Saturday, July 31, 2010

No Picture Unfortunately But I'll Take One

of my sweet little Bugs.

This summer has brought such unexpected changes in her. She's six now. And when I think that her next birthday brings 7, my heart literally breaks.

I look into her face now and over the past few weeks, I've noticed that it has less baby fat on it, her features are more defined, bigger...idk, older I think. She just looks older!

Sitting on the couch with The Marshmallow tonight, her long legs hung over the edge and she just seemed all limbs and grown-upness. Where did it come from all of the sudden, when I wasn't paying attention?

I just watched her because I could and it didn't embarrass her because she was watching TV and didn't know it. She gets so embarrassed easily anymore and she doesn't like me to look into her eyes. She gets all bashful.

I held onto her tonight after we read books and she got ready to snuggle down for sleep. And while her back was turned to snuggle into me, I started to cry. I wouldn't let her see me because she's so tender, she'd start to cry too and be confused because she wouldn't understand why she was, let alone why I was. But I'm sad because well, any of you moms know why. I don't need to explain.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

What I Have Planned for My Weekend

Sitting here contemplating my post, I happened to notice my wonderfully inspired header that talks about how blogging is the act of de-cluttering my mind. I should take advantage of that more often because honestly right now, my brain is so full it's turned to mush.

I just got home from work and I literally have turned work OFF. They are still texting and emailing me but it's like I have dissaperated from the you like how I am now using Harry Potter terms that didn't exist until those books were created but I'm sure will now be listed in the newest dictionary.

But while my work brain is temporarily out-of-order, my creative juices have begun to flow again and it's like chi the way it flows through me and brings me out of my work funk. Here's what I have planned for the next four days.

I'm redecorating Bug's room. She's out grown the cute Raggedy Ann room I did when she was 3. It seems just yesterday I combed the wallpaper stores in search of a Raggedy Ann border, painted the walls, applied appliques, painted shelves and sewed her Raggedy Ann rag quilt. We pulled it all down the other night, cleaned out all the toys for a blank slate. It now sits awaiting primer. So I'll be painting this weekend. We're doing pinks, purples, whites, flowers, unicorns, butterflies, princesses. You get the idea. The essence of six year old girldome. I'm having a feeling it will be my happy place too but then I'm 6 at heart.

I'm also finally going to put together a chore chart I've been contemplating for a few months. I've got a huge magnet board, magnet boxes and tins, heart stones to make into magnets and loads of vinyl letters that need attached to indicate what chores, allowance, and behaviors are being tracked. I'm dying to see how this is going to turn out.

I bought a couple yards of some really cute knit material the other day and am planning on turning them into some babydoll nightgowns and shirts for my girls. They'll have peasant necklines and sleeves but fall in more of a babydoll shape. I have no pattern - just going to figure it out as I go and hopefully they turn out. I haven't sewn anything well since...yesterday...but before that not since I utterly destroyed the little romper I was so excited to make for Bugs. It deflated me a little when she turned out looking like a clown.

Hmm. Seems like there was one more thing I was looking forward to starting this weekend but it escapes me - perhaps that particular creative juice leaked out my ear.

On an entirely different note, if stopping at a lemonade stand isn't on your bucket list, you need to reconsider your priorities. That dollar is the best one ever spent.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Jumbled Thoughts

Today was a virtual whirlwind. I'm not sure I love days like that but it seems like more and more that's how my days "off" go. And to even have to say I have days "off" irks me because I wish all days were "off".

My friend Mandy had her second baby yesterday and I promised her I'd make her a carrier cover but her delivery day snuck up on me and before I knew it, the baby was here and I hadn't even picked out fabric yet! Off to the fabric store last night. I barely finished it in time today to take it to her this evening but at least I was able to deliver it to her before she checked out of the hospital to go home. What a sweet baby - so precious!

Somehow I also managed to get most of my laundry done, a healthy meal cooked for dinner, children cleaned, fed and amused all day and of course loads of work-related items finished. Blech.

And as I sat there with that sweet baby in my arms tonight I thought how 17 months ago I sat there with my brand new baby, and life was so much simpler then. At the time I hadn't any intention of returning to work and didn't mind that we were broke. All that was good was in my arms, or sitting beside me. I remembered that tonight. I wonder if I had the opportunity to completely stay home 100% of the time, would I succumb to The Marshmallow's pesterings and have yet one more child. I wonder.

To consider having another child means to put much of our financial planning on the back burner. It's difficult for me to let that get too far away from me - it's taken such a long time for me to gain control over our financial chaos. Not to say that a child wouldn't be worth it but for the first time in such a long time, I'm feeling peace about most aspects in my life and another child would surely upend everything.

I'm not ready to think about this. The end.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Papers Organized

If you're anything like me, you are surrounded by a ton of papers. Anything from receipts, to kids' school papers, to letters, pictures and old magazine clippings. They cause me a lot of angst because you get one stack organized and within a week, there's another whole pile to go through again. It's maddening!

I've been looking at personal scanners for a few months though because I am thinking this may be a good system for me. But it has to be fast...and easy because with all of the papers that need organized, I don't want it to take longer to scan them all than it would be to file them all. So the software has to be pretty user friendly and basic. I also want it to be small and one that doesn't need to be opened and closed each paper - it needs to feed.

Well I think I finally found a good one and even better, they have a 30 day trial on this one called NeatReceipts. I'm so excited to get it. Maybe I'll finally get my arms around my biggest organizing dilemma. I'll let you know how I like it!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Yard Sales Are Good Things,

I've decided. What's not to love?

I cleaned out many rooms including the dreaded storage room and made an incredibly huge pile of stuff that was out the door. After the yard sale, the pile was greatly reduced. I loaded the rest of what I could part with into the truck and we dropped it at the thrift store. The few things that I couldn't see donating were brought back in and they totaled about 10 items. I probably could have held on to all of that stuff that didn't sell but I couldn't wrap my head around hauling it all back in and putting it back into the cleaned out areas.

I paid Bugs $2/hr to hang out and help me with the yard sale so I wouldn't have to sit out there in the hot sun...bored...all by myself. We played Candyland and talked and had a pretty good time. With the few things that The Marshmallow donated to her cause, I believe she actually made more money than I did. But considering the fact that the Saturday morning otherwise would have been spent in an some other useless occupation, I was glad to spend it de-cluttering my house and making a few bucks while I was at it.

I think I put about 6 hours total into preparation and 5 hours during the sale. By the hour, I got screwed but it overall, it was a win/win. I will definitely do it again.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Before I Forget

You know how people always tell you how children from the same parents can be so totally different? I never put much thought into this until I had two. My word!

Bugs took this pic of Tink and me this morning as we were lounging around after getting up late (had to explain the "death warmed over" look) It personifies all that is different between these two girls. Bugs would have, even at Tink's age, posed with a big cheesy grin on her face while she cuddled up to me and immersed herself in the pleasure of being squeezed. Tink can only behave as if the world is crashing down around her.

But then, I sit here as the day winds down and the only one around me is Tink. She goes about her busy business and I want to drink in her essence. Again, it's totally different from Bugs and perhaps that's why I'm so totally enamored of it - it's all new.

She's all soft, pudgy lines...squishy with pink heels from running. She has tree monkey feet that are always a little sticky and can help pull her onto virtually any surface. She's fuzzy, this new hair coming in and her mouth and hands are always a little wet from drool so kisses, though extremely rare, are slobbery and always a little breathy. She's furtive in her movements as she tries to maintain her balance in a dead run. She's soft on every part of her body and her squinty little eyes make her look like she just woke up no matter what time it is. She is much like holding a big water balloon that can't be contained in one armful, always spilling over the sides but the soft, squishy gives with a little pressure wherever you hold it. She's loud and often grouchy and has perfected the fake distress signs. I say, "Who's a pretty little girl?" and she says "Cole".

I wish there was an eu 'd cole just like I wished there was a eu 'd alalie.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Nice Fat Weight Off My Shoulders

Ahhhhh. I suppose I could feel lighter, like if I quit ALL of my jobs, but tonight I could have wings. I quit my job at the hospital and I feel wonderful. Not that I didn't love the job, because I do but it was just one more thing on top of a million other things that I needed to do. My performance there wasn't what I wanted it to be anymore and it was just more time away from my family.

So I sent in my resignation this evening and I'm a little sad because I've worked there for 4 years, but it feels good too - like now my weekends will be totally mine again and no more wondering if I"m going to be called in or do I need to work tonight or not... freedom. Ahhh.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

One Day At A Time

It's been about six months since I enlisted the big overhaul to the way I manage my money. There have been some things I've been especially good at, and others I still need work on.

The good things include the fact that I have managed to pay off about 5 different consumer debt accounts. I've also fostering a good savings account finally which I'm not dipping into. And, my IRA is growing which puts me at peace. Plus, we've purchased a few big ticket items in the past few months and not a thing has been put on credit - this is something I'm especially proud of because in the past, cash just wasn't a word we knew!

On the other hand, I haven't necessarily learned any deep and meaningful lessons about responsible managing of the "extra". It's like my brain says "you've put some in savings - go ahead and blow everything else." And so, I'm definitely overspending my allocated "allowance. It helps that this summer's circumstances have brought in a bit more income than expected, but if I was as responsible as I would like to be, any extra would go into savings instead of burned into thin air.

Well I guess nobody can be absoluterly perfect and with all the good, there will some good with the bad. If another 6 months can have the affect that the first 6 months did, then I'll be on the right road.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Dum dums were invented by a genius with a one year old!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

? right? Hmmm the logic escapes me.

? There is no bathroom at Artic Circle - how weird is that? But they did offer me a courtesy cone while I waited for my order so hey...they made up for it

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

I might as well work full time. This is just ridiculous.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

A high end consignment shop just opened down the street....there goes all my money.

I'm going to learn how to text without looking. So I don't crash. It's like learning to type all over again. I typed all of this without looking!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

4th of July Summer Salad

The Marshmallow and I like to cook together in the kitchen - him on the barby and me making salads and whatever else we're craving. Tonight I was on salad patrol. So the other night I happened upon a mushroom salad at the grocery store deli that we thought was ok that I wondered if I could improve upon and so I did. It turned out fantastic so I wanted to share!

Artichoke Mushroom and Romano Salad

2 cups dried Costco Mushroom mix (you buy this in a tall container in their produce section)
1 cup artichokes in oil, cut into chunks
1 cup small black olives
1 cup cherry tomatoes sliced in 1/2
1/2 cup canned baby corns cut in 1/2
2 tbsp diced sundried tomatoes in oil
2 cloves of garlic
2 tbsp butter
1/4 Romano cheese
1 tsp kosher salt

Melt the butter and add the diced garlic. Cook for about 2 minutes. Reconstitute the mushrooms according to directions (takes about 10 minutes) and add them to the butter mixture and cook on medium for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Combine the olives, tomatoes, baby corns, sundried tomatoes, and artichokes together. Add the mushroom mixture to it and toss. Add the Romano cheese and salt and mix until combined.

Serve room temperature.

We served this with very flavorful steaks which almost overpowered the strong flavors of the salad so I would recommend something lighter like fish or chicken as a main dish for this.