I Run a Tight Ship. Until I Don’t.

I’m just going to say it: I have a major stick up my ass. It’s way up there, wedged somewhere in the deepest cavern of my innards. I like to call it “a raging case of OCD,” but sometimes I think it’s worse.

I think I’m Type A. Although I’m not entirely certain what that means, so what do I know? I do know I have all of the signs…

I run a tight ship. We have a schedule, a daily schedule. Particularly busy days have an hourly schedule. We have a homeschool schedule. I have a daily chores and cleaning schedule. I schedule our meals, rather I plan out what we’re going to eat. A month in advance.

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Every Saturday I update my calendar for the following week, then I make check lists for every day – combining all of my various schedules into one list, that is usually several Post-It Notes long. I tape them together, then every day I tape my list to my bedroom door.

See what I said? Pretty sure you’re all sitting at your computers, mouthing the words “this bitch is neurotic.” You would be right.

Even though we homeschool, and for the most part it’s an un-schooled, project-based kind of plan, I also demand that everything on the schedule for the day be done. Chores have to be done before technology. Tennis has to be done before TV.

There are rules; they get followed. I run a tight ship.

That is, until I don’t.

You see, for every list I make, schedule I create, and meal I plan, I inch one step closer to total – but temporary – abandonment of this organized lifestyle of neurotic proportions.

Checklist

When I abandon my plans and throw caution to the wind, it’s almost laughable what I mean when I consider myself to be doing so.

Instead of following my meal plan, I just cook whatever we fucking have. Sometimes there aren’t three servings of fruits or vegetables with dinner. And on more than one occasion I’ve just made a box of Macaroni and Cheese and literally felt like my next step was selling cocaine.

My daily checklists go missing; although, usually it starts with me checking things off my checklist that I haven’t actually done. All the while I rationalize to myself that it’s not necessary, when really I know that it is; then the next thing you know a Saturday comes and I’m tired of writing or making lists or whatever, and I don’t make the checklists for the following week. Then nothing gets done.

I let the homeschooling go more often than I should too. Though that’s the one thing that’s excusable, as we school all year – because no school work typically means unruly behavior. But when my tight ship goes down quicker than the Titanic, I – again, temporarily – don’t care about the unruly behavior.

Usually because my ass is parked on the couch, eating vanilla frosting straight out of the canister, on my twelfth episode of Criminal Minds. You can’t be upset about your kids’ unruly behavior when you’re comatose.

So this week my husband started a new job, and it’s a night job. It’s a big step for our family; and a huge step for his illustrious film career (I say illustrious only half-in-jest). But as with all major life changes, it’s a big period of adjustment.

And if there’s one thing I know about adjustments, it’s that they are usually the driving force behind my abandonment of my aforementioned tight ship.

Tonight I went through the rest of the week’s checklists and sort of mentally checked things off of them in advance. Also, today I was supposed to make quesadillas, rice, and salad for dinner.

I served rolled up pieces of ham and a jar of olives.

Ultimately, I think that everyone deserves a break. And, when you run as overbooked and understaffed of a household as this one, you’re bound to need a time-out every so often. The good news is that my reprieves are brief, maybe a day, sometimes two. My record longest was a week, and that was the last time I had a cold; my record shortest was an afternoon when I just threw everything out the window and watched nine episodes of Murder She Wrote.

Nonetheless, this is my life. Like an oscillating fan, I wave back and forth between neurotic overachiever and slovenly lard ass.

So I am sure that if I really do take a break from running around this place like my life depends on three, square meals a day and strict adherence to an unrealistic daily timeline of chores and responsibilities, that break will be brief. Then again, maybe it won’t…

 

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I Think I’m A Pinterest Mom

Counting the Deviled Egg Disaster of Easter 2015 as the recent (and glaring) exception, I think I’m a Pinterest Mom. And even so, the Deviled Egg Disaster of Easter 2015 was inspired by the famed pin site.

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It was like Night of the Living Dead meets a traditional, holiday appetizer.

When my husband said that the only thing he cared about on Easter was that I make a lot of deviled eggs; oh and by the way can you make those guacamole ones?; oh hey you should do those colored ones you did a few years ago…; oooh look at those bleu cheese buffalo spiced deviled eggs … well you can see I was overwhelmed. I also saw a pin where the person made the deviled eggs look like baby chicks, and immediately felt up for the challenge. This is around where it fell apart – I was just in way over my head.

It also didn’t help a single bit that my husband’s cousin and his wife showed up with this bullshit cheese and chartreuse platter. I call it bullshit because it was SO. DAMN. AMAZING that it put everyone else’s nonsense to shame. I could have brought in a watermelon carving fashioned in the likeness of Jesus Christ himself, and it wouldn’t compare to that goddamned cheese and chartreuse platter.  They actually hand-carved the platters at home, out of what I can only assume was wood they gathered from the homes of the gods on Mount Olympus.

So you can see, in the case of the Deviled Egg Disaster of Easter 2015, I was set up to fail from all sides. But this isn’t the normal course of affairs.

Usually I’m all over baking homemade dog treats, making my own laundry detergent, and hanging cutesy signs through out the house – that I happened to cross-stitch or paint out of, naturally, up-cycled materials I already had around the house.

Consider Exhibits A and B. After spending hours working on these, I can’t help but wonder if (a) anyone in my house will ever pay attention to them; or, (b) just how insane others will think I am when they visit the house.

I mean really… sock buddy system? How annoyingly cute can we get here?

Exhibit A

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Exhibit B

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Birthday parties aren’t just birthday parties anymore. They are events. Events where every food item is perfectly labeled.

Exhibit C

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Themes and color schemes are strictly adhered to.

Exhibit D

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And there is always – ALWAYS – a dessert table.

Exhibit E

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In Exhibit F you’ll see I’ve created a monogram for our family. It’s a fusion of our last name initials (P and S), and has taken over our house in monogrammed towels, wall letter art, and the labels I put on everything.

I actually have a day set each month to make more of those labels.

Exhibit F

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As time goes on, I’m making more and more from scratch. I’m getting to the point of needing nothing more than a cow, and I will be fully sufficient. I can for canning season. I make homemade dog food, from-scratch Chex Mix, and homemade butter.

Yes – moving on to Exhibit G, now – I make my own butter. As in I churn it.

Exhibit G

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And on the off chance that I’ve missed a beat, or something comes up like the Deviled Egg Disaster of Easter 2015, I feel that I have failed. Failed miserably – not only as a Pinterest user, or a Pinterest mom, but as a human being altogether.

tumblr_n0o4rm1zP71somw7ho1_500Why? Because like many of you, I can’t help but compare myself, both to others as well as to that vast world of pins and pictures and examples of the far greater things out there. As I see it, Pinterest is just the new era of Better Homes and Gardens and Modern Woman magazines. And this is why women have been comparing themselves for ages.

We could talk about the social problems with this for ages, the fact that it happens is just that: a simple fact. No matter how many positivity-be-myself-and-love-it articles I read on Buzzfeed and Huffington Post, a part of me is always going to wonder if I could do as well as the others.

But it isn’t just a matter of self-comparison, because – quite frankly – a lot of the time I couldn’t give a lick about what others do. It’s more like a challenge. There is better out there, and I know I can do better. So I’m going to (unless it has anything to do with deviled eggs).

So I think I’m a Pinterest Mom. That means that a lot of you hate me. Like really-really hate me; like you’ve written your own articles about how I’m a big asshole making everyone else look like a pile of crap.

And here I am, feeling like my own pile of crap because of a fucking cheese platter.

Well there are a few saving graces, here. (One) is that a lot of my Pinterest projects likely come out looking more like the Deviled Egg Disaster of Easter 2015 than I’m able to admit. (Two) is that unlike a lot of people I know, I can only keep up charades for a relatively short period of time. Which means that before we know it I’ll be back to my bargain basement decorating skills, coupled with parties that consist of no more than a bucket of chicken on my cluttered dining room table.

As I get ready to make a Moving Day Binder out of printables I printed off Pinterest tomorrow (that is, literally, the only thing I have planned for the entire day), I hold steadfast in my hope that this Pinterest Mom phase will pass quickly.

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