Friday, October 2, 2015

The Kett-Files: Keeping Up Appearances, Day 1

**For 1 Week (and only one week, thank goodness!) Emilee and Marquette attempted to live a life that matched up to Social Media Standards, mostly just to show what that could look like in real life and how ridiculous the idea is.** 

When Emilee first presented the idea to try and do a "Pinterest Perfect" week, I was so excited (read this post to see what this project is all about). This was going to be so much fun! And then as it got closer and closer I started to feel anxiety and a touch of dread. This wasn't going to just be a cute little one hour project. This was a whole week of trying to appear perfect. 

Holy cow. 

I had no idea what I was getting into. But I knew her idea was genius and the perfect way to launch off the blog. Because if anyone can show you that living a social media picture perfect life isn't possible, I knew I could. But this became more than just a funny project. This became something I'd learn so many lessons from about myself, about life, about Darrow, about perceptions.

Day 1 (Thursday September 24th was my starting day) dawned bright and cheerful and I was ready to rock this week. I'd done all my planning and had everything lined up. We woke up to lovely sunshine, Darrow smiling at us from his bed, and the birds chirping. And here's the highlight reel from how awesome the day went: 

See, perfect!

Yeah right. 

Here's how the day really went down (and this is after I condensed my notes from the day for you): 

o   5:52 am: Darrow woke up. For some reason waking up just minutes before the alarm clock makes me feel robbed. Like those last 8 minutes were vital to having my sleep quota and now I’m running on a deficit. After lying in bed waiting for my bathroom turn (not moving so I wouldn't pee myself), I finally rolled out of bed at 6:10. 
o   6:12am: Pulled Darrow off the oven and took him in to get dressed and get a fresh diaper. He ran away and tried to climb in/on the toilet. “Sit toilet?” I figure I don’t want to discourage that so I took him in and he sat on the toilet. He thinks all he has to do is sit on the toilet and make grunting noises and he’s “pooped in the toilet”. But, it’s a start I guess.
o   6:17am: I find some cleanish pants for Darrow, putting them on with his pajama shirt. It’ll do for now. Starting the day off "Pinterest Worthy" already. 
o   6:20am: I get to get dressed! But not fully in the “I’m Pinterest Perfect and ready for the day!” dressed. It’s clothes I throw on so we can all hop in the car and take Cameron to work so I can have the car to run errands today. We love the frugalness of having only one car, but some days it feels like a circus figuring out how to do everything we need to with just one car. We pile in the car, with Darrow crying because we can’t stop and look at the neighbor’s chickens, and drive Cameron to work.
o   6:37am: Made it back home. Time to get to work on our awesome breakfast!
o   6:40am: Cleaned the crumbs out of Darrow’s high chair and got him a bowl of Frosted Mini Spooners. I’m starting to run out of time to get my breakfast in that “golden hour” (you know…they say to eat breakfast within an hour of waking up). I pull out a lemon to make my hot lemon water and remembered we have no mugs (we got rid of them all when we moved). It’s just weird in a regular cup. Oh well. Plastic cup it is! I nuke the water, cut the lemon, juice ½ of it, put the other ½ in a baggy for tomorrow and then realize we’re out of MiO to make this drinkable (I’m a wussy and gag on straight lemon water). So I found a pack of Truvia and used that to help get it down. I can finish all but the last 2-3 gulps before I start gagging. Seriously, I’m a wussy. Guess that’s enough for today! Pulled out one of those 80 calorie Greek yogurts I found in the store yesterday to eat as part of breakfast. Holy cow those are sweet!! Too much so. 
o   7:10am: I sat down to make a plan for the day. Found my pen and notebook, labeled my page, pulled Pinterest up on my phone to access my reference board of pins for the week, and then Darrow was done with breakfast and needed down. Pause.
o   7:17am: Darrow is cleaned up and dressed in real clothes for the day! Any day where the toddler has real clothes is a win!
o   7:20am: Back to planning. I started trying to schedule everything, but I wasn’t sure how long everything would take. So I wrote down the things that needed to happen at a certain time and then filled in the blanks.
o   7:40am: Put black beans on to soak for 6 hours, because I forgot to put them in to soak last night. In my head the Pinterest perfect week started this morning…I didn’t even think about getting those beans soaking to get that meal prep pin going first thing. Oops. Oh well, I still have time. Lots of time. 
o   7:42am: Exercise time! Because the5 WaysSuccessful People Start Their Days pin said it was important in the morning. And it’s true…if I wait I’ll never do it. So I pulled up Em’s and my squat challenge pin and the 3 minute workout pin and got going. Darrow wanted to be held right then of course, but luckily I found if I made a fool of myself he’d sit on the floor and laugh at me. “SQUAT!” (Think a frog croaking the word Squat). For all 50 of those squats he laughed as long as I was a frog. Good thing we’re home alone.
o   7:50am: Water time! As one of my healthy life projects for the week was to consume more water. I've tried keeping a cup by the sink, but I never remember. I found a great pin that suggested marking a water bottle with times and to drink each hour (or whatever times you mark). My water bottle isn’t clear, and sometimes I forget how many I’ve consumed, so I decided to go a different route. I bought clear disposable plastic cups and each day or two I’ll make a new one. It has check marks for 8am, 10am, noon, 2pm, 4pm, 6pm, and 8pm.
(Photo taken later in the day because I didn't take a picture right away after making the cup)
At those times I drink 1 glass of water (averaging about 1 ¼ cups each). So by the time the day is done I’ll have consumed about 8-10 cups of water (including my lemon water first thing in the morning).
o   7:53am: Time to get dressed! Only 2 hours after waking up, but that’s okay! I used two pins I found as my inspiration (see photo below). One was the outfit on the left from J.Crew and the outfit on the left with no source to be found other than Pinterest.

Here was my bathroom mirror selfie version of this because I don't have a full length mirror and Darrow doesn't quite yet get taking pictures of anything but his nose:

      You can't really see it in this photo, but the blue shirt does have small pinstripe lines the same color as the cardigan. But in this photo it looks like a weird combination. 
o   8:13am: I sort the laundry that had been tossed in the vicinity of our laundry hamper, and put a load of colors in the washer.
o   8:17am: I’ve loaded the garbage bags in the back of the car and the weed eater to take back to the rental place. We’re too cheap to pay the $25 a month for a dumpster (not a can…a big ol’ dumpster is our only choice where we live), so every week or so I make a run to the dump because it’s free. $25 a month doesn’t seem like much, but that’s $300 a year I can put towards something else besides trash. Darrow's just excited to be in the car. See, here's our happy family selfie in the driveway before leaving. How very Social Media Perfect. 
o   8:47am: We get back home and it’s time to get working on the rest of the list. Next up, the daily cleaning chores pin! What’s first on the list? It says today is the Kitchen. Good, I’ll need the kitchen clean for everything I’ve got going this week. But first I have to start on the dishes. It always looks like a ton, but the nice thing about having few dishes and a tiny space is it doesn’t end up taking me nearly as long as I think it will.
o   8:53am: Pull Darrow off the computer table. Get back to dishes.
o   8:55am: Stop to clean up bowl Darrow pulled off the counter and broke. Of course it was the favorite mixing bowl that was the perfect size.
o   9:01am: Pull Darrow off the side of the oven. Dishes wouldn’t take long if I could just do dishes! We sit down and talk about obedience and not touching the stove and all that jazz. And then I realize I’m trying to reason with an almost 2 year old. Back to dishes.
o   9:05am: Pull Darrow back off the computer desk and decide it’s time for an early nap. In the crib he goes. I pulled up Facebook to answer a message and of course that turned into about 10 minutes of vegging.
o   9:20am: I go in to check on Darrow and he’s climbed out of his crib and is playing. We’ve been having this trouble lately, so I decide it’s time to go back to the sideless crib (our makeshift toddler bed made from his crib with one side open). We did that before we moved but reverted back to the sides when we moved because he was so freaked out. We’ll see if this works. I’m hoping because I don’t know what else to do to get him to stay in bed.
o   9:35 Darrow is lying on his bed with his sheep and blanket with the firm admonition to stay on his bed and do not get off. I go back to the computer to see if the birds for tomorrow’s Equinox Dinner need to marinate overnight. They do. So I need to pull them out of the freezer and let them thaw. And then I got lost on Pinterest for another 5 minutes or so.
o   9:45am: I pull the birds out to thaw and realize it’s quiet in the bedroom. Darrow’s in his bed, on his pillow, asleep. What?! That was easy. Let’s hope it continues.
o   9:50 Pulled the birds out of the freezer and got back to dishes and cleaning the kitchen.
o   10:00 Time for my next water! And I realized the clothes in the washer were long done and needed to go out on the line. 

We have a dryer, but we don’t use it. We will on rainy days when laundry has to get done or in the winter when clothes will freeze rather than dry. But for now this saves us a little money in electricity. I’m desperately trying to save up for a new camera, so any bit where we can save a little extra I’m trying to incorporate. Anyone have a spare Nikon D750 they want to pass along to an extremely grateful nice lady? I didn’t think so, but I thought I’d ask.
o    10:30am:Back to the kitchen after checking on insurance stuff. How am I still on the kitchen?! I need to be further down my list by now.

o   10:55am: I realize as I scrubbing the floor, after cleaning out the fridge and wiping down cupboards…today isn’t Monday. On the pin, the kitchen is Monday’s chore. I got mixed up because this is the first day of my Pinterest Perfect Week and the first day of the work week is Monday. But today’s Thursday! So…now I need to work on the bathroom. But boy my kitchen looks nice. Sigh. But I might as well finish the floor now that I’m working on it.
o   11:10am: Put load of whites in the washer and straighten laundry closet because it’s driving me nuts…but I think only because I’m already cleaning. And it’s Pinterest Perfect week…it needs to look nice. 
o   11:20am: Sit down to type up notes and journal the day so far again. Looking at my to do list, I’m worried I’m not going to get done what I’d thought I could. And…I’ve taken very few pictures to document the day. How very un-social-media-perfect-life-like that is! I better start doing better.
o   11:53am: Man, that took a long time to journal. But it was productive, right?! Eek. Well, on to go drink my noon cup of water and to get lunch for today made. I threw together bits and pieces of what we had in the fridge. Eggs, milk, spinach, tomatoes, chorizo, tortillas, and salsa. I was going to just throw it together and eat it taco style, but then I remembered...that's not what "Social Media Perfect Me" would do. So I styled it all pretty and took a picture before pigging out. 
o   12:15pm: Darrow wakes up just as I’m finishing my lunch. Time to get him some lunch made! I was hoping he’d sleep longer, but oh well. Good thing I got the stuff for a well balanced and varied meal for him as suggested by the pin I pinned hoping to find food he'd eat. 
o   12:26pm: My lunch is cleaned up, leftovers put away (it made more than I needed…I could have eaten another burrito, but I didn’t need it. Trying to relearn that lesson). Darrow’s in his high chair eating the crackers from his lunch…we’ll see if anything else gets consumed. Man, it feels like it should only be 10am…how is it past noon?! I’m behind schedule!
o   12:30 He only ate the crackers and wouldn't touch the cheese, meat, grapes, or celery. Neat. 
Wait...didn't Kendra just write an awesome post about how they approach food and getting their kids to eat? Yes she did. I'll try that next time instead of fighting the eating battle every time. Time to clean the bathroom. The smallest room in the house, yes!!
o   1:00pm: Switched over laundry, took dry clothes off the line, put next load on the line, put the next load in the washer, and folded the dry clothes. And the cardigan came off…it’s just too hot and in the way for cleaning.
o   1:32pm: It is not possible to keep a 2 year old alive and live a Pinterest Perfect life. I’m ready to ship him off today. And boy oh boy, you should see my hair.'s what my hair looks like:
And I haven’t even started on the bills, submitting insurance documents, or painting the table. Oh! The beans!! I’ll get started on those right after I put the laundry away.
o   1:40-2:40 I totally forgot that the Vision Specialist was coming today! I definitely didn’t plan that into the schedule. Oops. Good thing I was home!
o   2:40pm: Time to get my 2pm water, and I’m hungry! Good thing I made too much at lunch, that was easy to reheat. It definitely was much less pretty this time on the Styrofoam plate, eaten taco style without a fork and with the salsa inside rather than on top. 
o   2:50pm: Ok, now the beans. They should be good and soaked at this point.
o   3:19pm: Finished getting the beans ready to cook (added ingredients and whatnot). They’ll be done around 4:50-5:20ish.
o   3:30pm: Dug around in the storage shed to find my orange spray paint. Surely I have enough.
o   3:40pm: Did battle with a centipede. Me and my shovel won. Skin still crawling.
o   3:45pm: Hauled the paint and box of decorations inside. Took before pictures of the table in it’s nook. I'll be honest here. I didn't even open up the "Painting Metal Furniture" pin until just now to insert the link in. I just saw the photo, knew I had orange spray paint in my stash, and thought "Hey! I'll do that to my table!". 
o   3:50pm: Hauled the table outside and used up one of the partial cans of paint on the first coat. Maybe I don’t have enough.
o   4:10pm: Came inside to try and get the spray paint off the inner elbow of my shirt. Who gets it there?!
o   4:15pm Stirred the beans and put Darrow back in bed for his afternoon nap/quiet time.
o   4:24pm: Nope…didn’t have enough spray paint. Dang it. 2 partial cans (I think they equaled about one full can) are not enough.
o   4:28pm: Holy cow. I’m exhausted. I just want a popsicle and a nap…and a babysitter. I still have 6 more days of this?! Darrow has broken my favorite mixing bowl, a jar of jam, a jar of baby food (we still had 2 leftover), tore up one of his books, and knocked pictures off the wall. He's sitting on his bed bawling right now, in time out. I'm sitting here typing right now, crying. I can't do this. 

o   5:45pm: I finally quit my pity party, went in and loved on Darrow, and decided to get back into things. I will survive. I will survive. Time for the rice for the meal prep pin. It took a while and a bit of chopping, but man…it’s good! This is a recipe I will be making again. Or I could just be hungry because I ran out of time to make my real dinner.
o   6:30pm: Left for Walmart to get the supplies I forgot/didn’t realize I’d need when I went last night, along with the extra cans of spray paint I need to finish the table tomorrow. More stuff?!
[update: I forgot to note at first that this is when I went and picked up Cameron from work too. He had to stay late that night for parent teacher conferences. But I did remember to go get him and didn't leave him to sleep under his desk, lol]. 
o   7:50pm: I steamed the broccoli, and got the ground turkey made. We don’t have a steamer and I didn’t want to spend even more money, so I just used our big pot and then put the broccoli in a strainer and used that. It worked. I assembled the meals…almost eating one but I know I don’t want to eat this late and that much.

o   8:15pm: Took out the Cornish Game Hens, made the rub, and got them rubbed down and in the fridge to season overnight. Then I did dishes.
o   8:45pm: I just took the last picture, and put the lunch meals in the freezer. 
That’s the last of it for today. I am so pooped. Physically, mentally, and emotionally. My feet are killing me. I have a headache. My eyes burn. And I still have 6 more days of this. This is nuts. And I have 4 ½ pages of notes! I hope I can make it through tomorrow and our big dinner. I hope Darrow is better tomorrow than he was today. I’m curious to see if it was just a random day or if all my busyness was what made him freaked out and so ornery today. We’ll see how the rest of the week’s worth goes. Now to eat some hummus, drink my last cup of water, and veg out…and head to bed early. 

-Marquette, the exhausted. 


  1. Wow. And this is why I don't even try to be perfect. Lol And please tell me that sometime in that busy day you went and picked up your husband from work.....or is he still there, a victim of a Pinterest life??? 😂

    1. You know what's funny...I really had to stop and think when I went and got him! I had to read through everything from that evening until I remembered. He had to stay late for parent teacher conferences so I went and got him after the Walmart run.

  2. What a day! Just one question...did you ever pick your husband up? :)

    1. You know what's funny...I really had to stop and think when I went and got him! I had to read through everything from that evening until I remembered. He had to stay late for parent teacher conferences so I went and got him after the Walmart run.

  3. Oh my goodness! This sounds crazy! Pinterest-perfect life is far beyond my capabilities...

  4. Wow, that sounds crazy!! Sorry to hear about the busted, favorite mixing bowl. The favorites are always the hardest to replace. It seems the stores never carry them any more :(

  5. I tried to have a Pinterest-perfect life one day way before Pinterest came along. I had a neighbor that my husband (bless his heart) thought I could be like, so I tried it for a day. By dinner time, he, our two little boys, and I were all very grouchy and we decided it was NOT worth it. I am my own person, and should not try to be anyone else. :) If you can keep this up for a whole week, my hat is off to you! You are a better woman than me!

  6. As much as I love Pinterest and pin ALL THE THINGS, I could never do a Pinterest-Perfect day. I would kill someone and I would require a babysitter to actually sit on my children.

  7. I am exhausted just reading this! Thanks for the giggles!

  8. OK, how much time did you devote to writing this vs doing this. You would have had several hours to finish other things if you didn't take time out to post this. Also, no one does pinterest perfect, they just show you the post of one thing they do pinterest perfect, big deal,no one gets extra credit for knowing how to put on clothes that match, and I hope not to offend, but why would people post how well they got dressed today, I think it is expected of you to dress apporopriatley and not really pin-worthy.
    Second, lot of clutter on the counters, not a follower of hers, but one thing I did learn from the Fly Lady, every night the last thing you do is clear the counters and clean that sink. Every morning it is the first thing you see and you will feel so much better looking at one clear space in the house. Trust me, I am a terrible housekeeper, but boy do I feel better at least seeing that shinky sink in the morning.
    Third, Two Naps, lucky woman, my kid quit naps at one year of age despite all my wishes.
    Good luck, but don't beat yourself up over this, no one will grade you on this, stop worrying about your online presence and enjoy your family, your home is just giant place to store the important things, not the important thing in your life.
    I love, love, love Pintrest, but as I liked to say, "it's just a suggestion.".

  9. What a nightmare. You are very brave for taking this challenge, especially with a small kid on your back. I'm clinically depressed and just thinking about doing so much in one day makes me too exhausted to even get up. Since the date read September 24th, I assume the challenge is over and you survived to write about it. I hope the following days weren't as bad!

  10. Loved reading this. You made me laugh. I love how real you are. Thanks!!

    1. Thanks Amy! Real and raw was the point of this...and man we sure learned a lot!

  11. OMG, I became exhausted just reading this!! My daughters are 9 and 15 now, but when either was 2 there is no way I'd have been able to do HALF of the things you did, let alone all of them. You are amazing! But also, I'm quite sure no one will judge you if there is no Day 2. Just saying. ;)

    1. Lol, thanks! I don't ever plan on trying to repeat that day was crazy!! I doubt I'll ever repeat this week long project again, but it has taught me so much and it's been entertaining, so that's a win!

  12. I laughed at your pain! I am so sorry but this was hilarious. You started out so fresh and cute and perky and then you looked like something the cat dragged in at the end of the day! I remember those day and gotta say, I don't miss them one bit! Miss my kids being little, but don't miss the never ending hecticness (yes, that is my made up word!) of the day!


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.