Then the wind blew over one of the bins, so I got to gather up a bunch of plastics scattered all down the street. (I actually found one of our milk jugs at the park, a block away, this afternoon, so I guess I didn't get them all. Oops.)
I had plans to get together with a friend at 10 am, but my list of things I had to accomplish first was a bit too long, especially since John Wallace decided not to go down for his morning nap and give me a spare moment until 11. But I got dinner in the crockpot, and started a load of diaper laundry, and something else I'm forgetting. Finally made it to my friend's house only 2.5 hours late.
The kids played dress-up and the moms played adult conversation. Lovely. Then I suggested puddle jumping, which quickly became puddle sitting, then puddle crawling and exploring the mysteries of mud. I allowed it with no reservations, even though I didn't have a change of clothes for Dorothy, because this, to me, is what childhood should be. Sitting in a mud puddle exploring the world with your skin.
We got home just in time to change Dorothy's clothes and grab a quick snack while waiting for Valerie's bus. I pulled a few weeds while we were waiting. Then Valerie got home, and we headed to the park with some friends who live in town. We played for about an hour, then came home so I could wrap up dinner prep. The hardest part was done - roast beef and veggies in the crockpot. I stuck some biscuits in the oven and made gravy, then got to work on kitchen cleaning. When Jeremy walked in the door from work, the table was clean and ready to set, and dinner was ready to serve. This is almost always my goal, and it almost never happens. It felt pretty good.
The cool thing about actually eating dinner on time is that there is actually a window of time between dinner and the girls' bedtime. While Jer handled the kid wrangling, I did the after-dinner kitcheny things that I usually put off. Cleaned off the table. Put away leftovers. Made Valerie's lunch. Washed every dish involved in dinner. (There are still plenty of dishes to wash, but I decided that one thing I can do for the backlog is at least not add to it.) I also made french toast for tomorrow's breakfast, and put it in the breakfast/lunch mini-fridge (which I am loving so far - I hope I can keep it up, and not just let it turn into another place leftovers go to die). Then I folded a load of clothes (Valerie helped!) and switched the diapers over to the dryer.
Then I sat down and wrote this blog post, and decided that it had been a very productive day, but my tally didn't include very many tasks outside of my routine chores, and maybe I could squeeze one more, photo-worthy project in before bed. So I left this post half-written, and tackled the front hall. I have found that clutter has the biggest psychological impact on me when I have to physically step over/around it to get anywhere. The front hall becomes an obstacle course so quickly, because everyone in the family seems to think that coats/backpacks/shoes need to be removed immediately upon entering the house, and they must not be disturbed from the place where they first fall.
After 30 minutes:
I didn't get to the catch-all table by the door, but it's less stressful, because I don't have to step over it. Maybe I'll save it for another day when I need some photo-worthy progress to make me feel like I'm accomplishing more than just treading water.
And now, I am definitely ready for bed. Eight days down, 22 to go!