Posts Tagged ‘ cleaning ’

Wayne Has Fleas–How To Treat?

Monday, September 9th, 2013

Probably not as interesting or horrifying to you, except I did hear from my vet that this is a record year for fleas. So for all the pet owners: be forewarned. When I took Wayne in, she said they are seeing more indoor cats with fleas than ever before. Ugh. Gross. She also said Wayne was the cleanest cat she ever saw. This, of course, is no accident. The clean freak in me, well, freaked, when I realized all this “black dander” I had been finding on our bed, our couch, etc, was in fact not dander, but flea poop. Disgusting.

I spent the weekend in a sweatshop called my house, armed with a vacuum blowing out hot air and a dryer doing the same.  There were some linens and pillows I couldn’t wash so I at least threw them in the dryer for 20 minutes on high heat. That dryer–which is on our first floor that has no air-conditioning– churned non-stop in 100-degree heat. I should have just gone to Death Valley. It would have been cooler. I now feel like I’ve been hit by a bus. A hot one, spewing out exhaust.

I was going to ask you all the best way to treat fleas, but after all that work, Phil found 3 dead fleas and called in the exterminator. The apocalypse is underway. I took the kids to the beach. I am just now posting this with very little purpose in mind since my problem is now solved.

Wayne of course has zero appreciation. But he is now on a strict flea regiment in which I will apply some liquid drops to his fur every month to prevent this from happening again. Ever. I hereby declare him Flea Free. My house is Dirt Free, Flea Free, Mite Free–you name it.

I know I recently said cleaning is better than therapy, but I didn’t mean it in this regard. Really, I didn’t.

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Is Cleaning Better Than Therapy?

Tuesday, September 3rd, 2013

If you are a regular reader of mine, you know the following:

a.) I am an obsessive clean freak.

b.) I had hypnotherapy 18 months ago to curb–not cure–the obsession.

c.) I want to be buried with my dust buster.

But because of hypnotherapy, I no longer meltdown when I see crumbs. I can walk past them and they no longer taunt me. Plus, now I have cleaning ladies once a week. If I didn’t I would never leave the house and my tots would not survive. I would be strapped to my vacuum all day while they played with knives.

However, since we sold our Brooklyn apartment and had all our stuff moved out here, the boxes, even though out of sight, have been driving me mad. Just knowing they are there and full of “stuff”–stuff we haven’t used in 18 months–is enough to send me back to hypnotherapy. Not only that, but we are in a rental house where in less than two years we have accumulated enough to warrant another moving van when our new house is ready.

The clutter is mentally draining.  I get so cranky thinking about going through all the closets and the boxes and getting rid of stuff. It’s like the world’s worst term paper hanging over your head. And when I have little snippets of time (like when the kids nap) I think, “Well, what’s the point in starting, since they will wake up and then what?” It’s a procrastination tool I use frequently.

So a few weekends ago, I was in uber b-tch mood. I think it’s because the clutter was infiltrating my cells. Phil took the kids to the playground and told me to do something to snap out of my mood. I had 45 minutes. Not nearly enough time to clean out an entire house. But guess what? I started. And by the time he got home I had filled 3 garbage bags full of clothes to donate. What’s even better is the mood it put me in. I was downright giddy.  Confirmation for Phil that he married a neurotic.

Since I’m a person of extremes I couldn’t stop. I got on a manic roll. Over the next week I cleaned out every closet. I even scrubbed all the shelves. I did it even when I had small snippets of time. I realized you can accomplish a lot more than you think when you just dive in and stop procrastinating. I went through at least 12 of the boxes, piling up more stuff for donations and garbage. It was better than any drug or drink I’ve ever had. Well, almost.

The high lasted well after I finished the projects. Like two weeks longer. I honestly think that getting rid of the clutter also got rid of clutter in my brain. I felt less scattered, and far less miserable and blah. It was a remarkable undertaking with extraordinary results.

Of course now I’m back down from the high. But in the back of my mind I know there are more boxes waiting. So as my clutter starts to build up in my head, I know if I just unpack a box or organize a shelf I will probably feel better than drinking that bottle of wine in its entirety.

It’s like the revelation I had when I wrote The Mom Mystique. I need that sense of accomplishment that goes beyond child-rearing. Cleaning isn’t intellectually stimulating but the results strangely felt the same.

Now when we move in and are perfectly unpacked and organized I may need another “project” to tackle. But that is months away. Plus, I found a new therapist so maybe she can help me get to a happy place without filling up 8 garbage bags.

One of my favorite expressions from the days when I hosted Simple Solutions reports still rings true:

“Get rid of the mess, get rid of the stress.” Amen.

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Why You Shouldn’t Pack Formula In A Suitcase

Tuesday, August 20th, 2013

We went to visit some of Phil’s family last week. In true anal-retentive form, I did all the laundry before I left, taking great care to fold it in the order it would go into the drawers. Do I need to repeat that sentence? Yes, I painstakingly arranged the laundry just-so in the suitcase. In the order of where they go in the dresser drawers.

Phil has his own suitcase. I can’t blame him. In our new house we are going to have a walk in closet and neither of us wants to share with the other for fear of breaking up our marriage.

We arrived home late Friday night, exhausted from a full day of travel with Fia and Emmett. Particularly the latter since he’s a boy. Which means he’s into everything. Sitting still is like being a prisoner at Guantanamo Bay.

Sidenote: I honestly don’t know how the male species has sustained itself. There is no reason any boy should live past 2 with the constant death march they are on. I’m terrified to take my eyes off Emmett these days.

Anywho, we get home late, get the kids to bed, and I open up the suitcase to unpack. A plume of powder hits me. Fine, white, somewhat sticky powder. I’m surprised I didn’t end up on an episode of Locked Up Abroad for transporting cocaine. Then again, we didn’t leave the country. Nor was this cocaine.

The nearly full formula canister I had must have exploded in flight. Either that or the baggage handlers were hungry/thirsty.

Does anyone know how rank that stuff smells? And how hard it is to shake off clothes? Or vacuum out of a suitcase?

I have spent the last 3 days doing 7 loads of laundry and vacuuming and washing out my suitcase. It is now sitting in the sun to bake out the formula smell.

Phil is smirking. Sometimes it doesn’t pay to be obsessive and anal…

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Milestone Monday: Good Info on Potty Training

Monday, June 11th, 2012

I don’t think I’ve ever sat on a public toilet. I squat, but I don’t let my legs touch. My quads get a good workout. So does my brain. I will myself not to look at or think about the grime, the hair, and god-knows-what-else that is lurking. I have already been in hypnotherapy for my compulsive cleaning addiction. But training Fia to not only go into a public toilet, but to SIT on one, is going to be tough. However, doctor’s orders: Get over it!

At her 2.5-year check up last week he really set me straight.

“How’s she doing with potty training?” he asked.

“She does great with the poops, but we haven’t worked on pee as much.”

“Why not?” he asked.

“Because she will pee a lot more frequently, which means I have to deal with public bathrooms. And I’d prefer diapers to kneeling on a disgusting floor with her on a disgusting toilet. So I’ve been putting off the inevitable. With poop, it’s only once a day and usually in the evening, so we’re at home.”

“Ahhh…. this is very important to discuss then,” he said.

The short of it is: if you don’t train your children to go the bathroom–#1 or #2–in every scenario, then they will develop an aversion to using the bathroom outside of the house. He knows people who are prisoners to their own potty. They literally won’t leave their dwelling until they’ve shat.

“There’s a fire? Sorry, I can’t evacuate. I haven’t pooped yet.”

Basically, if I don’t teach her to go everywhere and anywhere, she could end up with a bathroom obsession. And lord only knows she probably already has many obsessive tendencies/genes. She doesn’t need anymore.

My next meditation will consist of positive imagery. I will envision us walking into the bathroom, dressed in fatigues, my head held high. I will properly line her toilet seat with paper. I will cheerlead. A cockroach might run past with a pubic hair in its mouth. “Look Mama look!” she’ll shout with excitement.  “Wow, how neat!” I’ll say through clenched teeth. “Are you finished yet?”

My face will never show disgust.

We will sit for 15 minutes. She will pee a teaspoon. And damn it, I’ll enjoy every minute and drop.

Another good example Fia’s pediatrician gave:

He hates salmon. Every time they have it, his girls whine, “Daddy, do we have to eat the salmon?” He replies, “Of course you do. Salmon is yummy!” and puts a forkful in his mouth (even though he is cringing inside). If he took a different approach, i.e.: “I don’t like salmon either,” they may never eat that fish again. If they end up disliking it, fine. But don’t let it be because of you.

We all know kids are little mimes. As parents, we are asked to do the impossible: show them the way, even if it’s not our way, our preference.  But when it comes to bodily functions, there really isn’t a choice.

For me, I want to travel the world with my kids. She’ll have to learn to squat over dirt holes in India, on bushes in Africa, and in outhouses in South Dakota.  And I get to lead the way. From now on, I will see the filth and squat right next to it. I will smile at it.

In short, I will embrace the gross.

 

Grungy toilet via Shutterstock

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New Baby Update

Thursday, February 2nd, 2012


Emmett's First Days

I have a son. Wow, that’s fun to say. And here I was worried about changing diapers with a penis underneath. So far I’ve been peed on twice and haven’t minded a bit. Emmett is so cute and cuddly–as I guess most newborns are. So where to begin?

The hospital stay, while not a spa, was nicer than Columbia Presbyterian in NYC. And this time around, I decided to have Emmett sleep in the nursery all 4 nights. With Fia I was terrified of letting her out of my sight, yet at the same time, terrified I’d screw up in doing anything. I think most of us new moms can relate.

I have a major obsession with my sleep. When I don’t get a solid chunk, I start to disintegrate. With Fia, I lost my marbles right out the gate, since it was a 36-hour labor followed by a C-section. With Emmett, I decided to stay ahead of the sleep curve and the pain curve.  That meant getting 6-7 solid hours a night in the hospital (well, maybe 5, then 3 more. The nurses would laugh when they’d see me making my rounds at 2:30 a.m. to check on my little dude) and taking pain meds. It has made a huge difference in my mental state. If only my physical one could match it….

I’m finding recovery really hard. Everyone says a scheduled C is so much easier. And to some extent it is. However,  I took “easier” to mean that I was basically going in for a flu shot and getting a baby in return. Um, slight miscalculation on my part.

After the surgery, I bled a lot. I was already anemic going in. So that didn’t help matters. I was really really sore too–more so than I expected. Again, thinking it was as simple as a shot.

Taking it easy at home is really hard for my type-A personality. My in-laws are here to help which has been great. But I’m a clean freak and I still feel the need to keep things organized, clutter free and crumb-free (there are constant crumbs on the counter, the floor, etc. That’s what my friend is having me try homeopathy for–to lessen the obsession.) Maybe I’m extra obsessed right now because it’s the only part of my life I can control. So in trying to do that, I’ve also had a few setbacks–the first day and a half I did too much. I ended up feeling dizzy and short of breath. Which put me back in bed. The crumbs and mess around the house were driving me crazy. But in the end, the crumbs can wait–they’ll have to.

Much more to write about. Baby’s first doc visit, the transition with Fia, breastfeeding issues, our decision on circumcision–to name a few. So more to come! Thanks again for all the well wishes.

Here’s a picture from the study in which I write this. He is sleeping in his swing… life is good.

Sweet Dreams My Boy

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