paper, and think about how next weekend is going to be different, right?

Friday, November 9, 2012

Where's Waldo: Play Along At Home Version

I've always been intrigued by the Where's Waldo book series. I mean, here's a book, mainly full of illustrations, that young and old alike are drawn to. I've been known to pick one up at the dentist office and amuse myself. I'm also reluctant to put them in the donation pile.

I think I'm comforted by the hunting process in Waldo. My whole life is a large scale, play at home version. Well, except red and white striped Waldo can fill in for any verb: car keys, check book, one green polka dot volleyball sock--you name it, the combinations are endless.

Take tonight for instance. I was wearing Wonder Woman Jammie's for my Halloween costume. I could find the blue star-spangled bottoms, but not the top.

I was frantically searching and wondering why I am not a more organized person.

But, like in Waldo, after some concentrated searching, I found the fire engine red shirt--complete with the emblazoned Wonder Woman logo. There's something satisfying about a good, successful hide and seek mission, even when you're 40 something!