Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Secret is Out

The other evening, after the kids had gone to bed, I was going from one room to the next, cleaning each room as I went. I got to the bathroom and Jeff came in to talk to me. While I was bleaching the sink and tub and cleaning the mirror, I said "Hey, while your in here, clean the toilet". He looked at me a little stunned, which weirded me out.....why did he act all weird about it??  He seemed really uncomfortable about the whole toilet cleaning suggestion. Then it hit me!

I said "How many times have you cleaned our toilet?"
He responded with "Our toilet, or a toilet? I cleaned my work's toilet last week."
I say "Our toilet, the one here in our home"
He pauses, then says "Well......maybe never"
Me- "Maybe never!!!!!!"

Of course he thinks this is funny. We have lived together for 11+ years and he has never had to clean our toilet??? So then I'm almost determined to get him to clean the toilet this time, but he no more than gets started and he's doing it ALL wrong (He was probably doing just fine, but this is one of the things I'm weird about). I say "Geesh, just let me do it".

He again laughs. Then he let the secret out, the secret that probably every man on this earth knows. He says that men just act like they don't know how to do certain things so they don't have to do them.

Examples: Folding laundry wrong, putting laundry away wrong, loading the dishwasher wrong, putting dishes away wrong, doing kids (especially girls) hair wrong, dressing children in non-matching clothes (Jeff is a chronic mis-matcher) making the bed wrong, the list goes on and on folks.

He does these things wrong (or not my way, at least) because he knows it will bug me and eventually I won't ask. Ya know what??? It works..with the exception of a rare occasion when I'm desperate for help. Seriously, how ingenious is this??? He is so smart! 

Jeff is smart! As bad as he is at picking up after himself and cleaning, he more than makes up for in other areas. He is amazing as a father. Time and time again he takes the girls to the park, skating, bike riding, or to do anything that we didn't get to do during the busy day. He never fails to spend quality time with them each and every day. He never forgets to kiss me goodbye or goodnight and every day he makes it a point to let me know what I mean to him.

So all in all, who cares if the boy hasn't cleaned our toilet in 11 years? I can overlook it. :)

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Chaos: It's a Good Thing

My personality is a little quirky. I'm super picky about somethings and not so much about others. However, I do like things to be in order, to be organized and remain that way. Not so much to ask for right?? Unplanned occasions, problems, things to do.. give me anxiety.  I try hard to just go with the flow and normally I do well. When my house gets crazy messy (which it does) and when I have something to do that is hanging over my head (which I normally do) I get a bit anxious. I feel totally out of control.

I've learned, though, that these situations ARE going to happen, no matter what I do, and it's how I respond that really matters. On those occasions where I can't seem to "go with the flow" I get grumpy, inpatient, short tempered. I'm' not pleasant to be around. all.  Just ask Jeff and the kids. I'm sure they would be happy to tell you :)

The girls laugh hysterically when chaos hits our house...or rather hits Jeff or myself....they don't laugh so much when it's their turn for chaos to visit them. There have been so many occasions when I seriously think I may loose it....drink spills on the floor while I'm carrying a load full of stuff into the house, I then proceed to slip and scream and wave my arms to try to catch the way I did catch myself..dropping everything that was in my arms onto the puddle on the ground that I just slipped in. While this is happening our 3 dogs that are ecstatic we are home are going crazy, turning circles, running around, hitting stuff and us with their tails and bodies. The kids just die laughing. I'm sure it is actually really funny to see someone loose total control of a situation and watch the whole thing unfold. CHAOS, my friends is what that is called.

So why is chaos a good thing? Here are my Top 5 reasons:

  1. Chaos is great for reminding those of us who have control issues (not me, of course) to let go. If you can't seem to let go, chaos will do it for you.....over and over again...even after you've learned the lesson. 
  2. Chaos will make you laugh. Maybe not at first. You may loose your mind, get angry, yell, turn red, and say a few choice words. But after all that is done, eventually you will laugh. It is always funny later.
  3. Chaos will give you perspective. While you are living in the chaotic moment and losing control you feel totally overwhelmed and helpless. Shortly after the chaotic moment ends you gain sanity again (hopefully) and can be thankful that not all days are chaotic and that things could be much worse and be thankful that they are not.
  4. Chaos gives you an opportunity to show how well you work under pressure. If you do well you can totally put that on your resume. 
  5. Chaos teaches your children/spouse and even yourself an important lesson. STUFF HAPPENS....even to the best of us. Nobody is above it, or immune. There is no such thing as perfect and chaos will make sure of it. Just deal with it gracefully when it's your turn (I don't always manage to do this), but I try. I will be trying harder though. I go long periods without getting hit with chaos so it's hard to remember to be humble when it is my turn.

Friday, January 6, 2012

This Old House

 Oh this old house indeed. We live in a massive, old house. Built in 1902 actually. Anyone that knows us knows that we are constantly and continuously working on this old house. It's always something....tearing down walls, building walls, painting, flooring, plumbing. But aside from all the work, we love this old house. We have made it into a home. Oh how I wish we had before and after pictures. But for now I do have 1 room of before/after. The upstairs bathroom is our latest project. Here is the before
Scary I know!!

And the after
Awww. That's more like it!!

All this before and after got me thinking. Because this old house is ever changing I thought I would document how it looks now. Actually this pictures were around Halloween time (you'll see paper bats in the dining room) but you'll get the idea. I'm sure even next year things will look much different. I thought it might be neat for the girls to look back on and see how they were living in 2011-2012 .I don't have pictures of all the rooms sorry. I'm missing the entire basement, our room, the upstairs hallway, the half bath and our staircase. (Maybe I can get that in the next edition of "This Old House" :)  So this is "this old house" Fogive any "messes" you may see. I didn't get our house "picture ready" for This is just how we live and things aren't always perfect around this old house. :)
Living Room

Living Room
Living Room with staircase view

Dining Room

Dining Room

Sun Room (this is also Griffin's, our parrots, hang out place)

Kitchen (It's the next project)


Laundry room


Guest Bedroom

Randi's Bedroom

Randi's Bedroom

Randi's Bedroom

Grace's Bedroom (We still have to hang all the pictures in here)

Grace's Bedroom

Grace's Bedroom

Toy Room

Toy Room
Toy Room

You can click ----> HERE <---- for Part 2

Monday, January 2, 2012

That's What Being a Sister is All About

Randi and Grace are extremely close. They are the best of friends they do everything and go everywhere together. They are usually great about sharing, being kind and being helpful to one another. However, they can also be pretty good enemies, keeping tabs on who won last, who can jump higher, who is older, who shirt is who's. It can get ugly at times. yelling, swinging, crying, tattling.....just ugly. I guess that comes with the territory of being so close. Still even when they are fighting they love each other, they would be lost without each other. They miss each other when one is gone. They cuddle, hold hands, laugh, cry and play together, look out for and stand up for each other. They are more than just sisters, they are best friends.

"For there is no friend like a sister, in calm or stormy weather, to cheer one on the tedious way, to fetch on if one goes astray, to lift one if one totters down, to strengthen whilst one stands"
- Christina G. Rossetti

Christmas Cheer

Christmas is my very favorite holiday and time of year. Not because of all the presents...that is fun too....but because I love the the spirit of Christmas. Warm, cozy homes, family gathering together and eating wonderful meals, remembering the reason for season, laughing, appreciating and being thankful. We had a fabulous Christmas and a amazing 2011. We are truly truly blessed. Here are some little memories from our 2011 Christmas.