Why do I want a clean house?

Day one is my mission statement.  It only took me three days to do.  So this challenge is definitely going to take me longer than 31 calendar days.  I spent three hours this morning just folding laundry, corralling the littles, and cleaning up the kitchen from dinner and breakfast.  It can be so frustrating to spend so much time and not make any headway.  Thankfully my amazing husband came home and cleaned both bathrooms.  They needed it.  Badly.  I will be taking these challenges in order, but they will have to fit with my family.  This may take all summer, but we will still be better off than if I hadn’t tried at all.

And so: My reasons for wanting a clean house –

I want a clean house because it brings peace to my family.

When my home is clean, the kids can play with their toys, everyone can find clothes and needed items and there is a feeling of calm.

When my home is clean, there is no last minute panic trying to find shoes and other items before leaving the house.

When my home is clean, we can focus on our time together and not on the clutter around us.

When my home is clean, my children feel comfortable bringing their friends here.

When my home is clean, I feel comfortable sitting down to rest or to spend time with my husband, or to get down on the floor with the toddlers.

When my home is clean, I can think and write more clearly.

When my home is clean I can be a better steward of my belongings.

When my home is clean it feels like home and not just a building we live in.

Blueberry banana bread

The kids love blueberry banana bread and the recipe is super simple too:

(Per loaf)
3 bananas
2 eggs
2 cups flour (I used whole wheat white)
1 cup sugar
3 tbsp milk
1/2 tsp each:
Baking powder
Baking soda
1/2 cup oil (add after other ingredients are mixed)
1 cup blueberries

Bake at 350 for one hour.

My loaves were baked for a little more than an hour, since I forgot about them.  But they are still tasty.

The laundry kitchen

The laundry kitchen, originally uploaded by groftzoo.

Our house was set up as a caretaker situation before we owned it. There was a paralyzed man who lived on one side and his caretaker lived on the other. So we have two kitchens, a full one with a fridge, sink, microwave and stove, and a partial one with a fridge and sink but no stove.

I use the counter top in the partial kitchen as a permanent laundry folding area. Since laundry is such a huge part of my life, there is just no way I can get it all folded AND put away all the time, so this allows me to fold large quantities without using one of our couches as a laundry couch – although one of the couches catches the laundry spillover often.

Because, really, no one person can stay on top of laundry for 9 people. Not if they have anything else they need to get done.

Time to Straighten up and FLY Right

We are putting our house on the market!

Am I crazy to do this while 6 months pregnant? Probably, but I am also crazy to go back into driving 2+ hours per day with a newborn. So, God help us, we will be moving closer to school/parish where we find ourselves driving all the time anyway! Yay!

So I have been decluttering/packing like a mad-woman, and the sign should go in the yard this week! With no time to lose, as of today, I have 101 days until my due date.

So – new AM & PM routines:

AM Routine:

  • eat breakfast
  • shower/get ready (or do this after taking the kids swimming at Nana’s, if swimming, just move on to the next one and shower/get ready when we get home)
  • tidy upstairs, open blinds, swish toilets, wipe sinks, make beds
  • bring down laundry, start wash
  • open blinds downstairs
  • clean kitchen (breakfast etc. Make sure D/W is empty so dirty dishes can live there and not in sink)

PM Routine:

  • Tidy downstairs, wipe sinks, sweep, declutter, vac if needed, swish toilet
  • clean kitchen, kids table, & dining table
  • supervise kids’ PM routines
  • pack swim basket & diaper bag
  • pick out clothes
  • get ready for bed, tidy my bathroom

My cleaning routine, which is NOT new is:

Monday: Upstairs

Tuesday: Downstairs

Wednesday: Kitchen and menu plannin

Thursday: Bathrooms and laundry room

Friday: general touch up around the house

Saturday: Garage & yard

Christmas Carnage part 2

I am being attacked by toys. My house is so flipping full of toys that anytime I tidy up I can literally turn around and have it look worse than before. I haven’t even been able to vacuum my living room because I cannot keep it picked up for even *3 MINUTES*.

So I got fed up. After spending last night crying because the stress was REALLY getting to me, I packed up all but a few toys (downstairs) and put two HUGE boxes in the garage. Which would all be well and good except there are already 5 other boxes just the same out there. My ping pong table is now the Island of Misfit Toys. I put a sign up on the door from the house to the garage that says “NO KIDS ALLOWED!” Hell will freeze over, melt and freeze over again before any of that stuff comes back inside.

So now I need to try and start this upstairs.

But now my problem is – how do I clean out the garage? If I take any kids there toys will find their way back, I know it. Do I just pull and all-nighter and just Get It Done? Argh! How do my kids get so much stuff for Christmas – mostly stuff with little pieces?

Am I wrong to expect some kind of order here? Everyone waxes all poetic about how this time is so short and to cherish your children even in the middle of their mess. Blah, blah blah. But at this point everyone in the house is constantly yelling at each other because the stress level is so high because of COMPLETE DISORDER.

I feel like I am running as fast as I can and still losing ground around here. And what kind of ruthless mom takes away the new toys her kids just got for Christmas?

Can I be a complete dictator and say that they must ask permission before taking ANYTHING out, and then it has to be put away before they can play with something else? I have a friend like that and her kids finally just gave up on toys altogether – it was too much trouble, now they just watch TV and play video games, nothing to put away then. That isn’t what I want!
I did manage to get dinner on the table yesterday and I am pretty sure I can do it today too, since I prepared it all yesterday.

Today I…

  1. did my bible study and entered 3 old studies onto the blog
  2. planned a weeks worth of meals
  3. grocery shopped (major shopping – out of everything!)
  4. kept the kitchen reasonably clean
  5. helped the cable guy install the TiVo
  6. cooked dinner and had it on the table on time
  7. put together the ingredients for dinner for tomorrow
  8. washed 3 loads of laundry, folded 1 load
  9. pushed all the toys in a pile and mopped 2/3 of the downstairs
  10. returned overdue library books, hid in the library and read magazines for an hour

Here We Go Again

Christmas Carnage.

That is the title that a good friend gave it – the post holiday condition of our houses. And boy, does my house fit that description. It was all really starting to get to me. I was yelling, grouchy, tense, yelling, tense… get the idea? I was starting to sound like… let’s just say it was someone I don’t want to sound like. When I get this way it effects me so deeply. Even the most minor comment anyone says to me hurts my feelings and I take it as a judgment. It really gets ridiculous! So after pouting alone for a few minutes, I gathered myself together and hopped on the treadmill to pound out a little frustration. And even doing that I slam myself: “Loser, you can only do 25 minutes and it’s not even fast!”

But I have to start somewhere. I am not a loser. (Don’t really believe that yet but I may get there.)

So I am starting again. Decluttering begins tomorrow, Zone One.

Sink is shined, now I need to go pick out my clothes. Maybe I will check in tomorrow and maybe I will fall immediately of the FLY-wagon again. We’ll see.

Oh boy! Way behnd!

I have spent the last two weeks virtually ignoring my house so that I could get Precious Prayer up and running and it shows. Boy does it show!

The floor is a mess, the laundry is backed up, and I am afraid to even tell you about the kitchen! I have two big boxes of *stuff* that I have been collecting off the floor that “nobody” and “not me” left laying all over the place during the week. I haven’t decided how to deal with those. In the meantime – daily goals:

Monday is supposed to be my UPSTAIRS day, but I think I need to do the downstairs today, it just needs it too badly.

  • deposit check
  • pick up potty chairs at BRU
  • gather, wash, fold laundry (As if that was just ONE item on the list!!! Ha ha!!)
  • Clean the kitchen, thaw chicken
  • Plan meals, Grocery store
  • sweep downstairs
  • pick up clutter, put away stuff in boxes
  • Print out Pope’s statement for Sr. What-her-face at church
  • Pick up kids (have all that stuff done by 2:30pm)
  • Attain a miracle of patience and grace to be a nice girl while doing all the above.

Piece of cake!


Clean kitcen
Make dinner
do laundry
tidy up the huge mess of books in the upstairs hallway (Thank you, Max)
sign up for swim lessons
pay bills, including going to the bank
make Dr appts for kids

Oh an keep kids busy while doing this. Uh huh.

So far ths morning Max has:
emptied the DVD cabinet
dumped a bag of trail mix (costco sized one)
drawn all over his legs with marker
cleaned off the bulletin board in the kitchen (onto the floor, complete with tacks!)
asked to nurse 102,348 times
eaten breakfast twice
salted the kitchen counter

And I wonder where I left my brain… I bet Max threw it out with his new shoes.

Sanity, that is all I ask of today. To get through the day without ripping someones hair out.

Oh and Paisley just came and informed me, yes she did not ask, she TOLD, that she is going to take the bus half way across the city so that I don’t have to drive her. And isn’t that considerate of her.

So I told her to do her chores and then try ASKING if she could go. At which point she had the gall to tell me all the work he does around this house and how no one else (namely, James) ever does anything.

Just some random musings on my day. Now back to your regularly scheduled whatevers.