Confessions of a FlyBaby

My adventures in organizing my life with the FlyLady (

Monday, May 21, 2007

Trying it again . . . .

Okay, here I go again. This time last year was when I found Flylady, and I just loved the changes I saw so quickly in my home. The routines were so comforting, and the weekly house blessing felt like a blessing rather than drudgery. My bathrooms were always clean (all four of them), my bedroom was a comfy retreat, my sink was shiny, and my laundry was under control.

Then I went back into the working world, and little by little my routines went by the wayside. I was the only one buying into the Flylady thing, so soon I began feeling resentful. "Why am I the only one who can see what needs to be done?" "Why should I have to do it all myself?"

Now I look around and see the same bad habits that were weighing me down last year (before Flylady).

I've settled in to the work routine (almost), and I'm finding that I avoid being at home because I don't like the way I feel when I'm here. It's not that it's all that bad. I think it's because I know what it CAN look like, and I just want that back.

So now it's time to stop whining and invite Flylady and her routines back into my home. I know it won't happen overnight, and I know I'm likely to be the only one doing it for a while. I have to get myself back on track, and then I can sit down with the guys and ask for their help.

What are my biggest annoyances right now?

1. LAUNDRY! Oh, how much easier life would be if we weren't required to wear clothes every day! LOL I'll get back to putting in one load in the morning and finishing it in the evening. The boys will choose a day to do their sheets/whites. And no more doing five loads, folding it all and letting it sit in the clothes basket in the middle of the living room.

2. CLUTTER! Not major, trashy, stuff everywhere clutter. We're just back to "put it there because I don't know where else to put it." The kitchen counter has a stack of mail on it again, the kitchen table collects stuff, shoes collect in the foyer, things are placed on the stairs. Let's start returning things to their homes.

3. SWISH AND SWIPE! How simple it is to spend that five minutes in the morning tidying up the bathroom; so why have we been skipping it? I think I went on strike when Gerard and the boys started "forgetting" their parts. Hmm, that really showed them, didn't it? Just do it, Lisa. They'll eventually follow.

4. THE KITCHEN SINK. I used to love coming in to my kitchen and finding no dirty dishes in the sink. Now the boys are back into the habit of placing their popcorn bowls and glasses next to the sink instead of washing them and putting them away.

Okay, that's enough to convince me I need Flylady again. It's just a matter of getting back into those routines and habits that made my house a much nicer place. It's up to me to get it started -- without complaining about it, without dreading it. Just do it. I have a beautiful home, and my family and I deserve to have a clean, peaceful refuge. I can do this!

Another change I'm going to make -- I'm going back to Weight Watchers. I started in August 2001, and by December I had lost almost 30 pounds and was at my goal weight. I kept it off and became a lifetime member. But I made the same mistake then that I've made with my Flying -- I started missing meetings, I stopped writing down what I was eating, I became less disciplined, and the pounds found their way back to me (and brought friends!).

It's time to take control of the two things that are driving me crazy and robbing me of peace (and energy) -- my weight and my house. I can do it! My family deserves a calm, healthy wife and mom! :)

Monday, October 02, 2006

Blessing the House

Today is the day for the "Home Blessing Hour." It always takes me longer than an hour because I hit all three levels, and I probably go a little deeper with my cleaning than FlyLady recommends. I just like my house to have that clean smell, so I take my time with it. It's usually okay, but I'm trying to start doing the weekly grocery shopping on Monday too, so I'm going to have to find a way to speed it up.

My work schedule is gradually getting more regular. My husband is the general manager of a hotel here in town, and I do his bookkeeping, some office stuff, and eventually I'll start helping him with sales calls. So many people say they couldn't work with their spouse, but so far we're doing a pretty good job of it. We try hard to keep it professional at work, but we do manage to flirt! ;)

Right now I don't work Mondays because that is his day to get into the office and set things up for the week and catch up on things that happened over the weekend. We share his office (his desk and his computer), so there's not room for both of us in there on Mondays. I work all day Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. Since I have my knitting ministry on Thursday mornings, I don't work that morning but sometimes go in in the afternoon. On the days I don't go in, I sometimes work from home. It's a good schedule. He takes Kyle to school in the morning and I get off work in the afternoon in time to pick him up. It works great.

Anyway, I'm just taking a break right now from my "home blessing" to type up a schedule for the boys. Flylady has a control journal for kids that we're going to try out. Instead of having them clean their entire room in one shot, she breaks it up into zones and they clean one zone each day. With their busy schedules I think that will work fine, because it just requires them to do a few minutes each day.

The younger son (age 12) follows a list very well. I stuck a note on the bathroom door the other morning reminding them to please make their beds and swish/swipe the bathroom before school. The younger son did his with no problems. The older one didn't even register the note. Aaarrrrggghhhh. But he did do it when he got home (after being reminded). They're both great kids, so I can't complain much about that. They never argue or backtalk, and they always do what we ask -- just not always at the time we ask it!

Okay, that's it for now. I'm going to get this list finished and get back to cleaning. The lower level family room is all done. I just have to do the middle level (kitchen, dining room, living room, family room, hallway, foyer and stairs) and our bedroom and bathroom. The boys are responsible for their bedrooms and bathroom. We'll see how it goes! :)

Friday, September 22, 2006

Still flying . . .

It's been a while since my last post, but as I explained on my other blog, my best friend's mom passed away at the end of August and I started a new job, so I'm running a bit behind on posting (and other things).

We're still flying, though at times it feels like the wings have been clipped.

It's a bit harder now that I'm working. It's supposed to be part time, but it's quickly turning into every day. That's okay though, because I enjoy it, and I adore my boss. He's so good looking, he's sweet and thoughtful, and we have lunch together just about every day. Oh, by the way, my great boss is my HUBBY! Weird, huh? But it's working out great.

Gerard (hubby) is the general manager of a hotel in town, and he hired me to be his bookkeeper and help with anything that needs to be done on the computer as well as helping with some sales things. He keeps me busy for sure! But he says the things I'm doing for him are freeing him up to do other things that need his attention more, and it seems to be helping him keep reasonable hours.

I've fallen behind on some of Kelly's missions. This week I didn't have time to do them daily as she posted them, so I printed them all out today and did them in one afternoon. It really didn't take long. The longest task was sorting through all the socks and pant hose. My blankets are in the dryer, fresh sheets are on the bed, the bedroom has been dusted and swept.

I'm still using the menu mailers from Saving Dinner. Last night I made a meatloaf; Gerard loved it, but the kids weren't crazy about it. Oh well; most of them are wonderful.

I have discovered that my younger son really benefits from a list. We printed out Flylady's control journal for kids, and he went through it and made out his list of routines and zone tasks. As long as he has that list to go by, he does a great job of getting everything done. Left to his own devices, he has no clue where to begin. I can relate! The older son and hubby have no use whatsoever for a list. While it would do them a lot of good to use one, they just don't want to use one. They would rather be reminded of what to do.

I've also printed out Flylady's super fling boogie tasks and hubby and I are going to start working on it shortly.

I know. . . snore. . . sorry I don't have anything more exciting to post for now. I'll work on finding more exciting things to talk about. Meanwhile, here's to shiny sinks and no more hot spots!

Monday, August 07, 2006

I am learning more each day that FlyLady is about much more than just cleaning and organizing your home.

She’s all about “Finally Loving Yourself” from the inside out.

Lately I’ve been paying attention to my self-talk, and I’m surprised at how much I beat myself up. My two favorite phrases seem to be, “I’m so disorganized” and “I’m such a failure.”

Now let’s back up for just a minute. I’m not that kind of mom at all. I consciously try to give my boys positive messages about themselves every day. At 17 and almost-12, they are such great boys – they never give us a minute of trouble, they are respectful to everyone (including their dad and me), they make good choices, and they’re just all around good kids. I tell them that all the time because I want their self-talk to be better than mine. Of course they do make mistakes, but I don’t beat them up about it.

So why do I do it to myself?

“I’m a failure.” I say this to myself whenever I think about the business I had (I was a direct sales consultant with a company that made baskets and pottery). Why? We were going through some bad circumstances around the time my business started slacking off, but those circumstances weren’t the real reason I stopped. I had decided that I was spending too much time in the evenings and on weekends doing in-home shows and meetings and I was missing out on the boys’ activities. I made a decision to back off on the number of shows I was doing so I could be there more for them.

Backing up again, I used to be a teacher when the kids were younger. I always wanted to be a stay at home mom while my kids were at home because I just didn’t want anyone else raising them and I didn’t to miss any of their milestones. But I bought into the whole “both people have to work so we can give the kids everything” idea, and I hated every minute of it. Finally when the younger son was four years old I decided to leave teaching to pursue the earlier-mentioned business so I could be at home. It worked great until both boys got into sports and other activities; then I was missing out again.

So the end of my business was a decision that I made because it was what was right for my family at that time. So why do I keep telling myself I’m a failure? I’m not a failure. I’m a good mom! Light bulb moment!

“I’m disorganized.” I know where this one started. I was a cheerleader from seventh grade through my first year in college. When I was in eighth grade (my second year as a cheerleader) I was captain of the squad. Our basketball team was in some sort of tournament (probably for county champs). I remember our coach bringing me in and telling me how “scatter brained” I was because I hadn’t planned any special activities for the team. I was 13 years old; I didn’t know what I was supposed to do!

So “scatter brained” became the way I thought of myself. I can remember all through high school, whenever I would forget something or make a mistake, I would tell myself how “scatter brained” I was. What a horrible message for an adult to give a CHILD! But that is the message that has followed me into adulthood.

So when I walk into my office that is cluttered with memories from my “failed” business, my thought is always how disorganized I am. But of course I can’t help it because I’m scatter brained.

Well, no more! I’m not a failure, and I’m not scatter brained. I’m not disorganized.

I feel like that goofy guy on Saturday Night Live from several years ago. I can’t remember his name, but he’d sit in front of the mirror and say his “daily affirmations.” I’m smart enough, I’m a good person, and darn it, people like me!

Who knew that signing up with FlyLady would mean digging through the clutter in my brain, discarding those messages that keep me from having true peace in my life, and learning to love the person I am?

If you’re not flying, I strongly suggest checking her out ( She will change your life!

God bless!

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Old Habits Die Hard

I think I'm on a plateau right now. You know how when you're on a diet you lose some of the weight pretty quickly and you're so excited, but then you reach a point where it's going to take some extra work to get over the hump? I think I'm there with my flylady experience.

I'm still flying -- don't get me wrong. My sink is still shiny, my bathrooms are always clean, our home is still being "blessed" every Monday morning, and all the areas I've worked on are still in great shape.

It's those areas that haven't been worked on that are just sitting there staring me in the face.

And those old voices are creeping back in. "You're such a failure." "If you can't do it right, don't do it at all." Uuugghh!

I know I just need to set the timer and tackle it a little bit at a time. I KNOW that, so why don't I just DO it?

Last week I had an upper endoscopy and had to have a stricture in my esophagus dilated. It wasn't a huge deal, but it was just enough to make me feel not-so-great for a couple of days. Well, in those couple of days my routines sort of slipped. I learned that I have to stay on top of things or I'll slip right back into the old habits. Those routines are so important!

Okay, so I'm making a deal with Toni (my inner brat). We have to go to the grocery store today or we'll be facing hungry stares from the boys. Afterward we'll spend 15 minutes downstairs decluttering a tiny space in the office. If we get that done, then we'll do something fun . . . maybe we'll go outside and play in the dirt (weed the flower beds) for 15 minutes. But there's one condition -- no whining!

Wish me luck!

Friday, July 14, 2006

Naming the little brat

I'm trying to settle on a name for my inner brat. Oh she's in there, and she's fighting me every step of the way as I try to reclaim control of my house and my life.

I've been trying to figure out why on earth I keep putting off digging into this office and getting it straightened up. I had started clearing out the remnants of my direct sales business a few months ago (before I even knew about Flylady), but progress has screeched to a halt. WHY?

I've come to two conclusions:

1. Every time I start going through the things from my old business, I start feeling down and a little disappointed with myself. I guess I feel like a failure. I was a direct sales consultant for seven years, and I was good at it. But I had started feeling like my time with the company was coming to an end because my kids were getting older and my shows were keeping me from being with them in the evenings and on the weekends. But then we ran into some rocky roads and I mentally shut down for a while, and that included neglecting what was left of my fledgling business. If I had made the decision to leave and had walked away on my own in a healthy way, I would have felt better about it. But I ended up watching it die a slow, painful death. So going through my old things brings back a lot of feelings I don't want to deal with.

2. My office is my inner child's playground. She wants to come in here and play and act like she's helping me work (I have an online store that I operate from my office), but she doesn't want to accept any of the responsibility. She's terrible about leaving things out where they don't belong, and she whines, complains and just about throws a tantrum if I even think about doing any kind of paperwork. If she doesn't know where something goes, she just leaves it out. And she loves piles!

So do I need some therapy before I can tackle my office? Nah. Now that I've started to identify what's keeping me from doing what needs to be done, I think I can start to chip away at it 15 minutes at a time.

I definitely need to name this little brat that is trying so hard to get my attention and keep me from regaining control. I'm thinking her name might be Toni, after a girl I went to elementary school with. Toni got everything she wanted, and if she didn't, LOOK OUT! Yeah, I think my inner brat just might be a Toni. Whew.

On a more positive note, the upper two levels of my house are coming under control very nicely. The bathrooms are getting swished and swiped daily, and we're at the point where a weekly deep cleaning isn't even necessary. They're always company-ready. My control journal is all set up and helping me to stay on track with morning and evening routines. The only one I'm struggling with is doing 15 minutes of decluttering every day. I've decluttered all the major areas that needed it except for the dreaded office. I guess I should find some smaller projects to warm up with and then start baby stepping through the office.

We're enjoying dinner as a family around our dinner table every evening. We've pretty much eliminated eating out; no one wants to skip the yummy meals I'm preparing from my weekly menu mailers. I'm discovering that I do enjoy cooking; it was the planning I dreaded. I don't mind grocery shopping now that my fridge and pantry are neat and organized. Cooking is actually pretty fun now because I know the guys will like what I'm preparing. My older son has a friend who has been spending a lot of time at our house this summer. The other day he confided to me that his family doesn't eat many meals at home because of busy work schedules. I'm pretty strict about having dinner together as a family unless it is totally unavoidable, and I think that is why he enjoys being here with us so much. Our family sits around the table at dinner and we talk about our day, we laugh, we joke, and that's just our time to connect. I think it's the most important time of the day.

Enough of that. Tonight is supposed to be "date night," but my poor exhausted hubby is upstairs asleep on the couch. He's the general manager of a hotel, and right now he's working seven days a week. I know it will become smoother; this is just one of those busy times. But I'll be so glad when he can have some time off to rest, relax and carry on a conversation after 8:00 PM. :)

Have a great day!

Monday, July 10, 2006

How Can I Bless this House with Bodies Everywhere??

Okay, here's my dilemma today. Both sons had friends over this weekend. Four boys between the ages of 11 and 17 . . . you know what that does to a house. I stayed on top of things and had them throw away their trash and put their dirty glasses and dishes in the dishwasher. But here's what I found this morning.

1. The upper level -- two bodies in the younger son's room. I'm sure there's a popcorn bowl in there somewhere along with glasses -- you have to have snacks when watching a movie, right? I didn't want to wake them just yet, so I took the sheets off of my bed to go into the washer. I can start my "home blessing hour" downstairs and work my way up.

2. The middle level -- two MORE bodies, one on each couch in the living room. Popcorn bowls and glasses on the kitchen counter. Didn't want to wake them either, so we'll have to get the middle level a little later. So with sheets in hand I headed to . . . .

3. The basement -- guitars and amps all over the floor, a blanket on the couch, cords for the game systems in the floor. AAAARRRRGGGGHHHH!!!!

Can't clean there either because I refuse to pick up after them. So what can I do? Throw the sheets in the washer (they're ready to go into the dryer now), check email and pout. Drink another cup of coffee and plot. Get my fanny upstairs and take a shower (even though I'll have to take another one after the cleaning is finished -- so why bother now??).

I've given them ample time to get their beauty rest, so now it's time to make my way back up the stairs and start making some noise.

By the way, when my kids have sleepovers, we're not talking about one nighters. Our house is the roach motel for kids -- kids come in but they don't come out. We keep them for 3 or 4 days or more at a time. We don't mind it at all; in fact I love it because I know where my kids are and what they're doing. But unconscious bodies at 9:30 Monday morning . . . nope, time to breathe some life into them and get them out of my way.

The FLY in Flylady means "finally loving yourself." If those little moochers don't get out of my way and let me bless this house, it's going to mean "fat lady yelling." HA!

Okay, time to get down to business. I hear movement upstairs. Time to lace up the shoes and whip this house back into shape. Later!