Curing 30 Years One Month At A Time

April 18, 2009

Looks Like I’m Adding A Few More Things To My ‘Honey Do’ List

Filed under: domesticated — Tags: , , , , , , — 30tocure30 @ 10:31 pm

The following post is written by my beautiful wife, Jenn: 

Here we are two thirds of the way through April and I thought I’d take the chance to weigh in on Tony’s quest to become a Domesticated Dude.  First, let me say that I do not think that he is undomesticated, like a stray cat.  He puts his dirty clothes in the laundry basket, usually puts the toilet seat down and is fully capable of taking care of our girls.  Actually, there is a lot around the house that he can and does do.  Sometimes he fumbles through the tasks at hand and sometimes he sails right on past and on to the next thing.

Life around our house is busy.  Our two-year-old Paige is a crazy, climbing wonder.  She is kind of like a little super hero that climbs on, swings from or flips over anything she can find, stack or otherwise manipulate into a springboard for her imagination.  She is always trying to” save the day” or at least entertain you until you forget that you were about to tell her to stop tearing the couches apart or not to jump onto the coffee table.

kids-hand-messy-art-project1Maddie on the other hand is our budding artist.  Whatever she can cut, color or paste together she will.  It’s not unusual to walk into the dining room to find a plethora of masterpieces strewn around the table or taped to windows of our French doors.   Most of the time there are snippets of paper littered beneath her chair.  For her to create what she sees in her minds eye is freeing… and quiet messy! 
All of this to say, our life with kids isn’t exactly what we thought it would be.  We knew that they required a lot of stuff but we weren’t exactly prepared for the mess they leave in their wake as they bounce around exploring their worlds. 

We wouldn’t trade it for anything but it does require us to adjust our expectations and priorities for cleaning.  No longer is the order of our CD’s of utmost importance or whether the spines of the books on the bookshelf are all even with the edge of each shelf. 

I would like to say that Tony’s journey to domestication is definitely a transition to seeing our world a little differently and being ok with the fact that our kids personalities definitely challenge us in all areas, including the domestic arena.

I think Tony does a great job in a lot of areas so he is well on his way to becoming domesticated:

  • I love the fact that Tony is not afraid to conquer the bathrooms.  Thank you to the summers of working Conference Services at Messiah College.  When he is done, the toilet bowl shines.  I’m not sure if there is anyone out there that loves cleaning toilets.  I appreciate his willingness to do it though.fotolia5948038xs-main_full
  • He takes care of our girls fabulously.  When I get home from an evening out, they are sound asleep in their beds, fully bellies, bathed, teeth brushed and bible story, song and prayers done.  They think he hangs the moon and it’s the sweetest thing ever.
  • Tony does the laundry and even irons his clothes.  I love that about him!  Especially when he worked at Wachovia while I stayed home with the girls.  Taking his shirts to get cleaned and pressed was no longer part of the budget but it didn’t fall completely on my shoulders. 

There are several other things he is completely capable of but that is not what this is really about. However, there are a few things I would love to see him learn to do.  If not for the necessity, for the fact that these things would qualify as traits a Domestic Diva possesses.  I would like to take the opportunity to make some suggestions for Tony to think about and maybe try in the last part of the month. So, here we go:

  1. Tony can cook but I’m not sure that popping a Lean Cuisine into the microwave or making Ramen in a coffee pot quiet qualifies as cooking.  Sure, most anybody can boil some water and pour a jar of sauce on top to make spaghetti or stick some Eggos in the toaster and call it brinner (breakfast for dinner.)  But, I would really love it if he learned how to cook one good meal.  It doesn’t have to be fancy it just has to be something he chooses and can do all on his own without me walking him through it step by step.  Ohhh… maybe chocolate chip cookies.  That would be yummy!
  2. Sew a button.  Every Domestic Diva, or Dude, should know how to sew a button back on a shirt of a pair of pants.  Fixing a hem would be nice too… sewing the girls a skirt…that would be hilarious but defiantly do-able.
  3. One more thing… spend a day in my shoes.  Tony is so great at so many ‘domestic things’ even though he probably doesn’t see it.  He has come a long way from the day he moved out of his mamma’s house, that’s for sure!  He is capable of cleaning, taking care of the girls, making something to eat, etc.  But he rarely has to do it all simultaneously.  I’d like to see him give it a try.  I’m confident that he’ll be fine.  But, I’d still like to see him do it. (He probably will only make if half a day before I miss him and the girls too much and I crash his day of domestic duties!)

Tony, you are on your way to Martha Stewart status…lets see you finish strong!

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February 13, 2009

What Happens When A 500 Pound Gorilla, An Elephant, Blind Man And An Emperor In New Clothes Interrupt Me Watching The Office

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — 30tocure30 @ 12:31 am

 

How Did I Not Notice After All This Time?

How Did I Not Notice After All This Time?

As much as I love being able to grow facial hair and how my new work attire involves flip-flops, I would go back to cubicle world in a second if it meant I was selling paper products at Dunder Mifflin. Unfortunately, Jenn is more of a McDreamy girl then crazy for Dwight Schrute. She apparently thinks PowerPoint is awesome and hates beets.   On Thursday nights, this puts us in quite a predicament as the power of the remote hangs in the balance. The way we work this out is through a thumb-wrestling match where the loser gets relegated to the bedroom while the other relaxes in the living room to watch their show on the big screen.

Tonight I won the battle so I begin to settle in to enjoy a new episode of The Office. While trying to come up with a catchy Facebook status, I get this strange feeling that I am not alone anymore. I can hear the gentle chainsaw snoring of Maddie and the rustling of Paige in her bed so I know it is not the girls. The likelihood of Jenn being awake is slim, but even if she is, Grey’s is a 2 Hour Event Spectacular so she isn’t budging. This exhausts all my options so I begin to freak out a bit.

My Macbook almost gets chucked in self defense when I realize not one, but four individuals are in the living room: a 500 pound gorilla, an elephant, blind man and an Emperor in his new clothes. Judging by their disapproving gaze, they do not appear to be a happy bunch. All at once they begin to lay in on me. It must have been 4 ½ years of pent up frustration because each one informs me this is how long they’ve been hanging out waiting for me to acknowledge their presence.

The 500-pound gorilla starts swinging his arms and blurts out, “Call me curious, but how did you not notice us after all of this time? Do you want to know what drives me absolutely bananas? After a long day where you barely saw each other, Jenn and you are glued to the television screen in different rooms.”

The Elephant in the room raises his trunk and says, “Listen Dumbo! When was the last time you two spent a night just talking about something other than the girls? Your lack of conversation is just plain nuts!”

The blind man shakes his cane in my direction and shouts, “If I can see you’ve put the kids above your relationship with Jenn, you know you are trouble. It’s crystal clear to me that you have some work to do.”

The Emperor in his new clothes says, “Let’s strip away the façade and be transparent. You miss Jenn.”

Knowing what they are saying is true I get defensive and blurt out, “First off Emperor if anyone is not in touch with reality it is you. You do realize you do not have any clothes on, right? And for goodness sake put a towel down or something if you are going to sit on my couch.”

After showing them the door, I sit back down to deal with what they just said. I miss more than Jenn. I miss us. While we were dating we could spend hours upon hours talking. This continued through our engagement and first few years of marriage.  However, something changed when we added mommy and daddy to our titles of husband and wife.

Now, from the moment the kids coming running into our room at the crack of dawn until the time they try to squeeze one more bedtime story out of us, the kids are our main focus. If we are fortunate enough to find a few fleeting seconds of our own, it is spent cleaning the mass chaos Maddie and Paige created. There always seems to be laundry, diapers, spills and dirty dishes demanding our attention.

The girls normally wave the white flag in surrender around 8pm, which means we only have an hour or two until Jenn is out for good. If we are not doing chores, we can be found in a zombie like trance in front of the television or trying to get to .500 on Facebook Wrestler (okay, this is more my problem then Jenn’s). There are other times when complete exhaustion wins out and we head straight to bed. Regardless, neither of these options lends themselves too much conversation.

On the random occurrences when we take out a loan to go out on a date, our conversation normally centers on potty training, discipline issues or temper tantrums either from the girls or something work related. The times we actually “talk” are few and far between. Our older friends try to provide comfort by reassuring us that this is only a phase. In their own way, they are saying this to shall past. I know most married couples in our stage of life are dealing with the same issues of communication and intimacy.

Jenn and I are in it for the long haul and love each other a great deal. We know neither one of us is going anywhere. Yet, this line of thinking is dangerous because you can easily get lazy. Other issues, some positive like raising children, gain priority while the marriage relationship gets largely ignored. You justify it by saying she’ll always be around and after all, there is always tomorrow. But, tomorrow comes and you find yourself running from a dance recital to a work meeting and finish it off with a 4 year old’s birthday party.

Part of me is terrified that once the kids get up and running on their own, I won’t know the person sitting next to me on the couch. The US somehow getting lost when we focused on the THEM. So, tonight I bid you farewell. I am going to go reconnect with my best friend. We are going to talk about nothing, but each other. Right after I toss the couch cushion the Emperor was sitting on in the wash.

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