Monday, September 16, 2013

The Consequences of Procrastination

I've put off some required work travel for months and months.  It was with good reason, but with only a couple of weeks left in the fiscal year I am now facing the music.  I'll leave today for D.C. and Virginia, fly home Friday, and turn around to fly back out Sunday.  I generally enjoy traveling for work and I get to go to a lot of places I otherwise would probably never visit (hello, Akron).  I am not, however, looking forward to the next week and a half.  Four cities, five airports, and seven flights-  not my idea of a good time.

I also feel guilty and stressed being gone for some many days over the next two weeks. Hubs is completely supportive of my job duties, and he is every bit as capable as I am to handle the girls, but it still makes me nervous.  I typically handle the signing of daily school folders, help with homework, communicate with teachers, etc.  Will all this stuff get done while I am gone?  What have I forgotten to warn Hubs about?  It's a lot to worry about.  I do look forward to eating dinner in peace and watching HGTV at night without all the judging that goes on at home.  : )  Hope we all have a great week!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Weekend Recap

Do you ever feel like your "to do" list drags on forever and then suddenly you knock things out like gangbusters?  Yeah, me either.  Ha- I kid.  We've been unsatisfied with our front entrance area for a while. Hubs likes to buy things as he finds them.  I tend to wait until I know every single thing that will be in a space so I know it will all flow well together.  I've made some pretty regrettable designing choices in the past that I have no intention of reliving.  This almost always means nothing ever actually gets done, so it was extra satisfying to kick butt and take names this weekend.  

Warning- I am a terrible photographer.  I don't possess any skill in lighting, photo filtering, ensuring people don't have plants growing out of their heads, etc.  These photos will give you some idea what the heck I am talking about and that's about it.  

Our front door has those long side windows that were uncovered.  It brought a lot of light into the front entry, but it didn't lend itself to privacy- especially with the lights on at night.  I like to go downstairs for a late night snack and I may or may not like to put on pants.  Since the stairs end directly in front of these windows, it was in the best interest of the whole neighborhood to cover up.  (The windows, not me.)  I liked the look of curtains rather than blinds, so we just hung curtains over the whole thing.  The table and mirror is on the wall to the right of the front door.  

I LOVE this bench and map of Paris. Both came from TJ Maxx.  I generally like finding more unique items (as in not mass produced), but the map lets me daydream about my hopefully one day trip to Paris.  And the bench is actually comfy to sit and play Candy Crush Saga on my phone waiting on E to finish brushing her teeth every morning.

I really like the new rug.  I'm not sure that it "goes" with the pattern on the curtains, but it makes me happy and that is what really matters as far as I am concerned.  And just $50 for a 5x7 rug is a good deal in my book (on sale at Kirklands). Biscuit really loved the rug too, since he decided it was a perfect place to use as his bathroom the next day. He looks sorry, right?  Yeah, probably not so much.  Hubs hung the pretty little chandelier in front of the door.  He's an old hand at changing out lights, and I hid upstairs "doing laundry" so my arms weren't sore at all.  : )  

This sassy girl had her first Girl Scout meeting as a Brownie this weekend. I enjoy doing things with her troop, but I am especially glad that I am not Cookie Mom this year!  I've had the pleasure the last two years and wanted to share the joy with others.  If you buy Girl Scout cookies in the spring, just know that those cookies were lovingly picked up, counted and sorted by a Cookie Mom who is probably ready to lose her mind.  It was a busy but pretty good weekend. Hope yours was awesome too!  

Thursday, September 5, 2013

She's Twelve Going On Twenty- A Book Review

I was excited to receive She's Twelve Going on Twenty by Kim Camp.  The book is geared specifically as a Christ-centered guide for moms raising teens or preteens. Since my oldest daughter is about to turn twelve, I was really hoping to learn some new parenting strategies related to raising a tween.  However, I'm a little mixed on this book.

I liked that the book is divided into three separate sections related to Spirit, Soul and Body.  My brain can only fully focus on so many things, so it helps me to focus on a single aspect at a time.  I also liked that each chapter had practical suggestions for mom and daughters to discuss issues or do activities together.  An example was to listen to your daughter's favorite music and discuss with her the lyrics and themes of the music.  Since my daughter listens primarily to music we (the parents) have downloaded into iTunes, it reminded me to reconsider what music I listen to as well.

One thing I didn't love about this book is that the ideas are not necessarily new or innovative.  Not that they aren't good suggestions, but don't expect to hear much you haven't already heard.  Also, and maybe this is a reflection on me, but I would have found Ms. Camp more relatable if she didn't seem so...perfect.  I really appreciate the viewpoint of people who aren't perfect and share their mistakes. I relate to failure and regret, and I can't recall a single personal story in this book where Ms. Camp and/or her children were used as an example of what not to do.  Perhaps this was a conscious decision to protect her children's privacy.  In fairness, I understand Ms. Camp went through a divorce after the book was originally released and this version includes some updated advice relating to single moms as well as some personal notes. However, in all the examples of Ms. Camp as a teen herself or as a parent, she pretty consistently made all the right choices.  I realize this is kind of a weird criticism (too perfect- the horror!) and is probably a reflection of how imperfect I view myself, but I find it helpful for an author to say this is a mistake I made and what I learned.  

I don't strongly recommend buying this book, but it may be worth a try if you can get it for free or borrow a copy.  Even at over 280 pages, it is a pretty quick and easy read.

I received this book for free from Booksneeze.  All opinions expressed in this review are my own.  

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Parenting Fail

I've been looking forward to this three day weekend for a while.  I had big, big plans and a long list of things to get done.  Saturday, we piled all the kids in the car and went shopping for some things to beautify our front entry.  E started complaining that her throat hurt and she was tired.  Let me preface this by saying E is not a big fan of shopping or walking.  Most shopping trips involve a fair amount of E complaints.  The whole time we were in Kirkland's, she complained her throat hurt. The whole time we walked around T.J. Maxx Home Goods, she complained her throat hurt.  We went to lunch and guess what? Yep, her throat hurt.  It was really annoying. I really think most of these kids complaints are just psychological warfare, meant to wear down my will to live.  Or discipline.  

Finally, I said, and I am quoting here, "Oh for God's sake, let me look in your throat".  Her throat was red and I saw the oh so familiar white spots on her tonsils.  What kind of kid complains relentlessly that her throat hurts?  A KID WITH STREP THROAT. Huge fail on my part.  And this, my friends, is the look of being judged and found wanting.

"I told you my throat hurt."

I took her to urgent care for a prescription and she feels a million times better now, but seriously, I couldn't bother looking in her throat the first hundred times she complained?  I felt terrible.  She has been spoiled a bit since, and her trouble sleeping means I got to snuggle her all night via being kicked and having arms slung in my face all night long.  I think I have served my penance.  Next time a kid complains about a sore throat, you better believe I'll check their throat.