Long time, no write

Woo Hoo!
For those of you who read ViP on a daily basis (or at least did, when I was making daily posts), firstly, thank you for your support! Secondly, my apologies for the weeks worth of disappointment you must have been feeling.  As it is prone to do, life happened.  For those of you with natural sympathetic natures, worry not.  Nothing untoward has befallen myself or the J family.  We actually were gearing up for a very happy occasion:  Baby J's first birthday! (Post all about it to come in the near future!)  Also, about the time I quit blogging, my Keurig was "broken."  Turned out it wasn't actually broken, but for some reason it was not brewing, and I left it be for several weeks assuming it was, in fact, broken.  Low and behold, on a whim, I decided to give it a try again, and BOOM!  Coffee returneth to my world!  Of course, now we're out of coffee... but a trip to the store will but that aright also!

As I longue in my chair, working on rejoining the blogging world, I would like to extend a personal thank you to B from Modern Day Juggler for telling me (often) how much she missed my blog.  This one is for you!

In a few weeks I will be coming up on the 4 month-iversary of becoming a "Domestic Diva" (that label provided to me by a good friend and former co-worker).  So I thought as my return post I would do another status update on my life, my self-inflicted rules, and my sanity!

As with any job or lifestyle, there are definite ups and downs to the homemaking world.  People often ask me if it's everything I imagined it would be or if it's harder than I thought it would be.  The answer to both is yes... and no...

My life and duties as a stay home parent and homemaker are pretty much what I anticipated they would be, but that doesn't necessarily make it easy.  I had anticipated certain challenges to accompany the lifestyle, but expecting something is not the same thing as experiencing it.  Don't get me wrong!  I love my life, I love being here for my husband and son (let's be honest, they'd be lost without me!), but the day to day can get just as wearing as the office 9 to 5 grind.  

As I have mentioned before, I don't get to clock out at the end of the day, I don't get lunch breaks or weekends off.  My best fantasy right now is simply sleeping in on a Saturday!  I desperately envy Mr. J's ability to sleep through almost anything.  There are days I miss the challenge of a tricky project at the office or the companionship of co-workers.

Yes, the sacrifices they are many, but if I take a brief moment and remember what I would be missing instead if I was at work:  Baby learning to crawl, lunches with both my men folk, stroller walks...  The sacrifices are worth the time we gain as a family.

So how are the Guidelines working out?  As with all guidelines, they have hits and misses.  While our daily schedule is more or less the same every day, the weekly cleaning schedule has become much more organic and on an "as needed" basis (i.e. I clean my kitchen floors 3-4 times a day (Baby J is a self-feeder!) while our bedroom gets a tiding once every other week or more).

I have remained fastidious in my goal to be showered and dressed daily.  I find I feel all kinds of yucky if I don't get my cleanliness on, even on previously sacred Saturdays!  

As for the house cleaning... Our house is lived in.  Sometimes there are dishes in the  sink or piles of laundry on the floor, but, for the most part, it remains presentable.  One part of my original point in that particular guideline is undeniably true however:  Any day I decide to let something slide, I feel less and less inclined to do it the next day or the day after, etc.  So!  Keeping up with the little things does make a difference in the long run!

The TV does stay off most of the day, everyday, though I have begun making an exception for about a half hour or so of Sesame Street (on Netflix!) after supper time for the little guy while he chills with his bottle (though soon it will be strictly sippy cup) and I clean up the supper disaster he has left on my floor.  Once in a great, great while I'll put on some kiddy movie if he's not feeling well or is especially tired that day and we'll just snuggle on the couch, but in both circumstances, the tube keeps his attention for only about five minutes at a time.

Saturdays are definitely the best day to do nothing with the whole family.  Though we often have events or even errands that need to be done that day, we do our best to make them as relaxed as possible.

I cherish my alone time with Mr. J.  Every night after Baby goes to bed, I clean up his toys, have some mommy decompress time and sometimes even get in a quick nap before the mister makes it back from work.  Then he snacks on something while we chat, have a drink if the mood moves us, and play a card game or something equally sociable and relaxing.  (Currently we're on a Canasta kick!)  I can not stress enough how much this helps us stay strong as a couple.  We're not doing anything fancy or strenuous, we're just simply taking the time to relax with one another, share our days, and reaffirm that we really do like one another!

Being active and getting out of the house and about the world are two of the things I struggle most with.  Having a crawler who gets into eeeeeverything can limit some of the places or things that are appropriate to do.  That in conjunction with the fact that we are a one car family (which Mr. J takes to work morning and evening) makes it a bit difficult to go and do all the things I dreamed of doing.  Some day soon, we'll figure something out as a more permanent fix, but until then I make do with walks with the stroller around our yard, etc. for some outside activity that's enjoyable for us both!

I will be the first to admit I'm not as good as I should be about taking that necessary "me time," but I have been organizing monthly "Mommies' Night Outs" and Mr. J does his part while he's home in the afternoon, even if it's just a ten minute break to go out to the garden and pick lettuce!

Through all the ins and outs, adjustments and sacrifices, and the joys (oh the joys!) of taking on this new lifestyle, I think that I have discovered more about myself than I had ever expected to.  Some things that I already knew (like I like to craft or I am very patient) have been amplified in my awareness, while other things (like actually enjoying alone time(I've always been a huge people-person!)) have sprung up unexpectedly!

Overall (and just writing this post has really helped me clarify this in my own mind) I love my life.  I am happy with my new challenges and the satisfaction I find in making our world a little brighter in the J household!