Singin’ At Home

... and then sit back and get comfy, cuz hearing everything I do in one day will take a looonnnnnnggggg time.
This picture popped up on my Pinterest board yesterday. It was so timely.
Do you know what I did yesterday? I didn’t even bother telling my husband everything I did because it sounded, well, crazy. And I also don’t think he quite understands what I do.
But you might.
So I’m creeping up on 30 weeks pregnant (29 weeks tomorrow), and I’m big. My kids keep finding my belly hanging out in odd places and poking at it. It feels super good.
And I’ve tried to keep up with my house. It used to be much easier, but lately? I get the kitchen half clean, and I’m DONE. I have to recover on the couch for a good hour before I can get up and finish… by then, something else usually needs doing. One thing I noticed, however, was that when the entire house wasn’t clean, we didn’t bother cleaning AT ALL.
Things were flung here and there.
Toys were scattered.
It didn’t matter if crayons fell off this or that because no matter where they fell, there was already something on the floor anyway. Did we bother to pick them up? Nope.
If I spent my energy raking over the living room and cleaning it the BEST I knew how, it didn’t matter. Because if the kitchen were still dirty, my family had a Dirty House Mentality.
So yesterday I cleaned the. entire. house.
I also made 18 whole wheat pumpkin muffins from scratch. I taught my son how to pull weeds in the driveway, and we did yard work together for an hour.
I did a session of home-preschool with him, teaching him all about the letter P. We did some worksheets and a pumpkin craft, and as a reward, he got to pick a pumpkin from our garden.

Later that night, I gutted that pumpkin, cleaned the seeds and set them out to dry and then I made our yearly Dinner in a Pumpkin dinner.
Our house smelled divine.
My husband was late coming home which didn’t matter much since I had my hands full to the utmost and hadn’t had a chance to even take a shower.
By the end of the day, the house was beautifully clean. I had bleached, mopped, scrubbed, and washed. I had swept, put away, dusted, and vacuumed.
I had baked. I had cooked. I had taught. I had worked. I had doctored a ripped toenail, read ten minutes to my school kid, got her off to school freshly bathed and filled with nutritious food. I was there to greet her when she came home, and I helped her with her homework. I picked a cantaloupe from our garden and placed it in the fridge to go with our pumpkin dinner (what would we do for food without our garden? We’d starve).
When my husband came home, I taught the Family Home Evening lesson about Establishing a House of Order and then WE ALL folded the 7 loads of laundry I had washed and dried.
By the end of the day, my back was on fire. It hurt to move. My husband had to leave again, so while he was gone I got the kids ready for bed, did the dishes (again), did scripture study, had prayers and off we all went to bed.
I pulled my homemade belly band around my big belly and tucked an ice pack (THANK YOU GREAT JUJU!!!!!!!!!!) underneath it so it would hug my lower back.
I could have just laid on it -this is true. But last time I laid on my back in bed? I ended up in tears because the pain it took to move even a little was excruciating, and I had to have my husband take my hand and slowly roll me while I made the ugliest face imaginable and sobbed.
Not pretty.
Belly band to the rescue!
When I woke up at 3 am for my nightly powder room session, it took all I could muster to walk the 5 steps to my bathroom. Thank goodness my husband couldn’t see me. I was Quasimodo. Quasimoda!

Today I woke up and immediately added one more layer to the heel in my shoe in an attempt to easy the pressure on my back. So far it’s working wonders.
Today I’m busy cooking.
I’ve already babysat, toasted pumpkin seeds, made graham crackers, and got some pinto beans cooking in the crock pot… and so it’s beginning again.
THAT’S why stay at home mothers get tired of the old cliche, “What do you do all day?”
Well, everything. Okay? Let’s just leave it at that.

Two days before, I had some really good friends stop by and my house was filthy. I mean, it’s been dirty while I’ve been pregnant. But the past few weeks I just couldn’t get it clean. I couldn’t get the help I needed to get it clean. I couldn’t get anyone to consistently put their stuff away.
There wasn’t a clean dish in the house. There wasn’t a place to sit on the couch (the laundry covering it was clean at least).
And my two really good friends spoke not a word but went straight to work. We visited as we washed dishes and laughed as we folded laundry.
I wanted to be embarrassed, but I wasn’t -not with them. They’re my FRIENDS, if you know what I mean. They’re the kind of friends who don’t expect me to be anything but… me. And ME right now is tired, TIRED, and pretty much: tired.
However, there’s a sad sort of trend to their visits. Whenever they come, the house is a wreck. It’s got me doubting my housekeeping skills, so yesterday I set out to prove to myself that I CAN do this! And if I DID do it, I knew my family would be more conscientious about keeping up cleanliness.
And so. Lisa? Here’s what my house looks like really. Promise.

Nevermind that I snapped these pictures at 10 pm, after all the laundry had been conquered and the dishes had been done one last time…

I’m so glad to have it all done -it was worth the back ache and the headache I woke up with. It IS worth it.
I don’t have the nicest things or the prettiest anything. My TV is old. My couches are MUCH older.
My cabinets aren’t going to be featured in Country Living anytime soon (or ever, ha!).
But having everything clean makes them all seem so… homey.
I logged on to post today’s post and I found a comment from Lisa. I wanted to share some of it with you before I go because I think you’ll love it.
PS: Lisa, your comment made me cry a little. And not just because I’m pregnant. You’re so awesome. I’m so glad Rial got you :)

I found this story in ‘The Latter-day Saint Women Manual: Basic Manual for Women’, enjoy!

“Fred ate [his breakfast] dutifully and then slipped down from his chair.

“‘Now can I go over to Jimmy’s, mother?’ he asked.

“‘But Fred,’ I [said], ‘you were over there yesterday and the day before. Why not have Jimmy come here today?’

“‘Oh, he wouldn’t want to.’ Fred’s lip quivered in spite of his six years of manhood. ‘Please, mother.’

“‘Why do you like Jimmy’s house better than ours, son?’ I pursued. It came to me suddenly that Fred and all his companions were always wanting to go to Jimmy’s house.

“‘Why,’ he explained hesitatingly, ‘it’s ’cause—it’s ’cause Jimmy’s house is a singing house.’

“‘A singing house?’ I questioned. ‘Now what do you mean by that?’

“‘Well,’ Fred was finding it hard to explain, ‘Jimmy’s mother hums when she sews; and Annie-in-the-kitchen, she sings when she cuts out cookies; and Jimmy’s daddy always whistles when he comes home.’ Fred stopped a moment and added, ‘Their curtains are rolled clear up and there’s flowers in the windows. All the boys like Jimmy’s house, mother.’

“‘You may go, son,’ I said quickly. I wanted him out of the way so I could think.

“I looked around my house. Everyone told me how lovely it was. There were oriental rugs. We were paying for them in installments. … We were paying for the overstuffed furniture and the car that way, also. Perhaps that was why Fred’s daddy didn’t whistle when he came into the house. …

“I … went over to Jimmy’s house, even if it was ten o’clock and Saturday morning. It came to me that Mrs. Burton would not mind being interrupted in the middle of the morning. She never seemed to be in a hurry. She met me at the door with a towel around her head.

“‘Oh, come in. I have just finished [cleaning] the living room. No indeed, you are not interrupting. I’ll just take off this headdress and be right in.’

“While I waited, I looked around. The rugs were almost threadbare; the curtains … tied back; the furniture, old and scarred. … A table with a bright cover held a number of late magazines. In the window were hanging baskets of ivy … , while a bird warbled from his cage hanging in the sun. Homey, that was the effect.

“The kitchen door was open and I saw Jerry, the baby, sitting on the clean linoleum, watching Annie as she pinched together the edges of an apple pie. She was singing. …

“Mrs. Burton came in smiling. ‘Well,’ she asked, ‘what is it? For I know you came for something; you are such a busy woman.’

“‘Yes,’ I said abruptly, ‘I came to see what a singing house is like.’

“Mrs. Burton looked puzzled. ‘Why, what do you mean?’

“‘Fred says he loves to come here because you have a singing house. I begin to see what he means.’

“‘What a wonderful compliment!’ Mrs. Burton’s face flushed. ‘But of course my house doesn’t compare with yours. Everyone says you have the loveliest house in town.’

“‘But it isn’t a singing house,’ I objected. ‘… Tell me how you came to have one.’

“‘Well,’ smiled Mrs. Burton, ‘if you really want to know. You see, John doesn’t make much. I don’t think he ever will. He isn’t that type. We have to cut somewhere, and we decided on non-essentials. … There are books, magazines, and music. … These are things the children can keep inside. They can’t be touched by fire or [financial problems] so we decided they were essentials. Of course good wholesome food is another essential. … The children’s clothes are very simple. … But when all these things are paid for, there doesn’t seem to be much left for rugs and furniture. … We don’t go into debt if we can avoid it. … [However] we are happy,’ she concluded.

“‘I see,’ I said thoughtfully. I looked over at Jerry and Fred in the corner. They had manufactured a train out of match boxes and were loading it with wheat. They were scattering it a good deal, but wheat is clean and wholesome.

“I went home. My oriental rugs looked faded. I snapped my curtains to the top of the windows, but the light was subdued as it came through the silken draperies. … [My house] was not a singing house. I determined to make it sing” (May Morgan Potter, “The Singing House,” as quoted by Reed H. Bradford in “Priorities,” Instructor, Nov. 1969, 410, 415)


  1. This post made me want to get up and clean my shabby rugs – the ones we bought too small and too dull because they fit the bill at the time. I want to put away the second hand toys and vacuum the carpet other than I. Thanks for the motivation and reminder to keep on trucking (no matter how pregnant!) and keep on singing.

    Oh, and I did, by the way. I went into the office to comment and now I’m staying to clean. if the office isn’t clean, I have no good place to put away my sewing things. If I can’t put away the sewing things, my kitchen isn’t really clean. And if the kitchen isn’t clean, the bookshelf in between the kitchen and living room is inevitably over run with clutter. I get the crayon issue – it’s indicative of a bigger problem you might say.

    • storylady says:

      YES! YES! Even I’m more prone to put my blow dryer away if there’s nothing else on the bathroom counter. If there is? I honestly don’t even THINK to put it away. IT’s a horrible habit we’re all in right now.

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