Monday, March 5, 2012

Week 1: Bathrooms

In my Lenten cleaning schedule (almost completely copied from here, with a few alterations), the first week was bathrooms.  And then I realized that the linen closet and the laundry room sort of fit in with the things that were already in the bathrooms and the things that needed to be taken out of the bathrooms.  Either that, or I got carried away and the laundry room was really bothering me.

So did I "clean"?  Haha.  Well, a little.  But there were a lot of other things to take care of first.  I'm sorry if you think less of me for revealing these, but I'm proud of myself for finally doing them.

  • Disposed of expired medicine (as far back as 1998) which had been waiting around for disposal for several months in a closed plastic tub in our bathroom
  • Had my husband rinse the baptismal cloths which had been waiting around in a box for several months on top of the washing machine ... and the towels I'd lent for a young man's baptism last Sunday (he'd said he'd do it after LC's baptism last June, so I left them there for him...
  • Folded and put away three laundry baskets of clothing and towels (and then kept up with the laundry for the week, mostly)
  • Moved the drying racks into the sunroom because the master bath is so much friendlier without them that it makes my husband happy enough to remark on it
    • Started calling the erstwhile "Florida room" the sunroom because it sounds grand and I'm continuing copying Mat. Emily
  • Emptied the canister for both vacuums and washed the filter for the older which didn't work as well
    • This was The First Time the filter had been washed in the older vacuum which my husband had had since before our marriage 7-1/2 years ago.
    • The older vacuum still didn't work all that well, so my husband was involved later in the week and pulled out a plastic bag.  Voila!  Two working vacuums!  And neither smells that horrible old-dog smell!
  • Reorganized the laundry room (hey! there's the top of a washing machine in there! I can open the door all the way! TG has a place to put on his shoes without tripping the rest of the family!)
  • Took care (with husband) of two issues on our home insurance
  • Remade all the soap slivers into a single bar of soap, with inspiration from a friend (and more specific details from the internet)
  • Ordered, from credit card rewards, a Home Depot gift card for future projects, including installing some "sink front trays" (which a childhood friend had done three years ago, and I haven't forgotten the facebook photo) as well as some Mr. Clean Magic Erasers which will help TG get his crayons back (requirement: remove drawings from wall and door, window, and TV)
  • Cleaned out pipe before the U-bend (which I couldn't remove to clean) in husband's bathroom sink so that it would drain better
    • Oh.  Gross.
  • Washed car seat covers and vacuumed car (and emptied the full vacuum canister again)
  • Cleaned most of the master bathroom (everything except the shower), including dusting and reorganizing the bookcase, and reorganizing the drawers and counter
  • Took "after" photos:

Things I didn't do but meant to:
  • Take "before" photos
  • Clean the shower in the master bath
  • Clean anything in the guest/children's bathroom
  • Cull the bath/beach toys and towels in the linen closet
We also made it to all of the church services for the past week.  My husband has upped the services schedule to once-a-day during Lent (slowly acclimating the parish, which didn't have Saturday night vespers before), and the first week of Lent has plenty services anyhow (even if we don't do the Great Canon).

On Saturday morning, there wasn't a chanter, so I stepped in.  LC was crawling on the solea and screamed when she reached a socket cover.  I was confused, but chalked it up to her being picked up by Mr. Spiro.  Then, later in the service, TG touched it and started crying.  Mr. Spiro told me that he'd gotten shocked by it, too.  Between responses, I said we should cover it, and prevented him from moving a metal (augh!) planter over it; he got the bishop's mat instead.

After service, my husband grounded himself and got pliers and pulled out the prong of the plug for the light of the chant stand which had been missing for months and was completing the circuit for the metal socket cover.  So I relaxed my guard.  And that was bad, because there was a votive candle under an icon, right at ground level.  And, of course, since it looked like a cup, LC tried to drink it.  Fortunately, she's not all that good at it, and only spilled hot wax all down her front and her bare foot (which we cooled with some frozen prosforon, which is what we had).

Nonetheless, when on Sunday morning I lost TG after the procession of the icons* and went from church to hall to church to hall to church, and found my (tall) husband who found him showing his icon (which I'd told him to take back to the chapel where we'd gotten it) to a lovely Romanian lady.

*Does everyone else automatically remember things that happen on a yearly basis?  We happened to have some paper icons in the diaper bag, but do other priests' wives need to be reminded of these things?  Other converts?  Or is it just me?  Holy Week is also a huge blank: I know lots of things happen, but can never remember, year to year, on what day.

Oh, and later he was attempting to run into the street when cars were leaving, so I was freaking out properly, but at the wrong time.  *sigh*

So, regarding this whole "Lenten cleaning" idea, I like that there's a definite ending point, in total and for each section.  I like that I'm allowing myself to step outside the "zone" and clean whatever I like (sometimes I avoid cleaning things that aren't in the "zone" even though they need to be done).  I also like that I have two presentable rooms in my house.  I'd just have to blindfold any guests for the rest of it.  Another thing that I liked was that I could tackle things partially: I had about a day and a half in which I did nothing at all, and for the past four days, I've read a book a day.

And, most importantly, I'm reconnecting with TG in our bedtime reading.  We cuddle and I linger and ask if he wants water or a song or just me.  I did this one night and focused on how much I love my little boy (which I've been having problems with), and the next day his behavior and my attitude were enormously improved.

This week will be the master bedroom, which will be interesting because it received the swimming things from the laundry room, a generous armful (or two) of books and magazines from the bathroom bookcase, and the "usual" mess, which includes old projects (seeing what's on my father's old video camera tapes, which may include our wedding which no one has seen yet), bad habits (I used to use drawers, but now clothes are just folded and piled up on a dresser or chest or suitcase), and good intentions (about a third of our closet is already-culled clothes which should be given away).

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