Friday, February 12, 2010

Day 5: Supermom!

Unbelievable! The vacuuming was done today! The kitchen was cleaned! The laundry was finished! The lipstick came off my daughter's face! Miraculous! You see! Every once in awhile I manage things pretty well! I am feeling totally empowered right now! Empowered, and exhausted! Whew! Off for a hot bath! 'Night, all!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Day 4: It's the Little Things

Who knew that trying to set your house in order would be so hard? I have really been struggling this week to find the proper balance between making a happy family and a clean home. At this point, I've been reduced to simply appreciating the little things I am able to accomplish. Here's what I crossed off the list today: I'm ecstatic that I was able to complete a menu plan that will take me through the next seven days. In addition, I did all my grocery shopping to cover all those planned meals (and I only spent around $20, another woohoo!). I provided a fabulously decorated shoe box to serve as Jason's Valentine Mailbox tomorrow at school. I helped Jason complete all his Valentines. I prepared a homemade gift of peanut butter truffles for Jason to give to his teacher. I got 80% of my laundry done. I swept my kitchen floor. I organized our Valentine's Day dinner with our friends, the Winmill's. And most importantly, I got the toilet baby-proofed (Hayden's been trying to use it to dunk her toothbrush, pacifier, my iPhone...). I also didn't lose my cool when I discovered Hayden applying lipstick ALL OVER HER FACE! As I tried to remove it, I realized that it was not just any old lipstick, it was Long-Wearing Lipstick. No matter what I tried, I couldn't get it off: baby wipes, soap and water on a coarse washcloth, makeup remover, baby oil.... I even rubbed ChapStick all over her face because that's what I put on my lips to remove the stuff. Well, it works great on lips. Not so much on baby faces. She's down for the night now, still wearing CoverGirl war paint. I did, however, manage to get a few pictures of her. I also took one of her blow-drying her hair, just because it makes me smile.

In retrospect, it's not bad for a day's work. It definitely had its ups and downs, and I am glad the day is over, but in truth, it could have been worse.

Day 3: Attitude Adjustment

Today was better. Not that I made any progress towards getting my home organized, but I felt better, and that feels huge! After two days of total frustration about my lack of results, I've decided that before I can make any headway, I need to be in the right mindset. Let's be honest, if Christ came to my door and found me a neurotic mess who resents her own children, he's not going to care if my floors have been vacuumed or that my book collection is alphabetized by genre and author. I mean sure, cleanliness counts, but the spirit of the home is vastly more important, at least in my mind. So today I mellowed out. I cleaned my bathroom while Hayden threw all my shoes on the bedroom floor. I picked up the tiny pieces of Kleenex she had shredded and strewn across the family room. I calmly re-folded and put away the blankets she pulled out of the linen closet and trailed through the halls. I even had fun with my kids today! What a concept! It's all very zen. I guess my conclusion is that while it's great to get some housework done, it doesn't all have to be done right now. It's much better, both for my sanity and my family's well-being, that we enjoy the time we spend together in our home. Maybe the vacuuming will get done tomorrow...

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Day 2: Help!

Ya know, this setting your house in order thing is a whole lot harder than I thought! After my attempt to organize my bedroom yesterday, I thought I'd set my sights lower for today. Today, I just wanted things to go smoothly. To stick to the routine. To take care of what needed to be taken care of, and beyond, if possible. Not so, when your daughter is the Queen of Chaos! I suppose things weren't too bad today (after all, I didn't have to clean urine off the floors). Jared took Jason to school, so I didn't have to worry about that (though Jason reports that he was late to class, grrr...). Hayden woke up around 8:30, and while I showered, she pulled out both mine and Jared's dresser drawers and scattered their contents throughout the bedroom. It took me half an hour to put things back the way they were. I was really looking forward to naptime, so I could have those 2 wonderful hours to finish cleaning my room, and maybe even have a bit of lunch. Unfortunately, Hayden had other plans, and they didn't include a nap. I tried for over an hour to put her down. She'd lay in her crib for about 5 minutes, then scream until I came and got her. By the time this had happened twice, it was within 30 minutes of when I have to pick up Jason from school, so I just loaded her into the car and hoped she fall asleep on the way. No such luck. She was wide awake, jabbering, and trying to run WILD the rest of the afternoon, as we picked up Jason, did our grocery shopping, at the doctor's office getting Jason's H1N1 vaccine, and finally at Starbucks, for Jason's Strawberry Frappuccino (his reward for "taking it like a man" at the doctor's). By the time we made it back home, I was exhausted, but still had to throw together a quick dinner before heading back out to help out with the Young Women's etiquette dinner tonight.

So after a busy and rather frustrating day, I've been thinking about ways I can calm my frenzied mind. After all, if I'm ever to set my house in order, I figure that I should be in order, myself. I thought about meditation, but I've never really understood how to do that effectively. Whenever I sit down to meditate, I have a tendency to start thinking about all the things I need to do, which only makes me more frantic. So that's out. I think that for me, I find calm in escape. Sometimes, when I have Jared home to watch the kids, it's a total escape. I like to go out and see a movie. By myself. Then, I can be away from everything and everyone, and involve myself in a story that has absolutely nothing to do with me. When I can't do that, I like to read. I always keep a book on my bedside table and I like to end my evenings by reading a chapter or two. This at least, lets my mind escape for a little while, and I can find a momentary calm, which is about all I can hope for until it all starts again tomorrow!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Day 1: More Than I Can Chew

As I racked my brain about where to begin this week's project of order, my thoughts fell upon my bedroom. Since we've moved in, my bedroom has been the most neglected of all. It's the only room in the house that still has boxes to be unpacked, and things that have been unpacked but yet have to find a home have been shoved haphazardly into my poor bedroom. This, I decided, was the place to start.

I ambitiously set my goal to have the room completed by the time Jared got home from work tonight. Unfortunately, I didn't factor in a certain 17-month-old. Each time I organized, she eagerly pulled everything to the floor again. She especially loved pulling out about 6 pairs of shoes at a time. Then, as I'd clean them up, she'd move on to emptying my underwear drawer. When I'd hit my limit, I ran to the kitchen to find the remaining baby locks to be installed and spent the rest of the afternoon installing them in my bed and bathrooms. Not an easy task, by the way, especially with a toddler sitting on your chest urging you to play the pony. So, I didn't finish the whole bedroom today. I did, however, manage to organize my closet, as well as discover large amounts of carpet on my bedroom floor that I hadn't seen since our walk-through. And of course, there is always tomorrow. In the meantime, I'm already beginning to feel the calm creeping in to my less-cluttered space. Now, I'm off for a hot bath in my lovely, organized bathroom!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Week 2: A House of Order

I fully intended on continuing my focus on healthy living throughout next week until the last hour of church today. I work with the Young Women, and today's lesson was taught by two of our soon-to-be graduating seniors, Christelle and Katy. They talked about establishing a house of order. They began by quoting a scripture from the Doctrine and Covenants 132:8. It says, "Behold, mine house is a house of order, saith the Lord God, and not a house of confusion." As the lesson progressed, I was struck by this simple concept. As we are still in the process of moving in to our new house, it is important to me that I establish it as a place of order, not confusion. I want my home to peaceful, and running around trying to find something that has yet to be assigned a specific spot in our home is frustrating and exhausting! Just today I drove myself crazy because I'd like to start painting in my son's room. However, I needed a level in order to mask off the parts I don't want painted. I searched high and low for that level, and I've yet to find it! It was exasperating! I finally gave up the search and headed back out to my backyard to pull more weeds. So, this week, my goal is to set my house (and everything/everyone in it) in order. Thanks again to Christelle and Katy for the marvelous lesson. You've inspired me.

End of Week 1: Not Too Shabby!

It's the end of my first week, and how did I do? Not too bad! Did I exercise a full 30 minutes every day? No. I only got in 15 minutes on Thursday, but I walked for 40 minutes on Monday, and worked out for an hour on Tuesday, so I think that makes up for it, don't you? Could I have done better? Yes, and I will continue to keep working on this goal. But, I am ready to focus on something else for Week 2 and return to this later. Thanks for the encouragement!