Well, isn’t that just typical? One day I tell all the Internets that my baby isn’t interested in crawling, and the very next day he decides that this whole “standing up in the middle of the room” business isn’t really producing the desired results and begins experimenting with all-fours travel. We’re not going to be winning baby derbies anytime soon, but he’s definitely crawling!
|Ready or not, here I come!|
I wonder if this trick would work to help him reach other goals… Let the record show, Pippo hasn’t shown any interest in letting his Mama sleep more than a few hours at a time.
(It’s worth a shot, right?)
Last week was an exhausted week. Do you know the kind I mean? There was so much I intended to do, and somehow the whole week went by without me doing nearly as much of it as I should have. I just never got out in front of my days.
I don’t have any good excuse, either, aside from that baby who keeps waking me up at night. (Ahem. Are you reading this, Pippo?) But there’s only one of him. I feel like I should be able to manage better with just one little baby!
But I happened to read my mom’s advice to look at my house the way others see it right at the start of naptime the other day, and I was inspired. So I did! Camera in hand, I went outside and came in my front door.
My rose bush is in bloom, which helps a great deal. I only seem able to keep about two-thirds of my flowers alive: this is something I’m working on. But the roses and the lavender are doing well, so that’s good.
I pulled two of these plastic chairs out of my friend’s neighbor’s trash just the day before I took these pictures, and just plopped them on the front porch. I’ve been looking for a while for a few chairs to put out front to be a little more social (in our neighborhood everyone congregates in front of the houses), and while they’re not the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen, you can’t really argue with free.
I think I will spray paint them (probably black?). But in the meantime I could wash them. I could also sweep up the cobwebs and various other grimy bits on the ground by the front door.
For that matter, I could wash the door itself, which collects the layer of dirt the lovely sea breeze brings over.
That’s better. The chairs are fairly well stained, so I think some spray paint will do them good. But for now at least I know it’s all clean. And I will keep my eyes open for some other things to pretty up my little front porch. It’s not much to look at right now. But it is Reasonably Clean.
Our front door opens right into our living room, where we don’t do very much living, to be honest. I’d like to change that. But for now, it means that I don’t generally need to do very much to keep it looking Comfortably Tidy.
The Lt’s gear does tend to accumulate there, since he comes and goes through the front door and often gets ready downstairs in the mornings so he doesn’t disturb us. (You can see a little bit of it strewn about in this photo, but this was a good day as far as that goes. I picked it up in no time at all).
I’d like to have more of a “landing zone” there for him, so that his things have places (convenient places so they end up in them!) instead of just being shuffled from one spot to another. That’s on my longer-term to-do list, along with the spray paint.
I’d already realized that I had to keep that area tidy for first-impression purposes. Now I’ve streamlined my last-minute company clean-up, and make sure the Marine paraphernalia is squirreled away from that front room. I learned my lesson the time I told my friends, unexpectedly visiting my home for the first time soon after the Lt got back from a long time in the field, “Don’t start paying attention until you get through this room!”
I’m so hospitable I can hardly stand it.
When you come in the front door, you can see all the way down the hall to the back door, including this little problem area that I tackled.
There are two things going on here. The first is the counter, which is where all my things land. (I come in through the garage, generally, so I skip the front room). It’s also where we put the things that we’re theoretically going to find places for, but never do.
I can’t stand those things! Where do you put them? Every once in a while I go through and throw away as much as I can, and then I put the rest of it into new little piles, and they end up… back on the counter.
This part of the house is the kitchen, dining room, and family room, all open to each other. So not only is it right in guests’ line of sight, but it’s right smack in the middle of where we do all our living.
And I’ve been ignoring it for a while now. I clean up the kitchen, I clean up the dining room, and I clean up the family room, but pass right over that spot in the middle.
And by “pass right over” I mean “piled random junk onto.”
I took every single thing off of the counter and plopped it all on the dining room table. A few things I found places for, once and for all. A few more I put into piles somewhere else (still to be dealt with, but not quite in the middle of things, since that tactic clearly wasn’t making me deal with them). A few more I decided really belonged there. The counter itself got a good cleaning.
Ok, on to the second problem: the floor.
This wasn’t the ideal spot for the baby swing, right in the middle of things and blocking the back door from opening fully. But it was really the only spot we had for it, and it did come in mighty handy when Pippo was younger, even though he wasn’t really a swing-loving baby. (Some babies just are crazy about them, aren’t they?) Now, though, he’s pretty much too big to be happy in it for long (he just tries to rip the animals out of the mobile and eat them), so I think we can safely retire it until we have another little one to give it a whirl.
You may also notice all those lovely cords. A very sophisticated design element, I’m sure.
When we installed our internet over a year ago, we plopped the router there because it was the easiest spot within reach of both an outlet and a phone jack. And there it stayed. For over a year.
Decorating Inertia, you are all that stands between me and greatness, I’m quite sure of it.
Moving on. Finally, there is my lavender hanging on the wall, which isn’t the right kind of lavender, but it’s what’s in my garden so I dried it anyway to see what it would look like.
The answer is, it doesn’t look great.
And it drops little brown lavender bits onto my floor.
And I don’t really sweep them up very well, to be honest, because there’s this big baby swing and all these cords in the way, see, and they’re hard to get at.
Ok. Ready to see what it looked like just a short while later?
Ah! So much better.
(This room really does get all this light in the mornings. Isn’t that wonderful?)
We had one of those outlet-multiplier thingies in the garage, so I put that on the outlet on the other side of the counter so I could plug the router in on that side instead. So now it’s up behind our little iPod dock, with all the cords tied up and out of the way.
As an added bonus, I can now plug in all my appliances in that corner at once (don’t you hate it when you realize your bread is still cold because the toaster isn’t plugged in?).
The swing is in the closet upstairs, and the lavender is on the table outside, waiting to see if there’s anything productive I can do with it. The two pictures are from a calender of vintage food-related posters Deirdre gave me a while back – I stuck them in some cheap IKEA frames I had waiting for just such tenants and popped them on the wall for some color.
|The next morning, getting ready for my sister-in-law and her mom to join us for breakfast.|
The counter is clear of everything except a few useful and (at least reasonably) attractive items, and everything else is banished.
It’s definitely going to be a challenge to keep it that way. I do need to come up with a little landing zone of my own here, so that paperwork and odds and ends don’t end up back on the counter.
I’ve added that to the list: Spray paint and two landing zones. And pretty stuff for the porch. But for now, my entryway is Reasonably Clean, and that’s just fine.
And I do think it makes my house a little more welcoming. Goodness, I certainly felt happier every time I walked in the door! That first clutter-less view makes such a difference in how I perceive my home – and hopefully puts my friends and family more at ease, too.