Sunday, October 7, 2012

clean house

Since I have been very lazy about blogging for the past few months, I am going to make it up by blogging excessively during this long weekend.  (It is Thanksgiving weekend in Canada). 

My latest aspiration comes from reading a book that has a character who is a Portugese immigrant woman, single  mother of three children, one of which has a brain tumour that is recovering well.  This woman has time to keep her house spotless, and paint her toenails pink fuchsia, and date a married man back in Portugal.  Married affair aside, I would like to (for once) have a spotless house. 

Hm.  I forgot one small detail.  She did not work.

Anyway, I am trying to figure out how to increase the amount of sparkle on my floors, kitchen sink, and oven, as well as vacuuming more often.  I have a cleaning lady who comes once a week and does the floors, the bathrooms, and vacuums a bit. She does not dust or do laundry.  My day's chores go something like this:  in the morning, empty the dishwasher, make breakfast and clean afterwards (including the floor if Emma eats by herself), sweeping around the birds' cages, folding the laundry from the dryer and changing the sheets (every other day or so), washing two more loads (one whites, one coloured) and getting lunch started.  Then I play with Emma a bit, we bathe and take a nap on the clean sheets.  When we wake up, we have lunch, clean up afterwards, and go to babysitter/work. 

When I come back, we go shopping if we need anything (twice a week) and make dinner, which usually creates a huge mess as Emma wants to help me.  I have to cut things on the floor, and let her play with the chopped vegetables.  It pays off though, as every time I am busy doing something like sweeping or brushing the carpet, she grabs her own item of cleaning (a small broom, or a sponge) and starts "helping out".  It is so cute to see how she wants to be involved.

At night we load the dishwasher and the washing machine/dryer, and MrH cleans up after dinner (dishes, floor, Emma's high chair), while I wipe the counter in the bathroom.

Any stories of how cleaning goes in your house would be appreciated.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Adrian's urn

Emma has been playing with Adrian's urn during this past month or so.  It was sitting on my night table, and she is still sleeping in our bed, so in the mornings she would get up and start throwing everything off the table onto the carpet.  She threw both the urn and the little icon that was surrounding it onto the floor, several times, before I took it and put it on my makeup table.

Poor Adrian.  He has no way to defend himself against his sister's attacks.
I have tried to tell Emma that the name of the urn is Adrian.  I know she does not get it, but at some point in the future I guess I will tell her that she had a brother born before her, who did not live.  I wonder if that will frighten her.  I wonder how she will process that.  If anybody has any advice about how to approach the issue, it would be much appreciated.  I was just planning to approach it in my usual matter-of-factly way that I use to disclose these facts to anybody who asks.

In the meantime, today I ran into a colleague who had her twins in the same month when I was due to have Adrian.  We were due within a day of each other.  Her girls are now 2.5 years old.  I wonder what Adrain would have done at this age.  Probably given me a hard time through his terrible twos.

These thoughts are quite fleeting though.  I love him just as much as I always have, and think with sadness of his little baby body that never got to live.  I can only thank God for Emma, whose presence makes my life so full and rich and busy that I cannot afford to fall into melancholy anymore.

Is this good?  Is it bad?  Occasionally I experience the sadness fully, just as I used to, and the anger at the waste of a little life.  But these moments are rare, and on most days all I do is the mundane thinking about breakfast, bath, nap, lunch, work, park, dinner, sleep.  And I am happy.

weight watchers

I am officially on weight watchers.  I have been registered with the online program for three months now, but largely ignored the app on my iPhone and did not track my points.  My weight kept on going up and up.  After gaining five lb in one month, I decided that enough is enough, and started tracking.  I am doing fairly well in that I have managed to lose two measly pounds in two weeks, but in all fairness I have been making liberal use of the "weekly"points, and last night I managed to polish off half of a medium pizza at Boston Pizza (Friday nights is our date/splurge night when we go out to Boston Pizza and have something greasy and unhealthy).

My mood has become vastly improved once I have decided to stop feeling guilty about working.  I was very conflicted about working longer hours (lately I am averaging 5 a day, with an inclination to increase toward six a day).  I doubt that I will go back to full time in the next three years, but if the need arises then I have to be prepared to do so.  I enjoy work, and am quite the workoholic.  Before having Emma, I used to easily work like a mule, and loving every moment of it, except for the sheer exhaustion and emptiness of my life - haha.   Now, I have to be more balanced.

The truth is that in today's day and age, we are all expected to work long hours.  We are going back to the work hours of 200 years ago I think.  The sooner I accept that, the better our life will be.  We are expected to work hard just to make enough money to cover our daily expenses, and in our case, to cover the overhead of the business.  Working part time makes it more difficult to do these things. And I am one who likes to have money, no kidding, that is why I need to seriously adjust when my income is slashed in half.

That being said, I am happy with the current balance, and I even think the five to six hour days are ok with Emma, who is very well adapted with her current babysitting family.  She is a wonderful child, and her babysitter is friendly and motherly, and I am very happy with the arrangement. That is what matters the most.  I think that those of us who have a stable, secure arrangement with a daycare provider, feel more at ease to work longer hours.  When Emma had just started with this new babysitter, and she was suffering from my absence, even four hours felt like eternity.  I was itching to get home and the five minute commute was an annoyance bigger than I can describe.  Now, I am even fantasizing about going to the gym before picking her up.  Not that I am actually going to do it... because even for a gym rat like me, seeing my little girl is a much more urgent need than that of pounding the treadmill.