Now that it is officially Christmas, I can wish you all a merry one and joy in the birth of our Savior!
Apologies for the lack of posts of the last few days. On Christmas Eve I was trying to upload two videos of Jonah singing some Christmas songs, and Blogger was not co-operating. In fact, it still isn't, as I've had the second video uploading for about the past 5 hours. It should not take that long, this I know. I may have to try YouTube or Vimeo or something. Anyway, hopefully that will be forthcoming soon. Also, I will try to post some Christmas pictures over the next few days.
Meanwhile, today I am trying to tame the trash-pit that is my house. With all the activity of the last few days, rushing around for church services, and leaving to visit friends overnight Christmas Day, this house was a disaster. I actually let Jonah watch his new Little Bear DVD (I know! Can you say "lazy mother"?) so that I could do some damage control. So I've been shoveling flat surfaces and picking bits of tape and wrapping paper off the floor and huffing and puffing and finally, my house is recognizable for what it is, a home, instead of what it looked like, a county landfill. Not spic'n'span, mind you, but at least I can feel the drafts blowing through again.
Ya know, I'm really not a very good housekeeper. I know this about myself. I've always known this. My husband knew this when he married me... I think. My house is not disgusting or dirty or full of trash or anything --I can have it picked up reasonably well in a half hour-- but it could be better.
Some time ago, I was irritated at my husband's annoyance by messes or clutter. Then it occurred to me-- a cluttered mind can't stand a cluttered house. My husband is just so busy and has so many things to think about that when the house is even a little messy, he just can't think. So I set out to do my best at ameliorating this situation. I can't do a thing about his cluttered mind problem, but I've been trying to be better at keeping on top of the mess.
To help myself along, I developed some strategies. For one thing, I started thinking of myself as a "cleanie" instead of accepting my poor cleaning skills. Then I made an effort to keep on top of stuff that piles up. We have a tendency to piles, partly developed by living in small spaces and not having good storage. Oh, and lazyness. That doesn't help. My best weapon against this is "puttering". It's invaluable, really. I turn on some music and start wandering around the house picking up things and putting them where they go. It goes quickly and the result, without actually cleaning anything, is remarkable. Also, to make real cleaning less painful, I do it in small bits. I keep cleaning supplies handy in the bathroom and kitchen so I can do a quick wipe-down once in a while. I only vaccuum or dust one room at a time sometimes. I scub the sink and wipe the stove daily. This makes the jobs quick and painless and before I even know it, I've cleaned something! Wa-hoo! And finally, I'm trying to make an effort for everything to have a home, and to quickly dispose of junk or things we don't use.
Um, this was not actually meant to be a recitation of my cleaning habits or lack thereof. This is all to say that I've discovered something: Just like everything else, It's Winter's Fault. By that I mean both the clutter development and my husband's intolerance of it. Because, really, for several months now, Nathan hasn't really complained much, and I though I must have really improved! Wow! Look what a great housekeeper I've become! But now, December-- the Clutter Irritation Demon is back. And here's my theory: 1) This is a busy time of year for Nathan with holidays and everything. So now his brains are leaking out his ears and the clutter gets to him. 2) He's trapped in the house now with bad weather, but he's used to being outside and on the go all the time working on projects. So he sees the messes more, and I don't have the option of "Daddy's coming home! Let's get the living room picked up!" 3) And then there's also the fact that Jonah is in the house constantly and just as constantly making messes. The couch cusions have taken up permanent residence on the floor, along with toys and blankets and books and no less than 18 pairs of little socks. 4) We're burning wood which brings with it heaps of dirt (but I splurged on a hand-held vaccuum which will live by the woodstove and if I can get Jonah over his fear of it, I'll put that job onto him, bwa-hahahaa!). And finally, 5) winter is depressing and cold and I'd much rather read a book than clean the house.
All this to futher prove my point that winter is bad for my health and wellbeing and the state of the union.
Oookaaaay. Moving on from that very long and rambling rabbit run.
I'm finding that with my new and improved view of Christmas and the traditional uses for the seasons, I'm more excited about celebrating Christmas during Christmas! All the preparation and work is done, so now I can party! I've invited two different sets of friends over for a supper and cards and Christmas cookies on two different nights this week, and am hopefully planning a "girl's night out" to go see a movie (in the theater!!) and have a drink sometime soon. I tried to work myself into inviting people over or having a little Christmas party during Advent, and I just couldn't get into it. I felt like I had too many things to do and I couldn't think about anything else. But now all that's done, so I'm making plans (and cleaning my house for company).
I guess I should keep inviting people over and having little parties all winter to get myself through it (and keep my house clean)...