Thursday, July 24, 2008

House Cleaning

Since our family is leaving for vacation on Saturday, I have spent the week cleaning house and preparing for our trip. We had already cleaned out a lot for our yard sale so that made the cleaning I've done this week easier (or not - easy is not a word I usually associate with cleaning). Has anyone ever noticed how hard it is to clean with children around? Don't get me wrong - I love my children dearly and I will accept a messy/cluttered house in order to spend precious time with them. As the song says "you're gonna miss this" meaning the time our children are little, not time spent cleaning a house. But, I want my house to be in order when we leave because I know everything that will await me when we return (unpacking, more laundry, preparing for the beginning of the school year, etc.).
My children have a hard time staying entertained while I clean - probably has nothing to do with the fact that they have been the center of my world since the day they were born. It is so easy for them (and all children) to get into mischief when adults are distracted. On Monday, while I was cleaning in the kitchen Mikayla asked to get in the bathtub. I agreed and helped her run a little bit of water and went back to cleaning the kitchen (all the while keeping an eye and an ear on her of course). While she was in the tub, Drew was anxiously awaiting his turn. I told him after I washed Mikayla's hair she would be ready to get out. I walked back into the kitchen and could hear them laughing and playing and just thought Drew was keeping her entertained while she waited on me. Wrong - I walked back into the bathroom to find them both in the tub, and it was filled with stuffed figures and baby dolls. More cleaning for mom...
Then on Tuesday I was folding clothes in the living room and noticed how quiet they had gotten - when it's quiet always go to check. I walked into Mikayla's room to find them both innocently watching TV. For some reason her blankets were all pulled out into her floor. Upon further inspection I found that the floor was wet and after questioning them found out they were using the blankets to dry up bubbles that had been spilt. More laundry for mom...
Then on Wednesday, I go to hang up some of Mikayla's clothes in her walk - in closet only to find that it is no longer "walk-in". They had pulled her stuffed animals from the shelf and baby dolls from her chest and Drew had even brought in some (lots) of toys from his room to fill the closet. When I asked what they were doing he tells me they were making a boat. I'm so glad my children are creative, independent, and seem to have healthy imaginations. I'm just thankful that today I was able take 2 steps forward without taking a step back to take care of something else they had "uncleaned" while I was cleaning - if only tomorrow goes just as smoothly...
I have managed some major cleaning this week even with all of the "backstepping":
Bathrooms clean - check
Kids' rooms clean - check
Laundry complete (well until tomorrow anyway) - check (those who know me well would think this was a miracle in itself)
carpets shampooed - check
Kitchen clean - check
Living room clean - check
When I say clean, I'm not just talking about the usual weekly cleaning- this is more like spring cleaning with closets being cleaned out, etc. Craig cleaned out my van tonight after he got home from work. With the exception of our bedroom we are squeaky right now. If only it would last...

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