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Thursday Thoughts

1 Jul

Just a collection of what’s going on in my head today:

  • I’ve been super thirsty lately.  Like drinking 8-10 glasses of water by dinner time without even trying.  I guess that’s good?  I’m not having any weird issues, so I figure it just means it’s hotter and I’m working hard during my workouts.
  • I’m going to see Eclipse this weekend… with my little cousin.  She’s not even ten, but she’s super excited to see the movie (as am I) while her older brother and my husband would MUCH rather spend their time browsing the scifi section at the bookstore, so they’ll do that (with Evi) and then we’ll all meet up for lunch.  I’m really looking forward to it.
  • I’m reading some books by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, vampire book that are also historical fiction, that I read a long time ago and rediscovered at a used bookstore.  There are a TON of the books and I’ve only read a handful of them, so I’m now on the lookout for all of them.  They’re SO well researched and each one is set in a different place and time period.  Love it.  It’s my two favorite genres, vampires & historical fiction, combined!
  • I’m thinking about having a Halloween party.  We’ve got this big house, and we never get the chance to see all of our friends, so I’m thinking we might have a party and invite everyone over.  Of course you’re all invited.  Is it too early to be thinking about this sort of thing?  Halloween is my favorite holiday, so I’m already looking forward to it, and to (maybe) this:baby yoda
  • I’m in a dinner rut.  Trying to find meals that are easy, fast, cheap, healthy, and consist of things I normally buy…. is getting boring.  I’ll be surfing through some older posts that have new recipe suggestions because I’m BORED!

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More from me:

Please keep supporting my Mamavation campaign!

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Scheduling the day…

23 Jun

If you have a moment, please take some time to go and vote for my Mamavation application!  You can see my application video here, and you can “vote” for me by heading to Twitter and tweeting this: Hey @bookieboo! I want @SkinnySushi to be the next #Mamavation Mom. She has my support! http://bit.ly/zqUxa. As always, your support means SO much to me.

I’m still playing around with the idea of making a real schedule for my days, but thanks to lots of thought and some of your comments, I’m coming to a few realizations.

  1. Not everything has to be done every day, and it really doesn’t matter if the laundry gets put off day after day.
  2. Evi is old enough to “help.”  Yesterday, she gleefully filled the laundry basket with dirty clothes for me.  It was genuinely helpful, she had fun, and she’s learning about how to help me.
  3. I need to find the balance between focusing on the “now” and remembering the big picture.  Sometimes I get too focused on the immediate, which leads to me playing Facebook games because I’m thinking about what I want RIGHT NOW instead of what I need to get done by the end of the day.  On the flip side, I can’t let myself get too caught up in looking at the whole list or I get overwhelmed.  I trick myself by making my list (I keep it in Google documents online) and then putting a HUGE space between the top of the list (must be done today) and everything else, thus giving me the option to only glance at the must-dos.
  4. Sometimes it’s better to do nothing.  Yesterday, instead of letting the stress pile up any further, I closed the laptop, turned off my phone, and crawled into the kiddie pool with Ms. Evi for a half hour or so.  Then I sat next to the pool while she splashed around and I dried off in the sun with a glass of wine.  THAT is how every day should end.

So what did I learn so far?  To chill out and take a plunge… or in this case, a shallow dip.

floating pool toys

Photo by Heather Hurd - June 2010

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More from me:

Small Victories Lane – where I conquer pizza

World Cup Wines Vol 4

Plugged in parenting

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Priorities

22 Jun

If you have a moment, please take some time to go and vote for my Mamavation application!  You can see my application video here, and you can “vote” for me by heading to Twitter and tweeting this: Hey @bookieboo! I want @SkinnySushi to be the next #Mamavation Mom. She has my support! http://bit.ly/zqUxa. As always, your support means SO much to me.

To do listsource

I have to be honest… between raising my daughter, being a wife and daughter and sister and girl, maintaining my fitness, writing articles, running four blogs, and still trying to keep the house in some kind of order…

Well, I’m having a hard time.  I’m having trouble with prioritizing and time management.  I have a running to-do list that I keep going all the time and update as I finish things, but the problem is that a lot of the things I have to do need doing every day, so they don’t get put on the list because it would irritate me to cross them off and add them back every day.  And if you’re a list maker too, you know it’s ridiculous to consider adding them to the list and then not crossing them off.  Just typing that made me kittery.

So how do you do it?  Whether you work, stay home, raise kids, herd goats… how do you get it all done in a day?  I’m especially interested in tips from people who have a non-traditional work schedule/environment (i.e. you work from home or Starbucks or you’re home during the day and work at night…) because I feel like it’s harder to maintain order at home, but I know you all probably have some ideas and I’d love to hear them all!

I’ve thought about trying to schedule my day, but life with a one year old is extremely difficult to schedule.  She is *generally* asleep at the same time every day, which is usually when I blog/Facebook/Twitter… so I try to get as much done during those times as I can…

So tell me how you do it, super people.  Tell me how you get through your day and make sure that at least the most important things get done.  Tell me how you manage to get through the week without letting the same things (ahem… laundry) go by the wayside over and over until you’re crushed by a mountain of your own sweaty workout clothes.

I’m up for anything, so tell me what works for you!

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More from me:

Product review: Breyers Smooth & Dreamy Cookie Dough Ice Cream Sandwiches

Top summer wines

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Balance

8 Jun

balance beamsource

My two month writing experiment is coming to an end, while at the same time I am facing the possibility that my graduate scholarship will end even earlier than I originally thought.  I’m trying to register for fall classes, barely hanging on to my motivation to stay healthy, and searching desperately for a writing job… or, let’s face it, ANY job that would keep me home with Evi.  At this point I’ve basically abandoned any thoughts of finding a job that plays to my passion…  sometimes I think that’s not a very grown up way of thinking anyway.  As it stands now, I’ll do whatever job keeps me home with my daughter.  I have a lot of strengths and talents, so if I can find something that uses one of those, even if it doesn’t play to my interests, I will make it work.  I’m a smart woman and a hard worker, so I know I can do any job well if given the chance.

So if you know of any jobs where I might be able to work from home, send me an email at yummysushipajamas (aT) gmail (DoT) com, okay?

I’m still feeling pretty worn out from being sick yesterday, so I’m trying to find the balance today between getting back to my workout routine and not pushing myself too hard right away.  I’ll definitely be headed out for a morning walk with Evi this morning, and then likely taking a nap when she does.  I feel like balance is the big theme in my life right now, and maybe always?  Balance between fitness and health, between money and time, between family and self, between work and school… and I just hope I can find a way to make it all work.

Although it was probably a really bad financial decision, we decided we’d maintain some work/life balance and reduce Aaron’s work related stress by going to spend a week in Florida in September visiting my parents.  It will be a fantastic vacation from work for Aaron, a much needed time with my mommy for me, and an important time for Evi to spend with her beloved grandparents.  Starting next year, she’ll be spending a week with them every summer, so we want her to be spending as much time as possible with them leading up to that so that she’s used to them and can look forward to her special grandparents week.  Since my parents are the only ones far enough away to not be able to see her on a regular basis, they get a dedicated week to spend with her.  It will also be a nice time for Aaron and I to spend together without being “parents,” although I’m terrified I’ll miss her too much to enjoy the time.

It feels like the summer is already flying by.  We might have our second car fixed (finally) in the coming weeks, which will be a nice chance for me to get out of the house.  I’m thinking about taking Evi for swimming lessons at the local pool, and we’ll definitely be heading to the library for some storytime.  It will be a nice chance to get out of the house together.

That’s all I’ve got for today…  Leave comments and let me know if there’s something else you’d like to know!

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More from me:

Crawl, Walk, Run – exercise, running, and more

Wines of Puglia: southern Italian wines you might not know about

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House of Guilt

5 Jun

I have an extremely inconsiderate, self-indulgent gripe today.  I’m tired.  This week, complete with a sick little girl and a briefly malfunctioning air conditioner, has worn me out.  I intended to sleep in this morning, but ended up laying in bed wide awake for 45 minutes before giving up and coming downstairs….

…where I found my husband barely keeping it together with Evi because he has apparently come down with whatever she had this week.  I immediately felt… bad?  Sad?  Nope… irritated.  I felt bugged because it means I don’ t get a break today.  I got dressed and took Evi with me grocery shopping.

We came home, where she took the world’s shortest nap.  I did the dishes while she ate lunch, I scarfed some leftovers for my own lunch, and now I’m frantically typing this while trying to keep her from waking up her sick, sleeping Dad.

I totally suck.  Of course I DO feel bad for him and wish he wasn’t sick.  I just want a break…

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More from me:

Food bloggers are idiots

Tempranillo wines from Spain, Argentina, Australia, and California

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Another day

1 Jun

money treeI’m spending all the time and energy I have (at least, everything that doesn’t go to raising my girl) on trying to find ways to support our family right now, and I’m beginning to hate money.

I don’t bring in much at all, but thanks to a couple of freelance jobs I do have a tiny trickle of money coming in right now.  It’s small and unpredictable, but at least it’s something to ease the twinges of guilt I occasionally have over not doing “my fair share” to support the family financially.

Aaron is happy for me to stay home with Evi, and I LOVE staying home… but it is tough sometimes to find the balance between staying home for her and the idea that a job with a reasonable, regular pay would improve our overall quality of life.  I’m wondering when/if the balance shifts?

Right now I honestly think I am making the best choice to stay home with her, even though it means sacrifices financially.  What I’m wondering, though, is if it will change when she is in school full time.  Wouldn’t it be better at that point to bring more money in and improve her life in that way, more resources, more trips, more chances for unique experiences?  Or does it always matter more for me to be here with her?  Will the day come when saving money to take her to Europe will be a better choice for her than pinching pennies so that I can be her classroom mom?

I’d love input from other parents on this…  I just don’t know the answers.  At least I know I’m doing the right thing for now, and the rest will work itself out in time.  What worked for you and your family?

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More from me:

Getting on with the 30 Day Shred

Is gay a choice?

Southern Rhone red wines

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Walking Tall

20 May

**Please go check out my giveaway!  It’s extended until tomorrow, and it’s easy to enter!**

You guys?  My baby is walking.  What’s that you say?  She can’t be walking because she is just a tiny, tiny baby?  Yeah…

You see that?  She is walking.  And she went from zero to across the room in ONE DAY.  Yesterday morning all she could manage was to sort of throw herself the three steps between the couch and the chair.  She was sort of walking, but mostly falling.  Then by lunch time, she’s doing the above drunken walk from the table to the couch.  By dinner time, she was making it across the room.  Today, I fully expect her to be out doing laps.

I don’t know where the time is going.  I have no idea what has happened to the last year, and now she’s walking?  God, before I know it she’ll be in school.  It totally thrills/terrifies me to imagine her climbing on to that big yellow school bus.  Until then, I have to figure out a way to keep her entertained and still get work done at home!  I am totally open to suggestions if anyone has tips for working from home while wrangling a now fully mobile one year old…

She’s a challenge, in a really good way.  She gets bored at the drop of a hat.  It was raining at the beginning of the week, so on Monday and Tuesday we didn’t get to go out for our usual morning walks.  And by Tuesday midmorning?  She was a screaming mess.  It was KILLING her to sit in the house!  Now that she’s sort of walking, and it looks like our car *might* be fixed this weekend, I can’t wait to get out of the house with her and let her explore the park, the neighborhood beach, the playground…  Any tips there too?  What’s the best way to let a one year old, VERY unstable little walker explore these new places?  Helmet and pads?  Full sumo suit?

Clearly, I’m in uncharted territory here, and I am frequently at a loss as to what to do.  I worry that she watches too much television (excluding the day of total meltdown this week, she watches 15 minutes in the morning, another 15 in the late afternoon, and then sort of watches whatever Aaron puts on when he gets home, though she seems uninterested in his shows) and I worry that I don’t pay enough attention to her.  I am trying to figure out a balance.  I feel like there IS enough time in the day to get it all done, but that I just haven’t quite mastered how to figure it all out.  I worry that I’m not disciplined enough, that I spend too much time online doing frivolous things, that I too often need a mental break.  I feel like I should have my days regimented, although in fairness I’m pretty sure even the idea of a schedule is ridiculous until your kid is… eighteen?  twenty five?

Truly though, as much as it sounds like I’m floundering, in a lot of ways I have never been happier.  I have certainly never been healthier, and the exercise and (mostly) good food are making huge differences in my mood and energy, plus they are setting exactly the right example for my munchkin.  My marriage is wonderful, better every day.  I love the work I’m doing right now, and if I can manage to stick with it a little bit longer, it has the potential to really grow into something real and big and wonderful.  As I get older I realize that I really like ME, which is a nice thing to be sure of, and I’m looking forward to my thirties.  Our house is nice and safe and warm, and we’re slowly making tiny improvements that we hope will mean selling it for a profit once we’re ready to move on.  Life is good.  Confusing, strange, stressful, overwhelming, ridiculous, and good.

I know I’ve been lax in posting here, and I swear I’m trying to make up for it.  Do you still read?  Is anyone out there?  If you’re reading and just lurking, leave a comment please!  I’d love to know who’s still hanging on to this mega brain dump that is my blog!!!  And if you’re feeling silly, please do go and enter this giveaway.  The calendar is freaking hilarious, and it’s so worth the time it will take you to leave a comment.  I got my calendar the other day and it’s amazing.

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More from me:

What-If Wednesday: Progress with writing

Italian wines from Veneto