Archive for the cleaning Category

The Dangers of Cleaning Day

August 10, 2013

Cleaning Day…the mere suggestion invokes whining, crying and fear in the eyes of my children. It’s a sure-fire way to ensure a day of fighting, anger, upset stomachs, dire thirst, sleepiness and sudden illness.

Today was deemed Cleaning Day at the House of M.O.M. Oh, the torture! Apparently I had not properly prepared them for the journey of strife they were about to embark on. But I pushed them forward anyway. Such horrendous tasks as; dusting, vacuuming, dishes, putting clothes away, making beds, dismanteling the dilapidated trampoline, sweeping, and wiping down the bathroom, were distributed as evenly as possible. But no matter the distribution, each task was deemed “unfair” by it’s doer.

Ultimately, horrors were endured through each task. Lex, found a stuffed toy, left over from his older siblings, that will surely envoke nightmares. Po, the Teletubbie isn’t safe for children to view. Teeth…TEETH were found on the floor! A sure sign of the life lost from previous, unknown children who were told to clean! And worst of all, Lex came to me with a bloody nose. He came running and screaming Max’s name. Of course, I took this to mean that Max had, unjustly, put his hands on Lex and injured him. I sent Max to his room and brought a wet cloth to Lex, who then said, “It’s my fault. When I was trying to tie his legs together…” Guess who’s got an extra chore!

Somehow, I will continue to push them through the day. Counseling my be needed, but the house will be cleaner. And someday, when they no longer live under my roof, they can leave their home unclean and untidy and share the story of this horrible day, from atop a pile of filth and forgotten items, while a film crew from Hoardering, Buried Alive,  works their way through the cluttered and unlivable rooms. Or perhaps, just maybe, they will learn something and take it into adulthood and I will have done my job.

Cleaning Day…a dangerous undertaking indeed!

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Afternoon chores-Excuses and Answers

September 20, 2012

The kids are doing chores (not so unusual) and have been asked to do things that they don’t normally do. This is because Tristan is needed outside to help Clayton with the yard. Tristan needed to learn to edge and use the blower. So Max was asked to unload the dishwasher. After a great deal of fussing and running away, he finally went into the kitchen and did it. When I pulled a large spoon out from the cupboard that holds the plastic lids and replaced bowls where they were supposed to be, he watched and then says, “So with all those mistakes, I guess you better not have me do THIS job again.”
My answer-”Actually, it means you need more practice.” He got very shlumpy at my answer.

Next, Gabi was asked to vacuum. She looks at me, throws herself on the ground and says, “I don’t EVEN KNOW HOW to vacuum!!!!”.
My answer-”That’s ok. The vacuum knows how. You just push it along.”

Dishes are unloaded, the floors are vacuumed, the yard is edged and blown clean and the kids are outside while I finish making dinner. And now I have 3 kiddos trained on new chores. Success!

Doing the Dance of the Children~

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Mouse Tales

February 15, 2010

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A day of working in the house became a day that neither my kids or I will ever forget.

It’s not often that there’s an entire day to work around this house, uninterrupted by kids’ sports or play dates, errands or unplanned outings. But the other day, that’s exactly what I had. I started doing laundry, load after load and bustling around, cleaning out cabinets and organizing shelves. After a couple of hours, I noticed that my kitchen window was fogging up. I immediately thought that the dryer hose must have come undone. I gave a quick peek over the back of the dryer and discovered that I was right. I turned the dryer off, unplugged it and grabbed the broom. Heck, if I was going behind the dryer, we were gonna get it clean! First I swept in front of and under the washer and dryer, got a good sized pile of lint, sand and socks, pulled the dryer out and hopped behind it. I picked up the dryer hose and noticed a collection of lint inside of it. I turned it over to shake it out and sure enough, plenty of lint and MOUSE DROPPINGS came tumbling out! I’m pretty sure I yelled and then just started babbling nonsense. But among the terror-filled nonsense were the words, “I don’t want to do this! I don’t want to do this! This is NOT good! THIS IS NOT GOOD!!!!!” Mariah came running into the laundry room, looked at my terror-stricken face and then peeked over to see what I was yelling…and crying about. She got a smug look on her face and just said, “ohhhhhh”.

Suddenly I realized that I was standing in a corner, with mouse droppings and the open hole to the back of the dryer that could be where a mouse or mice were lurking. Jumping! Quickly! to the top of the washer! I continued crying and trying to think. I yelled for Mariah to bring me the vacuum. I knew that I had to clean up the lint and droppings and reattach the hose. FREAKING OUT! Crying! Trying to be logical and knowing that I had NO CHOICE but to continue the job. I sat on top of the dryer until Mariah brought me the vacuum. I hopped in front of the washer and dryer and decided that I’d start by cleaning up the pile of lint, sand and socks I’d swept up. I’d get my head around the droppings and lint afterward. I turned on the vacuum and through wracking, freaked-out sobs, used the hose to begin the clean up. after a few seconds something blocked the end of the hose. SOMETHING BLOCKED THE END OF THE HOSE!!!!! It took a second for my brain to register what my eyes were seeing. Well, if I was sobbing and incoherent before, you can only imagine what was being shouted when I realized that a dead mouse was stuck to the end of the vacuum hose. Mariah says it was something like, “s#*t!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”, repeatedly. I knew that if I turned off the vacuum I’d have to sweep the mouse up, so I yelled (lots of yelling during this!) for her to bring the trash can from the kitchen. I then held the hose over the trash can and turned it off, letting the mouse fall into the can. Tristan was immediately summoned to remove the bag of trash.

I couldn’t go any further at this point. I was so upset and knew that I had no choice but to go back and finish the job. But I needed a minute of private freaking out before going back. I went to my room and became disgusted with the thought that my clothes had mouse dust on them. I quickly stripped out of the tainted clothing and put on another set of work clothes, made two frantic phone calls, pulled myself together as best I could and went back to the laundry room.

God bless Mariah!!!! She had vacuumed up all the lint and droppings from the back of the dryer. THANK YOU!!!!! That is, until I realized that we’d been using the BAG-LESS Vacuum. I swear I’ll deal with that soon. Swear! *Shaking and making a very unattractive face*.

Ok, so…the floor was clean and the mouse was gone. Now to reattach the hose. I, once again, became very upset at the thought of climbing back there and facing the hole to the dryer. I finally just went next door and asked our neighbor for assistance. Being a girl has it’s advantages! There is DEFINITELY a time and place to play dumb and I chose THAT moment. Good ol’ Mr. Mike came right over and took care of the dryer hose. The instant that his boots were inside the front door, the kiddos started telling him the tale of Mommy’s freak out and the mouse I had found. Luckily, it didn’t phase him one bit. He just laughed and said, “Yup, those critters like it in there”.

After 2 glasses of wine and cleaning the laundry room floor with Lysol wipes, I was able to breathe normally again.

And that, my friends, is my Mouse Tale.

Then End~

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Mommy of Many-Morning Short

November 23, 2009

You know the laundry is officially out-of-control when you don’t need the step ladder to reach the supplies on the shelf. Instead, I simply climbed the pile of clothes and grabbed what I needed. And THIS is AFTER 5 loads were done today.

Laundry Fairy, where are you?

Have a great day~

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Saturday

August 29, 2009

It’s 8 am on Saturday and the whole day is in front of me. The kids have only been up for an hour and I got to have 2 hours of quiet, alone time to greet the day and enjoy the fresh, quiet, crispness of the morning. Now to get going and tackle the list of things that must be done today.

I have 2 events at my house this week which means extra cleaning, organizing and prepping. It means the lawn must be mowed and the back patio swept. I’m looking around at the hand prints on the patio sliding door and the smudges on the cupboards. Come on! I’ve cleaned those spots a million + times since living in this house! I’m just feeling tired of cleaning the very same things over and over again! Ok, dishes and laundry I understand. We don’t want to be eating off of icky dishes or wearing smelly clothes. I’ve tried the paper plate route, but they get pricey for a group this size. So, the dishes will continue to get washed, but the baseboards?! The refrigerator door handle?! The inside of the microwave?! The shower door?! I’m really wishing that one, good cleaning or faked blindness could cure these constant issues!

As much as I’d like to ignore these things, I know myself and I’d go nuts letting people into my house without first getting them done. So, off I go to wipe down the patio door and the kitchen counters, once again, knowing that the little ones are right behind me, fingerprints at the ready!

Have a great day~

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Oh! You Want to Meet at MY HOUSE?!

June 3, 2009

So, today’s been an exciting day! 

I found out that the executive editor and founder of Military Spouse Magazine was in town for a few days and I decided to email her to let her know that if she finds a few extra minutes that I’d love to meet her.  I’ve been writing for the Magazine since January and thought it would be great to meet her in person.  She got back to me saying that she does have a little free time and would love to get together.  Great!  I told her to let me know where and when and I’d make it happen.  She asked for my address. MY ADDRESS!  Oh, so you want to meet at my house?!  My house that has the doors and windows open to air out the burnt smell because Max tried to make his own quesadilla in the microwave, for 5 minutes!  My house, with the boxes that are still not unpacked, in the dining room!  My house with the kitchen full of dishes because I was at an event last night and the designated dish-doer for the week went to bed, thinking I wouldn’t notice!  My house, with the marshmallows on the kitchen floor because Gabi and Lex became impatient with me and decided not to wait for the hot chocolate and went ahead and started with the marshmallows!  My house with the dirty bathroom that designated bathroom-cleaner decided to ignore!  My house with the messy back yard because it’s been grey and rainy in San Diego!  

I happily emailed my address and GOT TO WORK!!!!  My strategy was to clean so that it looked CLEAN, but still like we live here.  You know, not clean like the cleaning lady (which by-the-way I do not have) was just here.  This is more of a Dance than one might think!  So, bathroom-clean. Dishes-done (but not the hand-washing items b/c after-all….we live here AND I’m not about to let designated dish-doer come home from school to ALL the dishes done!). Laundry-going and the rest of it is neatly in the laundry area. Rug-vacuumed (everything always looks cleaner with vacuum lines on the carpet). Front room-dusted. Back yard-pulled a little Smoke and Mirrors on this one…..I decided to close the shades so that the light still comes in but you can’t really see outside.  So, I’m as ready as I’m gonna be.  If you’re in the area, stop by because it’s lookin pretty good and I’m up for company!

I’ll let you know how the visit goes.

Have a great day~

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Live and Learn…..

May 27, 2009

Last night I came into the kitchen to find bubbles pouring out of the dishwasher.  I knew right away that Maddi had put liquid dishsoap into the washer.

~Sigh~

This is one of those lessons that each of the kids seem to need to learn on their own.  So, I called her in, turned off the washer and handed her a bucket and a cup and told her to start baling out the bubbles and water.  To her credit, she did a great job of cleaning it all up and the dishes were extra clean by the time they got washer properly.

Had to laugh though because it was reminiscent of a movie scene.

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Maddi, keeping her sense of humor and blowing the bubbles

Good night~

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Remodel=Rethink

April 28, 2009

Now that the house is all clean and fresh and new, I’m having a hard time wanting to put anything back into it!  I like that I can walk through the living room and not have anything to pick up.  I like not worrying that I’m going to trip over something in the hall.  I look at my freshly painted walls and hesitate putting any nails up for pictures.  I don’t want to move the worn furniture back in on top of the new carpet.  They kids have been eating on the dining room floor and when they’re done all we have to do is pick up the plates and walk them to the kitchen.  There’s no table to clear and no chairs to wipe down.  I LOVE IT!  ~sigh~ I KNOW I have to start moving back in and unpacking all the books and pictures etc. but it’s just so nice not to have all the work that goes with all the THINGS.  We dejunked as we packed, but I’m seeing a WHOLE LOT more dejunking.  What do we REALLY need?  A million books that no one has read in years…..300 movies that get popped out of their cases and lie on the floor…..too many shoes…..art work that we’ve admired since the day that budding artist brought it home?  Some serious rethinking of what’s going back into this house is going on.  

Wish me luck on the strength to follow through!

Have a great day~

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Mommy of Many-Quick Cleaning Tip

March 21, 2009

 

The Spring Cleaning Bug bit me today and I’ve been scrubbing the kitchen like it hasn’t been scrubbed in…….oh, let’s see…..a year!  But all this cleaning and scrubbing brought me to a moment of wanting to share a quick reminder about cleaning.

When cleaning, start at the top and move down.  Geesh!  This is something we all know, but I could have used a reminder!  I looked at the floor and thought, “I’m going to tackle this kitchen today.”  After the floor I started the counters, the stove and the cupboards.  Guess what?!  It’s time to do the floor again!

Happy Spring Cleaning to all~

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I Should Have Known!

January 22, 2009

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I really should have seen it coming!  Anytime I’m on-the-ball enough to have dinner in the crock pot by 9 am, I really should expect a disaster!  

The day went along very smoothly and I was feeling GREAT!  I patted myself on the back for how well things were going and for having dinner planned out and the little kids happily, helping in the kitchen.  We went through most of the day without a  hitch.  Then, as I was coming back from the afternoon pick up, I got a phone call from Arianna that the floor felt slippery and she didn’t know how to clean it up.  ”No problem, I’m almost home and I’ll see what it is and take care of it”.

2 hours later, I was still in my grubbies, on hands and knees, scrubbing doors, walls and floors.  Luke-Xavier had found a spray bottle of orange oil that I use for the dinning table and had liberally sprayed it on any surface he came in contact with.  Really, who can blame him?!  It smelled SO good and made everything all shiny!  Ah, the mind of a 2 yr. old.  Well, you’re all invited over, ’cause everything is sparkling clean and smells like fresh, squeezed oranges…..even me!

 

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Have a great day~

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The Gray Elephant: A Story of Deception……….

February 12, 2008

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Some of us have the theoretical Elephant looming in the corners of our home. At our house we actually HAVE the darn thing taking up space and staring at us on a daily basis. Since Clay’s getting ready to deploy and we’re in the mode of cleaning up and clearing out, we decided to get on each side of the darn thing and wrestle it out of the house.

What the heck am I talking about?!………………Well, it started as one of those Smoke and Mirrors moments where I was trying to find the quickest and easiest way to clear off the counters and tidy up before someone came over. I had been working on paperwork and knew that I wanted everything together so that I could easily pull it back out and start again, after company left. Ah ha! The big, gray bin in the garage would be perfect! So, I hauled the bin into the house and swept everything I was working on into it (along with a few counter tops), closed the lid and wheeled it to my room (yup, it’s so large that it has wheels). This all worked out just fine for several months. I’d load up the Gray Elephant with everything that was unsightly and then pull it back out to work on it. Until………………..the first time I didn’t go back and unload it. Well, it just snowballed from there. It started being a regular resident of my room and finally, on one of those occasions that Clay cleaned out and tidied up our room, he said, “NO MORE GRAY ELEPHANT IN THE BEDROOM”. So, I found an empty wall to park it next to and all the while I kept “hiding” papers and junk in it. The kids started using it as a step-stool to reach my white board! After too many times of rewriting the “very important” things back on the white board, I wheeled it into the laundry room. Ugh! The laundry room isn’t very big and we have a TON of laundry, so maneuvering around the Gray Elephant became difficult. If we needed to get into a cupboard, it was I who had to push the beast out of the way. He was just too heavy for the kids to move. But, I kept ignoring the beast and enjoying my cleared counters. It started to nag at me that there had been projects that I had deemed important that were lying in the bottom of the beast but that I couldn’t remember what they were. I would quickly quiet the nagging voice with whatever task was at hand. But the day of reckoning came. It was inevitable. You can’t live with an elephant looming in your corners forever. So, Clay asked a friend from work if he and his girlfriend would come take the little kiddos and entertain them while we opened and disposed of the beast. Saturday was our day!

It took us 4 hours and we removed 5 bags of garbage (yes FIVE bags!). We’re not talking brown, paper, garbage bags, but the full-sized white, plastic garbage bags for lining the kitchen trash, size! Then we unloaded a whole TON of pictures. I kept saying,”where did these all come from?”. Then we unloaded a bag (just the brown, paper kind from the grocery store) of things that needed to be shredded. Finally we ended up with 1/2 a table-top of papers that need attending to. Whew!

The beast is dead!

So, while I believe in Smoke and Mirrors I also need to remember that a dog is the only animal we can comfortably keep in our home! But what to do with that big, gray bin? I think it’s going to be a perfect place to store sleeping bags. :-)

So today, people, I challenge you to look around and find the elephant that may be looming in your house and lead it out, shut the door and never let it back in! :-)

Good night~

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Tip of the Day (and a question)

January 25, 2008

Using sidewalk chalk in the bath/shower may seem like a good idea when your children are house-bound (2 days of “heavy” rain in So. Cal.)

But……………..it’s NOT!

While the kids did enjoy writing on the shower walls, it took me over an hour to get the area pictured below, clean. Geesh!

The only positive thing about the whole experience is knowing FOR SURE, that my tub and walls are clean! :-)
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While I was in there scrubbing, I was thinking about the bath toys. We’ve had several systems for bath toys over the years. But I haven’t found one, yet that keeps the toys from eventually getting mungy. Does anyone have a FABULOUS bath toy system? ‘Cuz, as you can see, we are down to a few toys that just sit on the edge of the tub. Not so much fun for the kiddos, but at least I can keep them clean and dry.

Let me know.

Good night~

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Why?

December 17, 2007

Surfing the ironing board

This morning’s question is “why”. As I try to start the day, I look around and that’s the only thing I can say without pulling my hair out and running away.

Why: Do eggs HAVE to be smashed in a baby’s/toddler’s hair?

Why: Does the dog think she has child status and insist on being at my feet at all times?

Why: Does the house stink?

Why: Doesn’t the laundry EVER look like it’s getting done?

Why: Do the kids tear the house apart, room-by-room before leaving for school?

Why: Do I have 14 (literally) projects to get completed before tomorrow?

Why: Can’t Luke-Xavier sit in his highchair peacefully instead of acting like a caged and crazed animal?

Why: Does Gabi think that everything in the house belongs to her?

Why: Didn’t the dishes get washed last night?

Why: Do I have a million/zillion socks spread across my living room without mates?

Why: Didn’t the kids take ALL the trash down to the road for the “Sanitary Disposal Specialist” to pick up?

Why: Do my older kids, who are home for Christmas break, think they are guests and don’t have to pitch in?

Why: Do the little ones screech like children left alone in the wild, when I sit down at the computer?

Why: Is it so hard to get through to the Dr.?

Why: Can’t I have a day with 150 hours in it?

Have a good day~

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Mommy of Many Show #6: Child Guided House Cleaning

December 9, 2007

This week I share the kids’ idea of how I should be cleaning the house. I decided to let them guide me instead of fighting against them to do things my way. It all went pretty well.Thank you for visiting the site and for sharing you comments and stories. Remember to check back for daily blog and every Sunday I release a new show. You can always reach me with questions or comments at; Jen@MommyofMany.com.

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Three Amazing Products I Can’t Live Without

November 24, 2007


As in any house, I use many cleaning products to get the job done.  But there are 3 things that I can not live without.  

1. Mr. Clean Magic Eraser-This product is perfectly named, because it IS magic!  I am able to clean textured wall, appliance handles, porous countertops, and cabinet fronts like I was never able to before.  I discovered the “Magic Eraser” about 3 1/2 years ago while in the commissary.  I had heard of it and decided to give it a try.  So, I bought a 2-pack and tried them on the appliance handles when I got home.  I quickly moved on to the hall walls.  By then I was out of “Magic Erasers” and stopped a neighbor who was on her way to the commissary and gave her $20 to get me as many as she could.  I’ve never looked back!  There have been some emails that have gone around about children getting “burns” on their skin from using the product.  I’m wondering if these are children who have a skin sensitivity to begin with, because my children have all (and I do mean ALL) used the product either to clean an area of the house that they were assigned to, or if it was one of the littler ones, to “clean” along side me and have never had a problem.  So, it’s probably best to be careful if you’re unsure about skin reactions in your own children, but as an adult I can’t say enough about the amazing ability of this product to get rid of deep-down grime!  

2. Shout Color Catchers-Laundry became so much easier after I found out about this product!  I used to sort all the colors in combos like; red and pink, black and dark blue, etc. Of course there were always strange combinations that I wasn’t really sure what to do with .  The Color Catcher takes the fuss out of it all.  You just through a Color Catcher sheet in with your wash (I’ve used 1/2 a sheet on older clothes that I don’t think are going to bleed and have used 2 sheets with new, red items) and it “catches” all the stray dye that is in the water.  The sheets come out in amazing colors!  You can find them on the laundry isle.  I recommend never doing another load of colored laundry without them!  I know I won’t.   

3. Clorox Bleach Pen-I love being able to control exactly where the bleach ends up!  3 of my kiddos wear white, uniform shirts to school.  That means there’s a lot of bleaching that happens.  This product is great for just touching up the exact spot that needs it.  I also use it on the grout in the kitchen counters.  It gets in and cleans out the stains better than anything else I’ve found.  This is definitely not a product that I would let the kiddos use, because it is bleach and could be harmful to their skin, clothing, etc.  But, I am a huge fan.  

Alright, those are 3 amazing things that make it possible for me to feel like the house is liveable.  If you have a great product that you rely on, I’d love to hear about it and give it a try. 

Have a great night~  

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