Sunday, February 7, 2010

This House Was a Very Clean House

I spent most of the month of January organizing and cleaning the house. It was actually a great use of a month that I always spend indoors anyway, with no plans to go anywhere because it's too cold or snowy anyway.

The first week after Christmas vacation (which for us extended to January 2nd. We're party animals.) we switched rooms with our girls, so that we now have the small room, next to the bathroom, and they have the large bedroom. Sure, we gave up having a walk-in closet, which was, and is, mostly dedicated to storage anyway, but now we get the exciting privilege of using the facilities even when our girls are sleeping. Before Avram and I had odd showering practices, as we couldn't shower either in the evening after they went to sleep, or in the morning before we wanted them to wake up - since inevitably Elisheva's voice rose in concert with the shower mist. As well, once our baby girl comes, and once we move her out of our room (six months, maybe? hopefully?), there will be room in their room for the crib.

Now, we have sole possession of the bathroom, and our girls finally have room to actually play in their bedroom, as opposed to just piling up mess, since there wasn't any room to both store their toys, and play with them in the old room. I like having a smaller room anyhow - it's easier to keep clean for me, since it has a much lower threshold before it feels dirty.

The girls room is fun too - although my pictures don't do it justice. One of the play areas. Soon there will also be a dress up chest and a hanging row of hooks for dress up clothes, instead of the current too-small basket in the corner.

Another play area, complete with transformed changing table into toy storage unit.

Their kitchen corner. It amazes me that having everything have its area and station reduces mess, rather than adding to it. I suppose because before things like this were shoved into the toy holder/changing table, and just pulling them out for play constituted making a mess.

Our trusty four year old camera, that had been to four different countries and lived in three different states finally once and for all gave up its digital pixels and laid itself to rest, despite our best efforts at resuscitation. Last Summer whilst visiting in Utah, our camera gave a preliminary performance of mortality, so my Mom gave me her old camera that had also once pretended to die, and then struggled back to flickering life. As thankful as we are for this offering, it has some quirks. Like not displaying any images on its screen - I believe it to be in powersaving mode. This camera needs all the powersaving it can get, because it burns through batteries like they about to become the laser disc technology of the digital age. Oh, how I loved my old camera's lithium battery!

Being old school and all that, I do still know to look through the actual physical viewfinder to frame my picture. Except then I never know if the resulting picture is incredibly blurry. Or whether the faulty lens cover actually opened. (I should just begin assuming that no, it did not open, and go from there.) This shot could be called, "Through a glass darkly, you see my girls' toddler beds arrangement."

Here's a photo essay of my children, both blurry and through a lens narrowed. It's like modern art, only with point and shoots.

So I apologize on the fuzziness of some of these views. Back to my home.

Here is the kitchen all beautified (make sure you pronounce this with the exaggerated, 'beeeauutified'):

While planning the decor for our new home in Ohio, I was living in Virginia, after not having seen our belongings for eighteen months. I decided to base the kitchen colors to be harmonious with 'Starry, Starry Night' a cheaply framed poster copy I had inherited from one of my apartments at BYU. The painting was going to hang right over the dining table (yes, on that large white wall, that is bare.) Although I was not specifically in love with this painting, I'd had it since my freshman year, and it had followed me from apartment to apartment until I felt one with Van Gogh, minus his missing ear.

Alas, I must have been feeling disparate from my art history while packing up our Wymount apartment, because as I unpacked our multifarious belongings in Ohio, 'Starry, Starry Night' never appeared among them. Now my turquoise chairs and sheer matching curtains are a little lonely, but someday I have intentions of hanging a new picture there. The only question - should I replace 'Starry, Starry Night' although it was never among my most beloved paintings, so that nirvana will be achieved when I eat, or should I go out now and try and find a print of a painting that can embrace vibrant shades of blue as its compatriot? What sort of painting would that be, anyway?

I don't have any pictures of the living room, because the camera ran out of batteries before we could capture any. Then Lydia got a stomach/throwing up bug two weeks ago. Then she got a cold. Then I caught her cold (as did Elisheva to a lesser degree), and then last Sunday I had the stomach bug. This last week I've been recovering from the cold and resuming housework duties, but then yesterday and today Elisheva began the morning by throwing up on her bedding, and this morning Avram greeted the Sabbath day with stomach upheavals as well.

Since sometime in the last two weeks every member of our family has spent time feeling the way Lydia looks here, my January organization extravaganza fizzled out into February's operation of 'Trying to keep the family alive and functioning.' So, no batteries for the camera, and currently the living room isn't really bragworthy anyhow. None of the previously photographed rooms are really out winning any awards either. Remember when I asked about another hobby I could do? It turns out perpetually revolving sickness is a pretty good hobby to fill ones time.

On the positive side, every member of the family has had the sniffles, and we've all had the stomach bug as well. Which means starting tomorrow we'll be taking names again, or at least begin house recovery efforts, and eventually getting out shopping to buy things like batteries. And I've been amazed that even through all of the sickness, how comparatively clean and organized our house has remained. Much of this is due to the steadfastness of Avram, who, despite lack of any hard evidence of having mice anymore for the last three weeks, still cannot rest at night until the kitchen and living room are cleaned and crumb free. Having mice was a real downside (and I do believe they are gone - the poison finally did the trick), but it uncovered a neat streak in my husband that I continue to relish in.


  1. I really hope that sickness decides to give your family a break for a while. Surviving, being the only thing you have energy for, can become quite exhausting. May the remainder of February begin to brighten for you a bit!

  2. Mmm, writing blog posts about being sick can really pay off. A sister from my ward stopped by after church, and cleaned my kitchen and left us dinner and even lent me maternity clothes. It was the sweetest thing ever (thanks Michele!), and she knew we were sick from this blog post.

  3. I probably shouldn't say it, but those pictures with the slit had me laughing SO HARD. You're a good sport (o:

  4. Your house does look very organized! It's fun to see a peek into your home. If it were me, I'd buy a cheap large canvas painting at a thrift store, paint over it with white, then let your creative juices flow...within your color pallette of course. I bet you have some great photos from England that you could get inspiration from! Just a thought. I don't know if you're into that sort of thing at all.
    I hope you all feel better soon! It's rough when everyone is sick.

  5. I needed this post today Bork! Ahhh you had me laughing. I love the slightly blurry pictures and the "Lament of the Lithium battery" I also thought that you did a good job getting the girls faces in the slit of the shutter. Bravo! I am proud of you and your organizing skills....I will be calling you bright and early Monday morning. Because I love you and I need it after this weekend.

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