My New BFF

Being home full time is great, but truthfully it can also be lonely. The majority of my day is spent with a three-year-old. While he is a decent conversationalist, the content is somewhat lacking. I can only discuss the plot of “Umizoomi” for so long and he’s really not that interested in “Friday Night Lights”.

That’s why I made a new friend. I highly recommend it if you, too, are a stay-at-home-parent. How else can you make the most of nap time? By exercising or resting? No, having your own personal companion keeps you alert and helps your productivity level stay high.

There were many options for a new friend, but I finally decided on this guy, and let me tell you it has been amazing.

photo 1-17
He is an excellent listener

We do all kinds of things together.

He has excellent meal ideas
He has innovative meal ideas

We have so much in common

We even take our coffee the same - black, of course.
We even take our coffee the same – black, of course.
He's become a bit of a muse
He’s become a bit of a muse for me

Chores are no longer tedious.

He is a whiz at folding fitted sheets, I don't know how he does it.
He is a whiz at folding fitted sheets, I don’t know how he does it.

A good friend takes on those tasks you might find overwhelming.

His accounting skills are astounding.
His accounting skills are astounding.

Life is short and the days pass quickly, make the most of them with your own special friend.

Refrigerated Evil

I was multi-tasking like a pro. Serving lunch, putting away groceries, folding laundry, chopping up veggies for dinner – wait, what happened in the veggie drawer? The slime! The smell!

No problem, for this gal. I rolled up my sleeves, slid another grilled cheese sandwich to the hungry 3-year-old and deftly removed the produce drawers from the fridge.

“Mommy will be right back!” I sang as I carted the oozy vessels of soggy cucumbers and dried out broccoli to the compost bin.

I went to get the little guy a drink and noticed just how grimy the shelves at the bottom of the fridge were. NO PROBLEM! I carefully lifted them out and left them to soak in the laundry tub. Now to tackle the frames. This was turning into a much bigger project than I had anticipated, but I would not be deterred. By now it was nap time so I could really focus on removing all debris and questionable items from the fridge.

I was merciless. An almost empty bottle of ranch dressing – gone! You, too shrimp sauce from 2009. Don’t look at me that way, yeast in a jar, we both know I won’t be baking any bread from scratch.

I’m almost done and then I can watch Veronica Mars while I eat some Oreos start organizing photo books.

This gross, but weirdly satisfying job was wrapping up nicely – all that was left was to replace the various components.

And then, in a flash, my productivity slammed to a halt.

As I pulled open the door to return the bins to their sparkling clean home, the entire fridge door came off in my hand.

It’s the closest thing I’ve ever had to an out-of-body experience. I stood there, gaping at this big, white door that had acquired magical abilities. Or it was demon-possessed.

It’s okay, it’s okay. Let’s just prop it up to keep the cool air in. Then figure out the next step. 

Have you ever tried to lift a fridge door that is full of jars? Trust me, it’s heavy. I leaned it against one leg and carefully took out all the 179 condiments from its shelves (Pilates, guys, it works). Next, I had to rig something up to keep the cool side cool and the hot side hot. I was very motivated since cheese was on sale and it’s possible I had bought approximately eight bars.

Fridge triage
Fridge triage

Things were looking up. Now it was time to figure out what was going on, so I turned to my good friend, Mr. Google. “Why did my fridge door fall off in my hand?” generates a surprising number of helpful answers. I concluded that none of the necessary procedures could be accomplished by one person, so once the boys were in bed that night, Bearded Husband and I fixed the fridge. It took a couple of attempts, possessed refrigerators doors are very temperamental when it comes to things like “alignment”, but we did it.

Stay tuned next week for “The Time 1/3 cup of Butter Exploded in the Microwave” and “Once I Dropped a Pork Roast on the Oven Door.”

My Big Year

This is it – my year at home.

I’ve taken a leave and will be holding down the home front. Our three oldest boys are in school full time so that leaves me and Little together. This is a completely new experience for me. The last time I was home with only one son, he was a baby. All my previous years at home have involved a newborn.

Oh, I guess I should explain – Bearded Husband and I have alternated years at home caring for our family. I took the first maternity leave year, then he took an unpaid parental leave, I got pregnant and had another maternity leave, repeat. This has worked well for us, but we decided no more babies. I’ve worked two years in a row and now am home with our three-year-old.

Do you know what it’s like to go from teaching kindergarten, to a summer with four boys, and then to end up at home with a three-year-old who still naps in the afternoon? IT FEELS LIKE I’M AT A SPA.

The first day with just the two of us, we hopped in the van and took a special Mommy and Son road trip. There was no bickering, no pushing to get in first (well, I might have elbowed him a bit), no one complaining that “he’s looking at me”. As we coasted down the street I rolled down my window, waved at a neighbour and sang out, “we’re going to Target – because I CAN.”

Freedom, glorious freedom.

We purchased the five items on our list, plus eleven things I didn’t realize I needed. We drove home chatting and listening to the radio. I think he even thanked me for the adventure.

Do you know what else you can do when you’re home full time? Reheat your coffee in your own microwave. What a luxury.

Round 3
Round 3

Another unexpected bonus to being with Little is learning that he stashes small toys down the furnace grate when he doesn’t want to share. So thoughtful.

Yeah, I put it down there, what's the problem?
Yeah, I put it down there, what’s the problem?

You haven’t lived until you’ve tried to fish some Lego hair out of a furnace duct. It is perhaps the scariest thing I’ve had to do – keep in mind that I once rescued a keychain from the toilet.

I’m not entirely sure what this year at home will look like, but I have plans, big plans. In addition to projects around the home and spending time with Little, I’m planning to connect with all my sons in a different way, be more hands-on and knowledgeable about their daily adventures than when I worked full time. I’m also hoping to invest more in friendships (old and new) and to give back to our community more.

Yes, big plans. They may seem lofty, but it’s only begun and already I’m ticking things off my list. Why just this week I learned that a girl has a crush on our oldest. And he is just thrilled that I have that intel. I can tell.

The year of At-Home Jan. Get ready.