Tag Archives: in general

Frustration of the day

My sister-in-law’s birthday is today.  She decided that for her birthday, she wanted to go camping with as much of each side of her family as possible (as in, our family and her husband’s).  This is great – except for the fact that we are leaving in less than a week and I really need to be home getting things done.  I explained to the birthday girl that we would probably come out tonight and then I may just stay home tomorrow until Mike gets home from work around three and then come out.  I told her right off the bat that we wouldn’t be camping, just visiting, which she expected.  We don’t really have a tent and aren’t set up for it, and the family seems to be okay with this.  But even visiting requires packing and thinking of a dozen things you will need for three children of different ages.  I think what my sister-in-law wanted to hear from me was that I would come out with the kids in the morning for breakfast and then Mike would come out when he was done work.  The trouble with that is my kids’ need for naps.  Erik is small enough that he can sleep anywhere and Jenny can sleep in a bed, so she could take a nap in someone’s tent, but Elias hasn’t learned to sleep out of a playpen yet and I’m not about to cart the playpen out to the campsite.  Grrr.  So the best thing for me would be to stay home Saturday morning and get some work done and give the kids an early nap and go out at three o’clock.  But the response I got from my sister-in-law made it sound like she’s going to be very disappointed if we don’t go out all day tomorrow.  Ahhhh!!!  Why does this have to be so difficult?!?

The facts are – 1)all those projects I listed still need doing, although I did take the recycling in and cleared the countertops in the kitchen.  I also took a few things to the shed, so I am a tiny way through the list.  2)I hate it when my kids don’t nap and the fact is that for all the help I’m promised, it’s me who deals with them when they’re grumpy, which they definitely are when they haven’t had naps. 3)Erik had shots today which means that I didn’t get any work done today. 4)I am not looking forward to the process of packing for our trip, but if I can get a bit more housework done before we go, it will be easier.  If I have to pack a bunch of stuff and then wash it all after this weekend and turn around and do it again on Wednesday, I’m going to be stressed out and grumpy for the first half of the week and it may prove to be a bad beginning to my trip.

So what do I do?  I keep people happy.  I go in the morning.  I hope that I can get enough done this afternoon and the beginning of next week to be ready for leaving on Wednesday.  I sit around in the heat at the lake, wishing I wasn’t there, just to keep people happy. 

I really need to learn how to say no.

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Filed under Life, in general, The H Word

Where on Earth have you been?!?

Or rather, where have I been?  I know, for awhile there it looked like I’d be writing nearly every day, and then I just quit.  I’m pretty sure something was going on when I first stopped writing, but then I just started reading so much, I didn’t feel like writing.  I made my way through about five novelsand I’m almost at the end of the sixth with one more in the queue.  I also cut my hair and pierced my nose since my last post.  I don’t even think I mentioned planning to do those things.  The nose is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time and the real reason I decided to cut my hair is that it was worth fifteen points in the photo scavenger hunt I’m doing for the city.  But since I pierced my nose on a Saturday and cut my hair on the following Tuesday, I’ve made a few people think that I’m having something akin to a mid-life crisis.  The haircut is pretty extreme for me…even though it isn’t very extreme at all.  It’s just pretty short in a few places and somewhat trendy.  Yeah, I know.  I usually just hate trendy things, but I’m very happy with the outcome.  As for my nose, it hurt like crazy but I love it and even Mike is getting used to it.  He had about a year and a half to think on it…seeing that I decided then that I really wanted to do it.  It just took me this long to actually get it done.  The funny thing is that typically all this new-ness would have cost me a pretty penny, but I had a coupon for a free body piercing (I know..funny, isn’t it) and it only cost me $2.50 for the tax or something.  Then I called around and found a salon in town that has an apprentice who is FREE!  Hooray!  My sister-in-law actually got her hair cut for free the hour before I did and both of our cuts turned out pretty nice. 

Anyway, before I start to gross myself out with all this self-glorifying writing (that’s what it feels like anyway), I will say that all the reading has definitely affected my house negatively.  I did finally sweep up on Monday night and put a bunch of things away, but the kids’ room, our room and the kitchen have been in need of work for months without being touched.  I almost feel inspired today, but the temperature is rising fast inside and out and I may wimp out in favour of laying in bed in front of the fan when I have some time.  It seems like the only time that the house is cool enough to work in is the middle of the night, and there’s no way I’m going to clean in the middle of the night.  So for now I’m going to do what I can and wait for cooler weather.

Our trip south is rapidly approaching – in about two weeks, we should be in Washington and then in Oregon on the 23rd for my sister’s wedding.  At the moment, I’m just waiting for Mike to talk to his boss about taking two extra days than what he asked for.  Here’s hoping…

So, no promises, but I’m thinking about slowing down on the reading after I finish the next book, which would probably mean more writing.  But you never know, I may find something else to occupy my time.

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Filed under Home Sweet Home, Life, in general, The H Word

Emergency Cleanup

What happens when members of your family want to come over to play a game and your kids are napping so you can’t really go anywhere (therefore, the suggestion of going to their house is out)?  You say, okay, and you clean.  Frantically.  In half an hour or less, usually.  And the best part?  Your husband helps!

Mike talked to his sister after we came home from a birthday party yesterday and she and her husband wanted to play a game.  Because our kids were napping, we had to stay here and having done not much of anything social, we wanted some interaction.  Mike passed the phone to me and I asked his sister why I was talking to her.  Her response?  “Mike wasn’t sure if it was okay if we came over.”  Like I’m his mom.  But he’s looking out for me.  At least…well…a dozen times? now, he’s invited people over not giving any thought to the mess in our house and it’s totally freaked me out.  So this was a nice gesture, and as soon as I hung up the phone (after saying yes), we went to work.  I started Mike on the dishes while I did some basic pick up.  We swapped jobs the rest of the time, sweeping, wiping down the table and countertops, picking up clothes and toys.  In the end, it only took about half an hour and the whole first part of the house (living room/dining room) was clean!  Not perfectly clean, but pretty good.  It has actually been a number of months since I could see my entire tabletop.  Okay, maybe it’s been almost a year.  Still, it’s clean now – wiped down and de-junked.  We were able to play a game on it and not push things out of the way.  Mike and I even played another game after the kids went to bed.  Usually I’m too lazy to want to push the mess aside and so I turn down game playing.  I was falling asleep by the end of the game, but it was still quite nice to do it.  It’s not like the house is perfect, but I’d invite almost anyone over right now, while usually I have a restricted list that is kept to Mike’s single guy friends (what will they care?) and my closest girlfriends and one sister-in-law (the one with a child..who can’t blame me for having a messy house now that she knows how easy it is with kids).

It’s not the same kind of satisfaction felt when the cleanup is thorough and far reaching and well thought through, but it’s still satisfaction that I felt this morning.  And maybe it will inspire me to do a bit more.  Maybe.  I’m not making promises here.

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Filed under Life, in general, Mi familia, The H Word

Did I write yesterday? And the day before?

I was just saying to my mother that I prefer to write no more often than every other day, because I don’t want to get obnoxious.  And yet I keep coming back.  My apologies.  Maybe if I think of this as a journal that no one reads, I can get over my fears of disappointing people.

I’ve learned something about myself (again?).  I’ve really been wanting to paint, and have managed to do some sketching, but just haven’t gotten around to pulling out the canvas I bought and starting on something.  I have been spending too much time on the computer and not enough time doing other things.  What this means is that my house is wrecked (no surprise there) and I haven’t done anything creative.  In many ways, doing something creative – and cleaning up after myself – would relax me enough to get some housework done.  The trouble is that when my house is so messy, I don’t feel that I should be doing anything creative.  Yes, folks, it’s a vicious cycle. 

I just searched to see if “vicious cycle” could be found on wikipedia as one of the most overused phrases of all time, but instead found out that Vicious Cycle is a tribute band for Lynyrd Skynyrd in northeast Ohio.  Fascinating.  It also seems to be the name of a number of bike shops across the country.

Today, as much as I could complain more about my kids and the weird things they do that make my life more difficult, I won’t.  I need a nap and I think today I won’t deny myself the luxury of it.  I’ll just set my alarm for an hour from now and then if I can manage to get up, I’ll do something productive. 

Or just end up on the computer some more.  We’ll see.

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Filed under Art, Life, in general, The H Word

Moving, Weddings and Houseguests

Well, apparently, it’s been quite a while since I last wrote.  How do I let it get so bad?!  Life, I suppose, keeps me from staying on top of most things. 

My house has gone the way of six months ago…my husband’s grandmother moved south and basically cleared out half of her possessions and either gave them to family or threw them away.  So we came home with a number of new things for our house, many of which don’t actually fit in our house.  For instance, we inherited an upright freezer.  Thankfully, it can be kept on the back porch…all the food Grandma was giving away has to fill my kitchen, though.  She decided not to take any food at all with her.  No spices, no canned food, no nothing.  So we came home with an awful lot – which is great for us – but we hardly have room for it all.  I had to reorganize a few things to fit most of it, then ended up getting even more when she cleaned out her fridge just before moving.  My refrigerator is packed at the moment, mostly with things like teriyaki sauce and mustard.  

Add to all of that the fact that I agreed to help bake for my sister-in-law’s wedding this coming Saturday.  My mother-in-law called me one day last week and said she was coming over with supplies for lemon squares.  The perk was that I got to keep everything I didn’t actually use for the lemon squares.  Quite convenient since I was nearly out of sugar and unbleached flour before she brought them to me.  It’s not so bad now that the six trays have been baked, sugared and frozen in the back porch freezer, but for a while it looked like I was attempting to start up a bakery in my little kitchen.  I still have a few things left to do in the kitchen before Thursday, but then, I swear I’m not touching a whisk or mixing bowl for two weeks.  (I’m also pretty certain that I’ll go back on that word)

Again, another wrench is that my dad is coming up for the wedding and staying with us Friday night through Tuesday afternoon.  We have no guest room and no basement and the mattress on our sofa bed is rather uncomfortable, so my dad will be sleeping on our extra bunk bed mattress in the middle of the living room floor.  This requires re-arranging of furniture because one of the things we acquired is a locking video cabinet, which is currently taking up space that we don’t really have.  A bit of moving around and I think we’ll be okay…but first I have to feel up to doing all that moving around…and, you guessed it – cleaning up. 

The FlyLady system has a term for what lurks in every corner of my house: Hot Spots.  My desk is a pretty bad one, and the plastic organizing towers to each side of the desk.  The table by the front door is a catch all and at the moment is hard to even see under all the junk mail, library books, church bulletins and shopping bags destined for return to the car.  My dresser top can be a pretty bad one, too, but I usually get to it before it is totally covered.  At the moment, I would love to have a day without my kids so that I could run through the house cleaning up all this mess.  Jenny is at the age where she greatly enjoys getting into things she knows she shouldn’t, and Elias has picked the last two weeks to be incredibly clingy.  I try to clean or bake or re-arrange while they are awake, but it’s futile.  And then I’m worn out from chasing or intervening or chastising by the time they have their naps that I don’t feel like doing what needs to be done.  Laziness?  Perhaps. 

Mike has a hockey game tonight at 10:45, which means he will be gone from 10:15 to sometime after midnight.  My body would greatly appreciate it if I went to bed, but I may have to take the opportunity to clean up after everyone’s mess.

Well, off I go…to attempt to do something productive.  Hmm…maybe if I just shut them in their room to play, they’ll leave me alone..Jenny doesn’t know how to open her door yet.

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Filed under All things mommy and daddy related, Home Sweet Home, Kiddos, Life, in general, Mi familia