Monday, July 24, 2006

Promises, Promises

Well, I keep telling myself that today is the day that I will finally sweep and mop my laundry/kitchen/breakfast room floors. Every single day, today has been the day! Yet, by the end of the day, the floor jumps up and screams at me that I failed to actually follow through with my promise, again! Well, OK, so I exaggerate a tad - it doesn't jump up...but it does sit there staring at me as if to say "Promises, promises!!!"

So, I decided this morning that today was most definitely the day. But, as of now, it's looking like maybe I meant that tomorrow would be the day. It's absolutely filthy - stains and sticky stuff everywhere, and don't even get me started with the crumbs! For those that frequent this blog, you all already know my distaste for housework. But for those that aren't familiar, you can read previous posts about said hatred.

And, just so you'll know, I really am not a procrastinator. I grew up with one, and live with one, so it is my duty to NOT be one. But, it seems that the apple doesn't fall far from the tree when it comes to actually doing something that I don't enjoy - or, to be quite honest, hate with a passion!!! It's just that other duties cleaning off the top of hubby's desk so that I can actually put a glass down, or, better yet, do some work...and, of course, reading other people's blogs! This, afterall, is my one & only vice - well, almost :)

So, here I sit, talking about cleaning the floors, instead of actually cleaning them! I mean, that's what housekeepers are for, right? I have one now (thank you so much hubby!!!), but she only comes once a month, and, I'm saving my next cleaning for the day before a party that I'll be hostessing here. So, I guess I have a few choices to make: (1) Finish this post, then get back to work at cleaning off the desk and getting hubby organized; (2) Walk away from the desk that is only 1/2 cleared off and focus on getting the floors cleaned; (3) Put it off until tomorrow.

Hmmm...decisions, decisions....

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Trial & Error

First, a big THANK YOU to Jenny at Three Kid Circus for the inspiration of this blog. I've been dealing with a dry-spell lately, being so exasperated by my 3 little monkies that I'm unable to think straight enough to put thoughts on paper...err, blog! So, alas, I'm going to borrow her idea, and give it a little "Chaotic" spin, attempting to paint a picture of what it's like to grocery shop with us! Hold onto your's gonna be bumpy ride!!!

As history would suggest, anything this family does, as a family, might be cause for, ummmm...well, I'm not sure, but I'm leaning toward "commitment to the nearest insane assylum"! Anytime we all go someplace - and I do mean with or without daddy - it's a sight to behold. Forget the fact that you only have to be within 100 yards of us to know that we are indeed in the building - oh, who am I kidding? - in the vacinity, it just makes those without children want to consider sterilization! And, forget about being concerned any longer with the looks I get from passers by. You know the ones I'm talking about, right? It's that "you poor woman" look. I've gotten very accustomed to ignoring it because it only re-inforces my own thoughts of ineptitude (is that a word?).

It was only 4 short days ago that I broke my own cardinal rule - I went grocery shopping with all 3 kiddos! This is something that I try to reserve for the evenings, after all monkies under 4 foot tall are in bed, and daddy & mommy have had a chance to visit & discuss our day, and/or eat dinner. But, on this very special day, I was forced to go out, in public, by myself, with all of my children, to the place that I hate the most! You see, on a good week, I take the time to sift through my fridge and rummage through my pantry, noting all of the items that we use, but happen to be out of. Most of you call this a list. I refer to it as my life-line - you'll understand in just a minute. But, I'll admit to you all now that since this hadn't been what I'd call a 'good week', I left the house without giving another thought to jotting down a few notes on the nearest scrap of paper to help me remember what I'd need while shuffling up & down the aisles of our local market. I knew that there were several 'staples' which we had depleted, and I just knew that I'd remember to pick them up when I saw them. That was the beginning of my downfall.

Before leaving the house, I sat the 2 older kiddos down on the couch and explained to them that we were going to make a quick trip to the store to get food. I then explained that if we didn't get food, there would be no dinner, so I really needed their help & support. Giving mommy help & support meant NOT asking me for 20 different things, at the same time, or making any sort of PDU (public display of unruly-ness). Doing so would only cause the trip to the store to take longer, thereby delaying our getting home to eat dinner. And, since it was already 4:15, I figured that their empty stomachs would help their little brains to comprehend the need for their help & support - yet another error in judgement by Your's Truly! So, after waking the youngest from his 3 hour nap - yes, I know, another stupid, rookey error - off we went to the grocery store only 3 short blocks from the house.

Upon arrival, we poured out of the van, then had a mini-fight over which basket mommy would push for the next hour (or 2). Since I was the mommy, and designated 'cart pusher', I won that battle - should have known that the war was only a few short minutes away! We entered through the automatic sliding doors, and were immediately bowled-over by the icy blast of A/C - not usually a bad thing when the heat index is well over 100 degrees, but when it's blowing so hard that it takes the 22 month old's breath away for even the slightest second, it doesn't bode well for the rest of trip. Onward I pushed (after a quick consoling hug), first reaching the produce department. As is the custom for us, I gave each child 2 plastic produce bags to hold, which they are supposed to hand-over at the appropriate time. The 2 older children are experts at this ritual, but the youngest is still learning what it means to share. So, after filling 4 of the 6 plastic bags with various fruits & veggies, then grabbing several more bags for later use, the youngest decided that he indeed wanted to share - screaming at me when I didn't respond to his new-found knowledge within seconds. Then, in the same screaming-breath, beginning to chant "nana...nana...nana". This, of course, meant that he'd spotted his favorite fruit...bananas. Now, I don't know about any of you, and I'm willing to take any advice you can offer, but I haven't yet figured out how to make a 22 month old understand that he must wait to eat said fruit until it's been paid for. I spoke in the most soothing tones I could muster, explaining over & over again that he had to 'wait'. I even did my best 'distraction' moves by pointing out the 'red balls' (apples) already in the shopping cart, then attempting to show him the other cool items I could toss in as I picked up the pace. I had to quickly admit defeat and decided to do what any other parent would do - move faster and do my best to act as though his ear-piercing screams weren't affecting me in the slightest, all while being eye-balled by several older women peeking over their bifocals at me!

On we moved to the bread department where yet another argument ensued with the little guy at not being able to 'hold' the 2 bags of bread I placed into the shopping cart (next to the bananas) - he's a squeezer! Then at last we reached what I refer to as "heaven in grocery store" - the Bakery! We made a mad dash to the bowl of FREE cookies, only to behold an empty saucer. This just wouldn't do...I had to have cookies, now! I think the little lady behind the counter saw terror in my eyes, and came running to the rescue, giving my little monkies the choice of which cookie box they'd prefer to open. We (I) chose the chocolate, chocolate chip cookies, knowing full-well that the sugar rush would send them into a sugar-induced trance, buying me some time to get up & down the other 35 aisles of the store, through the check-out lane, and out the door. Besides, I had grabbed the bag of wipes as we exited the car, and knew that whatever mess they could create, it wasn't anything that a few heavy-duty wipes wouldn't cure :-)

As we wound up & down the next 4 aisles, I successfully fielded repeated requests for this, that or the other, noting that on the peanut butter & jelly aisle, I needed to grab a jar of each. However, directly opposite the PB&J were 3 shelves, brimming with boxes of various styles & flavors of fruit snacks - roll-ups, twistables, sweet gushers, sour gushers, mystery flavors, and any number of animated characters. So, knowing that I would indeed not win the Battle of Fruit Snack Hill, I found myself asking my 3 children to decide which 'one' they preferred. And, as you can imagine, another mini-fight ensued, but this time between the 2 older children - the youngest just kept screaming "Nack! Nack!" and pointing. During said battle, it came to my attention that I was in the way of those that might want to move past me. It took me a second to realize it, but while waiting for my daughter & son to come to some sort of agreement, I was blocking one side of the aisles with the 'Expedition-sized cart' I had chosen 30 minutes earlier. While being shot looks of disgust, and (loud) irritated sighs, I came to realize that I could not move - I was indeed stuck between 3 cart-pushing, child-free morons! It seemed to slip right passed their God-forsaken brains that if they wanted to me to keep moving in a forward motion, someone was going to have to move their cart first! It was only after several awkward seconds of staring at each other that the older lady directly in front of me realized that she needed to move her basket, so that I could move mine, so that she could continue her stress-free shopping experience. So, as I proceeded forward, so as to allow the other patrons to pass, my 2 older kids felt the need to escalate their whines to yells. Again, as regret began to set-in, I realized that I had only 1 choice to make - grab 1 box of fruit snacks for each child, and move on - leaving the necessary PB& J behind - and not on purpose!

At this point I was considering abandoning my shopping cart - and maybe my kids* - making tonight a fast-food dinner night. But, something overtook me and I decided that I would indeed conquer the rest of the store - at lightning fast speeds. So, onward I pushed, grabbing various & sundry items, paying no heed to price or value. I just knew that if I didn't get through the store with everything I needed, I wouldn't be able to hold my head up as I pushed past the other patrons from the fruit snack aisle. It became my quest. But, that's not say that my kiddos were doing anything to help me!!! Alex just kept making these roaring-fighting noises, much too loud for my liking, Morgann kept on with her whining and begging, and Ian just kept screaming! My head was spinning, and regret of attempting this task was almost too much for me to bear! But, onward I pushed, seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.

As I approached the end of the store, I did a quick inventory of my cart, but realized how pointless that was! It was piled high, which meant that I had no way of seeing what might be at the bottom. Oh well! I was sure that I'd managed to grab everything on my (mental) list, so we headed off to the checkout line. As luck would have it, I was able to pull into an empty line - how often does that happen? I'm thinking that maybe they saw me coming and quickly opened up a lane, just for us, so that we'd hurry up & leave.

Once home, the kids happily assisted me in carring in the 'light' bags. After unloading and putting everything away, it was time to start dinner. I pulled the defrosted chicken from the fridge, then headed to the pantry for my bread-crumb coating, only to notice that there was no bread-crumb coating - I'd forgotten it! Aaahhh! Ok, wait, don't panic. I had a package of non-frozen ground turkey that I could cook. So, rummaging around the pantry, I decided on tacos. After getting the meat on, I began pulling out all of the 'fixins' - tomatoes, lettuce, shredded cheese, sour cream, avocados for homemade guacamole, queso, and ummm....well....dang it! No chips!!! Right about that time, hubby walked in the door from work. He's the one that usually wants chips & queso (it's just a bonus for the rest of us), so I left the ball in his court. I quickly informed him that even though I'd just returned from the grocery store, if he wanted chips for the queso, he'd need to turn around and leave again to go get some. If looks could kill....

...see, that's why a list is my life-line!

I've already started working on my list for the next shopping trip, making sure to plan it so that I can go in the evening. I think that just works best for all, the kids, the other patrons, the grocery store staff...

Friday, July 14, 2006

Mission...Almost Impossible

Why is it that anytime I'm getting ready to leave town, or be away from my home, my OCD kicks in?!? I say that tongue-in-cheek because anyone that knows me, knows that I in no way, shape or form, exhibit OCD. Just a peek at my house would send any real person with even the slightest OCD over the edge, I'm sure of it! The sheer fact that I'm sitting here typing this, rather than running around like a chicken with my head cut-off, is miracle enough. It's just that when I know I'm going to be gone for more than 24 hours, I shift from the "I don't care how my house looks, I'm not going to stress out over it" woman, to "Oh my God! I need to finish the laundry, fold & put everything away, sweep & mop the floors, and every last dish must be washed & put away" crazy woman!!! My stress level rises to it's absolute highest, and my kids know that it's time to run & hide. Hubby disappears too! It's the strangest thing...

I'm supposed to be getting ready to leave for a weekend-long MOPS retreat today, but I'm forcing myself to sit & blog about my 'problem'. I'm doing so in hopes of finding another mommy or 2 (or just 1, really) that can feel my pain, and relate to my OCD-ness. I need to know that there is another mommy out there that totally loses control, and feels compelled to have her house in perfect condition before vacating the premisses for even the shortest span of time.

I think my problem stems from a number of things - the first being my paranoid mind. Do you really want to know what rolls through this brain in my head? "What if I leave, and something happens to me? My family & friends will come to my home and find that I live a life of clutter and mess. My husband won't be able to function because all of the clothes will be in the hamper, or worse, clean in the basket, and wrinkled beyond all recognition". That's it! Really, that's why I become this posessed, crazy woman. Then, of course, there is the "While I'm gone, my kids need to be dressed in clean clothes, not left to run around the house (and/or yard) in their underwear or jammies" feeling. That one sends a shiver straight up my spine! To think that my neighbors would see my kiddos running around with hair in their eyes (Morgann) or sticking straight up in the air (Alex & Ian), still dressed in their jammies or skivies at 2PM makes me want to cry. Why? I'm anal retentive when it comes to appearances I guess. Not the fake, 'I want to put on a show and make people think we're someone that we're not' sort of appearance, but the 'even though mommy isn't home, hubby is fully capable of running the house with one hand tied behind his back' appearance. I know, I know! I'm a sad, sad shell of a person!!! I'm sinking in my chair as I type this, um...errr...confession. I know I'm expecting allot from a man that works 40+ hours a week, away from the house. To think that he'd really care about something so small and insignificant makes me feel badly. But, at the same time, it's not small & insignificant to me. So, seeing as how I am super-woman, it is my duty to be sure to give this man that I love every opportunity to fulfill my hopes & wishes while I'm away.

So this means, leaving the house in some semblance of order, with clean dishes, a fridge/freezer stocked with easy to heat & serve meals, clean clothes put away in their appropriate place...and a sister-in-law willing to come over to be sure the kiddos are dressed and well-fed :)

My only real demand for hubby? "Please be sure the dishes are in the dishwasher when I come home...oh yeah, and that no one runs out into the middle of the street!" (but, I digress!!! - there's a story behind that, but I dare not go there right now.)

*I love you my sweet man and appreciate your willingness to let me leave for a weekend of fun with the girls!!! You're wonderful and I truly appreaciate all you do for us :) So, about those dishes...

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Why kids should not be left alone!

I'm afraid this will be Ian at some point... Maybe allowing him to go through a whole box of band-aids from time to time isn't such a bad idea!!! Thanks to my friend -M for passing this email along to me :) And, thanks to the mommy in cyber-land that decided to share this photo of her precious little one with the rest of us! It's all in your perspective...

Have an awesome day!!

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Just too busy!!

Hi All! Hope this post finds you well :) I have so much to blog about, but I'm just too busy to stop and think right now! It seems like every day is busier than the last, with this week being no exception. So, just know that I'm taking a few precious minutes to read YOUR posts, and hoping to come up for air by next week.

Happy Blogging!