One Fabulous Thing

…because each day has at least one.

04.07.2010 Oooh, Shiny! April 16, 2010

Filed under: Household — onefabulousthing @ 8:31 pm

As a Christmas gift in 2008, my in-laws gave us two housecleaning sessions with the woman they use to clean their own house. I was about a month away from giving birth, so the intent was to help ease the burden of household tasks while we were getting to know our newest family member.

As it turns out, cleaning your house with a newborn around isn’t really that hard. Especially when you have a newborn like ours, who was lulled to sleep by the sound of the Roomba and would have happily hung out in the carrier sling all day long while I put laundry away or washed dishes. The love affair with the Roomba did not wane in later months, by the way:

However, keeping a house clean with a roaming toddler just waiting for your back to be turned so he can swig from bottles of toxic cleaner or smudge his fingers all over the newly-cleaned mirror is a lot more difficult. In addition to that, when the weather on the weekends is as beautiful as it has been, the last thing I want to do is spend the day inside cleaning.

So, I finally called the woman and cashed in the first of the cleanings. I felt a little sheepish admitting that the Roomba provides the only vacuuming our floors see, and that I wasn’t 100% confident that we owned a sponge mop, since we rely on the Swiffer WetJet. I will admit that I spent some time making sure everything was picked up before she came, and that I was a little concerned about what she might report back to my mother-in-law about the things she saw (“You let your grandson live in that house? You wouldn’t believe the dust bunnies under their dresser!”)

When I walked in the door after work, I almost wanted to to take my son out in the backyard and keep him there until college so we never messed up the sparkling perfection that was my house at that very moment. Everything was clean all at once. It was amazing. No streaks on the microwave door, no crumbs on the counter, no dust anywhere. The things on my husband’s dresser were neatly arranged. The floor was gleaming. Unfortunately, it was gleaming to the point where my son could see his reflection in it, which meant that he immediately had to drool all over it and wipe it around a little with his hand.

It didn’t really matter though, because I hadn’t just spent a sunny weekend afternoon cleaning it poorly with the WetJet while not spending time with my son. Instead, a local woman who has kids and is putting herself through school got paid to do it, and did it well. Seems pretty win-win to me.

So, Fabulous Thing #97: Coming home to a clean house.


03.29.2010 Progress April 1, 2010

Filed under: Household — onefabulousthing @ 9:13 pm

Remember how I started that whole Apartment Therapy Spring Cure a few weeks ago? Today, I feel like I am starting to reap the benefits.

I just finished the second week, where the concentration was on deep cleaning the kitchen and creating an Outbox. Getting the prompt and having a deadline to scrub out my fridge and restore order to the cabinets was helpful, and it felt really good this morning to open the refrigerator door and see sparkling shelves and nothing scary at all.

But the Outbox concept is fabulous. The basic idea is to go through each room and pull out things that just aren’t working where they are, in function or in form. You then move those items to a designated box or area – not to discard, but just to reconsider and decide on later in the process.

This morning, I realized that I am moving through my home with new eyes. I am starting to let go of the guilt that keeps some things around, the guilt that comes from being the recipient of a well-intentioned gift that is very lovely in theory, but in the way and a dust-collector in practice. I am starting to realize that the stress of the random basket that holds pens and pennies and batteries of questionable charge and miscellaneous Allen wrenches is weighing me down, and I feel so much lighter now that it has vacated its accusatory perch on the kitchen peninsula.

I have also pulled out things from one room that would really work well in another, and I never would have made that change if not nudged into it by this process. I believe that physical spaces have energy and flow to them, and it is amazing how that can be discoverd or restored with a few small changes.

Today, as I looked around at my newly-edited space and added a few more things to the Outbox as I went about my daily routine, I started to get a little bit of a crush on my house again. I don’t know if it’s going to be a long-term thing, or maybe just a summer romance, but it’s nice to have that spark back.

So, Fabulous Thing #88: Discovering that less can give you way, way more.


03.28.2010 This Just About Sums It Up

Filed under: Family,Household — onefabulousthing @ 8:45 pm

Sunday was the day for housecleaning at Chez Fabulous. This is how we amused the kid (and ourselves) while we did our chores:


I hope this is a trend that continues.

So, Fabulous Thing #87: Channeling my inner Tom Sawyer.


03.23.2010 Hung Up – A Haiku March 27, 2010

Filed under: Household — onefabulousthing @ 9:31 pm

By today’s sweet end

All clothes in their proper place

Husband, meet hamper.

So, Fabulous Thing #82: No clothes on the floor, or in baskets on the couch, for this one moment.


03.14.2010 My Kind of Therapy March 16, 2010

Filed under: Household — onefabulousthing @ 3:44 pm

Tomorrow,  I am embarking on a journey to clarify my focus, clear away distractions, and shine light in some darkened corners. It’s the Apartment Therapy Spring Cure.

In preparation, I put together a set of pictures that I took before we moved in to our current house:

And then I went around and took pictures of the house the way it looked today:

There are definite improvements, but I need some work on flow, lighting, and clutter removal. It feels really good to have a plan to follow, with some clear goals and deadlines. Hopefully I’ll be able to post a new set with some great transformations in a few weeks!

So, Fabulous Thing #73: Starting on a self home improvement journey.


03.11.2010 Quittin’ Time March 15, 2010

Filed under: Family,Household — onefabulousthing @ 7:52 pm

The end of my day usually looks like this: Leave work with no time to spare to get the kid at daycare, spend five more minutes getting out the door because someone needs something… pick up the kid, his dirty diapers, and his dishes…drive home…schlep the kid, his stuff, my stuff, and the mail inside…schlep the dog outside then back inside…dishes in the sink, diapers in the pail, laundry in the hamper, kid’s dinner on the stove…kid in the high chair, food in him and on him, our dinner in the oven…naked time, bathtime, pajama time, bedtime for the kid…dinner for us, dishes, next day prep…collapse on sofa, The Daily Show from the night before.

Today it looked like this: Pick the kid and his stuff up, come home, leave it all in the car for later, collapse on the sofa with the kid to play tickle games and let him explore my cell phone. He called Nana accidentally. She loved it. Dinner was leftovers all around. We all lived.

So, Fabulous Thing #70: Not doing it all.


03.10.2010 Many Happy Returns March 13, 2010

Filed under: Household — onefabulousthing @ 8:44 pm

Who knew having a kid and being out of work for three months could be so profitable? My husband called me with our final tax return information today, and the news was good. Generally, I subscribe to the philosophy that it is better for me to have my money up front, since I can put it to use making more money for me in an IRA or other investment account. However, it is always welcome news to find out that you are getting a nice sum of money all in one lump, to do with it what you please.

In no particular order, here are the thrilling things that we came up with as possible ways to spend the money:

  • Replacement windows for the house (bonus: there would be a tax credit for this next year!)
  • Installing central air
  • Getting new bedroom furniture and a new mattress
  • A new refrigerator
  • Putting it toward the principle on our mortgage
  • Long-term savings

Are we eldest children, or what? After a few more minutes of thought, we came up with:

  • A hot tub
  • A vacation
  • Sweet rims for my husband’s Camry
  • A Wii
  • A new television
  • An even larger television than that

It’s amazing how fast unexpected money can go from “windfall” to “not enough money to do everything.” I’m not sure what we’ll go with in the end – probably a little from Column A, a little from Column B – but thinking about the possibilities was a great way to spend the afternoon.

So, Fabulous Thing #69: Good news from the government, for once.