Resolving Timeline Issues

Archive for the ‘Motherhood’ Category

Amber’s subject on Crafting her Life this week is time management; specifically, how we do it with kids. I’d already decided years ago that, when I had a kid, he/she would be the priority and if dinner didn’t get made so be it. That’s what the delivery menus on top of the fridge are for. The only thing I’m persnickety about is toilets. The toilets get cleaned without fail every week.

I have this recurring idea about tying swiffer cloths to the baby’s knees so that she’ll swiffer the floor when she crawls around, but she’d probably eat them. And while it’s good to get more fibre in your diet, I’m not sure that’s the kind of fibre they mean. Instead, I have a roomba which I love to no end. I just clear the floor, set up the virtual walls if necessary, turn it on and leave the house for an hour or more. It’s awesome and gets about 90% of the stuff, which meets my “Good Enough” standard.

My theory is, make as much time as you can. Cut corners. Like, leave the spilled cheerios on the floor if they’re not too much in the way – the baby will eat them later anyways. We call these floorios. (Hey, the floor’s clean; I ran the roomba!)

You may know this by now, but I hate cooking. I can do it, and I’m pretty decent at it, I just hate it. The chopping, the prepping, the CONSTANT WASHING OF THE HANDS AND OMG, MY CUTICLES. There’s a reason those cooking shows make it look so easy: they have entire teams of people to do the prep work for them.

At least once a week, usually twice, I’ll make a chunk of meat for us to eat. Usually a chicken, often a roast if I have one in the freezer, and I usually have at least one. Because I’m hate cooking (and really, the constant basting with a chicken is just a pain in the butt), I’ll often use my crockpot. In the past, I always managed to overcook the meat, resulting in tough chicken and tougher roasts.

Awhile back I ordered a crockpot with my airmiles that has a meat thermometer. And it has automatic settings for beef, poultry and other things (venison, maybe? not that we eat Bambi).  And it’s brainless. Season the meat however you like (if you’re making a chicken, put in a rack or make 7 or 8 balls of tinfoil and put them in the bottom with the chicken on top), tie the legs of the chicken if necessary, shove the thermometer in, and cycle through the “Auto” settings until you get to the one you want.

I’m still not sold on beef roast in the crockpot, but the chicken comes out falling-apart tender (no really, I was removing one from the crockpot and it literally fell apart down the middle and onto the floor, which was really annoying and the Poptart learned some new words that day which I’m hoping she won’t remember).

Today, I mixed up some garlic, brown sugar, olive oil and some spices, slapped it on and in the chicken, tied the bird up and threw it in the pot. It’s almost done now, and it took me all of 5 minutes preparation.

That bird will be sandwiches for Darren’s lunch tomorrow, salad on Saturday at lunch, and salad or sandwiches for lunch on Sunday.

So I cut a few corners, and consider it Good Enough, and I get a few minutes extra to myself. Or to play with the baby. Or drag my neighbour out for a walk while I schlep the baby on my back.

I make no secret of the fact that I started getting along a lot better with my parents, particularly my father, when they moved out on me.* My dad and I are just waaaay too much alike to get along well for long periods of time. Although I find that since I’ve been on zoloft, he is much more bearable.** Or maybe that’s the other way around. Regardless, we get along better now, likely due to a combination of distance and medication.

And that long introduction is to say that over the past 15 (?!!) years, we’d see each other over long weekends, holidays, etc. I’d usually drive to their place and could leave when I wanted to because I had my car. We’d email once a week and my mom would call once a week or so. Except when they took off to Mexico every year and then I’d be lucky to get an email once every three weeks.

Since having the Poptart, however, they have been visiting. A lot. Not that I mind because hey, free childcare and the Poptart gets to see her grandparents. I just find it a bit strange that over the past 15 years of weekly phone calls (maybe) and emails (maybe) they suddenly start visiting once a month so grandma can get her baby fix.

And it is abundantly clear that the purpose of the trips are to visit their grandchild. Which is absolutely wonderful. My dad is a completely different person around her and my mom absolutely loves playing with and talking to her. It was only over Christmas that she finally made friends with my dad and he nearly started crying when he was finally able to hold her.

And they are coming into town today, despite swearing to avoid the area during the Olympics.

And it is wonderful.

*No, really. They moved out on me. They bought a condo in the city where I stayed while in university, and retired to their property up north. I didn’t pay rent, but I paid all the other bills, including the property taxes.

**He is also clinically depressed, but refuses to take antidepressants or go to counseling. His medication of choice is Glenfiddich – not to excess mind you, just enough to take the edge off at the end of the day.

Alternate title: adding to my bid for the Mother of the Year Award.

Awhile back, we did this to babyproof the TV stand so she wouldn’t whack her head against it, or if she did, it wouldn’t hurt in the same way that tempered, 3/4 inch glass hurts when it collides with a skull:

We thought we were all Clever, and Frugal, and Repurposing with it. It’s just foam insulation that you put around water pipes.

Today I removed it because the Poptart decided it would be a good thing to eat.

That foam, incidentally, does not digest. Just like band-aids.

I know it’s only a week into January, but I really think I’ve cemented the mother of the year award with my uber-good parenting today.

1. Before we went out to Mother Goose, I set up the kitchen and entry so that the roomba could run around in there. I was moving the chairs, etc., into the living room where the poptart was playing with the (metal) heating vent on the wall. Then she yanked a tag off the the chair that I hadn’t removed. By the time I got to her she had consumed about a quarter of it.

2. I picked her up, put her pants on (she hangs out in a shirt only, usually), and went to put her boots and coat on her. When I got to the entry, I noticed there were drops of blood on her pants and shirt. I looked all over my hands for it; turns out she cut her finger open on the heating vent.

3. I took her upstairs, cleaned the cut and put a couple of those little round bandaids on it. Then I packed her in the car and went off to Mother Goose (you see where this is going, right?). When I got to Mother Goose, the bandaids were off her finger. I only found one of them.

It’s okay – it was one of the fabric ones.

And yes, I put new pants on her.

And that was just TODAY. Earlier in the week, I washed her sippy cup in the dishwasher and then filled it and put the lid back on – without the valve. It took me about 4 days to figure out why she was choking on the water all the time.

Just give up. Mother of the Year Award 2010 is MINE.

Listing

Posted on: January 2, 2010

Pronunciation: \ˈlis-tiŋ\
Function: noun
Date: 1641

1 : an act or instance of making or including in a list
2 : something that is listed

Main Entry: 7list
Function: verb
Date: 1626

intransitive verb

: to tilt to one side; especially of a boat or ship : to tilt to one side in a state of equilibrium (as from an unbalanced load)

_____________________________________________________

I am not sure I have been the best person I can be for the past 8 months. I have become a mother – a huge change for me and my life has been revolving around the baby. There are times where I feel like I am losing myself. I have been listing – unbalanced.

So, in an effort to stop listing, I am listing my resolutions by theme month by month.

January: Finding Balance

1. Take time for myself daily and weekly in order to find myself.

  • Take half an hour after my shower to meditate or read.
  • Go for a swim or aquafit class one night per week after dinner.
  • Take a 2-4 hour block of time one day on the weekend to myself and get out of the house.
  • Take 20 minutes a day to do the 30 day shred.

2. Get started on the Poptart’s baby book. I have a bunch of free 4×6’s from Costco – I might as well use them.

3. Take an hour 3x/week while the Poptart is sleeping to do the necessary reading for the course I signed up for at University of Victoria*:

  • when the Poptart sleeps in, unplug: don’t turn the TV on and leave the internet alone. Do the reading and the notes, then do the rest of the stuff.
  • Use the Poptart’s nap times, when possible to do the work.

4. Set up a weekly meal plan by major food group. Find at least one new recipe to try each week (more on this over the weekend – I have an idea but that is a post in itself).

5. And participating in this because it sounds like fun and a good way to reconnect.

And that seems like enough.

While I normally eschew advice from other parents unless it is requested, because I am a big believer in Doing What Works for You and Your Family, I also like to think that there are certain things we need to indoctrinate them in early on.

I am not a follower of religion in any organized sense – you might call me a Deist, or an agnostic depending on the day of the week, the alignment of the stars and so on. I believe in letting people, and that includes children, getting to answers themselves. By and large, it is our job as adults to give them the tools to get to the answers themselves.

That said, studies show that if you start things early in life, people will continue it. Exercise for example: if you start kids early on regular physical activity (and make it fun), they’ll continue being active for most of their lives. By and large (don’t overdo it, or you end up with someone like me :))

Also, little girls should be indoctrinated to one of the pleasures of life early on:

New Shoes

At least one of them is a pair of runners.

Before becoming a mother, I used to Get A Lot Done. Multiple things over the course of the day, and still have time to relax in the evening.  And yet, it didn’t seem that important or fulfilling.

These days, I’m lucky if I get dinner on the table. I spend a lot of time playing and snuggling the Poptart, or we go out to various programs (Salsababies, aquafit, Mother Goose, storytime, etc) and usually after that she is done and ready for a nap of some sort. So we go home and snuggle.

Currently, she is pulling books off her shelf in the living room.

I don’t spend a lot of time on household stuff. The crockpot gets a lot of use. In fact, I’ve ordered a second crockpot with my airmiles (this one has a meat thermometer – how exciting!).  The bathrooms usually get cleaned about once a week or 10 days or so. The kitchen/entry/dining room floor gets mopped once a week or so. Maybe once every two weeks.

And yet, I am fulfilled. Moreso than I’ve been in a long time.


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