Wednesday, April 05, 2006

chores galore

it's not easy being a full time mommy. loads of fun, yes. but...loads of laundry, also yes. over time i've developed quick and easy ways to tackle the daily chores without interfering with my time with the babe and my time to myself. i've become a pro multitasker.
there is so much to do! and i make it happen...without losing my sanity.

i make daddy hall's lunch every week day before he leaves for work. i start making his sandwiches about 10 minutes before he's ready to leave in the morning. while doing this, i also clean out the fridge. as i'm taking out the sandwich meats and cheeses, i also grab an old take out box or tupperware containing god-knows-what from god-knows-when. old produce, half-drunken sodas, applesauce jars with less than a serving left - trash, trash, trash.
in about 10 minutes the lunch box is packed and the fridge is clean!

daddy hall is gone and it's time to start the laundry cycle. but first, i will sit down to check e-mails. about this time, baby hall wakes up. when she's been awake and had her fill of mommy time, i head to the laundry room. she toddles behind me and helps sort. laundry is a fun learning game! we fold clothes and she helps carry them to their closets. laundry is exercise! bingo. done.

serve baby breakfast in her new booster seat, and as she eats, i unload clean dishes, put them away and load dirty ones in the dishwasher. all the while singing the alphabet song or, her current favorite, "Bringin' Home a Baby Bumblebee."

i do floors once a week, during baby's nap. this way i can get them done without her following behind me dirtying them up (where does all that dirt come from?) and without her freaking out at the sound of the vacuum.

i take the trash out as soon as it's full. no big trick to that.

i dust once a week, also during baby's nap. this way i can take picture frames etc. off the mantle/shelves and set them on the floor to dust, and don't have to worry about her picking up all the nicknacks and taking off with them. and i am always afraid that the endust spray will get in her tiny lungs and make her sick.

the best trick i've recently learned is for bathroom cleaning: disinfecting countertops, sinks, cleaning toilets, windexing mirrors, etc. i do this once a week. as i'm spraying and scrubbing, i put baby hall in a pretend bath. no water, fully clothed, with bathtoys and bathtub crayons. she plays and plays...she loves it. we are in the same room so i can watch her while i get stuff done. why this tip isn't in baby books i don't know.

dinner time is not as easy. since i have full view of the backyard from my kitchen, i've been letting the baby play outside while i prepare dinner. this works, but makes me incredibly nervous that i won't be close enough if she falls or eats a rock. on the other hand, i certainly can't have her playing at my feet in the kitchen while i chop veggies, have something sizzling on the stovetop, and preheat the oven. i've got to find a new plan for multitasking during dinner time.

check back for more time-saving chore-tackling tips. it's time to get dressed and start our day, and check voice mails on the way upstairs.