Monday, June 01, 2009


This baby thing sure is turning out to be a lot of hard work. Of course, I didn't really appreciate the 6:30am wake-up after having settled into a routine with a wake-up at 8am, but I got all the errands and the laundry done before lunch, thanks to my wonderful husband who took the baby almost all morning.

I have been struggling to keep the house in order. Any kind of order. As it is the first of June (Happy Rabbit Rabbit Day!), I am starting another month's worth of work. (I would have started planning this weekend, but on Saturday we had community clean-up day at church followed by basketball, and Sunday had a pan-Orthodox (non-fasting) gathering and a graduation party. This is also the reason Teddy-o's schedule is off.)

I am currently reading Home Comforts: The Art and Science of Keeping House by Cheryl Mendelson, and am struck by how funnily and well she writes as well as the very idea that ... she likes keeping house. And that I might, too, once I figure out what I'm doing. I've already noticed that I don't stress about our laundry or shopping, since I know that happens on Mondays. (Oh, drat, as does cleaning the bathroom, which hasn't miraculously done anything on its own.) I laugh at some of her ideas, but at the same time realize that if I did get on a schedule, I might actually do some of those crazy things, like taking out the trash and sanitizing the trash can every day. But at this point, anything is better than nothing.

I like sitting down with my husband and talking about what he wants and what I want and how we can get there. (Sometimes the first two vary widely from the second, and we need Jeeves, alas, who is nowhere to be found.) I like making lists and knowing what's going to happen before it's on top of me. I am getting better at realizing that after a month, if I don't, the lower-priority tasks (dutifully copied onto the next day's to-do list) can simply be relinquished to the overall to-do list. (I have two separate steno pads: one was started after I could think again after giving birth ... although most of the time I'd find the pad and realize I had no idea what the idea was, two seconds later; the other is a to-do list which gets, usually, longer and longer as the month goes on, although occasionally I do cross things off. The main to-do list has the left-hand column for repeated daily tasks (weigh, water plants, exercise) and the right-hand column for specific tasks for that day (and lots snowballing from previous days). The right-hand column is divided into broad priorities: things which should happen today and important; tasks of medium importance; and other things I'd like to do sometime but thought of today so I should put them down before the thought leaves entirely. An example of the latter I completed today: research velcro. (See? How many times would your mind tell you to do that?)

I am also putting together a husband-and-wife-generated wishlist of what things should be accomplished each week, attempting to establish actual daily and weekly routines. Then there's a sheet of paper with all the days of June listed in the middle: on the left are feasts and birthdays and whatnot, and on the right will be various cleaning tasks. (Today, for example, I am cleaning behind the refrigerator; evidently the previous tenants had dogs, as that is what the vacuum cleaner smells like now. I will have to make a second attack on the remnant sludge. ugh.)

On a somewhat related note, putting my hair up does wonders for how I feel, and what I feel I can accomplish. It's just two French braids, twisted and secured with a large clip, but it's cool (temperature-wise, though others seem to like it as well, or at least better than my previous non-style) and, my favorite part, it STAYS PUT. This means that I do not have to feel self-conscious about taking out a scrunchie and putting my hair back in it (in church, oh, cringe) or worrying how quickly I can do that and whether Teddy will reach whatever exciting piece of something before I have my hands free again.

I am looking forward (still) to the Metropolis of Atlanta Clergy-Laity Conference. I am only in charge (and only somewhat in charge) of the ice cream social for the presvyteres. Yes, that does mean Blue Bell. And yes, I bought it on sale. And there's a good chance that there will be more half-gallons than people attending, but you can never have too much Blue Bell. (Well, okay, but I haven't eaten any since February. I have been Very Good. It's starting to hurt a bit now.) I am excited at the prospect of seeing friends from seminary, and introducing them to Teddy and vice versa, and seeing how their little ones are not so little any more, and just being with them.

I'm a really horrible correspondent, but I think about people almost all day long. I wish there were a program or a method or something-involving-lists to improve my correspondence skills. I can do thank-you notes (there's another list on a steno pad, and a note on my regular to-do list), but somehow I am intimidated by just emailing back. What if the other person thinks I'm irritating, or pushy? (I'd probably get told so, and wouldn't have to worry about it.) And then I move on to other things rather than respond right away ... And then it's later and I realize I never responded to the email and it's three months gone, and the guilt simply piles up.

Well, there are dishes in the sink, and my skin is telling me to move the thermostat so it's below 80, and I need to take just one more little peek at my little fellow who hasn't made a sound for a few hours now. Please keep me in your prayers.

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