You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Housecleaning’ tag.

(c) 2013 Trina Lambert

(c) 2013 Trina Lambert

Where did this month go? Well, once we heard my brother Scott and his wife Lori were coming to visit with their four grandchildren—all boys, aged six and under!—we had to get in gear to have a house that would be safe enough for the youngest two who were not quite two and half years and 15 months. The first challenge was dealing with our non-stop messes of dog hair, dirt, and mud, especially in this in-between weather season.

But beyond that we had to think more about real hazards. It’s one thing to have to re-develop those eyes in the back of the head for watching a puppy—it’s entirely another thing when the stakes are so high because you are dealing with little people who also put everything in their mouths. At least we already had gates thanks to the dogs and their muddy paws.

Seriously, although we had twins, at least we weren’t outnumbered by our children when we were together. Dealing with four boys is nonstop chaos. We had all these ideas for getting out of the house, but had forgotten how much work it is just to get out of the house! Thank goodness I had saved the blocks and the Brio train set—although it would have been a good idea to have cleaned the pieces before I had all the “free” help beside me launching the pieces into the bathtub and the surrounding areas. And then there was Jackson to help by playing with the older boys with Nerf guns and the game systems and Christiana to do some artwork with them.

Thankfully only the youngest got sick—pink eye and a double ear infection. When the medications kicked in, he forgot his troubles and got happy once more. With vigorous hand washing and sterilizing, we all stayed healthy and thus happier too.

So glad our winter weather stayed away until after they left. Not only did they have safe travels, but we also had the great outdoors, as in visiting Red Rocks Amphitheatre, or the minor outdoors, as in the local playground, for running off a lot of energy. There is no way our modest 1940s house was up to containing five adults, four kids, and two dogs all day and all night.

Furgus loved the kids way more than they loved him—you can only take so many wet willies, you know? However, he didn’t care what they did to him—he just loved the attention. On the other hand, due to Sam’s unknown shady past, he stayed in his crate or played outdoors with Furgus, coming out to socialize freely only after everyone born in this millennium had fallen asleep.

We adults also snuck off—women on one day and men on another—to get incredible Chinese foot and body reflexology massages at Ying’s Hairstyles here in Englewood. Too bad Scott and Lori can’t get those every week for dealing with the challenges of caring for all that energy—the energy the boys require of them and the energy the boys have day in and day out!

Yes, the visit required a lot of energy from those of us who aren’t used to dealing with little ones every day, but the children also brought a lot of joyful, youthful energy into our normally quiet home.

And when the whirlwind of their energy and activity left our home, we took off with our own family on our own high-energy adventure to ski at Copper Mountain for a couple days. Thanks especially to all the gorgeous snow that dumped on the slopes while we were there, skiing required even more of our energy than usual.

Even home again, the activities kept up as Sherman and Christiana had to plow the snow that dumped in Denver and she and her boyfriend finished their spring break here with us. By the time she and her friends left to return to school, we were exhausted.

Between all the young kids and older kids here over the last week or so, I’d lost a lot of my own energy. So yesterday I focused on recharging my batteries with a hot bath, a good book, some yoga and ZUMBA, and a good night’s sleep. Which means I’m ready to run—literally—just as soon I finish writing this and just as the sun has warmed up enough to melt last night’s ice from my paths.


(c) 2011 Christiana Lambert

‘Twas the day before Christmas Eve and all through our house, not many Christmas decorations were showing, except for a few stockings and some easily-accessible items that could be set up high. My year had been long, filled with too much gloom and doom, weighed down by parental possessions “stored” in my home, and hampered by physical injury and pain, at the same time sharp puppy teeth remained ready and able to destroy anything left below three and a half feet.

In short, I didn’t know if Christmas could happen in a living room where all those extra possessions had arrived at a time when everything in our home had to be out of reach and when my back’s condition lowered my already low ability to deal with the physical manifestation of my parents’ lifetimes.

The dust and I collected in that room where my spirit often felt trapped by my body’s limitations and those boxes. Add in the rollicking of two exuberant young dogs who brought in dirt from the great outdoors, and we had our own little Dust Bowl, right in our own home.

(c) 2011 Christiana Lambert

As determined as I had been to find the floors and table so we could decorate for Christmas—as well as move past this year—by December 23rd I had lost my commitment to finish with anything more than the most basic goal of a clean-enough house. After all, our Christmas tree stood lighted in the room even if I couldn’t imagine any ornaments would be truly safe in our house this year—perhaps that was decoration enough.

That’s when a not-so-little elf stepped in, inspired by the movie Elf.

While Sherman and I were out shopping, Christiana—the once-preschool-artist who used to make artwork from items snatched from the recycling bin—pulled out paper, scissors, and an X-Acto knife in order to create a festive yet puppy-friendly set of colorful decorations: chains, snowflakes, and cut-out ornaments such as candles, stars, and gingerbread men.

(c) 2011 Christiana Lambert

The hot pink, lime green, neon orange, lemon yellow, and blue-purple chains made a tropical paradise out of my frozen Christmas spirit: I hadn’t missed it, after all. Why it was only Christmas Eve Eve—plenty of time to save the holiday.

She cut, stapled, and hung. Sherman and I wrapped after our elf suggested we could still have presents out if we put them on top of the piano where our puppy, AKA Goat Boy, could not reach. Christiana made a skirt tree from paper to cover the tree stand, but we made do when we decorated the piano top.

Truth is traditional Christmas colors didn’t match the paper chains anyway. Other than grabbing a few more lights and some tinsel from our usual decorating boxes, we left everything else in the garage. No, the material on top of the piano came from leftover quilting projects—after a few snips with my mother’s pinking shears, we had a virtual rainbow of colors resting beneath the presents.

(c) 2011 Christiana Lambert

The tropical transformation continued once again during the daytime hours of Christmas Eve.

Our traditional “winter wonderland” the kids make on top of the piano that suggests skiing and sledding and a White Christmas? Well, instead we put down purple material and Jackson and Christiana created the scene with various colorful toys. Blue bears, dragons, Pokey, dinosaurs, and Kermit—oh my?

(c) 2011 Christiana Lambert

With all the life changes we had experienced, we needed to find a different way to celebrate—this year was not at all like all the Christmases we knew.

But with the lights twinkling amidst all the color, and other elves doing more basic cleaning and preparations, I soldiered on and got that table cleared—a few days after the longest night of the year, but just in time for the brightest night of the year. Upon that table we set out multi-colored Fiestaware instead of matching china and crystal, said our prayers, and then toasted—to what had been and to what was still to come.

Without the helpful push for Christmas spirit in our home, I might not have opened up to the Christmas story and the Spirit celebrated later that night in our church. Sometimes, when our faith is on the shelf, God has to send human hands to remind us of light on this earth before we can see the True Light.

(c) 2011 Christiana Lambert

Recent Comments

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 304 other followers

Blogging AtoZ Challenge 2012