All posts tagged Laundry

How do two people use this many dishes?

Published November 14, 2016 by Malia

I officially became a homemaker at the end of January.  Since January, I’ve discovered that I officially suck at being a homemaker.

Our house is a disaster.  When I moved in, the boy already had the house filled with his things, and I liked his things.  Big problem, though, I had boxes and boxes of my own things, and I happen to like my things too.  Right now, 75% of my things are still in boxes in the room that we don’t talk about.

Oh, the room.  Picture Monica’s secret closet, and just imagine it as a whole room.  Okay, it’s not that bad.  It’s not packed full to the ceiling.  There are just stacks of boxes everywhere.  We don’t talk about the room, because every time I go in there to try find something, I end up wanting to cry and then spend hours beating myself up because I have ZERO clue how to organize this house.

Both my mom and my mom-in-law have offered, many times, to come and help me make sense of the nightmare.  And I know that I should accept their help.  I need their help, but I’ve yet to take them up on it because I’m embarrassed.  It’s humiliating to be almost 32 years old, and be incapable of making your house look like grown-ups live there.

I’ve tried.  I honestly have.  It always starts out well.  I do the dishes.  And by that, I mean, I empty the dishwasher of the dishes that have been sitting in it for two or more weeks, and then fill it up from the pile of dishes that has been growing in the sink for weeks.  Then, once the dishwasher is filled and running, if I’m feeling really gung-ho, I’ll wash a bunch of dishes by hand.  Once the sink is empty I’ll turn my attention to the ever-inflating mountain of laundry, and I might even get the bathroom cleaned.

So, it probably sounds like I’ve pretty much got everything under control, and there should be no problem.  My house should be spotless at this point, right?


See, I’ll have a super productive day, and then the boy comes home from work, and I’ll make food.  Making food leads to the sink being filled with a bunch of dirty dishes.  When I look at that pile of dirty dishes, I just absolutely shut down.  I’ll have been so proud of myself for getting things done throughout the day, and the new pile of dishes seems to cancel out everything else I got done and I feel like I’m back to square one.  And, instead of just being an adult, I go into avoid mode…for days or sometimes weeks.

I don’t know why I go into avoid mode.  I know that there are no faeries that are going to come in the middle of the night and clean my house.  And yet, I apparently believe that is exactly what is going to happen.  There’s just something so defeating about doing a chore and  within a few hours you’re back to square one.

I have no idea how moms do it everyday.  Take my sister-in-law, for example.  She’s mom to the two most precious, adorable, energetic little boys on the planet (nope, I’m not biased at all).  She works full time, is always helping out with things at church, and her house is gorgeous.  I am just in awe of her, and I wish I could be half the amazing woman she is.

The challenge here really is just sucking it up and being a grown up.  And now I’m going to go put another load of laundry in the washer because we are officially out of clean underwear.

Also, there’s only ten shopping days left ’til my birthday.

Everything’s Fine, Mom!

Published January 11, 2014 by Malia

Once upon a time, I was a child.  A weird, quirky, and-according to adults who knew me-precocious little child.  My parents gave me chores, and responsibilities, but never anything beyond my capabilities.  Of course, when they gave me the responsibilities, I knew they were giving me their trust as well.  I wanted to please them, and so I tried my hardest to do things properly.

The summer I was twelve, my mom got really sick.  We were living up in the middle of the hills, miles away from any signs of real civilization (malls, movie theaters with more than two screens, fast food establishments…you get the idea).  Most importantly, we were a good half hour’s drive away from the nearest hospital, and that was just a small county hospital.  There came a night in mom’s illness where a frantic drive delivered us to said hospital.  The doctor informed us that mom needed lots of bed rest.

Now, over the years, mom had taught me the basics of things like how to cook, how to do laundry, and other household things.   Since my dad was working three jobs (pastor of two churches that were 40 miles from each other, and town garbage man), many of the things mom had always been responsible for doing fell to me to do.  It wasn’t a big deal.  I knew mom wouldn’t have let me do it, if she hadn’t believed I was up to the task.  Plus, I still had time to play with my friends.  Besides, cooking meals, and doing laundry seemed a fair trade-off to me, if it meant I got to keep my mom.

Things had been going pretty swimmingly.  My Gramma and her mom had come for a visit and I had cooked my first big dinner.  I made a roast, green beans, and dad helped me put together a cherry angel food cake.  I didn’t ruin anything, and no one got sick.

It was a couple weeks after the midnight trip to the hospital, and it was laundry day.  I remember that the dishwasher was full, so after lunch I made sure there was soap in the dishwasher, and then headed to the basement to work on the laundry.  (The stairway to the basement was located in kitchen.  Handy.  Also, it’s a semi-important detail in what comes next.)

All was well.

I was practicing useful life skills.

And then, I emerged from the basement.

As I neared the top of the stairs, I was surprised to see that there was some sort of weird, white covering on the kitchen floor.  Getting to the top of the stairs, I found that the ENTIRE kitchen floor was covered in about a foot and a half of bubbles.  My first reaction was to get my dad to help me, but he was off visiting with a parishioner.  Which left me to figure out what to do.

I started scooping up the bubbles and putting them in the sink.  I thought I was doing well, until I heard my mom calling from upstairs.  There is nothing like your mother’s voice to send you into a complete tailspin of panic when you’re twelve and don’t know what you did to screw up, but know that you screwed something up.  I ran to the foot of the stairs and called up, “Everything’s fine, Mom!  Just stay up there!”

Hearing the obvious panic in my voice roused my mom from her bed.  As I heard her heading towards the stairs I found myself repeating over and over, “Everything’s fine!  Don’t come down here!  Really, don’t come down here!”

Now, I wasn’t worried about mom being mad at me.  I was worried, because I knew the doctor had said that she needed to stay in bed and not move around much.  Coming down the stairs, in my mind, qualified as disobeying doctor’s orders.  I didn’t want to make mom worse, just because I had somehow filled the kitchen with bubbles (which were waist high at that point).

Down the stairs, my mother came.  She took one look at the scene, and gently asked me what had happened.  I stood there going, “I don’t know.  I put the soap in the dishwasher, turned it on, and then went to change a load of laundry.  I don’t know what happened!”

It was at that point that mom put two and two together, and then I learned the very big importance between dish soap and dishwasher detergent.

It wasn’t my first time running the dishwasher, but it had been my first time on my own.  I knew that the detergent was in a squeezy bottle, and so I had just grabbed the bottle that I thought looked right.

My mom then helped me empty the kitchen of its temporary carpeting.  Ended up using a shovel (there’s a handy hint, in case any of you have a kid that does the same thing I did).

Also, in case you’re wondering, mom didn’t die.  Which made me a happy girl.