Cleanliness is Happiness

It is true, I am a bit crazy when it comes to cleaning.

Just ask Jeffrey.

When my house is a mess, I just feel disorganized chaos inside and so I am in a constant state of trying to get things clean. That is not to say I am a clean person. I am actually rather messy. But I try hard to keep things neat, so our home has some very interesting dynamics going on. Especially considering my standard of cleanliness is quite a bit higher than a lot of other people's. My mom taught us to work hard and clean hard, and then I was a custodian all through high school, and a bit afterward, so I really know how to clean!

But I am a bit obsessive. I do a fairly good job of keeping the surface areas clean, or the places people will see, all while feeling guilty and anxious inside because I know that even though they can't see it the house is actually a mess. But when the cleaning bug bites me, look out! I go crazy and clean everything in sight until the but wears off, or I crash into my bed from over exhaustion. Last week I was cleaning after I tucked the kids in, and decided to just keep going until I got tired. I deep cleaned. I washed walls, scrubbed the baseboards, mopped, re-arranged, washed spots off the carpet, etc. At 4:30 I still didn't feel tired but decided I should probably go to bed. When I woke up, however, I still felt like cleaning. So I kept going, until I crashed around noon and just began crafting, which made me late for the book club that I was hosting at my house. After that, though, I sort of wore myself out and didn't clean again all weekend. Which eventually, the stress from having a messy house because I wasn't cleaning it, gave me a migraine. Lovely, right?

I guess you could say I am selectively obsessive?

That said, my laundry/craft room has been a nightmare of a mess since September. And the family room gets frightening on a regular basis, but really, I have been so crazy busy, I haven't had a spare moment to just tackle the mess. Which has made my mental state less than ideal. From September until now I have had birthdays and holidays and Primary Program, and school, and the miscarriage and all sorts of stress, impeding me from a good cleaning. Very unfortunate.

Until this week, that is.

Thus far I have had it all week. Monday I cleaned the upstairs which had gotten trashed from my cleaning hiatus over the weekend. I deep cleaned the parts of the house that people don't usually see. My bathroom, bedroom, and Beth's bedroom. I switched out all the upstairs toilet seats and WD-40'd all the doors. Tuesday we did a whole lot of playing with friends, and yet while visiting with Adrienne, I kept cleaning. I began on my mammoth of a basement where it was dangerous to walk. Keith has gotten cut on his foot twice now from just walking through the family room. It is that bad.

I cleaned until 3 this morning, and I got my laundry/craft room clean! You can walk in it now. Things can be created or washed in there now, yo! And, I started a new book last night after I had finished as much as I could do and I was waiting to switch a load of wash before I went to bed. I decided it is high time I read Catcher in the Rye, so there you have it. Hopefully I can give a report on it next week.
After doing the whole run around dropping kids off at school, and rushing to the store because I forgot to buy milk the last time I was there, and then falling to peer pressure and joining a friend at JoAnn's which is Targets smooth talking crafty cousin who gets you to buy things you don't need but want, and makes you feel awesome as you are walking out of the store with projects in mind, but like a complete slacker 3 years later when said project hasn't even begun. After all that, I was finally able to get down to buid'ness again. I sorted through the Christmas/Halloween/St. Patrick's/Valentine/Winter/Easter boxes and organized them. Things had just been thrown in willy nilly, combining and mixing things up so nothing could actually be found. Also, all the dress ups and stuffed animals were intermingling with the high brow decor society and I had to break up a few parties, banishing the dress ups and animals back to their box in the corner where they could glare at me and quietly protest the segregation.

I ended up with 4 Christmas bins, 4 Halloween bins, and small boxes for the rest of the decor. It isn't hard to tell which holidays we favor, is it? I moved all the decor out to the shed and ended with a grand total of 13 boxes of decorations. And I am now so excited for more holidays to come up because I will get to use my fun decorations! But getting all that chaos sorted and organized was lie a spring breeze blowing through my stuffy mess blocked heart. And when I got all of that out and organized in the shed, it was like I became a new woman.

I cannot even begin to explain the relief and tranquility that is now residing in my heart. Tonight after Jeffrey and I did a last cleaning sweep of the kitchen before retiring to bed, I stopped in the doorway and looked around. The knowledge that my house is clean is probably one of the best feelings ever! We were talking about how nice it is, and I realized a slight problem. I don't really know what to do with myself tomorrow.

And then I remembered.

I will always have Faye's room.

Even if we clean it, the very next day it will look as if it were inhabited by her evil twin who is part slovenly hoarder and part ferret. That is her talent. In the twinkling of an eye, any room in which Faye is playing, no matter how clean it may be at the start, can be transformed to appear as if it were struck by a natural disaster.

And so, I am reveling in the fact that my house, for the moment, feels like it has been visited by Mr. Clean, and I finally have some peace.

Until tomorrow.

Today while Keith was practicing the piano, he was telling me that he is learning how to type. He has learned "home row," except he told me that he has to put a 'T" in every word he types. 

"Because if I don't, it just doesn't feel like a real word." 

I asked him "what about the word 'hand'?" 

"I am only on home row, Mom. I haven't gotten that far yet."

That kid cracks me up.

Faye, on the other hand, is growing up way too fast.

Last week while I was playing the piano, Faye came and sat next to me on the bench. She looked so small and sweet, smiling and leaning her head against my arm as I practiced Beethoven. While I paused to go over a more difficult part, she said, "Mom! I can sound like a cheerleader. Want to hear?"

I smiled and encouraged her to go ahead.

She took a deep breath, tossed her head loftily and with an amazing amount of aloofness said "Psh. Whatever!"

I hope she gets all of her teenage angst out before she actually means it.

Over the weekend I was working on the computer in my room when they walked in giggling. I asked them what was up and Keith said "I am the bottom and Faye is the top."

Confused, I asked for clarification, and they informed me that they were being Daddy. Keith was going to be the bottom, and Faye the top. I laughed and told them to let me know how it worked out for them.

Five minutes later they came back to my room and said "Hey, Amy. How is your day going?" I looked up to see Keith wearing Jeffrey's pajama pants, pulled up to his shoulders. Faye was wearing Jeffrey's t-shirt and a hat, and was sitting on Keith's shoulders. 

After they saw that I saw them, they could no longer contain their hilarity and fell onto the bed, the three of us belly laughing. I love how creative they are!

Beth of course is an adorable little angel. She is 18 months and is now wanting to potty train. 

Gosh, I love that girl! We are having intermittent success, but that may be more so my fault. I need to be more dedicated and focused to help her. But the fact that she loves to sit on the potty really gives me high hopes that she will be my fastest potty training baby. And yes, I am bragging. Fingers crossed anyway.


Oh I remember your cleaning :p I still have nightmares! I have two messy and one very neat child. I'm thinking instead of making Cally suffer I might room Harm and Rach together.

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