January 30, 2012

Happy Homemaker Monday


The weather:::
It's a little chilly this morning, but clear. Should warm up nicely.

On my reading pile:::  
A Dave Ramsey article.

On my TV:::
Maybe video games. Shh, don't tell.

On the menu for this week:::
Monday- Chick'n patties and spaghetti squash
Tuesday- Skewer chicken and couscous
Wednesday- Tacos
Thursday- Meaty stuffed potatoes
Friday- Mini meat loaves and green beans
Saturday- Sweet and sour pork

On my to do list:::
Learn how to sell on ebay.

What I am sewing, crocheting, knitting or creating:::
Finished the patchwork top of my baby blanket. Need mom to help me with batting, back, and ties.

Looking around the house:::
Dining room table full of junk, but the kitchen is clean enough to cook in. Some clothes to fold in the living room, and Jeffery the Slug could use a terrarium cleaning.

From the camera:::
Still trying to figure out how to put pix here.

Something fun to share::: I' too boring this week to be fun!

January 25, 2012

Can I Afford To Stay Home?

I have wanted for years to be able to stay home with my kids, but it was never, or never seemed like an option. When I was a single mother it could not have been done.  I was my son’s sole support and without my working we would have had nothing. Then with my second baby I had a great job with excellent pay and benefits. I didn’t think I could leave that because I had become used to a certain standard of living. That standard was: be able to pay all the bills, spend too much on eating out, and be tired and crabby all the time because between work and commute, I was spending twelve hours a day away from home.

When I got laid off from my last job, I couldn’t have been happier. Work had become the enemy. The money kept us going but the politics and insecurity at the company were taking every bit of joy away from me. I had always thought I would be able to stay home sometime “in the future,” but I took being laid off as a sign. Now is the future. It has gotten interesting when it comes time to pay the bills, but so far, we are okay. We used to eat out a lot, but now I cook at home. We couldn’t do that before because I was always too tired and busy to cook. That change alone has probably saves us at least $200 dollars a month.

Just a month before I got laid off I had a conversation with a coworker. She was working full time for the first time in five years. She had worked part time or not at all since her son was born, and her husband had a regular job, not some hot shot executive position. I asked her how they managed. She told me something that didn’t make a lot of sense at the time. She said, “ You just make it work.” Now that I am home, it makes perfect sense. There is no magic answer for your family since every family is different, but there are little things that fit into your family’s life that just make it happen.

Maybe you sell one of your cars. You hate the thought of giving up your freedom, but you also hate the idea of losing your house. Can you coordinate with your spouse to get everyone where they need to be in order to save a car payment and insurance (and gas, and new tires, and oil changes, and car washes)? Only you can answer that for your specific situation, but even if you can’t give up the second car, there are other things you can do to keep the family going.

So what I have been doing lately is just making it work. I’ve saved money by cooking, and I am answering the phone for my friend’s business. I wont make much doing that, but I still get to stay home. I’m looking into other small things I can do from home, and I have been able to help my husband much more with his business. We may struggle, but we will make it. And being home makes me happy. I don’t have to spend money on Prozac to make me feel normal.

January 23, 2012

Happy Homemaker Monday

The weather:::
Its pretty gloomy out there. I don't know if its supposed to rain, but I wouldn't mind if it stayed dark.
On my reading pile:::  
Wikipedia articles related to urban decay and abandoned structures. Fascinating for reasons I don't understand.
On my TV:::
I'm hoping today will be TV free.
On the menu for this week:::
Monday- Oh So Good Chicken Casserole
Tuesday- Hamburger Cabbage Casserole
Wednesday- Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Sandwiches
Thursday- Shrimp and Garlic Pasta
Friday- Fish Stick Hoagies
Saturday- Chicken Enchiladas

On my to do list:::
Straighten up the house

What I am sewing, crocheting, knitting or creating:::
I'm sewing a baby blanket (read into this!)
Looking around the house:::
My kitty curled up and purring on the rug next to me, a clean enough kitchen, a very dark living room due to the gloomy day.
From the camera:::
I would like to start including some photos, but I've been unable to get my pix into the blog without extreme technical difficulty. Stay tuned, I'm working on it.
Something fun to share::: If you didn't pick up on it earlier, my family is growing. Come July, we will really be a full house: two parents, three kidlets.

January 21, 2012

Satisfying Saturday

This morning I woke up to rain. For some people, rainy days are a bummer. But being born and raised in San Diego gives a person a different perspective. We get maybe ten rainy days a year, and when they come on a Saturday when you don't have any place to go, they are really special.

We spent the morning cooking breakfast and watching our favorite cartoons on PBS (anyone else a fan of Super Why?). We're still in our pajamas, and there is no stress to get going and do stuff. I suppose we will get dressed eventually, but why mess with a good thing? The boys aren't fighting, and we are all relaxed.

When I'm done blogging, I will get out a cookbook and plan the menu for the week. I'm sure something in the slow cooker would be delicious for tonight. I love coming downstairs at about two in the afternoon and smelling dinner already simmering. It makes me look forward to dinner, and I also get to enjoy the warm smells for hours.

The only thing that concerns me is that I might get sucked into some urban spelunking or dead mall blog and not turn off the computer until mid afternoon. But sometimes you have to let yourself enjoy the things that interest you. We have no plans, so I plan to do whatever I want. What's on your agenda this Saturday?

January 18, 2012

Keeping Busy

At about 11 o'clock this morning I suddenly thought, "Oof! Its Wednesday and I didn't do my blog." I quickly thought about why I would have forgotten something that is important to me, and I quickly remembered that I had been on the phone almost continuously since 9 o'clock Monday morning.

My friend's husband owns a small business that is growing pretty quickly. My friend asked if I could help out by answering the phone a few days a week. I agreed because I could do it from home and, how hard can it be to answer the phone? Well. Let me tell you. It is very hard to answer the phone for this "small" business. I answered the phone in a dental office for years with no problem, but I'm a registered dental assistant with years of experience. I actually knew what I was talking about. It hadn't occurred to me when I agreed to help that I have zero experience in this field. So, on Monday my friend sat with me and stuffed my head full of prices and services in between phone calls. When she answered the phone it seemed effortless. When I answered my head would start spinning.

Monday night I had a dream that I designed a computer program that would make the scheduling easier, but I couldn't get it to work because all of the customers still lived inside the phone. It was not a restful night. Tuesday I was on my own with the phone and I barely managed to eat and take a shower. I wasn't sure I had made a good decision. I didn't want a full time job, I just wanted to help a friend while going about my normal activities.
Today, something strange happened. You all know by now that I am not the best time manager or housekeeper. I can never seem to get everything done and I often feel overwhelmed by everything that goes into keeping house. What I found out today is that I just didn't have enough stuff to do. Granted, I did forget my blog this morning, but my kitchen is cleaner than it has been in months (including the floor), I did a load of laundry, I tackled a huge pile of mail (keep the checks, throw away the bills!), AND my dinner casserole is prepared and waiting in the fridge. All this happened between phone calls and before noon. Wash a couple of dishes, answer the phone. Finish the dishes, sweep the floor, answer the phone.
I think when I have all day to complete a task, I can find twenty things I would rather do first (video games). Next thing I know, the day is gone. Today I worked in short bursts. Doing the dishes alone would not have made much of a difference, but I stayed focused so that I could complete another task before the phone rang again. My plan for tomorrow: set up the phone in the living room. I haven't gotten around to dusting behind the television in a while, and there is a colony of Storm Troopers under the couch that needs to be exterminated.

January 16, 2012

Happy Homemaker Monday


The weather:::
Its supposed to rain. We'll see. This is Southern California after all.

On my reading pile:::  
I've been reading the encyclopedia lately, until a novel jumps out at me.

On my TV:::

On the menu for this week:::
I have no idea. Anyone have suggestions on how to plan a menu? I can do it once in a while, but have never been consistent.

On my to do list:::
Weekly Home Blessing Hour
Start gathering tax stuff

What I am sewing, crocheting, knitting or creating:::
I'm thinking about maybe someday soon in the future when I have some time I might possibly consider getting out my sewing machine.

Looking around the house:::
Oof! Several piles of junk that need to find a home (preferably not in my home).

From the camera:::
I would like to start including some photos, but I've been unable to get my pix into the blog without extreme technical difficulty. Stay tuned, I'm working on it.

Something fun to share::: Go check out Deadmalls.com. I am fascinated by forgotten places. Each mall has it's own story.

January 10, 2012

January Blahs

 Our house has been hit with stuffy nose syndrome. I could feel it coming on this weekend, and on Monday, I spent most of the day laying on the couch. I enjoyed getting back on track last week, but this Monday I was useless. Now the baby has it so bad that I kept him home from preschool today. The poor guy snored all night long, and can barely eat because he can't breathe through his nose. So much for getting work done today. Hubby has it but managed to get to work this morning. The only one who doesn't have it is my 11 year old, Anthony. He is hanging in there and helping me to take care of the little one.

My goals for the day: serve lunch, get Anthony to school, serve dinner. Everything else will have to wait. Someone commented on my last post and said that I shouldn't be so hard on myself when I don't live up to my expectations. That person is right. In the past when I got sick, I kept on truckin'. I would still go to work, still run errands, and still worry about dust bunnies. My sniffles would turn into major sinus congestion, then a sore throat, then chest congestion, then three weeks of exhaustion. This time I lost one day laying on the couch, and if I take it easy today, I can foresee being back to normal by tomorrow or the next day. Three days of doing nothing is better than three weeks of doing everything poorly.

January 5, 2012

A Blogger's Life

I've been blogging for a little over two months now and I have hit a wall. At the beginning it was easy. I introduced myself, wrote about the interesting things that were happening at the time, and kept my eye on other bloggers to see what they did. Trouble now is, if you read regularly, you already know who I am, nothing exciting is happening to me right now, and other bloggers are way more fantastic than I am.

I try not to be too hard on myself, but if I followed the example of one of my favorite blogs, Diary of a Stay At Home Mom, and gave you an account of what I did with my day it would sound like this:

Woke up at five this morning and couldn't get back to sleep because I was breathing too loudly. I didn't want to get up to blow my nose so I just laid there not sleeping for the next 90 minutes. I woke everyone up, got myself and the baby dressed, made the bed, started a load of laundry, made lunch for hubby, emptied the dishwasher, and still had to wait for fifteen minutes for hubby to finish getting dressed so I could drive him to the bus stop. When I got back home I managed to vacuum but didn't accomplish much else because my business phone kept ringing. I would have been happy because that should mean that I have a lot of work coming in, but it was all tele-marketers and relatives. Took older son to school after lunch and then went to the library to do some writing. Before I started writing though, I checked Facebook. Two and a half hours later I realized it was time to pick up the baby from preschool so writing would have to wait. I also needed to figure out what to have for dinner, which will probably be Buffet Ole since I never bothered to take any meat out of the freezer. Oh, and I was supposed to call to make an appointment for something, but by the time I remembered what it was, their office was closed.

Chuckle away folks. If this wasn't exactly what I did today, I would laugh too. And who wants to read this every day?

This is a plea for help. All you bloggers out there who actually accomplish something during the day: How do you do it? And once you figure out how to do it, how do you keep doing it for more than one day? And why am I so interested and inspired by the minutiae of your life, but when I read my own blog I am overwhelmed by boredom? Don't get me wrong. I enjoy my life tremendously. I just can't imagine why anyone else would want to read about it. Do you ever feel this way, or are you really just more exciting than me? These are not rhetorical questions. My sanity and self worth are at stake!

January 2, 2012

Happy Homemaker Monday

The weather in my neck of the woods:
Clear as a bell.

Things that make me happy:  
New beginnings.

Book I'm reading:
The Egypt Game, another of my son's Christmas gifts.

What's on my TV today:  
Super Why, the best little kid show ever.

On the menu for dinner:
I forgot to think about that. I'll see what we have after I clean the kitchen.

On my To Do List:
Weekly Home Blessing Hour
Get reacquainted with Flylady

New Recipe I tried or want to try soon:
Pizza Fondue. We went to a fondue potluck for New Years Eve and everyone LOVED this. It was so easy, too.

In the craft basket:
When I can find my craft basket, I'll let you know.

Looking forward to this week:
Everyone goes back to work and school!!!!!
Tips and Tricks:
I've mentioned her many times before: www.Flylady.net. If you don't know where to start to keep the chaos in your house away, give her a try.

My favorite blog post this week: 

Blog Hopping (a new discovered blog you would like to share with the readers):
Nothing new this week

Lesson learned the past few days:
If you don't do any housework, no housework gets done.

On my mind:
Getting things under control. My house is still a disaster since the holidays. I want my routines back.