My little pockets of shame

You guys, don’t judge me. This is a major source of shame for me right now. I have been just barely hanging in there. I am so stressed out and run ragged that I just cannot do everything or pretend to anymore. Have you seen that graphic with the three points that says that of being sane, having a clean house, or having happy kids you can only have two? Find it here. Well, I’ve made my decision: happy kids and sanity won. Everything else is falling by the wayside.

My car for example:

Exhibit A. I not only live and eat in my car, but I store the garbage in the driver’s side door.

This disgusting mess causes me so much anxiety! I just cannot seem to remember to bring a bag out to my car to collect it and throw it away. When I pick up or drop off the kids at daycare, I am always afraid that another parent that I like will notice that half-full cup of diet coke and realize that I am a crazy person. It’s just not acceptable.

Then there’s the laundry situation.


Even Lilly looks annoyed at the full basket of clean laundry behind her

I can’t make myself wash the dirty stuff and I can’t make myself fold the clean stuff. There are piles everywhere. We just make new piles when the old piles get too big. I can’t. 

The girls’ room. I don’t even pick up their toys anymore. Their room is upstairs. They only sleep in it. Lilly is in a “throw every book in the floor” phase. I’m over it. 

Finally… the bathroom. It’s just vile. There are way too many of us pooping in a single toilet. Too many people’s dirt going into one sad tub. Too many girls dropping hair all over the floor. If I deep-cleaned the bathroom weekly I think it would look and smell as bad as it does for as often as we clean it. I wipe out the sink and scrub the toilet almost daily. I can’t do it anymore.

Two more years until I can hire a cleaning lady. Until then, my kids will be happy and I will be sane. Our house, on the other hand…

Falling to Pieces. Not me, my house.

I wasn’t going to write about this on here. It seems like all I talk about in real life and bringing it to the blog felt like the wrong venue. Then I had a conversation with a friend and I realized that our home is a part of our family’s history and it does deserve to be documented here. 

 Let me start from the beginning.

I planned a party for Lilly’s birthday against my better judgement. I planned it because my mother demanded I throw a party. After I told her when to come and invited people, she told me she couldn’t come until the next weekend. Ugh. So I was planning a party anyway. 

Party day came and all was perfect. Everyone had a great time despite the frigid temperature and snow on top of more snow. My baby was going to be one!

Cue the next weekend and my mom’s questionable decision to come to Buffalo in the worst month of the year (from San Diego, no less). She was horrified and amazed at the 12-foot snow piles at the side of the road and how “everything is closed! Even BINGO!”

By the Sunday of her visit, we were all feeling pretty cooped-up. Stanley kept peeing in the house (as usual). After what the hubs thought was another Stanley puddle dripped on his head, he looked up and realized the horrible truth: we have a leak. 

But here’s the thing: for most people this wouldn’t be a problem. They would call their insurance company and get the snow off the roof and roll with it. I panic and the hubs avoids. That’s how we roll. After consulting several rational people, I put in an insurance claim in case we couldn’t afford the work. 

The guys came and removed the ice dams on the back of the house and we were a cool $1000 poorer. 3 hours later… Crash! There went the kitchen ceiling. Hello, attic floor!

But we all know the story doesn’t end there.  So, the hubs cleaned up the mess and we chalked it up to waterlogged plaster that was heated with steam to remove the dams. Understandable. At least now we could get on the books for an estimate to dry the attic and repair the water damage (we are still not on these mysterious “books”).

This is the girls’ playroom. Where we keep their toys. Where they happily frolic while the hubs and I get ready for work in the mornings. And now they can’t play there. My living room looks like this:

It’s making me a little nuts, you guys!

Now here we are two weeks later in the midst of a two day heat wave where we have actually had some melt. So, of course we sprung a leak in the front entryway. Pouring water for about an hour last night. Thankfully it stopped. 

We still aren’t scheduled for an estimate. It get wont even do any work until the snow is off the roof. I’m hoping one day I’ll look back on this month of torture and laugh, but for now… I just want to burn it to the ground.

6 signs a kid (or two) lives here

  1. Top-level kitchen organization.

    It doesn’t even seem right that our kitchen counter should look like this. We have TONS of cabinet space. But when a toddler needs a drink, you damn well better materialize a cup from thin air (and it had better not be an OLD cup – better known as a cup from an hour ago). Also note the bottles and bottle accessories. This is also where we store the kids’ medicine. I know you’re jealous of my organization skills.

  2. Blankets covering every square inch of the couch.
    It’s covered in stains, but what I can’t see can’t hurt me. 
  3. “Babies sleeping” in odd places.
    Imagine my horror when I walked into the kids’ dark bedroom and stumbled into this. For all I knew it was a dead burglar. 
  4. Potty seat hanging on the wall.

    How fancy are we that we have a special hook in the bathroom just for hanging the potty seat? Please ignore the filthy sink and 1950 tile job. We will probably move before the bathroom ever gets updated (or cleaned, haha).

  5. All the no-no items are up high.        No not the breakable things, we don’t have any of those. I’m talking about the iphones, laptops, TV remotes. The items we would not survive parenthood without.  

  6. It’s not sparkling clean, but it feels like home.

Working Mom Blog Series: Episode 3 – in which my house is not disgusting

So, I swear, my house is totally not gross, but we don’t clean while the kids are awake. 

Let me explain… This is part of the reason I stand by early bedtimes. I feel that the better quality the time I spend with my kids, the less guilt I feel for the time they are away from me. Thus, I do not clean while my girls are in my presence. Only when they are not here do I clean. 
The details: First of all, we do a ton after they go to bed. Laundry, dishes,yardwork… It all happens after bedtime.  I feel this is not only a safety precaution with young kids, but since Gabby is a fraidy-cat, it allows us to do noisy chores without whining. 
Secondly, we trade off kids when we want to get stuff done. If there are big jobs (painting, construction, grocery shopping), we will plan ahead and have one parent on kid duty while the other does the hard job. These jobs would not get done otherwise. 
Thirdly, we let Gabby help where she is able. I’ve long ago gotten over my perfectionism and am now a pro at just letting her do chores she wants to do. Who am I to judge the quality of her help? I now just accept whatever she is willing to do and keep my expectations low. It makes for much less anxiety. 
Last, I do make an effort to do things like clean the hardwood floors, vacuum, laundry over lunch breaks when I really need to get things done. Living so close to work affords me the luxury of not living in complete squalor. 
How do you get things done with kids around?