Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Will my life ever settle down?

Already 2 days into this week, and I am exhausted! The house hasn't stayed as clean as I would like, and laundry isn't quite caught up. Dishes have been done by the end of the day, just not right after the meal.

The reason is one that I could have put off. I detailed the van. The one that we eat fast food in, where the kids don't finish the hamburger or nuggets and leave them on the floor where I can't see them. The one where the banana peels were treated the same way. The one in which Oren forgot to put the lid on his chocolate milk and at a stop light it went everywhere and was starting to have a particularly odd smell in the carpet. The one that had crackers mashed into the floor and in the crevices of the car seats and under the car seats. Drips of stuff (identitiy unknown) stuck to the side of the door where there wasn't upholstery, caramel apple dip stuck to the fabric all over the very back seat. Dirt ground in to the carpet.

That van.

It sounds really gross, I know, but I do vaccum it out about every other month, very thoroughly. Take all the seats out, vaccum the car seats, get all the crevices and cavities and under the rugs. But the vaccum won't get out spills... And caramel sauce, and ground-in-dirt stains.

So instead of using the shop vac which I normally use, I pulled out my actual vaccum with all the tools and went to town. That took all Monday afternoon/evening. Then I hauled my carpet cleaner outside and the hard work started.

Working mostly by the garage light and the car inside lights on, I did one of the middle bucket seats, and the driver's seat. It was too dark and it was 10:30, both excellent reasons to flee inside. (plus the bugs) I got up early today and started in again. Did the other bucket seat, the rugs, pulled the carseats apart and threw the pads in the wash, and some of the straps. Got in and tackled the floor in back, the really gross one with the soaked in spoiled milk that dried. Washed out the holes that the seat fits into in the floor. The front seat carpets, done.

I had to go get Oren (we walked to school since the car was in pieces), so I popped the seats back in, and tried to get the car seats back together. William's was such a big hassle that I sort of just threw it together enough that there were straps to hold him in and buckled it in. The other boys had to ride in seatbelts the whole mile to school and back. We got home in time to put their seats together and get them in the car. I wanted a shower so bad! One sweats a lot while shampooing a car in 90 degree weather... But Nathan had a well-child appointment at 3:15 so we rushed over to the hospital. Sticky, stinky, frustrated almost to crying point about William's car seat not wanted to go back together, hot, hands killing me (stupid carpal tunnel....). Went to check in and was told by a rather snide Airman 1st Class (that's a whole 2 stripes on the sleeve.... not exactly high up there) that my appointment was at 2:45! ARE YOU KIDDING ME!?!?!?!?!? Hair a mess, kid with no shoes, another with peanut butter all over his front, even more stinky-sweaty from the car ride which was too short for the AC to kick in cold enough. And I had to turn around and drag all the kids back home. Arg.

We got home and I took a very well deserved and most welcome shower, which made no sense because I still had a couple more things left to do on the car. But I didn't care. William's car seat went back into the house where I got it put together a little more properly. Although I had issues with a couple of those elastic stay-put things that wouldn't go back where they were supposed to, so I found different places to stick them. It works... And the non-fabric surfaces in the van got wiped down with windex and cleaned up.

The result is a clean smelling, non-stained (as much as possible), de-dripped-stuff-ed, less dusty vehicle. It took me two days and a few episodes of calling Amanda and asking if I could swear just a little, but it's done! And it turns out that having a van detailed as extensively as I did, with as dirty as it was, would have been about $150 to $200! OUCH! So that cleaner has already turned out to be a very good investment...

Disclaimer: Although this sounds like a complaining post, it is not intended to be. Merely a demonstration of how insane life with three boys can be. It should also be noted that since the boys were left to their own devices with Amanda's girl playing here as well, my home looks.... interesting. I am, however, quite pleased with myself. The appointment can be rescheduled, the house straightened, and my sunburn will heal quick enough. And my car is no longer considered a hazmat area! That alone makes it an actually decent day! :-)

7 comments:

Farrell Family said...

Good job getting the van done. What a pain! I'd love to say that we won't ever eat in our car, to avoid having to clean like that, but we'll see how long that lasts. I might just need to borrow your cleaner someday. :)

Rachel H. said...

Makes me really want to get that carpet cleaner now! I am dying to clean our car...though, we don't have nearly the extent you described. :)

WAY TO GO! Oh, and no...your life will never slow down. You DO have 3 boys... :)

Melinda said...

I need to do something like that with our car, seriously! Congratulations for getting it done, even if it means a set-back in the house. You sound like it was worth it, anyway!

Nicia said...

Way to do it right! It's so frustrating when you are halfway into a project and realize it's going to take WAY longer then you had in mind! Way to stick it out. Sorry about the Dr.'s appointment...that's no fun! But what have you got against the enlisted guys?! ;) They've all got to start somewhere! j.k. I know how you feel though, I swear they have to prove that they are though or good enough or something by being really short with you. At least thats how they always are to me! What rank is your hubby? Joe is almost a 1st Lt!! (But he was prior enlisted for 7 yrs.) Can't wait for that pay raise!!!!

Nicia said...

I meant to say tough!

Michelle said...

Mark is a Staff Sargeant. Not high up there either. I don't know that her rank had anything to do with it, but you'd think a receptionist would be a little nicer. (Maybe it was because she's military and I am just a lowly spouse...) Funny thing is, Oren had an appointment this morning and she was as nice as could be! Sympathized with getting 3 kids up and ready really early in the morning. Either way....

Stephanie said...

Yeah, I don't ever clean our car. And it definitely shows. Maybe once I get the house to stop looking like a disaster area, I can focus some attention on our meager mode of transportation.