On any given day, I have roughly two hours to myself. And by "to myself" I mean "to get stuff done." After I toss in a load of laundry, straighten up the house, do a mental check on dinner, make phone calls, do dishes, check my email, and take a deep breath, I've really got about ten minutes to myself, for myself.
There are days, though, when I boldly shirk my housekeeping obligations (read: obsessions) in favor of something much more thrilling: projects!
Here's what you can get done in just under two hours...
Day one: Paint the ceiling. You can leave the ceiling white, but it's so much more fun (and elegant!) if it actually matches your walls. Paint it first and you won't have to be super careful near the edges. If you move quickly, you can get two coats on before being called back to duty. Be warned, though--if you paint a ceiling that quickly, you may or may not be able to actually lift your child afterward, as your arms will be incapacitated from the brutal pop-quiz of a workout.
Day two: Torture your arms even more by going back to touch up the edges and corners where the ceiling meets the walls. It's okay if you wait 4-6 or 6-8 weeks to get to this step. Wait three months, if you like. When the lights are out at night and you can't sleep, the unpainted cut-ins will whisper sweet horribles in your deliriously tired ears and, since the unfinished work is the first thing your bleary, unrested eyes will see in the morning, you feel soundly defeated before you even get out of bed to face the day.
Or something like that.
Day three: Tape and paint the cut-ins. Taping is boring, but necessary, unless you're a trained professional with a ridiculously steady hand. And again, you can wait several weeks to make it to this step. Because an accomplishment isn't really an accomplishment unless you've been tortured by its unfinished state for weeks, right?
Day four: Mutter under your breath about not wasting time checking your email and goofing off online while you finish the cut-ins that should have only taken a day.
Day five: Empty the room while your youngster is still awake. This might seem daunting, but kids love to see their parents lift heavy things. They also love dust bunnies, stray socks, getting in the way, toys that have vanished under furniture, and teamwork. Get everything ready and, the moment that little tax credits' head hits the tiny hay, paint like you've never painted before. Open a window and go for it. Swear openly--the baby is sleeping!
You'll get two coats on faster than you would have thought and your arms will, once again, be extremely angry with you.
Silly arms. You think they'd be used to this type of abuse by now.
Day six: Put your room back together. This can be done while the wee one is awake.
Revel in the greatness of Rodda Paint's Horizon Interior Low-VOC paint and the precision with which they've color matched Benjamin Moore's Hathaway Gold.
Later on day six, begin wringing your hands and grumbling about crown moulding. Fret about the rugs, as well. The rugs! The rugs! We're going to need new rugs!
Day seven and beyond: Show off your hard work to everyone who walks through the door. Make sure you tell them you did it while the baby slept. They'll be very impressed. And they should be. You're amazing.