Monday, March 9, 2009

Learning to Fly....again!

About 11 years ago
when I had a 6 year old,
a 4 year old
and 1.5 year old
running around my house,
and an often deployed husband,
I looked for some help
in keeping up with all things domestic
and found the fly lady.
It really sounded like a great idea at the time,
but it didn't take long before
I was even more overwhelmed with
my overwhelming life!
That woman puts out a ton of e-mails!
My in-box was constantly filled
with reminders of what I was supposed to be doing.
I might as well have had her following me around everyday
reminding me that I needed to:
"15 minute declutter!"
"Dress to the shoes"
"Where are your keys?!"
"Shine your sink!"
Well, at that time in my life,
one more voice following me around demanding my attention
was almost enough to send me
right off of the domestic cliff!
For me a 15 minute declutter meant
trading one mess for another.
A decluttered desk meant a clogged toilet.
A decluttered fridge meant finger paint on my walls.
And where the heck were my keys?
Oh yeah....clogged toilet.
Dressing to the shoes was the easiest part
because I needed those shoes to be ready to
chase down
my wandering 6 year old
who would often leave the backyard
to explore new frontiers.....
sometimes with his 4 year old brother in tow.
I did find success with my shiny sink!
Fly Lady says that a shiny sink was her way
of hugging me everyday
and there was no way I was going without a free hug.
But sadly,
I couldn't hang with the flybabies for long
and began avoiding my e-mail inbox for weeks.
Even though she said I didn't have to keep up
and I didn't have to be perfect,
I really wanted to be.
Soon the guilt outweighed my shiny sink hug
and I dropped all things fly.
Except the shoes...
I still needed those!
Fast forward to my present life.
All of my formerly homeschooled kids
are now in school outside the home.
(Angels singing)
Zach is completing an online high school
curriculum at home
and pulling lots of hours at work,
but at 17,
I can now trust him
not to finger paint on my walls
or flush apple cores down my toilet.
I'm FREE!!!!
Free to Fly!!

And the bug is apparently catchy!
There is a golden age
between not being able to handle a vacuum cleaner
and wanting to be paid for it.
Bren is right in that window
and I'm capitalizing on that big time!
She loves to clean the stairs
and I love to watch her do it.
We are a good team!

Once she gets started,
she morphs into Martha Stuart!
She's been known to take everything she can reach
from the pantry, wipe the pantry with a rag
and replace everything in an organized fashion.
Of course, when that happens
we have to deal with a "Bren's favorites"
section in the pantry
where she's stashed Mac-n-Cheese
Cheez-its, Goldfish,
Spaghettio's, Disney Princess fruit snacks,
peanut butter and fluff
and fruit roll-ups.
And she color coordinates the canned goods too.
Red beans with stewed tomatoes.
Yellow corn with chicken noodle soup.
Split pea soup (yes I have several cans)
with green beans.

One of her favorite things to do
is to shine this coffee table.
I LOVE this coffee table.
We got it from IKEA when we first moved here
and I filled it with photos that I adore
of the kids (that I adore too).
I love when it's shiny!

Brendell doesn't stop with the coffee table though.
Once she gets her hands on that spray bottle,
she's like I was when I first discoverd the glue gun
and glued everything in sight!
No shiny surface is off limits from Bren's spray and wipe.

Can you tell how much fun she's having?!
Unfortunately, this little smiling girl
loves to mess up as much as she does clean.
Even at almost 6,
I'm still having to watch her with markers
because she will "beautify" a surface
that would be better off left un-beautified.
A friend of mine used to "frame" her children's artwork
when they'd write on a wall.
She'd hang an actual empty frame over the art
so that it would be showcased.
Cute idea,
and I'm down with encouraging the creative in your kids
and stuff,
but I imagine running out of frames
once my child catches on
that her wall art is glorified!
I'm guessing that concept wouldn't go over too well
in a rented home either.

All that cleaning makes for a tired girl!
Bren crashed soon after the counter top was shined.
Thank goodness for these golden years
when I can get good help for a hug and a kiss!
As for the Fly Lady and all her e-mails...
I'm on day two
and I have the shiniest sink in the west.
I got my hug this morning.
Everything else is baby steps.
Hopefully I'll be able to keep up much better this time
and will get into the routine she has going on.
Check it out for yourself at


Laura said...

Awwww how extremely precious and helpful. Looks like she cleaned the entire house. Id be tired to!. Sleep well baby girl.

Also that coffee table is seriously wicked! I love it!!!. Hooray for IKEA.

Thaddeus said...

This was SO sweet... I love "day in the life shots"!!

Anonymous said...

My daughter, who is also a kindergartener, is very much the very same way!!! Gotta love their enthusiasm!

Anyway, her Kindergarten teacher was the daughter of a teacher and her mom made her a magic apron to wear when she cleaned, complete with loops to hang spray bottles, dusters, etc. All the pockets had cleaning supplies as well!!!! I haven't put one together for Shelby Kate yet, but her teacher LOVED her magic cleaning apron!!!!!!!


Anonymous said...

What a cutie she is!
My son when he was 7 or 8, use to clean. he liked the spray bottles also. lol
Once he sprayed 409 on mirrors, no no..Took forever to get it off. Another time he sprayed Pledge on kitchen floor, he wanted it to shine.
We did a lot on slipping and sliding.He's now 41, but good memories.
Ala Grandmother

mackey said...

Your posts are the AWESOMEST!!!!!
Great maid you have there....can I borrow her? ;)

Katey said...

send Bren over! I have a slider that has muddy doggy prints on it :)

looking forward to seeing pics of FL.