Archive for the ‘Home Improvements’ Category

A few weeks ago, on a peaceful quiet Saturday night I had some time to myself. My Mom (Danielle) had The Dictator for the night under the assumption that I was going to an adult birthday party, which I fully intended to go to until a massive freak spring snowstorm hit. No way was I driving to a different town on those roads so I ended up staying home in an empty house until midnight when Stewart came home from work.

What did I do with the 7 hours alone? Pedicure, bubble bath or do my hair? Watch a chick flick? Read? Nope. I caught up on all that stuff that never gets done all at once around the house. I cleaned bathrooms, washed floors, vacuumed (even though that is Stewart’s job), prepped a nice dinner for the night, emptied the dishwasher, ironed all the laundry, washed and put away 3 loads of clothing and bathed the dog. It was a productive night for me, and usually things never get done in bulk like that around the house. Like any mom I get what I can done during The Dictator’s nap and sneak 45 minutes to myself – but that means there is always a list to tackle and that I never feel finished.

The best part of getting all this stuff done is that for almost a full week I felt caught up. I lost that clusterfucked feeling that I tend to get when I see a full dishwasher and the dryer is buzzing at the end of the cycle. I had the mental capacity to prepare decent meals every night that week because I wasn’t running around during nap time trying to make the house presentable; naptime was a chance for me to prep a great dinner and start some of the cooking. I played with The Dictator more because I wasn’t trying to sneak 5 minutes to fold laundry and empty the dishwasher. These little things really changed how I felt about my day and how my day would inevitably go.

This last week the clusterfucked feeling has returned. I have no desire to cook and I feel like I am not caught up again. That brought me to thinking that if I had help one morning a week (not relying on the Grandparents for this one – they help me so I can work 2 days a week when Stewart can’t be at home) I would feel more in control and caught up around the house. I thought of hiring a maid service – but really that could run us $500 a month and to me I would rather put that money into our mortgage payments.
Enter Bonnie

Bonnie is a 14 year old darling girl who adores The Dictator and loves to babysit. She lives by us and has siblings that are much younger then her, so she is great with little kids. Bonnie even stops over some evenings to play with Emmett after dinner, and she wears him out chasing him around the yard. I watch her pick him up when he falls, hug him when he is upset and steer him away from danger (which is his middle name). I adore her and her family – they are really great.

I really have no need for a babysitter and quite honestly I don’t like leaving The Dictator with anyone other then the grandparents. BUT, I sure could use a Mother’s Helper one morning a week from 9am to 1pm while I get all that stuff done around the house and get a dinner started. So this week I am going to see if Bonnie is interested in helping out with The Dictator one morning a week (during the summer break -and maybe a weekend day in the winter) while I am at home getting caught up around the house.

This could be my sanity saver and make me a better mom too.


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It has been a shit couple weeks in the McSleepy house. Rito gave me his cold and I have had it for 2 (TWO) weeks now and although the end of it is in sight I still have a couple days of coughing left ahead of me (my gawd the coughing is killing me and my sleep). I feel so tired and crappy and yet I still have a little man to take care of (and the big one too), work to do and a job to go to (need I mention that yet again I got saddled with doing the Christmas Party for work?).

All that being said I have been a busy bee on my days off work. We have had three family birthdays to celebrate recently (my brother-in-law J-Roc, Uncle Merv and myself) with another family dinner this week to attend (yay! I don’t have to cook!). I also have been on a re-organization kick and finally attacked my laundry room with a drill and some screws creating an additional 18 feet of shelving and a drop down drying rack for my sweaters. The best part of the renovation in the laundry closet is that I now have an empty hallway linen closet, which means I now have a little bit of space to store some books and hide my purse out of Rito’s reach (seriously the kid loves my purse and shoes, Dad! seems to be a little concerned). Dad! also moved some stereo equipment to our basement, allowing me to move the main floor toy corner to a different spot and put my family room furniture back where it belongs. Ahhh… bliss. 
Next is a revamping of our main bathroom, where I am adding a towel rack (I took out the towel bar and replaced it with hooks already), a curved shower curtain holder, a rainshower shower head and possibly storage behind the door (which would totally clean up another closet).  I love cleaning up and creating more storage. Then there is the new closet in the basement where I need a hose hanger and 4 shelves for games and puzzles which will add a ton more storage space.  There is a lot of wasted space in this house to fix up. With the latest improvements we have added a ton (like 200-300 square feet) of storage and space to our home. I love making things more efficient and tidy. 
Dad! and I have had a lot of family time together lately which has been so good for Rito. We have had family dinners (Rito drinks out of a glass now, no straws or sippy cups or he gets mad) and gone swimming (what a blast). Rito has been fantabulous with minimal tantrums and some pretty damn good nights of sleep. We had a couple playdates (but missed playgroup due to the cold) and visited some little cousins for fun. 
Other then the cold I am such a lucky girl. 
next post: Rito’s ridiculous vocabulary and I got a new crockpot…… oh my lord it is SO HOT.
I wanted to add some photos but I am totally bloggers bitch today, which means the photo thingy ain’t working again!

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The evil paintbrush has been mocking me from the corner of the basement for the last few weeks. In my defense I would like to say that the replacement door was just hung last Thursday and I had to prime and repaint it (even though the other one had already been done) so it isn’t totally my fault that the playroom is not done yet.
By this time tomorrow the playroom will be completed. For real. The painter comes to do the walls in the morning and tonight I painted all the baseboards and one french door and primed the other one. So once I paint the other door tomorrow everything will technically be finished and usable.
Rito will be thrilled, he already loves to slide around on the cork flooring (highly recommend the cork floors) and shut himself in the closet (who needs a playroom when there is a perfectly good closet to hide in?).
All that is left to do is hang the bracket in the closet that will hold the central vac hose, get some blinds made for a little window and eventually put shelving in the closet to house puzzles and board games.
In the meantime I will be drinking a glass of wine and enjoying the lack of brightly colored baby crap in my living room……
****edited to add that for the first time ever I hit spellcheck and had no errors. Dad! will likely be quite shocked.****

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I always thought I would be one of those uber-cool hipster parents that had no brightly colored baby crap strewn about their house. Before I had Rito, I envisioned him playing with neat stacking cups and brown monkeys that blended with the “decor” in our home. I thought we would spend our days reading books, listening to British import music, playing little games like patty cake and going for nature walks with BuddyLove in the ravine beside our home. 

Reality bit me in the ass. Hard. Who has time for all of that? There is laundry to get done, you know. 
My home is a shrine to all things toddler, including the big three: Fisher Price, Little Tykes and Other Plastic Crap Made in China. Primary colors now dominate our serene beige and brown (and some may say bland, so be it) color scheme and plastic things that sing and make noise are always eating our batteries. 
Why did I deviate from my idealistic bullshit ideas? Anything for 10 minutes of peace, that’s why. 
Now that Rito has a ton of toys strategically placed (thrown…. left behind and abandoned) throughout our home we have come to the mighty conclusion that we need to develop the final room in our basement to be a playroom. Rito has some cool big wood toys  like this huge bus that need to be built and played with, but it takes up so much room that we really needed extra space to put it in. 
Dad! and I never really have anything we want for gifts, because let’s face it we both have good jobs and pretty much buy what we want. What we really are short on is handy skillz (actually we are fine at handy, more short on hours in a day to do things), and the idea of developing the last room in our basement seemed like a logistical nightmare that we kept putting off. 
Enter my Mom (who we can blame for the huge bus, but it is a cool ass bus).
LoudGranny (my Mom) has no handy skillz either but she is fantastic at hiring men, writing cheques and deciding that shit needs to get done. So for this year’s Birthday and Christmas gifts for Dad! and I, we are getting a playroom courtesy of LoudGranny. I have spent the last two days picking out flooring (cork) and french doors. Later this afternoon is an outing to the hardware store to investigate lighting. The demo of what was in that half done room was finished yesterday, and once a couple more decisions are made the construction will start. 
You may think the gift is more for Rito, but think about it first…… We are regaining some control of the main floor. 
And that is the best gift I can think of right now.

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