Cleaning House: One Room A Day

“My idea of superwoman is someone who scrubs her own floors.” – Bette Midler

I hate cleaning.

There are people out there who enjoy it and I just don’t understand. Don’t get me wrong–I like the end result. A clean house is a happy place that is calm and peaceful. And we don’t live in filth. I’m pretty good at maintenance cleaning: wiping of kitchen counters, picking up toys and clutter that accumulates. But the get down and dirty, top to bottom, vacuum, sweep, everything in its place cleaning? Not my cup of tea.

At the end of this week I will be a stay at home Mom. Currently I work from 5-9 a.m. so I’m a mostly stay at home Mom, but having to get up that early tends to take it out of me so I’m not nearly as productive as I’d like to be. Without that excuse to fall back on I’ve decided it’s time to start keeping a cleaner home. I know it’s sometimes easier to devote an entire day to cleaning the entire house top to bottom, but who has time for that on a regular basis? Definitely not me. With a 9 month old, and being pregnant, it’s not going to be the easiest thing in the world, but I’ve made a system of sorts that I hope will help me keep my house clean week after week and I’d like to share it with you.

I’m calling it the “One Room A Day” cleaning system and it’s exactly what it sounds like. My schedule will look like this:

  • Sunday: Bathroom
  • Monday: Kitchen
  • Tuesday: Living Room
  • Wednesday: Dining Area & Desk Area
  • Thursday: Bedroom

 

On the specified day I will deep clean whichever room is on the schedule from top to bottom–dusting to floors to everything in between. Since we have a small apartment, our living room is one giant room that holds the couches, TV, dining room table, and desks. I think splitting those areas up will make it less daunting for me. Instead of having to clean one giant room, I only have to do part of it. Also, my husband has Friday and Saturday off so I’d like to keep those free so I can enjoy my time with him.

I hope this works out for me, and I hope it helps you streamline your cleaning schedule as well. I know many of you have many more rooms than I do that need to be cleaned so perhaps you could combine all the bedrooms or all the bathrooms into one day.

If this is something you’re interested in reading more about, I encourage you to read Stephanie O’Dea’s The Daily 7 for a Highly Successful Household article. I plan on instituting some of those changes into my daily routine as well.

Finally, don’t forget my giveaway to Just Simply Baby! The winner will be announced Friday, March 15!

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Win a $25 Gift Card to JustSimplyBaby.com

If you’re following me on Facebook or Twitter, and you should, you know that I’ve been teasing a giveaway for a few days. Today’s the day!

Win a $25 Gift Card to JustSimplyBaby.com!

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Just Simply Baby is where we have purchased our cloth diapers for both our little girl and our soon to be with us little boy. They have all different types of diapers in adorable patterns to various inserts such as microfiber, hemp, and bamboo. We use the all in one, one size, diapers that grow with the baby. We will have saved literally thousands of dollars using cloth diapers from the time our daughter was born until both of our children our potty trained. Thousands! Yes, cloth diapers are a little more work as you need to wash them often, but I’ve found it to be a blessing in disguise. After all, if I’m going to wash a load of diapers I may as well throw in another load of laundry too, right? And, for a little personal insight, I used to hate doing laundry. I still don’t like it, but having to do this every other day or so has eased my hatred substantially.

From the Just Simply Baby “We offer custom, unique designs of cloth diapers- along with training pants, nursing pads, mama cloth, and a lot more natural family and baby related items. We pride ourselves in supporting work at home moms. Most of our products are hand made by talented moms in the USA.”

They have more than just cloth diapers though. Check out the clearance section for baby hair accessories, hats, blankets and more!

Don’t have a baby? They have other items too! From soap and hand sanitizer to teas and laundry detergent, I promise that if you win this giveaway you will find more than enough items to spend it on.

So how do you win? I’ll do a drawing (via random number generator) on the morning of Friday, March 15. There are four ways to get entries.

  • “Like” me on Facebook (You can do this easily by clicking on the Facebook icon under Follow Me to your right)
  • Follow me on Twitter (You can also do this by clicking on the Twitter icon under Follow Me to your right.)
  • Share this post on Facebook, Twitter, your blog, or any other social media site you use (Just click the share button at the bottom of this post.)
  • Leave a comment on this post telling me what you would buy and/or if you did any of the above

 

That’s up to four entries per person! (Note: If you’re already following me on Facebook or Twitter just let me know in your comment.)

Thank you and good luck!

Edit: 3/15/12 8:00 a.m. PST

The giveaway is now closed. Thanks for playing!

 

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Moms Need “Me” Time

“Even Jesus got away from the crowds periodically.” – Dan Miller

A typical weekday looks like this for me

  1. Wake up at 4 a.m.
  2. Work from 5 a.m.-9 a.m.
  3. Stop by Safeway for any necessary items and get home around 9:30 a.m.
  4. Hang out with baby girl and husband until husband goes to work at 11 a.m.
  5. From 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. (on a good day) I do the household stuff as well as spend time with my baby girl. This includes laundry, cooking, cleaning, organizing, as well as playing with the baby, feeding her, running any errands, etc. I also spend a decent amount of time these days working on this blog. On a good day she’s in bed and asleep around  7 p.m. On a bad day that could be pushed back to 8 p.m. or later
  6. Clean up after dinner, get breakfasts and lunches packed for the next day, sit down for a few minutes until 8 p.m and then off to bed to wake up once, twice, or three times with the baby.

By the end of my day I am exhausted.

Let me say that I enjoy my life and I am blessed that mine and my husband’s schedules align as such that both of us get the opportunity to work without having to pay for daycare. I know a lot of parents who would love this opportunity. My reality, though, is that I’m 2 months away from giving birth and some days it’s hard to just get off the couch to retrieve my baby when she wakes up from her nap.

Here’s another way I’m blessed by my husband, in laws, and friends. Generally once a week or so I have baby free time. My in laws will take the baby over night, or my husband will take her with him to run errands on his day off. In the beginning I found myself to be bored and lost because I didn’t know what to do with myself. What do you do when your main point of responsibility is removed from the equation? The number one thing I’ve learned to do is…

Have “me” time.

I know it sounds silly and maybe even selfish, but it is the most important thing for me to do in order to recharge my batteries. Some “me” time activities could include sleeping, poking around Facebook for an hour, or indulging in ice cream while watching an episode or three of Parenthood. Point being, I need that rest.

Why?

Because when I’ve had that me time, that time to rest and just enjoy myself, I’m a better wife, Mom, Christian, person, etc. I don’t get as tense when my baby throws a tantrum if I’ve had that me time. I don’t snap at my husband. I don’t have a hormone induced breakdown when something happens that was beyond my control.

It is so important for everyone, especially us Moms and Dads, to have me time to rest and recharge, to do something we want to do, to relax and be reminded of who we were and who we are becoming, to have me time.

I encourage you to do two things. One is find time for yourself to do whatever your heart desires. If you have kids, find someone to watch them. If you don’t have kids but you’re feeling overwhelmed by life, cross something off of your calendar  and write yourself in instead. You not only deserve it, but you need it. Two, if you like this subject, head over to Melissa Jenna’s blog and read her post about how being tired all the time effects everything. She offers her own opinions and insight and I think somewhere in my subconscious I may have stolen this idea from her.

Find some me time, readers. And enjoy it.

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Babies Have Bad Days

“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.’ Matthew 6:34 (NIV)

 

As someone who never intended on having children, babies scare me to no end. My daughter is 9 months old and she still scares me. Sometimes it’s because I haven’t vacuumed recently enough and I see her putting some unknown object in her mouth while giving me a big smile. Lately it’s because she’s finding her voice and using it to express her wants and needs (which aren’t the same thing anymore I’m learning).

Most often, though, what scares me the most is the day after a bad day.

If you’re a Mom you know what a bad day looks like. None of her toys are good enough for her. She’s teething. She’s uncomfortable. She wants my attention more than I can give her in any given moment. Naps don’t go well so bedtime doesn’t go well. Bad baby days are frustrating and exhausting for both of us.

Once she’s asleep and the house is in some state of cleanliness I climb into bed and worry. “What will tomorrow be like?”

I wake up with the same trepidation. What if today is like yesterday? What if she’s fussy all day again? How am I going to handle it without going crazy? I have to get A, B, and C done and I can’t do it if today goes like yesterday. On and on and on I worry in the early morning hours.

While difficult, I’ve decided to start changing my mindset on this idea and I hope you can do the same if you have little ones.

Babies are people. Little people who can’t talk effectively, but they’re people all the same. That means that just as I have bad days, babies have bad days too. The good news is that just as I rarely have two awful days in a row, chances are your baby won’t either. Babies are very forgiving and don’t hold grudges the same way we adults do. Their bad day is just a distant memory when they wake up in the morning.

I’d like to make the following suggestion to you fellow Moms whose babies are having a bad day today: Don’t fear your baby.

Don’t wake up tomorrow in a sense of panic that your bundle of joy is going to be a monster when they wake up. You’re setting yourself up to project those fears onto your baby which, if you’re anything like me, means you’re walking on pins and needles just waiting for your baby to freak out. That’s no fun.

Children are to be a source of joy in our lives. Think of the smiles and giggles you won’t appreciate if you’re just looking for the first sign of a cry or tantrum. Think of the games your baby won’t get to play because you’re afraid he or she won’t respond well because they didn’t the day before. Think of the happiness and peace you’re depriving yourself while you anxiously await something bad to happen because yesterday was so awful.

As I said, babies are forgiving little people with small memories and they’re not going to hold a grudge. I promise.

Don’t fear your baby.

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My Story

Had you told me 10 years ago that around the time I turned 30 I would be a married stay at home Mom with a home and 2 kids I would have said you were crazy. I don’t know what life I had planned for but I know it wasn’t this.

I’m learning daily, though, that this is better. This is what the Lord wants for me so who am I to complain about it?

My husband I were married May 23, 2009. Our relationship leading up to that point is pock marked with sin and mistakes and, at one point, me telling him I never wanted to speak with him ever again. It’s amazing the perspective one can have once the problem isn’t staring you in the face every day. Technically speaking my husband and I were engaged one month and one day after we officially started dating. It was a long time coming and it had reached the point of “if we don’t get married this relationship just needs to end completely… again and for good.”

So we got married. And when we got married we had no intention of having children. We had discussed adoption or being foster parents, but raising our own biological children wasn’t something we were really interested in.

That all changed one day in October. We had spent the past two weeks on vacation with his family mostly on a cruise to Mexico and a few days in southern California doing the Disneyland thing. After that my husband and I drove up the coast to visit with my family for a few days and the trip ended with a short visit in San Francisco to visit my best friend and her husband. During the trip I began to get sick. We all thought it was just motion sickness from the cruise ship, but after riding Space Mountain I threw up. I never throw up. I didn’t think much of it until a few days alter when we were driving to San Francisco I first threw up my breakfast. Later on in that trip I threw up lunch and found myself to be nauseated during our visit with my friends.

I started to have a hunch something was wrong.

When we got back home to the Pacific Northwest I called my boss and let her know that even though I had been on vacation the last two weeks I would need the next day off because I had been throwing up. The following morning I went to the local drugstore for a diet coke and a pregnancy test with the idea I would take the test “just to rule it out.” That never happened.

On May 23, 2012 I gave birth to our beautiful daughter. Sometime in late August or early September I yet again took another pregnancy test and we are expecting our little boy to be born around May 15, 2013.

To be married in and of itself is a challenge. To be a Mom to one child in addition to that is tough. To then be pregnant again, and soon to give birth again, and raise two small children, is going to be one crazy ride.

This blog was created with the intent to share my thoughts and experiences in marriage and motherhood from a Christian perspective. I don’t plan on writing sermons, but the Lord will be making frequent appearances in these articles as He is the one who has blessed me with this life and I always feel the need to give credit where credit is due.

Comments and emails are always appreciated and I hope that we can all laugh and cry and encourage one another as we navigate this life here on Earth.

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