Monday, January 30, 2012

Days 27 through 30: I promise I am cleaning!

I am sad about my blog neglect as of late. But I have great reasons for my abandonment. Day 27 (Friday)  my house was full of 3 gorgeous girls, instead of just 1. And I can assure you I cleaned up after them! It was so fun to have 3 girls! Ely and I started our day with dessert waffles. I am often not very logical so I added mini M&Ms to the waffle batter and this is what happened.

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If you are interested in how to clean a waffle iron, I used a small ice cream sample (because I am a pack rat) spoon from the yogurt shop and a paper towel with a little bit of EVOO.

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This is how great it looked after my cleaning job.

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Then Day 28 (Saturday) was JWs birthday. We were barely home. Our friends Kevin& Kelsie babysat for us so we could go out for dinner and when we got home after our date, I hurried to clean my one thing!  I don’t have a picture because my camera was acting up but I finished cleaning the other side of the laundry room shelf. Kelsie is my witness that I cleaned it!

Day 29 was another very fast day. After church, something unprecedented and monumental happened in our home. JW asked me (and not in a totally cheerful way) to clean up a melted butter spill he found behind the knives holder. This is the life of a Butter Aficionado. Butter melts. It makes a mess. The miracle was that I was sooooo happy he asked me to clean something! Ha ha!!  I was relieved that I did not have to think of anything. I wanted to clean the crusty dish drying rack too but I haven't figured out how to separate it from the rack part.

Then there is today. We got to spend the day with a very dear friend who normally is at work today, so my priority was not on cleaning. But I did wipe down the treadmill at the gym.  And I did help JW clean up the kitchen mess even though it was not my night for dish duty.  And the reason the kitchen got to be such a disaster is because I was being JWs helpmate for a change. He had a board meeting and called me during the day to ask if I would make a cake for it! So I made pineapple upside down cupcakes with cherry vanilla whipped cream.

I am sad that I haven't been a cleaning maniac lately but this is Ely's birthday week. I am working feverishly to finish decorations and plans so that by Wednesday afternoon I can begin to clean for the party.  Tomorrow I am decluttering my sewing room!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Day 26: Good Morning! Time to clean!

Last night if you recall we emptied out the playroom as much as possible so I could sweep and mop first thing. Genius plan. Not.  I have been reading my Read the Bible in a Year Bible first thing in the a.m. for a couple of weeks so it was quite dumb of me to change that up!  I still have not read it!!! A song on that later.   Here is the play mat my knees love but my cleaning resolution does not. I am anal as I have previously established….So when I clean this mat, I take it apart and clean this mat, piece by piece. Not fun but when I finish, rewarding.

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Here is my morning support team. I love you Anderson's coffee.  I am ashamed at how hazy the top looks. Next month I am buying fat free half and half.

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Here is a nasty picture of what I swept up on one half of the playroom. What's the red stuff? You may be wondering…Eliana went through a 'chewing the mat and spitting it out' phase. I have now thrown out the shedding play mat tiles, so next time I sweep, no more red rubber debris!

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Aaaaaa-leeeeee-luuu-iiiii-aaaaaa!  Clean floor! Just in time for Baby Zachary!

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I normally try to leave the spider webs alone but since the party is coming up, I had to think of all the children who don’t think that spiders are our friends. First I left it homeless then I just scooped it up and put it in the trash. I still feel bad about it. I was in a hurry! I shoulda just put it outside. Sad smile

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I didn’t take an after picture yet because even though I have moved some of the furniture and toys back into the play room, it is not done. I will wait until I finish then I will post. And I will end with another nasty sweeping pic. This is from the kitchen. Hello!!!??? I just swept and mopped last week! This is why I  need to be sweeping at least every other day.  I also vacuumed the living room rug for Baby Zachary's visit!  He totally noticed how clean the floors were.

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And here is the aforementioned song of lament:

I didn’t read my Bible this morning

I am sad about it but it’s OK

Even though I didn’t read my Bible

I know Jesus loves me anyway

When I read my Bible, I will feel so happy

I will feel the Spirit move in me!

And that dear friends is the pinnacle of my song writing abilities. Singing it really does make me go read my Bible. Especially if Ely tries to sing it.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Day 25: Windows & A Breakthrough!

I blew off Yoga today. Then I blew off story time at the library. And we had a nice day of staying home. Ely found the window decorations I bought for her this week and of course she wanted to decorate! But first I had to clean the door again because Missy Moo put her paws all over it since I last cleaned it. And I needed to get the tape residue off. My old Exacto knife came in handy to scrape off the sticky mess. Here is Ely apr├Ęs mon window cleaning.

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I cleaned the outside too. Ely was talking REALLY LOUD while I was on the other side of the door. Silly girl.

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Then I Windexed my sink window so we decorate it too. Then I decided to start decorating for the birthday party…I'm pretty sure I am being overly zealous. But I don’t want to be stressed the week of!

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And here is my breakthrough!!! I am finally tackling the beast that is Ely's playroom.  I cleaned the blinds and the window on the right. And I even recruited my photog to help me empty her playroom so I can sweep and mop first thing Thursday morning.

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In retrospect I should have done a before shot of Ely's room before we moved everything out. I will try and remember to take pics as I re-organize it tomorrow.  Please note my glamorous cleaning outfit. Sweatpants!

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Here is the very satisfying (and annoying) work of removing tape residue from the windows. I vow to STOP putting tape on the windows. At the very least I need to stop leaving it on for months!

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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Day 24: I did not enjoy cleaning today.

I have cleaned nearly everything I can think to clean except Ely's playroom. Which is why I was so grumpy about cleaning today. Her playroom is full of toys and for months I have not rearranged her toys or furniture.  I started to clean the windows today and only cleaned one. Boo hoo! Eliana was awake during my cleaning and was begging  to help. I told her she could help by taking the toys out of her playroom and putting them into the kitchen. But of course she didn’t understand what that meant. Silly me. So I assigned her the slide instead. She was excited to squirt the all purpose cleaner most of all! 

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Here she is on her sparkly clean slide. 

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Unfortunately after she cleaned it she wouldn’t stop asking me to watch her dance. So I had to ask her to leave the playroom. That did not go over so well.  So I had to throw in my dirty rag and give up until tomorrow. But at least ONE of her playroom blinds and window is clean. Here is Ely posing with her ONE clean window.

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Day 24: By the letter of the law

Had a productive day on Monday, at least at Party Central. Hattie (Ely's grandma) came over to play with Ely so I could work on the party.  I made some hats, put a banner together and decided I needed one more banner.  Sadly, cleaning was not my priority.  But I kept my cleaning vow…technically.  Here is the after shot of the mirror I cleaned.  You can see the mayhem in the reflection that Party Central (the dining room) has become once again.

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Here is the smudge that warranted cleaning.

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And here is Ely applying her new makeup (from Hattie) to herself and the mirror.

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Monday, January 23, 2012

Day 22: Washing brains

Yesterday JW gave me a big gift. The most valuable gift he can give me at this present moment in time….TIME. He made a quick grocery run for me AND took Ely. Meanwhile I got to stay home and listen to the glorious sound of silence for nearly an entire hour while I worked at Party Central. And as if the gift wasn’t enough he surprised me and came home with non toxic dish soap. It is not like JW to buy something green.  He said it was on sale and that it was a pretty good value. Hallelujah!  Lesson learned: we can be green and save green.  I am washing more than countertops around here!

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Since yesterday I was busy making party hats and Foofa flowers, it was hard to make time for cleaning. But after 10 o clock at night, the opportunity presented itself. Someone who had dish duty was neglecting the stovetop so I took it upon myself to help with dish duty even though it was my night for Ely duty.

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I wiped the stovetop with all purpose cleaner and Bon Ami (and my kitchen sponge) and then started to scrape off the caked on gunk on one of the burners with a knife. I didn’t get it all but every night I will scrape a little away. At this point I was telling myself I would never NOT clean my stovetop every single night.

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Here is a close up shot. Not pretty. Three more burners to go and lots of tiny bits of caked on food residue. Yum. Not.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Day 21: Day of Firsts

Day 21 was absolutely a day of unprecedented-ness.  It was Saturday and I initiated a day of cleaning. And I made my very first pineapple upside cake.  If you know my maiden name, it is pretty silly I never made this cake before. But now that I have,  I will make it again soon, it is very, very sweet. Just like me! Ha! 

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Here is my yummy creation adorning the Russell birthday party. The best way to eat this cake is with a scoop of vanilla ice cream!

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And here is the birthday couple cutting it. Eliana waited all night long for this moment!

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I made the cake first thing after breakfast because I had ambitions to clean all the dirt out of our house.  As usual, my ambition was a bit lofty, but there is certainly less dirt around here than prior to Saturday.  JW was in charge of cleaning our bedroom ceiling fan: dust free!

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I started to clean the laundry room but only had time to finish a little bit. I cleaned half the top shelf (it was grimy), cleaned the very dusty top of the washer and dryer and started to organize my cleaning friends. Yes they are my friends now.

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This is my dust free washer:

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I finally got around to starting in on the upstairs blinds. Eliana's blinds were not nearly as filthy as the downstairs blinds. I wonder why? I had to use paper towels because ALL of my cleaning rags were dirty. Isn't that funny?  I cleaned them with my all purpose cleaner. Then I Windexed the windows. I hate the smell! Cant wait to finish up the gallon (not kidding) of Windex so I can breathe while I clean! I guess I should prioritize Windexing ALL my windows so I can finish quicker! I still have to dust Ely's room but at least her windows are good.

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And here is my anality on proud display.  I want my toilets' undersides to be extremely clean. I don’t know why cleaning them makes me so happy….

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I accidentally started cleaning Eliana's bathroom. Here is her sparkly clean sink.

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I experimented a bit on the bathtubs. While I was organizing the laundry room I came upon my very old Borax (from my teaching days) and read the box.  It promised to clean my bathtub and toilets, so I gave it a whirl. Eliana was following me around so she even helped scrub the bathtubs. I used my big orange sponge, Borax and my solution of tub cleaner (mild laundry detergent and water) to clean my tub sparkly clean. Borax did not lie. It did a great job.

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Here is our lint free master bath counter. I hate cleaning the counter because I can't just splash water everywhere to rinse it out, there is lint and dust EVERYWHERE and it's so hard to clean all around the faucets. Oh well. (Note to self: keep all purpose cleaner in bathroom and clean more regularly to avoid problem.)

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By this point I was on such a cleaning roll, that I wished for more time in the day to clean. Nuts. I Boraxed the shower floor and came back to it later and scrubbed it with my tub cleaning thingy on the right. 

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This ledge is also happily dust-free:

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Our toilet also got the Susy treatment. I like to go ahead and wipe the baseboards and floor around the toilet when I clean it so the whole area is fresh and dust-free.  While on my knees wiping grime, a certain nameless man criticized my generous use of paper towels. Ahem!  I told the nameless man my rags were dirty but I was secretly glad they were. Sometimes it feels good to throw out a bunch of crusty paper towels! Rather than getting your special cleaning rags all nasty and crusty!

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Here is my friend, Winter Oak soap. I wash my hands exactly 763 times per day. I happen to feel entitled to smelly and gentle soap. More on that some other day.

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The top of our bedroom dresser makes both of us unhappy because it seems to get dusty 5 minutes after we wipe it down. So here is a picture of it NOT covered in a thin layer of dust. That’s a picture from our honeymoon.  Ignore the glass vase with the flowers. I do not have a talent for flower arranging.

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I am so very happy that we cleaned upstairs. During the week we spend all day downstairs so it is very hard to clean up there.  It’s much easier to clean downstairs. I will probably finish the laundry room on Day 22. And maybe this week I will finally clean Eliana’s playroom. Oh my goodness, it has to be cleaned before her party……I always do better with deadlines. Thanks for reading!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Day 20: Sick day, pity party

I woke up this morning  with a sore throat. A sore throat on top of my dripping nose, itchy eyes, itchy ears, itchy throat and sneezing! I was miserable. Don’t you feel sorry for me? I did not clean anything new.  There I said it. BUT! I did clean up after breakfast which is really saying a lot, considering I had to blow my nose every 30 seconds.  And I also mustered enough strength to make us a comfort food breakfast: chocolate chip waffles. They were amazing. 

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I called four different doctors’ offices trying to get the quickest appointment. One thirty was the soonest I could be seen, unfortunately it is also naptime for Missy Miss.  So I made JW come home early so I could go to the doctor and let Ely sleep. I got nasal spray, eye drops and told to use Claritin and NOT the D kind.  Aaaahhhhhhh. Praise the LORD, I do feel better now.

My doctor also informed me that the reason I am getting an allergic reaction after dusting is because I HAVE DUST MITES. EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEWWW!!!!  As disgusted as I am, my commitment to cleaning is stronger than ever. Must. Kill. Dust. Mites. Tomorrow.

I am bummed that I lost a cleaning day today but this is a day by day process. And just because I was allergically unable to clean doesn’t mean I was unable to watch others do so. While I cleaned up breakfast, Eliana told me she needed to clean her kitchen:

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I gave her a paper towel squirted with my (kid safe) all purpose cleaner:

Lavender All Purpose Cleaner

Cleaning is contagious, thank God allergies aren't.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Day 19: Love your enemies.

In case you are fortunate enough to NOT know what this device is, it is a PS3.  In other words, my marital enemy.   Today I showed it that even though it is the other woman, I can still show it some love by cleaning it. 

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Then I dusted this accent table because even though I dusted it last week (I think?) it was dusty again. And underneath a new batch of dust bunnies had moved in!  Dust is one enemy I enjoy putting in its place! The TRASH.

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I vacuumed the living room because a certain adorable 8 month old was playing on it and I noticed all the yucky pieces of random household debris. It's clean Baby Zachary, you can come back and play now!

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I am compensating for my photo taking shortage in previous posts tonight. Behold! A pictorial display of dust free surfaces:

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Are you amazed?! I cleared my dining room table tonight!  It's amazing what blogging about my messy table did to my motivation.  I gathered some empty boxes from around the house and got them to help in the DE cluttering:

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PARTY CENTRAL!  Now all my party goodies are corralled in boxes so we don’t have to eat in the living room for the next few weeks.  Alleluia!  As soon as I am done blogging, the table will cease to be decent. BUT!  I will clear it just in time for breakfast with the Princess.  After all, feeding her breakfast in front of the TV this morning was nooooot ok.