Sunday, May 23, 2010


I'm a LOSTie. I fell in love with the television series LOST two seasons ago when it was already well underway and already had a huge following.  In the beginning I was against getting on the bandwagon and watching the newest trend. I mean, really, people lost at sea? Didn't we do that already when the Minnow was lost and people were stranded on Gilligan's Island?  Wasn't LOST just the same concept without the humor?

I was wrong. My husband and I stumbled upon LOST using our Netflix. After months, maybe years of hearing my sisters and brothers-in-law discuss LOST's plot I thought, What the heck? Let's Netflix it and see what all the buzz is about. Since then, we have been devoted LOSTies, netflixing LOST and picking several nights a week as our LOST time after our son was in bed.

LOST came at a time when I needed it most.  To me it was more than the intriguing storyline, the captivating characters, the stunning scenery, the fitting music.  It was a time for me to, well, get lost. To become lost in someone else's plight, to become lost in someone else's adventure, to follow story clues, to have questions and few answers, and to be left with even more questions and to be okay with that.

LOST became my refuge during a time when things were lost in my own world. I was working at a job that I loved that didn't seem to love me back.  I was working with people who liked my strong personality and independence, until they didn't like the line I was toeing.  I was being true to myself and at the same time losing sight of what was important in my personal life because I was overwhelmed with the pressure at work to do things a different way.

Through LOST I think I gained a little of Sawyer's sarcasm, Sayid's hope for redemption, Kate's rebelliousness, Jack's leadership, Hugo's gracious heart, Sun's change of heart, Jin's protective spirit, Claire's desire to keep her son and be a mommy, and Charlie's courageousness.  It was during my LOST time that I decided to take some time off from my job and become a stay-at-home Mom. The best decision I ever made.

As the LOST series comes to an end I am sad to see the characters go.  However, I think I've taken a little bit of each of their personalities to carry me forward. I'll miss getting LOST, but at least now I'm found...

(Dharma image found on

Friday, May 21, 2010


I've mentioned many times about my husband business travels and how hard they are on all of us.  I'm blessed that he does not have to travel frequently and I'm blessed that I have enough family and friends around to give us a hand or to provide a day of distraction for us.  It's still hard, but I really need to put on my big girl pants and get beyond that.

The other day I noticed a rainbow on our drive.  It was beautiful and this picture I took with my cell phone certainly does not do it justice.

I started thinking about rainbows and how they are created with a little rain and a little sunshine.  I thought about my husband traveling and the kids and I doing things together without an important member of our family unit.  I thought about how that was the rain in our week and I thought about the little bits of sunshine that we had that made rainbows during our weeks.

**Boogie finally nighttime dry. Awesome!
**The kids taking Hubby's travel in stride and doing well.
**Boogie being extra helpful
**Spending Mother's Day with my parents and my children
**Boogie comforting me and telling me that it's hard when Daddy's gone, and giving me hugs.
**Having a friend willing to come down with her girls and spend the day with us even though she is incredibly busy.
**Having lunch with a good friend and spending time with her before she moves to Australia.
**My parents graciously taking my kids the night before the 5-miler and taking them to my son's t-ball game.
**My parents having us over for dinner
**Running an awesome race and having a friend cheer me on.
**Watching my son's last preschool sing for the school year.
**Having great teachers who have taught my son well.
**Catching up with a friend on the phone because I had some extra time
**Extra time I got to spend with my kids

Boy, am one lucky gal. I had a lot of sunshine last week and was able to find many rainbows. Now I'm enjoying the time with my husband before he goes on another business trip in the near future. But at least now I know that I can do it. Now time for me to try on those big girl pants and make sure they fit before my husband's next business travel...

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Call me Crazy, but...

Call me crazy, but I think I'm addicted to running. Last year after the 5 miler, I'm pretty sure I slacked off. I still went to the gym and I used the treadmill, but I'm pretty sure that I walked more than I ran.

This year I feel like I'm missing a limb if I don't go for my daily run.  I usually use the treadmill at the gym because they have childcare and I don't have a double jogging stroller. But since my Hubby is off for a few days I've been able to run outside.  Wow! What a difference.  I've been out of the house by 7am and leave the Hubby with the kids while I go for a run.  I don't go for very long, because I feel guilty leaving the Hubby home so long with the kids while I get my adrenaline rush. But I still go for about a half hour. It's been awesome. I don't know how far I go, but I figure, at least I'm out there!  I'm still doing it.

So here's to losing some more poundage and getting healthier! I think I might be ready for the 10K Firecracker in July if I can keep this up. Join me :)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

So What's the Message for You?

Last week, my BFF broke her arm and her hand.  She did it on a day that she was going to come down and give me a hand when my husband was out of town.  She was trying so hard to make everything perfect for me, that I think it backfired. This woman is amazing. She really is a Super Hero.

When we got a chance to catch up and determine her prognosis, I told her that this might be Someone's way of telling her to slow down.  She does so much for her own family and others, that maybe in this weird way, this broken arm/hand is going to force her to slow down. I was so happy to hear that people are reciprocating all of her good deeds by taking care of her:  bringing her dinner, watching the kids, driving the kids, helping her around the house.

I know that she was bummed that she couldn't help me when I needed it.  As always she was looking out for me. When I told her that that this was Someone's way of telling her to slow down she asked me: "So what's the message for you?" what was my message since she couldn't come down? Well number 1, one of the messages is that I should take better care of her. Unfortunately, I won't be able to do that for a couple of weeks :(  Number 2, maybe the message for me is that I can survive a week with my husband being gone. That I might actually be able to do things on my own. And maybe, I should give myself a little more credit about what I am capable of doing solo.

Having my husband gone on a business trip is not the easiest thing...but is it really the hardest thing?  As we contemplate trying for baby #3, I gotta tell ya, the idea of being home alone with a preschooler, a toddler, and an infant is daunting.  It's not like I can tell Hubby not to go to work, or to not travel. His job is the reason that  I am able to stay home with my children. I can't really bust his chops about doing something that provides so much for us. It's not like he likes being away from the family.  It is what it is. So this week, I learned that yes, it is hard to have my husband go away while I'm home to take care of the kids and the home solo. But it is not impossible.

The kids were pretty awesome while Hubby was away. Boogie was very helpful, and Buggy kept us laughing.  I found inner strength to do what I thought I couldn't do solo. But, boy, and am I glad that he's home with us again!

"I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me." Philippians 4:13

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


I ran the local 5-miler this past Saturday and I ran it in 56:25.  Twelve minutes faster than I ran it last year.  It's amazing what happens when you drop 24 lbs., buy a good pair of running shoes, and finally get a new prescription for an asthma inhaler for your exericise-induced asthma

The was the crazy Saturday that Hubby would be coming home on the red-eye from a week-long business trip.  My parents had graciously offered to have the kids spend the night at their house. This meant the kids didn't have to wake up super early so that I could leave for my race. The kids spent the night with my parents, who then took them to my son's t-ball game in the morning.  What a stress-relief not to have to worry about the kids while I was trying my best to run a good race.

I prepped for the race by taking TREC classes at the gym and running outside several times over the last few weeks.  Hard to find time to run outside with two kids and a hubby who has been gone on business trips. But I found time to do it when Hubby was home and felt better about being able to run this past Saturday.  I had also lost weight which helps when you are trying to lower your time.

Even though I had run outside several times and had run full 5 miles at least twice, I still wasn't feeling prepared.  I was afraid I would walk more than I wanted (which I didn't want to walk at all). I was afraid I'd come in last, which I have nearly done the last two races I've run in. I was afraid I would lose my cookies due to nerves before I even made it to the race site. Fortunately that didn't happen.

My goals this race:
**Run 5-miles in under an hour
**Keep my BIL (brother-in-law) in sight
**Not lose my cookies on the race.

I downloaded several new songs on my ipod in the hopes to get my adrenaline pumping.

Some songs that I listened to on the race and the thoughts I had as I heard them:

Have a Nice Day--Bon Jovi
Ooooh, if there's one thing I hang onto 
that gets me through the night I
 ain't gonna do what I don't want to
 I'm gonna live my life

That's right, I'm not gonna do what I don't want to. I'm going to run my brains out because I think it's fun.

So What--P!nk
So, What, 
I'm still a rockstar, I got my rock moves

Yeah, I totally air drummed my way through this song. My BFF sent me several messages about me being a rockstar to encourage me for the race. I thought of her as I ran.  Yeah, I'm  rock star.

Hey Ya--Outkast
Shake it, shake it, shake it,
shake it, shake it, shake it,
shake it, shake it, shake it,
shake it, shake it, shake, shake it
shake it like a polaroid picture

Yup, I felt my backside shake it like a polaroid picture. Not a great image, I still have too much to shake. Still gotta work on that.

(Lyrics provided by

The music pumped through and it was awesome. There were times that I couldn't keep going, but then a new song would go on and I would be jazzed. My music choices are eclectic with a little Dar, Michael Buble, P!nk, Outkast, Black eyed Peas, John Mayer, Third Day, Jars of Clay, and yes, even a little Britney.

I became a little frustrated with some of the "walkers" on the race. You know, the ones that start off fast and then start walking, but the second you pass them, they decide to start running and pass you? Argghhhh, that's so frustrating to me, especially if they beat me! I feel like I should do better since I run the entire race and I don't stop to walk. This year, my goal was to pass every walker I saw. I did, and even if they passed me, it encouraged me to pick up my pace and pass them by the end.

By mile 4 I was definitely hitting my wall and getting tired. I had seen the 4-mile marker and didn't think I had any more energy to keep going. I had already made the most of every downhill run, lengthening my stride and running faster. But the last mile was slightly uphill with the wind blowing in my face.  Not the best scenario. I was tired. As I was coming around one of the turns I saw a woman standing on a sidewalk by herself looking as if she was waiting for someone. As I came closer she ran into the street and started clapping yelling, "Go, keep running, keep going." I screamed, "Jules!"  It was so nice. A friend of mine had seen my FB status before leaving the house that morning and just happened to be in the exact area of the race for something else. She stopped by the race.  I don't know how long she had been standing there or if she even knew I would be coming by, but there she was waiting.  It was totally unplanned and totally awesome. I admit in that last mile I was having a bit of a pity party thinking about how Hubby wasn't there in the morning to wish me luck and that my kids wouldn't be there at the end. So it was totally awesome that Jules was standing there cheering me on when I needed it the most.

Last week when I ran outside on my own in preparation. I knew that I could run the race in 1 hr. 0min. 17 sec. But I really wanted to run the race in under an hour. I know that it's not a good race time, but it would be better than last year's time of 1 hr. 8 min. and something seconds.  By the last mile I knew that I had 17 minutes to go before the end of the mile. I also knew that I could run the last mile in 11 gave me a bit of a cushion. When I came around the last turn and saw the end, I turned on the burners and sprinted the last bit. My BIL who finished long before I had was there to cheer me on at the end and with a cup of water. Awesome.

I ran the race in 56:25. As my husband says, I've been doggin' it during my practice sessions. I ran faster than I thought I could. It's not a fabulous time, but for the first time, I'm not the last girl in my age group truckin' in.  I felt great after the race and I'm ready for another.

Goals met:
**run the race in less than an hour
**not to lose my cookies before the race or during.

Goal not met:
Keep up enough to see my BIL in front of me.

I couldn't see my BIL after the first turn, but let's face it he runs much faster. But I did shave 12 minutes off of last year's time. If I do that again next year, I might be able to catch up ;)

Thanks to all who sent me a FB or called me to encourage me for the race. It helped to have that boost of confidence as I made it through the race. You all are rockstars! Now go shake it like a polaroid picture. JK!

Anybody ready to run the Firecracker 10K with me on July 4th?

Friday, May 14, 2010

Threshold Thursday

By Thursday I had hit my threshold for my DH (dear hubby) being away on business. We are rarely apart and his traveling the last few weeks has disrupted our routine. Though I must say the kids have done much better this time around. Overall, we're all doing much better. But if you had seen me yesterday morning, you would not have thought so.

First thing, since I had gotten to bed late on Wednesday night, I got up late Thursday morning. I hate when I do this because I feel like that I start the day already behind with little chance of catching up.  Within two hours of getting up, I had to get ready, get the kids ready, make sure that I put the paperwork for the teacher in my purse, remember to bring the flowers as a thank you for the teachers, remember the camera so that I can video Boogie's May sing, try to get out of the house on time so that I was on time for Buggy's check up at the doctor's office.  Of course it's when I'm stressed and trying to get out the door that Boogie tends to dawdle. My patience quickly dissipates and my voice gets louder and sterner. I finally busted into tears on the stairs next to the door realizing that we would be late and my day was unraveling before me and we hadn't even made it out the door.  

It was at this time that my son sat down next to me and asked me why I was crying. He then patted my back, kissed my cheek, and said, "It's hard when Daddy's not home."  How true, how true.  

I pulled myself together, sucked it up, and out the door we went. I think I just needed to vent all the stress that has been building up with DH being gone.  Once I did, I was able to move forward.  I did and so did the kids. We made it just a few minutes late to school. We made it to Buggy's appointment on time.  I made it back to school on time for the Sing and I was able to record it.  We went home and skipped the gym afterwards. I focused on only getting the laundry done and made it the only thing on my to-do list while the kids played and napped. We made it to t-ball practice last night with minimal distractions.  Once we got home the kids went straight to bed and I was able to take a deep breath.

For such a stressful morning, the rest of the day was pretty peaceful. I let go of all of the other "to dos" on my list. I got the one thing done that I wanted to do and felt successful. We had a great night.  

I still can't wait for Hubby to get home tomorrow morning, but I feel like I'm finally over the hump and we'll make it :)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Wha? Did you say size 8?

I've been on this weight loss journey FOREVER!  However, no matter how hard I tried I couldn't shake off the baby weight from my first baby who is now four.  I would work out hard and not see any difference and become very frustrated.  I also love reading Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series. She has one character, Lulu who cracks me up. She's always described as a larger than life woman.  I always laughed when I read about how she squeezes her large body in her spandex outfits...until one day the author listed the character's size/weight and I realized that was me! Not the squeezing into spandex part, but the large part. OMG I was Lulu!  I realized right then and there that I had to do something about my weight.

Before I became pregnant with Buggy I convinced my husband to let me spend the extra money and try Nutrisystem. Working full-time I wasn't able to make it to the gym very much but I was able to use the Nutrisystem meal plan. I lost 2-3 pant sizes and was within 10 pounds of making it to my pre-baby weight. However, it still meant that I was a big girl. Just slightly less big.  It also meant that I was tied to the NS meals and didn't know if I could lose the weight if I went off the program.

When I became pregnant with baby #2, gained 45 pounds during my pregnancy and had to start all over again. However, I walked everyday the last 3 months of my pregnancy and I think that is why I lost more weight initially than I had when I had my son.  I still had 15 lbs. to go before I hit my pre-pregnancy weight with Baby #2. But I hit the "wall" and couldn't do it. I was at the gym everyday. I was taking classes. I was doing everything right or so I thought. In chatting with one of the trainers, she told me that she noticed I was having trouble and lectured me about my eating habits. She was absolutely right and I had to hear it. She recommended that I go to a site that helped me to count my calories and determine what I was eating. It was basically an on-line calorie counter. I did and I have since lost 22 pounds and 3 pant sizes since November.

I've stalled a couple of times, got back to it and have started losing again. My goal is to be at least 1 lb. below my pre-pregnancy weight with baby #1 before trying for baby #3, be healthier, NOT to be diagnosed with diabetes, to be able to keep up with my kids, and run races.   Being a SAHM I just can't afford the pricey programs. Using The Daily Plate I've been able to watch my calories, type in gym routines and see how many calories I've burned, and keep on track with my weight loss. So far so good! I'm not quite where I want to be. According to the BMI I need to lose another 17-20 pounds to be at a healthy weight.  Which I will do eventually.  But at least I know that I can do it!

Last week I ran 5-miles outside for a practice run for this week's race. It's amazing what good shoes, an asthma inhaler, and losing 20+ pounds will do for your run. In practice I've already shaved about 8 minutes from last year's race time. I hope I can do it on Saturday :)  Wish me luck!

Almost Wordless Wednesday: Hey Ben!

  Hey Ben, Did you hear it's our 1st birthday? Let's Celebrate!!!!

This is one of my favorite pictures of Buggy with her cousin. I used this picture for the their birthday invite last year. It still cracks me up :)

Monday, May 10, 2010

Here We Go Again!

Hubby left yesterday afternoon for another business trip. Yup, he left on Mother's Day for a week long business trip.  He did his best to make Mother's Day Special for me. It was a wonderful Mother's Day. I got to sleep in, eat a delicious breakfast, take a nap, relax, enjoy lunch and dessert out. He worked with the kids to decorate Mother's Day cards. He was wonderful and I know that he hated to leave for a business trip. He left at 3:30pm and then we were on our own.  Triple whammy:  he left on Mother's Day, it's for a week and I think my threshold for him being gone is only for 4 days, and he is taking the red-eye back next Saturday in the hopes of making it on time to our son's t-ball game (though despite his best efforts, it looks doubtful) while I run my race.  Fortunately my parents will be able to take both kids on Saturday to the game and I'll meet up with them after the race.

As always before any business trip he works late the week before to prep for the trip. He's got a lot of documents to write, things that to be reviewed and signed, not to mention to prep the questions and to go over the background information that he needs for the sworn statements he has to take.  It's crazy busy, it throw us for a loop that he's not home for dinner most nights before his trip. The kids go a little nutty especially Boogie who adores Daddy.  The week that Hubby is gone gets nuttier because I overdo it and try to keep busy so as to not think about him being gone and then I've worn myself out to the point of exhaustion. The kids can feel my stress and they react to it.

My goal this time around is to keep it simple. Stick to our routines, set up a few play dates, and for me to go to bed earlier!  My mantra will be to keep my head and to not sweat the small stuff and to not create big stuff to sweat! :)

Sunday, May 9, 2010

At Least One

I think every woman needs to have at least one best girlfriend. Someone that she doesn't have to hesitate to call, one that understands her, one that just "gets" it.  I'm am very blessed that I have a couple of these best girlfriends in my life whether they're friends or family.

My mom will tell you that I'm not the easiest person to live with. By my own accord I am stubborn, willful, disorganized, and discombobulated. But I think that I am also loyal, loving, caring, and can be a great laugh.  I am very lucky to have friends who love me in spite of me :)  I'm sure there has been a time or two that my best girlfriends have wanted to throw me out the window, but I know that they would also have been there with the big inflatable mattress at the bottom to catch me.

My friends don't live nearby. Yes, I have friends locally. Yes, I have friends that I hang out with to have lunch or dinner. But my best girlfriends live at least at an hour away and one who lives about a 12-hour drive away. I'm also lucky to call my sisters-in-law my friends. Having no sisters of my own, marrying into a family with 4 ready made sisters was...well...intimidating! But also so very nice to know that I had someone to turn to for questions on child-rearing or family relationships or just about anything.

But I truly think that women really need to have that best girlfriend(s).  It's funny, I have two that I probably talk to or seen on a regular basis, but they don't live anywhere close. One lives in another state, but she and I probably talk on the phone at least once to twice a week. The other I probably never talk to on the phone, but I see at least once a month but I feel I'm never at a loss to know what she is doing because she blogs. Thank goodness for blogs! It also helps that our kids are best friends.

About two days ago I was at my wit's end. Hubby was working late again this week. While he was supposed to be home earlier because it was Friday, with a change in his computer at work and a document that needed to be reviewed, and getting ready for a week-long business trip that he has to leave for on Mother's Day, things got a little hairy at home. The kids were missing him and I was missing him.  He came home late, but just in time to hear the crying/screaming fest from our kids who were beyond tired but couldn't pull it together for bedtime.

As he relieved me and took over bedtime, I sat down to FB a message to one of my nearest and dearest girlfriends. Her life is as busy as mine. Here husband runs his own law practice and is running for public office. He often misses dinner and works hard. Her schedule is as busy as mine and while we rarely speak on the phone (because who has the time to have a real conversation while the kids are awake and while we're trying to play catchup with the household chores while they're asleep!) we're the best of friends. I know that if I needed her she would come running and vice-versa. So I sent her this Facebook message asking her for sanity savers while the hubby is MIA.  Remember I was totally done by this point and could not think clearly.  I think my title was, "How do you do it?"  She sent me a message back with several good ideas that are easily implementable. But it was her last sentence that sent me over:  "Can I come over Monday AND Wednesday?"  She was already coming over on Wednesday to play with my kids and to give me a break so that I could do some things in preparation for the week after Hubby got back from his business trip.  But in her e-mail she also offered to come another day. She was offering to give me the most precious thing she could give, Her TIME.  I felt so completely blessed, loved, and humbled all at once.  I absolutely hate asking for help from anyone, because I never want to impose on anyone. But she could hear my desperation through my FB message and she came running.

Just knowing that she was there for me is enough to remind me to inhale and exhale slowly and to know that while my Hubby is away I wasn't alone.  To have that kind of friendship is priceless and I am so grateful.

Take some time while you can this week and give your best friend a call.  Whether you chat on the phone, skype, or email, try to spend some time to catch up, vent, and laugh about something.  Enjoy!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Home Base Zone Part II

I'm still on my quest to organize my house. However, I have finally realized after 32 years, that this is not going to happen over night and I'm cutting myself a little slack. Not so much slack that I've abandoned my task, but enough to realize that just getting my Home Base Zone organized may take me more than a day.  If it's going to take me 2-3 days to get that small part of my house organized, it's going to take me all year to work on the rest of the house!

Yesterday, as I was wrapping some Mother's Day gifts for the grandmas and the Godmothers, I had to make a concerted effort to put away all of my supplies. Usually I leave them be because I'll get back to them. But I made a conscious effort to put everything away (even my son helped!) even though I wasn't done with my supplies. Then I spent an extra minute putting other things away. As a result, my living room is starting to look a little neater!

Today is my self-designated 30-minute "Clean Sweep."  I'm going to go through each of the boxes and just start putting them in piles:  trash, keep, donate, Swaptree.  (Swaptree is an online swap where I can trade books and music for other ones that I want. I've got a ton of books in great condition that I know that I will not read again. I don't want to donate them, but willing to trade them for books I do want. Saves me money...and if I'm careful to choose books that I really want, maybe I'll swap out more than I swap in???? Is that possible?)  My only concern is finding the 30 minutes to do this.  I can't do it when my littlest one is awake. So it's either before the kids wake up in the next 2 hours if they don't wake up any earlier or during afternoon naps. Let's hope I don't take one with them ;)

Here is my work in progress in my little corner of the world. It's been Day 2 and my counter has stayed clear!!!!  No pics of the counter, but instead pics of my nearly empty drawers.  As I needed items from the boxes I slowly and carefully put things back in drawers where I think I'll need them the most. Thoughtfully putting back items is helping me realize what I need on a regular basis.

Cabine with all of my cookbooks. I've decided to leave the bottom shelf for the cookbooks I use most often.  The middle shelf is the for the stationary I use on a regular basis: address books, cards, etc. The top shelf is for cook books that I use, maybe not on a regular basis.  I think I'm going to take them back down and go through them again in my 30 minute Clean Sweep.

Bottom drawer underneath the printer. My trusty labeler and a phone book. No longer a junk drawer!

The craft cabinet for the kids. In the tub I have coloring books, crayons, glue sticks, construction paper, stickers, and markers.  On the top shelf are the computer supplies: paper, photo paper, ink catridges.

My mostly cleaned out drawers. The items that are in the drawers are things that I used in the last 24 hours, so they stay. Just much more organized!

Ah, here is the Heather we know and love. The discomboubulation!!!  In case you thought aliens invaded my body, here are the two boxes of shtuff I have to go weed out.  Wish me luck. If you know me at all this is going to be the hard part!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

I Need a Better System!

As you saw from some of my pictures in my series "A Week in the Life" you saw parts of my messy house. I had commented at least twice that I need a better system. I do, I really do!!!  Several years ago I bought the "The Idiot's Guide to Organizing Your Life." I currently cannot find that book, ironic, huh? So obviously I haven't organized my life.  I'm always a work in progress. The sad thing is that I'm better than I was 10-15 years ago.

I recently bought the book "The House that Cleans Itself." I'm always on the lookout for ways to be better organized and to find a better system. I also subscribe to the blog, Organizing Your Way.  I love the blogger's philosophy of helping you find ways that work for you! The blogger also happens to be the mom of 4 little girls, so I feel like I can relate (although I only have two!). 

The house has been driving me nuts, although it's really not that bad. But there are things out of place everywhere!  I hate when people come by unexpectedly and they see the chaos of my house.  So I'm determined to clean up and declutter!!!! Especially declutter!

The first step in the book was to do a flow chart of your home just to figure out all the areas in your house. The second part was to find your HomeBase Zone. The area that drives you the nuttiest. The place that makes you stressed out because it's not neat. It's also the place that gives you the most calm when it is clear, neat, and organized.  For me it's my kitchen counter next to my printer. It's the catchall for all things that come in the door: mail, school notes, receipts, new purchases, etc.  When we have a big family gathering it's the place that stresses out me and the Hubby.  I usually throw everything into a bin and shove it underneath the counter.  It's so nice when it's clear...but I know that all the crap is still lurking underneath.

After dinner last night, Hubby took the kids out to run errands. Unbeknownst to him I decided to start decluttering. Poor guy. I've included my work in progress. I managed to fill up at least two large boxes worth of stuff, most of which I'm sure I can throw away or find a new home for in their proper place.

I managed to clean off the countertop. There were cookbooks that I'm deciding what I should do with them. I've decided to pick and choose the ones that I definitely use and I'm going to give away the others.

This is what has been accumulating in the bottom cabinet underneath the printer. Yikes!

More stuff to sort, throw away, and donate.

This is the beautiful sight that greeted me this morning! Yay!  Only the essentials on the counter: the charging station, my labeler (which I can now fit into one of the many empty drawers and something I'm using all the time, now!), my router, my printer, a jar for writing utensils, my coupon holder, and my receipt). The coupon and receipt holders are left on top and in sight so that I remember to put coupons and receipts in there right away when I get home.  

By no means am I done with this area of the kitchen. Remember I have go through the two boxes of stuff. That's the hard part. I think I'm going to follow a "Clean Sweep" model and give myself 30 minutes to sort the boxes and decide what to do with the stuff I have.  Everything else is pitch or donate. Anybody need a cookbook?

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Almost Wordless Wednesday: Note to Self

Note to self:  Lift up the toilet lid before going to bed to make it easier for the very sleepy 4-yr. old who is trying to stay dry at night to go to the potty. Otherwise this sight might greet you!

He was so proud of himself that he "listened to his body" and used the potty. He wiped an everything...he just forgot to raise the lid!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The Queen of Returns

I've become one of "those" people.  You know the ones that return everything! It's terrible and I don't relish it, but I'm getting better at it.  It's not that I don't like what I bought, but because I have found it somewhere else and cheaper!

I have decided to be a SAHM. It was my choice and I love it, but not having my income does put a crimp in our budget. I have to be more careful of what I choose to do with our money. I'm the one who does 85% of the food shopping and probably 95% of everything else. I decide what we need for the home, for the kids, and for the hubby. Sometimes I'll think about what I need (well I do have a running wish list on Amazon, but I rarely indulge!) Granted, I did just buy myself an expensive pair of running shoes, but I use them almost everyday and getting a good pair means no more knee pain. I think it was worth the trade off.

A friend of mine was shocked that I would check with my husband before buying a tricycle for my daughter. She laughed at me and said, "Just buy it if you like it."  Well, when I was working, I wouldn't have thought twice about it, nor would I worry about bargains.  But I don't work outside the home anymore. I definitely work, but my income is the hugs and kisses from my kids and having a happy family. So, yes, I do check with my husband for larger ticket items.  I also return things if I can find it cheaper somewhere else.

Anyway, so I return everything. And I mean everything!  Part of it is my lack of organization. Sometimes I find that I already had something at home that would do just nicely and so I have to return what I bought to "replace" that thing I couldn't find.  Part of it is that I'm still honing my bargain seeking skills.  Who knew that kids sunglasses were 2/$5 at one store or $5.99 each at another?  So of course I returned the $5.99 pairs that I bought my kids.  And someone reading this blog will tell me that I can find them cheaper somewhere else. That's fine!  Sometimes I will buy something and my husband will say, "Really? Do you think we really need that?" Sometimes we do, and other times we don't. So back to the store I go to return things.

I could probably save myself some extra cash, gas, and time if I was able to find what I needed at a good price the first time.  So my goal is: 1) to be better organized so that I can find the things that I need right in my own home; 2) Get better at recognizing what a "good" price is; 3) Find the sales/bargains.  Maybe if I can do these 3 things  I will no longer be the queen of returns, and most importantly I will be able to save money, gas, and time!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

A week in the Life: Day 7

Day 7 in A Week in the Life. Last Day, Enjoy!

Bugs ready to go to Boogie's T-Ball game. Very hot yesterday!!!

The family stylin' with their sunglasses and ready to roll to the game.

 "Holly Hobbie"

Waiting for his turn at bat.

Aim for the fences!

Very tired Buggy after the t-ball game!

Trying to be more organized:  Carolina Pad 13-pocket file folder for coupons, small file folder for receipts, my Brother Labeler, and a card holder to lessen the junk in my wallet...
Dinner out last night! A very belated Christmas gift to my in-laws.

It took 3 tries, but I got everyone to smile. Hubby with his parents after our dinner.

Night sky on our way home, last night.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

A Week in the Life: Day 6

I wish I brought my camera around more. I was still able to get some cute pictures. Enjoy!

My little girl without her signature pigtails. Makes her look much older...I don't know how I feel about this.

Another view of her single ponytail...still not sure how I feel about this.

Dining al fresco. The children are there, just hard to see.

Perfect outdoor dinner. Brats, loaded with peppers, the best watermelon ever, and potato chips!

So good, yum!

My son loves creepy-crawlies and likes to name them. This year, this little guy is "furry." When my son returned him to where he found him, he said, "Good luck finding your family!"

The kids brushing their teeth at bedtime. Buggy is always fighting, (ahem, I mean asserting), her right to share the same stool with her brother.