Sweet Clean

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Happy Friday!

photo 1 (45)

I am so glad that it’s the weekend.  I really need a Saturday and Sunday in my life – know what I mean?


And my mom is coming to visit.  She hasn’t been here since Thanksgiving, so I’m excited for Henry and her to hang out.  He can show her all his new tricks, like furniture surfing.


Want to know something funny?  My mother isn’t a clean freak per say – she’s more of a germ freak (for example, she calls the plastic wraps on yogurts and hummus ‘germ vectors’ and I religiously remove them as a result).  But she definitely values tidiness. So for the last 10 years of my life, before she would visit, I would go into hyperdrive cleaning mode, making my already clean house eat-off-the-floor spotless.  Not because she criticized me (never – she’s sugar sweet) but because I wanted her to be proud of how clean her daughter keeps her house.  But I’d still catch her scrubbing my sink or wiping down my countertops!  And I’d think, “Blast!  Not clean enough!  Must be cleaner next time!” 


Then, when Henry was born, and my mom spent a week or so here, I realized that she likes to clean my house.  She really, really enjoys doing my laundry and folding my clothes.  She sees it as taking care of me.  She cleans because – no matter how old I am – I’m her kid.  I get it now – I love folding Henry’s laundry and putting away his toys.  There’s something nice about feelings needed and helpful, right?


So now, when she comes to visit, I still tidy up… but I leave a few conspicuous crumbs on the countertop on purpose (shhhhhh – don’t tell…). And she gets to unleash all of her urges to clean up after her daughter.  Everyone ends up happy.  Mom, me, and the kitchen.  Winking smile 


Breakfast was so good.


Mashed potatoes

Baked tofu

Scrambled eggs

Steamed broccoli

Mmmm Sauce


All mixed together!  Comfort food to the max.


Friday Dance!  Friday Dance!  Friday Dance!



  • Sarah @ Yogi in Action February 1, 2013, 9:34 am

    I always clean up before my mom comes and visits as well! She’s also coming and visiting this weekend, and this week has been a flurry of cleaning activity to get ready for her visit. I never thought of her cleaning up after me as a way to show she cared.

    Hope you have a great weekend with family

  • Katie @ Talk Less, Say More February 1, 2013, 9:41 am

    I think you’re right about mom’s kind of enjoying it because it’s a way that they get to help their kids. I don’t LIKE cleaning but I am a bit of a neat freak and I know that while my mom doesn’t LOVE cleaning, she’s always happy to help clean a new apartment when I move in or when she SCRUBBED my apartment after I spent a week in the hospital. She was just happy to help me again.

  • Hope February 1, 2013, 9:43 am

    My mom cleans my house too. The other weekend I was supposed to meet her at my house but was a few minutes late because I had to stop at the store. She let herself in and took out my trash and was working on putting some dishes away when I got there. It’s such a mom thing!

  • Annie February 1, 2013, 9:43 am

    My mom comes into town tonight! I spent several hours yesterday doing laundry, vacuuming and cleaning up. Not because she’d ever say anything, but because I wanted to show her she taught me well. 🙂 Have fun with your Mom!

  • Elise @ Expeditions of Elise February 1, 2013, 9:46 am

    Doesn’t everyone remove the plastic wrap on top of yogurt containers? I always have…
    And I’ve noticed you really enjoy savory breakfasts. Very unique in a blog world filled with oatmeal!

  • Catherine February 1, 2013, 9:56 am

    My mom is a neat freak even her car is spotless. When she came to visit J last weekend, we were talking about how the husband & I divide cleaning duties & that he has to do the toilets. My mom responded “do you want me to clean all the toilets? I can do that right now if you want.” Who actually volunteers to clean someone else’s toilets?! 🙂

  • Emily February 1, 2013, 9:59 am

    My mom does the same thing! Last week, the hubby and I both had the flu and she came to take our puppy for a bit to give us a break and brought back a care package of soups, ginger ale, Gatorade, & crackers.

    Mom’s are seriously the best. Enjoy the weekend spending time with yours <3

  • Jack Sh*t February 1, 2013, 10:00 am

    I see how it is. I do a post with a cute puppy in it, you come back over the top with a super-cute baby. Now I gotta go to Craigslist and see if I can find a baby koala bear to put on my blog. Where is this gonna end, Caitlin? WHERE IS IT GONNA END?

  • Kristy @ Kristy's Health Revolution February 1, 2013, 10:02 am

    I think I know that feeling! Before I met my fiance, I was never one of those happy homemaker types, but I love keeping the house clean for him and cooking for him. Not that he doesn’t help out — he TOTALLY does, but it makes me happy to make him a hot meal and put his laundry away for him. I love him, and I love taking care of him. I’m sure I’ll be like that with my children, too!

  • Nicole February 1, 2013, 10:12 am

    I like that I’m not to only one that takes crazy/happy face photos with their baby, LOL.

    I miss having my sister stay with us because she did the cleaning. When mom stayed after Lucy was born, she cooked and walked the dog. I miss outsourcing that job- I’m sure my husband does too! It’s too cold to be outside!

  • Rebecca February 1, 2013, 10:18 am

    I remove the plastic cover things because if I didn’t they’d get in the way and tick me off…

    Cute pic of you and Henry!

  • Courtney February 1, 2013, 10:23 am

    That’s too funny 🙂 My mom hates cleaning, but I think she would do the same thing in my house! Have a great Friday 😀

  • Jen Clark February 1, 2013, 10:24 am

    Love the picture of you and Henry!! So cute 🙂

  • Lauren @ Eat Like An Elephant February 1, 2013, 10:28 am

    My mom does the same thing. Anytime she comes over for dinner I compulsively clean the kitchen as I cook so at looks as if dinner wasn’t just made there, and then as soon as dinner’s done before I’ve even finished my last bite she’s at the sink doing all my dishes. Not like I’m going to stop her or anything… 🙂

  • Rachel @ RachelRuns29.11 February 1, 2013, 10:31 am

    That actually looks like the most delicious breakfast! I love baked potatoes and veggies together as a meal. And the sauce looks delicious, much better than what I usually pour over (ketchup:) good job!

  • Vikki February 1, 2013, 10:35 am

    So I love my mother, but she is nuts. I gave up cleaning before her visits because I finally realized that no matter how clean it was, I could never win. This is the story of the moment that I realized it.

    Vikki (exhausted because she’d stayed up all night clean her apartment after working all day the previous day): Hi Mom!
    Mom: Hey, honey. Oh your apartment looks good. (goes around the place inspecting everything. Opening closets and drawers, etc.)
    Vikki: Thanks, I worked really hard.
    Mom: (goes into the kitchen. Pulls the eyes off the stove. looks under them.): Oh honey, you really need to clean under here too.

    I was crying inside, but I learned that there was no point staying up all night cleaning and making it spotless because I would always forget something and she would call me on it.

  • Katie @ Soulshine and Sassafras February 1, 2013, 10:36 am

    What a sweet discovery with your mom 🙂

  • Sam February 1, 2013, 10:38 am

    I would love it if you would do a post on how you keep up with your clean house! I am a working mom and overwhelmed trying to keep up with it all… Happy weekend to you!

    • Caitlin February 1, 2013, 11:10 am

      I do a weekly cleaning schedule. I used to be more strict about it but I still follow it pretty loosely – I do laundry and sheets on Sundays, floors on Saturday, bathrooms every other Saturday and odds and ends are needed.

  • Reenie February 1, 2013, 10:44 am

    *haha Henry looks like he is taking that pic?
    *Yea for your Mom/Gma coming!!
    *I have to make some mmmm sauce this weekend.


  • Julie February 1, 2013, 10:51 am

    My mom and dad love to do windows or power-wash the driveway…things that periodically need to be done, but they know that we never make time for them. So, when they come for a long weekend, they like to help out with bigger projects. Kind of fun, kind of strange, kind of hard for my husband to accept. He thinks my parents think we aren’t capable of maintaining a home or something, but, that’s not it at all! They just want to help! Parents rock.

  • Cait @ Cait Strides February 1, 2013, 11:01 am

    That’s funny, my mom is like that too! Whenever I come visit, I always bring my laundry (I have to pay in the coin machines at my apartment complex) and she does it for me. She says it’s “the one thing I can still do for you.” Awwww, moms! 🙂

  • Lara February 1, 2013, 11:33 am

    Henry looks just like DadHTP in that picture! Love it!
    My mom is the same. I think I keep a pretty clean house, but it never passes her white glove test.

  • Alex @ Raw Recovery February 1, 2013, 11:43 am

    Your breakfast looks so much better than anything I’ve made in a long time!

  • Katie @ Peace Love and Oats February 1, 2013, 11:43 am

    Haha I wish my mom liked to clean! She most definitely does not! I do love when I’m home though, and my parents clean up a lot of my dishes. They don’t like that I “soak” my dishes in the sink…

  • Susan February 1, 2013, 11:58 am

    Haven’t I seen that cute pic of you and Henry before? Like when he was much younger? Same photo?

    • Caitlin February 1, 2013, 12:38 pm

      maybe the same position:) but that was this morning!

  • Claire February 1, 2013, 12:07 pm

    I do the SAME thing…and my mom always ends up cleaning more! I’ve kind of decided to let her thing be making my kitchen spotless when she comes. 🙂

  • Katie @peacebeme February 1, 2013, 12:37 pm

    I realized recently that the only reason I obsessively clean before my mom visits is because my mom always cleaned before HER mom, my grandma, came over. It’s some crazy pattern, ;).

  • Carolina John February 1, 2013, 12:40 pm

    Yay! I know how much you love visiting with the mom. Have fun!

  • ellen February 1, 2013, 12:56 pm

    HAHA my Mom is the same way, but she is almost OCD when it comes to cleanliness. I wish I got that from her but I didnt. After a super stressful week for her she was coming over to clean my house and to help me out with my newborn and I told don’t worry about cleaning and relax…and she said cleaning RELAXES her.

  • Beth @ Running with the Sunrise February 1, 2013, 1:12 pm

    Aww, your mom sounds so sweet. I hope you enjoy your weekend with her. Mashed potatoes for breakfast is a really good idea, although I think eating mashed potatoes at any time is a really good idea. 🙂

  • Angela February 1, 2013, 2:07 pm

    Too cute! That is a good way to look at it, I’ve never thought of it like that before. My mother-in-law does the same thing, she always finds something to clean. I always feel a little caught off guard, but maybe it’s the same thing…she just likes to be helpful.

  • Rachel February 1, 2013, 3:57 pm

    I feel you! My mom is not at all a clean freak, but she always wants to help with the cleaning and do all the dishes when she comes to visit – it’s her way of helping out, and I think also of appreciating my place, and the effort that I put into it. Also, she really does like doing the dishes. Weirdo! 🙂

  • Becky February 1, 2013, 5:51 pm

    My mom spent the day babysitting at my house. I joked to my husband that the dishes would be done. Came home to dishes done, sink scrubbed, counters cleaned and laundry done. I love my mom.

  • Tracy February 1, 2013, 8:52 pm

    “I love folding Henry’s laundry and putting away his toys”

    This comment made me chuckle! As a mother of 4 teens, I feel confident that some time in the next 10 or 15 years you will grow tired of folding his laundry and especially picking up after him!

  • Amber K February 1, 2013, 9:20 pm

    lol, I find it so cute when I hear parents like that. Mine are much messier than I am. I never worry about cleaning up before they come over, lol.

  • luv what you do February 2, 2013, 10:30 pm

    I love that first picture of you and Henry. It just screams HAPPY WEEKEND!

  • Dynamics February 3, 2013, 2:09 pm

    My Father-in-Law was obsessive. The story of all the kids (5) in the car to go to church and where is dad…on his hands and knees PASTE waxing the kitchen floor. His Window ledges were spotless even in the wind. When he came to my house I would panic and clean as best I could knowing it would never be enough. I found his weakness…He opened my kitchen drawers and raved at how neat they were. He went on and on. Now when he comes, I clean the drawers and cabinets and not worry so much about the house.

  • jameil February 3, 2013, 11:57 pm

    From my phone, that sauce looked like a giant unpeeled piece of ginger. LOL Glad you’re not THAT hard core!

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