the amazing

I won a contest the other day. A contest on Blogher put on by the wonderful people at Nutrabella who invented the Belly Bar—which are pretty tasty I might add. Tastier than Luna Bars. All I did was type in a little blurb about why I’m a “super mom” (ha ha) and they picked my entry and gave me $100 free cleaning service! Hot Dog! I’ve never had cleaning service before.

I had no idea what to expect. I was meaning to blog about it so I could ask you guys what it would be like because I had all kinds of questions. Like, is it kosher to ask them to clean your microwave and under the sink where your trash can goes… with all the fly-away coffee grounds and that encrusted junk that leaked from a bottle of something toxic about a million years ago? Or do they charge extra for that? Are they going to look at me like I’m some kind of scummy pig? Am I supposed to make a list of things I want cleaned or do they have a standard routine like the cleaning ladies at hotels? But I never got around to blogging about it so I had to go it alone this morning.

Boy, was I in for a surprise. Wowie Zowie. I got the royal treatment. Six cleaning ladies showed up at my door. SIX of them!!! They took my house by storm. All of a sudden my large living room felt very small as they hauled in their trays of mysterious cleaning sprays and rags and three vacuum cleaners. Only one spoke English and she directed the rest of them like an army general. When I asked her if she could clean my microwave and my scary trash can cupboard she shrugged as if it was nothing. Of course she could! Silly woman, we are here to clean.

Just like that two girls started scrubbing my stove, all my cupboards and the sink and the floor. Two others attacked my vertical blinds and dusted every horizontal surface in my living room. The other two headed straight for my bathroom and all I heard from them for the next two hours was my water turning on and off and long paragraphs of staccato sentences in Spanish. I’m sure they were discussing how dirty Americans are.

Toby was sleeping when the cleaning crew arrived but he quickly woke up from all the commotion. Good thing I had warned him they were coming the night before but I didn’t say anything about an army of six showing up. I was expecting two, maybe four. It’s quite another thing when your whole house gets taken over. Thankfully, Toby was quickly wowed by their whirlwind efficiency and he scooted out to our front porch to have a cup of coffee with Baby Bug and I. (No coffee for Baby Bug of course, she had Cheerios.) We all just sat there kind of dazed. Our house is usually pretty quiet and sleepy on a Saturday morning. Nothing like this ever happens.

After about two hours of shooting the breeze on the patio, I was instructed to come inside and inspect their work. Oh. My. Goodness. I have never ever EVER seen my house SO clean before. I bet even when it was first built, way back in the fifties, it wasn’t this clean. I’ve probably told you that Sugar Ray used to live here before us (when they were just a bunch of punks smokin’ weed) and they royally trashed the place before we moved in. I thought the dinginess was permanent. Sure, I’ve scrubbed it up a lot but not anything like what it went through today. I think the whole place is a different color. Scary. I’m starting to really have an inferiority complex as a housewife. My sink alone is a work of art in white porcelain. The shower! The tile is smooth and squeaky! There is no residue at all! The tub that has no finish left on it and is usually smudged with permanent black stains, is white. White as bleach. And it smells like it too. We had to leave the windows open for a few hours because they used some pretty strong stuff in there.

Whatever it is they did, I could get used to this. The Director/Captain cleaning woman told me that next time they come they will get things much cleaner. It was almost as if she was apologizing that things weren’t clean enough. She has no idea how blown away I am. I had really given up hope on my bathroom. Too bad I didn’t have this done before the Pinkkkkkity First Birthday party.

Even so, it’s really nice. I can now say that the entire house, except for Toby’s office, is completely baby proof. With our fancy new cat box, Baby Bug can now crawl/toddle from room to room without me having to worry about anything. There are no longer any scary corners (ie: behind the toilet) with grunge and scum that I have to chase her away from.

Sigh. It is a beautiful thing.

But it gets better! Toby was soooo impressed that he said I could hire the cleaning brigade to come four times a year. Can you believe it? This from the guy who thinks I’m already spoiled rotten and living the life of luxury because I get to stay home and play with my kid all day long? I might as well go play at Tiffany’s with his charge card and get my nails done every day. I’m this close to becoming one of those Orange County housewives everybody makes fun of. But not really. Not yet.

I can see why people do this weekly. I’m afraid to cook or use my sink because I might mar the beauty. Already, I cooked scrambled eggs and flopped a lumpy piece of half cooked egg onto my perfectly white stove. It was horrible. I almost burned my fingers trying to keep the vile piece of egg from contaminating the cleanliness. What am I going to do? I can’t cook anything with tomato sauce or oil. It will ruin the magic.

I’d take pictures but they wouldn’t do it justice. You’ll just have to use your imagination.

the pink continues…

Today was a very productive day. I recovered my couch. It sounds way more impressive than it is because all I did was buy a humungous piece of muslin, drape it over the back and sides of the couch and then make quick pillow case slip covers for each cushion. It works. That’s all I care.

The couch was getting pretty nasty. We don’t have a dining room or kitchen table so we eat on the couch in front of the television every night and that makes for, well…. the occasional mishap and a very dirty couch. With the prospect of a party coming up, I wanted the crusty old couch to look nice.

I’m super proud of myself for pulling this off because I didn’t think I could do it. I’ve made this makeshift cover for the couch twice before but that was before the baby. The last time I tackled a sewing project, Baby Bug was significantly less active and into everything.

I was quite surprised that I was able to sew this up while she played with her toys and tried to pry the heater vent door open. That’s her latest obsession/no-no zone these days. We have one of those old fashioned vertical wall heaters with a trap door at the bottom that you open to light the pilot light. The old door has a habit of falling open all by itself. This is very fascinating for babies. We’ve taped it up with grip tape but Baby Bug is obsessed with peeling the tape back with her little fingernails and watching the door bang open. So far she hasn’t hurt herself but it’s driving me crazy trying to keep her away from it. If I put something in front of it to block her prying fingers, then the pilot light goes out so we just have to keep saying “no, no” and distract her by moving her to a different part of the room. At least that’s my stop gap fix until I cajole my Dad into fixing it with some kind of clasp next time he visits.

Anyway! Enough about heater vents. I wanted to tell you about my trip to the fabric store and my purchase of some pink kitty polar fleece. I know! How could I not buy it!!! I had no idea what to make with it but I bought it anyway, along with a stuffed pink kitty toy that I gave to Baby Bug to keep her quiet while I shopped. This is why I’m not allowed to go shopping very much. There are things out there I didn’t know about that I must buy. It is better that I never venture out. It’s much easier to stay on a budget that way.

I bought a yard and a half and when I got home I recovered a pillow with it. I know Toby won’t let me leave it out in the living room for very long but I told him it’s for Baby Bug and he seemed okay with it. I think it’s cute. At least it can stay out there until the party.

Guess what else I found while I was out and about?

Yes! A pink tutu! It was in the “make-your-own-stuffed-animal” section. You know, like Build-a-Bear but for the crafty Becky Home-decky types. It’s little and supposed to go on a stuffed bear but it fits Baby Bug perfectly. I might cut it shorter and sew on some red rick rack… or I might just leave it the way it is.

It’s so cute! I just put it over her play clothes and ta-dah: Instant Princess! I can’t believe the cuteness. I’m so going to enroll Baby Bug in ballet lessons as soon as she’s old enough. I never got to take ballet or gymnastics when I was little and if I’m not careful I’m going to turn into one of those moms who forces her daughter to do everything she never got to do.

Baby Bug was not as enamored with the tutu as I am. She was way more into the tag. When I took the tag away, she pulled and tugged at the tulle as if to say, “get this itchy stuff off me.” I tried to tell her how cute she looked, “like a big flower,” but she didn’t seem very convinced. Oh well, at least it’s fun for pictures.