Monday, November 19, 2012

Weekend Work

Today Landon told me tonight, "Mommy you're really lucky. You get to stay up late and watch movies after we go to bed." And it's true, being a grown-up is pretty awesome like that. (The desserts-at-will are pretty great too.) But know what's less awesome? Home maintenance. And this past weekend was chock FULL of house-cleaning-good times.

It all started with the big girl room change-up. That motivated me to switch out the kids' fall clothes and update their "keeping forever" and "use again/give away one day" clothing bins. Then I decided to clean out the rest of their closet, when I happened upon some picture frames from their rooms in Austin. I decided the collages needed updating, now with new pictures of the two of them together (like these), and now they're waiting for JP to hang them up. Then, on Sunday morning, the big projects began: I was gazing up at the two skylights in our sun room and noticed how grimy and covered in dirt and leaves they were. We'd been thinking a hard rain would clean them, but google and experience have now shown me that will never happen and they must be scrubbed by hand every 6 months or else you risk the panes becoming permanently cloudy.

Our skylights are plentiful and hard to reach, and our roof is borderline "unsound" in certain areas (yay!), so I wasn't sure if 200 lb. JP should be crawling around up there. I googled "skylight cleaning" and discovered the average charge is $8/window. We have forty skylight windows. And so a 200 lb. JP quickly found himself gathering a tall ladder, two buckets, homemade cleaning solution (ammonia + rubbing alcohol + water), some car wash sponges, and a hose draped across his neck like a stethoscope.

Hi JP!

4 hours of scrubbing, rinsing, scary climbing positions, and 3 fresh buckets of cleaning solution later - the skylights are sparkling!


I forgot how clean and pretty they could look. And JP didn't fall off the roof- or crash through the roof- once! As a reward, he got to move on to raking the 5 tons of fresh leaves our giant trees have dropped all over the front and backyards since last weekend, and then do a little gutter cleaning as a bonus for all his efforts.

Inspired by the sparkly skylights, I got out my economy bottle of Windex and a roll of paper towels and started on the giant windows that stretch across the whole back of the house. Apparently, we've never cleaned those either, and whoah were those exteriors filthy. We now have more natural light than we know what to do with.

Next, I moved on to the kids' toys. I've been meaning to organize them since we unpacked and I just randomly dumped equal portions of the whole motley collection into various canvas bins, but I just never felt that right kick of motivation as I sat on the couch each night watching the food network. But then yesterday, while in Target buying the ammonia needed for my skylight cleaner recipe, I purchased a few new plastic bins and some super sticky post-its and walked out of the store confident I could conquer the world (organizational office supplies will do that). And so I gathered all the kids' toys from every nook and cranny of the house (and they were tucked away everywhere) and dumped everything on the floor in the play room and started sorting:


Ta da! I threw things away, gave things away, and found nicely labeled homes for everything else. I'm quite pleased. Organization makes me even happier than wine.


While their parents were being so productive, the kids made a tent and played in it for 4 hours. I'm not really sure what they were doing in there, as I had all their toys with me and I wouldn't let them touch them during the sorting process (it's a delicate art), but they seemed to be having fun.


We capped off the night with homemade jambalaya, a trip to the fro yo place for everyone's good behavior and hard work, and a 3-fleece-blanket-full-family-snuggle viewing of Disney's "Sophia the First."

I can't say this is how I ever pictured my weekends going, particularly when JP and I were dating and our weekends consisted of drinking, sleeping, and studying (and making out when we were supposed to be studying), but honestly, I enjoyed just about every minute of our weekend work and I love how shiny my house feels right now-- shiny and sparkly and ready to get dressed up in holiday decor!


  1. Please send some of your motivation medicine my way! I need a deep clean and re-org reeeeel bad at my house! :)

    Hope you guys have a happy Thanksgiving!

  2. I need one of these weekends.