Monday, November 21, 2011
I AM Calm
Today, I am trying to remain calm and therefore I will be ranting about my Thanksgiving prep. Not because it is incredibly funny or interesting, but just because I need to get it all out so that I can realize just how far behind I am, and then I can properly panic and freak out.
I bought a turkey this weekend. I opted for a fresh one, as I usually do, but I had to get a bigger one than I wanted. I do not know why, but every year it seems that I either cannot find a turkey big enough or I can't find one small enough. Last year, we had extra people for Thanksgiving (some good friends who are just as far away from their extended families as we are) and I needed a 20 pound turkey. Every store I went to had 12-15 pound turkeys, but nothing bigger. This year it was the opposite. I went to 4 different stores and all of the turkeys were 20-25 pounds.
My mother-in-law does not eat poultry -- no chicken, no duck, and no turkey. Not even on Thanksgiving. When SHE doesn't eat something, my girls all of a sudden don't eat it either. So the husband, the father-in-law, and the 2 boys and I are the ones who will be eating turkey -- all 14 1/2 pounds of it. The mother-in-law is bringing a ham, which I love, but which will further diminish the need for the big turkey. I am also making home-canned green beans with carrots, mashed potatoes, sweet potato souffle, asparagus, homemade bread, and, of course -- rice. My in-laws are Puerto Rican, we have to have rice with every meal. And I am Southern. It doesn't matter that we HAVE to have rice, because we also HAVE to have sweet potatoes and mashed potatoes. And green beans from Costco will not do -- they have to be ones that my mother canned this summer cooked with fat-back for most of the day leading up to dinner. Its a rule.
So the menu is set. Now on to the cleaning. Crap. This is ALWAYS an issue at my house, Thanksgiving or not. This week the minions are out of school. My husband, in his oblivion, said "Good, they can help you clean." Yeah, right. Trying to clean with 4 kids in the house is like shoveling snow in a blizzard -- it may be necessary to keep from being completely buried, but you rarely make much notable progress. I cleaned the toilet in their bathroom this morning. While I was cleaning the sink, with the 3 different shade of kid toothpaste on it, the 3 year old came in and peed all over the toilet. So I cleaned it again. I need to dust, vacuum, sweep, and mop. All things that I hate. And today I am babysitting a 5th kid. Difficulty level has been increased by at least 20%.
I have to say though, they are trying to help. The main problem seems to be that they do not want to do the general picking up and putting away that is required before you can start on the things that they think will be fun -- dusting, vacuuming, and pretty much anything that requires spraying things from a squirt bottle. Add to that they have no idea HOW to do the cleaning that they WANT to do and you get half a bottle of Windex on the bathroom mirror, 46 Clorox wipes to clean the table, and 4 Swiffers to clean the bathroom floor.
And there is the constant need to purge the crap -- we are in the throes of a full-on pre-Christmas purge. The kids don't want to get rid of ANYTHING and their dad and I want to get rid of EVERYTHING. We know that in a few short weeks "Santa" (AKA Grandma and Grandmother) will load them down with so much stuff that there will be no room for us to move in this house. Why do kids get so attached to meaningless crap? I went to give away a pillow that is all ratty and dirty and has Disney Princesses on it (my girls don't even like Disney Princesses) and you would have thought I was trying to give away the family dog. My nearly 10 year old son is pouting because I threw away a box that was torn up and laying flat on the floor of his room because he had drawn on it with crayons. It. Was. A. BOX. A torn up box at that. It is really annoying.
It is almost time for lunch now. I will have to get the kitchen dirty to make the 5 kids here lunch, serve it on the previously cleaned table, and watch as thousands of crumbs are dropped onto my previously cleaned floor. And I will have to do this amid numerous protests over what is being served. After lunch there will be an entire hour or more trying to re-motivate the minions to get back to work.
I was hoping to have the house completely cleaned up by tomorrow. Tomorrow is Lorelei's 5th birthday. I hate to try and make them clean up when it is supposed to be a day to celebrate Lorelei. We have gotten her presents, we have ordered a pull-apart-cupcake-cake, and we have promised her that she can have cheese-sticks from Sonic for dinner since that is her absolute favorite thing in the world. Two weeks from now, the oldest turns 10, and 4 days after Christmas, the 7 year old turns 8. All of these birthdays mean that the Christmas haul will only be half of what comes into this house over the next few weeks. (Sigh) I suppose that means that I should get off of here and get to work.....