Thursday, December 29, 2011

Fragmented

That's my state of mind. So this might not be the best time to write but I've been ghastly at keeping in touch with my fellow blog writers these days so not sure who's paying attention anyway. Just a little warning, this will be extremely fragmented but I have a free hour and feel the need to wrap up this month in some way because it is after all, the 29th!

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Today Sam turned 17mo old, and his toddler bed arrived. He will spend his first night in the toddler bed. Oh the celebrations we had getting in and out of bed and reading first book on bed. I demanded husband get the safety gate out of the garage, you know the one that keeps them safely tucked in like they are still in a crib because I literally cannot sleep thinking he will roll out, even though it's only a one foot drop. Husband disagrees and thinks the boy needs to just learn to stay in bed. I win.

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I'm 25 weeks pregnant tomorrow. In my doctor's appt. yesterday I learned that I've gained 9lbs in 7 weeks. See, that's what holiday's and only the occasionally pre-natal yoga class will do for you! This coming from a women who in prior pregnancies walked 3 miles a day and gained a modest 25lbs per pregnancy. What has happened?

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Today I said goodbye to a dear friend at work who's moving on to something better so I really can't be too sad, I'm just sad she won't be there every day to talk to. Now I'm stuck with three rowdy guys, oh wait, I know there is a silver lining here somewhere? I'm joking, honestly they are all great guys, I just miss having a girl friend around every day.

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I made lasagna tonight. Why do I continue to trick myself into thinking I can do it like really fast, in 30 minutes. I'd like to establish right now that it takes a full hour to assemble, and that's even with pre-made sauce and pre-cooked sausage and pre-cut onions. One.Full.Hour. So when coming home from work at 6 and already hungry, just remember, it takes one hour to assemble and 45 minutes to cook so you will be eating at 7:45 - but it will be so worth it.
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I've given up on grocery shopping. Even without the kids I come home exhausted. So now I will make elaborate lists for husband, with contingency notes like "cottage cheese must be Breakstone's 4% small curd or put it back and don't even think about substituting store brand"! I just have to be very detailed and I'll get accurate results.

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Back to the baby update, nothing to report except that I missed a spinal something test. No one called me to say I needed it and now it's too late. Oh yeah, and I need to call the perinatal center back for a follow up ultrasound in two weeks because my doctor told me to. By then I'll be 27 weeks, a good time to get caught up on babies weight and development.

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I had a freak accident at work when I tried rebuilding my Mac Entourage email program and accidentally moved everything to my desktop and off the company server. Mind you I've worked with Mac's for 11 years and have done this like once a year and never had a problem. Soooo, in the process of tech guy moving everything back to the server, I randomly lost phone contacts and appointments. It's been a strange week of discovering who's missing in the phone and what appointments I need to show up for. My husband's been saying for years that we need to have a paper back-up of all our contacts and I scoffed, but honey, they are backed up at the trusty work SERVER!!! Well, he wins this round.
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So I guess we are 1/1 and at least he gets lasagna for dinner. A well deserved meal for putting Sam's bed together and washing the dog all in one night.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Working Mommy Wednesday

Welcome to the last week of Welcome Mommy Wednesday for 2011. Today's prompts are:

1. Highlight your best post of 2011!

2. Name the most important thing you've accomplished in 2011.

3. Name the one thing you are thrilled to leave behind in 2011.

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Things I'm thrilled to leave behind in 2011:

1. Small Jewels - our daughter is obsessed with small jewels and it drives us crazy because she constantly drops them in the lawn or house. We really hope she drops this obsession!

2. Pregnancy - okay I can leave half of it behind! Now up to 24 weeks.

3. Baking - well at least the cookies part, husband has declared I'm on my own if I bake any more cookies.

4. Clutter - oh how I long to have a clutter free home! Someone please visit and take whatever you fancy (except the Christmas gifts of course).

Only four things? Well that's all I can think of right now! Looking forward to catching up with everyone this week, please link below.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Boxing Day for the workoholic

I LOVE this day!

At first I was kinda dreading it. Of an office with 9, only 2 are present today and I'm one them. What? I have to go to work with just one other person? My entire client base AND Hong Kong office is on vacation. Come on!!!

But I have never felt so productive! No distractions, I can choose silence or blasting my favorite music. Lunch at my desk. Quick jaunt out to get new tires on my car, back in 15 minutes. This is turning out to be a really cool day!

Maybe the quiet time is cathartic after a weekend of squealing, hyper kids maxed out on sugar? Yes, that's what it is. Quiet time. I love this!!!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

I really feel for single mom's

On Friday's and Saturday's I get a little taste of what it might be like to be a single mom. Husband works these two days in retail. Over the month of December he works extended hours which means leaving on Friday from 2-12am and then 7am-5pm on Saturday. This means I do all his night time chores along with getting the kids to bed by myself and up again on Saturday. It's alot of work!!!

Last night they had hot dogs for dinner, anything more elaborate would likely create tons of mayhem and I've learned to not make any noise while they nap so I can't get an early start.

I got Sam to bed first at 8pm because if I do them both together, Charlotte does things she does not do when both parents are present such as talking excessively, banging feet and keeping Sam awake. So she gets to sit on the couch and watch "Shaun the Sheep" while I get Sam to sleep. Then she wants a bath, which is actually fine because putting them both in the bath together by myself has become a series of difficult steps I'm no longer willing to do while pregnant - think dragging almost 30lb wet boy in and out of tub and monitoring water battles. So we do Charlotte's bath solo, put her in pajamas which she promptly covers in toothpaste, change pajamas and get her to bed by 9:15! Ah, so much for an evening to myself.

Finish dishes, let dog out, feed cats, read for 15 minutes and sleep.

Saturday morning husband wakes me to say goodbye at 7am, I must have forgotten to set alarm because I meant to wake up and make his coffee. Get up, load laundry, walk dog and take out trash. Come back get shower and get kids up. By 8am Sam has bit Charlotte on the head before I can manage to get breakfast out.

9:13 - both are fed but I can't find Charlotte's shoes - the only pair she will wear and Sam is creating more havoc! So I'm signing off to find shoes and get these kids OUTSIDE TO PLAY!!!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Charlotte

I came home from work tonight to find my little girl watching "A Christmas Carol". Her brother bounced off me a few times and bounded around the room while husband made dinner. Charlotte was quiet. I marveled at her attention span for such a serious movie. As dinner was served, I realized she had a fever so husband took her to the bedroom for some medicine and temperature while I served Sam a grand dish of bean and ham soup. We finish and he's taken to bed by dad while I resume the movie with Charlotte. We let her stay up late and she gets to eat blackberries for dinner. By movies end she's feeling better. I guess an extra hour up with mom and dad with special treatment will do that because she assured me she was all better. Lots of "I love you's" hugs and kisses. Some days my little girl can be so sweet.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Dig Deeper

Jill would be 30 this year, if she had not died from a drug overdose 2 years ago today. I found out about her death a year after it happened, because I was an absent friend.

Jill's death changed me in a profound way. I learned to dig deeper into the lives of those actively participating within my orbit. In this past year I've tried to push beyond my quiet introverted self to be more involved in my friends lives and I can honestly say I'm a happier person.

Phone calls, text messages, Facebook, in person get-together with girl friends from high school - all priceless moments in this year.

In addition, I've tried to reach into my blog community for those in need or just looking for encouragement. I hope I've made an impact in your lives, you certainly have in mine.

I'm still a work in progress as I learn to dig deeper. I hope to never again go a year without calling a friend back.

Working Mommy Wednesday

Welcome to another week of Working Mommy Wednesday! This week's topics are:

1. What "Christmas activity" did you over commit to this year?
2. Do you find yourself more organized at work or at home?

#1
I find it so easy to over-commit during the Christmas season, but the momentum is built in the prior months. First we have Halloween and Pumpkin patches in October, then Thanksgiving in November and finally Christmas! It's three months of changing decorations, seasonal movies, non-stopping planning of activities and baking!

I have noticed Twitter is blazing with blog posts full of advise on how to not over-do it this season. My personal favorite was written by a dear bloggy friend, The Poorganic Life, who advises to not be a "Charity Slut" this year. It's particularly funny because I know this person already gives far more to charity then the average bird so for her to write this was hilarious.

So where did I over do it this year?

Baking.

I have lost track on how many pumpkins I've cooked and pureed. Well over 10, the last tragic act was dumping an entire pan of pumpkin muffins upside down into the oven. Wouldn't you know it was the last pumpkin available to me of the season! How will I go on?

I have baked 11.5 dozen chocolate chip cookies, 10.5 dozen peanut butter cookies, 4-5 dozen muffins, 1 sheet of tiger butter, 2 sheets of Christmas bark, 1 banana bread and 1/2 dozen of apple/cherry turnovers which may be the best thing I've ever made!

I'm done.

I have shipped out packages to 8 friends and family and I'm incredibly sorry if you were not included on the list. Honestly I had planned on sending more but I ran out of time and energy and I think my husband might be tired of cleaning up after me, or at least of cleaning up after the entire house I've ignored. My kids might also be a little tired of the intense attention my kitchen has received and my bills are lagging.

So I bid you goodbye dear kitchen. I must return to a normal life!

I'm looking forward to your stories. Please link up below and I'll be sure and stop by your bloggy pad later this week.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Random Tuesday



Hi random Tuesday, I've been absent for a few weeks. Sorry about that. I've been baking cookies for two weekends straight and working with a few bloggy friends on some exciting projects.

Oh did you notice the Fall boarder is STILL UP? Yeah, I've been THAT busy! Oh well, at least the colors are pretty and calming. I promise to put winter up before January hits.

Christmas season with the kids has been fun. We put our tree up on a trunk (like Stacy), great minds think alike! It keeps the ornaments out of kids way. Another friend put a gate around their tree. I love how innovative parents have to be to keep kids away from ornaments!

Random image of sibling love


Have a great Tuesday!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

My little girl takes care of me

When my kids are accommodating I will pack in as much as possible. Today began with us leaving the house by 9:35am, a record with two small ones under four. We started at Old Time Pottery where I bought six tins for $1.22 each - is that phenomenal or what! Charlotte enjoyed ooohing and ahhing over all the Christmas decorations.

We moved onto our church thrift store where the kids ran wild as I tried to check prices on bunk beds and realized that Charlotte is afraid of heights, maybe we won't be going this route after all.

Third stop, Costco - on a Saturday. Packed store at 11:30 with hungry kids. My imagination says we can be in and out in 30 minutes. Reality is 1.5 hours! Well we did stop at every food station, Charlotte and Sam have become little foodies, wanting to try everything! Even fish spread on crackers! If I tried half this stuff at home it would be soundly rejected. But the allure of Costco vendors is impossible to resist. There is Christmas bark, brownies, brie with hot pepper raspberry sauce on crackers, Pillsbury crescents with spinach dip inside, roasted deli chicken on a toothpick, special juices and on and on. Oh the wonders of Costco! Thankfully I have the sense to know they will not eat these things at home so I stay on budget. Somehow we manage to weave through the masses and collect our goods. Stopping briefly so Charlotte can play a piano and play inside a kids kitchen that is a stunning replica of a real kitchen! We finally make our way to the front and stop for pizza and hotdogs before leaving.

Home by 2, Sam in crib by 2:30 - is it any wonder I was completely exhausted in my 22nd week of pregnancy. I put a movie on for Charlotte and laid down for 10 minutes to rest my eyes. She came in after 10 minutes, removed my socks and covered me with a blanket. All the while telling me to stay asleep. It was so cute. She took "care" of me! She came back in 30 minutes and told me I needed to keep sleeping. So I did! I must have really needed it.

These things are impossible to plan, these little moments in life just happen unexpectedly and yet so perfectly.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Adventures in Baking!

Year 2 of marathon baking cookies, candy and muffins for friends and family as gifts. I've got a few tips to share after baking 11.5 dozen cookies, 2 dozen muffins and 1 sheet of candy (so far).

Christmas Tins:
* Before Black Friday, Big Lots had an entire aisle of tins $3.00 each!
* Old Time Pottery has same priced tins at this time, I'm going out for 6 more this weekend with a 15% off coupon.

Ingredients:
* Buy bulk at Costco, my happiest day was finding a giant bottle of vanilla at Costco for the same price as one 1/4 of it's size in the regular grocery store.
* Don't use specialty ingredients on Friends and Family. Just go with good old white flour, even if your little family is on board with white wheat or regular wheat, snacks just taste better with white flour.

Timing:
* Don't assume your three year old has any interest in helping except to eat the batter and beg for more. She will say "but I HAVE to eat more!" Such drama!
* Just do everything after they go to bed! Or while another adult is supervising, although even a barrier in front of the kitchen will not stop the most determined child from getting through and seeing what his mama is up to.

Equipment:
* Buy a cookie scoop, it will change your life! No more sticky fingers scraping cookie dough from a spoon. AND your cookies will finally come out in the quantity the recipe states! Seriously I don't know how I lived before the cookie scoop!

Know when to quit:
* I just had to do that last pan of muffins at 9:45pm! I forgot the sugar topping and not seeing a pot holder nearby, reached in to pull the pans out bare handed! It worked for the 1st pan but the second was hotter and I dropped it! Upside down into the oven!!! Requiring us to turn off oven and spend a half hour cleaning!!! Pumpkin muffins that I had just lovingly pureed that morning and let drain all day just for this purpose! I was devastated to say the least.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

2011 Christmas Card!

Photo Card
View the entire collection of cards.

Working Mommy Wednesday

Hi Ladies, welcome back to another week of Working Mommy Wednesday. I'm sure you are all busy with getting ready for the holiday's, I sure am! Here are the posts for this week:

1. Every January we get the question, what are your New Year's Resolutions. Well before that hits, let's take a minute to reflect on the goals we had for this year and what was a success or non-success! This can be work or home related.

2. What toys (gifts) are on your hot list for the kids?

TOYS
Oooh what's the toy designer going to get for her kids??? I know you are breathless to find out. Actually my attitude towards toys and my kids is surprisingly casual. I like to watch their interest in a particular subject and then encourage that activity. A few examples:

Sam - is into lots of noise, he's loves maraca's and drums so I settled on the First Act Disney Acoustic guitar for $18.88 at Walmart. He also loves balloons so I might just fill a box with balloons for him. Can you imagine, a big wrapped box filled with balloons for a 1 year old???

Charlotte - got a matching guitar because if she see's Sam with one she will be green with envy and they do a really pretty one for girls. However, she's proving a little more challenging to shop for because she changes her mind every day on what is cool. Tonight before bed, she asked for a purple present for Christmas. That could be anything! Recently at Target she fell in love with some red sparkly shoes so I'll probably go back and get those. And she loves her shirts covered in sparkly things so I thought a bedazzler might be a good idea but husband totally nixed the idea - I think it's because he doesn't want to be caught doing the bedazzling. She loves Squinkies but we had to ban them because Sam kept putting them in his mouth. She believes her collection is resting safe in Texas with Mema, she said so tonight, six months after visiting Texas. Good memory little girl!

That's my list so far! I'm looking forward to your posts. Link up below and I'll stop by your bloggy pad some time this week!