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Sabine shows off her new word.

A video posted by Sarah Belle (@belle30) on

Sunny Days = Dirty House



Weekly Cleaning Schedule

Up until this summer I did a damn good job keeping our apartment tidy but lately things started spinning out of control. Cat hair was collecting on the fan blades, the dishes were always dirty, Sabine’s toys were everywhere and the Professor’s drawers are only closed about 50% of the time (why can’t men close their drawers???). I blame the mess on three things:

  1. It’s too pretty out to clean. I am already feeling anxiety about the impending winter and can’t shake the urge to soak up every warm day until then.
  2. Sabine’s 3x a week physical therapy schedule is absolutely exhausting. Therapy is about 30 minutes away, so once we are out of the house I tend to stay out for they day. Adding to the temptation to stay outside is that therapy is in Westchester county, which is brimming with adventures and some moms who love to get out and play. Why not have a play date, Mama/Daughter adventure or run errands?
  3. Toddlers are infinitely messier than babies. Like, way messier. Like, pick up one room and find two have been exploded. Sabine’s ability to pull every single stuffed animal out is a force to be reckoned with.

Due of all of this our house was reaching a critical level of messy. Most of my Mama friends have a housekeeper at least once a month, if not more. I would LOVE to have someone help with the deep cleaning but right now we just don’t have the means so I needed to find another solution.

I have a tendency to try to clean everything in the house in one swoop and that just is not possible right now. With this in mind I started to look at cleaning schedules other moms have posted. I took a few of my favorites, made some tweaks to fit our family and cats, and put together one that is working pretty well.

Having the chart keeps me focused on a manageable amount of chores each day and not feel overwhelmed. Laundry aside, each day’s chores are easy enough to complete in an hour so even if everything other than bed making waits till after dinner it is not the end of the world.


I printed the chart and put it on the fridge, next to our weekly meal planner, the “where is the car” board (because when you street park and share a car you can sometimes “misplace” it) and our monthly appointment calendar. It looks so fancy and Pinterest-tastic up there, but in reality my life is far from a fabulous pin board and my house is never photo shoot ready. At least now when the neighbors drop by to chat or the super comes to inspect something my heart does not stop because good God there are tumbleweeds of cat hair blowing in the draft!

How do you keep your place tidy? Do you have a cleaning lady or do you tackle it all yourself? And if you DIY it, what is your method?

Sabine Says



There are few words in the English language that I just can’t stand. Very few. In fact, there are only three that come to mind, one of which is ointment. Yuck. Even when typed it looks disgusting. It’s just a gross word and I avoid it at all costs, preferring cream, gel or even salve. The Professor knows about these three words and will occasionally gleefully string them into one powerfully disgusting sentence. Thanks.

Sabine gets pretty bad diaper rash after sleeping all night in the same diaper. I’ve tried all kinds of natural products and treatments and none of them really keep it at bay. Instead, we use a little A&D salve before bed each night and it keeps the rash in check. If we skip a few nights it flares up again.

Sabine, the quick whippersnapper that she is, picked up on the fact that a bit of A&D before bed means that she is more comfortable because she recently started pointing wildly at her tooshie each night after bath. I would hold up the tube and ask, “Do you need medicine?” and she would say “yes.”

A few nights later she started to specifically request “medicine” instead of just pointing. I was proud of her knowing this word! What a great word: medicine!

One night the Professor was dressing her after bath and she requested “medicine.”

“You mean……. ointment? Can you say OINTMENT?”

Oh hell no. He so is not going to teach her that word. She so can’t handle that word. She was speech delayed so surely she can’t handle a word as gross and complex as “ointment!?”

And then I hear clear as a bell, in a sweet tiny Sabine voice, “OINTMENT!” And the Professor erupts in laughter and cheering.

Every night since she exclaims with great pride, “OINTMENT!” while getting dressed and I laugh because even a word as disturbing as ointment sounds a little less gnarly when coming from such an adorable little kid. Even if it is accompanied by her pointing to her tooshie!


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