Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Adventures in House Cleaning

Nobody (in their right mind) likes to clean the house. 

Nobody wakes up and says, "Boy oh BOY!!  I cannot WAIT to don my rubber gloves and get to work on the goopy yellow pee splatters left on the toilet bowl.  And, how lucky am I....to be able to spend 30 minutes of my life scraping the blue / red / pink / white / green toothpaste off of the bathroom faucet??!!  My friends will be sooooo jealous when I tell them about the hour I spent scrubbing and sanitizing the kitchen trashcan!!" 

No.  We wake up and say, "Hmmmm, what can I come up with that needs to be done TODAY?  It will need to be important enough to get me out of cleaning......" 
And then we go shopping. 
For shit we don't need.

Sometimes, though, your House will trick you into thinking that a quick little pick-up of the living areas won't be so bad. 

House isn't even really dirty.  House is just a little messy and only needs a few minutes of your (precious) time to be put back together.  Quite often, House has accomplices in making you think that the task will be a breeze.  The accomplices are your children.......who think you're lacking enough brain cells to not notice the 7 toilet paper rolls on the floor next to the bathroom trashcan, or the blue paint accidentally spilled in 4 different places on the upstairs carpet, or the 3 cereal bowls stashed under the couch, or the 8 stickers and piece of gum left in the pocket of a pair of jeans that just spent 45 minutes in the dryer. 

Whether it truly is a lack of brain cells....or your immunity / ignorance to bullshit.....or the talent I possess and like to call Pretend-It's-Not-There-And-It-Doesn't-Exist.....You don't notice any of the above until it's too late and you are already knee-deep in the shithole that is your Lovely House.

All of a sudden, a "quick pick-up" has turned into an all day Olympic Event, complete with prizes at the end - like the 20 dollar bill you discover at the bottom of the shoe basket.  (This would be the same 20 dollar bill that you accused your kids of stealing from you 3 weeks ago.)

What I found in the first 20 minutes of my January 8th Quick Pick-Up Olympic Event:

-  Baggie with Water & Goo

I don't have the slightest clue what this is.  And, no, I didn't ask the kids because I don't really care.  All I know is that it does not belong on the kitchen counter next to the loaf of bread.

-  Science Experiment Dishes

I know I've mentioned these before.  Funny how they keep coming up...over and over and over again.  Do you have any idea what kind of patience it takes to clean salt and food coloring from a cereal bowl??!!  No?  Well, neither do I.  I throw them away.  That's why we have a lot of unmatched bowls.  I don't have the patience to clean them.

-  Candle Jar with I-Don't-Even-Want-to-Know On It

Again, I didn't ask.  In this instance, however, it's not that I don't care... so much as I really don't want to know what it is.

- 25 Pieces of What Used to be 2 Dog Toys

Because I try to be NICE to Houdini Dog, I buy toys for it.  (Ok, FINE.  Watching her hit herself in the face with a toy that she flings back and forth like a wild animal trying to kill its prey is FUN.)  And, because I wouldn't want her to choke and DIE, I bought her "stuffing-free" toys for Christmas.  (Yes, these are the same ones on the Infomercial that I know YOU watch.  However, I bought these at the store.)  And, contrary to the company's slogan of "Stuffing Free Which Means Less Mess", these toys are like live fucking rabbits and will actually have 23 babies on your living room floor. 
Yes, the DOG is partly to blame for this (no, she did not have sex with her toy raccoon).  But, come on!  When advertising "stuffing-free", you might want to also mention "dog-will-bite-off-11-pieces-of-this-ONE-toy-and-not-let-you-throw-away-ANY-of-it.....which-means-your-living-room-floor-will-forever-be-littered-with-squirrel-and-raccoon-body-parts......but-at-least-it-will-be-STUFFING-FREE!"

-  12 Dirty Spoons in the Sink

Zero dirty forks. 
Zero dirty knives.
TWELVE dirty spoons.
How does that even happen????
Well, it's possible that the kids and I have eaten mostly cereal and Dairy Queen Blizzards since Jayson left back in September.  And that could possibly be to blame for the TWELVE dirty spoons.

-  Our Christmas Ham

In an effort to wean the kids and I off of cereal and Dairy Queen Blizzards, I spent Christmas Day laboring in the kitchen (AKA:  taking the plastic wrap off of the pre-baked ham and putting it in the oven) so that we could enjoy a nice honey-baked ham over the Christmas weekend.  Unfortunately, by the time the ham was done, we were too full from cereal and leftover Dairy Queen to even touch the ham.  I found it at the back of the fridge two weeks later....right next to the leftover sausage dip that I made for Thanksgiving. 

-  A Brand New Box of Captain Crunch Cereal

I'm not a huge fan of sugary cereals.  However, there is something almost hypnotic about Captain CrunchBerry Cereal, and I can't resist it (especially when I'm knee-deep in the shithole that is my Lovely House and I would use just about ANY excuse to get out of finishing what I've unknowingly started).  Maybe it's the way that the very hard, very square edges of the cereal cut the roof of my mouth.  Or, maybe, it's the filmy sugar fuzz that coats my teeth when I'm done.  Whatever it is that draws me to that Little Captain Dude....I'm ok with it because it got me out of cleaning for the time it took me to sit down and inhale two whole bowls of it.

-  Enough Laundry to Mimic a Photo of the Teton Mountain Range

Just the night before, I had asked Thing One and Thing Two to bring up their dirty clothes.  They each brought up enough laundry to fill both bins in the laundry room.  Good work, Soldiers. 
Uh, no.
While competing for 1st place in today's Olympic Event, I made the mistake of going downstairs to their "rooms"...otherwise known as:  a place to keep everything you've owned since you were two years-old, to include bowls, water bottles, shoes-that-don't-fit, the other glove that your mother has been looking for, sheets that aren't actually ON your bed, last year's Easter basket (complete with candy), and the REST of your dirty laundry.

-  Neosporin

On a positive note, I found the Neosporin that I had been looking for since the night before.  (THAT was when Jaycob took a quarter to the forehead and wound-up with stitches.)  Apparently, after nursing my StairClimber-O-Death shin injuries, I didn't put the goop back where I found it.
On a not-so-positive note, I made the mistake of looking at the expiration date and now have to go to the store and buy a new tube of Neosporin.
Our tube of Neosporin expired in June...

...of 2004.

-  A Storage Room That Didn't Feel Well and Threw-Up in My Basement

Or, possibly, it wasn't the Storage Room's fault.  Possibly, it was due to the fact that Thing One and Thing Two refuse to follow simple instructions and put the stuff IN the Storage Room...... instead of NEAR the Storage Room.
Needless to say, this latest find prevented me from putting away the Christmas decorations and taking down the 5 Christmas trees that are scattered throughout my Lovely House. 
At least I can say I'm getting a headstart on Christmas for THIS YEAR.  Can you??

Plus, thanks to the Downstairs Obstacle Course, I came to the conclusion that keeping a clean, well-organized house is completely beyond my control and I will probably feel more accomplished if I just go eat some more Captain Crunch, instead.


Monday, January 10, 2011

Moments that Colored Our Lives in 2010

While not every memorable moment from 2010 could be caught on camera,
there were so many that were. 
The following photos represent some of the moments
that have added color to our lives over the last year.
 (Or "flag" as inappropriate....whichever fits.)

March 2010
Jayson and I ran the coldest race of our lives. 
It was a sweltering 20 degrees at the start.

May 2010
Jayson ran his first Full Marathon with me in Ogden.
He wasn't happy with me about it before the race.
And he certainly wasn't happy with me about it after the race.
He swore to never run a Full again.
But, he's not the Boss of the World.
I am.

June 2010
After passing countless inspections, Jayson wins the US Supply Excellence Award
and heads to the East Coast to receive his award.
This was, by far, the most monumental moment in his Army career so far.

Command emphasis from the leadership was apparent; B Battery Supply had numerous systems in place to master property accountability. The S4 Officer conducted numerous staff assistance visits throughout the year to ensure compliance with supply policies. B Batterr was the only unit evaluated that included functions from PBUSE in their inspections. The NCO (SSG Jayson R. Geisler) in charge of this supply room motto is “do not spend money that is allotted to your unit as if it is yours; spend it as if it belongs to every Soldier within the unit equally.” The climate in this unit reflected his motto as the unit accountability of supplies resulted in no loss of accountability. This supply room scored 97 percent out of 100 on their evaluation.

After spending $700 on a new uniform, flying to the other side of the country,
and getting ready for the most monumental moment in his Army career...
Jayson finally discovers why he couldn't get his awards to line up the way they did on his old uniform.
And, no, he didn't have another badge.
So, SSG GEISER had to accept SSG GEISLER'S award.


July 2010
Rather than help this poor man out of the Vegas slot machine that he was stuck in,
we stood there, laughed, and took pictures.

July 2010
An annual tradition at our house....
A few hundred feet of plastic sheeting,
multiple bottles of dish soap,
enough water to cure a drought,
and well-hydrated men boys on innertubes.
(See Blog Post dated August 1, 2010)

August 2010
I spent an entire day at the waterpark analyzing people.
One man's obsession with Speedos,
this woman's quest for Au Natural,
and a guy with the longest set of nipples I have ever seen.
(See Blog Post dated August 4, 2010) 

August 2010
I became a hairdresser.
I cut Jaycob's hair with a pair of kitchen meat scissors...
that I had used just a few days earlier to trim the hair on Houdini Dog's neck
so that the little prongs of death could shock the shit out of her
and maybe, just maybe, keep her ass in the yard. (It didn't work.)
(See Blog Post dated September 1, 2010)


September 2010
While at their last round of pre-mobilization training in Boise,
Jayson and 2,699 other soldiers were presented with handmade wool beanies.
Just to make myself clear:
ONE women made 2,700 wool beanies for our Idaho soldiers.
EACH of these 2,700 wool beanies had the above handwritten note pinned to them.

This note sits on our kitchen counter
as a constant reminder to me
of what true heart really is.
September 2010
On September 21st, 2010 we watched
as Jayson packed a years worth of his things into several duffel bags
 (he tried to put me in one of the bags, but I complained about the smell)
 and prepared to leave Idaho for his
year-long deployment to Iraq.


September 2010
After 2 full hours of NOT crying in public,
Jayson and I were asked to appear on camera for several local news channels.
I agreed - on one condition.....I would NOT remove my sunglasses.
The reporters accepted my terms,
and, within minutes, I was the
"emotional-crying-spouse" clip that was played over and over again
on every local news channel for a week.
Thank goodness I did my hair, wore a bra, and decided on running shoes instead of slippers.
Oh, and I didn't drop the F bomb once!!!

September 2010
After spending 3 hours hauling their dad's gear around like little Sherpas,
watching their mom cry in public,
and eating 5 donuts apiece....
Reality set in for Jaycob and Sydni.
It was time for Jayson to leave us.
We watched thru the fence as all of our soldiers headed towards the plane.
We watched as each soldier shook the hands of their Commanders,
with some giving that look that said, "Will I be back?"
And then, between sobs, Sydni told me that we couldn't leave until the plane was in the sky.
And she told me other things, too.
 Like, "Mom, I've never seen dad cry before." That one shattered what was left of my heart.
And she proceeded to give a barely coherent, very tearful play-by-play of what was happening in front of us.
"Oh, no, MOM! They're taking the stairs away from the plane!"
"Mom, the plane is moving. The plane is MOVING!!
 I don't want the plane to move. Isn't there something we can do???"

And that was when Jaycob put his arm around Sydni and kissed her on the forehead.


     September 2010
      And then he was gone.
            (See Blog Post dated September 21, 2010)


October 2010
This is Veeny.
(The plant - not the fly with his eyeball oozing out of his head.)
Veeny is a finicky eater,
and we have been trying like crazy to keep him happy for the last 3 months.
He has a tendency to spit things out and make his limbs turn black. (Maybe out of protest?)
I'm beginning to wonder if, maybe, he prefers little children instead of little bugs.
(See Blog Post dated October 11, 2010)

October 2010
This is Jaycob.
Jaycob got grounded from TV (for like the zillionth time).
And, since Jaycob refuses to eat his popcorn (he has an addiction)
without his pillow and blanket,
this is where I found him.
October 2010
After Jayson left in September,
I sold his truck.
He went out and got a new one.
October 2010
Jaycob harassed me for weeks
about showing me a science experiment.
Unfortunately, when it comes to science experiments at our house,
the end result is usually ME cleaning up the mess
just before I head to the store to restock the kitchen supplies
that have been depleted by my Special Little Scientists
(salt, sugar, food coloring, milk, oil, toothpicks, cereal bowls......you name it).
This one, however, was different.
It was cool!
Directions (from Scientist Jaycob):
-  Put in 4 colors.
-  Wait, wait....First put some milk in a bowl.
-  THEN put in 4 colors...food colors...that dye stuff.  Put the drops in different spots.
-  Pour in some Dawn dishsoap.  Not dishsoap.  DAWN dishsoap.  Duh.

November 2010
After being gone for a month and a half,
and me pleading for a picture,
I finally got to see my husband....
in his typical "Geisler Pose".
November 2010
We surprised our kids....
with a trip to Mississippi.
(Wa-hoo!!!  Every kids' dream vacation.  I know, right??!!)
After such a difficult goodbye back in September,
neither Jayson nor I was sure that we wanted to go thru it again.
But, after much discussion, we came to this conclusion:
If you are given one more opportunity
to spend time with the person you love the most,
what is there to discuss??
So, under the ruse of taking a mom/son/daughter family vacation,
the kids and I boarded a plane in Salt Lake City,
took a pit stop in Dallas,
and touched-down in Gulfport, Mississippi.
With a story about Lost-Luggage-Won't-Be-Found-'til-Morning-Have-to-Get-a-Room-Here-For-the-Night...
I left the kids at the hotel
and promptly went "shopping" for replacement clothes.
Since the "lost luggage" of the story was actually true,
I was torn about what to do.
Do I go pick up my husband from Camp Shelby?
Or do I go buy some new Buckle jeans???
I went and picked up Jayson.
All of the stress in planning, the cost of booking, and the lies I told my children (ok, that part was fun),
all resulted in one of the coolest moments ever for our family.
I would do it again in heartbeat.
November 2010
Jaycob ate Kermit...
and then spit him out.
(You don't have to thank me for posting the "before" pic, rather than the "after"....)

November 2010
We visited a Gator Farm
a took a wild ride on an airboat.
What a rush!
I am totally getting an airboat and surprising Jayson with it when he gets home.
(He's gonna need a vehicle, anyway.  And there's no way he'd turn down a fanboat.)
November 2010
Jayson and I run.
But, we don't run together...
...until Mississippi.
And that is where Jayson ran with me.
He ran with me over the Atlantic Ocean
from Biloxi to Ocean Springs.
It was breathtaking (no pun intended)...
the scenery...
and the moment.
November 2010
Of course we left our room keys in our room when we checked out of the hotel.
Why would you think anything different??
November 2010
My new Winter Husband.
(The SnowBlower.  Not the thumb in the corner.  Don't be gross.)
Enough said.
November 2010
Red and Blue M&M's are poison.
Just like Orange Sixlets, Red and Blue M&M's taste different than their friends.
My dad has backed me up on this for as long as I can remember.
And then, while eating M&M's  for lunch at the mountain - just the other day
(Don't worry...we are healthier than that!  We had Loaded Nachos first.),
my dad discovered something....
They really DO taste different.
Yes, you read that right - he just barely discovered that.
In other words, the man has been backing me up for all these years
just because it was fun.
Thanks, Dad. 
I think??
December 2010
After much planning and a wonderful Tutu-Maker named Stacy,
I was able to run the Las Vegas Rock 'n' Roll Marathon in style.
The 1st half of the course was amazing!
We ran the Strip with NO TRAFFIC.....just 27,000 runners,
a gazillion discarded water cups, and a run-thru wedding ceremony.
The 2nd half, well....
My "good" knee became my "bad" knee somewhere around Mile14,
and the big toe on my left foot quadrupled in size, pooled with blood,
and turned me into a surgeon a week later
when I performed my own Toe Operation.
Wanna know what kept me going????
My Tutu and my Shirt.
My Tutu - made from pieces of Jayson's uniform
and my Shirt - emblazoned with a GEISLER ribbon.
It was like having Jayson there with me.
Everytime a piece of velcro from his uniform would catch on my
running panties and tug at my crotch...
It was like having Jayson there with me.

December 2010
I learned how to Pole Dance Fall.
Let's be honest....
Pole Dancing is HARD.
And, to learn how to do it on the same day you run a Full Marathon
is not possible
(don't judge me until you try it).
However, it is all ARMS.
Why were my arms tired from running?
Oh, I know.
Probably from pulling Jayson's uniform velcro out of my crotch.
December 2010
Thanks to Jayson's Vacation-in-the-Sand,
we discovered the Wonderful World of Skype.
If you haven't used Skype...
Do it.
But make sure you have a sign-up list.
Otherwise, people DOG will cut in line.
December 2010
Christmas was a bit different at our house in 2010.
Not bad.
Not sad.
Not disappointing.
Just different.
Jayson spent the entire morning with us,
sitting on the footrest.
And, when the presents were all opened,
and the kids were zoned-out with their new toys,
guess who got the better deal....
Jayson did.
No clean up.
No please-can-you-put-this-impossible-to-put-together-toy-together.
And, no Christmas decor take-down duty.
The best moment of 2010?

Every moment spent with Jayson.

He's my hero, my friend, and the reason I wake up every morning.

HE is what colors my life.