Monday, April 27, 2009

No Pudge Fudge and other faves

So my sister came to town for the weekend (she makes more waiting tables here in Austin than in her college town) and chaos ensued. Late Saturday night as we were heading off to bed screeching tires and slamming brakes made sure it was going to be another late night. Turns out a freaking drunk driver hit my sisters parked car and bounced into my neighbors driveway, barely missing his garage. There were cops, firefighters, lots of paperwork and in the midst of it the rain started coming down.

So what's a girl gonna do in that kind of stress...definitely time to turn to chocolate! So I introduced my sister to No Pudge Fudge Brownies :). If you have never tried them I highly recommend them. There is a flavor for everyone and the brilliant creator even added a single serving recipe that keeps me from eating the whole pan! All you need is the mix and lowfat vanilla yogurt. The yummy fudgey, one minute microwave goodness made the chaos all better until...

We woke up Sunday morning and Alex had Hand Foot and Mouth Disease. BOOO! No dull moments around here!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

What A Girl Wants

I spent last week driving around Central Texas with a co-worker delivering marketing materials to my accounts. As we drove we visited on various work projects, families, friends, but the most interesting discussion we had was on the lack of choice that society gives to mothers. It made me sit back and think about how I really feel about where I am right now as a mother, an employee and a person.

In a perfect world that didn’t having me owing far to much money in student loans we might be able to afford for me to stay home while we have young children. In reality though I work to make sure we can afford Alex’s school, groceries and the occasional splurge. Although we don’t live paycheck to paycheck we are a far cry from even considering being a single income household, and usually I’m okay with that.

Lately though I’ve been a bit frustrated with how Alex is reacting to changes at his school, the constant colds coming home and as my workload gets busier and busier, the need to spend family time occasionally doing work. I enjoy my job, my family, and my hobbies but my priorities fall with family first. I truly feel that being home with my kiddo would be to his benefit while he’s young, and luckily I’m blessed with a job that allows me to telecommute so the parade of colds and sick days don’t necessarily derail my work schedule.

But how do parents with less flexible employers manage this. My mother worked for a variety of companies when I was younger and at many of them she could only take off for extreme emergencies. She was a single parent doing the best she could and the deck was stacked against her. If we as a society want to tout that the children are our future we should be a bit more careful of who is rearing that future. Society sees motherhood as a part time affair and doesn’t always give credit where it’s due. Our children spend more time in daycare each day than they do at home, and even though I’m very grateful that my son has a safe and loving environment to be at each day, it makes me sad when I see all that he is learning that I’m not playing a part in teaching him.

Companies should explore alternatives for sick days that allow parents to be home with their children and depending on circumstances, to still manage some of their tasks. This is not to say if you have a puking child you should have to take phone calls, but there have been several days this year when my son was fine but waiting out a 24 hour fever free rule to return to school. On those days I can work and he can play outside thanks to my companies telecommuting policy. With phone forwarding, webinars, conference call lines, web cams and free online resources like google docs there are few reasons left to require a physical presence in the office at all times. Telecommuting, like staying home with your children is not for everyone, but for the most part I think it should be more of an option for those who want to pursue it.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Just Perfect

Parenting is a tricky business. These days I am back and forth between laughing and being frustrated so quickly you can call me Sybil. Alex is a lively two year old who excels at not listening. That's enough to breed plenty of frustration but right as it gets really bad Alex comes up with something that just cracks me up. My adorable, never difficult, low maintence child is bothered by all types of clothes. T-shirts must be soft, no stitching on the inside and tagless, shorts must fit under his cute little bulging belly, and socks...oh please the socks must never develop little fur balls, strings must never be seen, and there is a tightness factor to the cuffs that I still haven't figured out how to make work. So each morning we go through several outfits. I have learned to be strategic about this morning routine. I pick the outfit I want him to wear and hide it among the clothes hanging in the closet. Then I pull out something I know won't fly :), show Alex and watch him melt down and say No Mommy, No that hurts me, that bothers me... At this point he yells to pick out his own clothes so I pick him up and flip through clothes and offer option two that I already know will not fly! :) On to the outfit I want him to wear! Since it's the magical third option, and when I show it to Alex HE is picking it out, all is well. The downside to my master morning strategy is that it takes time, A LOT OF TIME! As frustrating as this process as is, when he looks up at me after we have the perfect shirt, shorts and socks on with his cute little smile and tells me This one is perfect Mommy, Just Perfect, I can't help but grin at how cute my little man really is.

Sunday, April 12, 2009


.: Easter Eggies :.Image by Warm 'n Fuzzy via Flickr

We're in Houston today celebrating not just Easter but the baptism of one of my best friends and her two kiddos! I feel so blessed to have been asked to be a part of this part of their lives in this way! I hope everyone is having a wonderful Easter and feeling connected to God in their own ways!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Works for Me Wednesdays-Meal Planning

What works for me and makes life easier along the way? There are a lot of tools I use to make my life run a little smoother, but very close to the top of the list is the Menu Planning service I use. Now I have enough cookbooks to build Alex a fort, but I run short on the time it takes to pull good reciepes and shopping lists together.

A few years ago I stumbled across FlyLady and her reccomended menu planning service Saving Dinner. I was in alpha organizing mode and Fly Lady is a great site for decluttering and setting some great cleaning routines. I digress :). I loved getting an email each week that had already compiled yummy, healthy meals, and used the service until my 6 month subscription ran out.

Unfortunately it was at this point that my crazy do it yourselfness got the best of me. I didn't renew my subscriptions, since I was so sure I could manage the time to do it on my own. And for the next several months our family was blessed with a stressed out mommy who was trying to throw together a healthy meal. Several months later I found By now I had come back around to the idea of paying less than $5 a month to have someone else do all the dirty work (and e-mealz even gave me an estimated price for the weeks groceries). I subscribed and we were back on track...until Eric had to cut gluten from his diet. Luckily about this time I had become obsessed with twitter and a fellow gluten free twitterette :) mentioned that Saving Dinner now has a gluten free option with thier menus.

I subscribed that day and haven't looked back since. It's so nice to print a weeks worth of menus, take a premade grocery list and run to the store on Saturday afternoon. As much as I love cooking, the prep work is not my forte. I would much rather be taking Alex to the park, or working in the garden then combing reciepes for ingredients to build a shopping list. So if any of you find yourself doing the glazed over pantry staredown hoping that inspiration for dinner is going to jump out at you, take a few minutes and check out Saving Dinner.
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Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Too good to pass up!

Ok so I already posted tonight, but I was playing on Twitter tonight and came across a giveaway Jen Lancaster is doing tomorrow for an audio book of her latest Pretty in Plaid. I have loved all three of her previous memoirs and wanted to share the opportunity with anyone checking in here.

Visit her blog tomorrow to see how to win!
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A Day in the Life of Alex

The day starts with toast that my little tyrant makes himself. Don't even try to help, he'll have a fit.

Then he feeds his fish and watches them eat.

Then off to school, where he plays with his friends.

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Alex with his teacher when I pry him out of class at the end of the day.

What Really Makes A Good Deal?

I attended a great training today and something the trainer said really hit home. A few months ago Eric and I decided to clear out a bunch of stuff that was taking up room in the garage. When we started taking pictures to list all of this on craigslist we both chuckled at the fact that we had racked up 4 strollers over the last two years for our one child. They all seemed like a good deal at the time and they were all on sale when I purchased them, but like the trainer today said, is something that you got on sale, but wasn't really what you wanted a good deal? We have four strollers because NONE of them did everything I wanted. The first one was a travel system but didn't recline flat. The second one reclined but didn't support a car seat. The third is a jogging stroller that ironically I got a few weeks before Alex decided to boycott all strollers. The fourth is a light little umbrella stroller that Alex pushes around but has never ridden in.

Shortly after having Alex, a friend was shopping for strollers and I just couldn't believe that she was even considering a stroller that cost at least two and a half times what all four of mine together did...but mine are collecting dust, and hers is constantly in use. I love a good deal as much as the next person, but when it's time to shop for the next little one, you can betcha that I plan to spend a little more and get a truly better deal!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Obsessively Organized

Ok I admit it I'm not always the most organized person at home, but I'm always trying to be more organized. However I absolutely stay almost obsessively organized in a few key areas :). One is my email. I have folders for all the major categories of info I receive, and then there are folders for all the people I regularly receive email from. I usually try to file emails as I get them but the last few weeks have been crazier than usual and the emails have piled up. So once this gets posted I'm off to file about 1250 emails away. LOL I'm also fairly nutty about my pantry and have been known on occasion to label it with masking tape to make sure everything goes back in its place.

For those of you always trying to be more organized here are a few of my favorite things :):
*Holiday Ideas and Organization
*Organizing Tips for Home (some neat green ideas too)
*Get Organized Now
*Discover Organization has great tips for organizing kids stuff
*Home Organizing Ideas has great room by room tips
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Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Four Years Already!

I can hardly believe it's been four years since my wedding. I had so much fun planning, hosting and celebrating my wedding that I would do it again in a second...if only someone else would foot the bill again! :) Although life in our household is never calm, rarely quiet and always jumping from one project to another, Eric has been a trooper. I love to entertain and he finds it worse than a trip to the dentist...but he's avoided the dentist for 2 years and I can't even begin to count how many parties I have thrown in that time. Through all the ups and downs I have known that he loves me no matter what. That the baby weight doesn't jeopordize us, that my crazy need to constantly be doing something doesn't drive him batty, and that most of all he truly loves me for me. What more can a girl ask for!