You know what's overrated? Being domestic.
No, that's inaccurate. Being good at being domestic - it is that which is irritating.
I'm thoroughly loving maternity leave - there is nothing overrated about spending time with your kids, cleaning and cooking for your family. People who are naturally good at it though... seriously, teach me your ways. I'm in a domestic slump.
I am fresh from a battle with my kitchen and all therein. I think it all began a few weeks ago when I stumbled across a pin teaching the home-impaired, domestically-challenged how to clean in a "family and environmentally-friendly way". After having accidentally created chlorine gas in my kitchen week after we brought Hayes home I thought maybe a little bit about getting rid of the chemicals in our house. Duh, I read it. Duh, I tried it. You know what the key ingredient is? Vinegar. It's like, the miracle of natural cleaning supplies and apparently it can do all sorts of other things too. (Except clean, but we'll get to that.) There are probably pins about it. You know who HATES the smell of vinegar? Koby. And most of the general population.
So for the past few weeks I have been proudly wiping every surface in our house with the bleach-alternative water and vinegar mix I made. So what if Koby moaned every time I brought out that precious substance - I was being a responsible mother and world-citizen. (Do you hate me yet?)
You know what cleans better than vinegar?
Any. Other. Thing.
Seriously, just clean with the water you were going to mix with the vinegar.
Maybe I made it wrong. Maybe I stumbled across a bad vinegar-cleaner recipe. (I admittedly didn't make the "best" recipe she had - that one called for cornstarch, which I realized just in time that I did not have. Did you know cornstarch and corn meal aren't the same thing? I only confused them in my head. I didn't try to make cleaner with that or anything, that would just be stupid.) But I had been trying to clean some tricky spots off the counter for days... literally. I scrubbed and SCRUBBED and scrubbed. I knew for sure we'd be paying our landlord for these unsightly blemishes when we moved out; it was like they'd seeped into the laminate. I soaked a paper towel in water-vinegar and set it on top of the spots overnight. Nothing. Finally I broke out that dreaded, evil component: bleach.
(Don't worry, I wiped the counters down with water first just in case there were any lingering traces of vinegar after learning that, like ammonia, vinegar and bleach should not be friends.)
It was like a person who had quit smoking had 'just one cigarette'. Before I knew it, I had bleached the sinks and they were sparkling, I tell you. Sparkling. Unfortunately, in my bleach-induced cleaning blackout, I set a ramekin in the drain to slow the water draining in the sink while it cleaned. Of course, it got lodged.
Things you should never need in or around your sink that I used today: a plunger, a drill, a hammer, and some nails. Long story short, the ramekin (which I think was made out of materials to which only NASA has access) is out (broken) and we lost a brave paring knife this morning. I somehow escaped unscathed. But I did burn a batch of cookies (the kind that you pretty much buy pre-made and really can only mess up one way. By burning) and experienced a few infomercial-worthy moments with some Saran Wrap.
I'm willing to give the whole vinegar thing another go, though, so if you have some pointers, contact me. I think we can all agree after reading this post that the greater the distance between myself and dangerous substances, the better. (Please imagine that this whole post is followed by an asterisk leading to a post-script imploring you not to alert the CPS.)