Wednesday, February 17, 2010

If You Give Tiff Expanded Basic

It’s so quiet! I mean I can hear “Dinosaur Train” and Josh keeps asking, “Is that funny?” but other than that, nothing. No Michael and Sierra. No bickering, no requests, no “What’s for lunch?”, and I’m not nagging them to get back to work. I forgot how relaxing mornings could be.

Last night Teresa asked if the older two would be interested in coming along with her and Lenora to the Whitman Mission this morning. They’d been asking to go for a while so they all headed out this morning. And did I mention it’s quiet?

For awhile I sat and folded several loads of laundry while watching “Hoarders”. It was interesting to watch as I sat in my tidy living room. I could see my sink had no dishes in it and the counters, bar, and table were clear. The basement looks like an episode from this show but hey, I don’t have to look at it if I play my cards right (read: ignore, ignore, ignore).

Actually, despite the mess it's in, I haven't been ignoring it. Maybe paying too much attention is closer to the mark. I wrote about the basement awhile back, maybe during the summer or something. It drives me nuts because the kids spend a good deal of unsupervised time down there (what else is a basement for?) and they all blame each other for the chaos that ensues. Except Josh. He just admits it and adds, “But I can’t pick up!”—we’ll be fixing that.

Recently, with the advent of expanded cable in the household, I’ve been watching a lot of “Clean House” episodes as I fold clothes. A little “Clean Sweep” too but you know, there’s no one like Niecy Nash. Anyway, it got me thinking about the basement and what I could do to make it more of what it needs to be. It’s longish and it would be nice if half could be an area for study and work while the other half could be an area for the toys, TV, etc. I had a vision but how to accomplish it?

First I meant to move the existing desk and computer farther into the new Work Area. Almost immediately Michael gently invited me to think differently about that. I didn’t take it very well but went back to the drawing board. The next step was moving a bunch of kid things from the Work Area so we could bring a large IKEA desk down from the boys’ room. It was taking up a lot of space and was only used to house action figures and such. The kids and I took it apart and Michael helped us haul it down. This was actually a lot easier than I’d imagined but of course the things I thought would be simple are still works in progress.

My big ideas are known for their domino effect-like repercussions and this one was no different than any others. Kenny is a great cleaner and organizer and when we took the desk out of the room, the wheels started turning. I was excited about the extra room they’d have but he had different ideas. He lobbied Sam to help him convince us to separate their bunk beds. But WHY? This request turned into more than an hour (probably way more) of separating the beds, making room for the top bunk, and figuring out where everything else was going to go. It was like one of those puzzles with the numbers on squares. Move this to get this over here. No, if we do that than this other thing won’t fit. Wait. We can’t cover that outlet. Or that vent. But the ceiling’s only so high by the window. Crud. Or maybe it’s more like that book If You Give a Mouse a Cookie. You start out doing one thing but each thing leads to another, often totally unforeseen other thing. Something like If You Give Tiff Expanded Basic Cable. Anyway, suffice it to say I’ve made my husband crazy but I’m pretty sure we’ve tackled everything I need help with. Famous last words.

At this point I’ve pulled books off three large bookshelves and Michael’s detached them from the wall and moved them. It was all a much bigger job than I’d anticipated but that’s a theme I rarely venture far from. So now the Play Area is piled high with the books I’ve removed from the shelves and all the toys. Like I said, it’s as bad as an episode of “Hoarders”. Who needs all this? The next job is to sort through the books and see what goes where and what we can do without. That’s a tough one because I’m not attached to stuff. Aside from photos albums and things like that, I don’t feel like I need to keep so many books, games, toys, and mementos. There are several other folks around here who feel a bit differently about the matter.

But it’s spring, right? Okay, it’s not but it feels that way. I just saw our first crocus out front this morning. As far as I’m concerned, it’s officially time for some pitching, sorting, and cleaning.


  1. My nephew loves Dinosaur Train!

    I think it should say "If You Give Tiff HBO".

  2. I think I need to watch that show Clean House more. Maybe it will light a fire under my butt.
    I know exactly what you mean about the bedrooms. Our "G" houses have oodles of character with the pitched roofs which makes arranging furniture so hard!

  3. Krista, watch Hoaders, it will give you a new perspective on house cleaning.


So, what do you think?