Wednesday, September 29, 2010

And I'm not even going to talk about the lack of sleep...

So I haven't been posting much lately. My house has been up and down, better and worse...but I'm 6 weeks away from my due date with #3, that tends to change how I spend my time :)

Wanna know what Braxton Hicks feel like? They are "practice" contractions, which means they aren't actually painful (or so the books say) but help prepare the muscles and everything involved for the birth.

Imagine, you're going about your day, minding your own business, and are suddenly forced to do an ab workout. 50 crunches, right now! You can't really predict when they'll come, or how long they'll last, or if you'll get a break in between them, but they always know how to find you. And no, you don't actually feel out of breath or anything like that, but how do you feel after doing 50 crunches? It's like that.

Now imagine having a 3 year old and an 18 month old jumping all over you while you're doing the crunches. Good times.

Now if you'll excuse me, I believe I have a box of Oreos to finish...

Friday, September 24, 2010

What happens when you spend a LOT of time on baby name websites.

My thoughts on the 1000 most popular boy names in America in 2009 (I got this list from www.behindthename.com, in case anybody's wondering). And I mean no offense to anyone who has these names and/or it's an ethnic thing. Please don't sue me.

Drumroll, please...:

One of the names tied for last place is Mustafa. Yes, you heard me. (say it again. Mustafa!!) Sharing last place with the Lion King is Eliezer, Cassius, and Amos. (Okay, I just realized that the Lion King is Mufasa, not Mustafa, but they sound close enough in my head that the effect is the same.)

#994: Stone.

Tied with Nick and Hugh is Cain. How's that for a namesake? Just don't have any other boys.

ooh, #982: Leonidas. Hopefully he won't have to lead an army into a suicide battle that saves his country...well okay there are plus sides to that, it being an epic battle for the ages and all, but still, the word "suicide" is in the description for a reason. Also, did the parents have the name picked out before the movie came out? That would make them cool ancient history buffs. After the movie came out, they're really big Gerard Butler fans.

Oh my word, Nicholas Cage is catching on: #968 is Kalel, what he named his son. Also, in case you aren't placing it, that's SUPERMAN'S NAME. Please note that more boys were named Superman's name on Krypton in 2009 than were named Nick.

If you had to choose, would you name your son Kal-el (the proper spelling) or Mustafa? These are the questions that trouble our times.

In the lower reaches of the top 1000, there are some names that just amuse me. Like Savion. Or Juelz. Or Zavion, because, you know, Savion is so common these days.

#959: Dereon. And somehow I immediately knew that Dereon is the name of Beyonce's fashion line. I have no defense for myself.

#944: German. They must be VERY proud of their ethnic heritage.

#940: Royce, and his older brother Rolls (ba-dum-puh!)

Elmer! And Fletcher! And Ralph! Oh my!!

I want to meet the people who name their tiny infant son "Rigoberto" because I think it would be fun.

First sighting of parents' overenthusiastic hopes for their children! (if you don't count Leonidas) - Marquise, at #907!

If the Rigoberto people aren't available, I'd also like to meet the Humberto people, and apparently there are more of them than Rigoberto people.

I strongly feel that if you name your son Dangelo you need to spell it D'Angelo. And then pressure him to open a restaurant.

Tied with Salvatore for #890: Todd :)

Tied for #878, that's right, higher than Todd: Hezekiah, Lyric, and Krish.

Arnav is just fun to say. Who knows if I'm saying it correctly, it's just fun. Lower down was Pranav. Wouldn't that be a cute set of twins?

#866: Bridger. "So, what line of work are you in?..."

More boys were named Elvis last year than were named Darryl.

#848: Ernest!

#841: Fisher. See #866, above.

I always really hope that people who use names like Izayah are actually Jewish or something, and they're going traditional.

Harold and Alfred are higher than Mike!

#823: Winston. I think that is awesome.

How do you say Ayaan?

Aarav! Triplets!!

Next group of parents with no humility! #784: Adonis!

#772: Aryan. They wanted to go with Adolph, but thought that would be too obvious...

Tied for #767: Zain and Zayne. At least they’re coming out even in the polls.

Tied for #752: Rodolfo and Rex.

#737: Darwin. They're just whippin' this stuff out there. Although I guess they could argue the same thing about Christians naming their kids Zion and Judah and that kind of thing.

#729: Frankie. Aww, that's cute. But not as a proper name, right?

#718: Gauge. There's a joke there, it's just not coming to me.

#715: Junior. When all else fails…

#699: Sincere. Really.

#688: Rogelio. Say that a few times, let it roll off your tongue...Rogelio, rrrrogelio...

More overproud parents! #691: Prince!

I think we can all breathe a sigh of relief knowing that Osvaldo dropped almost a hundred places between last year and this year.

#673: the inexplicable Semaj. I had to look at that for awhile before I realized it's James backwards. Because...you really like the name, but can't possibly cope with giving your son a normal name?

#670: Tripp. Am I the only one who thinks more of, say, a beloved family pet rather than a child?

#662: Messiah is leading the overcompensating parents so far!

I was not aware there were so many possible spellings for Aiden/Jayden et al.

Unusual Biblical (or at least Biblical-sounding) name you don’t hear every day: #618: Urijah.

In the United States last year, more boys were named Memphis than were named Steve. In fact, more boys were named Ace than were named Steve.

#586: Xzavier. These are parents doing their part to make darn sure he always gets called last.

#570: Alvin. Now I have to look for Simon and Theodore.

#485: Cullen. I'm taking this as the most obvious Twilight reference.

#462: King. You know, with names like King and Prince, you really want to put thought into the middle name.

Squeezing in the most possible syllables: #460: Maximiliano!

Tied for #408: Hugo, Orlando, and Romeo.

#388: Moises. How do you pronounce this? Moyses? Mwahses?

#370: Colt. And his brother Winchester.

#291: Dante.

#276: Theodore! We just need Simon!

Just when I thought we were getting out of the weird names, #264: Axel. What exactly are you naming your child after?

Ah, #263: Simon.

#235: Zane. What, he’s too good for Zain and Zayne?

#200: Edgar. Really? That high? I would not have predicted that.

Now I’m in the top 100 so they’ll be pretty normal. Or so we hope…


Now, I would do the girls' list too, but honestly, out of the top 1000 names, if you took out all the alternate spellings, it would bring it down to, oh, 250 names. Parents are more creative with the names overall for boys, but just mess around with spelling for girls. Although I did spy Dixie in there and that's fun. And there is the Unique/Precious/Princess crowd...

Monday, March 29, 2010

Do It Now

Okay, I think I've decided I'm going to just commit to this and actually change my life. I think. By the grace of God, I'm going to do this.

So today, I didn't actually go back and read any of the daily tasks, but I have been getting her emails, and one things she talks about that I have been trying to incorporate today is the Do It Now principle. It's very easy for me to walk past the pile of laundry, the messy table, the unmade bed, and not do anything because "I'm not cleaning right now, I'll do that later" and it never gets done. Or it gets done, after a lot of stress and guilt about it. So I've been really trying to do that, and actually have seen some results! I cleaned most of the kitchen, and picked up in the living room/hallway and stuff, because I was there and it needed to be done. And that alone I think will make a difference at first. I'll try to add something else tomorrow.

Supper today was frozen Walmart pepperoni pizza with a salad because that makes it healthy, right? It was a good salad too, romaine and spinach and green onion and celery and shredded mozzarella cheese. There would've been mushrooms but we were out.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Is This It?

I'm at a crossroads. So far, I've been doing the simple little easy baby steps that Flylady talks about. Nothing that really is changing my life, but nice nonetheless. But I've gotten to the point where either I keep doing what I've been doing, with some more unfulfilled good intentions, or I actually man up and commit to this and see some change in my life.

If I coast, well, nothing really changes, my house continues on the pendulum of cleaner-not so clean, and I continue being frustrated with the state of things.

If I commit to this...well...that means I have to change something. Something big. I have to become more disciplined. And less lazy. A rocket spends 80% of its fuel in the first few minutes of takeoff, then can orbit for a long time on the last 20%. If I want to change, I need to focus on spending a huge amount of energy on this for awhile, until I can orbit.

I'm not sure I'm ready for this decision. I'm trying to put it off. I'm feeling a bit sick today, so I don't really have to blah blah blah. I like being selfish. I like being lazy. I don't like the results, but so far that hasn't stopped me. But I'm acting out the definition of insanity here.

Gah.

I don't know yet.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Do I Have To Go Back To Day 1?

Well, I've pretty much completely fallen off the wagon. It started last weekend, I took a day off (and by "a" I mean "three") and never recovered. The living room is alright, the kitchen needs work but is honestly manageable, but our bedroom is almost back to how it was before my big cleaning binge, and thinking of the kids' room makes me want to go to my happy place.

I do have a handy list of excuses, if anyone's interested. For example, James is teething and hasn't been sleeping well at ALL at night, which means I haven't been sleeping either. On the good nights Sophia sleeps through it, but on the bad nights, hmm, let's just say she "doesn't". Not fun.
Also, I haven't been really well for a little bit now. It's a weird sore throat/bit of a stomachache combo, and it's bothersome, but if I'm really honest with myself it's not really anything worth throwing a pity party over.

Okay, so when I said I had a list of excuses, I meant I have two.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Something for the Girl

I've been quite crafty lately. First the shorts for the boy, and now this!

My daughter is never so happy as when she gets to wear a pretty dress. It doesn't even actually have to be all that pretty, in her mind any dress is a pretty dress. Which is very nice of her.

I found this tutorial online for making a toddler dress out of a man's button down shirt. So, we went to Value Village and I got a couple shirts (since I wasn't sure my husband would appreciate me raiding his closet) and I tried it out!

Here's the shirt:




















And after a bit of an evening and a bit
of a morning, here's the dress!

















You can't really see the white trim at the bottom, but it's there, like at the neckline. And at first she didn't like it, because it's not pink, but then I put the flower on it and now it's great :) Also please excuse the not-brushed-yet hair :)

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Look What I Did!!

I made James a pair of shorts. The yarn is kinda boring, but hey, I made them!! What do you think? And hey, spring is here now, right? .....right?!















Look! It's ribbed!! I learned how to do that specifically for this project. They are crocheted, not knit. My gramma can knit anything, she's amazing, and she's tried to teach me a few times. The most recent effort was a few years ago, and the results looked pretty much the same as when she tried to teach me when I was 5. But crochet I can do!

And now, ACTION SHOTS!








































And just cuz he's so darn cute:

Cleaning Fairies are AWESOME

Is it cool to put an emoticon in a blog?...okay I don't know how to do it and they aren't on the little menu bar here. There's this one I've seen of a happy face running back and forth doing a happy dance. I'd like to put that in here. But apparently I can't. Anyway.

I had a cleaning fairy come today!!! My friend came up to me at church and said I looked like I could use some encouragement so she came over and cleaned my kitchen and living room!! YAAAAAAYYYYY!!!! I hadn't done anything over the weekend so the place was a right good mess. Sadly, at one point one of my beloved glass canisters broke - the big one, too! - but on the whole it was a wonderful afternoon. I even got a little nap!

So I really think I can get back into the routine I was starting to build, and get back on track. Who am I kidding, I'm hoping to get back in the general area of the track. But at least that's something. ;)


Friday, March 12, 2010

My House is a Mess

and right now I do not care. I'm making a chocolate trifle for tomorrow's chocolate fest/bad date stories party, there's laundry piled up in more than one room, the kitchen's a mess, and I don't care.

Yes I do.

No I don't.

.....yes, actually I do.

Just not enough to do anything about it tonight.

I'm tired and I had a long frustrating day with my children and I'm going to eat leftover trifle ingredients and read Little Women and go to bed. Maybe the cleaning fairies will come while I'm sleeping.....although they must be unionized or something, because they've hardly EVER come before, I don't know why I keep counting on them. Slackers.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Day 3

Okay, day 3. Today's challenge is...to do what we've been doing. Clean the sink, and get dressed. I am AWESOME at this. Today I'm also going to be washing my kitchen floor, because oh my word it needs to be done. We have this awesome linoleum that looks like tile or something, and it's gorgeous, and it is amazing at hiding stuff. I have to remind myself to sweep, because by the time you can tell by looking, you'd be able to build a sandcastle with what's on the floor. And it's really been needing a wash for awhile, so since my Wednesday student rescheduled, I want to get it done.

Alright people, not only did I get the floor washed, but I practiced some arpeggios, made lasagna and garlic bread FROM SCRATCH for supper, and went shopping in the afternoon!! I AM AWESOME. Now of course, who knows what will happen tomorrow, but right now I am superwoman!!!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Day 1...For Real This Time

Okay, I'm starting for real now. According to Flylady's beginner baby steps, I'm on day 1. Okay, no, day 2 actually. Day 1's task is to shine your sink. I cleaned mine out, but I didn't do all the steps that she talks about when you first shine your sink. Um, there's things in there like soak it with hot water and bleach for an hour, and using a toothbrush or possibly dental floss to clean around the faucets and that, and shine it up with Windex. I didn't do that, but I did clean around the faucets really well and washed it out well. I'm sorry, I'm not going to use car wax on my kitchen sink. Anyway...(sudden thought, maybe this is why I didn't succeed with this last time? Because I didn't do what she said...I will try to do better from here on in.)

I am glad to have a nice clean sink.

Day 2's task is to shine your sink (you always continue the previous days' tasks to what you're doing each day) and get dressed. Hey, they should've had this as Day 1! Although she says it's not just getting dressed in whatever, it's doing your hair and makeup and getting dressed to shoes. So you feel put together and "professional". I can dig it.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Beware of Vacuums...

...or more specifically, vacuum salesmen. I was getting in some technique practice for my piano exam, and this guy comes to the door offering to do a free carpet cleaning/shampooing for me, and do a presentation thing. I should've known, but I said hey, we only have carpet in the front hallway and it could use a cleaning, what the heck? So the guy came in and started his whole deal. And really, honestly, it was amazing. The dirt and stuff he pulled up out of the carpet was INSANE. I hate my vacuum anyway, so I was half interested (although I have my heart set on a dyson) and let him go through his spiel. All that's well and good, until I start realizing that this is taking longer than I thought it would. I had things to do. I had places to be. I had a shower to take before I could do any of that, and suddenly I realized that I had to be out the door in an hour and he's not showing any signs of slowing. So I mention that I don't have much more time. I do everything I can to get him to wrap things up. I'd even told him pretty much from the get-go that I wasn't going to buy the thing. I told him it was because my husband wasn't home and we don't make those kinds of purchases without talking about it first. This thing was a couple thousand dollars, after all. He told me they have a special discount for women who decide to buy without talking to their husbands. ?!!?! He specifically used those words. Anyway, I know I finally convinced him because he left my house and took his vacuum with him.

Any guesses how long he was here, before I tell you?

I thought it would be like, half an hour or something like that. He came to the house at 10:30 in the morning.

He left at 1:42 p.m. I am not joking. Leaving me with 17 minutes to take a shower and be across town.

The carpet does look awesome, though.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

What Was Supposed to Be Day 1

......didn't actually happen. Cynics would say they weren't surprised, but what do they know. I was supposed to go to FlyLady and check out the first day task. I didn't. BUT I did do other stuff. I folded the laundry that's all over the basement TV room for the third time (shut up) and got some of it put away. I went out and got a whole bunch of errands done...and I had my long day of teaching today. We had Domino's for supper but that was not my idea, that was my husband's, I was going to cook. By the way, Domino's Philly Cheese Steak pizza is awesome. My bed is also made. So, I didn't do what I was supposed to do, but I did get productive stuff done. So, I'm chalking it up as a win! Yayy!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

What's the Plan?

I need an action plan. What am I going to do to accomplish my goal? I'm going to give FlyLady a try again, I tried a few years ago but didn't really follow the plan, so surprise! It didn't work. Now I still might not completely follow it, but I'm going to do more than I did last time. She's got a section on her site called "Beginner Babysteps" which sounds PERFECT, it's got daily tasks for a few weeks, to get you into the system. I'll tell you how I do as I go along. See you tomorrow!

It Needed To Be Done

I would've posted this earlier, but we were out of town over the weekend for my birthday (yay!!! it was marvelous!!)

Okay, so our bedroom was a DISASTER. Seriously. And it had been like this for a looooong time. So I decided to clean it up. It took me all day - no really, all day. I started around 9 a.m. and I finished at 11 p.m. in time to go to bed - but I got it done.

Here's what it looked like before:













I know, right? Not good. And if I want to be totally honest, this is even better than it had been before. See at the foot of the bed there? You can see the floor!

And after a solid day of cleaning, here's what it looked like:














Woohoooo!! I cleaned under the bed and EVERYTHING. Now, full disclosure, I made the bed purely for this picture. I crawled into it pretty much immediately after. And I don't know how well you can see, but my dresser is cleaner too. There's still a bunch of stuff on it, but none of it needs to be thrown away, and I actually know what is on there. My dresser is always the last thing that gets clean. Growing up my mom always knew if I'd "cleaned" my room or if I'd REALLY cleaned it by whether or not I'd cleaned the dresser off.

I know it's not good to do whirlwind rounds of cleaning, because you don't keep it up. But this was SERIOUSLY bad. It's really nice having a nice clean bedroom to go to at the end of the day. And hey, I still have the mountain of laundry in the basement....

Saturday, February 27, 2010

A Spectacular Day

So this morning, I was nursing James and Sophie comes walking into the living room holding the carton of eggs. "Look mommy! Eggs!" Yes, sweetie, I see them, but you REALLY need to put those down. She trots back into the kitchen, and comes back holding one egg. "Mommy! Egg!" I tell her to put the egg back. Moments later, James finished eating so I could go and be more "hands-on" with this situation. She had very nicely put the eggs on the kitchen table, but three out of the four that were left were broken. One completely, with egg all over the table. (She had been "cleaning up". She's so helpful!) The other two were just cracked enough that I couldn't save them, so eggs for breakfast! I cook them scrambled, because that's pretty much the only way I can do eggs. Oh but then she decides that she doesn't want eggs. I save the one unbroken egg on the counter in case I need an egg for something later.

Then I decide to be all domestic-like and get something accomplished today. Hmm, the bathrooms need to be cleaned. James laid down for a nap, and I went downstairs to the bathroom with the cleaner. Sophia followed, because what's more fun than cleaning products? I got the toilet started, then realized I forgot paper towels. Back upstairs. Back downstairs, to find her splashing in the DIRTY POO TOILET WATER. GAH.

Bath time for Sophie! Get her cleaned up, get back downstairs, finish cleaning the bathroom. Come upstairs, start on the upstairs bathroom. I'm almost done when I hear her little voice quietly saying "yucky yucky..." so I come quickly out to the kitchen. She's standing on a chair, holding a big chopping knife, and she's chopped open the one last egg on the counter. Egg everywhere. She looks at me and says, "big mess!" I said, "yes, Sophia, that's a big mess..." trying to hold back the spasmodic outburst I felt bubble up inside of me. I'm pretty sure a crazed little giggle came out though. She says, "mommy clean it." Yes, yes, mommy will clean it. I send her to sit on the chair in the living room to have a time-out. We don't do time-outs very often though, so the concept hasn't quite sunk in for her. She kept getting up and trying to play the piano with her crayon. It's an amazing new technique that would change the world if only I would let her practice it more. But I'm old-fashioned that way.

I got the egg cleaned up, and James is awake. It's lunchtime, and does Sophie want to eat eggs? No, sirree! She has a muffin and a peanut butter sandwich, and gives James a pile of Goldfish crackers on his highchair. He had a banana and a few crackers. Got some cereal into him too. I'm getting myself a drink when there's a crash and crying and I turn around and she's pulled the highchair over onto herself, and James is strapped in face-down on the floor. Two screaming children = FUN. I get him out, and take them both into the living room to sit and snuggle and nurse their grievances. Thankfully, they both calmed down pretty quick. I had to get the laundry put in the dryer, and change James' poopy diaper, and then he's getting sleepy again so I lay him back down. I took Sophie downstairs to watch Bambi so hopefully I can take a breath. I decide this will be a good time for me to have a quick shower or else I might not get one today. Aaahh, you know, I have about two baths a year, but I love me a nice hot shower. So that at least was nice.

I came downstairs to check on her, and find her drowsy in the chair. We're phasing out the afternoon nap (not because I want to, believe me!) and we have to watch or else she sleeps too long and then is up until 10 or 11 at night, which nobody wants. So I wake her up a bit, I don't know if she's waking up or just falling asleep or what, so I take her on my lap and sit and snuggle while we watch Bambi.

Then she pees on me.

Right on my lap, on my favourite pair of jeans that just came out of the wash and everything. Bazinga.

Upstairs, change into old jeans because who knows what else will happen, and get her cleaned up. I've now decided that I don't care, she's laying down for awhile. I get her yellow blanket and put her in bed. When I last checked on her she wasn't asleep, but she was laying quietly in bed. I'll take it.

James was awake. Yes, as I suspected, that strong poo smell in the kids' room was him and not the diaper pail. He continues his reign as the Poo that Never Quits.

This brings us up to 4:30 pm and all I've had to eat is a bowl of cereal. I'm really really hoping that my husband brings home supper. Or, you know, we could have those two eggs that have been sitting on the counter since this morning.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Why Bother?

First things first. Why is it important for me to be a good housewife? Isn't that a sexist expectation? Why can't I be liberated and be out in the working world, building a career? We could just pay someone to come and clean, and the kids could go to daycare.

Well, I used to work in the "outside world". I don't want to anymore. I want to be home with my children, as frustrating as that is sometimes. That's my choice. I don't want to hear about my son's firsts from someone else. I understand that many women choose to work outside the home, and that's perfectly fine if that's their decision. For me, I always knew that once I had kids I wanted to be at home with them. Maybe that has a little something to do with the fact that I can stay in my pajamas until noon if I want, but home with the kids is where my heart and soul is. My husband works and provides financially for the family. He has a job in the outside world. We had a talk when I was pregnant with our daughter, and clarified that going out and working is his job. Staying home and taking care of the family is my job, since that's what I chose. (I do teach piano and voice part-time, but that is in the home. My students come to me.)

This is my domain, my kingdom, my responsibility.

So why is it important that the house be clean and organized and proper meals made? We have a toddler and a baby learning to walk, for crying out loud! Shouldn't we just expect the house to be in a state of informal chaos?

Phyllis Diller said "Cleaning a house with children is like shoveling snow in a blizzard."
And oh yeah, is that ever true. Except here's the thing: blizzards don't last for 18 years. And nobody in their right mind goes to a blizzard looking to relax and unwind after a long stressful day. My home is meant to be a place of rest and rejuvenation for my family, a place of coming together and learning and blessing and growing. You can't do that in chaos. Just because by nature small children are usually pretty messy doesn't mean you should just kick back and do nothing about it. Your house and indirectly your mental well-being will suffer. And you will teach your children that mess and chaos and clutter is acceptable. I don't want to do that. I want my children to have respect for their home and their belongings. I want my home to be a fun, engaging, relaxing place to be. And a clean, clutter-free house is a big part of that.

As you can see, I have this all figured out in my head. Getting it into practice, not so much.

The Start of a Project

My name is Michelle. I've been married for almost 7 years. I'm a stay-at-home mom to Sophia, who's two-na-haff (in her words) and James, who's almost a year. I suck at housework. My truly wonderful long-suffering easygoing husband has put up with this for a long time. I've tried many things. And still I suck. My house is a mess. Writing this, I feel like I'm at an AA meeting or something: "Hello, my name is Michelle, and I'm a bad housewife." Oh and did I mention that I married into a family of domestic goddesses who would never dream of being caught with dirty dishes on the counter when people drop in or bringing STORE BOUGHT muffins to a family picnic?

I know other people who are like this too, and have the same struggles and the same fights with their husbands over and over and over again, about why can't the house be cleaner, and I thought, okay, I'm not the only one! But is there any hope for us?

I've seen other blogs about housework, and they're great, but a lot of them seem to be written by women who already have it all together and are sharing their extra special tips for canning their homegrown avocados while doing everything else the Proverbs 31 woman does. And that's awesome, but I'm just not there yet.

So maybe all this will be is motivation and accountability for myself. Maybe it will be encouragement for someone else. Who knows?

Anyway, here goes nothin'!