Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Why organize?

We have heard so many reasons to get organized. No one told me the number one reason why we should have our garage in tip-top shape. I had to learn it myself. The good thing is that I’m going to tell you. If you have ever had trouble pulling the trigger on whether or not to purge a specific item, I’m going to give you the key to unlocking your ability to fire at will. Here is my story.

My husband needs to print an important document. We are out of paper. Well, not really out, but the paper cubby is empty. I knew we were running low a while ago. That is why I bought another ream. I am the GM of this home, and I’m highly efficient at this role. Being a very informed GM, I also knew that I couldn’t find the ream. I had already looked for it, twice. I’m not looking good here.

Do you know that wonderful saying? Everything must have a place and everything must be in place? Well, that is true porn for women. I’m drooling of an image in my mind. You know the image in every home decor magazine, or heck, in every coupon mailer for closet solutions or cleaning companies. The mail is constantly bringing this trash into our home. You can’t think this literature doesn’t affect my self image. I hear my self talk, “If only my granite counters were shiny and crumb-free.”

I sometimes get creative with where I store extra supplies. We have a garage with lots of storage shelving. We also live in the desert, so I have to make sure whatever is stored in the garage can handle it. Six months of the year, we can store magma in its molten state. I just knew that a ream of paper could handle this fate. So, I’m out scouring the garage, again. I’m really hoping that the third time is a charm. Charming? No. I’m out, barefoot in the inferno (it’s 105 degrees here), when what to my wondering eyes should appear, but a snake. My problem is no longer a missing ream, but a four-foot intruder.

I have quite of few things by the garbage can. My newly retired gym shoes, some really great empty boxes, a collection of useful cardboard wrapping paper tubes, etc. I’ve got some stuff out there that I couldn’t commit to tossing, on account of them being perfectly good. So here are the answers for which you’ve been waiting. You keep a tidy garage because someday, a snake may find its way in it. You toss your crap because it may help the snake get out quickly. I’m sure we are all in agreement here. Just imagine yourself in my shoes, okay bare feet, and think to yourself, do I want this stuff or do I want the snake gone? I hope this helps. I’m a changed woman.

My husband, with his trusty hockey stick, expertly encouraged the snake to rethink his current living situation. No snakes were harmed in this story. Always keep a tidy garage for optimal snake preparedness, and CLOSE THE GARAGE DOOR.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

You have got to be kidding me.

This is going to be hard for a few of you to read, Mom and Jay, you know who you are.

So, my 7 year old wants to go swimming. It is 6:30 pm. Dinner was served, eaten, and has been half cleaned up. My toddler says, “Wimming.,” and points to the door. Two against one. We get suited-up and swim.

Background information: we have a momma rabbit and babies in our gated pool area. We are diligent to keep our dog out of the pool area for the time being. Let’s just say that in the past we’ve had a situation involving the dog and a nest full of baby bunnies that did not end well. We have a dharma to play out. That being said, we love the idea of these precious little bunnies growing safely in our yard. Now back to my story.

All is well in the pool. Then, I hear it. That familiar noise of a screaming baby bunny. I think, oh....the momma must be back, and the babies must be happy to see her. This is not the case. I hear the scream getting louder and louder. How strange, I’m thinking. I’m looking over at the nest area, hidden under a swinging bench. Then, I see it. A snake is dragging a baby bunny away from the nest. I don’t want to be too graphic, on account of me being scarred for life and I don’t think it is necessary for you to be as well. It is not looking good. The bunny is a little bigger than my thumb and the snake is about as thick as my pinky finger and about 2 and a half feet long. My 7 year old is pleading to go in the house because she can’t take it anymore. I want a shovel. A good friend said it best, “The circle of life ends with screaming baby bunnies.” I couldn’t have agreed with her more. I go in to get a shovel and my husband. We head back out and the snake is gone. We can still hear the baby crying. Unbelievably, we find it in a dense bush and use a trusty hockey stick to pick it up and return the baby home to its burrow.

Looking back at the bigger picture, I am able to see that the snake is just trying to grow big and strong to have a family of his own. Blah, blah, blah, whatever. This morning the momma and I saw eye-to-eye, through the kitchen window, over a sink of bottomless dishes. I’ve got your back, momma.

Monday, June 28, 2010

It could be worse.

This is borderline positive-thinking for parents. It doesn’t sound positive, but sometimes it is all I can muster. Here are a few examples from this past Saturday.

I get the unexpected 8 am call from the neighbors. “Did you know your garage door is open?” I run out and realize that all is well and accounted for. Phew.

After my husband, I didn’t do it this time, left the garage door open, I gave a big lecture to the girls that we must always close the door when we are the last one to go inside. Fast forward two hours, and we are returning home from the grocery store and in the middle of unloading our merchandise. Our 10 year old remembers my lecture well. She promptly closes the garage door, beaming with pride that she is contributing to team family. “I closed the garage door,” she announces. My husband and I look at each other. After 22 combined years of dating and marriage, we both arrive at the same conclusion. Unfortunately, since we are in the middle of unloading, the tailgate of our SUV is still open. I run out and see the tailgate door mostly closed, in an awkward position. Upon inspection, the tailgate is deeply scratched, but functioning. The garage door is no worse for wear. This has not always been the case, but that is a different story, and I didn’t do it this time. We got lucky.

I look up from my task and realize, my toddler is not underfoot. The girls and I begin searching for him. Everywhere, twice. Okay, seriously, where is he??? Then, I find him, safe. Naughty, but safe. He has found the open jelly bean machine in a remote corner of my daughter's room, hidden from view between her queen bed and the wall, and is piling fistfuls of jelly belly beans in his 8-toothed mouth. “Ummmy,” he says. I know my son considered himself lucky.

I’m washing a sink full of dishes. It is bottomless. My wet, but clean, dishes are piling dangerously high on the nearby counter. I’m having a pity party for one. Then, CRASH! A china bowl, from the clean heap, plunges overboard and smashes e-v-e-r-y-w-h-e-r-e! Crap! Then, I think, please let that be the bowl with the chip in it that I should have thrown away years ago. P-l-e-a-s-e! Upon review of the surviving bowls...YESSSS!

Do you see where I am going with this? Say it with me, “It could be worse.”

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Is that fun and easy?

Ahh, to be 7 again. As we grow older, it seems that we forget to be lighthearted. While assembling a new electronic gift and reviewing the instruction manual, my 7 year old was edging her head in to get a glimpse of what was being accomplished. She asked, “Is that fun and easy, Mom?” I had to pause. How would you answer that question? I hardly had the heart to tell her the truth, so I lied. “It is fun and easy,” I said back to her, smiling. I had to laugh out loud. She seemed so satisfied with that answer.

Now, I try to remember how she lifted the mood in the room with that simple question. Things really do not need to be as mundane and even painful as we make them appear. My husband and I tend to engage in a few do-it-yourself projects that don’t always go over gracefully. Don’t get me wrong, the job gets done and the project works, but graceful, not so much. My role, in these projects, is to be ready for anything, and (this is key) to be ready quick. I need to be well versed in tool talk. When he asks for a phillips screwdriver, I clarify if that is that the flat one or the cross one. Okay, so I need to brush up on the tool lingo, but if attitude is everything, then I'm seriously a team player here. When he was on his back, under the sink, balancing on his upper back and feet only, sweating while trying to connect the new water line to the new faucet, and water is dripping like clockwork onto his forehead, I squeezed my my head in there and asked, “Is that fun and easy?” It is a mood lifter. You should try it.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

This is big!

This is my third blog post. This is big, people. You see I'm one of the one-hit-wonder types of people. I rarely even remember to think about a new goal twice. New Year's resolutions are wasted on me. I think, plan, and write out how my new goal will be perfectly executed. It is fail-proof. It is a sure thing, a real win/win. Life is good. I go to bed that night, wake up the next morning, and bam.......I'm a clean slate. What goal? What babystep? You know the cheer. You say routines, I say boring. "Routines!" "Boring!" You get the picture??? I guess I'm one of those creative types. So far, 2 of my 3 kids have been gifted with these same qualities. The jury is still out on the 3rd kid, he is still a baby. Well, a toddler anyway.

I have actually been making progress decluttering around the house. Recently, I've organized the kitchen cabinets, my closet, the kids' rooms, the laundry room, just to name a few. I bought a new shredder and I'm making my way through piles of utility bills, statements, etc. It feels pretty good. I read somewhere, that the Golden Gate Bridge is painted everyday. Really, a part of that bridge is painted everyday. Once it is finished, it is time to begin again. So I try to imagine that the decluttering, that is required around here, is a daily practice. It will never be done. It is part of the journey, not the final destination.

On that note, naptime and Hannah Montana are almost over, and I can see a few areas that need some paint, if you know what I mean.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Am I doing this right?

Today, the kids and I, went to Target. Again. Well, we had been there the night before to return something. The 10 and 7 year old girls wanted to shop for toys. I knew our time was limited, so I had the girls think over their considerations for purchase overnight. We are very practical. We spent time online price comparing. The need for these toys became apparent. Absence made the heart grow fonder. So away we went, back to Target this morning. Thanks to all the online searching, decisions were made easily. The girls were buying these toys with their own hard earned money. They checked prices with the handy scanner kiosks and were very aware of the dollar totals they were each spending, even a second-grader can add in her head. They are both shocked and somewhat appalled at the idea of taxes on their items.

Meanwhile, in the same shopping trip, I have a 20 month old boy, belted up in the cart. He is supplied with goldfish, milk laced with chocolate Ovaltine, and a random m&m to entice compliance with our shopping program. It is not going as well as planned. He loses interest in each item we show him quicker than the next. He easily eels his way out of the restraints and somehow ends up in my arms. He then morphs into a semi-liquid state and finds himself free, running to the 20 inch bouncing ball display, the mother ship. I see the eyes of the Target employees wondering if we are leaving soon. I also see the understanding eyes of the btdt, been there done that moms and grandparents. I think they may think he's as cute as I think he is. Or, maybe they feel sorry for me. Either way, the only way out of the store, due to his eel-like, semi-liquid qualities, is to chase a big ball to the registers.

All is quiet on the southwestern front. The girls are playing, amazingly well, with their new dolls and accessories . The boy has been fed and is sleeping in his crib. I am here reflecting on how different parenting is in all its stages. The difference in boys, girls, their ages, my age, etc., I only hope I am doing this right.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Today is the day.

So, I've been thinking about starting a blog for a while. Well, I actually set up the account about a year ago, and then never posted anything, because I wanted it to be perfect. Anyone ever been there? I actually had to change the age of my kids, and add a year to my marriage. Seriously, it's shocking how fast time flies. Well, over this past year, I've had so many experiences that would have been wonderful to share(optimistic thinking), or at least write down so that I can remember them (probably the case). Today, after being inspired by a blog,, I've decided that today is the day. We are in the middle of summer vacation. It seems to be that our mission each day is that we "try" to rip the house apart each day. We are very successful on this mission. During this first paragraph alone, I have been interrupted about 10 times. Apparently, I am going to learn to be a very patient person.

I suffer from a case of perfectionistic procrastination, of course I made that term up. I've heard it is a common affliction. I have an email box that only catches my attention once it is at the 1000+ emails level. So, I did something new. I did some quick mass deletions of junk email, and got the level to be about 500, or so. Then, I moved over all the old emails and put them in a folder called "old email inbox". Now, I am happy to say that my current inbox has only 16 emails. I enjoy reading, deleting, and actually managing the inbox. Who knew??? I was constantly punishing myself with the old inbox. I had read, once, that you should begin as you wish to go with current photos. Our tendency to get photos organized is put off when we have years of photos stacked up waiting and making us feel guilty.

I'm going to go pick up the pieces that fell, while typing my first post to my very own blog. My kids have reached their limit. I also need a refill on my coffee. I literally have my leg extended, trying to keep the 20 month old boy from climbing the computer tower. Oh yeah, my time is up!