Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Laundry and Library

Today was laundry and library day. We got to our old house in ABQ at 9:30 a.m., where I proceeded to throw the first of 3 loads in the washer. After tossing the load in the dryer 30 min. later, we were off to music and movement time at the library near our house. The girls and I love, love, love this library time. The woman who leads it is a a 50's or 60's retired kindergarten teacher, who was obviously a very good one. There are probably at least 50 "regulars" who attend story time, yet it doesn't feel chaotic almost any of the time. It has been more than a month since we last went, and Ruby and Claire were a little clingy and out-of-sorts until the very end. I'm going to try to make it up there once-a-month at least. It is just so inspirational how Miss Karen makes learning so fun! I plan to check on the local library as well, but chances are they don't have nearly as good of a story time.

After the library, we picked up yummy egg burritos and went home to eat them in the backyard--our mid-week tradition. While laundry was ongoing, I used the time after lunch to organize stuff I needed to bring home. The girls are not entertaining themselves as well as they did about 2 weeks ago. I am hourly addressing numerous fights and dealing with even more discipline issues. By the time we got home at 2 p.m., I was exhausted. Both girls napped slightly on the 45 minute drive home, so when we arrived, they were refreshed enough to not transfer to an actual bed-nap. Nevertheless, after unloading the car, I sent them upstairs to their beds to read books and have quiet time for 1/2 hour while I did some address-change calls and opened the mail in virtual silence downstairs.

Oh, and the fridge. Turns out the whole compressor was going out, and the fridge part followed the freezer only by a day--but of course I didn't know that until AFTER I had gone grocery shopping Monday morning. I purposfully researched and made sure repairs were scheduled and checked and re-checked the coolness of the fridge before going just in case it was affected by the freezer problem. We've been living out of coolers for the last 3 days. As small of an inconveinience as it seems to be, it has severely cut into unpacking (and maintaining) time, and I will be so glad to have a working fridge/freezer again! Making headway on this house is a real priority before the baby comes (come to think of it, what isn't? Maybe that's something to consider. . . hmmm.) Anyway, the good news is that the compressor is still under warranty, so our costs are just under $85, instead of ten times that much. And the guy is supposed to come fix it tomorrow. We are grateful!

Casey went to work at the old house after work tonight. He's heading home now at 9:30; about the same time he finally called it good on Monday night. I was so tired when he called to say he was going to work at the house. We had PB&Jand grapes and cereal for dinner and I put the girls to bed at 6:30. Claire has been a basket-case lately. I think she's going through a growth spurt or something. And she's been so obstinate. Anyway, after putting her back in bed at least 10 times, I resorted to the port-a-crib in the guest room. This is the first night since she's been in a big bed that I've had that much trouble with her getting out. I was at the point of tears when she got out the last time, so exhausted. I just couldn't handle any more emotionally, let alone physically.

One good thing, I guess, is that by default, I'm certainly not living a sedentary life. This is a VERY good thing, since I've been so busy that exercise is incidental (possibly accidental) at this point. Not a good idea when my body's looking at doing some pretty difficult work within 2 months. And I refuse to be one of those people who doesn't prepare in the least or do the necessary things to ensure a low-risk, low-key birth, only to leech off of generous and gracious people when I "find" myself in the "plight" of a serious and/or dangerous situation. It has become quite a pet-peeve of mine--when people don't take responsibility for their actions and face the consequences of their own foolish decisions (half the time, being ignorant enough to not even realize that they even had anything to do with what "happened" to them)--essentially chalking it up to "luck." I'm fairly educated about such things to know that if I'm not in shape enough by the time I have this baby, I have myself to blame. Which is why it's important to eat well and exercise throughout pregnancy. God is good to give built-in exercise time for busy moms. And I'm grateful for 2 growing girls who (excepting a meal here and there--including tonight!) force me to choose healthy things to eat.

Monday, March 17, 2008


Tomorrow, it will be 3 weeks since we closed on our house. We (and our stuff) have been here 2 1/2 weeks. I am still unpacking. I don't know what is "usual" or "normal" re: getting settled in a home, but I believe it will be April before I can say that (almost) everything is in its place. My biggest problem being paper . . . bills, important stuff, stuff I need to look at/read before throwing away, stuff that must be organized and filed away, PAPER! Paper takes so much time to sort through, so I need to get a system going pronto, before I have a mountainous pile going (it's getting close--maybe still a molehill right now, but just wait).

So, my days mostly consist of unpacking days or maintaining days. When I am home most (or all) of the day, my goal is to unpack 2 boxes, as well as keep up on dishes and clutter. On the days I go to ABQ to clean/do laundry (our washer/dryer won't be delivered until April) at our old house, my goal is to simply maintain. Dishes, laundry, meals. That about covers it. The goals may not seem lofty, but they're doable, and that's very important to me, an easily discouraged person when it comes to getting behind.

One unforseen blessing about being in a 2-story home is that it just makes sense to me to get everything done upstairs before even setting foot downstairs. (I haven't gone totally FlyLady, as we don't wear shoes on the carpet, but I'm finally doing a good morning routine!) So, I'll get ready, get the girls dressed, we all make our beds, and then it's off to breakfast! When I come upstairs again to put the girls down for a nap, everything is in its place and it feels so great to not be overwhelmed with the things that must be attended to, both upstairs and down. At our old one-level home, I'd often get the girls breakfast hours before dressing us, and most days none of our beds got made. I feel really good about establishing morning routines for the girls, since it is such a good life skill (one which I have yet to learn well) and will benefit them for decades.

Our refrigerator is on the fritz. The one we asked the owners to leave w/the house. The freezer stopped freezing. I discovered things thawing in it yesterday. I don't know when/what happened, but by this morning, whatever I'd left in it is completely thawed. Thank God we have our big freezer in the garage, but I have to check on it every few hours, because it's on a GFI outlet (not a good idea for a deep freeze, let me tell you) and because of that, has already thawed things on its own. Two freezers don't do much good when neither one is reliable. Casey will switch out the GFI for a regular outlet when he has time and a screwdriver. Both things are in short supply while he's working on our old house to get it ready to rent. As for the fancy-shmancy fridge with french doors and the freezer drawer on the bottom, we'll probably get someone out to fix whatever's wrong in the next day or so.

As much as stainless steel and black appliances are all the rage, I'd prefer regular ol' ones that do their job. I dust our range top at least once a day. It shows every speck of dust. I'm really careful not to spill on it, but what's the point, if I'm wiping it down anyway? I ought to just go crazy w/the spaghetti sauce. But it is very nice to finally have a gas range. I love that when I turn it on, it's on, and when I turn it off, it's off. For the absent-minded cook I tend to be, this is very good, since I'm often doing a lot of off/on action around dinnertime ("Oh, I guess I should turn that off for a few minutes while I do this other thing.")

Okay, now to deal with the paper situation . . .