Housekeeping Schedules


(Some cute pictures I just found of Claire and Maggie helping plant flowers this past spring. Every once in a while we get a glimpse of how awesome it will be to have actually helpful big kids in a few years!)

I think like we're in a pretty good routine now that preschool has started and Betsy is napping predictably. After many months of feeling like I was behind on everything, it's amazing to be able to make a chore schedule and regularly keep up with it. 

Cleaning Schedule
Monday: Vacuum and mop main areas (girls' bath night)
Tuesday: Clean kitchen
Wednesday: Clean bathrooms
Thursday: Vacuum entire house (girls' bath night)

I clean the kitchen and bathrooms during Betsy's morning nap. If Claire and Maggie offer to help, I summon my reserves of patience and agree. They actually do make the chore go a smidge quicker. I clean the floors in the evening while Adam is bathing the girls. On Monday mornings I make a grocery list and try to finish the rest of my computer chores - updating our milk order and Mint budget, paying any bills, putting library books on hold, and sending postagrams to our grandparents. On Thursday morning Claire is at catechesis and I spend some one-on-one time with Maggie. 

Laundry Schedule
Sunday: Wash diapers
Monday: Stuff diapers, sort clothes
Tuesday: Fold clothes
Wednesday: Clothes away, Wash diapers
Thursday: Stuff diapers, sort clothes
Friday:  Fold clothes
Fri/Sat/Sun: Clothes away

We're finally using our cloth diapers again! Laundry happens during little pockets of time throughout the day (it's easy to sit on the floor and fold clothes while the girls play around me) or at night (like spraying the cloth diapers). 

As far as a dinner routine goes, we always have spaghetti on Tuesdays, since Adam stays late at work that evening because it's his preschool volunteer day. We always have pizza on Fridays. I always get a rotisserie chicken when I'm grocery shopping at Costco. We have chicken for dinner that night and then use the leftovers in a variety of ways - chicken salad or pasta salad in the summer and soup or chicken pot pie in the winter (with stock made from the carcass, of course). 

I'm always scrambling on weekday afternoons because I want to have a little time to relax while Betsy naps and the big girls do quiet time or watch a show. Then I'm frantically trying to get them to help me pick up the toys and also make something for dinner. So, we usually eat really simple things like spinach quiche, tacos, or crock pot favorites (pulled pork, brisket, pot roast). 

Depending on the weekend, sometimes I have time to make something fancier and sometimes I have even less time than during the week. In that case, the girls usually have hot dogs or boxed macaroni. After they're in bed, we'll have pot stickers or pre-marinated fish from Costco. Probably pot stickers because, man, those little things are addictive. 

We are very far from on top of everything at our house. Our grass really needs to be cut but first we need to rake the leaves covering the entire yard. (The fact that it's rained every weekend this month certainly doesn't help matters.) So many things could use a deep cleaning - the fridge, oven, and van for starters. We have lots of projects that we'd love to get to eventually. Top of the list is planting some tulip and daffodil bulbs, which needs to happen soon or we'll be too late for this year.  

I don't think the average couple with three little kids is ever going to accomplish everything they'd like. But it feels great to know that we can cover all the basics without stress. I can keep our house decently clean and provide reasonably healthy meals. Everyone has regular baths and clean clothes. Someday we'll finish those window treatments!


Eight Months With Betsy

Eight Months Official

Peaches, pears, and pumpkin pancakes.
Banging on Adam's bike helmet.
Going to music class with Maggie.
Playing with her big sisters in their bedroom.
Trying to twist herself out of the seatbelt in the shopping cart.
Crawling around during circle time at Claire's preschool.

When you won't let her chew on your shoes.
Having to work her naps around Claire's preschool schedule.
Sleeping in her parents' room when we have visitors.
When you're trying to read a story to her big sisters and you won't let her rip up the book. 

New Tricks:
Pulling up to standing.
Drinking out of a sippy cup.
Using a pincer grasp to pick up food.
Taking a few steps when you're holding her hands.

Eight Months Collage

Here are some more pictures from the past month:




And for comparison's sake, here are Claire and Maggie at the same age.


Just for fun, all my babies at eight months! Betsy really seems to be a perfect mix of her big sisters.


Wee Britain

I really love that Claire's preschool is in our suburb's walk-able downtown area. Except for biweekly trips to Costco, I like to leave our car at the preschool, load the little girls into the double stroller, and walk to all of our errands. When we're popping into multiple stores, it's much easier than buckling two kids in and out of car seats. It's also the best way for me to seamlessly incorporate exercise into my day, like Adam riding his bike to work. Of course, it doesn't hurt that there's completely gorgeous fall foliage around every corner at the moment.

Fall Leaves

Fall Leaves

For our first couple years in Seattle, we lived in a two-bedroom apartment in this area. Now we live in a rental house closer to Adam's work and our church. I love living in our current location and I feel like we have the best of both worlds with being able to walk to all of our errands, since we're downtown three times a week for preschool. Within walking distance of the school there's...

- the library, the post office, and the bank
- Trader Joe's, the regular grocery store, and the drug store
- a park and two indoor playgrounds
- a thrift store, a craft store, and a toy store
- lots of other fun stores like Half Price Books, Ross, and World Market
- the outdoor mall where music class is along with the Gap, Macy's, etc. and a covered play area
- a plethora of bakeries and coffee shops should we feel like indulging (although we really shouldn't!)

Wee Britain

Wee Britain

Wee Britain

Across the street from Trader Joe's is this block I've affectionately named "Wee Britain" after a hilarious Arrested Development episode. There's the Three Lions Pub, where you can watch enjoy a pint while watching soccer, rugby, or cricket to your heart's content. The British Pantry is the place for all your tea needs (bags, biscuits, towels, cups, pots, you name it) as well as British candy and foodstuffs. Lastly, there is Neville's Restaurant, your spot for a plate of shepherd's pie or fish and chips. Walking by just makes me happy!

P.S. Another quirky favorite in town is The Root Beer Store, where you'll find over a hundred brands of root beer and specialty sodas.


September Happenings

After a really fun but very busy July and August, it was so nice to take things a bit slower in September. We started the month with a trio of saint celebrations. September 1st is Saint Beatrice's feast day, so we invited Betsy's godfather over for dinner. I made this easy paella dish and served Trader Joe's churros for dessert. 




Over Labor Day weekend, we had four other families over to celebrate Mother Teresa's canonization. They actually each brought over delicious Indian dishes, while we provided the rice, salad, and mango sorbet. We decorated with a rasterbated Mother Teresa poster, some of our favorite quotes of hers on the fridge, and a $4 Vatican flag. Easiest party ever! And then on September 8th, we made cupcakes to wish Mary a happy birthday.


On Labor Day, we crossed the last item off our summer bucket list by going to the zoo. It was cold and gray, so I think summer was pretty much over, but, hey, it still technically counts.




Claire's first day of preschool was a big one for our family, because Adam was also gone on his first business trip! He was gone for a little over twenty-four hours to present at a conference in the bay area. His presentation went really well, as did my twenty-four hours of solo parenting. We're certainly spoiled that his job very rarely involves travel.



While Claire's at preschool three afternoons a week, Maggie, Betsy, and I are out running errands. But when Claire's at Catechesis, we just come home for Betsy to have her morning nap while Maggie and I get to have some one-on-one time together. Sometimes we like to make a dessert to enjoy on the weekend and sometimes we like to paint.







The last Saturday in September, we took a day trip to Bainbridge Island with our good friends the Clarks. We had a fantastic time walking on the beach at Fay Bainbridge Park, eating a delicious Italian lunch at Via Rosa 11, playing on the awesome playground at Battle Point Park, and ending with ice cream at Mora Creamery.



I just realized Maggie is wearing the same heart dress in every picture! Here's proof that she does have other clothing. Of course, September as a mother of small children means switching all of their clothing out for the winter. Claire and Maggie exclusively wear dresses and leggings, which makes things really simple. That's actually pretty much what I wear too, although it's kind of hard to find long-sleeved casual nursing-friendly dresses. So far, I ordered this one from ModCloth and got a navy cardigan from Target to layer over some of my short-sleeve dresses. Dresses are a little difficult to crawl in, so Betsy only wears them to church. I really like the onesies that Baby Gap calls "body doubles." They're onesies that look like shirts. Basically, they're really cute while still keeping her tummy covered. Oh, and when I had a credit and a coupon for Boden, I couldn't resist the world's cutest pair of overalls. 

Now it's October, the month of changing leaves, a field trip to the pumpkin patch, Halloween costumes, and that sweet little girl up above's third birthday. Hooray!