Monday, January 31, 2011

Getting Ready for the peanut!

In less than 3 months Haley will be a big sister, and I will be the mother to a wonderful baby boy. IT's crazy to think that if something were to happen and he were born today he would probably be ok. But much like the mom at the end of "The Business of Being Born" I would have almost nothing ready. It was nothing until about 2 weeks ago.

My sister got us a double stroller and just over a week ago we finally put it all together (which was easy, mostly just attaching wheels) Then Haley got to test it out.

Watching Daddy's handy work.

Trying the back seat. Which will not be her seat since she already really enjoys playing with the sunshade. I imagine a seat where she can't reach her little brother will make him much happier.

Checking out the reclined option. Nap time here we come.

This stroller, the Graco Quattro tour duo, is fully loaded. IT has cup holders for mom and both babies, a higher handle so even Zach can push it without a back ache. It's pretty easy to open and close. IT has 2 reclining seats, a giant storage basket with easy access and I'm sure there are more perks I'll discover when I'm actually using it to transport 2 little ones. The only downside is that it's really heavy, but I can look at it as a chance to work out when I lift it and it is a built in perk. (who needs a gym membership when you have 2 babies under 2)

It felt really good to do something for the new baby. (I don't have the matching car seat yet but I plan on getting it eventually, probably soon.) Other than that the peanut has a few new onesies, a big box of diapers (size 2s, so they won't fit for the first few months), 2 pacifiers, and some cute bibs.

Most of what the peanut needs will be hand me downs from his sister and from some friends, but it's fun to have a few things that are just for him. I know the nesting will kick in soon and I'll be dragging the bassinet, swing, bouncy seat, moby wrap, and bumbo out of storage. Not to mention going through all of Haley's clothes and pulling out all the neutrals that her brother can wear.

I'm sure I'll post more updates as I prepare for number 2, with lots of questions like is it worth getting another pack n play?

In the meantime I'm looking forward to doing some babysitting and taking a few test runs with the new stroller to get used to it before I have a newborn in tow.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Cleaning Zones -Part 1

I live in two different places. Every other week I live at work, so I only spend half of my time at home. Because of this it can be very difficult to stay on top of chores, especially if I leave town for a week off. I have still only spent 2 full weeks at my new house. There have been other times that have come close, but little things like busted pipes keep getting in the way.

As a result of my life switching back and forth my house often suffers, but I can also go almost a month having barely slept in my bed, so my housekeeping needs are a little bit different than a typical families.

Combining suggestions from different friends, blogs, and websites (such as fly lady) I have finally thought of a system that I think will work for me. I have broken my home up into 4 zones. Each zones chores are broken up into a list of chores than need to be done every other week I'm home. (That means it's getting done about once a month. Some of these things that seems quite reasonable. Some of these things like washing sheets that seems like too long, but I promise that if it needs it it will get done more, and really that's like a week and a half of actual use which isn't so bad). Each zone also has one or 2 quarterly checklists. So, each week I can tackle one quarterly task.

There is also a seasonal list of chores. I have broken those down into monthly tasks, instead of one overwhelming week of spring cleaning. But I'm still working on that list so it will have to wait. until part 2.

The final part of this is that I have worked daily tasks into my morning and nightly routines (there are some great posts about routines in my Jan links, but I will probably post more on these later, after I've tried them out for a while.) This includes tasks like doing dishes and making the bed. Some things aren't included like closing the blinds (which I tend to do as soon as it gets dark because I don't like feeling exposed to the night) and doing laundry (which I -well really Zach- tend to do as it accumulates and then put away as it get's done, or at least within a day or 2). The tasks that need to be done every week are done on Monday night since Tuesday marks the beginning of my work week.

This is a new system so I'm not sure how it will work yet, but it's better than all of the charts and calendars I have created so far. I'm very visual and hands on with this wort of thing so it helps me to know I have 5 cards worth of chores to do each week. I can get them all done in one day if I'm feeling ambitious, or I can tackle them one day at a time and still feel accomplished.

A few notes on logistics. With the quarterly cards- I will just write the date they were last completed on the back of the card to make sure I don't slack for too long. Also, any time something doesn't get done soon enough I can just do it an extra time, but I think this system will keep me from getting to that breaking point of feeling like I live in filth (lately this has been my strategy, when I can't stand looking at the mess any more I clean it up, not ideal for a "welcoming" home)

The cards will be laminated, color coded (week 1, week 2, quarterly) and kept on a ring on a hook on the fridge

I think this system will work just as well for a normal - home every week- home. Maybe tweaking a few things on each list and picking a different day for the little tasks that need to be done every week. I hope that as life continues I will be able to modify this system to fit my needs. Including making cards for my kids so they can get in on the household chores too.

Cleaning Zones

Bathroom- Week 1

Clean tub

Wipe off sink

Clean toilet

Trade out Magazines

Clean Mirrors

Bathroom- Week 2

Wash towels & bath mat

Wipe off sink

Sweep & Mop floor

Empty trash

Clean out toothbrush holder

Bathroom- Quarterly

Organize all bins etc.

Wipe all storage surfaces and cabinets

Clean shower curtain

Clean Haley’s toys

Bedrooms- Week 1

Wash sheets- including crib & changing table

Stock changing table

Bedrooms- Week 2

Pick up all trash and return things to their place

Straighten book cases etc.

Sweep floors

Bedrooms- Quarterly

Get rid of old clothes and jewelry

Switch out Haley’s clothes and toys if needed

Dust off all surfaces such as nightstands and dresser tops and lamps

Wash blankets & Duvet Covers

Mop floors

Office & Living room- Week 1

Sweep

Prepare birthday cards & gifts (wedding, baby etc.) for the month

Straighten closets

Office & Living room- Week 2

Dust book shelves, TV, mantel etc.

Sort and file all papers

Clean off desk

Organize all craft supplies

Office & Living room- Quarterly A

Wash blankets

Clean out and organize closets

Clean all light switches, door handles etc.

Office & Living room- Quarterly B

Mop floors

Clean under furniture

Vacuum furniture & under cushions

Kitchen- Week 1

Clean microwave

Clean stove catchers

Wash dishrags, bibs & napkins

Kitchen- Week 2

Sweep and Mop floors

Clean off table and find places for boxes etc. that have collected

Kitchen- Quarterly

Sweep out Under Fridge

Wipe down oven

Wipe down table and chairs

Clean out all cabinets & drawers

Clean out and stock pantry and fridge

Morning Routine

Make bed

Unload dishwasher

Open blinds

Put on work out clothes

Drink a glass of water

Before Bed Routine

Pick up toys

Do dishes

Clean sink & counters

Read Bible

Take Vitamins

Monday Routine

Fluff couch pillows

Throw out leftovers & food that will expire this week

Take out trash and recycling

Put away all laundry, books, & toys

Pay bills return mail etc.

(I'm linking to Works for me Wednesday)

What cleaning system works for your family? What little chores am I leaving off my list? How would you modify this for your family?

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Back to Blogging!

So, It's been a while and I could try to catch you all up on everything that has been happening in the last 5 months, but that would be exhausting. So instead, here are some of my favorite photo worthy events from the past week.

When we got back to work this week Haley got 3 new books, some skates, and her first softball glove and ball. It's huge on her little hand, but she didn't seem to mind.

Her little skates fit over her boots. It was fun to watch her walk around in them. She doesn't really get that they can roll. But she does love having them on. As soon as her daddy took them off she brought them to me to but them back on her.

She loved her captive audience.

Haley loves to clean things. She will use rags, bibs, tissues, washcloths, anything she can get her hands on. She's very possessive of her cleaning tools. She loves using the broom and dust pan too.

Wiping things down.

Naked time!

Snuggling with Tristan

She loved his big hugs!

Playing in the swing her great grandpa made her.

She was having a blast!

Flying with all 4 wings on and a pretty tutu. This kid loves to play dress up.

She got all bundled up to go out in the snow. Her grandma made this snowsuit for her daddy and uncles. It's a little snug but I was glad that it still fits. Haley didn't really go anywhere while she was wearing it. She just stuck her fist in the snow and started eating.

I think she liked what she tasted.

Monday, January 10, 2011

We're back....

Anybody out there?

We're back, maybe not in full force, but you can probably expect an update or 2 a week.

I know I have been away for a while, but I will try to start updating more frequently for anyone who is still reading. I'm sorry for the time away but between frisbee season, the holidays, work, and being sick with baby number 2 I haven't been in much of a blogging mood.

Next time we are off work should mark our second full week in our home since we moved in in August. We were almost home together one other week, but a root grew through the pipes while we were gone and we stayed at a friends until we got water back, hopefully our next week home will be a bit more successful.

In other news haley is getting very big. If the snow doesn't cancel her doctors appointment tomorrow I will hopefully be able to share her official height and weight, but for now I will suffice it to say that I weeded through her clothes today to pack away her 12 month clothes and find the wintery selection of 24 month and 2T clothes. There were more pants and long sleeved shirts than I remembered, and we acquired more hand me downs today including some good snow clothes, perfect timing for the little storm that is expected over night. If appointments are canceled tomorrow than the snow can expect to be balled up and turned into a nice little person tomorrow. Snow angels will also be a definite must. :)

2 cute Haley habits from the last few months...

Haley loves books right now and will brig them to us, and then sit in our laps while we read the same story over and over. But I'll talk about this more later.

Haley likes to get little pieces of toilet paper, lift her shirt, and wipe off her belly button. Hey, you can't blame a kid for trying :)