Tuesday, May 8, 2012

domesticity in the (not so) city

It's no secret I'm a scatterbrained flibbertygibbet?  I mean it, just like Meg Ryan's Angelica in Joe versus the Volcano, arguably one of the best bad movies ever made.
Back to me.  You know this about me especially if you have ever been to anywhere I've lived.  If you knew me in college, you are probably surprised I have never gotten the flesh-eating virus from my bathroom.  But that's kind of changed.  Kind of.

A while back I was talking to Heidi and she mentioned something about changing the sheets on the beds at their house, and I asked her who had thrown up.  Apparently NO ONE had.  She changed them on a regular basis. ?!?!   And it occurred to me that 1. If my house burns down, I'm calling her and asking her if I can sleep at her place, and 2. My cleaning regimen is one big catch-up act.  I'm so focused on the kids that I don't notice the house until something really needs something and I have to fit it into my schedule, which is pretty dang inconvenient.  

So a month or so ago, I made a tidy list.  Just a guideline, a set of suggestions, really.  

Monday: Middle floor (kitchen, living room), bathrooms, laundry
Tuesday: Bedrooms, front closet area
Wednesday: Lower floor (the "office" and play room)
Thursday: Floors - vacuum and mop
Friday: Re-tidy bedrooms and middle floor

I don't sweat doing laundry on Thursday, because I scheduled Monday to freak out about it.  The sheets to all the beds are in the wash right now.  And the downstairs is a mess, but I'm worrying about that tomorrow since today I'm vacuuming bedrooms.  I missed mopping last week, and I've done spots here and there as needed, but I'm not worrying about it until Thursday.  And if the trash is overflowing in the bathroom, pfft.  I'm not sweating that until Monday.

I don't deep clean every time, just tidy mostly.  I was feeling pretty down about all my work because the middle floor is where we do most of our living and it looks awful all the time.  Because I have a 2 year old and a 5 year old constantly trashing it.  And me too.  But my I realized my bathrooms are cleaner than ever, and my bedroom just looks nice all the time.  So that's cool.  It still looks like I live here, but it's a teensy bit better.  And I feel calmer.  Eventually they'll move out.  Although that doesn't solve the problem of ME trashing the house...

I saw this nifty thing on Pinterest the other day and thought I might incorporate something like this into me wee schedule:

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Maybe, but much more general.  I have no idea the last time I cleaned the microwave, but I'm okay with that.  Also, what kind of crazy person does laundry every day?  I say just buy more clothes.

Now to get some kind of grasp on meal planning.. that's a bear.  It's so dependent on taste preferences (which change frequently around here) and what we have in the fridge.  You can make a grocery list, but somehow it always ends up that I get too much or too little of something and then schedules change so we don't have dinner at home that night or time to make the intended meal and the food I was going to use for that night goes bad and blallahahhhhh.  I could grill, but birds are living in it.  Seriously, they built a nest IN OUR GRILL.  All up in our grill.  Hahahahahahaha.  (I'm literally laughing out loud to myself but I still have enough dignity to type out the noise instead of the infernal lol.  CURSE YOU, LOL!!!!)

Husband went in with a coworker and they are buying a cow to be butchered - we're getting like a 1/4th of it or something.  We have a big freezer, so that's cool.  Except I have NO IDEA how to cook beef.  Not a clue.  It always seemed too expensive for me to experiment on.  The only reason why I know how to cook chicken is because in college, Urmi felt so bad for me that she took me to the store, made me buy a bag of frozen tenderloins and showed me two fast ways to make a meal from them.  Both involve rice.

But seriously, let's keep going on the domestic tangent and just make this the wordiest post ever.  So you know how all winter we were all in limbo, not knowing how husband's job was going and frantically trying to find another one?  We scaled back as much as we could, and I did my darndest to prepare for the worst.  We've been unemployed before, you know.  I have some experience in this sort of thing.  By the by, Pinterest rocks, have I mentioned that?  So these are some of the things I instituted to try and cut costs:

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I make my own laundry detergent. (I add a scoop of Oxi Clean and my whites look smashing.)

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I make my own tortillas.  (I just use plain white flour, and use the directions from this recipe for Indian roti bread.  Which is an Indian tortilla, apparently.  Seriously, it's water, flour and salt.  And we take the leftovers from dinner, cut 'em up, cover them up with cinnamon sugar and bake them for a few minutes for dessert.)

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I always have these in the fridge for a snack.

I bake my own bread.  From the recipe for Papa John's pizza dough, so this dough is also used to make our own pizza.

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I pop my own popcorn - on the stove now.  It's not as convenient as just throwing it in a paper bag and nuking it(my previous method), but this pops more and there are almost no unpopped kernels.  It's such a cheap and easy snack.

We made our own Valentines.  With nothing more than a crayon, red paper and a stick of gum.  Not too shabby, either.  I know we usually do this, but everything was on hand except for the pack of gum, so I think the whole project set us back 97 cents.

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I make my own foaming handwash.  Because it's so freaking easy.

And using this tutorial, I made both kids pajama pants for Christmas.  Then, I took it a step further and figured out how to make shorts for the kids using old jeans my MIL cut up for me, and t-shirts from the dollar store.  I'm kind of on a roll and hope I won't have to buy any shorts or pants for the Dude for the summer.  WonderGirl is totally set for skirts, and I just can't stop cannibalizing old clothes to make new things for her, some of which are actually wearable!

I even made WonderGirl make her own pants.  Child labor?  Yes, please.  I didn't get a picture of it, but I'm totally making her vacuum stuff too.

It's little things, I'm sure most of you do them too.  It's just kind of big for me since I'm not the domestic type.  And now that we are slightly more stable, I'm still digging on these things.  And digging the digging on Pinterest for more.

See all the blogging that happens when my mom leaves the country??  Man, when she heads to China next fall you are gonna get an eyeful fo sho'.


Jane said...

Holy smokes, that's a lot of laundry scheduled on that cleaning board...
Also, after that list I don't think you can say you aren't the domestic type.

Mara said...

Hey, I change my sheets every week too =) I think I'm kind of a neat freak...because if my house is not organized, I go crazy and people get to see the dark side of me lol The other day I posted on our blog about my ultimate fridge make over-my most recent accomplishment.

And how can one not get crazy about pinterest.It's the best invention EVER.

Mara said...

Oh, I want the recipe for the bread, PLEASE!

M Pepper Langlinais said...

I do laundry every day, sweetie. With three kids spending their days outside and a hubby who comes home and changes out of work clothes to workout clothes then pajamas . . . TONS of laundry. If I miss a day, it's a disaster.

The Atomic Mom said...

Joe vs The Volcano = BEST MOVIE EVER! Please release on DVD, so I can throw away my VHS. And also, I love Tom and Meg movies. I once had to break up with a guy who did not love Tom and Meg movies...not even kidding.

HEAR YE. I need to document the fact that I ran 3 miles and didn't feel like death.  So just to make sure it wasn't a fluke, I did...