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Archive for February, 2009

It’s Been A Lovely Day

I have had a really great day today.  The weather was overcast, but warm enough to be outdoors without a jacket.  I got to sleep in.  The kids were good, for the most part.

This morning The Girl got invited to her friend’s house for a playdate.  I took her over there, with The Boy in tow, with the intention of leaving The Girl, and taking The Boy to the store with me.  Well, we also found out today that this particular friend and her family are moving to New York in a few short weeks, so I couldn’t bring myself to leave right away.  I chatted with the friend’s mom (who happens to be the first friend I made when we moved out here…sniff) for a while, and then went to the store, came back, and chatted some more.  It’s amazing that, even though I’ve known this family for less than a year, I am really going to miss them.  They will always hold a special place in my heart as the ones who made us feel like we belong here.  Thanks Carissa and Ernie!  I wish you well on your new adventure! 

After coming home, we just had a nice relaxing evening of cartoons, crafts, and turkey burgers.  There was one meltdown when The Boy realized (5 hours later, mind you) that he didn’t get to go to the store with me.  He cried for over an hour.  I gave him the choice of coming with me or staying to play, and he wanted to play!  I felt terrible though.  But, he cheered up once I drew a  smiley face on his burger bun with ketchup and mustard. 

Now the kids are in bed, and I have a few things to do before I hit the hay.  I hope tomorrow is half as good as today was.

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So, we are getting ready to move again…this time to another apartment one building over.  As we are packing up our stuff again, less than a year after moving from MI, it’s amazing to me how much easier it is this time around.

Last year, I packed everything by myself because Brian was on the road.  This year, Brian is doing more than I am.  Or at least, it’s equal.  Also, this year, the kids are just enough older that they can help too.  This year, I don’t have to worry about our poor old dog, who we put to sleep when we moved last year.  This year, we aren’t leaving our friends and family, so we don’t have to plan and attend the going away parties.  And, of course, this year we don’t have to drive across the country, start new jobs, and adjust to a whole new state.

With all of those things that make this easier, it doesn’t mean that the move will be fun.  I am looking forward to the remodeled apartment, but there are pieces of this that are actually harder.  I mean, we don’t have to rent a truck, which is good, but that means we have to carry everything from one apartment to the other.  And then there are the bunk beds.  We bought them when we moved here, and had them assembled by the delivery men.  They are big, heavy, and bulky. and we don’t have the instructions for assembly.  Also, there are a lot of stairs to contend with.  And, no one to keep the kids entertained and out of the way during the move.

Overall, it’s really not going to be that bad, but I’m still dreading it.  I really wish there was a Moving Genie……..

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Is It Worth It?

I had a rough day at work today.  Like everyone in the country, we are affected by recession.  Add that to the fact that the California government passed a budget that reduces our funding streams, and you can see why it was stressful.  While I was driving home, I started to wonder if it was worth it.  Is it worth it to spend my days worring about whether or not my employer is in the red?  Is it worth it to spend 40 hours a week away from my kids?  Does my job even matter?  Am I making a difference?

After some though, I decided that, yeah, I guess it is worth it.  My job does make a difference.  I like being able to provide for my family.  But, I’m just not sure that I want to carry the burden of budgetary issues and staffing issues.  I tend to become a confidant, and so I’m not really sure I want to deal with the issues of those around me either.

So, what does this mean?  Well, I’ll put some feelers out.  I’ll see if I get any bites.  But, more likely than not, I’ll probably stay put.  I like my job, in spite of it all.  Another job would be tough to come by right now, and I’m not sure I want to have to worry about transferring our medical insurance and all of that.  I have enough on my plate without having to worry about all of that.

So, for now I’ll deal with my stress with a junk food bender and some reading.  Then, later, when I’m coming down from the inevitable sugar high,  I’ll figure out what my next move will be.

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My dear friend Becca gave me this recipe, and it’s a staple at our house in the summer.  It’s super quick, healthy, and the kids love it!

Ingredients

1 lb of chicken breasts, thinly sliced (I buy them already sliced)

1 package of cream cheese, softened

1 tsp garlic powder

1 Tbsp dill

1 cucumber, sliced

Kaiser Rolls

Directions

With an electric mixer, mix cream cheese, dill, and garlic powder until creamy.  Refrigerate. (You can do this ahead of time if you want.)

Grill chicken breast slices (or, be like me, and have your husband do it!)

Put chicken, cream cheese spread, and cucumber on a kaiser roll and enjoy!

I usually serve this with a salad made with tomatoes, cucumbers, and onion (or green onion).

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Reflections

Nine days ago, I was told that I needed to stay home from work for a week, because my ribs were not healing properly.  I was told that I needed to be flat on my back for at least 4 hours per day, and that I was to do nothing that caused any pain.  This gave me time to think about some things, and to reflect on some choices that I’ve made. 

The first thing that I realized is that I am incapable of being still without falling asleep.  I am hoping that it was from all of the medication that I was on this week, but I’m not completely convinced.  There were days when I didn’t need medication, but I fell asleep anyway.  I think what it is is that I am always moving when I am home.  I mean, I’ll pick up toys, make dinner, do dishes, wipe down counters, etc.  I rarely sit still until after the kids are in bed.  This week, because I had to stay still all the time, I just fell asleep.  Even if I was watching tv or reading a book…snoozefest.  It was crazy.

Another theory I have about this sleep thing is that maybe I really do have Seasonal Affective Disorder.  I’ve thought this for years, but never got around to getting diagnosed.  But, now, I think it might be serious.  I was cooped up indoors all week, plus it was kind of rainy and gloomy for most of the week.  Coincidence?  I’m not sure.

I also realized that, even though I love my job, it does make me a little bit sad that I can’t be a Stay At Home Mom.  I tried to do this once when The Girl was a baby, and it did not go well.  I know, in my heart of hearts, that I am a better mom when I work.  But, as I sit here on Sunday night, I can’t help but feel sad.  I am sad because I know I am really going to miss the kids tomorrow when I’m at work.  I’m going to miss all of the hugs.  I’m going to miss listening to The Girl read to The Boy during their rest.  I’ll miss the smile on The Boy’s face that I’ve seen every day this week when I told him that I wasn’t going to work.  I’m so sad that I didn’t get to do SAHM stuff this week because I was supposed to stay still.  I would have liked to go to the park.  I would have liked to bake something.  At least I did get to cuddle a lot this week.  That part was great!

I also realized that I am really glad I started this blog.  While I didn’t get to all of the writing that I wanted to do this week (as a result of all the sleeping, I’m sure) I did write quite a bit on here.  I really don’t care that I don’t have  a ton of readers.  That doesn’t bother me.  What I enjoy is getting my thoughts out of my head.  I love it when people leave comments…especially if it’s someone I’ve never met. 

Speaking of people I’ve never met, this blog, along with Twitter, has allowed me to “meet” a lot of interesting folks.  I enjoy discussing differing points of view on things.  In fact, I got asked to write a little something for another blog this week!  What a great compliment that was.  And, come to find out, the gentleman who owns that blog has a similar family situation to me, and we’ve chatted a few times about kids, moving, movies, jobs…all kinds of things.  It’s nice to get that outside perspective.  (As an aside, I’m certain that Brian would compare this to the online game he plays.  I call the people he chats with on there his “pretend friends”.  I do not deny that this is quite the same, and would not be offended if he called the people I chat with my “pretend friends” Just thought I’d throw that out there).

So, there are some things that I’ve been thinking about this week.  I hope that once I go back to work tomorrow I’ll be able to continue writing as much as I have this week.

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A while back, I mentioned that I hate to cook.  And when I say hate, that is exactly what I mean.  I would rather clean a toilet than cook a meal.  For many years, my motto was, “If it doesn’t come in a box, a bag, or a can, I’m not cooking it”. *

Then I had kids.  While we still eat stuff from boxes, bags, and cans, I really am trying to introduce healthier fare, which unfortunately means cooking.  Now, just because I’m cooking does not mean that I will like it, so I look for the easiest recipes that I can find, with as few ingredients as possible.

That leads me to my new idea.  Every so often, I’m going to post a recipe that requires little or no effort.  I’ll let you know how I came upon the recipe, and whether or not my kids will eat it, which of course, is important. 

So, here is my first recipe.  This is modified from my mom’s chili (she doesn’t use black beans or a crock pot).  My kids love this meal…though it might just be the cheese and crackers…..

My Favorite Crock Pot Chili

Ingredients

1 lb or so of ground beef

2 28 oz cans of stewed tomatoes (I throw them in the blender, but you don’t have to

1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed

1 can of red kidney beans, drained and rinsed

Chili powder and red pepper flakes to taste

Directions

In a large skillet, brown ground beef with some chili powder, drain.  Put beef in crock pot.  Add tomatoes, beans, and enough water to fill the crock pot.  Cover the top of the chili with chili powder.  Stir.  Do that again.  Stir.  Now do it with the red pepper flakes (less if you don’t want it too spicy).  Stir.  Turn crock pot on low and WALK AWAY.  Go to work.  Go grocery shopping.  Clean out a closet or two.  Come back 6-8 hours later and enjoy some great chili.  Serve with sharp or extra sharp chedder cheese and some crackers (oyster, cheez-its, goldfish, saltines) or tortilla chips.

Easy!

 

*This rule does not include baking.  I actually like to bake.  Odd, I know…

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I Had Plans

I’m such a procrastinator!  I had great plans for what I was going to do today, since I’m feeling 100% better, and, well, let’s just say, not everything got done.

Here is what I planned to do:

-Pack up some things for our upcoming move.

-Vacuum

-Grocery shopping

-Walmart-ing

-dust

-clean the bathrooms

-sweep the kitchen floor

-laundry

-take some of the kids old stuff to the resale shop

-Go out for lunch

-start cleaning/packing the bedroom

-exercise

Here’s what I actually did:

-Walmart

-took the kids stuff to the place

-went out for lunch

-grocery shopping

-vacuumed

-facebook/twitter/myspace/wrote this blog

-considered playing a game on the computer

-procrastinated!

Oh well…I suppose I shouldn’t push myself.  It is the first day that I’ve felt well in a while….yeah…….

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