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i have no more titles left in me

i have no more titles left in me

January 30, 2007

This Friday Rob and I are going into NYC and spending the night for his birthday. I was invited to attend a fashion show*, not participate in as my mother-in-law initially misunderstood, god love her, and also attend a party. At night. Without children. With celebrities. Where I can feel shorter and frumpier than usual. I am almost giddy with anticipation.

The fact that it falls on Rob’s birthday is pure coincidence. But it worked in our favor when asking my sister in law to babysit. She has babysat once for us in 12.5 years. I am not really sure what else to say about that. But she changed her work schedule so that she could do this for us this time, and for that I am very grateful. Though apart of me keeps thinking that she is going to change her mind at the last minute. I am a pessimist like that.

So instead of doing any of the productive things that I had originally planned for this week, like brushing my hair and getting dressed, I have been busy cleaning random things in my house. Because my sister in law is a cleaning freak. Yes, a freak. She may not be able to cook a turkey, but damn she can clean. She cleans her windows with q-tips to get in all the grooves. Which is fine for her. I never worry about catching germs when I go to her house. In fact I worry that when I take off my shoes, that my socks are going to tarnish her perfect floors.

Have you ever looked around your house and realized that there are some really disgusting things that you just never noticed? Like the way the backs of the children’s chairs are caked with gunk. Well this week in anticipation I have noticed. Yesterday I spent 40 minutes cleaning my baby monitor with a toothpick, bleach, and a razor blade. A 12.5 year old baby monitor. Clearly I am also insane.

I am not sure why I even care. My house is perfectly clean for any normal person. But it bothers my husband, who in turn drives me nuts until I care.

Today I organized my tupperware drawer and threw away 14 lids that have no bottoms. Where did the bottoms go? I know the tops and bottoms all came in pairs when I bought them. Perhaps they ran off with the stray socks. The yogurt containers seemed to have multiplied in the same time period.

Then I set up a diaper changing area on my laundry room counter. Because I know my sister in law would die if I told her that I just grab the diaper and wipes and change him on the floor. You know after I chase him through the house and wrestle him into submission.

I hope that she can overlook the dirty stove burners, the toothpaste splattered mirrors in the bathroom, and the fact that the sheets on the kid’s beds haven’t been changed in, well…how about we say 2 weeks, because by the time I finish alphabetizing my spices and folding all my towels into perfect 12″ x 18″ rectangles, there will be no time left. I have to prioritize.

*I’ll blog more about this later as it deserves a post all of it’s own.

Posted by Chris @ 11:26 pm  

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  1. Jurgen Nation says:

    Must…hear…about fashion show…

  2. amy says:

    Wow I know exactly what you mean about looking around what you thought was your perfectly clean house and sort of seeing it with “other” eyes. I remember also doing that with my children’s carseats occasionally and wow, those things can be scary dirty when you really look at them! (I did not mean to give you another thing to clean however!!!)Here’s to your sister-in-law keeping her promise so you two can enjoy NYC!

  3. Heth says:

    This post made my day. I am so happy that you have toothpaste splattered on your bathroom mirrors. It makes me feel a lot better about the globs of toothpaste that my kids leave on the bathroom counter.

  4. Jennifer says:

    Oh, my kids’ chairs match your kids’ chairs!! Love it!!
    I have to clean everything before my mother-in-law is allowed here. She is one of THOSE too. I mean, my house isn’t normally a pit or anything, but when she comes, it has to be perfect. So I don’t let her come over very often ;)

  5. Polly says:

    I will be living this part of your life in May. My husband’s mother and sister are coming for a visit. Your SIL sounds like she would fit into their family very well. I, on the other hand, think if the floor is vacuumed, and nothing is sticking to your feet when you walk through the kitchen, well…the house is clean. They would whole heartedly disagree.
    Have a great trip!

  6. Beth F. says:

    You have done an AMAZING job making me feel more normal about the state of my house. Thank you!

    Before you know it…you’ll be NYC away from the incredibly clean home you created…

  7. Sarah G. says:

    Hey I just went to NYC last weekend with my hubby for a friend’s wedding. I too had a massive cleaning spasm because my mother in law came down to stay with the kids. I love her dearly, but her house makes mine look like a pit and I felt I had to do something.

  8. The Wooden Porch says:

    What the heck? I was looking for all my tupperware lids. YOU HAVE THEM! I mean, I can’t exactly explain how they made it several states over to your house, but they must be mine because all of mine are missing. You pitched my lids? geez.

  9. theotherbear says:

    I think I have your tupperware bottoms! Because I have no lids for mine! I also have spare lids that don’t fit any of the spare bottoms so maybe I also have The Wooden Porch’s tupperware lids?

  10. carol says:

    You know that now you havc tossed the tupperwear lids the bottoms will return one by one.
    I am starting to feel ‘normal’ after reading about your cleanup problems. If its any help I have a clean freak friend who tells me she doesnt care what her friends houses are like as long as her’s is the way she likes it. I suspect your sister in law is the same and remember your house will still be there to clean when your kids have left home. Have a great night out.

  11. elizabeth says:

    Have a fab time!

    A LONG time ago, I was at a stranger’s home, with hub - looking at a couch they were selling (or chair?) - and my pearl popped off my engagement ring. Well we had to get down on those people’s floor and hunt for it. Under every piece of furniture, between every appliance (it rolled). I was stunned to find not a bit of dust, cobweb, nor dirt ANYWHERE! I really wondered while crawling around these peoples floors - how they did it! I resolved if anyone were to ever HAVE to crawl around my house on his or her knees, well it would be just as clean. Of course, that resolve did not last… Oh, and I did find the pearl - it was between the stove and the frig, and I promptly put the whole da*n thing in my jewelry box and have not worn it since (10 years)…


  12. CaliforniaGrammy says:

    Relax Chris! She’s your sister-in-law for God’s sake. . . NOT Martha Stewart. That’s my first reaction to your post but I would probably be freaking out too. Let’s just hope your sister-in-law can understand after spending the time with the kids how busy you must be every day to keep your house as well as she does her own, and besides . . . who gives a rip?

  13. owlhaven says:

    Oh, yeah– the floor is the best changing table around. No rolling off that.


  14. meredith (not vierra :) says:

    Ha, whenever I get in a cleaning frenzy, my girls ask who’s coming over. I guess the chance of outsiders seeing the caked on crud is my only motivator.

  15. Jennifer says:

    YAY! A night out on the town! I am so excited for you. Can’t wait to read more.

    As for the cleaning and noticing totally gross things, I WISH. My dear husband points those things out to me when he comes home. On Sundays.

  16. Maddy says:

    Yes the splattered mirrors, I guess this means our kids are brushing!

  17. peepnroosmom says:

    Have a fun trip!
    Toothpaste splattered mirrors. Within 5 minutes of me cleaning them. I just love that.

  18. Novaks8 says:

    I rarely remember you leaving the kids with a sitter!

    Ought to make for great blogging!

    Have fun!!! You deserve it.

  19. Jen says:

    My mother is that kind of neat freak person, the kind that makes you feel like you need to clean everything before she comes to visit. I’ve recently developed a new strategy with her though… Leave the house a mess and she will clean it! It’s worked twice now, better than hiring a cleaning lady :).

  20. Holli says:

    Okay! I am one of those clean freaks! My house is always spotless. I come home from work I go through the mail immediatly, throw the junk in the trash and the bills go in the bill basket. I do dinner, I clean up from dinner, then I play with my kid for an hour or so then we sit and do some school work then he goes in the bath that’s when I sit down and check email and such. He snuggles in bed to watch about 30 min of TV/movie and I do my bible study and then off to bed we go. Saturday mornings I get out of bed and that’s when everything gets dusted swept mopped washed down etc. It only takes like an 2 hours and it’s done. My kid (6) is responsible for putting away his toys and his clean laundry and making his bed. It all works so well! And of course I have a wonderful hidden secret - I’ll share it now.. my husband helps! :-)
    I know, eyes just rolled. Yes, I’ll have to keep him.
    I hope you have a blast in NYC!! Can’t wait to here about that!

  21. kate says:

    Have a great time. I am off to New York City today!

  22. Nicki says:

    sounds like my mother is coming for a visit to your house!!!

  23. jody2ms says:

    I can’t wait to hear about NYC!! I need to hear an adult story, complete with details!

    Have fun

  24. Katie says:

    Oh, NYC, what fun! The few trips I’ve been on without the kids, I have to fight the urge at 8:30pm to say, “Bedtime, I have to go home now!” It just seems crazy to be out after dark nowadays.

    Don’t forget the light fixtures. My MIL sounds like your SIL and she always notices my “frosted” light fixtures. (aka “covered in 6 years worth of dust”)

  25. Antique Mommy says:

    I bent down to pick something up off the floor and noticed that lower part and base of my cabinets look like a crime scene. Unidentifiable splatter and goo everywhere. Actually, now that I think of it, what I did to that Thanksgiving turkey could probably be considered a crime.

  26. anna says:

    Just a thought, but are you sure you’re not actually freaking out about leaving and taking it out on the contents of your house?

  27. Jess says:

    Have fun in NYC. Can’t wait to hear all about it.

  28. Playdate Susan says:

    I am about to start cleaning my house because my cleaning lady is coming in an hour. You know, after I cleaned the ENTIRE thing on Sunday, because she didn’t show up last week.

    And you think YOU are crazy.

  29. Woman with Kids says:

    The boys’ stepmother loves to clean. A lot. I keep offering to let have at my house, but she hasn’t taken me up on it. The only time I “clean” clean is when she’s coming over… Other than that, all dirty laundry is stuffed into the washer and dirty dishes are stuffed into the washer and I call it good. Or good enough.

  30. Elizabeth says:

    I want to hear about the fashion show and the celebrities! I’ve given up on trying to get every room of my house clean at the same time.

  31. InterstellarLass says:

    I know. I never notice how dirty my house is until people are coming over. One room is always the holder of the crap. Have fun at the NYC fashion show!

  32. Me says:

    Enjoy your time in NYC! It’s great here!

    Here is a great listing of (cheap) good places to eat, itemized by neighborhood:


    I would also recommend the Bouley tasting menu lunch (check to see if it is available on weekends, as well). At $50 a person, it doesn’t sound cheap, but the number of courses and the fabulousness of the food makes it a bargain. Opentable.com can make a reservation for you.

  33. qtpies7 says:

    Haha! My dh’s brother-in-law is a cleaning freak, and it drives dh nuts to have him over. Dh lived with them for 6 months during a job change. I tell him to get over it. If Daryl doesn’t like it, he can clean my house for me! We have 7 kids, he had none. Now he has one, so we’ll see in a few years, lol.

  34. Natalie says:

    My mother in law is is also one of those clean freaks. She can’t come over without cleaning something. I used to try and make everything spotless before she came over, but then I just gave up. I still clean up, but no more than I would for any other guest.

    As for your tupperware, they probably ran away with all of my spoons. 7 out of 12 of my spoons have gone missing.

  35. Ashley says:

    What? You mean other people actually use their changing tables??

  36. Kristi says:

    I’ll be doing the same thing in a few weeks when my aunt comes to care for my children for a week while we go to Spain. Her garage floor, that you can totally eat off of, is cleaner than my wedding china that we’ve only used once. I feel for ya, I really do.

  37. Rae says:

    Sounds amazing! The fashion show and party, I mean, not necessarily the frantic cleaning, although I totally have been there, done that. Suddenly I look around with new eyes and see that although I thought I was an okay housecleaning person I am actually a pig.

  38. annette says:

    I’ll come babysit if she backs out. I don’t care if your house is a mess, I understand:)!

    Go, enjoy, and for now realize you will be lucky to come home to a very clean house:)!

  39. J. Fergie says:

    so jealous of your “adult weekend away.”

    oh and could you please ban Holli from commenting anymore? m’kay, thanks. (just kidding Holli!)

    have loads of fun in the big apple.

  40. rachel says:

    wow. I’m so jealous about your weekend trip! I’d like to just go to NYC again, never mind without kids. *sigh*

    But hey - we’re going to a rollerskating birthday party! aren’t you jealous!

  41. Danielle says:

    We have the same changing table. It’s so much easier. We actually got rid of the real thing after we noticed that we were never using it but we were putting lots of stuff on top of it.

    Have a great grown up weekend.

  42. Brigitte says:

    Maybe let SIL know she can bring back-up!

    I kind of freak about the cleaning thing, especially as I HATE vacuuming and any dust higher than my 5-foot frame can see “doesn’t exist” to me . . . but then I figure I’d just have to clean off whatever the guests tracked in (especially in the bathrooms) after they leave anyway. Might as well do it just once.

  43. annette says:

    One other thought….leave a delicious turkey which you baked, and she will be so jealous, thinking….why can’t I make a delicious turkey like Chris????

    Then you can both go about your lives admiring one another’s unique gifts!

  44. Alison Byrne Fields says:

    Glad to know that you’re going to be able to go, Chris. Have fun.

  45. Michelle says:

    My first time here, and I LOVED this post! Made me take another look around my house (and cringe!) and POSSIBLY bring out the window cleaner..

  46. Nancy says:

    Last year, when I was pregnant with my twins, my mother paid for a cleaning lady to clean our house a few times. (I was supposed to be taking it easy during my last trimester. I have a toddler, too.) Anyhow, it is fabulous to have your house cleaned by someone else. I highly recommend it. It is the best $75 we spend each month. I am so very happy when I come home after being out for 4 - 5 hours - to a spotless house. Everyone I know who has hired a cleaning person keeps doing it because it is so worthwhile.

  47. Darren McLikeshimself says:

    “Have you ever looked around your house and realized that there are some really disgusting things that you just never noticed?”

    Our apartment is pretty much made up of nothing but disgusting things.

    I cannot wait to get out of here.

  48. Marie says:

    We should get together because i have several bottoms and NO LIDS. It drives me insane….