Posts Tagged ‘lists’

Lessons Never Learned

Friday, June 7th, 2013

A Brief List Of Lessons I REALLY Should Have Learned By Now But Can’t Seem To Keep In My Thick Skull:

1. Eating too much crap will make you feel like crap.
2. Wash your face before bed.
3. Wear sunscreen. No, really. Wear it. All the time.
4. Don’t stay up until midnight when you know your kids get up at 5:30 am.
5. Going grocery shopping without a list is ineffective and expensive.
6. Procrastination just makes you anxious about that thing you have to do, so then you’re anxious AND you still have to do it.
7. There is no such thing as “Just checking Facebook really quick”.
8. Ignoring the check engine light in the car doesn’t make it go away.
9. If you spend all your money, then you do not have any money.
10. It’s really hard to end a list at only 9 things.

This post is partially inspired by Amy’s list of lessons she’s learned, which is a great list and can all pretty much be added to THIS list, since I’m sure I won’t remember to put any of it into practice. I feel like a major part of being a grown up is getting to a point where you stop making the same mistakes over and over, which is why I will NEVER be a real grown up. I’ve been making the same mistakes since my very first homework assignment was due in school, the first time I ever got an allowance, the first time I went to a water park without my mom. And yet! Yesterday I put off a writing assignment I had due, spent unnecessary dollars on candy I didn’t need (and shouldn’t eat), and already sunburned my nose twice this season.

I wish there was a definitive way to change a behavior, permanently, forever that ISN’T just “will-power and hard work.” I realize that makes me lazy, and possibly a shitty person in general, but if I have learned anything about myself it’s that I can’t do it all. Something always slips. And at this point in my life the areas where I cannot afford to screw up – mainly the two small, blurry, red-headed areas usually hovering around my knees – take a lot of energy. If will-power has to be used for either “Don’t eat that cookie your kid just handed you” or “Don’t shout at your other kid for grinding that cookie into the carpet”, I usually eat the cookie. Even when I make things as easy for myself as possible (I bought face wipes and left them on my nightstand so I would ALWAYS clean my face before bed. I still forget.) I can’t seem to follow through. Do I have a chemical deficiency? Am I without a brain part? Did I miss will-power day at school?

Maybe the trick is baby steps. Teeny tiny itty bitty changes over a long, long period of time. If I start drinking a glass of water first thing every morning, maybe in a month I’ll drink 60 oz a day. Maybe if I can go to bed at 11:45 for a few nights in a year I’ll be in bed at 9:30. Maybe if I can skip that iced coffee from Dunkin Donuts and save my pennies in a hundred years I’ll be able to hire a butler to make me all my iced coffees at home! Or maybe I’ll start trying to make changes some other time. Later. Maybe after I check Facebook.

p.s. Unrelated to anything in the post – except for maybe the procrastination thing – I asked Siri (in my iPhone) to sing to me yesterday and this is what I got. I know making Siri say funny stuff is really old news, but it still cracked me up.

ask siri to sing

 

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Top 6 Websites For Party Planning

Friday, October 5th, 2012

top 6 websites for party planning

I kind of like parties. (“Kind of” is kind of an understatement.) I like planning them, I like hosting them, I like cooking and baking and decorating for them. I really like searching for the perfect details for months longer than is technically necessary but is a great way to make the fun last longer. I’ve been on the hunt for the perfect white balloons for weeks now to turn my dining room into an arctic wonderland at Caroline’s birthday and I’ve finally narrowed my search down. Here are my top 6 websites for party planning when I’m at home watching Glee:

1. Oriental Trading Company -I’ve ordered everything from rainbow lollipops to a 4 foot T-Rex from OTC and I’ve loved every purchase. It’s sort of a one-stop-shop, especially if you’re throwing a kid’s party. You can search by holiday or theme, and it includes everything from stickers and glow necklaces to wedding supplies. Sign up for their newsletter or catalog and you’ll get discount codes and free shipping fairly regularly.

2. Bake it Pretty – A fantastic site to make your dessert table gorgeous. I’m obsessed with their cupcake toppers and selection of sprinkles. They have food coloring to make any color frosting you can imagine (including a kit to make those awesome rainbow cakes that are all over Pinterest) and paper goods and chocolate molds too. Prices are reasonable and you can get discounts by signing up for their newsletter.

3. Etsy – Obviously. Need invitations? A Happy Birthday banner? One hundred tiny paper butterflies? A custom onesie? Your wish is pretty much their command. If you can’t find exactly what you want by searching (be specific or you’ll get WAY too many results) find a shop with a style you like and see if they take custom orders. I cannot wait to show you the cupcake toppers I ordered for Caroline’s 2nd birthday. Prices range from extremely affordable to WHOA WHO DOES THAT? but I love getting to know and supporting handmade.

4. Save-on-Crafts -I found Save-on through a Pinterest link that said “Like Oriental Trading for adults!” and it’s true. Very popular among the crazy enthusiastic bride sector, they have TONS of really over the top stuff mixed in with essentials like glass vases and glitter at discount prices. Their shipping isn’t cheap (it’s hard to get cheap shipping on 5 foot tall pre-lit birch trees) but it is fast. Invest in reusable pieces – apothecary jars are good for any type of party, chalkboard markers last a while – and save your extra dollars to pay someone to clean up afterward.

5. Amazon – Search for ANYTHING on Amazon and you’ll probably find it. I’ve bought balloons, costumes, gifts, favors, food, tablecloths and books for various parties at really great prices. I have an Amazon Prime account that gets me free 2-day shipping for last minute stuff (there is ALWAYS last minute stuff). p.s. It doesn’t hurt to double check Amazon against OTC prices. I’ve found identical items are sometimes MUCH cheaper on one of those sites compared to the other.

6. Shop Sweet Lulu – Adorable packaging and decorating supplies (paper straws, vintage-style popcorn boxes, milk bottles) in bright and pastel colors. Their blog is also a fantastic place for inspiration, as long as you don’t mind feeling slightly inferior to some REALLY amazing planners.

What am I missing? Tell me so I can go shop there immediately – only 2 months and 10 days until Caroline’s 2nd birthday!

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10 Ways to Make a Million Dollars

Friday, August 10th, 2012

1. Win the lottery. (Note to self: remember to buy a ticket next time, dummy.)

2. Become super famous through my adorable yet honest, funny but touching, amazingly photographed blog about my pregnancy. Babies. Home. Dog? Crafting? Coupons? I’m still working on it.

3. Die. Come back from dead. Write bestseller about heaven.

4. Invent time machine. Go back in time and invest in Apple/Microsoft/Facebook.

4a. Invent time machine. Go back in time and invent salad in a bag.

4b. Invent time machine. Sell rides on time machine for $100,000 a piece.

5. Find buried pirate treasure while playing with the kids on the beach.

6. Discover a supplement that leads to drastic weight loss, but only if you consume copious amounts of chocolate, wine and cheese daily.

7. Create the first at-home coffee IV drip.

8. Get discovered by P. Diddy while singing karaoke in a bar. Sign billion dollar recording deal to become the next Beyonce. (Note to self: learn to sing.)

9. Start extremely successful business as a baby stylist.

10. Convince half of Martha Stewart’s Twitter followers to send me $1.

Obviously I am about to strike it rich ANY DAY NOW.

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Preparedness

Tuesday, February 21st, 2012

Our vacation is quickly approaching – 19 daaaaaaays!!! – and although I am insanely excited about it I’ve started to think about the practical aspects of leaving the kids and house in someone else’s hands for a week and I’m freaking out.¬† My reasons are two-fold, and I will of course tell you about them now in great detail.

Reason 1 is because how can anyone besides me take care of my beautiful, special, magical snowflakes? They are delicate flowers! Fragile angels! Helpless babies! No one besides me can give them the care and love and constant attention they require to blossom and grow on a daily basis. I am their Mother, giver of Life, completely Irreplaceable.

Of course on a daily basis my love and life-giving mostly involves handing them cheese, playing trains, pouring juice and making sure they don’t kill each other. Not exactly rocket science.

But on the other hand, there ARE a lot of small things that matter an enormous amount to two toddlers but other people wouldn’t know. At bedtime, Evan wants me to sing his songs in a specific order. Caroline likes different sippy cups than Evan does. Her favorite games are hard to understand unless you realize punching you in the face is playing. When Evan asks for a “chocolate bar” he means a granola bar. Are their lives going to be RUINED if someone else does things differently for a week? No, of course not. And because my folks are coming here to our house the amount of change really is minimal. I just want things to be as easy as possible for everyone.

Reason 2 is because there are going to be PEOPLE in my HOUSE and I won’t be here to help them find things which means when they need extra towels or more toilet paper they are going to be opening closets and looking under beds and oh God it’s giving me heart palpitations just THINKING about it. Despite my best efforts and intentions, I am not a well-organized person. Yesterday I “cleaned” the guest room, which consisted of ten minutes untangling yarn, three minutes staring hopelessly at the giant pile of stuff still left to organize and thirty minutes of shoving craft supplies under the bed. Success! Or…not. At least it looks better than the cabinet under the bathroom sink. Or the pantry. Or our bedroom. Or – OH GOD – the basement. THE BASEMENT.

Then there’s the tiny issue that my mother is the kind of person who cleans my microwave every time she visits and my father is the kind of person who builds a new patio every time he visits so things need to be CLEAN and projects need to be FINISHED. Of course, I’ve known about this trip for a year so obviously my anxiety levels aren’t at the level of “get off my butt and do something” yet.

So here is my question for anyone who has left their kid(s) before OR hes watched someone else’s kids for them: How many pages of instructions are helpful vs. crazy-pants obsessive? Evan isn’t helpless, he can ask for the sippy cup he wants, but no one’s going to know what he means when he asks for the “camp-it hoot show” (Captain Hook show = Jake and The Neverland Pirates). Do I need to catalog our exact bedtime routine, or just “Bathtime at 7, in bed by 7:45” good enough? The most stressful part is I’m going to be virtually unreachable, so if I forget to write down “We usually ride the elevator a few times when we go to the mall, even if we don’t need to” I’m imagining the kids sobbing on the floor while my parents look on helplessly.

I don’t think there’s any advice for the house-mess situation, unless you want to come over and clean it for me. Ok, thanks, see you soon.

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A Contrast in Productivity

Thursday, January 26th, 2012

Yesterday, while caring for both children, I…

Got the car emissions test done
Renewed my driver’s license
Mailed a package at the post office
Took Caroline to the lab at the hospital for her lead test
Went to BJ’s
Got copies of Caroline’s birth certificate from town hall
Filled up the car at the gas station
Did ALL the dishes and cleaned the kitchen
Did ALL the laundry, including the sheets
Put away ALL the laundry
Made dinner
Made dessert
Remembered to wash my face
Did not completely lose my mind

Today, I am…

Taking a nap

The End

———————————————————————————————–

I am torn on whether or not doing ALL THE THINGS on one day is a good system, and I think we should discuss it.

Pros: Our usual Stroller Strides/playtime schedule¬† means I only have time for one or two errands BEFORE nap time and the kids are always a mess if I try to take them out AFTER nap time, so taking a day out of the week to get everything done seems like a good idea. Plus if I’m going to haul the kids in and out of the car a few times I might as well do it a LOT of times. I love crossing so much stuff list in quick succession – Check! Check! Check!! Once I get on a roll, I stay on a roll for a long time and my roll spirals into a super clean and organized house/life without lots of hemming and hawing and eye rolling about how much I don’t want to be doing it. And it’s true that once the house is clean it’s easier to keep it that way – I am less likely to throw dishes in the sink instead of putting them directly in the dishwasher if the sink is totally empty. Mostly, I am no longer totally overwhelmed by all the things I know I need to take care of but dread doing.

Cons: I usually only get to the point were I NEED to do all the things after weeks and weeks of avoiding and putting off and honestly should have done most of it a long time ago. It is really, really exhausting to drag the kids to so many places in one day and they really, really don’t like being dragged. When I am PLANNING to do all the stuff at once I don’t bother even TRYING to keep up with it on a regular basis so my laziness spirals out of control. On the days when I am doing all the things I end up ignoring the kids – obviously it is hard to ignore them in public, but at home they watch too much TV and eat snacks off the floor while I try to organize just ONE MORE junk drawer. No matter how much I DO get done, there are still MORE things on my list so I’m still a little overwhelmed.

Wow, that was also exhausting. I think I need another nap. Or maybe I need to suck it up and stop thinking so much about what I have to do and just do it.

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