Thanksgiving Before and After - - - -One thing I can always find to say about the holidays around here, they end up being more layers than a four layer dessert. I honestly didn't do it on purpose (Cross my heart!) but I managed to pull my back out of place on Sunday. This meant I had to be careful with the before holiday cleaning of the house.
I got some unexpected cleaning help on Wednesday by ****** (name changed to protect the guilty.) It was motivated purely by a special he'd seen on tv showing the common allergens in the home. Each dust mote, I was informed, harboured hideous amounts of breathe eating bugs and filth. We were nothing short of murderers if we tried to cook in a kitchen where this could fall in our turkey and stuffing.
To keep this from happening, the kitchen got a thourough vacumming job. The refrigerator and stove were sanitized until you needed sunglasses to hide the gleem of the surface. (Hey, as long as I didn't have to do it.) I especially enjoyed being able to see out the kitchen windows again. Although eventually all good things had to end. When he stood on a cabinet not meant to be stood upon, and it fell through a hole in the new tile, I figured the rest of the ceiling would never get dusted. I was right. It took awhile to repair the hole (left after we closed off a heating vent with plywood and put tile over it.) So we ate a few dust mites, I'm sure.
On Monday, the boys and I did some general cleaning. On Tuesday we did a bit more. By Wednesday, we only had some touch up, grocery shopping and substitutions. The substitutions are in anticipation of our youngest guests--we have ten UNDER six. At Easter, I was under the delusion that as a guest in someone's house, if the host said, "no, you can't play with that," the kid kept their grubby little hands OFF. I was wrong. One enterprising little boy managed to climb to the top of the game shelves and upend the entire contents. It took two days to sort out the Monopoly, Clue, Scrabble and umpteen other games that cascaded to the floor. This holiday, we took no chances. We emptied the shelves.
We also took every toy not suitable for the small crowd and hid it in the basement. We use to keep them in closed bins but found this didn't work. If it could be dumped, poured or scattered through out the house, it was. The boys took everything downstairs and brough up a few plastic Fisher Price houses and one bin full of suitable toddler toys.
Another area that usually grated on my nerves and UNDER my feet were the constant upending of the marker box. The little ones love to draw so I save all my scratch, only used on one side paper for the holiday art fest. It keeps them busy and quiet. Except for the scamp or two who uses the marker box as a game---"How many markers and colored pencils can be scattered over a dining room floor?" "How many times?" "How many adults will trip, stumble or fall scittering across them?" This year I got super smart. I took 3 colored pencils, 4 markers, and a small box of 4 crayons. Put them in an empty baby wipe box and that was it. The sum total of drawing tools I felt ablet to pick up 99 times.
We were ready for the onslaught! And then---the unexpected happened. It was such a nice, warm, sunny day hardly anyone stayed inside. The sandbox and swingset got a workout. All the scooters and pogo sticks and wagons and stroller and toy dump trucks were scattered across the fields. After all that preparation, I only picked up the markers ONCE and the blocks this morning. Oh, and 4 Hot Wheels. I felt a bit cheated.
But, hey, there's still Christmas! It can't possibly be 63 degrees then!
The best part of my day---after the food---was the opportunity to get the group shot above. Not everyone is here---HONEST--that isn't all of us---but it's most of us. I'm on the left wearing a dark blue jacket, standing beside my sister, Sharon, in a white blouse holding a baby in pink.