Amaya Rain

Wife. Mother. Crazy woman.

Moving right along… or not.

This moving in thing is going so ridiculously slow. Even when the hubby is home, or my mom comes to “help”, I still just don’t get enough time to do what needs to be done. Some things – the biggest things, the most important-to-me things – can’t be done in a 10-15 minute chunk. And I get overwhelmed. Then everything starts sliding. And I can’t understand why nobody – including myself, but oh so definitely EXcluding my oh-so-perfect mother – knows where the damn garbage can is.

I need a vacation. Or for someone to take the babies away from the house for longer than a walk. I need to just *do*.

Hubby is out of town tomorrow. When he gets back, I’m going to cut the grass and see if that makes me feel better. It’s been a while since I’ve done it, but I actually like it. There’s an immediate result. I turn the machine on. I walk and push. I turn around, and there’s a swath of cleanliness and organization behind me.

Why can’t everything be that easy?

April 15, 2007 Posted by | Bad Day, Daily Life, Moving, Perfectionism | Leave a comment

If there is any fairness in the world…

 … I will win this! Five Minutes for Mom is doing a giveaway of a Dyson Slim. Oh, the beauty. Oh, the functionality. Oh, the disappearance of the mystery Cheerios if I just had this Dyson in my hands! To never again fight with cracker crumbs. To easily remove the fuzz from my green shag carpet (yes, installing in the 60’s, thank you very much, and in much better shape than the beige plush that they installed about 5 years ago). To… to… rule world with a Dyson!!

I shall have many fantasies of winning this contest until Wednesday, when I fear my heart may be broken. But alas – maybe it will be a glorious day!!

That said, we’re cleaning, unpacking, and generally going insane. A real update is forthcoming, hopefully tonight.

ETA: Oops!! I forgot the link to the contest itself! It’s right here. I’d say good luck, but, I WANT IT!

April 2, 2007 Posted by | Perfectionism | 1 Comment

I see carpet…

Slowly, surely. We’re actually moving into the new house. We still haven’t slept there, and I plan on that changing this weekend. In case you haven’t figured it out, we’re not using a moving van, just my car and hubby’s company truck (although this weekend, my parents’ truck may get into the act as well). This means that only a few boxes or pieces of furniture get moved at a time.

I was hoping that moving slowly would keep me organized, with few boxes, etc. For the most part it has. The kitchen isn’t organized the way I’d like for it to be forever, but it’s functional. There are designated places for a lot of things – like using the coat closet for alcohol, cookbooks, craft supplies, and until we get the office set up (The Siblings have to clean it out and divide the stuff) it’ll house sewing supplies as well. The playroom is mostly set up – I just need to find appropriate linens for the twin bed we’re keeping in there, and get some baskets/buckets that fit the shelves of the changing table that we’re using to store their toys. The babies’ bedroom is halfway done – I need to bring all their clothes over, some more linens, oh, yeah, and bring the mattress from my mom’s house for one of the cribs. Our bedroom… is packed. Okay, not totally packed, but man, using that room for the unpacking staging ground may not have been my best idea.

So, that’s my moving update. Oh… DirecTV finally got it right – the serviceman was great, even if the company itself claimed that the work order had already been completed last Friday when I called to see where he was. BellSouth… well, I have to call them tomorrow, because DSL still isn’t working. Then again, it could be user error in the setup. I never can figure out what order to do and redo things to make the stupid DSL modem work right.

Oh, and I cleaned lots of stuff with Murphy’s Oil Soap. I love that stuff. Oh, and did a load of laundry too. I had a busy day.

Tomorrow: I need to go over (hopefully bring at least a couple of boxes from upstairs at mom’s with me), do laundry (2 loads of darks, 1 load of towels), empty at least 3 more boxes of things (I’ll have to search for the obvious ones to unload), straighten out our bedroom’s box pile so that we can fit the chest of drawers, the hope chest, and a bookcase in there, bring over most of our most-worn clothes, finish bringing over toiletries and such, and when Daddy gets off of work, bring over the sofa and the loveseat. And we need to move the portable dishwasher and the microwave. Oh! And I need to get my mother to take down the stuff on the wall where we’re putting the hutch.

Saturday: Hopefully, we can get the hope chest, the bookcase, the recliner, the hutch, and then move out some more The Siblings things. I’ll consider that a successful day.

Sunday: Get Hubby and my dad to install the new air conditioner to get that ridiculously huge box out of my bedroom. Unpack. Enjoy the first day after our first night in the house… hopefully.

Wow. I really know how to entertain you folks, don’t I?

March 2, 2007 Posted by | Moving, Perfectionism | Leave a comment

Beige Hair? Oh, I mean, Honeymilk.

So, it’s nearly time to move. The carpet cleaners are going to be at the new house tomorrow. My mother and I spent the day painting closets – she primed, I painted. Now, I want to do a colorwash in the living room with a color called “Lazy Sun”. I’ll probably end up having to put a burnt sienna over it as well to get the color right, but that’s another post for another day.

The idea was to practice my method in the closets. The ones in what will be the babies’ bedroom, oldest daughter’s bedroom, and the kitchen (think coat closet) hadn’t been painted probably since the house was built (50’s), or possibly when they added on to the back of the house (’69-ish). I got a nice beige color from Lowe’s, called “Honeymilk”, that looked like a nice rich white. Yeah, well. It’s not much different than the nearly-contractor-beige that was last painted through the house about 6 years ago.

Am I complaining about my color choice? Yeah. No. Not really. I just expected… oh, I don’t know… something to seem different when they were painted. But no. They look great, much better than the nicotine white with rust spots that they were before. But now they just look like, well, closets. Yeah, I know.

I decided not to practice. I’m going to just jump into the fray and colorwash until my heart’s content in the living room later. After continually bumping into the walls in the closets, and getting tons of paint on my butt and in my hair, I just had enough.

Tonight, Hubby and I went to The Big Huge Blue Big Box Store That I Hate But Can’t Stay Away From Because It’s The Only Superstore Within A Fourty Minute Drive to pick up paint for the bathroom. Mom, who is going to be there with the carpet guys while I stay home with the twins, decided she wants to paint it for us. Bless her. Oh God Bless Her. So we picked out a nice dark blue that doesn’t make the tile backsplash or floor look too brownish, and the woodwork and tub surround will be painted, yeah, you guessed it… Honeymilk.

Maybe Mom will come home with Honeymilk hair tomorrow. Bah. Actually, come to think of it, I think that’s the color of her grays…

Speaking of, the placement of wisps of hair around my face that aren’t black wasn’t making me happy. I’ve sworn for years now that I wouldn’t dye my hair again. I used to dye it in my early 20’s (eggplant was really my favorite color), but I was embracing my gray. Yeah, well, that’s easy to say when the gray is a few miniscule streaks coming from the top of my head down the sides and the back. Around my face? I don’t think I can be the crazy lady with the waist-length salt-and-pepper hair anymore (not that I am now, it was a future aspiration).

I guess I’ll have to think about it. I mean, if I’m gonna start dying my hair to hide the gray, shouldn’t I just start now, and do all the fun colors while I’m still young enough to pull them off?

Anyway, I’m going to go scrub the Honeymilk off of my knees and the bottoms of my feet, and hope that it comes out of my hair.

After all – tomorrow is my only day to rest (as much as one can with year-old very active twins) before the fun that is moving begins.

February 21, 2007 Posted by | Moving, Perfectionism | Leave a comment

Talkin’ ’bout my Generation.

I come from a line of strong-willed women on my mother’s side (my father’s side as well, but I’m not going there, because, well, I don’t like them as much as the women on my father’s side. There. I said it. Neener neener ppphtt). And while I know that my personality, and my actions as a mother come from them, I think I need to put in all down in writing to get some perspective. I think I’ll start at the very beginning (a very good place to start).

My great-grandmother was a firecracker. When I was young, I thought she was just your typical Grannie-type: old. She lived out of state, so my time with her was limited, but oh, the things we did in that time. She would bring me outside to her vegetable and flower gardens and let me run around while she would weed and pick and pluck and would make sure to leave some yummies for the birds. She’d let me watch all manner of crazy kid things (like Sonny and Cher) on her tv and wait to catch her beloved 700 Club after I was done. She’d just sit and hold me, or sit on the other side of her television parlor and let me spin in this really great green spinning chair. To me, she was everything that was wonderful and good in the world. She was selfless and beautiful and a wonderful old fashioned woman.

As I got older, I noticed some of her “faults”. As it turns out, she was actually rather vain and hung up on “appearances” – she’d never go anywhere without being well-groomed, wearing her pink lipstick and lavender water. She picked only the best fruit or vegetable from the vine, and would leave the less beautiful specimens for the birds. I caught her cringing out of the corner of my eye, and realized that she’d change the channel the split-second that my show was over. She had lots to say about politics and society that I wasn’t sure agreed with (her favorite line whenever “mixed marriages” were brought up was “girls marry boys, whites marry whites”.) And although everyone in my family had a great laugh about it (and still do), I really didn’t appreciate that as I played with a loose tooth, she’d knocked the hell out of my arm to get me to yank it out rather than watch me play with it.

Then I got even older. And I saw a woman who had bucked the system as a younger woman – she’d been married four times to three men, and had beat the crap out of the woman who was the mistress of Husband #2&3 (the court didn’t prosecute her because she was “protecting her family”). She was strong, having taken care of not only her own siblings but in later years, the aging siblings of herself and her ex-husbands. She was an elderly woman with strong values of family and spirituality, no matter how outdated or misguided I thought they may be. She’d been through the Roaring 20’s, the Depression, two world wars, survived miscarriages and stillbirths of children. She was a perfectionist in so many things, and she’d learned that after so many years, she deserved the best, and she gave her best to others as well.

She certainly wasn’t perfect – no one ever is. But she strived to be as good as she could in everything she did. She didn’t have the vanity of the rich, well, barring that facelift she had in the 70’s. She drove an old, but well-kept, car. She had an old, but well-kept home. A lot of her clothing was probably decades old, but it was really all of classic design and quality construction and some of it I’d love to have my hands on today. She may have always chosen the prettiest produce, but she never sacrificed taste for beauty.

I think I could say she was a perfectionist who knew when to quit.

I can’t say that about myself. I call myself a disillusioned perfectionist. I quit when I can’t take the pressure anymore, that enormous amount of self-induced pressure. In building my wardrobe, I look for comfort or trend, never finding a middle ground, never finding that classic feel that I loved so much on her and admire so much in others. I may choose pretty produce, but it tastes like crap, or I may pick ugly produce and not care how it tastes. I go without makeup for weeks on end (and did before the babies, so I can’t blame them) with my hair in a wild bun on the top of my head, or else I am in full regalia. And let’s please, please not talk about when I go out for the rare night out on the town. I can stress for a week about how perfect I feel I need to look. If I can’t find that perfection, then I usually put on a little lipstick and pull my hair up and apologize about how traffic made me late or the washer broke or something. I’m finally married, and plan to be that way forever, but I almost married two other men before him, and dated a whole bunch more, so I suppose I gave my nod to my great-grandmother’s man-choosing (in)abilities (I also took one back, numerous times).

It has taken a while, but I think I can finally look at the woman as a person, and not the shining light on the pedestal or the rug beneath it. And I can look at bits and pieces of her, and see parts of myself. Unfortunately, I don’t see the parts of her that I really admired.

Maybe I need to work on that.

July 8, 2006 Posted by | Ancestors, Heredity, Perfectionism, Reminiscing | Leave a comment