Seminar Stephanie Is Back

My first blogging conference was last October’s Aiming Low NonCon. It was super fun and changed my life and gave me new friends and was awesome. Before I left for that conference, I let my fellow attendees know what to expect with a post titled, “Things You Should Know Before You Meet Me.” It was educational and fun because I enjoy making things two, two, two things in one.

Now my second blogging conference, Blissdom, is nigh upon me, and I wanted my future new friends to be prepared. In addition to the traits I outlined in the post above, I wanted to tell you how I was spending this final non-work day before the conference. Hint: I am blogging instead of packing.

1. Wake up covered in sweat due to nightmare about not making it on time to any sessions at Blissdom. Not even the one I want to go to the most, Megan Jordans session called, “Uninterrupted Thought: Power of Focus.” (You’ll see why I need this session in just a minute.)

2. Log on to computer just to check for that one email I was waiting for.

3. Time passes. Hours.

4. Decide I need to get going and take a peek at my to-do list app. Oh! I need to buy a pretty pad of paper to make my Blissdom-specific to-do list. Time to get dressed!

5. Astonishingly complete three other errands before zoning out for 45 minutes in the office supply store.

6. Yell for missing kids in office supply store.

7. Find them, give stern, yet highly ignorable lecture on staying in sight at all times.

8. Nugget Store (what my kids call McDonald’s) because it’s 1pm, and I guess my kids need to eat.

9. Home for a nutritious lunch and right on that to-do list.

10. Oh! Facebook updates!

11. Crap. Hustle the kids off to quiet time, so I can get down to real business.

12. Turn on light in laundry room and turn around to shoo Alex back into his room.

13. Check Twitter.

14. Notice light in laundry room and get back to sorting and washing clothes.

15. See Target bag with T-ball uniform still inside untouched and remember I need to get that cleaned and ready for Saturday’s first game.

Hey, what's in that bag? It's been there 3 weeks, so now it's gonna be a surprise!

Hey, what’s in that bag? It’s been there 3 weeks, so now it’s gonna be a surprise!

16. I have a cute new notepad! I get to use it to write down the T-ball reminder.

17. Grab office supply bag off kitchen counter and disburse all items including cute notepad.

18. Hey, that’s where my business card holder is! Sweet. I should totally put that on my packing list.

19. Did anyone respond to my Facebook post about attire for Friday night’s party? God, when am I going to shop for that? Better put it on the to-do list.

20. I have a cute new notepad! Tear off plastic cover and throw away. Dude, why is the lunch trash still out? sigh I have to do everything.

21. What’s that noise? Oh! The washer! Filling up without soap!

22. Repeat Step 15.

23. Start to-do list, boys’ packing list for Nana’s house, and my packing list.

24. OhMyGod that was just the biggest waste of most of a day. That would be funny for the blog.

25. Open computer again bbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbb, sorry, there was a glob of something on the ‘b’ button. I think it was food…..

You know what? I should probably close up this computer. And maybe throw it out the window. Hey, if you see me at Blissdom, will you check to make sure I packed the T-Ball uniforms?

Gold Star For Cleaning

The other day, the fabulous Empress Alexandra from Good Day, Regular People posted a primer on making the most of common sense and a mother’s precious time alone. She gifts you with tips on conning showing your family how hard you work for them. Many of her tips involve ‘making’ dinner, so I can’t use them. My family knows better than to think I actually spent my day cooking. I mean, I blogged about that one time I made lasagna because it was such a huge deal. Anyway, today, I offer an extension of the Empress’s phenomenal lessons.

You know what I did today? I unpacked our suitcases. (Well, not did, am doing. I had to stop to write this awesome thought. And maybe surf the net. And then forget what I was doing before this.)

Why is it significant that I’m tackling this chore today? Well, we arrived home from Texas seven days ago. So, those suitcases have been crowding the dining room since then. Am I lazy? Maybe. But am I also a genius at getting recognized for my hard work? Yes. Yes, I am. And this brings us to the tips:

If it’s not messy, how do you know when it’s clean?

God bless you people that have a neat house at all times. You are awesome. But are you getting credit for your hard work? If your family never sees the horrible, how can they appreciate the beautiful? You know what gets you noticed? Turning a pig sty into a livable home. Sure, you have to let things pile up on counters and floors, and your socks will need extra bleach when you get around to washing them, but it’s worth it to get a big grin from the people who no longer have to navigate your family’s daily detritus.

The squeaky wheel gets the praise.

Email your spouse: “Hey, be careful when you get home, the floor may still be wet from mopping.” (If your job is weeks after the mess or done in a haphazard manner, he’s a fool to bring it up. On account of the emotional issues you have and what not.) What generally happens is a big ‘ol “Thank You!” from a person grateful he will not stick to the floors anymore.

Other possible email laments include:

“I tried to get my chores done, but the boys wouldn’t nap. I only got half my list done.” Half of how much? What chores? Don’t sweat it; there will only be praise not suspicion. (Just to be clear, I NEVER clean during nap. That’s me time.)

“Since the boys are back in school today and won’t be here to make a mess, I’m going to be able to clean the bathrooms.” Oh! That’s why she hasn’t cleaned! The boys are just making things dirty all the time. Why clean when it only lasts five minutes?

Make an impression.

Whatever you are doing when your spouse gets home is what he thinks you’ve been doing all day. I learned this lesson from my dad. My dad always wanted to know what we had done to be productive that day. Shouting your supposed accomplishments from the couch while watching TV didn’t promote confidence in your story.

The suitcases that will be gone any minute now. Please also note the vacuum. It will stay there until someone tells me, “Good job” for using it.

So, try not to be on the computer. (I know, it’s hard. That’s where the people are. The people who don’t whine when their banana has brown spots.) Leave the vacuum out. Water should be running somewhere. First load of laundry or fifth? Well, since clean clothes are always out waiting to be folded, no one will ever be able to tell how much was added today.

Your darling children can help with this as well. All day, whenever they ask you to play with them, say, “Sure sweetie, I just have to finish this chore.” Then, never show up. You can count on them coming back to remind you of your pledge to play. Answer with, “I’m sorry honey. I had one more chore I really needed to start.” They will for sure complain to Daddy that all Mommy did all day was chores. Thanks kids!

That’s it! It’s that easy to get daily gold stars for things you should be doing simply out of love and your fine sense of responsibility.

You’re welcome.

Full disclosure: I am not this messy or devious (though I am this needy for praise). I’ve exaggerated for humor. How exaggerated? Eh, let’s not get into such details.