Tuesday, February 05, 2013

So remember you all said sending the kids to school would be good?

Well, you lied!

It was a GREAT idea.

But not for the reasons you may think.

It's because I have a clean house once again and it thrills my heart.

When I discussed on the blog the whole full day vs half day thing, paying for a full day would be cheaper because half day I pay for the kids' school plus Nanny S.

My friend Caren totally embraces her love of a clean house :) and said she cannot survive with a dirty house because then she's just miserable.

So yes, we crunched numbers, I had many chats with Nanny S and she was very happy to clean the house in the mornings and look after my babies in the afternoons.

Our current routine:

(to be honest I'm not sure what happens here before 7 because that's when I wake up to the house of crazy) what time do you wake up?

Kendra is usually prancing around playing with clothes, hair, etc. (very unlike me!) and Connor is wailing about something or another - the flip flops are not the right ones, the colour of the t-shirt is offensive, Daddy has to do something instead of him, etc.

D dropped the kids off all except 1 day. The day of these pics.

This week he's been taking Nanny S with him so that he can literally drop them at 7:30 and go. Nanny S goes in, settles them and then walks back.

The school is 1 km from our house so it doesn't take long.

When she gets back, she cleans until about 12.15 (sometime during that time she also takes her lunch break) and then goes to fetch them at 12:30.

Our school fines us R150 per hour or part thereof (obviously they just really want you to be on time) so I've drilled it into her that she cannot, under any circumstances, be late. She has never been late to work, not once, and is usually 5 minutes early, sometimes 10.

I tested this walking thing for a few days but all 3 assured me that they don't need her to push the pram there so they can have a rest walking back (we're not babies, as Connor says) and so our twin pram is for sale.

The food situation:

The kids have breakfast at school and also a mid-morning snack that the school provides so I pack nothing - isn't that great?! The school also doesn't allow anything sweet which of course, suits me perfectly.

They eat lunch at home. This is my choice because I'm a control freak about the food. My kids have always been fantastic eaters and I'm going to keep that going for as long as I can (til they're 7? :))

After lunch they nap, sometimes very reluctantly but most days they do still nap.

And then play, bath, eat supper and I arrive home at 5:30 to sweet-smelling babies.

It's bliss.

one baby checking if I'm still there

Nanny S is a machine. I don't know how she works as fast and as well as she does.

I do weekly planning as those who read my organising blog will know.

So on a Sunday I write her a list of things I specifically want done that week. I menu plan weekly too so I'll put down to do food prep too, like peel and chop carrots, onions, potatoes, make rice, etc, etc. This is all besides the normal house cleaning and laundry.

Do you know both Mondays I've arrived home to find about 70% of the things done already?!

It's a miracle!

And she only has 3 hours in the mornings. I told her I want her WITH the kids physically when they're awake because if you turn your back on them for 1 minute, they've cut up their slippers (true! the scissors were confiscated for a whole week) or drawn on themselves or my walls (fortunately with washable markers). I made them clean my walls themselves and only "allowed" nanny S to get the last bits off.

If she needs to heat their supper or do the lunch dishes, we have "kitchen activities" so the kids are at the table in plain sight :)

I've made checklists but really all she has to do with the school bags is empty it of school notices (!), remove sweatshirts to check if they've been used and are dirty. They haven't had to use their spare set of clothes yet.

All that to say school has been excellent for my house. It was always (mostly) clutter-free and organised but now it is sparkly clean too :)

and now the other baby

I'm very glad we chose the nearer school which incidentally was always the most organised of the bunch. The principal is highly responsive on email and I have no problems at all.

The kids have not cried once and Kendra has stopped telling me she wants to be in Connor's class.

On a scale of 1 - 10, how much do you love a clean house or does it not bother you? I'm a 9. Although I can stand a bit of dirt first but I can't stand disorder.


  1. I/we wake up at 6.50am .... I wake the kids at 7, then head down to make the packed lunches.

    Sounds like you already have everyone in a great routine.

    Clean house?.... it is clean but not exactly clutter free! You probably would not approve! :)

  2. Anonymous12:48 am

    That all sounds blissful! So glad it's working out and sounds like everyone's happy. Adorable photos too!

    Heather (in Scotland)

  3. See this all sounds blissful but then I remember there is no nanny here. I'd be the one running around like a chicken with my head cut off in the mornings but it might be worth it for a clean house and a chance to walk the dogs without interruption!

  4. I wake up at 4:30 every morning...have coffee in silence, wake up my B to take dogs for a walk and then I make lunch for work(weighless is a mission) and breakfast. I then wake Jadakins up, get dress and we leave home at 6:40. Her creche is about 1.6 kms from home. We have her there until 2pm and then Mamma Lizzy goes to fetch her....works well for us

  5. Anonymous8:08 am

    I wake up anywhere between 4:30 and 5:30 depending on if I'm exercising in the morning and what time I need to be at work (normally 6:50 so I will leave the house at 6:20ish), so only waking up at 7 sounds heavenly to me...

    I love (love love) to have a clean house, but I do not have enough hours in the week to keep it sparkling clean like I want to. And our maid only come once every 2 weeks (all we can afford right now), so our house ends up clean-ish and reasonably tidy 90% of the time.

  6. I love, love, love a clean home and with my nanny it's also a pleasure that the home is clean when I get home in the afternoons. I am super spoiled though. So I don't mind paying her though. I'm glad you're so happy with the kids attending school and with your nanny. Doesn't it just make us mommy's more happier?

  7. It depends on whether I am cycling/running in the mornings or not. If I am then I wake at 4. If not then at about 6. I also love a clean, clutter free house and am VERY thankful that I have a nanny to do this. If it were left to me I don't think it would happen. When I got home on Monday night and it was spotless I wanted to phone my nanny up and thank her. The weekend had not been kind.

  8. Oh I l;ove a clean house but honestly, I have too much clutter in order for L to clean it as I want it. SO I need to get my act together.

    Sound like you have everything in tip top shape.
    ( I can not believe you get up at 7! Byt hat time we are almost out of the house!)

  9. Davids alarm normally goes off between 5 and 5h30 so I am up then but often only get out of bed at 6 and we leave by 7h00.

    I am anal about my kitchen - it has to be clean constantly. The rest I can handle a little clutter/disorder and dirt. Currently I do a deep clean on a monday and then sweep tues and thurs with a vacuum and washing floors, wiping bathrooms etc on a wed and fri. It works for us because I only have Jack in the house until the big kids get home - which is 16h00 earliest and 18h30 latest - so it stays pretty clean and tidy :)

  10. Of course I love a clean house! Though I am OK with a bit of disorder as long as it doesn't become overwhelming.
    Both my kids schools don't allow ANY sweets either. Child2's school doesn't even want party packs on birthdays. You just send a cake and they sing and share. I LOVE it!

  11. Love the first picture and the ones of each baby looking back (almost like checking that mummy is still there)

    Clean house = happier me.

    On a scale of 1 to 10, I would say 20 (LOL)

    Ps: Are the babies telling you more about school now?

  12. I'm so glad it's going so well...for them, and for you!! I so wish we could get a housekeeper at least once a week or so. At various times, I thought we would fit it in the budget, but it hasn't happened yet. I enjoy a clean house, but I hate cleaning, so the house is usually not in very good shape! : )

  13. I've been thinking about this post since you wrote it...I'm so glad -- on ALL accounts! -- that school is going so well for all of you! :) :)

    I wish I could say that my house is more organized since the girls started school, but it hasn't changed much. But...I will say I generally feel a little more relaxed with having a few hours to myself each week. I try to hold myself to a mix of relaxation (tea / bookstore / pedicure) with responsibilities (volunteering / running errands / cleaning), but it's easy in the ~5 hours I have each week for those to get off-balance.

    I will say I felt so out of whack last week with the girls not being in school (since they were sick). Yesterday was the first time in two weeks I'd been out by myself, and it was blissful! Even if I was running errands, I needed that!!! And I resisted the urge to complete all my errands, came home, and CRAFTED for an hour! Squee!!!

    On a school note (going back to a post you wrote a week or so ago), our girls bring home all sorts of things every day, too. I have a binder for all the newsletters / weekly plans. I file those away quickly. Then, for all their artwork, I bought each of them a nice plastic bin, maybe 10"x14". We sometimes display some of their artwork for a week or so, and then it all gets put away in the box. My thinking is that we'll go through at the end of the year and pick the 10 pieces (or whatever) that we want to keep. That way we can choose from the best of the best, and we don't have to make any short-term decisions about something they really love.

  14. My house is never clean or orderly. Well it's not DIRTY, it's just messy and completely disorganized. Chaos everywhere.


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