Saturday, May 30, 2009

yesterday

so yesterday turned out different than it was supposed to. it wasn’t a horrible day, just a little odd, and frustrating at times.

i had planned to do school w/ shane in the morning (my mom was attending a funeral) and then spending the rest of the day outside. perhaps making my way to the park playdate for a picnic lunch, if shane finished in time. nothing major planned, and i figured we’d just wing it and see what came our way. well…

dave has been out sick for a few days now, and he finally decided to go to the dr. yesterday. so he asked me to drive him downtown to his appt. and then possibly back home, or to work. his appt. was at 10:20, so i gave shane his spelling test after breakfast, had him bring a book in the car and headed downtown. the kids need sandals, so i figured i’d do a little shopping while in the city. so i dropped dave off, and embarked on one of my least favorite things in the entire world. driving downtown. i know i sound like some weinie, suburban soccer mom here, but i seriously HATE driving downtown. it’s not that i get lost or disoriented, and i understand the one-way streets and all that. what i hate is 1) all the pedestrians that take very seriously that THEY have the right of way, and 2) the fact that stoplights are on the side of the road, rather than hanging across the middle. i’m always afraid i’m going to hit someone who is crossing while i’m looking for something, or checking my blind spot or something like that, and then i will have mowed someone down and it’ll be my fault, even though they jumped out in front of me. and i’m always almost not noticing the lights because they’re not where i’m accustomed to seeing them. but anyway i didn’t manage to get in any accidents or hit any pedestrians, but i did spend way too long trying to find parking garages that didn’t exist. well, they do, i just remembered where they were wrong, and therefore was unable to find them where i thought they were. so, swearing under my breath and gripping the steering wheel with my stressed-out-gray-hair-inducing grip, i finally spotted a garage under westlake center, drove around the block again to get to it and parked. i grabbed the stroller and my purse (oh, and the kids), and headed out. i went to payless shoes first because i wanted some relatively cheap-o sandals for micah. we walked in the door and layla promptly announces that she needs to go potty. i told her to wait a few minutes because i knew they didn’t have a bathroom and we were going to a department store next where she could go. so i quickly grab a couple pairs in what i thought was micah’s size and she shows up, pee dripping down her legs, “um, mommy, i kind of peed in my pants a little”. nice. i had left her spare clothes in the car too. so i pulled micah out of the stroller and threw her in. i figured it would be disturbing for everyone out on the street to see her walking around with soaked shorts. couldn’t find any i liked in his size, so we left. at this point, dave tells me he’s done at the dr. and is walking to his office. i was furious at this point because i’m thinking, “you’re walking to work? great! i just paid how much to park so i could shop downtown for no reason?” but he says that he’s only going in to the office to check if there’s any pressing business he needs to take care of. so we wait outside for a while, and then i decide to head over to nordstrom to see if they’ve got any crocs for the kids. as it turned out, the smallest size is the size we already have at home (layla’s old ones) which are a little too big for micah still, layla is in between two sizes (one is too small, one is huge), and the kids dept. doesn’t sell them big enough for shane, and the men’s dept. where they sent us, doesn’t carry them at all. so dave met us at nordstrom, we walked back to the parking garage, and paid $10 to get out. RIDICULOUS!!! i was furious! at any rate, we came home, shane did his work, we lazed around and had a pleasant afternoon and evening.

oh, and the diagnosis? dave has a probable ulcer. which just seems ridiculous. he’s not exactly a pot of coffee kind of guy, and he’s not super stressed or anything. he laughed that if either of us would be likely to have an ulcer, it would be me!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

people are stupid.

today, upon checkout at the grocery store, i learned the following:

  • angelina walked in on jen and brad!
  • prince william accused camilla of being a drunk!
  • kate has turned from mom to monster!
  • george w. bush is on suicide watch!
  • certain mystery celebrities have had plastic surgery flubs!
  • who is bikini-ready and who is not?
  • paul newman’s mistress admits he loved his wife more!

why do i need to know this?

why is it that tabloids, gossip magazines and “entertainment” tv shows make millions by feeding this crap to the general public?

why is it legal for photographers and reporters to follow people around, stalk them, crash their parties, etc.?

why are these vultures, who make their livings off of dragging people through the mud and making up BS about them, protected by law?

yes, i’m all for freedom of the press. i believe that the government should not control the information that it believe the general public should receive. however, what about privacy? do people have no rights in that area?

seriously! it completely baffles me that this activity is legal! not only that, protected by law!

there are those that say that celebrities, by placing themselves in the public eye, bring this upon themselves. i suppose that has to be taken into consideration when deciding whether or not to become a celebrity (however one goes about doing that), but i don’t really think this is what most people signed up for.

but in all honesty, i can’t completely blame either the celebrity OR the paparazzi. the REAL ones to blame are the general public who gives these people jobs. who fork over hard-earned money to read the smut they print in their magazines. who come home at night and turn on TMZ or any of the other ridiculous “entertainment” shows. if it were not for the american people’s insatiable appetite for all that is distasteful, immoral, hurtful, and generally evil, NONE of these people would be able to continue to produce a product that no one would buy.

why do we feel that anything about these' people’s personal lives is ANY of our business? can we not just enjoy tv shows, movies, etc., appreciate good acting and call it good? why do we need to know who is pregnant, who is cheating, who is dating, who is breaking up, who is gaining weight, who is in rehab, who is happy, who is depressed…

it disgusts me.

Monday, May 25, 2009

memorial day weekend w/ nolan

nolan came for a visit this weekend and we were busy! we picked him up at the airport on friday evening, came home and ate pizza and watched the mariners beat the giants on tv.IMG_1582you can see that micah took to godfather nolan right away. thought he was awesome! and yes, he is wearing a sparkly, pink cheerleader costume. layla decided she wanted to be a princess and if layla was going to dress up, then so was micah. it was about this point when i realized that some gender-neutral dress up clothes might be in order sometime soon. HA! but he does look cute, doesn’t he?IMG_1581

on saturday morning, the boys (all of them) took off to hike mt. si. that’s it, behind that building.IMG_1600 IMG_1589IMG_1596  they had a great time, and came home all blistered, sore and tired. but they made it. dave and nolan switched off with the backpack. micah was pretty antsy by the time they got to the top, and wanted to explore more than he was really able to. he took a little nap on the way back down.

IMG_1590 apparently, mt. rainier is supposed to be behind them in this picture, but it doesn’t show up.

while they boys were on their hike, layla and i were at a birthday party. that was fun, but while we were there, layla had a ‘bladder episode’. i had to take her to the bathroom 4 times in 45 minutes, AND she had one accident in that time. so it’s not just being outside or the sun or whatever. she did have some orange juice, which we kind of targeted as a problem last year, but she’s generally been fine with it since. who knows. then she came home and painted herself red with the fingerpaint that was in the party favor bag. i couldn’t take a picture of it because the camera was with dave, but it was pretty funny. it’s great having one of those kids. then she washed herself off in the water table. yes, IN. where did this child come from?  she passed out on the couch after this and woke up with a cold. HELLO? what the heck! that evening, micah decided he had it too. YAY!

(oh, that night we watched the game again and the giants won.)

sunday, after church, we changed into our team colors and then went over to the park for a quick picnic before heading to the game. while we were sitting at the table, layla noticed that we had some visitors show up UNDER our table!  they were very friendly, so of course we fed them everything we had! that’s my hand, btw. very exciting! iphone 5-25-09 038iphone 5-25-09 040micah was so excited he chased them all over the park yelling “quack” at the top of his lungs.

then we headed to the game. we had fabulous seats! row 1 of the left field bleachers! it was awesome, except that i was terrified that someone was going to tumble over the edge into the bullpen; shane was terrified that micah was going to toss something over the edge into the bullpen; we were sitting DIRECTLY in the sun; we left our sunscreen in the car; micah and layla were both grumpy and antsy because they were hot, had runny noses, needed naps, and could care less about a baseball game; micah spotted a pile of spilled popcorn on the floor under the bleachers and was FURIOUS that i wouldn’t let him eat it. need i go on? eventually, everyone but me got up and went to go see about the play structure, which they couldn’t use because you have to make a reservation for it before the game starts, and eventually found some empty seats, in the shade, over by the left field foul pole. the seating attendant apparently felt sorry for our red-faced, cranky children and allowed us to sit there for the rest of the game. nolan came and got me and i joined them, even though, without the kids, i was enjoying my sunny view of the game and working on tanning my pasty shins! 

IMG_1601IMG_1602  world’s best dad, right here! IMG_1610IMG_1605IMG_1606

i think everyone was finally happy by the 8th inning. micah passed out and layla and shane had cotton candy. aaaahhhh, peace.

IMG_1607                                  the giants fans! (and micah) too bad for them… mariners won, 5-4! woo hoo!IMG_1618                                       our split-allegiance family!       

oh, i almost forgot to mention that shane is wearing a giants shirt UNDER his mariners jersey. gramma and papa sent up new giants shirts for him and dave. dave and i were both lobbying hard as to which shirt would be worn on the outside. as you can see, he’s a good boy!  mama’s proud!

Friday, May 22, 2009

so frustrated!

if you’ve known me for longer than 6 months or have been reading this blog for any length of time, you know all about layla’s potty issues. if not, you can be enlightened here, here, here, here, or here, should you so desire. the gist of it is this, layla has been potty trained since january of 2008, when she was about 2 1/2. she had some poop issues after that (the first ‘here’) but got over them relatively quickly, although it was incredibly annoying until she did. then in the spring, she started wetting her pants periodically. she would have ‘accident days’, as i called them. she’d be completely dry some days, and other days she’d have like 5 accidents. as we moved into summer, it became more and more often, and i started complaining to the doctor about it. he had her pee in a cup like 4 different times to see if she had a bladder infection. that always came back negative. then, it got to the point where she would be wet like every 15 minutes. like she had no control whatsoever. we were referred to a pediatric urologist, who refused to see a child younger than 5 or 6 – believing that anyone younger, was just experiencing potty training issues. but the call to that place got me a list of foods and beverages that commonly irritate the bladder, so we started eliminating things from her diet. this was a long, frustrating, and confusing process because just when we seemed to have identified something, some incident would muddle the information and we’d really have no clue if it was just a coincidence or not. finally in september, we got a referral to an allergist, thinking that an allergy could be causing it, and skin tests would certainly be more conclusive than our shot in the dark elimination diets. we finally saw the allergist in november and got the exciting news that layla is allergic to nothing. so i decided to just back track and try some old fashioned sticker charts, just to see if we could get her in better ‘habits’. well, shock of shocks, it worked. in december, layla completed her chart of something like 24 days w/out accidents, and earned herself a trip to chuck e. cheese. book closed, problem solved, issue OVER.

not so much.

in the two weeks, layla has started having accidents again. sometimes multiple in one day. grrrrrr! it makes me so mad because i thought we were totally done with this! what is it? why now? is it just because it’s nice out and she’s outside more? has she grown and her bladder not kept up? is she allergic to the sun? to sunscreen? is she just lazy when playing outside? there does seem to be a pattern of this happening when the weather is nicer. she never had accidents when she was playing outside in the winter. at any rate, i’m back to setting a timer for the time being, and she has to come in and use the potty every hour. aaagggghhhhh! i’m so frustrated by this!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

today rocks

give me a sunny, warm day and i’m happy, pretty much, whatever the day brings. so a sunny day that started with sitting out in the sun with friends, knitting, is just over the top fabulous! yes, i realize i am easily pleased.

i’ve actually gotten a lot done since getting home as well. not that you can tell. i just love this phenomenon that goes along with having children. while i’m busy cleaning one part of the house, they’re busy trashing another. it is physically impossible for my entire house to be clean all at once. but oh well, right now i have clean bathrooms, and although the living room is cluttered with toys and other kid paraphernalia, it has been dusted and is about to be vacuumed. sigh.

speaking of sigh… well, actually, si, the boys are planning a hike up mt. si on saturday. we’re looking forward to nolan coming up tomorrow evening for a visit. they will be doing this on saturday while layla and i go to a birthday party. then on sunday, we’ll be spending the afternoon at safeco field watching the mariners beat the giants. that should be fun, and i know my children are loyal. that said, a sunny day and baseball with my family… that should make it just about as good as today! ;)

maybe i’ll bring my knitting along, just in case!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

meal plan wednesday

DONE, finally.

  • today: mac & cheese w/ hot dogs; peas
  • tomorrow: chicken; rice; broccoli
  • friday: pizza; green beans
  • saturday: hamburgers; corn on the cob; chips
  • sunday: waffles; bacon
  • monday: ribs; oven fries; broccoli
  • tuesday: tacos

so i did my shopping differently today. this weekend, while i was a costco, i priced some things to compare. so today, since i had to go anyway to get milk, i got a bunch of other stuff too. cereal, butter, ground beef, orange juice, bananas, apples, blueberries, salad, chips, mac & cheese, and canned chicken. it means that i totally blew my grocery budget for the week, but it also means that a lot of the stuff i would be buying weekly, i won’t have to get for awhile. hopefully it works out because it means that i now only have $75 a week for the next 3 weeks.

and yes, the mac & cheese is out of a BOX! my family is SO excited!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

pet peeve of the day

so i’m trying really hard to not live in a pig sty. i also live with 3 children, and anyone who has read more than 2 words of this blog knows that organizational stuff does not come easy to me.

today i did all the things on my to do list (which i try to keep daily, and not make too overloaded, so it’s actually realistic to get it done) and looked around realizing that my house was still very much a sty and certainly not anywhere near ‘drop-by-able’, which is my ever-elusive goal. (hello, run-on sentence! but it’s my blog, so deal with it!) so i tackled a couple of my worst clutter catchers. the table behind the couch and the kitchen peninsula. today was one of those days where i was wishing that all of the flat surfaces would just disappear.

so i threw away or recycled everything i could, and put all the rest of the stuff that i can’t into a bin. it’s the ‘don’t know what to do with it’ bin. i currently have several of those, in various places throughout the house. the biggest is the garage. (no, i didn’t say IN the garage. i mean the garage.) i hate this phenomenon. i seem to always have all this stuff that you have to keep, but don’t need, and you don’t really know what to do with it.

my worst offender is the stupid reports you get from your insurance company, every time someone goes to the doctor. this drives me insane. they send you this in the mail, it tells you who saw what doctor, if any tests were done, what outrageous figure was charged for these services, and that they’ve paid for it. why is it i need a piece of paper for this? i don’t care what they charged if the insurance company paid it already! it even says on it, ‘this is not a bill’. yet you’re supposed to keep this ‘for your records.’ so i either have a pile or a file of these papers. why? do i really need to keep these?

grrrr. thank you, insurance company, for sabotaging my best attempts at fighting clutter. i’m not just battling myself here, i’m under attack!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

weekend camping… sort of.

shane has been bugging us about setting up the tent in the backyard since the first nice day of the spring. we finally ran out of excuses this weekend and spent saturday night sleeping outside. we even built a fire in our fire pit so it could feel more like real camping. we neglected to put it away today, which has wound us up with a bonus night in the tent. oh yay. well, the kids are excited about it. dave and i are less so, probably because we’re old fogies and are actually aware of the fact that it gets darn cold at night still. that and how our nifty air mattress has a leak and is somewhat less than cushiony by morning. oh well, the sacrifices we make.

it was, indeed, a beautiful weekend. dave got all productive this weekend and cleared out massive amounts of CRAP from our yard. there’s been this patch of CRAP (for lack of a better word to describe it) on the west side of the house, kind of going down the hill toward the road, since we moved in almost 2 years ago. we inherited it from, i assume, the previous residents, but i suppose it could have been there even longer than that. at any rate, it was all grown over with ivy and weeds, but we could tell that there was a bunch of old wood and other stuff under it. so dave finally decided that it was time to deal with it. i should have taken pictures of the CRAP that was in there because it was really odd to find on a hillside in our yard. there was one of those funky swings made out of a cut-apart tire along with it’s rope, and this other ENORMOUS rope that was wrapped around a piece of rotten wood. this rope was seriously about 3 inches thick. there was a lot of other wood and sticks in there, but most of it was falling apart. as luck would have it, our neighbors were making a trip to the dump today, so we threw that stuff in their truck and now it’s out of our hair (or yard). so now we have a vacant hillside to figure out what to do with. the kids still have a big pack of wildflower seeds that was in their easter basket, so i might have them plant those there.

what else? oh yeah, saturday afternoon brought my miraculous trip to costco. it was miraculous because i spend less than $100 and i didn’t think that was possible! i bought diapers, bread, frozen chicken strips, a jug of honey, batteries and 4 gallons of milk and spent $89.

well, i guess i had better go clean up my house so i can go freeze in my tent. woo hoo! it is SO coming down tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

meal plan wednesday… and further ramblings…

oh grocery shopping! i am so glad to be DONE with you for another week.

  • wednesday: pork roast; mashed potatoes'; corn
  • thursday: homemade mac & cheese; peas and carrots
  • friday: pizza; green beans
  • saturday: burgers; fries; carrots
  • sunday: egg-potato-bacon scrambles
  • monday: creamy italian chicken; noodles; salad
  • tuesday: pork roast sandwiches; fries; green beans

NEXT wednesday: leftovers!

thanks to the recent addition of sophie to our household, i had to buy dog food today. that kind of ticked me off. not because we have to feed her, but because 1) i have to squeeze that out of my grocery money somehow, and 2) safeway only sells the small bag of the kind she eats, which means it’s more expensive.  so i’m going to have to work that out somehow.  does anyone happen to know the cheapest place to get iams dog food?

this whole $100 weekly food budget is good, as far as keeping that spending under control, but the limited amount of cash i carry keeps me from taking advantage of some good sales. today, for example, the bread i buy was on sale, 2 for $5.  that’s a good deal, and this kind doesn’t go on sale very often. i only bought one loaf though, because i had to keep the rest of my list in mind. i find myself having to buy a smaller package of something, just to keep my #’s low, even though the bigger one is cheaper in the long run. so i need to look at that. i’m thinking it might be more advantageous to shop monthly, except for produce and buy bigger quantities. i’m also wanting to take a kid-free trip to costco, to have a look at the prices of things i buy regularly, and see if it’s a better deal to buy it there. i’ve never, in my life, paid attention to how much different things cost at the grocery store. i really have no idea what is a good deal and what isn’t. meat, for example. is meat cheaper at costco? what about diapers? when shane was a baby, i bought huggies at costco because it was convenient. when layla was a baby, there was no costco and no target, so i bought luvs at walmart. (i didn’t even consider luvs when shane was a baby because they had barney on them, and i wasn’t going there!) i’d save huggies or pampers coupons i got in the mail, but it was rarely worth it, because, even with the coupon, luvs were still cheaper. after we moved back here, i was thrilled to have costco again, but since dave was working at target at the time, it was still cheaper to get the luvs at target with his discount. so now we have no discount, and i’ve been buying the costco brand, which i’ve discovered is the same price as the huggies there, but i really don’t care which brand i buy because they’re basically identical. but i guess i need to price the ones at target again since i just got a bucketload of coupons in the mail. then i wonder if all this is really worth it. actually, with the weather getting nicer, i’m using our cloth diapers more and more. it’s just a stupid personal thing, but i hate using the cloth ones with pants because the covers we have make the fronts of the pants look really fat and stupid. i don’t mind the butt bulk, but front-side bulk is more than i can handle. i know, it’s stupid, but in the summer, i just have him run around in a shirt and a diaper, usually with no cover. so i guess the diaper debate is really irrelevant. hope you enjoyed reading it!  HA!

this is just me, embracing being poor! wish me luck!

Monday, May 11, 2009

mother’s day, the zoo, and the ‘joys’ of immodest dressing…

so yesterday was mother’s day. my family was very nice to me. shane had plotted to get me an angel food cake pan, apparently ever since easter when we discovered i didn’t have one. so he used his own money and bought me one, along with a cake mix. then he asked if we had any strawberries and informed layla that she DID NOT get to help me make the angel food cake, he did. layla (and presumably dave and micah as well) got me a new willow tree statue to replace the one she broke a few weeks ago when she climbed up on the wood stove and tried to pull some pictures down off the mantle to look at. so that was nice.

dave had a soccer game at 2:45 in greenlake, so i had the BRILLIANT idea that we should all go with him and i would take the kids to the zoo, which is right up the road. well, by the time we woke up micah, changed his diaper, discovered that layla was wearing too-big rain boots instead of regular shoes and then located a pair of regular shoes, grabbed a snack for shane who had neglected to eat any lunch, and finally got in the car, we were, of course, running late. so i had dave park near the soccer fields and we would just ‘walk up the hill’ to the zoo.  HA! that hill doesn’t seem too bad when you’re driving it, but it’s a HUFF when you’re walking and pushing a stroller.  but we got there and the kids wanted to see the new penguin exhibit and layla wanted to see giraffes. that was our agenda.

i can’t say i was too impressed with the penguins. everything seemed too high for kids to see… or short parents.  there were some cool spots to look underwater and see them swim by, but overall, i didn’t get to see much. of course it was PACKED with people and maybe i just wasn’t able to navigate around all of them to get to a good spot. at any rate, that was kind of frustrating. after that, we went to see the day and night exhibit. layla loves the nocturnal animals. she also informed me that she wants to live with the turtles. she had thought deeply about this because she, very seriously added that she would have to wear her swimsuit so she could swim with them. but turtles don’t need to wear swimsuits because their shells are their swimsuits… don’t you love it? then dave called and said he was finished with the game so it was time to head for the exit. there is NO direct route to the exit, so we meandered around and managed to pass the giraffe barn on the way, and they happened to be outside the barn, so layla was happy to check that off her list.

bill and marie were kind enough to bring dave up the hill to the zoo to get his keys from me (yeah, good thinking!) and then back down the hill to the car so he could pick us up. they won their game and dave scored a goal so all was good on that end.

my experience at the zoo was highlighted by the astounding abundance of BAD TASTE in people’s wardrobes. now this isn’t just me being the fashion police here, because i really could care less if people’s clothes are trendy or not. i was totally flabbergasted by the serious lack of any sort of modesty that way too many women exhibited. i saw more boob yesterday than i really ever need to. what is it that causes women to feel the need to show the world almost their entire chests? i realize that often times women who are well-endowed have trouble finding shirts that fit well, but that’s not an excuse to wear a shirt that is 4 sizes too small for them and would not cover them up even if it was in their size! and then there was the teenage girls who were wearing “shorts”, if you dare to call them that. “a tiny piece of fabric that barely covers the butt” might be a more accurate name for them. and actually, if it weren’t for how tight they were, i think there might have been some cheek hanging out. 

is this just me being old? do other people find this sort of thing inappropriate? or is it just me. maybe i’m just hyper-aware of this sort of stuff because i have an almost 10 year old son with me and i am starting think about the stuff he looks at and whether or not it’s appropriate. but it’s the zoo! it’s not a night club. this is supposed to be a family venue, is it not? so if you can’t take your family to the zoo without being accosted by partial nudity, where can you go?  i don’t know… maybe we need to move to alaska where people will at least be wearing coats! sheesh!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

meal plan wednesday (on thursday)

  • yesterday: french dips; chips; salad
  • today: vegetable beef soup; sourdough
  • tomorrow: pizza; green beans
  • saturday: hamburgers; chips; corn on the cob
  • sunday: pancakes; sausage
  • monday: chicken; rice; peas and carrots
  • tuesday: leftovers

i made out pretty good. kept it under $100 and managed to get 2 bags of chips and 2 cartons of ice cream.  HOORAY! junk food has returned to our house!  halleluiah!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

how to clean your room

i was discussing this sort of thing w/ my MIL recently and she said there were some books she had when the boys were young that explained things to kids that adults often tell them to do w/out giving them explicit instructions. so i thought about it and decided to write my own.  i mean, really, if i expect shane to clean his room, i ought to tell him HOW i want him to clean it, so he knows what i expect.  so i wrote them out.  keep in mind, these are 9 year old instructions. they would have to be adjusted accordingly.  i actually don’t expect him to do much less than i would expect of myself.  (bummer for him!)

How to clean your room:

  1. strip your bed.
  2. put all dirty clothes in the laundry basket
  3. put all clean clothes in the closet or dresser
  4. put all shoes in the rack on the door.
  5. pick up everything off the floor and put it on your bed to sort.
  6. start by throwing away anything that’s trash.
  7. return anything that doesn’t belong in your room to where it does belong.
  8. put anything remaining on your bed away
  9. dresser: put away or throw away anything that doesn’t belong; run yellow duster over lamp and dresser surface.
  10. desk: put away or throw away anything that doesn’t belong; run yellow duster over surface and computer.
  11. shelves: put away or throw away anything that doesn’t belong, straighten up books/toys.
  12. under your bed: remove anything that doesn’t belong and put/throw it away.
  13. behind your door: put/throw away anything that is there.
  14. closet: make sure all clothes are on hangers and the floor is clean.
  15. pick clean sheets to put on your bed.
  16. empty garbage can
  17. vacuum floor.
  18. return vacuum and duster to their homes.

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