My house has never been cleaner than it is right now. Our landlord is coming tomorrow to show our house to a potential renter. And she's taking pictures. Of the house. With my stuff in it. Her computer crashed and she lost the pictures she took several years ago with the renter who decorated and made the place look so cute. I have not made it look cute. Have I mentioned that I haven't decorated at all? All of our decorations are in boxes that we never unpacked last June because I felt like one year was not enough time to unpack, decorate and repack those pictures. So we have bare walls, and I don't mind a bit as long as it means that I don't have to pack those extra boxes in a couple months. But it does mean that the house does not look cute for pictures.
I cleaned this weekend in an effort to make it look like we live here, but not really. Spiff cleaned his office/bike/tool room. I took a load of stuff to Goodwill. I rearranged the boxes in our storage room (which is the "3rd bedroom" of the house) trying to make it look nice. Did you know that it's impossible to make a room look nice when it is lined wall-to-wall with cardboard boxes? Well, it is. In the end, I decided that it is, after all, our storage room, and I ought to be okay with it looking like one. Tomorrow, I'm hiding all the toys in their cabinet (as long as my kids don't come along behind me and get them all out as soon as I walk away...which is what most certainly will happen). I deep-cleaned the kitchen and cleaned the floors, which is something that will have to be done again in the morning after breakfast. Sigh.
Why am I so concerned about this? For one, I don't want it documented, even on my landlord's camera on pictures that I will probably never see, that I usually live in a mess (not filth, just mess). And two, I'd like to make a good impression on the potential renters because I really want my awesome neighbor to have good new neighbors when I leave.
And the awesome side effect of all this cleaning is that my house is clean! For once. Ta-da!!! It looks pretty awesome right now, and I wish I could find it in me to keep it this way on a daily basis. I yearn for this feeling of cleanliness in my life. I want to freeze time tonight so that it will stay this way forever. But I live with three boys. The oldest works all the time and doesn't have the time or energy to care about keeping the house up to my standard of cleanliness. The little one has a good collection of toy cars that are always spread around the house, and a collection of cardboard toys (made by his daddy and beloved above all things--think cardboard tube and paper ball used for playing baseball in the house) that are not necessarily the nicest things to look at, but that are also spread around the house at all times. The smallest boy has an enormous capacity to make messes and undo things at a super-human pace. I can hardly put things away these days because if he sees me putting anything away, it only reminds him of it's existence, and then he has to have it! And Presto...Undone!
And let's be honest, I'm no winner of medals for organization. I'm a piler, mostly of papers, but also of things I just don't want to deal with yet. This weekend, I cleaned up my piles and moved them somewhere else. I will probably forget where. I have a system for cleaning the house, but it generally gets muddled and thrown to the wind when my children decide not to cooperate with my schedule. Silly children! What are they thinking, demanding my time and energy?! I desperately wish I had the organizational skills of some of my friends. I admire their ability to keep their house (seemingly) spotless at all times. I imagine them being 100% in control of their lives and schedule, instead of feeling constant chaos like I do.
Tomorrow morning, I'm prepared to re-do my efforts in the morning after my kids get up and get out the toys I have put away. I'm fully prepared to quickly throw some things in the closet and close the door as my landlord and her camera knock on my door. But I guess for now, I will sit here in my quiet, clean house while my family is sleeping and soak it in.
I have been so under-motivated to write on this blog. Have you noticed? Spiff stopped writing on the blog months ago. Have you noticed? I have. I miss him on here. But anyway, I have had a hard time thinking of things to write about, not that we haven't been busy. I just feel like I have said it all before. Spiff works a lot. I watch the kids. End of story.
Ok, well, I'll make an effort.
In the past month, Spiff has had one day off in the last 20. He just got done working 16 days straight. And not just half days, oh no. We're talking 16 days of 14-16 hours every day. He has been home literally just to sleep. This week, he saw his children for two hours on Monday afternoon, and then didn't see them again until Saturday morning. He is at the hospital by 5 a.m. and doesn't come home until 8 at night. Sheesh! I think what gets him through his ever-more-brutal-than-the-day-before days is this saying about Intern Year: "They can always hurt you more, but they can't stop the clock." We have about three months left.
Needless to say, the boys and I have spent a whole lot of time together the last little while. Spiff is usually gone during dinner and bedtime. I love my children, but I have to admit that my favorite days are the ones when I have successfully worn them both out so that they go to bed early and I have an evening to myself.
Gunner is in swimming lessons, and he loves it. I love it, too. He officially passed the Level 1-Pre Guppie class! My sister and I took our kids swimming the other day, and I enjoyed watching Gunner practice what he has learned in his classes. All on his own, I saw him blow bubbles, jump into the pool (only where it is very very very shallow), and practice moving his arms like the guy swimming laps in the deep end. I helped him practice a back float. It's pretty cool to watch him develop a useful skill. However, there were a couple little girls, not much older than Gunner, who were incredibly comfortable in the water. It was amazing to watch them cannonball or belly flop off the edge into the water, or throw a toy under water and dive down and get it. Amazing! I am so proud of the things Gunner has learned, but watching them made me realize how far he has to go. I want him to be that comfortable in the water. So, it's on to the Level 2 class in April!
Hobbes has turned into a full-time walker, and he is getting fast! It's amazing how quickly they get so darn fast! He still sort of wobbles around flat-footed and sort of like a drunk, but he does it quickly! It's funny. He is also such an Undo-er. He follows me around all day long taking things off shelves that I have just put away. He is still a quiet little guy. He doesn't say much at all. Occasionally he will call me "Maaaam" and he will reject something by saying, "Naaa." And he just started saying "Wow." He sticks his little lips out at far as they can go and says, "Wow-wow-wow-wow" over and over. He's so cute and pleasant most of the time and really has me wrapped around his finger.
I need to watch out because I think he hides his feisty side. He's much more of a daredevil than Gunner was as a baby. Hobbes is a climber. Spiff watched him climb from an upside-down laundry basket to a kitchen chair. He stopped him before he climbed onto the table. I walked into the bathroom one evening to find him on top of the toilet. He had used the step-stool to climb up onto the seat! In the back of my head was the idea that I should have grabbed the camera for some proof, but my heart stopped, and I just grabbed him and closed the bathroom door behind me. And then my heart started beating again.
And as for me, I have been entertaining myself during evenings alone while Spiff has been on night float by watching too much TV. I have been training for my marathon with a whole lot of help from family and friends, which is a subject that deserves it's own post. I have also been obsessing about finding a house to rent when we move in June. I have lost so much sleep the past two weeks worrying about making the right decision about where our family is going to live for the next three years. We found a great house, and it's an almost-done-deal. I'm praying that it works out. I'm praying that it's the right choice. I'm praying that I can finalize things so that I can stop obsessing and finally get some sleep.
That's my story, morning glory. That's a long story for not wanting to write one in the first place. I realize that. Spiff is on vacation this week! Hoorah! We all can't wait to spend some time with him.