How To Keep a Beautifully Clean House

Okay, I lied. If you clicked on this title hoping for the answer, you’re going to be disappointed. This is more of a “How To Not…”

Me: Varun, I need something to blog about. Help me think of a topic. Like, what do I care about? Ooooh. What do I rant about?

Varun: Oh haha, buddy! You rant about lots of things. Most things. Pick anything.

And there you have it: another moment of revelation whilst brushing my teeth. Except before I had time to brainstorm, I saw this.

The curtains in our bedroom

I know. It hurts my heart too. The uneven ties, the falling rod, the curtains that slide to the left more times than I can slide them back in a given day.

And so I’ve stumbled upon my rant: getting stuff done. Varun loves to tell people that my name, Amelia, means “Industrious”. And it does (Nothing says “I have Germanic roots” like a name that could describe a BMW factory…). Most days, I’m pretty industrious. I’m disciplined about exercise, schoolwork, eating healthy foods and getting things done in advance. Except anything cleaning/housework related.

Example A:

A few months ago I was driving across the US border and the snoopy border guard said,

BG: So, you exported this car from the USA?

Me: Yes. Um, how’d you know that? (Thinking his computer is super fancy)

BG: You still have your registration tags on your windshield.

Me: Oh, haha. Sorry.

BG: They’re from last year. Why haven’t you taken them off yet?

Me: (In my head: Have you seen my closets, buddy? One year is nothing in Amelia To-D0 List Time….)

So what is my deal? How am I capable of making homemade tomato sauce and planting basil from seed and yet am completely unwilling (unable?) to organize my closets and clean out my trunk?

You know what keeps those curtains crooked? My fear of the futile. We’ve moved so many times that I think I’m just afraid to care. If I spend the afternoon baking cookies, I expect them to be gone in three hours days. And that’s okay. But when I hang pictures, I’m haunted by the thought that we’ll just move again. Also, our walls are concrete. It takes a hammer drill and some serious strength to get a screw in. And do you know what a pain it is to hang pictures on screws? You have to rig up your own little hooky thingy.

And here’s my other problem with the whole organized/housework thing. I love spending time with people. And so does Varun. Like yesterday, I was going to deal with the Pile O’ Junk next to my dresser. But then a friend texted to ask if I could help out. And then I visited a neighbor. And then we had an impromptu dinner with a friend. And then went to another friend’s house and sipped Freezies/Push-up-pops/Chuski’s and talked about life. And then it was 11 pm and I was totally over the desire to clean. My point is, housework just always falls to the bottom of the list because I don’t mind much, Varun doesn’t mind much and we still don’t have domestic help. (Whooooa Nelly. Don’t judge. Read the link)

Okay, this is my last problem. Things don’t stay organized. I guess because it’s not a priority for me, or because my brain can’t think in boxes, but I have no problem ditching my systems. Maybe I’m too flexible? Or is this what they mean when they say “lazy”?

Anyway. I have two points here. The first is, I think we can all agree that’s there’s way too much guilt and stress going around. So I’m joining Jessi at Naptime Diaries and giving up some good. Not that hanging pictures and scrubbing the bathtub doesn’t need to be done. Trust me, it does. But I’m just gonna chill out a bit on this one. Yup, you heard me: I am dealing with my lack of motivation by choosing to care less. HUZZAH.

You know the whole thing about not airing your dirty laundry….Well, Hello, Internet! (To be fair, this was after being gone for two weeks….)

But, just in case I feel motivated: HELP! Any thoughts on how to have a DIY/Pintrest-worthy house when neither you or your spouse/roommate/Mom/hamster care much?

*To my Man Blog Readers: Let’s be real here, this is not a “ladies” issue. Any thoughts or advice is totally appreciated!

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Birthday Win

Celebrating Birthdays as “grown-ups” (BAHAHA) feels a bit weird to me. We’re too old to make a fuss and just write it off as we’re kids it’s what we do, and we don’t have children so we can’t throw ourselves giant birthday parties and pretend “it’s for the kids”. So here we are. Twenty-something (some of us more “something” than “twenty”) and unsure how to celebrate. Last year, Varun went with the stealth birthday–basically pretending it didn’t happen. This year, he went for Birthday Week. (Actually, when I suggested washing dishes yesterday he aptly noted that it’s Birthday Month. I have created a monster.)

On the day before Varun’s birthday, I decided it would be a great idea to start looking for his presents. Because I love stress. Because I am a busy woman.

After calling every sports equipment store in an ever-widening circle, I finally found “Punjabi Sports” near Toronto. Somewhere in the back of my head, I made a mental note to look up Something About Cricket Equipment. Like what the bat should be made of…or whether he needs two bats for a game (like Tennis) or one (like baseball).

Varun also requested poutine for his birthday dinner. Wanting to at least pretend to be adults, I threw in salad as a compromise. I walked to the farmer’s market to buy cheese curds only to find it was closed. Like it is every Wednesday. Much more walking confirmed my suspicions: not everyone in our town buys cheese curds. In fact, most people don’t. Sigh.

Fast forward to Thursday morning. I dropped Varun off at work so I could drive to the cricket store. About 10 km away I realized I had forgotten to look up anything about cricket. I mustered up what little knowledge I had (ball, bat, wicket…Sachin Tendulkar) and prepared myself for Another Awkward White Girl Moment. Then I had a revelation: I could pretend to be Australian. Because they play cricket. And that would be less awkward.

Thankfully, the woman in the cricket store thought it was totally normal for me to walk in clueless and ready to spend money. She helped me pick out a bat for use in the park, spring-loaded wickets and a “cute” (my words) red ball. She even assured me that No, I did not need to buy two of everything.

Somehow I smuggled the whole set upstairs and got it set up while Varun napped.

Keepin’ it suuuuper classy with the cardboard box and flower wrapping paper.

And guess what: He loved it.

Win.

And not to worry, I found cheese curds: YUM.

Oh look, salad AND carrots!

In all of the birthday bliss Varun said we should have poutine every week. Wanting to avoid massive coronary shut downs, I said the only sensible thing I could think of: “How about this? For every two weeks that you work out more than 3 times per week, we’ll have poutine.” Remember the part about us being grown-ups? Maybe by the next Rana birthday…

Self portrait fail X3

How do you celebrate? What’s your favourite adult birthday so far?

Adoption and Kidgets Link Up

Do you ever have so many awesome tabs open that you won’t restart your computer? Yeah. It’s getting that bad. So, instead of hoarding the awesomeness, I’m doing my first ever link-up post.

If you’ve been reading this blog for long, you’ll know that adoption is on our hearts, big time. I’m sure it’s against all kinds of Blog O Sphere rules to talk about the fact that we’re talking about kids. But it’s not a secret. So, the theme for this link-up is…adoption/childhood/etc. [C’mon, you knew with a title like “ESL Marriage” that ESL Babies were going to happen eventually] {A note to my Older Sister: this is just me thinking aloud. It is NOT an announcement, or even a pre-announcement. So no bets won}

The Adoption Journey: Jonathan Acuff (Stuff Christians Like) wrote a short post about adoption and linked to some helpful resources. I found it encouraging, although most of the organizations he mentions are in the USA.

As Our Own: I found this website through a friend’s blog and am still learning about it. It’s not a program, but a family/community who rescues and raises parentless children. Reminds me that there are many ways to address the orphan crisis and encourages me to think outside the box!

The Demise of Guys: The effect of video games and pornography on a generation of males. This is a fascinating and troubling article about the consequences of living in a fantasy-filled world. Guys-read it! Girls, if you have a brother/son/husband/boyfriend/know any males, you might find it interesting.

Mistaken for the Nanny: I love the humour and honesty in this article. While we don’t have mixed children (yet?), I really appreciate the perspective. [This reminds me of a rant I need to write about inappropriate comments/questions. Because the internet needs another rant.]

Where is the Mommy War for the Motherless Child: Fantastic post about fighting for what really matters: not cloth or disposable diapers, but babies without a Mom or Dad.

Wonder Woods: You don’t have to have small kids to enjoy time outdoors! If this post doesn’t make you want to romp in the woods….well, it will.

Speaking of romping, I hope that you’re enjoying the fabulous weather. And happy Memorial Day to all of my American buddies!

Varun and I enjoyed hours and hours at the park this weekend                                                [Dear Blackberry, please improve your photo quality…]

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