Sunday, October 31, 2010

Special Visitors

This weekend, my in-laws came in town for Halloween. We had a great time, and I really do always enjoy having them visit. But preparing for their arrival is almost always a lot of work.

First, let me explain that I have a wonderful mother-in-law. But she does make one thing really difficult - she is a super neat freak and a REALLY good housekeeper. No problem, right? Not unless you are married to her son. Sorry, honey, but I will never be able to keep a house like your mother. Oh well. I have long ago accepted this part of my personality. However, when they come for a visit, I always feel just a little extra pressure to present my house looking it's best. And while they are here, I always feel a little pressure to make sure it stays that way. I'm not trying to be someone I am not; in fact, this is the housekeeper I always strive to be and their visits give me a little motivation to succeed.

So, my cleaning started a least two days ahead of their arrival. I can't leave anything for last minute. As soon as I do that, some child will refuse to let me put them down and then I have to shove everything in the master bedroom and close the door just minutes before they arrive. And this was not just a regular visit either. This was a some new people who have never been to our house might stop by and ask for a tour of the house visit.

Here is a list of "in-law" cleaning, both before they come and while they are visiting.

1. After every meal, I thoroughly clean both the high chair and booster chair. Not my typical get the big chunks and major crust off. I actually take the tray off and wash it with soap and water.

2. All trash and toys are brought in the from car - immediately when we get home. I typically tell myself that during nap time I will go back out to the car and bring in all the stuff. And then I usually forget until the next time we go somewhere.

3. Beds get made. I actually do like to make my bed everyday but when the in-laws are here, I make sure to do it - just in case the bedroom door happens to get pushed open.

4. Vacuum stairs. This is a chore I really hate doing but I love the results. It is saved for special occasions, i.e. the in-laws

5. Vacuum the dog hair from under the ottoman. Just in case we decide to move furniture around for sleeping arrangements.

6. Change sheets. Of course this is a no-brainer. But I'm not going to lie. Last time they came I didn't change the sheets. I'm pretty sure they were the last visitors any way.

7. Vacuum the dining room. Our dining room is tucked away and we don't typically eat there. I usually ignore it on my regular weekly routine. But I'm pretty sure our cat sleeps on the chairs during the day. Must be cleaned for visitors.

8. Pick up all dirty clothes and toys after a bath. I like to pretend that clothes go immediately in the dirty clothes and that bath toys are left to dry on the side of the tub. Not always the case.

I know there are so many other things I do during the in-laws visit that aren't always typical for me. You know, pick up toys, clean the dishes, feed the kids lots of vegetables. Trying to be the best version of me that I can be.

I wonder if I've fooled them?

Monday, October 18, 2010

Blog guilt

As a mother, every little thing can make you feel guilty. Going out with friends while your husband watches the kids (even though he just played golf for 6 hours while you stayed home by yourself on a Saturday). Feeding your kids McDonald's. Looking forward to nap time. Napping during nap time. Turning off the monitor for just 5 more minutes of sleep during nap time. Putting your 9 month old in front of the TV so you can go to the bathroom. And the list could go on and on...

But I never expected that a blog would bring me guilt. Especially not a blog that I very much enjoy writing. But that is exactly what has happened.

A few weeks ago, my son decided that he was going to start the process of dropping of his morning nap. Every morning, I would anxiously await for him to show his tired signs - rubbing eyes, getting crabby, etc. I am pretty obsessed with trying to make sure that my kids don't get overtired because then we all suffer. But by 9:30, no signs of sleepiness. 9:45 - still nothing. 10:00 - despite him playing happily, I scooped him up and went ahead with the nap time routine - diaper change, failed attempt to read a book, nurse, sing, put in crib, leave the room. Thirty minutes later, he finally falls asleep. And then sleeps for 3 hours!!

Funny how this SHOULD be a positive thing. If he was my only child, I would have been celebrating. But not with two. Right about the time my daughter is ready for her nap, he is waking up - well-rested and ready to go for hours. Right about the time he is getting grumpy again, it's time for my daughter to wake up. And where does that leave me? With NO time to myself. No cleaning the house time. No Bible study time. No watching Ellen time. No blogging time.

Before I knew it, two weeks had gone by with no blog post. Every day, I would promise myself that as soon as the kids went to bed, I would blog. But then I was just too tired.

And then, I started to feel the guilt. I might as well not even continue the blog if I can't post regularly. I started to imagine all my readers wondering what happened to me. (When in reality, I am pretty sure my Mom is the only reader anxiously awaiting a new post). Most people probably didn't even notice I had dropped off the face of the blogging world. I started wondering why I had even started to blog and was feeling embarrassed that I couldn't get it together. So I decided to just quit.

But then I realized something - this is supposed to be fun, right? The whole point of this blogging thing is to give me an outlet to write and record the funny things in my life. It doesn't really matter if I have any readers at all. So, I'm back. Maybe not as often as I would like, but I have so many stories in my head that I can't wait to tell. Hope you enjoy reading them Mom!