Category Archives: Cleaning

Thing 1 and Thing 2

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From time to time I’ve been asked why I refer to our boys as Thing 1 and Thing 2 on my blog or on Facebook.  While at first it was to protect the boys from the social media stalkers of the world, the reasons go a little bit deeper:

1.  Yes, the base is to protect them from the social media stalkers and potential kidnappers who could possibly harm them.  Do I have a real concern of this happening to them?  No.  However should someone try, it will be harder to lure one of my boys to the car by calling them “Thing 1” or “Thing 2” rather than his real name.  We have taught them about Stranger Danger, however who knows what would happen if presented with a bag of their favorite treats.  These two are too priceless to take the chance.

Things 1 and 2 with Coolest Dad Ever

2.  I share my birthday with Dr. Seuss.  While it would be easy to ignore this, I LOVE Dr. Seuss and will draw influence from him wherever possible.

Thing 1 and Thing 2. Buy your copy of Cat in the Hat at Amazon.com!

3.  Calling the boys Thing 1 and Thing 2 allows me that extra half-second to remember their real names.  Yes, I only have two boys.  But once in a while I still stumble over who I’m talking to or about.  Thus, I allow myself that Thing… 1 moment!

4.  The boys, although complete sweethearts, can trash our house in less than an hour.  They can get home from school to a clean house, and within a half hour we can find homework strewn across the kitchen, game controller cords laced across the living room like a laser maze, and coats and shoes thrown on the floor as if their attempt to a make a fort out of them collapsed.  That’s not to mention the clothes they leave on the floor in their bedroom and bathroom, the dirty dishes they leave on the table as if we have a waitress, and their speedy movement (Thing 2) or mouths (both).

5.  They can aggravate the heck out of us, but we still love them.

School Age Kids and Saturday Mornings

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The last two years has been a bit of an adjustment for me.  Even outside of how my life changed marriage wise (separated, divorced and then re-married), and career wise, I didn’t expect so many other changes and adjustments.  Most specifically, I’m talking about Saturday mornings.

When I had my boys, I quickly realized that sleeping in was a thing of the past.  Six a.m. breast feeding sessions turned into 7 a.m. rattlings on the crib, and later one or both of them climbing into bed with me.  As they got older, they learned to get up and turn on the T.V. and fix themself a bowl of cereal.  With the hope of one of Dave’s all-star breakfasts, however, it’s hit-or-miss as to whether or not they will take the cereal or knock on our door until we wake up, in hopes of french toast or omelettes.  Yea, our Breakfasts with the Beatles are THAT good.

In the past year we have had the biggest change to our Saturday mornings.  This one is probably the hardest to adjust to…  Sports.  While waking up and stumbling to the kitchen to get coffee and relax on a Saturday morning is one thing, having to set the alarm to make sure we’re at the field early enough is an entirely different playing field.

Our Saturday mornings have turned into another workday morning.

Instead of asking, “Do you have your shoes, homework and lunch?” I find myself repeatedly asking, “Where are your shinguards, uniform and cleats?”  It’s exhausting!  While I appreciate the fact that our Saturdays are ours after the games are over, I know I’m not alone once we get to the field.  Sitting in our lawn chairs, we’re surrounded by parents who look beat up.  Our massive thermoses filled with coffee should have an IV into our bloodstream, and as our kids sweat it out on the field, we struggle to stay warm on the sidelines.  With our pale faces and bags under our eyes, we look like a sad group that’s been up all night drinking rather than a segment of the population that could just use a nap.  Or a vacation.

So here I am at 9:03 Saturday morning.  My coffee is next to me on the desk and the air is cold thanks to a night of rain and thunderstorms.  But the game is still on.  And I’ll be on the soccer field sidelines in less than an hour, cheering Thing 2 on and hoping for a win.  However when the game is finished, the day belongs to the parents (she says with a sinister laugh).  There’s laundry to be done, a sink full of dishes and trash to take out.  Well…  OK.  Maybe Saturday afternoons don’t belong to the parents either.  Maybe they belong to all the chores and tasks that weren’t done during the week.

Here’s hope for Sunday.

98 Degrees and 3,724 Words

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I slept in this morning (10am!) and when I finally reached my computer at 10:40am, the Weather.com toolbar app said…  93 Degrees in bright red.  Living in Ohio, I never expected to go through days, much less weeks, at a time with temperatures consistantly over 95.  I like the summer.  I like swimming, sunflowers, and miniature golf.  I do not, however, like sweaty boobs.  (Yes, I said sweaty boobs)Now my weather.com tool is blessing us with an excessive heat warning (heat index up to 110 Degrees) and it looks like this…

Despite the fact that Dave and I have the boys this weekend and we always like to do something fun with them, we made the executive “Team Awesome” decision that today is an inside day.  Games/movies/reading (for the boys), homework (for Dave) and writing (Me) are all that will really be accomplished, outside of the mandatory eating and chores. This, to me, is an awesome change of pace.  I’m enjoying watching Dave work on Adobe Illustrator, as he’s less than a week into using the program and he’s already blowing my mind with what he’s doing.  Perhaps at some point he will let me post some of his stuff on here.

For me, I have a goal.  I would like to get to 5,000 words minimum on my book.  Considering I’m starting the day with 3,724 and this blog post is already 230 words long, I don’t think it should be an issue.  For once, I have a steady stream of ideas, and I know where I want to go.  I have questions, however, which are troubling and hinder my creativity despite the fact that they have nothing to do with the storyline.

  • Should I be double-spacing?
  • Should the pages be formatted for a certain size?
  • Should I bother putting the header/footer on the pages now?
  • What do I want the cover to look like?
  • How long will the copyright process take?
  • Who can I get to proof-read the story?
  • Is the book even worth my time to write?  (I’m enjoying the process, however will anyone want to read it?)

I wonder if Stephanie Meyer, J.K. Rowling or Robert Jordan ever had any of these thoughts?  I know I’m writing my book for self-publication specifically for e-Readers which they probably weren’t worried about/focused on at all, however I would love to know what thoughts passed through their minds as they were writing.

Daily Chore Avoidance

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Like our boys, I continue to struggle with my daily chores. 

  • Right now in the middle of the living room I know I have three overflowing baskets of CLEAN laundry to fold. 
  • My budget/check book is a month behind.
  • My dresser top has a stack of (my) CLEAN laundry on top to be put away
  • The bottom drawer of my desk is a mess of bills and paperwork that need to be filed
  • My bookshelf is a wreck, and I’m not even reading paper-based books!
  • My closet…  whoo…  I won’t even describe that mess…

And on top of my daily chores are all those one-time projects that if I could just get them done once, I would never have to look at them again. 

But for some reason, I avoid them.  I avoid my chores as though they were the black plague.  But avoidance is infectious.  It spreads around my brain and body, wreaking havoc on all it touches.  The guilt of not doing what I should be eats away at my gut, making me think about my chores while I am at work.  My brain sends out repetitive reminders of what I should have done last night, exhausting my mind.  By the end of the work day, I’m tired of thinking about what I need to do, and am more interested in relaxing…  Again. 

And the cycle begins again, as though I started a dose of antibiotics, but never finished it.  The plague lives on.

I think I need to break into my bookshelf and call upon my backup support.  The Flylady.  If you’ve never heard of The Flylady, and you are struggling with organization and keeping your house clean, I strongly urge you to check out this free website and program.  While I don’t agree with all aspects of the program (ex. wearing my shoes in the house), most of the other topics helped me tremendously when I did the program years ago. 

I must say, however, that despite MY struggles with organization and chores, Dave keeps our house clean and presentable.  Despite the laundry baskets in the middle of the living room, I would not be embarrassed if someone knocked on our door unexpectedly.  (Thank you, baby!)  I just don’t like my avoidance.  I want to go to sleep having done all I could for the day, including having time to relax with the boys and Dave.

Just a thought…

How much easier our work would be if we put forth as much effort trying to improve the quality of it as most of us do tryign to find excuses for not properly attending to it.”  ~George W. Ballenger