When I hear that phrase, I like to gear up and really run myself ragged. My mom was good at cleaning the house thoroughly before company came, and I thought she was crazy when I was growing up but now I have inherited that mentality, with my own crazy twist on it that makes NO SENSE. See, she adopted cleaning projects to make things look good. I adopt major projects that are INTENDED to make things look EVEN BETTER, but then invariably my ideas backfire...
1. Living in our tiny 1st apartment I was very excited for my family to visit when Patrick was born - we'd just gotten home from the hospital after my c-section, been there one night, and I was trying to pick up the house and get things ready. I maybe have even put in a load of laundry. This isn't anything extraordinary, except that I'd just had a baby via major abdominal surgery, and I should have been RESTING. An hour before they arrived my c-section site began bleeding, I'd developed a hemotoma and had to go to the ER the minute they walked in the door, then stay in the hospital the entire time they visited. The doctors said it wasn't anything that I did that brought on a hemotoma, they just happen, but still, I SHOULD HAVE JUST RESTED.
2. Still in our first apartment, 3 months later, my family was coming again to visit, and though my house was clean and I'd healed up nicely, I wanted to make EVERYTHING sparkle, including Patrick's bottles and my breast pump (like anyone but me CARES about my BREASTPUMP) so I put them all in a nice big pot to boil and sterilize. Then I walked off and went babysitting for 3 hours, coming home to fire trucks, doors busted open, and an apartment that reeked of scorched plastic and rubber products. I SHOULD HAVE JUST RELAXED.
The most recent example is from this past weekend, when we had ALL our company come at once. We had weeks upon weeks' worth of notice, and we've had our downstairs bathroom in need of repair since the day we moved in, but you know what seemed like a really good idea? Tackling this gargantuan project exactly one week before Joe's parents came to town! DUH! And exactly one week and 1 days before MY family came to town! Everyone knows projects don't go as planned, schedules get pushed back, a weekend projects turns into a month of weekends, but we were pretty sure we could still squeeze it into working order if we really pushed ourselves. So we did! We stayed up until midnight most nights for the entire week. This probably wouldn't be such a big deal, we'd just be extra tired, except that Joe got exposed to strep throat and with a SERIOUS lack of sleep his body and immune system were running on empty, so when he got sick he ended up getting sooooooooo sick. I've never seen him in such bad shape! By the time both our families came to town our house was not only in shambles from an unfinished basement bathroom, but Joe was nowhere to be seen - he was sleeping! He slept probably 14 hours a day for 3 days straight, and when he was awake he was thinking about going back to bed. Strep hit the day we were going to grout the tile, so since we couldn't grout we couldn't move the washer and dryer from their prominent positions in the family room, so you could hardly squeeze into the guest room, and the downstairs bathroom was DEFINITELY unusable since, without grout, we couldn't even replace the toilet. Joe's parents got to town first and were planning on staying at his grandma's house for the first few days of their visit, then come stay with us, but thanks to Joe's malady and the wreck of a basement, NOBODY ended up staying at our house... even though everyone was visiting us!
Next time we have company coming I am going to force myself to sit on my hands or read a good book or update my blog so that I don't get all motivated to do something stupid. I think our company would have a much better time in an intact house with intact family members. Our apologies to everyone who visited, but we still had a really great time getting together and showing off our un-grouted bathroom/laundry room. Come again soon, we'll have it completed and you can even access the guest room if you want to stay the night :)