Things I Dropped the Ball on…

1. breakfast making. Remember how I wanted to start making good breakfasts for the family before school to get out of the cereal rut? Update: FAIL.

2. laundry. I’ve been trying to get a system for laundry for several years. Every September I think I will get it under control and there will cease to be piles of laundry in my house. Update: FAIL.

3. swish & swipe. I mentioned that I was trying out FlyLady.net’s idea of doing a quick swish & swipe of all of the bathrooms every day. I altered that to be every MWF. Guess what? Update: SUCCESS!

4. cloth diapers. I have not mentioned here that I bought a bunch of cloth diapers from Craig’s List before we became foster parents. I had big plans. Just a few weeks ago, I decided to actually start those big plans in motion. Cloth diapers aren’t nearly the beast I thought they would be, but as of yet, I can’t seem to figure out how to a) keep them from leaking, and b) get them clean without doing three cycles in the washer. I am not giving up. But so far the update: FAIL.

5. Halloween candy via internet. After I wrote a whole post about it, I neglected to actually place my order for organic fair trade lollipops. So I just made sure that my bags of Halloween candy don’t include any chocolate or come from any companies that deal in chocolate. I guess that means this update: PASS (but not with flying colors.)

Why am I unable to do these seemingly simple things? I’ll tell you why. Because I have been doing the following:

  • Taking people to and from school or visitations. I have tallied it up, and this takes an average of 14.5 hours a week. This is my own fault, for birthing one boy who wouldn’t last a week in a Spanish Immersion school, and then a second one who is his polar opposite. Oh, and for becoming a foster parent although I live far from the visitation sites. There’s that. Not all of this is actual driving time. There is the fact that I spend just as much time taking Jake to a school that is two minutes away, as I do taking Tyler to a school that is ten minutes away. Because of the traffic. In the school parking lot. Let me just say that if you CAN walk your children to school, why don’t you? We solve this problem by leaving early for school so we can park in the parking lot, then spending that extra time doing our church’s “God Time” devotions in the car until Midge starts screaming. Then we get out and walk to the school building, where Tyler picks up the two rocks and one peach pit that we hide in the same spot every day. Midge holds/eats one of the rocks and pretends to eat the imaginary peach, while Tyler and Jake use the other rock as a soccer ball on the way to the classes lined up on the blacktop. Then Midge runs in unsteady circles around the second graders in line and gets them in trouble for chasing her instead of being in line when the teacher comes out. Once a week, we drop Jake off at the top of the school and he walks down by himself. For practice, I tell him. Really it’s to give us an excuse on those mornings that feel hurried and we’re running behind.
  • Cleaning and organizing and buying stuff for our house. This includes later reorganizing that same stuff and then donating it because I’m too lazy to have a garage sale. Oh, and it includes going to Target at least once a week. Because where else can you buy toothbrushes, birth control pills, Lego sets, milk, batteries, birthday presents, bandaids, and a cute sweater for Midge at the same time?
  • Feeding people and cleaning up after them when they’re done. Thankfully, Midge is in the “I want to feed myself” stage. This is a good thing when I want to trap her in her high chair so that I can clean the kitchen. This is a bad thing when I’m done cleaning the kitchen and she has now made a bigger mess of herself, her chair, and her general vicinity than the mess that I just cleaned up. Then, of course, there’s the cooking of all sorts of things that my family doesn’t want to eat. Like beans. And soup. In tonight’s case, both in the same pot. Thank goodness “my” 22 year old was over and liked it. I even sent some home with her to take in her lunch for her student-teaching.
  • Making sure the house doesn’t make people scream when they come in the door for Bible Study twice a month. That’s about the extent of my housekeeping. If I manage to clean up the floors and counters in my family room/kitchen/nook area each day, I am extremely happy. But please avert your eyes from the pile of laundry and items on the dining table that are “waiting to be put away.” Isn’t that an optimistic way of describing them?
  • Bathing people, myself sometimes included. Luckily, the bathtub is still a cool place to be. Unluckily, as the bodies in that tub have gotten bigger, so have the waves that flow over the side of the tub and onto the carpet.
  • Parenting: I am including this category for the following things, and more. keeping up with fundraisers. remembering if this is the day to wear crazy socks or crazy hair. heaven forbid I get one of those wrong and scar my children for life. lecturing children on how they’ve just been rude. helping people find socks. singing to people before bed. filling bottles. changing diapers. trying to make learning about God fun. raving over vegetables to make them seem more appealing. doing puzzles. teaching children how to play rummy. rsvp’ing to birthday party invitations. remembering which homework goes with which child and who needs what signed and returned on Mondays. looking at lego creations. listening to random stories about the boys’ days at school. teaching Tyler how to tell the difference between something that really happened at school and something that he wished had happened at school. learning songs in spanish. repeating babbling to Midge to help her vocabulary develop. finding socks that Jake is willing to wear. I think that about covers it.
  • Oh, and making Halloween costumes. With my mom’s help, I think Tyler as an Ewok could win any costume contest in the world. That is, if people ever held costume contests anymore. You wouldn’t ever want anyone to have their feelings hurt. Ever. Right?
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5 thoughts on “Things I Dropped the Ball on…

  1. Amazing costumes!! I love reading about your days as a mom. Not so different from my own (minus the adorable toddler of course). With one big exception… No costumes around here yet. I guess I’m hoping they will magically appear this year. Hmm. Maybe the laundry will fold itself as well? I’ll let you know.

  2. I love those costumes. The Ewok one made me smile today. My day is much like yours other than I commute to and from work also every day on the freeway. UGH!

  3. i love the ewok costume…too cute! you never cease to amaze me my dear friend. i think i am going to take a nap…i’m exhausted just reading your post 😉
    love u!

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