Sunday, June 22, 2008

Being Lazy

Today I feel insanely lazy. The is warm and breezy and I feel like taking a nap. Which would be great, except I've felt this way for about two weeks. When last I wrote, I was busy trying to get the house cleaned up for Caly's party. We did get it clean, the party was wonderful, and I was worn out. My friend Jenny came to visit for a few days, which was especially nice timing since everything had been spiffed up for the party. We got to relax, go out to eat a few times, and just enjoy some peace and quiet (as much as one is able to with kids, that is).

And since the weather has been nice, the kids have been outside a lot. So I've been taking it easy, just relaxing and not getting much done... and now the house is a wreck again, I'm behind in EVERYTHING, and I still feel like sitting here doing nothing.

Tonight, I will finally get around to putting up some of those party pictures, and of course doing some cleaning. And tomorrow I'll have to make myself get back to doing all the stuff that comes up when you have kids. But for now, I'm off to sit on the porch and watch the kittens try to grab each other's tails.

Saturday, June 7, 2008


I hate cleaning. Well actually, I hate re-cleaning. But the problem is that things don't need cleaned once. They need cleaned, then re-cleaned, then re-cleaned, ad infinitum. When you build a house, you don't have to re-build it the next day or the next week or even the next year. And when you write a book you may re-write sections or even the whole book. But eventually you finish it and stop. You don't continue to re-write it for the rest of your life. But when you clean, you do so knowing that you will be doing it again soon. That you will be doing it over and over the rest of your life. And it's just kinda depressing and futile seeming.

That being said, I am enjoying the product of our depressing and futile labor today. We are having a birthday party in a few days and we're trying to sort through every bit of our summer and winter clothes, clean the house, shop for the party, wrap the presents, and make the cake. It's a lot and I'm worn out and stressed out and occasionally freaking out. But we FINALLY made some real progress this afternoon. The kids realized that I truly would cancel the party if they didn't start working at it instead of play-working at it. Half-hearted efforts and breaks for everything they could think of were not cutting it. But they pulled themselves together and started really trying to get something done. And they did. Our house is not clean by a long shot, but it's a lot better, and you can see that things have changed and improved. So even though I know that I will eventually be re-cleaning every last thing that I cleaned today, I am feeling better about it.


Since school got out, the kids have gotten spoiled. I'm not sure how it happened. I think it was me. I always want them to be happy. And I never really want to say no.

Don't get me wrong. I say no a LOT more than some of the parents I know. No TVs in their rooms. No games consoles at all. And they get a tiny allowance and they're expected to pay for all the stuff that they want. And they have chores, too. Even Zoe has to help load and unload the dish washer and put the wet clothes in the dryer.

But I always want them to get to DO everything. Can I go to Grandma's? Yes. Can I go to the movies? Yes. Can I invite a friend to spend the night? Stay up late? Go swimming? Go to the drive in? Sign up for this camp? Sign up for that camp? Go on this trip? Yes, yes, yes. I always want to say yes. And I have GOT to stop.

Because tonight I belatedly remembered it was the free swim hours at the brand new water park they just opened in Richmond. So I told them to grab their gear and even though it was mostly over, I'd take them so they could catch the last half hour. I warned them on the way that we wouldn't be there long, that I'd need help with the kids, and that I'd take them back another day when we had more time. We'd been tense all week because we've been sorting summer and winter clothes because the average temperature just went up 15 degrees from what it had been. Caly's birthday party is Tuesday and the house is a mess and we're not at all ready... but we needed a break. So I thought this would ease things up a bit.

And wouldn't you know, Caly complained about it. She didn't get to do anything because she had to help with the babies and Zaven took too long to come back and just when she was next in line for the big water slide the park closed. And I told her to stop. But she had to finish her complaints. And I told her to apologize to me. But she did it in a sing-song voice while she rolled her eyes. So when we left I drove them over to the playground and let Zaven and Zoe play while I made her cry. No, I didn't yell. But I didn't back down either. This week she complained about having to try on new clothes that she loves and wanted. She complained about how she was having to help clean the house. The whole family had been cleaning the house and yard all week so she could have a party. And she complained about having to stay at Wal-mart for so long while we bought a new TV that's much nicer than the one we have now. I told her I didn't want to hear one word of complaint about her party, her presents, her cake, any of it. And I made her tell me what she was grateful for and say thank you for the things we'd been doing recently.

And of course Quinn was listening to all of it and started saying "Tank OOH!" every time she did. But I think this time they may have both meant it. Maybe.