Monday, September 28, 2009

Betty Wouldn't Use the Coat Hanger!

Way back in the day, when I used to be A Real Blogger (much different than the crappy blogger I am now), I had a secret. Odd for someone who spent her time telling all her secrets to the big and vast Internet, but I had one.

My children? They are homeschooled.

There. I said it. What's funny about this, especially if you don't know me or never read any of my old blogs, is that I'm not exactly a cool, relaxed mama. I don't treat every moment with my children like a Moment of Zen; I have no intention to scrapbook first poops or do finger plays (whatever they are) or read aloud Dickens to my children.

No, the other day, I let them watch Dora and called it a Spanish lesson. Just to prove it, I recently, out of the blue, looked at my daughter and said "Say backpack in Spanish!" and she answered "mochilla."

Sweet baby Jesus, my child is a genius I tell you.

(In other news, I have planted the Dora seeds of doubt in her mind. "Why is she hanging around with a talking monkey?" My daughter's eyes grew as big as saucers as she pondered that information.)

Besides the fact that I'm training my children to grow up to be socially inept weirdos who are unable to breathe through their noses, having kids at home all day can cramp your style. Especially if you're trying to be Betty Crocker, not Mommy Dearest.

My keeping them sheltered from the world for my sick pleasure homeschooled was one of the reasons I decided to change my life. There was no way I could have these two around all day when the living room was a mess, we were eating breakfast at noon and the toilet had a red ring around it!

The horror! I didn't want my children growing up like slobs, and if they stayed home with me, they were going to have a PhD in "How Not to Live Your Life." (Lesson #1: Do not blog about your life. Or other people's lives. Lesson 2: Peanut butter is not a food group.)

A surprising thing has happened in the past month or how long this has been going house is staying clean. Sure, there are still Hot Wheels cars all over the floor, but they're much easier to pick up than trying to do that in addition to picking up 100 headless, naked barbies, cleaning paint off the ground and facing a sink full of dishes.

Life is becoming much more managable now.

And, thanks to a couple of Glade Plug-Ins, I can happily walk into my house and know that it smells like "Autumn Harvest," not death, poop or old people.

Ain't life grand?

Thursday, September 24, 2009

I'm Not Crapping My Pants

I hear that some Moms always tell their children to wear clean underwear in case they get in an accident. You know, say one day you're walking down the street and BAM, a car runs into you. You have to go to the hospital as you are now missing an arm.

The paramedics are cutting off your clothes and then, uh oh, you're wearing your dirty skivvies. They all laugh. They laugh so hard they can't reattach your arm.

And then you die.

I personally like to wear clean underwear so that I don't stink like a dirty sailor...or in case Dr. Derek Shephard is the attending surgeon when I go to Seattle Grace for my brain tumor. I hear hot attending surgeons need to know that you're wearing clean drawers.

Good gravy...where am I going with this?

So, clean skivvies. You keep them clean, just in case. That's the same thing with my house. I've come up with a whole new thinking that helps me keep my house clean: What if I die tomorrow and my family has to come to my house to help out?

Do I want them to remember Dead Betty by her dust bunnies and unwashed clothes? NO! I want them to see my nice and clean house and feel at ease while they plan for the large memorial for me.

(Death references at two, so far.)

In case I don't drop dead any time soon, it is also important to keep your house clean in case someone stops by. No one ever stops by my house except for these crazy guys who are always selling meat from their truck. I don't trust truck meat, so I finally told them I was a vegeterian and shut the door.

But! You never know. You just never know if someone is going to show up to hang out just like you never know if someone is going to run you over on the street.

(Death reference: three.) cleaning finally payed off! Just after 11,  we were finishing cleaning up lunch when the door bell rang. My kids, the loons they are, screamed "DELIVERY" and took off running. I ran after them, assuming Meat Truck Guy had shown up once again. There, to my surprise, was my neighbor.

She was in her pajamas and I heard something that sounded like "phone." Honestly, it took a couple of takes before I finally figured out she was locked out of the house and her 1-year-old was still inside.

Luckily, the kid was happily watching Elmo. In fact, she probably shut her out just to get extra time with that red furball on crack.

So she came in and my house was in pretty darn good shape. A few toys out, but that was about it. And I got to say "oh sorry about the mess, we were just finishing up lunch."

And it felt good.

In fact, so good, that I'm going to make sure I always wear pretty panties now...just in case. Because if I can have a clean house and someone I know knocks on the door unexpectedly....then hell must be freezing over.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Curious Case of the Pumice Stone in the Toilet

My husband and I have resided in three different states in the seven years we've been married. We moved to North Carolina the day we got back from our honeymoon. Two years to the week, we moved to Texas. We managed to stay in Texas for over four years before life shifted and we arrived in Arizona.

With each state move, we've had to learn a lot of different things. We've learned street names (including the Arizona ones that are all in Spanish-- hooray for high school Spanish class), which grocery stores to visit and which restaurants you should generally avoid unless you enjoy vomiting in the middle of the night.

I've also learned a thing or two about potties, showers and water.

When we moved to Arizona, I found a crazy thing happening: a ring around the toilet, even though I constantly scrubbed the thing!

Turns out, that reddish ring we see in the toilet (and also the red stains that can show up in the shower, as we often had in North Carolina) are caused by Hard Water. Hard Water is water that has excess minerals in it. Why it has excess, I have no idea.

I'm sure Suzanne "colonic queen" Summers would have a way to remove them. 

I tried EVERYTHING to get rid of these stains: scrubbing, Borax, pouring bleach into the toilet (yes, I know. I KNOW) and even praying to the Sweet Baby Jesus to please make my toilet pretty.

Nothing worked.

Then, I went to my friend, the Internet...and it told me all about hard water stains and how you have to use a bit of elbow grease...and a pumice stone. For those of you who aren't down with the girlie things, pumice stones are used to rub callouses off your stanky feet.

They're also used to rub stains out of the crapper.

So, one evening, after I finished my dinner, I went to the bathroom, yellow rubber gloves and pumice stone in tow. (Notice I said after I finished my dinner. Everyone else was still eating. My daughter always asks why I eat so fast and, dear child, it is because I don't spend half the meal walking around, filling up glasses full of ice and complaining that my brother looked at me the wrong way.)

I got to business. I scrubbed. I scrubbed even harder. I felt my elbow go completely out from scrubbing. But, still, I soldiered on.

At the end, I had a completely beautiful toilet once again. Never shall I ever be slave to a red ring around the toilet! Never shall I try to pour bleach into the bowl!

So I rinsed both the pumice stone and gloves off and placed them in the drying rack in the sink. It seemed like a good place to me. They needed to dry; it was a drying rack.

Oh, but no. My husband. He freaks out. All of a sudden he's all "I can't believe you put a pumice stone in my dish drainer when it has been in the toilet."

I think I mumbled something under my breath that those who do not scrub the toilet do not get to whine, but I don't think he could hear me. I just kept hearing squeals and shrieks and "so nasty" as he scrubbed my sink.

The next morning, my son finds said pumice stone in the garage. I take it from him and place it in the laundry room, for the next time I have to use it to clean a toilet.

And, husband, please do not worry. I shall not use the dish drainer as a place to dry it.

I shall use your pillow.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Having my mixed beverage and drinking it, too.

Several months ago, upon the the reccomendation of (cough cough, whisper) Gwyneth Paltrow (end whisper), I read a book called Spent. It was all about how not to be tired anymore! In fact, you could be happy and fabulous and possibly grow up to look like Gwyneth Paltrow.

Say what you must, but I'd take Gwyneth over my sad little frumpy state any day.

So I read the book. Here were three of the main tenets: No sugar. No alcohol. No caffeine.

I laughed my butt off at numbers two and three. No alcohol OR caffeine? Surely you jest. Nobody actually does they? And...why would I? Those two things help me when I'm feeling Spent.

But, I decided that I'd try the whole no sugar thing. After reading the book, I felt I could at least give it a try. My life, at that point, had become one big nap. All I ever felt like doing was sleeping. Everyone kept yelling THYROID at me, but it always checked out perfectly normal. There had to be something else. There had to be another way.

Note: When I say I felt sleepy, I don't mean the "oh I can take a nap" sleepy. I'm talking about CRAZY tired. I call these my "tin foil hat days," days where I'm completely unable to function at all. Most of the time, I was incredibly grumpy, and I was sure the world was out to get me.

On tin foil hat days, you could find me rocking back and forth in a closet, ranting about who really killed JFK.

The first three days were brutal. I just felt horrible. I remember standing in line at the grocery store, totally in a No Sugar Bad Mood and thinking to myself "just get through three days. One more day." And I did...and then, I felt better.

While I still have two triggers that make me incredibly sleepy (stress and heat), I don't feel as run-down all the time. But what about alcohol? You see...I like to make mixed drinks. I'm not a beer person. But...most of those mixed drinks were so full of sugar, they seemed as if I were licking lollypops.

Granted, they were vodka-laced lollypops, but you get the idea. 

Then I came up with a magical solution: ALL NATURAL ORANGE JUICE! Mixed with Vodka! Not from concentrate!

So, now when I pull out my Simply Orange juice along with my vodka, I don't feel as if I'm loading myself up with added sugar. (Natural sugars do not count.) I can almost say I'm doing something good for my health, as it has CALCIUM included.

Calcium! For strong bones! Who doesn't need strong bones?

The best part of all this, besides not being sleepy, still enjoying alcohol and getting in an extra source of calcium into my diet? I've managed to keep those 10 pounds I lost off.

Sure, I may not be Gwyneth skinny, but perhaps if she had a cocktail or two, she could totally lose that constipated look she spots in photos.

Monday, September 14, 2009

How It All Began

There's always been things about life that I just ASSUMED would happen. When you're a child, you assume you'll grow up, get a decent paying job and hopefully, live a better life than your parents-- at least, financially. Well, unless your dad is a multi-billionaire, then you'd just have to hope you could squeeze by on a few millions until the geezer kicks the bucket.

I assumed I'd have a good job. I even hoped, though I can't really say I assumed, to have a good marriage. (Honestly, I always thought I'd end up a cat lady. Sometimes I'm still surprised I was lucky enough to get married to a Cool Guy.)

One of those things I always assumed would happen would be acting like a grown up. I'd learn to pick up after myself, learn to cook and clean and sing happy songs to children while having fabulous hair and perky boobs.

Sadly, reality is often harsh.

My house was constantly a mess, even though I felt as if I was always doing SOMETHING. We had grown accustomed to eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches every night...that is, if we had bread. I felt as if my days were one big blur of crap.

It always seemed as if everyone else had their lives together.

That's when I started it. The Betty Crocker Experiment. At 29, it was time for me to learn to be a grown up. It was time to learn to clean the house, pick up after myself and eat something that wasn't smooshed between two slices of bread.

It was time for a change. A big one.

template by