Wow, another post - yep, can you tell I have a thousand other things that need to be done. Umm-hmm. My child is off at school and I have a quiet house and I am supposed to be sewing, but I am not. Just not in the mood to listen to my fluorescent lights sing right now.
First and foremost...how about a birthday shout-out to the most high-strung, spoiled rotten little chocolate lab in all of history? My Mallard Brown turns 9 today. Oh my gosh. I still remember the day I went to pick him out, and the first night he spent with me and cried all.night.long. I think getting him out of his kennel and putting him in the bed with me to stop crying started the viscous cycle. But, having to do over again - I would do the same thing. He is a snuggle bug, and he loves this short girl right here and that is all that matters. I forgive him for all the shoes, designer jeans, and rugs that he chewed as a puppy...and I still forgive his "old enough to know better self" when he gets into the trash can (which is guaranteed to be animal-proof by the way) and eats raw chicken and chicken carcasses and glass pie dishes and such. I even forgive him when he drinks too much water in the mornings and comes and varmits it all over my feet and when he chews up pine cones on my freshly vacuumed floors. I just love him to pieces. Bad, bad Mallard Brown. Happy Birthday Brownie!!
But, on to the point of this post. Last night I lie awake in bed (and of course my child was actually asleep, grrr) with an awful headache that had graced me with it's presence about 8 hours before. Let me just tell you - had I been able to take Advil, it would have been gone within 30 minutes. However, I am limited to Tylenol which is just about as effective as banging my head into the wall. So, I finally just got out of bed after laying there for an hour. I figured I might as well be productive, so I came to sit down to answer some emails. I quickly got bored with that and decided to do some blog-stalking since I hadn't in a while. Well, I found this one off of another off of another (you know how that goes) and I read and laughed and wondered what kind of ganja this woman was smoking. I will not give away her blog, mostly because I don't remember it but also because I am slightly embarrassed for her. Anyways, she claimed herself to be a domestic goddess...a word that I am still not sure exactly what it means, but know for SURE that I do not fall into this category. In just one of her posts, she was talking about how she baked 2 different loaves of bread, a batch of cookies, a pie (duh, how fitting), a roast of some sort and then made some flavored tea. Of course she did. But, on top of all of that cooking (which I couldn't even get past the part of thinking how many freaking ovens does she have?) she also was doing laundry and of course doing art projects with her children. Have you barfed yet? Because I almost did. Then the kicker...of course she has all of these beautiful, happy, colorful pictures of all of her talents and creations of the day (remember...this is just ONE post) it shows a photo of her in an apron, NOT kidding (I couldn't see her shoes but I can only imagine she was wearing heels...and I bet she doesn't define Danskos as heels like I do) ironing. How fitting. You know, that is what I do after I have cooked enough desserts and bread and such to feed an army, I iron with a big smile on my face. Ha. Then, I looked closer and thought, what the crap is she ironing?? Then, I scrolled down, read more and almost fell out of my chair. This self-proclaimed domestic goddess was ironing her SHEETS. Yes, my friends...the sheets that probably just came off of a clothes-line in a gorgeously sunny backyard with hills and picket fences and a tree house and they probably smelt like lemons. I was speechless. So, if any of my readers do this, I mean absolutely NO offense here, but really? Ironing sheets? Oh my stars. I usually pull them straight from the dryer, throw them on the bed and then hope my husband goes to bed before me so he has to put them on. Oops, did I just admit that? Well, of course the next picture (I don't know if she has a photographer following her or cameras set up in her house, who knows) showed her folding more sheets that she probably just pulled off the line. And then, the kicker...she was folding fitted sheets. Oh dear me. And this is when it all hit me, I must stop reading before I wake my entire family from laughing so hard. I just couldn't do it anymore. She had worn me out already, and I ventured back to bed and then came up with the idea of this blog post. Doubt she will ever find mine, but if she does...I bet I will appall her as much as she did me. :)
So, here we go. Confessions of this housewife. This is how we roll at my house. I must start by telling a short story. When we were in Georgia a few weeks ago while Byron was interviewing for jobs when he finishes residency, we were in Macon and having dinner with the ENT group there. We used to live in Macon, and I worked at the Children's Hospital while there, well - so I knew one of the guys in the group and when I saw him he asked if I was working at the Children's Hospital here. I told him no, that I was being a housewife at the time, and he smiled and asked how that was going. And before I even had a second to think about it, I openly admitted something that had been nagging at me for quite some time. I easily said, "Well, I am afraid I am a much better nurse than housewife." He laughed, and so did I...but I also sat in my chair afterward and finally had clarity about something that I guess I always knew, but never admitted. And you know what, it is okay. I actually felt better about it all after I said that. Whew, I suck as a housewife. And it is fine. Because at the end of the day, I almost treat it like nursing...I marvel in the fact that everyone under my care is still breathing. So, mission accomplished, right? Well - that is how I make it all okay. Ha. Then I remembered something a friend had told me when I was pregnant with Louisa, because back in the day I rocked as a house-keeper. She told me that she thought of a clean house as a sign of a bad mother. Well, I know this is a bit extreme, and while I never really understood - I now happily accept it. Granted, I am not the best mother out there as I lose my cool easily, have a temper, no patience, etc. but if I can look at my house at the end of the day and see if messy and think I am a better mother for it, bring it. :) You know, it goes with my motto for mothering...whatever works.
So, here we go. I will share some of my house-keeping secrets with you, and you can laugh at me, be grossed out or just simply smile...or better yet - share with me some of yours. But, you wont find me baking bread or ironing sheets or vacuuming in high heels. And, as I have said before, come on over...but leave the white gloves at home. :)
Folding Fitted Sheets. Okay, I don't. In fact, I think my Mom actually posted an article from Martha Stewart on the inside of the door of my linen closet, but I haven't read it. This is how I fold fitted sheets.
See, just ball them up. If it bothers you that they will be wrinkly when done, bring out the apron, iron and heels and fix that up before you put them on the bed. Or, take my outlook - once you stretch them out on the bed, cover with a comforter and a large, heavy Labrador...it will straighten out just fine. See. Phew, disaster averted.
Tips To Keeping Your House Smelling Like You Cleaned All Day. This one cracks me up. I learned it from a fellow Facebook friend that has 3 kids and no time to worry about cleaning. I am blessed with a husband that will NEVER walk in the door and make mention as to what condition the house is in...clean or dirty. He will never come home to a dirty house and ask what I did all day. I love him for that. So, this tip is more for me than anyone. First ones first...bleach in the toilets.
Pour some bleach (bleach is so inexpensive that it is a no-brainer) into the toilets (please close the lid if you have animals or kids, in my case, that like to drink from the vessel) and viola. Your bathroom automatically smells like you scrubbed it all day. Bonus points - if you have a bathtub that you wont be using that day, fill it up with some water and add bleach. Close the curtain and enjoy the smell of a "sanitized" bathroom. Genius, right? Next tip, this one is new to me and works wonders. I cannot stand to polish my hardwoods. Since I have about 2400 square feet of them, it is exhausting, then someone always tracks some sort of mess all over them. So, I reserve this trick for when the president visits. Instead, go get you some inexpensive disposable Tupperware bowls and fill with Pine-Sol. Place in locations high enough for tots, animals, etc not to reach, and of course out of visible eye-sight, you can't be giving away secrets now - and enjoy the smell of a freshly Pine-Sol'd house. Mr. Clean would be so proud.
To Give the Appearance of Slaving Away all Day Over Laundry. Always, and I mean always keep some sort of towel in the dryer. Pop in a dryer sheet and run the sucker and it will have your outside exhaust smelling like you are doing laundry and just the sound and smell in your house will have the appearance that you have been doing clothes all day.
Thankfully, that sweet husband of mine I talked about earlier recognizes that his bride is incompetent when it comes to laundry, so not only does this not fool him - but he also resorts to doing his own laundry. I think he might fall out if he came home every day to the dryer going. So, I save this trick for friends and such. :)
UPDATE: as I just sat down to proof-read, I just laughed aloud as I am obviously having a laundry faux-pau which just further shows my incompetence with the laundry. Note the bright pink towel in with the whites and tans. Whoops, hehe.
Yes, Honey... I Cleaned All Day. Always, and I mean always...keep the broom and vacuum out in sight at all times.
This drives said sweet husband nutty, but in some weird way - it makes me feel better. Even though I haven't vacuumed in days, if I just see it propped up against a wall somewhere, I feel accomplished. And, if you have visitors, as long as they don't inspect your floors for the dust-bunnies and layer of fur that always graces mine, they will never know.
The Uniform of a Housewife. Forget the heels and apron and dress, pearls and full face of makeup. Instead, put on your best cleaning gear so that you look like you've been busy all day. PS - bonus peek of the little boy for those that have been needing a belly fix.
This is my everyday attire. It always works well, since if I decide to run, I can just go as is. Or, if I "clean" all day, I wont ruin my clothes. As for showering, we average every other day here usually. So, a little trick I learned in college for those sporting the blond locks. PS - disregard the brushes that need to be cleaned of all hair. Gross.
Rub this into your scalp and it will absorb the grease and make you hair not look as greasy. Bonus, it also makes you smell nice. If you freak out about not bathing, grab a package of baby wipes, or Clorox wipes...whatever seems to be handy and wipe down the exposed parts of arms and legs. Go heavy on the deodorant and viola, you are ready to face the day. Turn those hot rollers off and give the curling iron a vacay (along with the vacuum). They will thank you.
Phew. Now that I have shared some secrets I may have some wondering...what in the world do I do all day? Well, apart from sewing and putting out fires with the toddler - I am not quite sure. The jury is still out on that as I often find myself wondering the same thing at the end of the day. But hey, at least my house "appears" clean. Right?
So, out with the pearls, irons, high heels and casserole-baking...and in with the hustle-bustle of putting baby powder in the hair and showering with baby wipes. On to more important things...like making sure all parties involved are still breathing at the end of the day. :)
Until next time...