Thursday, October 20, 2011


There are some things changing in my life that I will be able to talk about here soon, but one that I can discuss is that Smug-Sister and I are changing our childcare arrangement in that I will no longer be keeping Smug-Niece on a daily basis.

There are a couple of reasons for this, one of which is the thing that I can't talk about yet. One of the other reasons is simply that it is getting too hard for my sister to give her child good care in the mornings while waiting for my arrival. She works from home, but that means that she has to work! Lead meetings and take notes and talk to people and she can't do that and care for a toddler who wants to play outside or get into everything on the desk or what have you. She has had times where she has needed to put Smug-Niece in the crib and walk away for a short time to get some meeting underway and she feels horrible about that.

Another reason is that I need to get some good routines established for Smug-Baby. She is still not sleeping well at night and I wonder if that is due in part to napping in her car seat every day. Her naps are dictated a lot by having another baby in the car who may keep her from falling asleep or wake her before she is ready. As Smug-Sister said, our first priority needs to be to our families and what is best for them.

So Smug-Sister has started the process of finding alternative childcare options and will be interviewing people over the next few weeks and we will start transitioning Smug-Niece into a new situation soon.

My goal is to make sure that Smug-Niece adjusts well to the new situation. Smug-Baby and I have been with her since she was 3 months old - every day! We are her day! She runs up for hugs when we get there and she and Smug-Baby kiss and hug each other. They are very close and I don't want to lose that.

On the other hand, my heart sings at the thought of getting off work and having the rest of the whole day to spend at home with my girl! She can nap in her own bed! I could perhaps attend an LLL meeting or a baby wearing meeting; get Smug-Baby into Melody Makers or another kind of group setting where she can make some friends. She is very used to being able to just grab things from Smug-Niece or push her over when Smug-Baby gets frustrated and I want her to be around all kinds of other kids too and learn that others will push back and take toys from her.

I will not feel such pressure to get stuff done around the house. I can still use my weekly breakdown to get everything done, but I won't feel like I have to stick Smug-Baby in front of the TV while I rush around to get laundry going or clean the bathroom.

Financially, this change will be hard on us both. Smug-Sister is going to have to pay someone else more than she has been paying me and I will have to adjust to less money coming in each month, but I am very excited about the thought of having some of my life back and I am willing to cut off the cable TV to make ends meet if necessary :)

Monday, October 17, 2011

Finished... At Least for a While

Well, I am finished with the big room! Yes, the movies are still not in alphabetical order and the books aren't arranged by subject and yes, the paperwork still needs to be gone through and filed away, but the room looks nice and is clean and ready for company.

This is a really good thing, because my MIL will be here in three short days and I need to clean her bathroom, vacuum all my floors and wash, dry, fold and put away this mountain of dirty clothing that has amassed itself in my laundry room! I don't know how three people can dirty so many clothes!!

Well, yes I do! Smug-Baby is going through at least two outfits a day and sometimes three. This is because of her new obsession with washing dishes. She pulls me into the kitchen points at the sink and then to the dining room chair and repeats "dish dish" over and over until I move the chair in place, remove all the breakable or sharp items from her reach and turn on a small trickle of water. She will stand up there and play for a really long time, which is nice because it allowed me to clean the bathroom one day and upload some pictures to Facebook another.

The result of this is though that she ends up getting water all over herself and the floor and the chair. Which really is fine with me, because she is happy and I am able to get other stuff done. So I clean up the chair and floor and then change her outfit and she plays at something else until it is time for me to make dinner and then suddenly the "dish dish" needs to be done again :)

So, yes, a mountain of laundry to work on today, a bathroom to clean tomorrow and a house to make sure is picked up and looks like I am not a total slob of a wife and mother on Wednesday before I trek off to the airport to get her and my daughter can finally have time her her other grandmother!!

I am so grateful that my family is close and Smug-Baby has a close relationship with them. When we leave her with my Dad and Step-Mom she is happy and doesn't cry out for us. When she spends time with my Mom, she is happy and safe and secure! I want Smug-Hub's Mom to have a close relationship with Smug-Baby too, but she is so far away that she has only seen Smug-Baby three times. That being said, they warmed up to each other super fast, like within 30-45 minutes and were great buddies the whole visit. But then they are separated again for long periods of time and that breaks my heart. I know that as Smug-Baby gets older she will remember her other Grandmother more, but I am going to buy my MIL a web cam so we can have weekly Skype sessions!! There has to be a way for them to stay more connected!!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Big Room

I got almost the whole bed cleaned off today in my quest to get the big room livable for my MIL's visit next week. I packed into totes toys that Smug-Baby isn't playing with right now (the thinking is that I will pull these out and pack up what she is playing with now once she is acting like she is done with them). I sucked all the air out of my off season clothes and got them on the shelf. I really should have just taken them all to the goodwill and been done with it, but oh well...

I gathered up lots of trash and got that out of the room too. Smug-Hub still needs to fix the top part of the shelving the books are on, so I wasn't able to unpack the last box of books or the totes of photo albums, but that will come.

All that is really left to tackle is the desk and office stuff. I need to find a place to stash my growing collection of Christmas gifts, move the TV and VCR on top of the dresser to get it off the floor, and take the new microwave upstairs so Smug-Hub and my BIL can install it this weekend. After that stuff, the room will need to be vacuumed and dusted, but then it will be finished!! Not perfect, but totally livable and I can work on a list of stuff to work on when this room comes around in the rotation again, like putting the books on the shelves by subject, sending some of those clothes to goodwill, putting the movies in alphabetical order, stuff like that!

I love that I am getting so close to getting the room livable! I just hope that I can work to keep it that way! I need to set aside some time weekly to keep up on filing and other office stuff so the desk doesn't get out of hand, but I should be able to keep the rest of the room in decent order now. I have been really impressed with how I have been able to keep up with the organization in the rest of the house and how nice it is to know where everything is and everything has a home! Now, if Smug-Hub would just stop messing things up that I have to keep going back over and fixing.... I know, get used to it :)

Now, I just need to get our finances as organized!!

Monday, October 10, 2011


My Mother-In-Law is coming for a visit and will be here in 9 days. I have 9 days to finish my downstairs project and get the room ready for her to stay there. Which I know, basically means that she needs access to at least past of the bed, but I would like to give her the whole bed and some where on the floor to walk around too!

Smug-hub has been very helpful the last two weekends moving furniture and setting up shelving so I have some room to maneuver now. So, today, the plan is to unpack the last box of books onto the shelf, put up the pictures upstairs that have been packed up for the last, umm, 4 1/2 years, and put the out of season clothing into space saver bags and suck all the air out of them!

The over-the-range microwave we got at a yard sale still need to be carried upstairs and installed (my BIL said he would help Smug-Hub maybe one evening this week). I would like to actually organize the CD's and DVD's into alphabetical order and the books by subject, but that isn't imperative. What is, I'm afraid to say is the desk area! It is piled high with papers and cards, bills and Christmas gifts, magazines and mail and leftover newspapers! it needs some dedicated attention!! If I get the books, clothes and pictures squared away today, then I will have the majority of the week to work on the desk/office stuff!

I kinda wish that I had taken some "before" pictures, but the biggest reason that I didn't is because I really don't want to remember how bad it looked or to let any of my readers out there know what a horrible slob I had become!! I will probably take some pictures when it is finished, so you will just have to picture piles of junk to the ceiling on your own!!

In addition to the room tasks, I have several loads of laundry to work on, but that shouldn't be an issue and I have a lovely curry stew planned for dinner! I feel like my plans are working and my weeks are becoming less difficult and the house is staying nicer and things are staying more organized and clean. After this downstairs room is complete, the whole house will have been deeply cleaned and organized and I can start over, spending a little time in each room each week to keep up on the progress I have made without killing myself! I'm excited!

I am also really looking forward to my MIL's visit. I am ashamed to admit that I am really selfish when it comes to Smug-Baby and I always felt like my MIL was taking away MY time with my baby that I waited so long for and wanted so much! I knew it was a wrong feeling and totally nothing really to do with my MIL, but there you have it. This time will be different! I have to work on this quarterly project and her visit will encompass the whole project. This will give me someone who really loves Smug-Baby to watch her, someone that she really connects with to hang out with her, give my MIL some concentrated time with Smug-Baby, and not make me feel left out of my own child's day! It should be a win-win!! Plus, she will probably cook some amazing food while she is here and food is always a winner in my book!!