January is the longest month ever
I'm a mommy monster with a clean bathtub
Oh, you know, we’re surviving. 12 days of quarantine + 2 tiny kids + 2 working parents + 1 small apartment = Not thriving.
This godforsaken pandemic is turning me into a mommy monster. The stress is getting to me. The illogical, paranoid policies that govern preschools, handed down from the Virginia Department of Health, are getting to me. I’m not sure that I’m coping well.
Writing about Covid is so overdone and dreary, but nearly two years in, I think the pandemic has wrecked our relationship with risk. We no longer seem capable at balancing acceptable risk with acceptable freedom. I say this as a vaccinated and boosted woman who dutifully wears her N95 mask indoors. I also say this as a mother who is sick and tired of watching her toddler be forced to wear a mask (with his tiny, fogged-up glasses, no less) while playing outside with classmates and told to stay 6 feet away from them. That is just insane. Punishing our youngest (and lowest-risk) population is absolutely cruel and absurd to me. I am very, very tired. I crave balance.
Meanwhile, there’s no 6 feet of distance between these little quarantine buddies. We’re all feeling well thus far, which has been a blessing.
The greatest tub-cleaning trick of all time. It’s so simple. I can’t believe I just learned about this. You ready? This comes to you from my mom and U.S.-based sister, who are the housekeeping gurus in my life. (Germany-based sister and I just learn from their teachings.) And they got it from Clean My Space (Melissa Maker). Here it is: Make a paste of baking soda and Dawn dish soap in a little bowl. (Apparently it has to be Dawn; none of that organic, free-range, gluten-free Whole Foods dish soap.) Smear this paste on the walls and floor of the tub. Wait for a few minutes. Wipe it off in circular motions with a sponge or microfiber cloth. Rinse. MARVEL at how shiny and scum-free your tub is; it will look brand new. I am really and truly astonished. Bathroom cleaning game forever changed.
I’ve always washed clothes in cold water, mostly because I’m lazy and have never wanted to take the time to separate items by color, so I was very pleased to learn that my laziness is also very energy efficient. About 90% of the energy use in laundry comes from heating the water, so there’s a tremendous benefit to always washing clothes on cold. The catch is that a lot of the “clean”/“natural” detergent isn’t very powerful or effective in cold water, as they tend to be composed of basic soaps that need heat to remove dirt and stains. So, I’ve started using specially formatted cold-water laundry detergent. A few favorites I’ve tried thus far: Biokleen Natural Cold-Water Laundry Detergent and Tide Pods Free & Gentle.
With every day that passes, we get a little closer to spring.
I don’t see any snow or ice in the forecast for this coming week (yet).
It is pleasing to return to reading novels at night, when your babies are sleeping soundly. I am enjoying Gary Shteyngart’s latest (Our Country Friends), because it is funny and doesn’t seem to be going anywhere, and I’m unbothered by that.