Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Spring/Summer Cleaning

There was a time, many years ago, where I was kind of a total neat freak. You would not know this about me if you've seen my house, especially in the last two years... since moving to Davenport... since leaving South Bend.

One of my biggest problems is really the overwhelming nature of *all that domestic stuff* (I'm not always polite enough to use the word "stuff" there).

Laundry never ends, there aren't enough drawers in the kids room to put away the clothes, what do you do with the single socks waiting for a cycle of laundry to "finish" to see if they match up with something?, I should change out the winter clothes with the summer clothes, these don't fit, these are ragged, these are just old...

Each task is like that for me, thinking about it leads to another thought and another action and another "I really should..." which totally incapacitates me into sitting on the couch watching TV or (more lately) reading a good (or even not so good) novel.

A week and a half ago we made an effort to all work on something domestic. Jordan wanted to help me clean my bathroom. She likes the actual CLEANING part: spray, scrub, rinse, shine... She doesn't understand that the hard part (picking up, sorting, putting/throwing away) comes first.

Anyway, i told her she could help me, but first I needed to go through all the drawers in there and get rid of anything we didn't need or use (who needs two hair-dryers when no one in the house actually USES a hair-dryer except on the rare hair-flattening experiment)? But, also, I'm reading the Lazy Environmentalist on a Budget and want to be careful to reduce, reuse, recycle and do so responsibly. (You shouldn't throw out old batteries or prescriptions, for example).

It took a little bit but I emptied everything out of every drawer in the tiny little bathroom and got rid of what I could, organized and put away what was left and then Jordan cleaned.

This week I started in the kitchen, not making a big deal out of each area, and just taking one area at a time.

First it was the freezer (this was prompted by an ice-cream sandwich I ate that tasted like freezer burn). I got rid of a bunch of old old old stuff and organized everything that was left (and also took inventory for what needs to be used up!)

Then last night it was the pantry and the two other cabinets that hold food. This project took a little longer than I expected and dinner was later than any of us wanted it to be...but all my dry-food/non-perishables are organized and easily "findable".

Today it was the fridge, which ended up taking WAY longer than my lunch break and I still need to actually empty and CLEAN the drawers that hold the veggies and fruit, but everything else looks awesome and is easily found.

We (Aron, Jordan and I) will leave this Sunday and except for one day on the 16th when we collect Eric, will be gone the entire monthly of July. It would be so nice to have the house all organized and clean before we leave so that coming back won't be such a chore.

The next big project to tackle is clothes - I think it'll take a few hours at best. But I can put on Netflix and just slowly make my way through, not thinking too far ahead, one step at a time and MAYBE it'll be done by Sunday morning when we leave.

It does feel good to know I've done what I have already done.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Bad Parent Post

Mostly I'm posting this because it must be recorded. I had a bad parent moment today. Because everyone and everything ended up unharmed, I feel there is a slight comic element to this story, so I will share.

This week Aron is at Scout Camp from 8-4. Jordan has VBS from 9-noon. Eric drops off Jordan at church on his way to school and I go pick her up during my lunch break. Except for tomorrow when Jordan has a play date in the afternoon, she spends her afternoons entertaining herself either upstairs in the house or outside with the neighbors.

Today I picked up Jordan and brought her home. She is watching Toy Story 3 in the car. And it's on this weird setting where all the visual parts are narrated.. for the blind, maybe? It does mean that while I drive I can actually kind of picture what's going on. But the setting is still weird.

Anyway, she was at a point in the movie where she wanted to stay in the car and keep watching. I was very hungry and needed to get back downstairs to work, so I parked the car in the garage, turned off the ignition to "accessories" and let her watch. She asked what to do when she was done and I said turn the key toward you and pull it out. In hindsight, this was really really NOT a good move on my part.

I heated up my leftovers and took them downstairs and got to work. About 10 minutes later Jordan comes in crying so hard, I run up to see what's wrong and she sobs: The car went backwards into Roselynn's yard and I almost died.

I ran out and found the car in the middle of the street (pointing toward our driveway).

In thinking about it after my heart started beating regularly again there is really on one explanation for how this happened:

There is the SLIGHT possibility that I didn't turn the key to accessories and left it running. If that's the case then Jordan had to put the car in reverse to get it out of the garage and across to the neighbor's yard and the in either neutral or drive to get it back out to the street.

If I DID put the car in accessories mode, then she had to turn the key first before she put it into reverse.

Either way, she is a curious little girl who believes she is capable of anything, so I really should not have left her in the position to... explore.

The only evidence of the entire event is a slight tire sized line of decreased grass across the street.

What's weird is that when I was a child, I used to have nightmares where I was in a car by myself going backwards down a hill and I didn't know how to stop the car.

Anyway, I should know better.