Wednesday, May 16, 2007

A lesson in avoidance

Ever get overwhelmed? Ever get that feeling that you can't dig yourself up from the mess that you're in? That it is just going to be too hard, too much work and you don't have the energy - so instead you surf the internet or watch tv or find something else entirely useless to do with your time so that you don't have to face what you SHOULD be doing? Thats me right now. Always happens after we travel and get home too late on Sunday evening to do any significant unpacking and laundry.

We had a busy end of the week last week. Thursday night Cornbread worked late and I went to a high school musical to see our friend in his first musical production. Friday morning we were downtown by 8:30 am to see our friend graduate from University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) with his masters in Social Work (remember - I have 3 small children, I'm doing BFL AND it it at least a 60 minute drive in the rush hour traffic... means we got up at 5am). We got home around 3 and then had last minute packing to do, grocery shopping, yard work, etc. etc. Left the house on Saturday morning for Detroit to celebrate my oldest nephew's first communion. Out of the house at 9:30. We came home at 7:30/8pm on Sunday night. Just in time to give the girls some ice cream (great dinner, eh?) and put them to bed and basically do nothing else.

It takes me days to recover from something like that - remember the whole introvert thing. Normally when we go out of town for the weekend we try to be home in the afternoon on Sunday so I can recover a little faster - and by recover I mean be able to unpack, get the laundry sorted at least and relax a little before bed. Didn't have that this weekend... so Monday was the day that I tried to restore my energy by just hanging out and doing not much of anything. Today I'm overwhelmed. Lets just say that the house was picked up and clean when we came home on Sunday... In a matter of 24 hours, my children have turned everything upside down. I can't blame them entirely - I did nothing to stop them or to clean up after them. But I'm left with feeling overwhelmed today - where do I even begin with all of this?

I decided to begin by taking pictures - and am going to be brave enough to share them with the WWW. So enjoy - this is how we really live sometimes. Not all the time, but sometimes. We are having everyone over for Ryann's birthday and Nora's preschool graduation on Saturday, so some significant picking up is in order. And as you can tell, I'm playing the avoidance game... so much so that I'm willing to post photos of our mess and blog about it!


By the way - I just realized that today is Wednesday and throughout this post I've been writing like it was Tuesday... Okay, so I guess I needed TWO days of down time:) Enjoy the pictures, laugh if you must... let me know how much better YOUR house looks!


We'll start with my bedroom. It is enormous and is like a second family room. Here is my bed and my computer desk. That is where I'm sitting RIGHT NOW - and its a mess. To the left of the computer desk is my ironing board with almost every one of Cornbread's dress shirts on it waiting to be ironed.
Next is another portion of my bedroom. This is in front of my bed, taken from the doorway. You see the ironing board with only a small portion of the clothes on it (those are the girls' clean clothes waiting to be hung up and put away). Also, my stack of stuff that I tried to sell on ebay, but it didn't sell. In the bottom/front of the picture you see our suitcase - and it looks like it exploded. Yesterday Ryann took everything she could find and put it IN the suitcase (which was still full from the weekend) because she was "packing to go to grandma's house". Apparently it didn't all fit. So I step over it to get to my closet:)Here we have the hallway up to our bedroom. I'm not showing you the girls' bedrooms because they are ALL napping - yes, they are (Nora and Ryann put themselves to bed). In the very bottom of the picture you can see some big pink blankets - those are two comforters that Ryann pulled out of the linen closet (door to the left) and spread out over the hallway floor - no clue why she did that. Instead of folding them and putting them away, I shoved them - with my foot - to the wall. Above that is a pile of laundry waiting to be brought downstairs. And you can kind of see the dining room table...
So here is a better shot of the dining room table. This is our "catch-all" spot in the house - ALWAYS has junk on it, which is nice because it really is the first thing you see when you walk in the front door. Right now it has some random toys brought up from the basement (really happy about that) a box that some shirts were shipped in, said shirts are hanging over the chair, which I'm pretty certain Georgia dragged out from under the table. Oh, and in the immediate foreground - our broken chair, which is obviously a hazzard, yet I haven't moved it yet.

Moving to the right of the dining room, we have the kitchen/eating area. This is so frustrating to me - I can never keep this area picked up or clean. You can see papers on the floor from Georgia's antics while I was working this morning. What you cannot see are all of the crumbs on the floor from our really neat eaters (whose idea was it to give Georgia some granola for breakfast - thats right, it was mine [kicking myself] ).

Turning to the left we see the kitchen - from back here it doesn't look THAT bad.
Okay, but lets get a closer look:) This is the left side of the kitchen. On the right side of the picture is a pile of CLEAN dishes, waiting to dry, then there is a cake plate that has Nora's leftover peanut butter crackers from yesterdays lunch in it, to the left of that is my recycling pile, some dish towels and a pot holder and then the stove. Oh, and Woofy's water dish is ON the stove instead of the floor because Georgia spills it all the time. We prefer to have a dehydrated dog than to mop up the floor all the time.And the right side of the kitchen. On the right side of the picture is a dress that I bought for Nora off of ebay that I haven't brought upstairs yet, and two junk piles. Moving to the left we see a coffee spill, the coffee maker, a cup knocked over that should be in the dishwasher, and then another junk pile - how do we get rid of those?And finally, to the right of the kitchen (from the doorway) we have the family room. This is where the girls hang out to watch cartoons - and obviously to make a mess. Nora's suitcase is front and center - she has had that packed for a month now to go to grandma's. We can also see that Georgia brought the broom downstairs after she pretended to sweep the kitchen floor this morning. Other than that we just have the basic mess - blankets, crayons, papers, clothes, dog toys etc.
Lovely, eh? There it is - my lesson in avoidance... I would rather post pictures of my messy house on my blog than spend some time picking it up... I need to get started.

QOTD: What does your house look like? What incentive do you need to pick it up (because if we weren't having people over on Saturday, I don't think I'd be working on it today!)

13 comments:

Carrie 12:47 PM  

Jana-My apartment looks worse than your house does right now! And that's after I spent two hours today working on picking up and putting away! I'm trying to organize a little bit as well so that's my excuse for how long it's taking! Now I need to get off of the internet and get back to work!

mrseagen 12:57 PM  

That is great!!! My house is well picked up in most spots but there is a few spots on my kitchen floor that if both my feet hit them I'd be stuck! LOL I'm not sure what is the stick is but it's beyond a little sticky it's going to act as a fly catcher soon. I think there may even be a bug stuck on there. Anyway you get the point, it's nasty, it needs to be cleaned, and you know what I really don't want to do it.... I may just have to.... tomorrow :)

Heaven Sent 2:11 PM  

Oh, Jana, you are so not alone .And with THREE kids, I give you permission to avoid.

Me? Piles... I have feel like I have piles everywhere! Piles of dirty laundry ready for the washer; piles of clean lanudry ready to be carried upstairs; piles of paperwork; piles of coupons; more piles of paperwork; piles of goofy things on the stairs that need to be carried up. A pile of Emma's "crafty things" by the phone in the event she actually wants to use them. And, of course, piles and piles of toys. And dishes -- both clean and dirty.

I hate it all, but I've told myself this is all part of being a mom. Still, I cringe when people "stop by" to visit. Thank goodness we have good husbands that are smart enough to not complain!

April 3:15 PM  

So, you are just like everyone else. I have found that having three children makes is near impossible to keep everything picked up. Every day I try to start off fresh, but it gets messy so fast! I think my most hated area is the dining area around the spot that Will eats. Every meal leaves me with more work. I don't love that part. I try to work room by room when cleaning, but it still leaves everything that I didn't want in the other rooms to be left in the office. Which I am avoiding as we speak. My only saving grace is that I really did cook two meals today, one for lunch and one for supper in the crockpot. I am trying to get my laundry caught up (usually I do this on Mondays, but I must have been avoiding it then too!LOL!) and refresh my bedding because Minsan noticed our room was stinky today. ahhhhh the list goes on and on doesn't it. Now if everyone would just leave my house for 2 hours I could do it all on my own without it getting messy as I cleaned. That would be my dream come true. SO, I better work on my office mess. Hopefully if I get it fixed I can pay the bills and order new brochures for Minsan's side business. I can hope right? I was supposed to be doing it right now, but your blog looked way more interesting. Anyway, hope you get done what you need! Blessing to you!

kkoois 3:35 PM  

i'm glad to see you read the book i authored.

my incentive to clean?...fear of being reported to DCFS for unsanitary conditions for a child.

i am not 3:44 PM  

Update: Kitchen = DONE (for now).

Jen 7:42 PM  

My house is sparkling today! Why? The small group girls came to clean for me! It was bliss. They did the bathrooms and the girls rooms and the kitchen. They MOPPED MY KITCHEN FLOOR!!

Love them. Love them. Love them.

i am not 8:21 PM  

Update: comforters are folded, yet to get them in the closet.

i am not 8:35 PM  

Update: suitcase unpacked, clothes in piles to put away (its a start:) Laundry sorted into wash right away and pretreat piles for the morning... hallway cleared, front of bed picture cleared:)

Progress, people!

i am not 8:36 PM  

Oh yes - forgot: Comforters in linen closet (that I have not yet decluttered).

April 12:09 AM  

Well done Jana! I am happy to have just gotten the laundry folded and at least my clothes put away. The kids will have to wait until tomorrow. I hate this time between summer clothes and winter clothes. Don't have enough room to committ to both so there is an extra box of summer clothes taking up space in their closet now! Just whining...sorry!

heidi jo 10:07 PM  

I'M SO GLAD TO SEE FIRST HAND THAT I AM NOT ALONE!!!! thank you, if nothing else, for the validation that i'm not completely out of norm. :)

JCarey 4:09 AM  

There is a time for a clean house and that time is when they turn 16 and begin dating. Until then... your house looks like mine did and I did not fret about it. Messes are, well, creativity in action. Much rather have a mess with real living than a sterile univiting environment that promotes fighting when something is out of order:)

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