Friday, June 28, 2013

Chore Priorities

I, like many people, procrastinate by cleaning. (Many people do that, right?)

I realized today that I use this method while I am cleaning as well. I will procrastinate the heck out of doing the dishes and the laundry by doing other cleaning. I decided to rank a few of my "least" favorite chores, along with added commentary. The list is ranked "favorite" to "least favorite."

Vacuuming - my go-to chore, especially now that we have a cordless vacuum. Smiley would be all "I told you so" if he knew (so thank goodness he doesn't read this). I made a huge fuss about not wanting to have to charge my vacuum all the time, but it turns out not having to deal with a cord is the best thing that has ever happened to vacuuming.
Whereas before I would (no lie) go weeks and quite possibly months with only a few spot cleanings of the floor, I now go ahead and just vacuum whatever room I'm in, for fun, several times a week. Sometimes twice a day.

Laundry (gathering, washing and drying) - I have no problems with the first part of laundry. Gathering clothes from the hampers, sorting if needed and running loads throughout the day is easy and boring. Not as fun as vacuuming, and I do feel required to stick around the house while the washer is going in case it floods. Did I mention my cordless vacuum means I can literally pick up my vacuum and get dirt off my floors on a whim? I shouldn't be this excited about any chore.

Cleaning - When faced with a sink full of dishes or a hamper full of clothes that need to be put away, I divert to cleaning. I'll dust, wipe baseboards, spot clean the counters, and generally put things in piles so that they hopefully look neater. I always go in with the idea that I will sort through those piles later and put them in better places, but that part turns out to be way too boring to follow through with.

Laundry (putting away clean clothes) - I have no shame. I admit I set up a hamper in our house to put clean clothes in so that I don't have to put them away right out of the dryer. I've tried folding them out of the dryer but I just hate putting things on hangers so much that I will straight up start cleaning the toilet bowl just so I still feel productive. (Or I'll vacuum.)

Dishes. Seriously, screw dishes. I mean, what the heck! Even with our small household of three people, my sink is constantly full of dirty dishes. And now that Silas eats at his highchair, I have a highchair to clean three times a day.
But... as much as I hate them, I have a system. And that system means I don't like to just put everything into the dishwasher. Smiley would gladly put everything in the dishwasher. (Well, so he says. Maybe he's figured out that I just can't make myself take him up on that offer.)

Honorable Mentions:

Rearranging Furniture - This doesn't really get a place on the list because it can be too time consuming to attempt during one of Silas's naps. Before I gave birth, I would rank this somewhere around general cleaning. Now I just stare at our rooms and rotate 3D objects in my head.

Thinking About Organizing - Sometimes, just thinking that I will eventually, one day, sort through everything in my house diverts me from me actually doing that. But the truth is, I usually just think about this while I vacuum so it's kind of win, win.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

A Quick Moment of Posting

Silas is getting ever closer to being able to walk. When he stands up against something, occasionally he will forget that he doesn't know how to stand on his own and he will grab a toy with both hands. He will then stand there, completely supporting himself for a few moments. Then he looks down at the ground and falls over. Whoops!

It's not long, but when the end result is that he will be able to stand up and reach pretty much anything in our house (having a tall baby is sometimes the worst!), those few moments seem agonizingly long.

His current new favorite things to do include trying to take the recyclables out of the recycling bin, opening cabinet doors and attempting to smush his fingers in them, and pretending to lower his spoon into his bowl of food but then opening his hand at the last moment and grabbing a handful of mashed carrots.

In case you are wondering, no, this handful of carrots does not end up in his mouth.

Monday, June 17, 2013

I'm Probably The Last Human Being On Earth To Discover This

People who spend their time wisely at all times, you're dismissed from this post.

Otherwise, maybe you're like me. (It's ok. Don't be too scared.)

Maybe you'll be sitting at your computer trying to take notes on the heart cycle and all of the new vocabulary words are blurring together into blobs that start with "cardiac" and end with "oh my god I can't deal with this and seriously I think those two words are only different because one has an 'i' and one has an 'e'."

So then you think, "well, clearly I'm not getting my homework done right now. But my baby is asleep and I need to study right now because this is my chance."

Then you look at the etext again and maybe absentmindedly eat a dark chocolate pomegranate piece, hoping that it's just low blood sugar that is causing the confusion.

Nope. Those two words still look the same and "studying" now means looking ahead in the chapter to see if there are any words that you already know. Then you decide maybe you should just go on Facebook or something. Because then at least you'll still be at your computer for when the urge strikes to go back to studying.

Except that's not how it works. You go on Facebook or catch up on a webcomic and the next thing you know, your baby is waking up from his nap.

So this tale is fairly accurate to how I've felt several times while studying for my anatomy and physiology class. I typically read though a concept at least twice before I really start to get it, and that first read through is usually a glance followed by facebook. Except, (and I'm sure that I am the last person in the world to discover this), I found a better way.

When I feel like I'm not studying well, I get up and attend to my housework.

Yeah, I know. Right? Rocket science is happening, right here. Right now.

It's just that it is incredibly hard for me to tell myself that I can get up from my computer when I think I should be studying. I'll sit there and read random articles and browse websites, knowing I'm not going to studying any more. But just sitting there makes me feel like I'm accomplishing something. Right up until Silas wakes up and I realize I didn't accomplish anything and there's still a sink full of dishes that now need to be cleaned while a newly rested baby tries to climb up my legs.

So for the past week, when I've reached that point in my studying, I've gotten up and done other things (mostly cleaning). It's silly, but I had to learn to give myself permission to get up from my computer and acknowledge that I won't be studying anymore for at least the next half hour. These breaks are sometimes good enough that I do sit back down and take another page of notes.

Look, I know that probably everyone else already knew how to do this. Or that it might not even be an issue, because before I had Silas, I could have just done other things at other times. But at some point in my life, all of my "free time" became "on-call for a baby" time and well, this new way of thinking about my time while Silas naps has really helped.

It also helps that Silas has been reliably napping for almost two hours each afternoon. Oh, it is glorious.

Now, if only I could convince him to sleep longer at night. But I suspect we'll get there one of these days. Weeks.



Friday, June 14, 2013

Traveling With Baby - To Drive or To Fly?

I've done two round trips with Silas now, for a total of eight flights. When you consider that both times, my return trip consisted of at least two trips to the airport each due to cancelled/delayed flights, I feel like I've pretty much mastered airplane travel with a baby.

The only problem is, my baby is growing much faster than intended! Right now I've been taking advantage of the "infant free in arms" part of flying, which puts the cost of flying somewhat close to the cost of driving. The time saved by flying easily pushes the flight option into the "best choice" category. However, the last time I flew, I had a heck of a time trying to nurse Silas on the plane. He's just too danged long!

It's no secret that I'll be seeing my family this summer again. I've started staking out plane tickets. Except, summer plane tickets are apparently very premium, as the prices are already over $100 more than I'm used to seeing. Between that and the fact that Silas is still growing, I'm starting to think driving might be the answer after all. (There's no way that the answer can be "buy two plane tickets" due to the cost). Assuming an average of $4 a gallon, I'd be able to drive there and back over two days for cheaper than a single plane ticket.

There's other benefits as well - I'd be able to bring larger toys and more books. Packing more clothes would be nice, though certainly not a necessity. We could stop closer to the times Silas eats and plays instead of attempting to have playtime at an unused airport gate for ten minutes in between flights. I wouldn't have to deal with a diaper blowout in an airplane bathroom. (It took me ten minutes to decide whether writing the words "poosplosion on a plane" would put me on some sort of government list.)

The huge downside is the time factor. The drive is about 16 hours (that's with about three to four stops for fill ups and food) which is a huge amount of time for a baby to spend in a carseat, even over two days. And it's a lot of driving for me. I've been able to do up to 8 hours of driving by myself, but my back does start to complain at 3-4 hours.

It's not an issue of days off; thanks to my school schedule, I can take my time and drive up over two days without cutting into the time that I see my family (though it does sadly leave me away from my husband for a day longer, he might not complain at the chance to have an extra full night of sleep). It's an issue of whether or not a marathon car ride is worth not having to twist sideways to nurse and apologize to a seatmate as Silas wants to explore their side of plane and maybe fusses for two two-hour flights. Whether it's worth it to stress about Silas crying in his carseat after the first hour of driving or to stress about running across an airport and missing a flight while wearing my baby and carrying our luggage. If it's worth it to have more of our items from home than to get there faster.

I'm not sure. I may feel like I have a lot of travel experience with a baby under my belt but right now it seems like I need to pick the lesser of the two evils. I certainly wouldn't mind any thoughts or comments or experiences with driving vs. flying, that's for sure!