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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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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

Another New Year

28 Dec

It’s time for the Uberlist!  First, here’s the update on last year’s list:

2009 UBERLIST

PERSONAL

  • BRING HOME BABY
  • Read three new books, not counting bedrest stash.

HEALTH AND BEAUTY

  • Get back to Weight Watchers after Evi is born.
  • Reach my goal weight.
  • Stay at goal weight through end of year.
  • Run a 5K.
  • Exercise for ten minutes, 3x/week.

WORK AND PROFESSIONAL LIFE

  • Learn to stay focused, work smarter.

COMMUNITY

  • Finish delivery of Project Flutter boxes.
  • Find a book club, play group, or class to take part in.

GREEN

  • Replace one household product with something more earth-friendly.
  • Donate to an earth-friendly cause.

MONEY

  • Continue dropping monthly debt balance.
  • Reduce student loan debt.

HOME

  • Buy one?

EDUCATION

  • Continue working with my Italian, become fluent by the end of the year.
  • Learn baby sign language for Evi.

TRAVEL

  • Take one trip WITH AARON that lasts for at least a weekend and involves staying overnight.

PHOTOS

  • Keep taking pictures of everything.
  • Learn to use at least one new camera setting.

MARRIAGE AND FAMILY

  • Go out on one official date.
  • Get a webcam to keep Evi in touch with grandparents.
  • Visit Aaron’s grandma at least three times.

FRIENDSHIP

  • Check in by phone/email once a month.
  • Not bad, but not great either.  This year, I’ll start again and hope that setting smaller goals leads to better results.  See this year’s list after the jump… Continue reading

    Complexities

    14 Dec

    It seems like life is full of complex issues these days.

    On one hand, I am SO looking forward to spending a week in Florida with my family.  It has been far too long and I miss them all so much.  On the other hand, I am sort of stressing out about packing.  What to bring, what to buy there?  To check a bag (and free up a hand for baby/stroller/diaper bag) or use all carry-ons (and free up a little time)?  How to get over the guilt of not buying presents for anyone this year?

    I’m still working from home, and doing alright with it, though the client I am working for is not quite as consistent as I was hoping, so I am making less than I thought I would overall.  Still, it’s better than nothing for sure, and I genuinely enjoy the work.  I am hoping if I stick with it, the site will take off and they will have more work for me overall.

    I am so missing Aodin these days.  I think of him all the time, but as the holidays approach I am thinking more and more about how much I miss him.  I guess I feel him near me even more this time of year, and I enjoy that feeling even if it does make me a little teary-eyed every so often.

    As much as I spend the summer thinking about the pleasantness of autumn, and as honest as I am when I say I don’t think I could live in Florida and not have all the seasons, I am already tired of being cold.  This means I will never survive the winter, since it’s only going to get colder and will continue through at least March and likely well into April.

    I have never in my life been more excited for something than I am for the date(s) Aaron and I will have the chance for this coming week!!!  We haven’t been out on a date since before Evi was born, and we’re really looking forward to the time together.

    Secrets

    21 Oct

    Behold, my deep, dark secrets.  They aren’t terribly interesting, and they’re likely to utterly destroy any illusions.  You know, since the last post about bacterial infections left me with such a veneer of glamor.  😉

    1. When Evi is six months old, I am going to switch her to formula.  I know, I can hear the boos of disapproval now.  However, I don’t care.  I have been feeding her breastmilk since she was born and, thanks to latching problems that couldn’t be resolved, I’ve been attached to an electric pump the whole time.  Frankly, I am DONE.  She is growing up happy and healthy and she’s taken to solids like you wouldn’t believe, so I feel like it’s fine.
    2. I am totally having guilt about #1.  Despite my assertions, and my honest belief that switching her will do her no harm, I am still having tiny panic attacks thanks to the dwindling number of bottles in the fridge.  I can’t help it, I feel a little selfish.
    3. I really hate showering.  No, really.  I feel like it’s a massive time suck and I always wish I could do it while doing something else.  I don’t enjoy it or find it relaxing.  I just want it to be done.  Weird, right?
    4. I think I am going to do NaNoWriMo again this year, but only because I am hoping the drive to get the silly certificate will spur me into action in terms of finishing my manuscript.
    5. I am really loving my new job.  I research wineries all day.  It rocks.
    6. If I could, I would stay home and not work, and I would be happy doing it.  Of course, this would require a monetary source I have not yet found…
    7. I also hate anything to do with my teeth.  I don’t like brushing them (though, of course, I do) and I flat refuse to floss them.  I am fully aware of the potential damage done, but I have never experienced anything as disgusting as the feeling of flossing, so I just can’t do it.
    8. I take that back.  The other day I experienced something far more disgusting.  Savannah showed up on the back porch with half a dead squirrel in her mouth.  Yes, half.  No, I don’t know what happened to the other half.  I don’t think she killed it, and I doubt she was the one who ate the first half, but I was still utterly disgusted and commenced calling her Dead Squirrel Face and keeping her off the couch for the rest of the day.  Which brings me to the secret in this one…  Sometimes I don’t like my dog anymore.  I still love her, but ever since Evi came I find I have ZERO patience with her.  I get irritated when she itches, barks, whines…  I am bothered by the noise she makes when Evi is sleeping.  I think a lot of the bother is guilt based, because I feel like she no longer gets the attention she deserves… but I still don’t think we’ll have another dog after Savannah.
    9. I am obsessed with email.  I check my email at least ten times a day.
    10. Despite my utter, unswerving belief in the goodness of science and the absolute necessity of vaccinations…  despite my absolute refusal to believe that vaccines cause harm, I am terrified of Evi getting the flu shot (as per the recommendations of her pediatrician, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the CDC.)  I know why she needs to get it, and I both understand and completely believe that the risk of the flu for her is greater than the risk of the shot, but still…  Watching her get the few shots she’s already had to get in her tiny life has been terribly difficult for me, and the idea of another shot is really hard for me.  I don’t care about getting the shot myself.  If it helps her, or even if it just MIGHT help her, start poking me!  But to give it to her…  it just turns my stomach.  So I guess I haven’t totally made my mind up about it yet, and I won’t until Aaron and I have a long talk with her doctor at her six month appointment, which is when they want to give her the shot.
    11. I haunt a couple of mommy message boards, and I frequently get so angry at the people on them that I have to remove myself entirely for a while.  I think I am a secret snob, and I become totally unreasonable in the face of what I see as parental idiocy, racism, sexism, or simple ineptitude.  Because, you know, I am perfect….  right?  :p
    12. Speaking of -isms, I have a serious hang up about them.  When an acquaintance took a particular tone of voice when discussing a mixed race couple (a tone that suggested, perhaps, a bit of disapproval) I was incensed.  When I see those commercials about how gay marriage is going to ruin the “institution” I feel blind rage.  When I see the commercial for the toy truck that is marketed as “your boy’s best friend,” I contemplated writing to the company in anger for daring to suggest that my daughter isn’t just as capable, just as likely to want that toy truck, which I will now not purchase on principle.  I know this makes me naive sometimes, that the world can’t just work the way I want it to, but I can’t help it.  I am, at heart, a romantic idealist that just wants everything to be FAIR.  I want everyone to have the same chances, the same rights, the same options in life.
    13. I have financial management issues.  I keep aside a certain amount of money every week as spending money, and I tell myself I will save it up for the espresso machine I want, or some new clothes or something.  Almost every week I spend at least half of it on going out for coffee or lunch just to get out of the house.  I know getting out is good, but I wish I would just eat at home and go to the library, because I really want that espresso machine!
    14. I have no idea how to dress my new body.  Not a clue.  I still have clothes that fit, but they don’t fit the same way.  I have bought a few new things, but they are all super casual because it’s hard to go wrong with a t-shirt and jeans.  I don’t know what to do with my new shape, how to flatter it….

    Also, I really like lists.  🙂

    And I should be working… so I will.