Nirvana

Today is a PJ day, or in #1’s words “pajammy” day. #1 and #2 are both in their PJs at 3:20pm EST. The only reason TH and I are clothed is because I ran on the treadmill (done early so I could justify some wine later in the day-and now is technically later) and remain in my leggings and t-shirt, and TH is out blowing leaves. So yeah, we’re all pretty gross. But 2 cases of strep (TH and me, not the germpits…errr kiddos), an upset tummy (#1, I am looking at you) and the ever cranky #2 (seriously, how bad can it be to have every single of your needs met on a daily basis) who needs to be “fancy” (another favored term by #1)?

And dinner has been cooking all day; I got my act together and put a black bean chili in the crockpot this morning, I’ll use leftovers for enchiladas tomorrow. (Are you there God? It’s me, Martha). Yum.

You know you are an adult when

You have a new mulcher/chipper sitting in your garage, and you can’t wait for the weekend to come so you can open the box and give it a try. Honestly, TH will be doing the bulk of the chipping/mulching but I am a little excited to put it to use as well. #1 son is also eager, but anything that shows up in a large box garners his attention.

Feeling Inadequate

Every month Southern Living shows up in my mailbox. For two to three days following its arrival I feel woefully inadequate. At no point in my lifetime will my house ever look as put together as the homes in the magazine do. My pie crust will never be as brown, my grout never that clean and my landscaping will never be that green and lush. I have expressed my self consciousness to my mother who bought me the “gift” (I secretly think it’s some kind of punishment for a long ago transgression) of a Southern Living subscription and keeps renewing it every year. She tries to remind me that people from the magazine come in and stage the homes before the photo shoot. That doesn’t help.

I eventually stop feeling inadequate and start getting pissed. Every stinking home is owned by either an architect, interior designer, or landscaper. Well hell, if I was any of those my house would look damn good too. Where are the regular people, the fellow insurance brokers and defense contractors? Let’s see their homes! Oh yeah, their homes still don’t have window treatments in the family room, or area rugs in the right places. And that hole they had to cut in the ceiling in the basement to fix a leak, yeah that’s not patched quite yet. And they probably have evidence of children and pets around the house. I love the photo shoots of houses where the homeowners admit to having multiple kids yet there is not one toy, shoe, stray Cheerio, or pet hairball laying around anywhere. Did they throw everything into a POD out front, including the kids and animals?

How about a magazine for real people where the furniture is mismatched (and not in a fun kitschy way), the laundry is piled up in the family room (I’m looking at mine now) and the only family heirloom is a sippy cup that rolled under the couch sometime last year.

Cleaning for the Cleaning Lady

Since our work servers are down to more severe weather (I swear locusts or the plague are coming any time now) I have a had a few spare moments this afternoon. I didn’t go get coffee, read a book or just veg. No I performed the most ridiculous chore know to mankind, according to The Husband (TH): cleaning for the cleaning company. They come every other week and the day before is spent straightening and putting away so they can actually tackle our dirt.

This drives TH batty, which in turn drives me batty. The crew has been coming for over 2 years, the every other week pick up is a part of our life, get over it. Admittedly I am the neat freak around here and according to TH “unless there are feces or roaches, I don’t care.” I am beyond horrified at this statement. I have been to his parents’ house many times, he was not raised by wolves and his parents’ house is always very neat.

Because we both work full time and want to spend the rest of the time with our kids, we sub out the cleaning part. This bugs me because I actually like to clean, but just can’t fit it in to my packed schedule. So instead we pay someone else and I threaten to crotch punch TH twice a month as he mocks the process of cleaning for the cleaning people.

When Toys R Us throws up in your Basement

Due to the aforementioned flooring project of ’08, we have moved all toys to the finished basement. The majority were there already, but a few buckets (yes, buckets) remained in the upstairs family room. We’re using the remodeling as an excuse to move all kid related plastic to the lower level, where we want it to remain. (Who are we kidding?) Now my basement looks like Geoffory Giraffe puked everywhere. Brightly colored plastic dominates the scene and most of it makes noise. We do not buy this offensive “stuff” for the kids, it usually arrives as a gift of some sort; birthdays, Christmas, Easter, Monday, Tuesday, etc. They’re the only children in our family, and our basement/playroom proves it.

We had hoped to contain the toys to a corner of the basement which hasn’t worked. Kidville is slowly encroaching on what should have been Mantown, my husband’s domain. Half of the room is all about hockey and beer, Guinness specifically. The other half? Romper Room hell. A quick trip to Target resulted in storage devices meant to wrangle all the unsightly plastic, however the spillover is inevitable. There’s nothing like trying to refill your glass of Guinness and stepping on a Little People part, those little effers hurt like hell.

I know as the kids get bigger, so will their stuff and it will take up more room in my house. But I do look forward to the days when I don’t feel like I entered Chuck E. Cheese every time I go downstairs.

Ahhh the joys of doing it yourself

To save a few measly bucks we decided to rip up the tile in our kitchen before the hardwood goes down next week. I would love for one home improvement project to go as expected. We always get some lovely surprise once we’ve gotten into the work. (like digging up a front concrete walk, only to find a second concrete walk directly underneath the first) This time the surprise was ripping up the tile, ripping up the linoleum underneath to the sub flooring only to find…another layer of linoleum and the original sub floor. Yes, all these layers of flooring.

PLUS, they ran the water line for the ice maker right through the flooring, so we’ll need to turn the water off to the ice maker to remove the water line laying in the floor, except the valve to turn the water is so tight it will not budge, even after soaking it with WD-40. Who are these people that do this half ass work? Their punishment should be to spend all of eternity redoing shoddy home improvement projects. It would have cost us $300 for the flooring people to rip up the tile to get to the sub floor. What we saved in labor, we have probably spent in aggravation. Not to mention the growing pile of scrap growing out back. Is it too early to start drinking?

The Most Annoying Member of our Family

Normally the most annoying person in a family is someone who is incredibly intrusive, the holiday dinner drunk or the relative with so much drama in their life that they belong on Jerry Springer. The most annoying person in our family does none of these things but is old and high maintenance and just always has something wrong. It’s our house, or Stupid House as it commonly called. (actually we don’t use the word “stupid” but I am keeping it G-rated) Stupid House (SH) joined our family three years ago and if SH were a person it would visit the ER about every 6 months and have elective cosmetic surgery yearly. SH was a “deal” as far as deals went back in 2005, the height of the housing frenzy. It appraised for much more than we paid, and we knew there was a laundry list of items that would need to done down the line. The house had goods bones, but every other body system was in dire need of an overhaul.
Before we even moved in we had 2 floors re-carpeted and the whole house painted. The ding dongs who lived here before us thought that “flesh” was a wonderful paint color and that pulling the furniture out to paint was too much work, when you can always paint around everything. Yes, we knew where their entertainment center had been located, how they laid out the furniture in their bedrooms, and how big the artwork on the walls was. And the house was completely empty when we looked at it. That was just the beginning. Following is additional sampling of our undertaking. We have replaced:

1. The original AC (circa 1972) that did nothing in August as temps reached into the 90s

2. The furnace that died on the coldest day in January 2007, landing the entire family in the same bed with a down comforter for warmth, because of course the furnace died after business hours.

3. The hot water heater that bit the big one late one Sunday night, which led to a Monday morning of miserable showering, like Mondays don’t suck enough.

4. The wood siding that had pockets of rot and was the color of newborn poop.

5. The drafty windows that were as useful as a sheet of Saran Wrap.

6. Landscaping because a pipe blew (again, on a weekend) and it was located under the front sidewalk, which had to be dug up (I think my husband just wanted to rent a jackhammer), which in turn ruined any landscaping there was.

And now (dun, dun ,dun) we’re getting ready to put in hardwood on our middle floor, the neglected step child of our house. It has taken this long to decide on all hardwood, vs. a tile/hardwood combo. Why do we need to do this latest cosmetic procedure? Because there is original carpeting (it’s gross) and someone named Darwin laid ceramic tile right of top of linoleum in the kitchen, which has cracked in various places and on humid days pulls up on bare feet. With an almost crawling infant in the house, it’s a recipe for disaster.

The measuring gets done tomorrow and we’ll go from there. These have not been small dollar makeovers and even though they are necessary, writing checks with lots of zeros makes me physically ill. I usually end up stressed and stomp around for a few days screaming at the house and threatening to move. To where, I have no clue. My husband reminds me that brand new houses have their share of issues also, but it’s like comparing the issues between old and new to a sweet newborn and a nasty old aunt. You have to wipe both of their butts, but you don’t mind nearly as much with the newborn.