Wednesday, November 28, 2007

So Much To Tell You!

I am so excited because I have so much to tell you! Fist of all I ate dinner with a doctor who said children named "Ellen"are more likely to have health problems. Fascinating, I mused. But I didn't believe it because I would expect a correlation between names favored by certain socio-economic classes and health problems, but Ellen isn't one of those names. In other words, poor people's kids probably get sick more, but they don't name their kids Ellen, if you catch my non-politically correct drift.

But then later after laughing over being a hypochondriac, admitting that it's sort of fun when my kids get sick because I like to give them medicine, and describing a doctor's appointment as "going to the spa" (and revealing that my baby's name is Ellen) the doctor clarified that usually the Ellen's are brought in for M√ľnchhausen by proxy-type stuff. Boy, did that give me pause to think. Does this soup look like it has poison in it? Har! Har!

Also, I read a great organization book and got all jazzed about housework. Sister Beck's talk gave me a real kick in the pants too. (Note: I'm one of those people who was NOT offended by her talk, which kind of surprises me. If it bothered you than you probably just hate your family. Just kidding! But seriously, my feminism was great for me when it encouraged me to get my Masters degree but it kind of does me a disservice when it's time to do the dishes.) You know what they say: Cheerful servitude--it's the new feminism.

So I've been trying to have a routine and keep things like laundry and dishes done up and you all know that I have a cleaner (a house cleaner, that is. Not a hitman like in my favorite movie, The Professional--I wish!) So I'm not even talking about cleaning the bathroom or vacuuming. Just making breakfast, cleaning up breakfast (with kids' help), feeding baby, washing baby, reading scriptures, showering, paying bills, making lunch and dinner, doing laundry, driving kids to school and preschool, picking up from school and preschool, homework, etc. is too much work. Seriously. I haven't even been reading or watching TV or blogging and I could work all day and all night and it is really tiring. I'm not looking for sympathy. I have just decided that there's no point in trying so hard to keep up on everything because it is impossible. I'm glad I know that for sure now and so I won't feel guilty spending the day on blogs. Do you feel me? Do you understand what I'm saying? Being good and efficient and disciplined really doesn't make a difference on the home front so why bother? That's what I'm saying. It's liberating. It feels EXACTLY like it feels whenever I hear that someone "went off of" Diet Coke and experienced no benefits. That's what I'm talkin' about. Crack. Foam. Sizzle. Gulp. Ahhhh.

The one "indulgent" thing I have been doing is a little bit of Christmas shopping. But that's not even for me so how indulgent is it really? It's basically another chore that I just happen to enjoy. Here's what I'm doing for the kids this year. I got the idea last year on Gabby's blog and also from reading The Intentional Family, which is life-changing. I love Christmas and I love going all-out. I grew up with Christmas being huge and was privately sad when my mom stopped giving me my Santa Claus presents--somewhere in my mid-twenties--even though I protested the practice publicly. But Christmas has gotten too huge for my little ingrates. In true mean-old-mom fashion, I think it would mean more if they got less. So I'm getting them less. Know also that I am cheap.

Each child is getting a stocking and something to read, wear, and play with. This gives me a lot of freedom. Ben wants a suit for church. This request was such a surprise since he is the antichrist but I want to honor it even though I think little boys in suits at church always look yucky. I think I can find him a decent one. And that will be a sizeable gift. So for his "play with" I'm getting him a tool belt and real tools, which is not that pricey; he will love it and I will probably regret it (it comes with a saw). And "to read" I got him a custom book--also pricey. But Maggie's "to read" was so cheap I was excited to splurge on Ben's. She shares Edward Gorey's birthday so I got her two hardback Gorey books from for like six dollars. It was a triumph, I tell you. You'll die when you see what I'm getting her to wear. Another splurge! My daughter Maggie can pull that off as day-wear. She's basically awesome.

Ellen and Sam's "to wear" came from Gymboree this year. They have good sales online. If you want to play a fun game you can look at the clearance stuff and try to guess what I got for Sam and Ellen. It might seem like a waste of time but it's the kind of thing I would like to do instead of housework. I better not say what I'm getting Sam "to play with" because he might read this and I want him to believe--as I believed well into 5th grade--that Santa is real. I also got some sock monkeys from You should look at all the cute sock monkeys available in the world but--with all due respect to Etsy--man, there's some ugly shiz on that site. Not that I don't love ugly shiz!


  1. I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one who is not the master of housework. I read so many blogs where the women claim they cannot go to sleep unless the dishes are done. I can... and I do. Way, way too often. But, none of us have died or gotten any horrible diseases. Maybe if we did I could go to the doctor! something else we have in common... I totally dig going to the doctor. And being in the hospital having a baby... at least after the actual birth it's HEAVEN

  2. Casey, you kill me. This is exactly like a post I would write. Why try so hard when it doesn't matter? It will all be clean on Friday (when Rosa comes) so I just try and keep up, but don't kill yourself..

    Scaling back on Christmas seems to be the thing this year. I figured it out too and we are doing less, but mostly b/c I am sick of all the crap filling up my house...

  3. . . . that's my big household tip: don't clean it or put it away, just throw it away!

    I love your idea of "the new femminism!" I find it very liberating--considering my line of work (ie servitude).

  4. I've missed you. Thank you for catching up. I am incorporating Mom's taping stuff to the ceiling this year because we are having Christmas downstairs and the ceiling is lower. I'm still thinking about the kitchen because Mom made me send her our list and I put down the stuff that I was going to get the kids. But you said they would like the kitchen and you are my all things guru so I probably should just do it.

  5. Glad to know I wasn't the only 5th grader.

    A mom's job is hard enough without the "expectations of others" getting in the way of some personal enjoyments.

    I'll have to part ways with the whole doctor visit thing. I hate being around any type of doctor...unless its away from the clinic and it becomes more of a social visit.

  6. Anonymous5:18 AM

    Was reading your post, couldn't figure out why I was having a hard time making sense of it until--- Crack. Foam. Sizzle. Gulp. Ahhhh.

    I hadn't had my Diet Coke this morning...I SWEAR I could "go off it" without it bothering me at all!!!

  7. you just made me feel so much better, again, about not getting all my shiz done everyday!

    oh, and santa still visits me at my parents house, ha!

  8. Phew....for a minute there I thought the 'shiz' link would go to my etsy store!!Relief.

    Cheerful servitude is the new feminism? Where have I been? I always thought the feminist motto was "Men Suck."

    Remember, deprivation is good for kids.

  9. I love it when someone writes right out of my head. I've decided if the living room and the dining room are in relative order (not relative to everyone else's spotless wonders, but relative to the rest of the house) then I'm doing good. Oh, but I did stay up with the laundry for exactly 9.325 days this past month and that is an all-time record.

  10. And I'm glad to see you incorporating "shiz" in your vocabulary. It's a fun-a shizzy thing to say.

  11. I wasn't offended by the talk, either. Also, I heard that if you name your child "Jasmine", she's more likely to be pregnant by age 14.

  12. Loved this. Too funny. I can relate to so much of it. Thanks! -- oh, and I love hospitals, too (not doctor's offices, just hospitals).

  13. I wasn't offended by the talk either, but it sure made me feel a tad guilty. Then again, I figure I'm not the only one who contributes to the mess around here. If there are complaints, let the complainers clean up their own damn shiz instead of expecting me to do it all.

    And that skirt is AWESOME! Maggie will love it! Maybe she can wear it to school on a Wednesday when I get to go help in the classroom so I can see it IRL. Miss B will go nuts over it.

  14. I have a problem here. I was reading this and laughing out loud. Not that laughing out loud is a problem, but when your 3 year old hears you laughing and thinks it is because he is dropping his cereal on the floor so he continues to drop even more on the florr, it might be problematic. This brings me to the next problem...Do I clean it up myself or wait for my husband and/or kids to do it.
    I need to ask myself, What would Sister Beck do?

    BTW I also loved her talk.

  15. I really loved Sis Beck's talks too. I felt inspired by them. I want to have more kids and I want to teach them all to work. The video of the kids and mom cleaning windows is totally going to be me and my kids once they can operate a spray bottle. And I love a good FlyLady Mission and/or Flight Plan. (AND a load of laundry a day.)

    That said, I have still declared to myself that for now, Monday is Catch-Up Day. Friday is Cleaning Day but then after the weekend everything is a mess (and 3 days of laundry is piled up) and I can't get anything done in a mess, including cleaning up. So by Catch-Up I really mean sit around and do nothing (read blogs, watch Alias) while Theo naps, then when he's awake, sit on the floor and read/play with him, or sometimes go to the park. The actual catching up happens in the evening when I run around trying to put things in order before Matt gets home from work.

    Then I try to get things done Tues-Wed-Thurs but if that doesn't happen then Cleaning Day helps me feel righteous and homemakerly. I guess it is a bit of a vicious cycle but I just tell myself that I will only have one child and no outside job for so long. Now is the time to spend at least one day a week doing practically nothing if I can help it.

    I just thought you might like to know all that, not only because it's tempting while commenting to apply a blog post to my own life in careful detail, but also because you are into knowing about other people's routines.


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