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Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Buck up, Buttercup!

Last night my little family and I sat down to enjoy the last dinner of summer vacation before school started, and I couldn’t help but ask myself, “Does every family live in chaos or are we just special?”

You see, something happened last night where we fell into a wormhole and transported into the future by an hour. It happens all the time. One minute the clock reads 5:45 pm and the next it’s going on 7:00 and “Cheese and crackers!” The table looks like Jackson Pollock exploded all over it, I forgot to put the biscuits in the oven, the kids still need baths, my son has no clean clothes and I think I’m hyperventilating. TOMORROW IS SCHOOL!!!

My husband sees I’m nearing panic mode and jumps into action, ordering our little artist to clean up her mess, setting the table, making a pitcher of punch (Did I mention I need to get groceries too?) and herding us all to the table. Only I have to bolt back to the kitchen for the biscuits that smell as if they are burning, and in a sense they are – slightly blackened on the outside, doughy in the middle. Grrr! I turn off the oven and let them sit for a little while to finish cooking on the inside before my brilliant hubby serves them upside down on the platter so the kids won’t notice the black.

Just as we rejoin the family and take a deep collective breath, our daughter accidentally dumps her migraine-inducing Bubba Gump glass of electric orange punch, drowning her chicken. Seriously, that cup has been nothing but trouble since day one. We were dining at the seafood chain while on a mini-vacation with the kids a couple of years ago. We thought, why not spend a bucket of money on a cheap piece of plastic? We were on vacation after all. Well, let us be a cautionary tale for all others tempted by the fancy shrimp in a top hat and flashing blue and red lights.

Not five minutes after the waiter delivered our drinks our son barely hit the glass and it spilled. Thank goodness for the Bubba Gump wait staff and bar towels. They cleaned up everything, assured us it was no trouble at all and replaced our son’s soda. Phew. That was embarrassing. We sure didn’t want that to happen again. In fact, I was going to make sure we didn’t have another accident by moving the glass out of the way. Yep. I bumped it and flooded the whole table again. Remember what I said before about embarrassing? Well, let’s just say I wanted to crawl under the table.

But back to last night. In the end, we managed to get both kids clean and in bed on time, although the little one kept getting up. And my son’s clothes went in the dryer at 10:35. Hooray! Another crisis averted. I would have patted myself on the back, but I was too tired to reach over my shoulder.

I know no one ever said it was easy, but must life be so hectic? I’m on a mission this school year to make life a little simpler, um, staring today. I could really use all the tips I can get.

Please tell me, what is something that has made your life easier?


  1. I'm dying laughing over that Bubba Gump glass -- it seems like it came with its very own curse!

    I wish I had some simplification tools to offer. But I only have one person to look after (ME!)-- and it doesn't take a village, it takes a solar system. LOL


  2. Samantha, it's good to see you can keep your sense of humor when all is chaos around you.

    I can relate to the Bubba Gump cup because I had to go to the hospital once because a Tommy Tippee cup landed on my foot.The doctor didn't buy my explanation. Probably thought I injured myself jumping out of planes. Those cups were heavy.

    My only tip would be the crock pot. We have late soccer practice 2 nights a week, and it's wonderful to come home knowing supper is ready and I don't have to fuss.

  3. LOL, I remember those days. You sound a lot like my mom was when we were growing up. Come to think of it, Mom is still a lot like that. When she's going on vacation, she does her laundry a couple of hours before leaving and doesn't start packing until the laundry is done.

    I'm not sure how I've gone from that to how I am now...but I know my life is a lot simpler now in that respect. I do my laundry every Sunday. Period. I run a load of dishes when the dishwasher is full, and I unload it when it is done washing. Simple things. I just do them all as they come, and then I never feel like I'm rushing around trying to get it all done at the last minute.

  4. LOL, Donna. It never even occurred to me that the cup is cursed. (insert googly-eyed emoticon here)

    The crockpot is a great idea. I'm getting something out of the freezer now! We have the added hassel of football practice, so having a meal ready would be nice. But why can't I have a chef?

  5. Oh, and I've never seen a Tommy Tippie cup, but it sounds dangerous!

  6. Catherine,

    That sounds curiously like self-discipline and pre-planning. I'm on to you. ;)

  7. OK. Two little things that help simplify our household. My mom's famous 'you don't ever touch a piece of paper twice' rule first. Never touch a piece of paper twice. IE, when you bring in your mail and it is full of junk. Touch it once--look at it and decide where it goes and do it. Don't set it down for later, just do it. Toss it, recycle it, file it, etc. And my second compulsion--never let the laundry pile up past a full load. Although, it helps that I have to walk through my laundry area to take a shower and get ready every morning, but once the basket is full enough for a full load, in it goes. By the time I am out of the shower and ready for work the wash cycle is done and then it can either be hung up to dry or tossed into the dryer. The trick is remembering to finish it when you get home.

  8. Lori,

    Thanks for commenting and those two tips are actually very good. I've heard your paper tip in the past and I always think it before I toss it on the counter to get DD a drink, snack, etc. I so need to adopt that habit.

  9. LMAO! Samantha, the Bubba Gump story cracks me up!!!

    As for eliminating chaos, no idea! Eric and I have a tendency to invite it in. LOL! As soon as we get a moment to chill or relax, we come up with something crazy to do like start a new business or create disgusting desserts.

    I hope the kids have a great first day back at school!!

  10. Clarissa, I think you should go with the "injured while jumping out of a plane" story. It's got WAY more excitement and suspense to it. :)

  11. Sorry for posting under two IDs -- I can't usually use my name/URL here, but for some reason it let me the second time. (I didn't want you to think I was trying to use a secret identity. LOL)

    I can't keep it simple, can I? LOL

  12. Oh Michelle, you are so not alone. You know as organized as I am in my writing...my life is a mess. We had our own manic spill night last night all over my brand new sofa. The one thing I try to do to keep up with everything is I clean one room a day that way it stays relatively clean and doesn't pile up so much that I look at it and wonder where the nearest gun is. However, I am naturally clumsy and so are my three boys - all of us packed like sardines in a tiny apartment and well just imagine the outcome. LOL. So I am taking notes as well today. But of course if my life ever went smoothily I would wonder what was wrong LOL. Good luck with goals and keep me updated. Perhaps one day we'll succeed. Although sometimes I wonder if there is a method to my madness. If I were organized and on time to anything would I suddenly lose my creative self LOL.

  13. Umm no. In addition to school, each of my boys is in a sport (baseball and soccer). So in addition to seeing homework done at night, we have to get them to practice 6 nights a week. And on that 'other free night' my husband takes time to work late (8 to 8:30 before he leaves the office) to make up for coming home 'early' to coach. Early is relative as he comes home at 6pm.

    Needless to say...I want to know when Mom gets to have fun. It's not during the week or on the weekend. Can we add day 8 as Mom's day to do nothing?

  14. Jerrica,
    I love the energy and fun you and Eric have. Makes the chaos bearable.

    You can't fool us. We know who you are. And I'll second the jumping from a plane story being more exciting. :)

    I like the way you think. An eighth day. I think you're on to something. This is exactly the kind of tip I was hoping to get. (Huge grin of happiness!) Thanks for stopping by today, and hang in there, Super Mom!

    Your room a day does work. Sometimes I shift into Sergeant Mom and make everyone clean the same room. We're done in fifteen to twenty minutes. My problem is consistency.

  15. I just noticed my Mr. Clean mop has an 800 number I can call for support. Do you think they'll send a burly bald man over to stand menacingly in the corner while my kids clean their rooms?

  16. I'm really fond of routines, although my husband has resisted them since the day we married. Cripes that's almost 20yrs now - where has the time gone. LOL.

    Keys always left in the same place, clothes picked out the night before (yours in particular), and evening meal ideas for the week scratched out on a sheet of paper - based on what's actually in the house. I've always tried to do laundry and return the clothes to the wardrobes before the start of the school week.

    The best idea is to adjust your own routine (I work around my routine resistant husband all the time) a little bit at a time. I think small changes are easier to keep up. Good luck!