Monday, March 31, 2014

Amy vs America's Housekeeping Book: The Bathroom

I live with boys and have been babysitting boys consistantly and wow. I know that we ladies get the business about leaving a ridiculous mess in the bathroom but at least we hit the toilet most of the time we pee. 

So the bathroom is where we begin our adventures. Let's see what our trusty book has to say. 

"Each member of the family should share in the responsibility of keeping the bathroom in spotless condition". 

Mm Hhhmmmmmmm. 

I'm going to print that on the toilet paper and have it monogrammed on all the towels.

So apparently I can just throw some kerosene in the tub and my tub ring troubles will be no more. 

I probably won't be using kerosene....

I will tell you that I went full force on the bathroom today before I reread this chapter and I did everything the way I normally would. And like I normally would, I got annoyed about 2/3 of the way through and had to push myself to finish the job. I still have stuff in the hallway waiting to be put back. Whatever, the floor's still damp from mopping and that's my excuse. I kind of really hate cleaning the bathroom but I hate having a dirty bathroom even more. And I LOVE having a clean bathroom. It still doesn't make me want to get down and dirty though. I remember from doing that 50's Housewife Challenge a few months ago that once the bathroom has been cleaned properly it's super easy to maintain the clean. I just haven't had as much time to do it and more people than usual using it and that's a crap combination. Also literally. 

So today, I didn't get it as spotless as I wanted to and I keep finding hairs stuck to stuff, but I know that when I wipe it down tomorrow, I'll get them. And I'll get more I missed the next day and so on. Clean cleans fast. 

That's my new life motto I'm trying to learn. 

So in my full steam ahead adventure, I didn't do anything the book advised, except that I wiped down the walls and the "washbasin" and the counter and the tub and the toilet and I changed the towels and I wiped down the mirror. I mopped. So I kind of did it, but it's Monday, and I'm supposed to mop on Tuesday and Friday and I ain't doing that again tomorrow. So Friday we might be back on board. Unless I'm totally over this by Friday. 

You guys will keep me on it. I know you will. You'll also forgive me when I fail. That's why we love each other. 

I also forgot to clean my bulbs. And my medicine cabinet. And my shower curtain. I'm doing laundry tomorrow so I'll put that in then. If I remember.
I did soak the kids' slimy, gross bath toys in vinegar and Palmolive and super hot water. 

It's the only thing I took a picture of. But they got some sun! 

I love how much this book tells you to put everything out in the sun. I've heard that sunlight kills germs or something and I don't know where I read that, if it's scientifically accurate, or if it's old wives' tale witchery. Either way, it can't hurt, and it's kind of cute advice. I suppose I could google it. Maybe I'll have an answer for you tomorrow. 

Alright, my floor is probably dry so I'm going to go put all my stuff back and change the towels even though it's not Wednesday or Saturday. I've screwed this thing up already. It's my first day.

What should I aim for tomorrow? Possibly the kitchen, but I'm going to look it up because there might be logic to the scheduling. Oh, but my living room floors are in sad, dirty shape. 

I would never have made it in the 50s. One day I'll be a real adult. Although there was no internet in the 50s (not for regular people anyway) so maybe I could've been a productive member of society with no internet. 


Amy vs America's Housekeeping Book: Intro

I'm doing this guys!! Like a Julie and Julia thing. One of my Facebook friends suggested it awhile ago and it's such a brilliant idea! Especially now that the destructive kid I was watching after school is not in my house anymore. Cue the singing angels and some kind of godly light that opens up the clouds. My house has gone to the crapper since November when my husband did this whole career change thing which kept him home for about 3 months. I loved every second of it but trying to keep up a housecleaning idea is hilarious when I'm trying to work around someone else who keeps asking if he can help. Then there was the whole Christmas, GI Joe birthday and the neighbor kid. Needless to say, I need to get a hose and some trash bags.

What better time for this kind of project??

Although perhaps I should change the title of this to Amy AND America's Housekeeping Book to keep it like the movie/book. Mm nope, I like the "vs.", it sounds like I'm going into battle and let's face it. I will be. 

Here's the book I'm "battling". The coolest book EVER.

And possibly my favorite part is this which will be its own blog post

I love personal history. The other thing I love is the 40s and 50s and thinking how much I could get done as a housewife and mother if I didn't have the internet. Or how people lived without the internet. 

It makes me think of my grandma and how she was a young housewife and mother in the 50s because all the tips and tricks this book talks about are tips and tricks my grandma used to tell me when I was a kid. Like airing farts out of the beds every morning. Only I don't think the book says anything about farts. And my grandma, still to this day in her 80s keeps a mean house. And she did all of this with two kids the same age difference that mine are while still finding time to gossip with the ladies in the neighborhood. It can be done.

If you would like to order your own one of these books, you have to promise to take such dear care of it. I'm not kidding around. Here's a link on Amazon. America's Housekeeping Book by Tribune.

Okay. I'm starting this today. I think. Wally doesn't have school today, so I have both boys home and today is probably the worst day I could've chosen to start. Wish me luck.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

PLEEEEASE Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead

This is an accurate portrayal of current me. 

A month and a half ago I offered to help my neighbor out and watch her son after school so she could take this new job in the fashion industry and kiss her super stressful bank job goodbye. 

I love this woman. She's super sweet, she got her degree in fashion marketing so I love to talk fashion with her and sewing and eBay and my etsy shop and all of that. She's a single mom and has to work but I'm a stay at home mom and I can help her with her kid so she can do that work downtown IN FASHION. I'm home with kids anyway. What's one more?


I forgot that her kid is a living demon. He's loud. He's lippy. He eats everything. He breaks stuff. All the stuff. 

Basically I'm babysitting Eric Cartman. 

AND! He doesn't even go to the same school my kid goes to so at 2pm everyday, instead of taking a nice, leisurely stroll down the street with my 2 year old, "The Beav" to pick up my 6 year old, "Wally", I'm strapping a barely napped kid in a hot car (we're in The San Fernando Valley), driving two minutes, getting said kid out of car to pick up the older kid. Rounding those two back up with gritted teeth and high blood pressured "I said we have to go!"s and "Now where's your brother?!"s, I finally get them both strapped into their car seats and drive 20 minutes in traffic a mile down the road (remember, this is LA), get them both out of the car, the older one complaining about something. We go onto the overcrowded play yard by the handball court to pick up Cartman where he begs me for one more round of handball while my two kids both jet off into opposite directions. Did I mention how crowded this schoolyard is??? 

 Add more kicking and balls and then accurate.

So Cartman (7) is beating the crap out of a ball while he says he hates me and wishes I didn't have to pick him up, Wally (6) has disappeared, The Beav (2) is on his way around one of the buildings and the car is parked in a very busy 5 minute loading only zone. 

I grow a new grey hair everyday. And somehow I've come home with 3 kids and no parking tickets everyday for a month and a half. 

That's just the beginning. Cartman's mom doesn't want him watching tv or playing video games on school days which is fine by me BUT that means he sits around complaining about it and kicking my walls and saying he's bored after he's done raiding my fridge. That goes on for about a half an hour until I make them sit down at the kitchen table to do their homework which takes about an hour. Eventually I make them go outside because I can't handle the house destruction any longer. Then I have to yell at them the whole time to stop howling in the courtyard and "stop knocking on neighbors' doors!" and "get off that tree!" and "don't throw rocks!" and "stop kicking the ball against the windows!!" And I'm really kind of over this whole friggin thing. Because while I'm out there protecting Cartman from himself, I'm not in here sewing things for the people who have paid me to sew things (sorry my people.) 

Basically I'm helping someone achieve her dreams at the expense of my own, at the expense of Wally going to his school friend's houses to play, of The Beav's naps, of my husband's happiness. Of my happiness. OF MY THINGS BEING IN ONE PIECE. 

A couple weeks ago I was at the end and nervously texted Cartman's mom that I had to call it quits. That I couldn't do it anymore. I thought she was going to hate me. 

"I do not blame you! I can't even handle one, much less 3! I'll work out another arrangement"

And that was it. I was so stressed about disappointing her, admitting that 3 kids is too many for me, that I don't have anything under control, that I failed. And she was cool. I guess you kind of have to be if Cartman's your kid. 
The countdown's on. This is my last week. My last Tuesday. And then my last Wednesday, Thursday, Friday. 

First thing I'm going to do is mop my floors because no one knows how to not drag mud through my house. And three boys bring in a LOT of mud. 
Wish me luck.

Monday, March 17, 2014


If for whatever reason you haven't heard me or you or anyone else you know in the vicinity of Los Angeles freaking out about the earthquake this morning, we had a friggin earthquake this morning. It wasn't very big, only 4.4 but I live very close to the epicenter and let me tell you, when you wake up to violent shaking and your husband jumping out the bed like he's Jack Bauer in the middle of a crisis, it's jarring to say the least. 

It wasn't a gentle, rolling quake where you question if it's just a big truck going by. It was  

When I first moved to LA from Denver, I was terrified of earthquakes. All my earthquake knowledge came from Superman and Ghostbusters so I figured the earth just swallowed everyone up in a quake. 

No, that's seriously what I thought. 


I moved out here 3 years after the Northridge quake and I just assumed that was the norm. So for about a year or more, I wouldn't put anything on shelves, pictures didn't go on walls, I lived on the edge like a doomsday prepper. I remember going to the theatre to see Austin Powers and the theatre had all these lava lamps up on ledges all around and I felt like I needed to warn everyone that we were all going to die from concussion. 

(Final Destination was probably written about me.)

So I've learned a few things about myself today. 

1) I hate earthquakes. Still since the last one we had. 

2) I have absolutely no idea what to do when an earthquake happens when an actual earthquake is happening.

3) People are still shaky and talking about how much less scared than other losers they are 4 hours later. 

4) My husband is this guy in an emergency

5) my cat is this guy 

6) Aftershocks can go jump in a lake. 

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