WMW: Five Things on My To-Do List

I know, I know. Technically, it's Thursday. Wednesday was just way too busy to get this in [and i'm taking time away from packing up for a long weekend - my college roomie's getting married this weekend! - to write this], so I'm writing it now while I'm waiting for the washer to finish.

For yesterday's prompt, I chose what five things are always on my to-do list. No matter how much I clean up, I always feel like my apartment's dirty. It's never filthy, and the current condition it's in [i last cleaned over the weekend] would suffice if it was just me. But, it's not just me [obviously]...and I want this place to be as spotless as possible for JJ. I know it's impossible to keep this place completely clean, but I can at least keep it mostly clean, right?

In order to do that, these things are ALWAYS on my To-Do list:

1. Do the dishes. I cook at least three nights out of the week [most weeks], so there are always dishes that need to be washed. I hate letting them pile up and then having to do one big load at one time, so I usually wash dishes every 1-2 nights. Sometimes, if I know I'll be doing a lot of cooking and using a lot of dishes, I'll just load the dishwasher and run it...but for the most part, I hand wash. I know, I know - I probably waste more water washing than running the dishwasher. Most weeks though, I'd have to let dishes pile up ALL week in order to have a full load, and I just don't want to do that. I will admit, washing dishes isn't as tedious since I quit having to wash bottles last year.

2. Fold laundry. I do laundry 2-3 times a week...but I hate folding laundry. I'll do it, but I usually wait until it piles up and then fold all at once. I also iron JJ's clothes [personal preference], so I always have a pile waiting on me to iron and put up.

3. Clean up toys. JJ's toys are everywhere. For the most part, he'll put his toys away - but usually, only his favorite toys get put up by him. That leaves the rest for me to get. This doesn't usually take long, but I still have to do it every night until he figures out he needs to put ALL his toys away.

4. Prepare for the next day. I don't do this as often as I should, but I try to get things ready for the next day the night before. I usually bring breakfast with me [usually a piece of fruit or a breakfast bar], along with a coffee mug since my boss makes coffee just about every day. I also have to make sure JJ doesn't need anything for daycare, get our clothes ready and, if needed, pull our jackets out. This takes a good 5-7 minutes in the morning, which is when my time is most precious...so getting this done the night before is a huge help.

5. Wipe down the counters. JJ gets his hands on everything - and can now reach the counters on his tip toes. I do a lot on the counters [cook, organize etc.], so it's important that I keep them clean so that he doesn't catch anything. I usually do this after I wash dishes...but even on nights I don't wash dishes but do cook, I wipe the counters down.

I'm sure there are other things on my list, but these are the five that I always, always have to do just about every night. The job of a working mom - and a mom in general - never ends!


How did my baby become a toddler?!

JJ is now 2 years and 4 months old. How in the world did my baby - the one I brought home from the hospital at two days old weighing 7 pounds - is now a nearly 2 1/2 year old, 30+ pound toddler? I don't know how time went by so fast...I mean, for most of my life, I've felt like life has trudged by. From the day I became a mom, it feels like time has gone faster and faster.

At this point in JJ's young life, he's growing by leaps and bounds. Now that he's got walking down, he's trying to run everywhere. He started using his words in the fall and, while not making full sentences yet, is learning new words everyday. That's made me watch my vocabulary even more than I did before because he will repeat EVERYTHING you say. The other day, he said 'crap' after I accidentally let it slip. That was the last time I let that one happen. It's exciting to see him learning and using words though...for the longest time, his ear issues made me think he'd be behind with his speech. Now, he's mumbling and using words all the time.

He's even learning his ABCs - his favorite book right now is Dr. Seuss' ABCs, and he's learning his letters and repeating the book back to me every time we read it. We've bought him toys beyond his age group to help him learn words and letters, and it seems to be working. He's learning how to untie and pull off his shoes, take on and off his clothes and brush his teeth. We're not potty training yet, but he's shown an interest in it. March was really, really crazy for us, so trying to potty train would have done us no good. Now that things are stable, I'll probably start potty training soon. I hope to have him completely potty trained by the time the next school year starts in August.

With him being my first child, everything is a new experience. Every action, ever word, every new thing he learns/does...it's all absolutely amazing to me. I just can't believe how much he's grown in two short years, how much he's changed. He still looks the same as the day he was born, but he's growing up right before my eyes. I love that little boy more and more every day, and he's taught me how to be more patient, more loving and more nurturing. A lot of days, I think that I don't deserve him. I thank God every day that I have a little man like JJ in my life - he makes it complete. I can't wait to see what kind of man he turns into as he grows up. Watching him get older will be bittersweet, but I will enjoy every moment of it.


WMW: I woke up in the middle of the night and...

OK. So waking up in the middle of the night is a common occurrence for me. I think it started back in college - I used to fall asleep on my homework with the TV and lights on, and I'd wake up at like, 3am to shut everything off. I went from college to mommyhood in a matter of months, so waking up in the middle of the night [for feedings this time] stuck with me.

Now that JJ is a growing 2-year-old [he'll be 2 1/2 this summer! gah!], he doesn't wake up in the middle of the night anymore [for the most part]. I, however, still do. I usually wake up in the middle of the night and clean...mainly because I tend to fall asleep with JJ when I put him down, so I get almost nothing done. I can't tell you how many nights I've woken up at 2am with the TV still on, a light still on [this wastes energy, i know...i'm working on it], and the entire apartment a wreck. So, I usually stay up for 1-1.5 hours, cleaning and catching up on things I missed while I was asleep [like facebook statuses, sports and news]. This does not bode well in the morning - which is why I've started drinking coffee more often - but I just can't seem to break that habit.

I also wake up in the middle of the night to check on JJ. We've had breathing issues since he was a baby, and even though they're better, I'm still terrified I'll wake up in the middle of the night and he's struggling to breathe/not breathing...so I tend to wake up 4-5 times during the night to make sure he's OK. I think I'm going to be that way for quite some time, but it's OK. It gives me peace of mind to know that he's breathing and fine, so I don't mind waking up for that. The whole cleaning business though...I hate waking up for that. Once I wake up and know the apartment's a wreck, I can't go back to bed until I've cleaned up. Sigh.

I'm hoping that eventually, this whole waking up in the middle of the night stuff won't happen anymore - or happen as often. But, considering I'm still nervous about JJ's breathing at night and we plan on trying for another baby soon, I don't think that'll happen. Guess I'd better keep the coffee flowing.


101 in 1001 update: I made a pie!

OK. So I didn't make one of those pies that you slave over for hours [think: apple pie]. But I made one of my favorite pies, and it was good, dang it.

While searching for recipes yesterday, I stumbled upon The Pioneer Woman's website. Now, she's a staple here in Oklahoma - one, because she's from Oklahoma; and two, because she makes the most UHmazing food. I plan on buying her cookbooks like, soon. Anyway, I digress. I love her because she makes food easy - and her key lime pie is no exception. She made it on Pi Day, and I love me some key lime pie, so I HAD to make it.

So, while grocery shopping yesterday, I picked up the ingredients I needed and made it before I gave JJ his bath so that it could cool while he was taking a bath. After I mixed everything together, it didn't smell the best...so I was so scared I'd screwed it up and that it was going to be gross. But after it came out the oven, it didn't look all that bad, so I let it cool and stuck it in the fridge. It was supposed to chill for an hour...but I gave it 20 minutes.

Holy moly is it good. It's almost perfect, actually - I think it could've used more lime juice, but man. For my first attempt at a pie, it was quick, easy and DELICIOUS. I will admit that I didn't make the pie crust from scratch because I couldn't find empty pie pans at Wal-Mart...so I used a pre-made one. But next time. I'll make that from scratch. Not like it's hard to do so.

The before:

And the after:


Honoring the Master Mechanic.

I know it's been a few days since I last posted - the past week has been crazy. My paternal grandfather passed away 10 days ago, and we were in North Carolina this past week for his funeral.

Now, I wasn't really close to my grandfather. My dad was the only one of his siblings to not live on the East Coast, and it's not like we knew where we'd be from year to year due to the Army. So, I wasn't really close to him. The last time I saw him in person, I was 12 years old. I turned 25 this past Monday. So...yeah. It'd been awhile since I'd seen him.

Going back to NC after being away for so many years was bittersweet. I hate that funerals bring families together better than any other family event, but I'm so glad we went. It was amazing to see and reconnect with my family again, especially since so much time has lapsed since I was there last. Being at the funeral was hard - I absolutely cried throughout the service. And it was hard on my dad, but he was a strong rock for his brothers and sisters [even though he's not anywhere near the oldest].

I try not to have any regrets in life. I do, however, regret not seeing him one last time before he passed. Out of all the grandchildren, my sister and I have been away the longest and live the furthest away. I wish we'd had the time [or made the time] to go out there and see him. The impact he made on the community - he was one of the best mechanics in town, and that's not bias talking - was incredible to see during his funeral. To hear the stories of his life was great. To spend time with my extended family was the best present I could've asked for for my birthday.

I vowed while I was out there to not let so much time go by before I see my family again. I have a great-uncle with Parkinson's that may not be with us much longer. My grandparents are getting older, my aunts/uncles are getting older, and time is precious. If we don't make it back out this year, we'll be going back next year for a cousin's graduation and another cousin's wedding. I am, however, so glad we went out there for the funeral. So here's to you, the Master Mechanic...my grandfather. I wish I'd known you better, but we'll have eternity for that. I miss and love you.