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Or at least that’s my cop-out cry when the dirt and clutter is screaming at me from every corner of the house. 

We have family coming to stay with us for the week of Thanksgiving.  My sweet, sweet, sister-in-law is coming with her hubby and wonderful children.  We look forward to this visit every year and when it was in jeopardy of not happening this year, I went into a tail-spin of panic.  BUT things got worked out, God worked marvelously and we are all looking forward to the fun their visit always brings. 

But along with a visit from anyone, comes the mad dash of extra cleaning that needs to be done the week before.  Some might argue (NEVER me of course, I just know someone, somewhere might pick this bone) that why bother doing extra cleaning when you have a van load of kids coming to visit and that the all the extra foot traffic will only get your house MORE dirty?  Well, in this case, my house is just plain, long overdue for a thorough cleaning and for anyone to see it in it’s current state, even my sweet sis-in-law, is downright embarrasing.

Now don’t get me wrong.  I do my best to keep a clean house… and a tidy one for the most part.  The kids all have daily chores to help out (even the 3-year-old) and we pick up and sweep a few times every day.  Yes, I said A FEW TIMES.  And yes, it gets very old, very quickly.  But alas, it must be done at least until someone tells us that wading through filth and clutter up to our kneesView Image on a constant basis is actually GOOD for our health.  Or until we win the lottery and I can pay for a full-time maid (heck, I’d take a part-time one!).  Or until I locate the ever evasive Cleaning Fairy and chain her to the inside of my house.  I don’t know whose house she visits but it sure ain’t mine!  I dream about her sometimes…. usually on the nights leading up to a big cleaning project, like today.  Maybe I hope it’s like Kevin Costner’s baseball movie, “If I dream it, she will come”. 

Oh wait.  I don’t think that’s what Kevin hears the whispery voice call to him while he’s out daydreaming in the corn field.  Dang it!

Anyway.  I decided that for this week, we (meaning the kids and I.  Me giving 762% and the kids giving 28%) will tackle one room each day and just clean the beejeezeses out of it.  In case you didn’t realize it, today is Monday.  That means that today was our first room.

We picked the boy’s room.  For no particular reason, except for the fact that three handsome, dirty, sweet, smelly, loving but incredibly gross boys call it their very own.  And if we didn’t tackle it first, it might not ever be done in time.  Of course there was the usual, cleaning baseboards and windowsills, washing not only the sheets but also the comforters and mattress pads, sorting through toys, tossing broken ones and making a pile of unused ones for the next garage sale and dusting blinds

View ImageCan I just take a moment and say that dusting is my least favorite job to do?  And within that dusting category, blinds rate the absolute worst thing to have to do?  That’s saying it’s the bottom of the very bottom for me.  I’d rather let the boys attempt to cut my hair. 

Almost.

This is a picture from my nightmares.  No one should have to dust after the age of 25  75.  I’m pretty sure my eyes will be too bad to even see the dust by then, so who cares?  But in my nightmares, I’m still dusting….

 

On top of such delightful tasks, we also rearranged the beds and toys a bit (we’re always fighting for more room) and also cleaned out the unused extras from the top of the closet and either tossed them or put them in the garage sale pile.  I also had the joy of scrubbing walls.  Do you know boys’ feet are always dirty?  They sure seem to be.  My boys shower every night (helps keep the beds clean, a pet peeve of mine.  Dirty, crummy sheets that is.  Ewww, gag! I just grossed myself out typing that!  Apparently I can’t write it without imagining it) and I know they put their feet on the wall sometimes while they are in bed – after showering.  So why are the light blue walls covered with a nasty dark film of dirt in the areas above the beds?  How is that possible exactly? 

Well, it was there.  And I had to scrub it.  But there were worse things to scrub off.  Stuff that required the total extent of my elbow grease.  It’s too gross to even write down but it might possibly rhyme with “oogers” and start with a “b”.  Did you know it turns into cement immediately when it comes in contact with a wall?  It does.  Supposedly the guilty persons are no longer in the throes of this habit.  So I’ve given them strict instructions that now that the wall is clean, ANYTHING that shows up on the wall will be henceforth proclaimed as NEW and therefore punishable.  And let me tell you, I’m still dreaming up the consequence.  It sure ain’t gonna be fun and it sure ain’t gonna be pretty.

It’s lunch/nap time now and I’m exhausted.  I can’t put the kids down for their quiet time/nap time because the sheets and blankets are still in the washer and dryer (and after taking a real close gander at the walls before cleaning, I’m not letting those feet near a mattress that doesn’t have protection).  My allergies are roaring (WHY didn’t I think to take a Claritin before I started?! WHY??!!) and I’ve tweaked my back.  Apparently that’s what happens when you use up every ounce of elbow grease on the walls…

And that’s why I still beg and plead that house cleaning might indeed, one day, be the death of me.   Now I’m off to try and dream the Cleaning Fairy to my house before I have to tackle the next room tomorrow.View Image

** I would like to point out.  The kids did a great job helping.  I had help vacuuming and dusting and scrubbing walls.  And of course, they were the ones who had to dig through toys and sort them out.  It’s just that sometimes, their elbow grease just isn’t enough.  But we’re working on it and their elbow muscles are all in training. **

** not my picture here but goodness gracious, isn’t she adorable?!!

That I know it’s Monday:

1. Child #3 woke up hacking

2. Today’s Field Trip is now in question because of said cough.  (Do I risk being shunned and forever banned by the other moms in light of the current Swine Flu hysteria?)

3. Outta milk and eggs.View Image

4.  Decided to make Cinnamon Sugar Toast as a treat (didn’t tell the munchkins it was because of lack of milk and eggs) and then proceeded to burn the heck outta it.

5. Had to cut off outer edges of Cinnamon Sugar Toast to make it edible for munchkins.

6. House now smells like burned toast. Ugh.

7.  Everyone is yelling in order to be heard above the sound of the fan going full-blast to try and get rid of the lovely burned toast smell.

8. Fighting Jet Lag for the 7th morning in a row (more on that coming up)

9.  Round 2 for coffee…

10. It’s definitely a Monday because I couldn’t even think of another reason and therefore have not completed a perfect Top 10.  Go to fullsize image

Arrgggghhhh! 

Good Monday Morning Everyone!!

but I have to make ONE TEENY TINY comment about Michael Jackson… at least for today. 

I didn’t watch the funeral.  I made a point to be out of the house. 

On purpose.

But of course, there was no avoiding the aftermath.  I knew it was coming.  I was prepared for it. 

I wasn’t prepared for seeing “his” daughter.

Was anyone else weirded out by his family’s actions during her little speech?  The poor girl was clearly distraught as she tried to choke her words out through her tears.  But his family?  They didn’t pull her away from the mic and give the poor girl a break. 

No.

They kept shoving her closer to it.  Or it closer to her as the case might have been. 

View Image

SAD!

And very revealing. 

The Jackson Family was just doing what it has done since Michael and his sibs were just children… shoving the little ones into the spotlight.

I’m not sure they know how to do anything else.

I do realize that they showered sweet little Paris with hugs afterwards.  But that’s my point… they didn’t interrupt her talking and let the poor girl have a breakdown in private surrounded by family members.  Nope. They made her finish the performance first.

Background: last night our plumbing backed up. 

This morning, I’m waiting for the plumber.

I had to pass on my regular morning gallon cup of coffee because yesterday I forgot to wash out the grounds.  This morning, I can’t let anything down the drain.  That equals no coffee for me.

In lieu of my coffee, I ate two packets of poptarts (that would be FOUR total!) and washed ’em down with a cherry coke.  I rationalized it all in my head as “just a treat to help me make it through a very, very rough day”.  

I’m still hoping, even after all the sugar and fizzy caffeine, that the Angel of White Chocolate Mocha’s will perform a fly-by blessing this morning.

I disconnected all the toilet tanks so that no one could accidentally flush before the plumber arrives.

Have I mentioned we’re waiting for the plumber?

I’ve chosen to “hold it” so far this morning.  Let’s see how long that lasts.

Lil Blue is still in pjs… not sure how that connects with our plumbing issues but I’m sure it does.  Because being the perfect mother that I am, who always has it together and is never late to anything, he would ALWAYS be dressed by this time normally.

The kids got to brush their teeth outside today.  I think their morning is going much better than mine… they got to spit in the dirt. 

I have food to fix for a weekend camping trip.  Nothing like a sink full of dirty dishes from cooking all morning that you can’t wash.

Is it wrong to pray for my children to all experience mild constipation for a day?  We be a mighty regular family… if ya know what I mean.

Did you know I’m anxiously waiting for a plumber?  Oh? I mentioned already?  Really? Hmmm.

Hubby had to go next door for his shower this morning.  Lucky for him, his sister lives there. Or is it lucky for me?

Poppett is in her first ever play tomorrow afternoon.  She had her dress rehearsal yesterday.  Last night, she asked if I could wash her play outfit in time for the performances.  “Piece o cake!” was my reply.   I might have to eat my words.  I might also have to run next door to run a load through the washer.

Lucky for me, my sister-in-law lives there. 

I have two extra munchkins on Friday mornings.  I don’t think they’ve ever used the bathroom before.  Murphy’s Law says they will today.

Just want to reiterate, I’m waiting for the plumber.

And my morning dose of I-Take-Things-For-Granted doesn’t taste so great. 

My bladder aches.

TMI?

At least I KNOW it’s not a case of white mice

and has taken on the form of our 5 year old, Monkey.  The last few days it’s become apparent that his vocabulary Image Previewhaschanged.  And not in a bad way… per se.  Unless of course you find that using the words “awesome” and “dude” at least 673 times every hour are a bad use of the English language. 

The jury is still out on it for me personally.  

One minute it makes me chuckle to hear him.  Because people’s names are too juvenile all of a sudden and instead he’s opting for a more studly, male-connection term.  And it seems, overnight, he’s gone from a young 5 year old boy who thought things were “great” and “amazing” to a slightly older 5 year old boy (who longs to be a 17 year old, driving, skateboarding, surfing, dirtbike riding, bronc-busting Image Previewstud) who now thinks that everything is “cool” and “awesome”. 

But then the next minute, it’s like dragging my knuckles against a cheese grater.  I mean, who does he think he is?  He’s FIVE for goodness sakes!  Is it even appropriate for a 5 year old to call all his pals “Dude”?!  Shouldn’t there be a rule against that somewhere?  Anywhere?! 

I’m not ready to jump ahead 10 years.  He’s my baby after all and after 9 months of acid reflux, sugar cravings (and the added inches to my hips to prove my lack of will power), swollen ankles and 8 hours of drug-free labor and a craaaazy midwife – I deserve to have a little boy around for a few more years before I have to trade him in for a Image Preview“tween” model.  Gosh darn it!

But then I see him taking huge steps in responsibility… having to earn trust back after learning the hard way that dishonesty never pays in the long run… seeing him help his younger brothers learn to sound out letters and reading books aloud to them… learning new chores around the house and yard – and learning to do them without complaining even though they may not be ones he likes… getting his first real tool set that he totes around with Dad, learning how to fix things around the house… waiting for his little brother to get in the van and each and every time, buckling him in without being asked… and I realize, this getting older isn’t such a bad thing.  

I think I can put up with the “dude”s and the “awesome”s.   Even if used way to often. 

Image PreviewBecause it’s part of the process.  He’s on his journey to manhood.  And I don’t want a baby around forever.  Our goal is to raise Godly, independent, morally sound, productive members of society.  I can’t go to battle against the baby steps he takes along the way to become the very thing we’re raising him to become!

But I also don’t have to hurry it…

 Said “Dude” just came running up… crying because his two year old brother just beat him up…

Yeah, I’m thinking there will be lots of baby steps still to come.

He’s not ready for college quite yet.

I don’t know if you’re like me, or if you’ve ever had to bomb your home for bugs before, but it’s a big ol load work.  The bug bomb containers all make it sound like it’s as easy as brushing your teeth.  Just close up the house, put a bomb in each room, push each tab down and run like the wind outta there.

 

I’m here to tell you, it’s NOT that easy.  At least, it’s not that easy for a mother to do.  Not because I have a hard time laying out the bombs or setting them off.  And even opening up the house after all the bugs are annihilated, while a great exercise in holding one’s breath and again, running like the wind, is not that difficult.  But what is difficult is getting the house ready to bring young kids back into it.  And to add to that, I have boys.  Three BOYS.  B.O.Y.S. Did ya hear me?  Boys that I’ve caught licking their arms and legs (they were pretending to be cats).  Boys that I’ve seen slide their bodies all over the tile floors like human mops (this exercise I have never been given an explanation for).  Boys who think nothing of picking up melting pieces of dropped Popsicle off the ground and devouring them.  And Boys who I caught licking books for the first time this very day. 

 

And that’s just what I’ve caught them doing.  I shudder to think of all the disgusting horrors that go on while I’m not looking.

 

Catch my drift yet?  Now, I’m not 100% sure that those bug bombs leave residue but to my mother-mind, how on earth can they not?  And so, since I’m VERY familiar with the random habits of my three young boys, I must clean every single surface in the house.  Even the ones that they would only be able to reach by balancing a chair on top of a another chair, on top of toy fire truck and a Little People school bus.  It doesn’t matter.  It only has to be remotely possible and not at all realistic.  It must be cleaned.

 

So Bug Bombing includes covering couches and beds with sheets with all loose toys and beanbags stuffed between them.  Covering toothbrushes, eating utensils and anything else that might get put in a mouth.  Then, after keeping four young munchkins out of the house for 5 hours, giving the bugs plenty of time to die and the fumes time to air out, I return to vacuuming carpets, sweeping and mopping tile floors, wiping down every single surface in the house, uncovering all the items I buried and washing 18 loads of sheets and blankets that were used to do the burying.

 

So guess what I did yesterday? Yep, you guessed it.  I’m a hater of spiders and a glutton for punishment.

Gone are the days when bikinies were an option.  Like LONG gone, not just around the corner behind me but waaayyy back in the town 600,000 miles away.  And you know?  That’s fine.  I’ve totally come to grips with it.  I’m older, I’ve had four children, and I, uh, . . . nope, I guess that’s it but trust me, it’s plenty.  The last few years I’ve managed to get by with Tankinies.  I thought these were one of the best things ever created with mommies in mind (right up there with under-the-belly-elastic maternity pants and Lansinosh’s superb nursing pads.  If you’ve never tried their nursing pads, and you currently battle the constant boob-drip like always did, pick some up today!  They are thin, super absorbant, adhere to your bra and large enough diameter-wise to not show their outline through your shirts).  Tankinis gave me the coverage I desired for my mid-section and yet helped me feel like some semblence of my former, pre-baby, self. 

 

But alas, Lil Blue did me in.  My pregnancy with him just thrashed my body.  Maybe it was passing that 30 year old mark that all of a sudden robbed my skin of it’s elasticity or the fact that I looked like I was going to give birth to a beach ball.  Seriously.  I’m not even kidding.  I’m writing up his birth story and I’m debating about whether or not to include my preggo pics.  Like, bare belly ones.  The covered belly ones are the wrong angle and don’t do my size justice.  But, then I’d be exposing myself in sooo many ways on this here internet.  Actually, not afraid of you all I haven’t met seeing them.  It’s you all who already know me… Care to weigh in?  No pun intended.  Should I or shouldn’t I include those pics?

But I digress… Truth is, I have no choice now.  If I were to expose even the teeniest centimeter of my torso, children would run screaming from the pool.  And they’d probably be my own munchkins.  I don’t want to rob any youngsters of the desire to have their own children one day.  I wouldn’t trade my post-babies’ body for any of the super-model ones out there.  My children are well worth the sacrifice and in some ways, my new body is badge of honor.  I’ve traveled that selfless road of motherhood, sometimes kicking and screaming but traveled none-the-less.

Which brings me to my current issue.  And it’s with my once beloved Tankini.  See, I, um, well, my tankini from last year shrunk or something (yeah, yeah, that’s it, it shrunk.  Too much pool water?) and I can’t wear it this year.  So I’m now in the quest for a new one.  Oh, the horrors of bathing suit shopping.  I abhor it.  With every bone in my body.  I get a nervous twitch just strolling past the dreaded section when I’m in Target buying diapers.

What is it with the Tankini styles this year??!!  All the tops, the TANK part of the “ini” and the sole reason I buy them, are shorter!  Like, the area from about two and half inches below your belly button to an inch or so above, is totally exposed!  I have nothing against seeing belly buttons but I don’t want to see mine.  Or the area just below it.  That’s the area I need covered!  My rib cage is fine!  It’s the fact that I have skin around my bellybutton that looks like melted paint (snow white paint at that) and my once, very cute (if I do say so myself), not-an-innie but not-an-outie belly button now looks like a nose poking out from my torso.  Again, no exaggeration folks.  Just ask Hubby, he is supremely amused by it.  But like any good husband, he’ll let me know when it’s poking out so bad you can see it through my shirt.  So why, I ask the designers of Tankinis, why in tar-nationwould I wear one?  I might as well buy a bikini!  Which I’m not, by the way.                                

All the makers of Tankinis need to make a decision, as I see it.  Either make the bottoms extremely high wasted, like grannie-panties or lengthen the dang tankini top.  I’m rootin’ for the latter.

This one is really cute… do you think I could add a nice ruffle to the bottom of the tank to lengthen it?  Maybe not.

In the meantime, I’m gonna be sporting a tank top and board shorts in the pool and at the beach.  Yep, you better believe I’m SOOO bringing sexy back.

 

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