And Then I Stepped in Gum . . .

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Domestic Day

I'm having a hard time getting motivated to work on a project that's sitting on my desk at the moment (okay, technically it's a computer file, so it's not exactly on my desk, but you know what I mean), so Dave and I swapped our days around, and he went out to work while I stayed home. You see, we have a schedule that we developed and actually printed out on the computer, since we are such nerds, to help us organize our days.

Ever since he was let go (oh, did I blog about that? I don't think so -- he was let go the second week of March, which has occasioned the new/old job in NYC and our evacuation of the Southland for the burbs of Orange County, NY, this summer), we have been trying to stick to this schedule to prevent ourselves from sliding into slackdom, a state we're pretty prone to. He has some things to finish up for the job he was working and his online class to monitor; I'm working as much as possible to shore up our income to supplement the two salary-less months we face. I'm also trying really hard not to take advantage of him being home -- I have the tendency to shove the less-enviable jobs onto his shoulders, including childcare. Actually, the last couple of months, I've felt like the "typical dad" -- I work, work, work, then expect to finish working for the day and relax and watch TV. What, dinner? What, baths for the children? What, play with or read to the children? No, darnit, I've worked hard and I deserve a break. I try not to act on it, but I frequently feel like it, since I'm working two to three times as many hours as I have for quite a while.

Anyway, yesterday I earned "good mommy" points -- did a puzzle with Katie and even cooked dinner for the whole family, which we all ate together. It was Chicken Helper Teriyaki, supplemented with pineapple and carrots, but it was an actual hot meal that wasn't mac 'n' cheese, chicken nuggets, or pizza. And we all sat down together. And I used up a box and a can from the pantry (this will be a primary goal over the next two months -- I don't want to move all that food. This is also why my GS troop got gingerbread cookies yesterday, even though, as one little mite told me, "It's not Christmas time"). No luck in getting Katie to eat the chicken teriyaki, so she had pineapple, carrots, and milk for dinner (hey, it could be worse), but at least there were no hysterics or high drama. Today I managed to actually thaw meat that was in the freezer (did you know you could do that? I just usually store it there until it's inedible!) and put together a Slow Cooker Helper meal -- beef stroganoff. Yes, I know it's another box. And I also know that this is a meal that Dave won't eat, and Katie's odds are slim. But too bad, I'm cooking it, because it was in the pantry. I may even put a salad with it, if my greens haven't gone slimey.

So, my domestic day -- since I didn't feel like working, Dave's out at the cafe on his laptop, and I have done the following:
  • Read four newspapers that have been sitting around waiting for me to read them (it is so an important thing to check off!)
  • Emptied the dishwasher
  • Filled and ran the dishwasher
  • Sorted and folded the laundry that's been sitting around for a week and a half, even Dave's, which I usually -- okay, always -- leave for him to do
  • Put away Katie's, Dave's, and my laundry (Ian's napping)
  • Soaked some stained shirts in Oxiclean
  • Kept the kitchen clean while watching Ian and feeding him a ton of food (I think someone's growing)
  • Made Katie's bed
  • Made my little crockpot meal
  • Tried not to eat anything while bumming around the house
  • Resisted the call of the nap
I feel quite virtuous, even though I haven't done that much. Actually, the house is pretty much picked up so that it can be whipped into shape at a moment's notice to show it. It's not as hard as I thought it would be to keep that up, though I find it tedious. Cut an apple, wipe the counter. Make a sandwich, wipe the counter. Make some coffee, wipe the counter. It drives me a little crazy. I just don't know how "naturally neat" people do it.

Now I've got to go call the lawn people to mow the lawn. And maybe I'll read and throw away some catalogs. It does so have to be done!!