Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Care Package

I'm dismantling the elaborately disorganized pile of mail that I swear, some old, wizened Japanese guy erected into his own home. I feel badly, (for a nanosecond) evicting him this way, but I need the room.

Hopefully, not for more mail. The stuff arrives daily. In copious amounts. Or small amounts. I could count on one hand the number of times I've opened that damn box to find it empty. Sure, I too enjoy finding a pastel envelope inside, holding a time honored nod at traditional communication....witty, charming, sweet, sappy, not even addressed to me....even better? Find the box empty.


I find this:

(when I find a photo, it will go here)

Chaaarrrmmming, I know.

Hubs and I both are List N' Pile Makers. Great minds think alike! Naturally, I draw the line at utilizing the excel application while planning out the packing up for vacation. Ahem. Hubs.....uses it. I've hauled together an alarming amount of packing in a very short period of time: I grew up watching my mother pack at the very last second. I've added to this concept: since I (clearly) won't have any clue what I want to pack, (and wear) while gone, I need ALL of my clothing washed. It does, I admit, make the Last Minute Packer Packing a good pinch easier. Add to the ease? Most of my wardrobe involves either nine hundred shades of matching pink and blue, or, acres of white. Everything, or nearly, goes with everything else. See? A. Breeze.

The kids, currently all fighting for Style Independence requires little of me other than open respective drawers, grab one handful of each necessary item, add a suit, toothbrush, and four deodorants per child. The baby retains the most allotted personal time for packing. I hide a great many sins (bad hair moments, droppy breasts in a droopier bra I thought I got rid of but am now wearing, bottoms I didn't zip all the way - whether they zip all the way not really the point) behind my beautiful child.

Enter the mail.

 Divide into His, Hers, and my favorite, My Ex's and His Whole Families Mail. Then, the subcategories play havoc, mail attaching itself to a manmade merry go round of table top, chair seat, table top, dining credenza, table. The piles get mixed. The Everyone Else's Mail at some point makes it into the I'll Write My List Here Pile, as lists do hold up well on the back of expensive mailing envelopes companies (AARP, solicitations for auto dealerships, carpet cleaning) hope make it into the Opened Pile of mail. The Must Have Coupons, Bed Bath and Beyond leading the list, as they'll take any and all coupons, regardless of date!! the papery $5 off one item ones sometimes utilized as slobbery chewing fodder for the teething infant in high chair awaiting anything else of interest.

Yeah, I saved that coupon too. When it dried, the bar code was still totally readable.

At this point, more mail inevitably arrives, thrusting itself rudely into the merry-go-round, scooching the napkin holder, salt shaker and butter dish further up toward the other part of the table. The Eating Around It Part. The side we both attempt to keep relatively clear.

Relative being the key word. Those flyers, ones printed on heavy heavy cardstock, just shy a full page? Awesome place mats. Eat. Watch kids drop food everywhere. Throw out "mats"...patting myself on the back all the way to the trash: two birds, one stone.

Unfortunately, a good deal of all this stuff that's sent, is, well, Real Mail. The I Need To Open It kind. Bills. (pay online, have the satisfaction of ripping that sucker in half with great panache, an eyebrow raised at Hub's growing pile, while yours, obviously, shrinks) More bills. Tax stuff. That thing they send for free tomato plants.

Under the heading of mail, also resides, School Mail. By far, the worst offender. Full sheets sent home, sometimes in triplicate for the kids, all piling up in those respective piles, riding the merry-go-round, usually reminding me in the middle of the produce aisle to stop by and buy a ton of Scholastic Books.

Seeing as this paper we recycle (I so do what I can to help the planet) it has crossed my mind, many a day, how many trees die just to tell me a new dentist moved to town. With our pile towering over the entree, using the baby's highchair tray as a back up serving station for sides, I'd love love love to stick it to these companies.

Right up in the right hand corner.

Here's a stamp: mail this to someone who cares.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Life's messy.....

....and here's to Cleaning!

As a busy mom, I've hardly time to vet certain cleaning products, and while my "Not On" list is long (read: nearly limitless) my Gotta Have It List grows just as quickly.


Carpet cleaners. I have, say, three of them. Maybe four. No, wait. One died. I recall holding the burial, the fact that it was, indeed, murdered by someone (who is as of yet unclear) under the age of 12. A large bar of soap was found, lodged in cleaning mechanism.

I took it apart. Since is was already DOA, really, what more could I do it?

I replaced it.

Tried everything under the sun, from Urine Be Gone, Nature's Miracle (fabulous laundry qualities), to Bissell Pet Cleaners (both kinds), OxyGen......

my favorite:

half Windex, half hot hot hot water

Works. Like. A. Charm. For Really Ugly Bits, feel free to use the one with Ammonia already in it. With a tiny one all of a-sudden on the move, I'm not keeping great whopping quantities of anything around.

As we're currently at floor level, why not ride this train into Fabulous Wood Floor Preps?

We have cleats. Lots of cleats. Baseball. Softball. Football.

They leave marks. (so do some rude relatives that visit, dragging their heels everywhere they go - hello, have you not heard of removing your shoes at the door? 85% of household dirt stays at the door that way!!)

Enter....the tennis ball. Rub along the black mark, and voila'!

This is the tennis ball you do not throw back in the dryer....but we'll save that one for another day.

And..............the baby calls :)

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

All. Fired. Up.

Boy was I fired up today.
The baby managed to completely go through four outfits today, including one, with a Breaking Wind precursor in a bank parking lot. Not the back lot, either. The front We Shouldn’t Park Here, It’s A Fire Lane lot. You know, the lot you make when you’re Live Parking.....only to come out and find not your spouse on camera, with the security team watching her intently. They are watching her change the baby, stripping her naked in the process, throwing bits of baby poop on the ground atop the diaper already resting there. 
Right by the front tire. 

It’s not as though I was unaware of the security camera - anyone who still uses an actual bank building knows that it’s littered with cameras. 
ps. None of the angles make my butt look good. I’m pretty sure my arms looked fat too. 
The dog has driven me nuts, ingesting not one, but two diapers she ripped out of the trash; this leads to some Serious Intestinal Ickiness. Excessive, one might say. With all that going on, dinner to whip together, laundry that arrived out of no where - I was totally caught up! two kids sporting snarky 'tudes, I truly thought I’d had a bad day. 
That is, until I called Trish. 
Me: “I’ve had the day from hell. It’s filled with poop.”
Trish: “I need to call you back after I shave Mark’s head.”
Me: (add a couple of snorts) “...shave his head? Why”
Trish: “Can I tell you when I call you back?” (snicker)
Me: “No! I need to know now!”
Trish: “He set his hair on fire”. More laughing.
Me: “Shut the front door!”
Trish: “I’ve got to go shave it. I’ll call you back.”
Now, I should say, Mark is a welder, so evidently (and this I did not know) stuff catches on fire all the time. Due to all the layers, often it goes mostly unnoticed until too late. Shoe laces. Gloves. Hats. She mentioned that several times he’s come home missing half his pants. 
Half. His. Pants.  
Right. The hair....while welding, a hot piece of metal (snicker snicker snort) landed on the headband strappy thing of his welding shield. That set the headband on fire. Not, mind, that he noticed. With sparks and bits of flame going every which way, I suppose one could mistake their hair with any other flying flamishy bit.
Apparently, it wasn’t until it started to smell of burnt hair did he make the connection. 
Obviously, since I have the above facts, she called me back, which is a great thing, as I might have thrown all the kids (two with attitude, one blowing Surprise Poop every five minutes and the gassy dog) into the car, driven over to her house, and demanded to know the circumstances. 
This all leads me to one very important conclusion:
I’d rather be all fired up, than on fire.