Tuesday, March 15, 2016

The War on Chaos

I'm of two minds about the chaos of babies and toddlers. On one hand, it makes sense to embrace the mess and work around it - it's only a season. On the other hand, I like to be comfortable at home and a large part of that is ensuring that we are reasonably neat and tidy. There's stress in the mess, I tell you! The balance I've found is a mixture of routines and minding the little things before they can turn into big things.

With that said, I'm fully aware that our routines can look a bit obsessive at a glance. I swear they aren't though! We're busy, but there is flexibility and quality time built into each day - especially the weekends as family time is our priority there. The key I've found is to structure the lists so that they build on each other: daily items make the weekly maintenance easier, weekly maintenance makes the monthly items easier, and the monthly items make the quarterly maintenance easier.

The strategies that I use to keep things in order are:

Daily Cleaning - 18 Tasks
Turning all of the little tasks into a checklist/routine is the easiest way to limit the time and brain power spent on maintaining the house. The whole list takes about an hour and a half to complete, but it's broken up into pieces: 30ish mins morning and evening with a couple other 15 min sections throughout the day.

Weekly Cleaning - 17 Tasks
Hitting every area on a weekly basis helps keep the dirt in check before it can become grime. I usually handle two to three areas per day and the amount of time varies depending on the tasks. Interior areas are scheduled around my busy days in the office, and exterior tasks are fit in on whichever day isn't pouring rain.

Monthly Cleaning - 17 Tasks
To be honest, a good portion of these tasks don't necessarily "need" to be done every month, but it cuts the amount time needed for deep cleaning on a quarterly basis. I shoot for three to four tasks every week, but fit in more whenever feasible.

Daily Routine
The general flow of our day is get up, eat, clean, work, play, eat, clean, (nap) work, play, eat, play, (sleep) clean, work, relax, sleep, repeat. I'm a firm believer in having a predictable routine for everyone's sanity.

Toy Rotation
This is a lifesaver for us! We currently have three toy "stations" in the house: Jr's room, the living room, and my office. Once every week or two I will go through and change out all of the toys and books in each station - some retire to the closet for a couple weeks and others switch stations, but the fresh perspective always seems to help Jr stay interested in his toys for independent playing.

He has so much to say now, but I still can't figure out half of it! Mom fail?

Ever have a feeling that someone is watching you...?

One of Jr's favorite things to help with is feeding the cat.

Yay playdoh!

He loves having company over to "his" house, thankfully I'm still able to get in (and out)!

Sticky window activity!

These mini doughnut muffins are seriously THE BEST! Chris and Jr approved.
(I used butter instead of coconut oil in the muffins and only brushed it on vs dipping them for the cinnamon coating.)

Pregnancy Update

How far along: 27 weeks

Maternity clothes: Oh, yes. I pulled an abdominal muscle last week so I am done with anything putting pressure on my stomach.

Sleep: Not great now that I'm hitting the "every position is uncomfortable" stage. Relaxin (the hormone, not the activity) is making a lot of my joints hurt.

Best moment this week: Our most recent OB appointment went well, little baby kept kicking the doppler while the doctor was trying to check her heartbeat.

Missing anything: Laying flat on my back!!

Movement: Plenty of kicks and jabs, we had our first "ow, that was my rib!" moment.

Cravings: Not anything terribly specific, but holy hunger - some days it seems like I could eat everything in the house and still feel hungry.

Anything making you queasy or sick: Nothing predictable, but there are always a few waves here and there. Oh, and the glucose test drink nastiness.

Gender: A Girl!

Labor signs: A few Braxton Hicks, but nothing unusual.

Symptoms: The third trimester is less than a week away and I'm definitely starting to feel my energy wane. Nesting is kicking in though, so no rest for the pregnant!

Happy or moody: Mostly happy, but my tiredness and general discomfort often gets misread as moody.

Looking forward to: Finalizing the nursery colors! It seems like no one is carrying coral nursery items online or in-store, but I was finally able to order a couple of coral crib sheets from Target. Here's hoping the color looks good in person!

Baby gear/preparations: N-E-S-T-I-N-G. Even when I want to slow down, a lot of days I just can't seem to stop until I'm falling asleep.

Funny moments: Pregnancy brain + a nasty cold + nesting + daylight savings = so much wandering around trying to remember what I was doing. Case in point, it took FOUR trips to the laundry room before I could remember that I was in there to get my chapstick from the diaper bag!


Gwen @ Delightful Adventures said...

The doughnut muffins look perfect! Now I want to make a new batch! And congrats on being pregnant with a baby girl :) I hope the rest of your pregnancy goes well!

Everyday Obscurity said...

Thanks, Gwen! :)