Posted in Cleaning

Starting at a 5

I am a professional organizer. I am also a recovering slob. Yes, they can coexist. I’m GREAT at helping people declutter and organize, coming up with a system to keep them on track etc. Myself, well, I CAN and HAVE done it, it’s just something I’m not great with on a regular basis.

About 6 months ago or so I don’t know what happened.  Really. I think I may have started to read a blog (A Slob Comes Clean) and that kind of helped. We moved the playroom downstairs (and a whole bunch of toys) and that kind of helped. I started running the dishwasher almost every night and that kind of helped. I moved out of the office and into the now-schoolroom and THAT kind of helped. It wasn’t one thing. It wasn’t overnight. And I’m still not perfect.

But I’m better than I was!

The title is part of a phrase I used to my mother in law this morning. I’m hosting Easter, which used to mean a week (or a few really brutal days) of massive cleaning. I started at zero and had to climb my way to company-ready 10. Now, though, for all those reasons listed above, plus others I’m sure, I’m starting at 5. It’s just easier. My desk still is a mess, but since it’s a smaller desk, it’s a smaller mess. And since I’m in the school room, the floor still is clean. The kitchen usually just needs to be mopped (because I’m still lousy at that one!) and maybe have the range cleaned up a bit. But the piles and piles that used to sit on the peninsula just aren’t there. I’m making sure the table gets tidied up most days. I’m keeping on top of the living room. Does it get messy? You Bet! I have three kids who inherited my slobiness (Ethan’s pretty tidy) and tend to leave things wherever in the house they get put down.

When my MIL asked me to host it wasn’t an overwhelming thing. I didn’t hesitate to say yes, because it really is just tidying and running the vacuum. Well, OK, I have to clean the bathrooms because I have three men/boys in the house and Euuuuuuu!

Still. A 5 is way easier than a 0. Trust me on this!

Posted in 7 Quick Takes, Jim, Kids, School

7 Quick Takes Friday

1. Although we are still 5 days away from spring, the weather is already starting it’s-southeastern-PA-it’s-careening-wildly-back-and-forth. In the past week we have had sunny and 60’s (which was incredible) and high 30’s and raining (which wasn’t). Today, high of 51, cloudy and windy, is pretty typical of this time of year. It’s like winter is fighting with spring and we’re not quite sure who is going to win.

2. My youngest, Catie, just turned 10 on Wednesday. That blows me away. The triplets are 11 1/2. How did we get here?

3. We are counting down the days until spring break. 12 day. Oh, the joys of SLEEPING IN. 7:00 is just a magical time to get up, don’t you agree? Especially when it’s compared to 5:30.  Oh, and the 12 days is for the local kids. Ethan starts Friday afternoon, but the rest of them don’t start until the following Wednesday. Can I tell you HOW MANY TIMES we have explained to them that just because he has a longer spring break and different in-service days, EVERYONE has 180 days of school!! ACK!

4. Mid-term grades came out for the middle schoolers. One of said children is not doing especially well. This somewhat cements MY opinion that doing cyber school in the fall is the best way to go. Whether Jim is on board or not, I’m not sure. We haven’t seen much of each other this week with him working so much.

5. About all that work, I’m not complaining. Mostly. It’s just an adjustment to have him working outside of the home when he’s worked FROM home for quite a long time. And he had to work OT on Wednesday, which, if you look up at #2, was Catie’s birthday. It’s the first time he wasn’t home for one and it was actually quite emotionally difficult for me. But short-term sacrifice for long-term gain, right? And being able to pay the mortgage and buy groceries is surprisingly satisfying!

6. Although I am not Catholic, I found myself praying about the conclave. I prayed that the man they chose would truly love God. Pope Francis, what little I’ve heard and read, seems very humble. I hope for some good changes within the Catholic church–especially in relation to the sex scandals and cover ups.

7. Catie has been growing her hair out to donate to Locks of Love. I just read on their website that the hair needs to be 10″ (I thought it was 8). We measured and has still has 3 inches left. Which means months and months of arguing about the knots that are in there every morning. Oh, goody. I know it’s for a good cause, but wow, it’s not fun in the mornings!

Posted in Kids

The Chica Show

Ethan passed muster and will be playing a blind boy named Jimmy on the Chica show! Filming will be the first week in April, but I don’t know when it will be on TV. They are hiring someone to play his mom or dad, which is fine with me. We’re so proud of him!

Posted in 7 Quick Takes, Health, Kids, Vacation

7 Quick Takes Friday


1. I’d love to sit here and say that I haven’t blogged in a week because there was just so much interesting stuff going on that I didn’t have time. The reality, unfortunately, is that Tuesday afternoon I picked Laura up at school. She stayed home with a stomach thing Wednesday and Thursday. Bennett stayed home with the same stomach thing Thursday. Ethan has a fever/congestion/tired virus Wednesday and Thursday. So yeah, I didn’t blog.

2. I’m currently waiting for a call from a producer of the Chica Show. Ethan and I had an audition on Monday for a short part in one of their shows. They needed a blind child. The producer is from the Overbrook area and knew about the school, so she called someone there. That someone called the parent liaison, who then called several girls and us. The audition went really well, surprisingly, but I’m not getting my hopes up. Mostly. Ok, a little bit. It would be a lot of fun to do it and I KNOW that Ethan would have a great time.

3. Jim starts his new contract on Monday. Hallelujah and hear the angels sing!

4. Because of #3, I just made reservations for a summer trip to Beaver Island, which is near the top of Lake Michigan. Jim’s family has  a long history of going there. They have a cabin there, so that’s helpful. Please note, however, we live in southeastern PA. It’s a two-day drive each way, plus a 2.5 hour ferry trip to get from the mainland to the island. Lots of planning and stuff has to happen, but thankfully we have a few months to work everything out.

5. Because of #1’s amount of sickness, I had to postpone Laura and Bennett’s audition at CPFA. Both were actually happy about this, as it allows for more practice time. Laura is having absolute conniptions about singing BY HERSELF in front of people. Which I completely get, because I did a fair amount of trying out in my school days. She is so like me sometimes!!

6. Backstory: Ethan receives free Braille books during the year from different organizations. One of them, Braille Institute, actually sends a small catalog that he gets to choose from. We go through the books and their descriptions and he narrows it down to four and then we order. This time around, two of the books sounded actually pretty good to me. So although he didn’t order them (and it wouldn’t have mattered anyway since I don’t fluently read braille), I got them from our local library. And let me tell you, if you are willing to read YA fiction READ THIS BOOK:

The Emerald Atlas

It was FANTASTIC. I read it in about 2 days–had a hard time putting it down–and am anxiously awaiting Book #2 to get into the library. Book #3 isn’t out yet, so I’m going to have to be patient with that.

7. Did anyone get threatened with the big ‘Saturn storm” like we did and then literally absolutely nothing beyond a little rain? I don’t understand how meteorologists keep their jobs when they are so consistently wrong!