Friday, September 19, 2008

New Leaf

So, Monday the 15th, started my new leaf. The one I turned over. I began keeping my own house clean. I know this sounds like a ridiculously easy task. But let me tell you. I've never been real big into the whole domestic scene. I mean, I've gotten used to coming home to (well, since I never go anywhere I should say, waking up next to) the same man day after day, and raising children, and doing grocery shopping. I am still working on being used to vacuuming everyday. And mopping. And folding AND PUTTING AWAY the laundry. See, we had a cleaning lady. My house wasn't dirty, it was a little messy at times, but I chalked it up to having two children who walked and carried toys everywhere, and I was under the impression that it just couldn't be neat. The cleaning lady came every Friday, and I would take the kids out of the house for several hours... usually to a park, but sometimes we got shopping done, or went to the doctors, or whatever. When I came home, all the toys were put away, the beds were made, and the house smelled of cleaning products, instead of dog. I have two dogs. A St. Bernard, and a shitzpoo. So, moments after the cleaning lady left, there was dog hair on the carpets, and by the base board, my children, who had been out all day would already have all of their toys scattered about the house, and Pete would take a nap. All of this supported my claim that having a nice, neat house was impossible until the dogs die, the kids grow up, and Pete learned how to make the bed.

*ASIDE* Pete is awesomely domestic already. He did most of the laundry, cooks dinner, and helps me pick up the toys at the end of the night. He also loaded and unloaded the dishwasher as needed. And he takes out the trash. So my claim that he would have to know how to make the bed was one of those things that you just don't say out loud, because that'd be like spitting in his face considering that the house would probably smell like old food if he didn't do all the things he already did for the house. *ASIDE over*

I was also under the assumption that I could never get anything done while chasing after two toddlers. That even though most of the day I was letting them watch TV while jumping off of the couch pretending to fly, that if I wasn't at their beck and call for juice cups, or to break up fights, or find binkies - not to mention getting down on the floor to build towers out of blocks and hope I could stack more than three before one of them knocked it over, helping them into their dress-up clothes, clean up the DVDs after Val pulled them all off the rack, and do all the silly dances with them on Yo Gabba Gabba, that they would kill each other or make an even bigger mess, or just generally fall apart. I felt that being a mom was all I could do.

I read some blogs here and there, and at night I've been playing WoW. I felt this was my god-given time after a grueling day of 'being a mom.' In some of my blogs I read about women who work at real jobs, make dinner for their families, and keep their house clean. I began to think that if I got a job, maybe I could be like them. Notice that my first thought was not that I could clean the house, but that I could go out and get a 40 hr/wk job. I felt that somehow this would motivate me to be more active around the house. The wrench in that idea is this: Pete makes enough money to support our household comfortably, and unless my paycheck could do a lot more than pay for day care, it wouldn't be necessary, so I would slack off at work, and eventually quit. Not to mention, I wouldn't get to see my kids very often. And I would have EVEN LESS time to do chores. So Pete and I brainstormed some more.

A few months ago, we moved our dining furniture into the breakfast nook. And put down foam puzzle pads into the dining room. We bought a TV stand, and put a 13" TV in the new 'play room.' We put bins for toys in there, and a few standing toys (tables with things to spin and twist that play "educational" songs, and such), and we hooked up an Xbox to play kids DVDs. But the kids wanted to watch TV shows, not DVDs. We procrastinated on getting cable run to their TV, so they just watched mine. And since they were in the living room, they brought their toys with them, and my house looked like a tornado hit daily.

Pete and I decided it was time for more drastic measures. So we organized all the toys and put them in bins with lids that they haven't figured out yet. We put those bin's in Lucian's closet, and have given him the option of one bin of toys at a time. Val doesn't talk, yet, so we left his toys in the playroom, in little mini-hampers that he can reach the bottom of. We put a giant corral around the open side of the playroom with gates that neither of them could open. We called Verizon and had them run cable to their TV. Please, you can yell at me about the harm of TV. You can explain to me that being sedentary while watching the TV is going to make them fat. But listen, these kids are NEVER sedentary. They run around inside their playroom, and well... hear me out.

So all of this was Saturday. Sunday, the kids went to the beach with mom-mom. Pete and I didn't do a single chore, as there was no time between all the sex, and all the football. Monday, the kids were staying at mom-mom's because pop-pop missed them and wanted to spend some time with them. I cleaned up all the mess that Pete and I had made during our weekend. It was a lot of work. I cleaned up the whole kitchen, vacuumed, mopped, did laundry, etc*. Tuesday, I de-cluttered the house, vacuumed, mopped, did laundry, etc*. Tuesday evening we finally got the kids back, so we took them to Boston Market, and went to pick up Pete's new suit. By the time we got them home, it was time to put them to bed. Wednesday, we all woke up early enough to go to a playgroup, then came home where Pete had a gourmet lunch waiting for us (brats, macaroni's in a cream sauce, and a baked, stuffed, tomato), after lunch, the kids were put into their basically new playroom. Lucian actually took to it a lot better than Val. I got more chores done, and Pete made a new recipe for dinner. We invited his parents over for grub, and after dinner his mom and I cleaned up dinner. (Usually, she cleans up while I lamely protest saying I'm going to get to it later, and she should just relax, and then I go smoke a cigarette on the lanai while she finishes cleaning up.) I was pretty stoked, and I'm sure she was happy to see me being such a good little domestic girl. Yesterday, mom-mom joined Lucian and I at mini-golf, and we came home to find pop-pop playing with Val. More lunch, then kids to playroom while I did more chores, and mom-mom and pop-pop went visiting other family.

Today, I've been relaxing a little for the morning, but now it's time for lunch, and then mom-mom is coming back to swim with the kids in the pool so I can do more chores. So I think this is a pretty good routine. In the mornings the kids get to run and play, then they eat a real lunch read: not just whatever microwavable meal I can heat up, but a meat starch and veg meal made from scratch, then they play together in the playroom while I get chores done. About an hour before dinner, I let them out of the playroom, to sit and play with me, then it's on to dinner, show, stories, bed. And I still have time to WoW.

Neat, huh?

Hopefully, I'll keep this up forEVER. Probably, three months.

*etc. should be translated "sex"

P.S. It's International Talk Like A Pirate Day! Arrgh!
P.P.S. there are a lot of places where I should have added links. I'll do that when I'm done with today's chores. I'm not actually smart with bloggy stuff, so it will take some research. Thanks for your patience.