Wednesday, October 31, 2012

31 Days: 31 - Happy Halloween...And I've Done It!

1) I did it - 31 consecutive days of blogging! It's been quite the adventure and I'm really glad I committed and completed it. 

2) I really wanted to be sleeping right now, but I accidentally fell asleep with Kathryn in her bed. She demanded I snuggle with her and I couldn't say no to that.

3) Happy Halloween! At the beginning of the week, we attended a Halloween party for the kiddos of employees where I work. 

Excitement was most certainly in the air. After eating out, we transformed Kathryn into a ladybug (in   E. J.'s truck) and headed over to the event. She started out a little timid because of the big crowd, but eventually warmed up. However, things went south, fast. Kathryn told us in tears "My tushy hurts. I need Desitin". She insisted we needed to go home. However, after a trip to the bathroom (in which I did absolutely nothing to assist her with her problem) she told me that she was "all better" within a few moments of us getting into the bathroom. She even added that she was "ready to fly now" (that was in reference to E. J. explaining to her earlier that she had wings). Oh, this girl...
 All is well again

The night ended on a high-note and I think Kathryn had a lot of fun. Seconds after we walked in the front door, Kathryn opened the tootsie roll wrapper (by herself) and enjoyed every last bite of it. Mess in the background brought to you by K, the ladybug herself.
Thanks so much for joining along with the 31 Days Series. It's been fun documenting the little happenings in our life over the past month.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

31 Days: 30 - Having Fun...Finally

I had one of those crazy days at work. Meeting after meeting translated into a ton of work for me in the near future. Although I may be a little overwhelmed on the inside as I learn new things everyday, I'm still very much enjoying my job.

The meal I planned for dinner wasn't exactly the best meal to make after a packed day at work because it was time consuming. We're also having a Halloween potluck at work tomorrow and I thought it was a great idea to volunteer to make a dessert that takes about 3 hours to make. Although most of it is inactive time, it's still a bit of a process and kind of a pain, but absolutely delicious and festive. You can find the recipe here.

While I was making dinner and tomorrow's dessert, Kathryn and E. J. were "playing ball" in the living room - just throwing a ball back and fourth. A few minutes into their game, Kathryn loudly proclaimed "I'M FINALLY HAVING FUN!!!"

I swear she's a 35 year old trapped in a 2.5 year old body. I don't know where these one-liners come from, but they provide daily entertainment.

Coincidentally, that was the point in the day when I was finally having fun too.

Monday, October 29, 2012

31 Days: 29 - Project 52: Week 27

The entire house could be spotless, but if the kitchen is dirty the whole house feels tainted. I like a clean kitchen and devoted a lot of my time to a kitchen deep-clean this weekend as my next Project 52.

I'm not talking about the usual wipe down of the counters and sink, but rather, the things that aren't done as frequently (or at least I don't do them every week).

First, I tackled the fridge. I cleaned every crevice of that thing and weeded out food and jars that somehow make their way to the back as if it's a graveyard for leftovers and items I'll never end up using. I didn't give anything a chance. No condiment was spared. I am a little disappointed with my results picture of the fridge because I don't think the picture does it justice.

There's just something about a clean, organized, and weeded-out fridge. Am I right?

The rest of the kitchen went like this:

1) Cleaned and polished all of the stainless surfaces
2) Dusted and wiped down the top of the cabinets
3) Cleaned the silverware drawer. Please tell me how it is that a drawer, where you only put clean items into, manages to get dirty?
4) Wiped down all of the surfaces of the cabinets
5) This one isn't a cleaning item, but I needed to point out my "Meal Planning" book which has its own permanent home on the island. It's where I plan all the meals for the week and keep my grocery list. If I think of something we need, I write it down immediately or else it will escape my mind within seconds. I realize you don't need a cute customizable book to write a grocery list, but I'm a big fan of it! It's by May Books. No, they're not paying me, but I wanted to mention it since the book is a fixture in the kitchen.

*The only thing missing from this picture is that I forgot to put Kathryn's artwork back up on the fridge.
A clean kitchen makes me how do we keep it this way all the time!?

Sunday, October 28, 2012

31 Days: 28 - Gettin' Out of the House

While the East Coast prepares for what sounds like the Storm of the Century (Sandy), things are pretty quiet (and cool) here in Texas. 

I felt like we really needed to get out of the house today. I don't mind (read: I love!) being couped up in the house. I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have a hard time being bored if I were to be stuck in the house for days upon days. I'm the definition of a homebody. But things are a little different when you have an active 2.5 year old. Things are also different when you have a husband who has to sleep during the day to work during the night.

My schedule is pretty packed this week, leaving me no time to run errands during my lunch breaks. So we loaded up the car this morning and headed into town. 
You always need to stop at Target because whether you realize it or not, 
you always needs something at Target.
If Kathryn is with me, it's now apparently a requirement to obtain a shopping cart with a car attached. It makes for a happy grocery shopping companion...even if I swore I'd never be one of those moms who pushed those things.
 Momma's treat: non-fat, extra hot, chai tea latte. Mmmmm.
When we got home, I noticed that one of the ducks was walking around the pond with her new babies. I stopped the car and got out since Kathryn said she wanted to say 'hi' to them. She's my animal lover.
Stay safe, East Coaster's! It sure looks like it's going to be some scary conditions - hoping for the best possible outcome for all of you.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

31 Days: 27 - A Day With My Girl

We didn't have any plans for today other than hanging around the house. I put a big dent in one of my Project 52's and Kathryn and I did a lot of playing.

We made our way outside mid-morning and Kathryn found some 'tools' so she could "fix the shed door for daddy".
Around noon we made our way to Kathryn's room for a nap. I told her I would lay with her for just a little bit. By 12:30 she finally nodded off...and so had I. Amazingly, I found a comfortable position in her twin bed and we slept until 3:30! I think both of us needed that.

Earlier this week I mentioned I was going to make some chili for dinner. It ended up being close to 90 degrees on the day I planned to make it, so it didn't quite seem like an appropriate meal. But tonight, it was the perfect dinner.
I think Kathryn would call this picture: "A Good Day". I might call it something different, 
but we'll go with her title for tonight

It's supposed to get into the 30's tonight and only make it into the 60's again tomorrow. This is music to my ears. In celebration, I'm about to bundle myself under the clean set of sheets I put on tonight and enjoy some sleep...since a 3 hour nap just wasn't enough today.

Friday, October 26, 2012

31 Days - 26: Friday Treats

In my book, Friday evenings are a special treat. The bustle of the work week comes to an end and there's a carefree feeling as soon as I enter the front door.

Today was an ordinary Friday with a few small treats sprinkled throughout the day.

*We actually had a fall day! FINALLY! It was in the 50's all day and I loved every second of it.

*During the last hour of work I wrote a 5 page to-do list on a legal pad. Is this a treat? Not really. But it felt so good to get all my to-do's out of my head, off of sticky notes, and e-mails into one spot. Now comes the actually doing the tasks. Eh, I'll worry about that next week.

*K and I had some FaceTime with Kim and Andy tonight! It was so fun to talk and see them (even though Kathryn was being bashful most of the time). It's great to finally have a phone that's capable to do that!

*We ended the evening with some baking. My little helper assisted me with some homemade toffee chocolate chunk brownies. We'll see how they taste once they cool down.
*My last treat: I don't have to set the alarm tonight for tomorrow morning. I'll take that.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

31 Days: 25 - The Laugh I Needed

I had one of those completely 'blah' days. I had no energy - no motivation to do anything. I felt tired and sluggish and wasn't quite feeling like myself.

But that changed when I picked K up from school today. She gave me this picture that she made in school today and it completely cracked me up. I laughed a few times just thinking of it on our way home. I suppose choosing the name "Bus" makes sense because she has an obsession with school buses lately, or as she says, "cool buses".
It's possible this picture isn't even that funny, but it was just what I needed to make my day.

(And a family dinner with homemade spinach and mushroom whole wheat pizza and hard cider didn't hurt either).

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

31 Days: 24 - Our Evening, Step-by-Step

Today is a continuation of yesterday's post. If you missed the "AM" portion, you can check it out here.

Here's the PM!

1:37:The rest of my day is basically working on a number of projects, more e-mails, more to-do list. Same as the morning. Tuesday's aren't meeting-heavy, so I'm in my office a lot.

3:30: Weekly meeting with my boss

4:00: Figure out what I need to be working on tomorrow. Time to make another list.

4:45: Start wrapping up and be absolutely sure I get K's stuff ready before I pick her up. It's our little "thing". She asks me everyday as we're walking out of school, "do you have my George Treats and water?". (George Treats = Curious George fruit snacks). 
5:00: I'm out the door. You better believe that I'm speed walking across the parking lot and trying to avoid traffic so I can pick K up as quickly as possible

5:04:  In my car and on my way to Kathryn's school

5:15: Arrive at K's school. As I walk in, I'm wondering if she's the last kid to be picked up. Close call - she's the 2nd to last kid left in her class. I hate that

Today, Kathryn's teacher tells me how impressed with Kathryn's mature conversations. She mentioned that she's still not wanting to use the toilet at school and she says she'll just go on the toilet at home. When her teacher asked her if she needed to have her diaper changed, she told her "no, I'm dry". Her teacher said, "are you sure?". Kathryn's response: "You can check, but I'm sure that I'm dry". She's definitely making this potty training thing interesting.

As we walk out, we pass Olivia's mom, Kara's mom, and Oscar's dad. How do I know? Kathryn made sure to point at each parent and tell me who they belonged to.

5:22: Loaded in the car and on our way home! Best time of the day

5:56: Check the mail, pull in the driveway, and unload our stuff

5:59: Get into the house. E. J. is at the table eating his breakfast (?) - I guess that's what you would call it. Kathryn is super excited to see her daddy! And, of course, I'm happy to see him too, even if it's for 30 minutes

6:03: Start unloading/loading dishwasher
Kathryn gets her baby and immediately gives it a bottle (a wine stopper)

6:08: Start getting dinner ready.Thank goodness it's a leftovers night (that happens about twice a week, otherwise I make dinner). It works out nicely when we have leftovers on a night when E. J. is working. It's one less thing that I have take time to do.

As I'm 'preparing' dinner (I'll use that term loosely, since I am only using the microwave tonight) I have a quick conversation with E. J. And by 'conversation', I mean half face-to-face and half talking loudly as he gets ready in our bedroom while I'm in the kitchen.

Kathryn, however, is right by his side. She normally asks him about his uniform and makes a point to mention that she too has her own badge.

6:30: We say our goodbye's as E. J. heads out the door for work

6:32: Dinner time

6:48: Finish dinner
         Clear the dishes
         Load the rest of the dishes and start up the dishwasher
         Put away any remaining food
         Make lunches (this is one of my least favorite things to do)
         Make sure that I add George Treats and a sippy cup to my lunch
         Wash the grapes and strawberries I bought earlier today and cut up the strawberries
         Scoop the (damn) cat box (turn on the back flood lights on my way there)
         Re-fill the dog's water bowls and get their food ready for the morning
         Decide what I'm going to wear tomorrow and then iron it
         Pick out Kathryn's outfit for the next day
         Do a load of laundry
         Put the trash in the outside trashcan
(During this time, Kathryn is normally right by me - we're talking away!)

7:30: Get Kathryn washed up/teeth brushed. I don't feel like giving her a bath, so it's a shower kind of night. I take a quick rinse off, too. Finally, in our jammies!

7:47-8:33: Give my mom (Nana) a call for her birthday. Then we end up Skyping.

8:34: I let Kathryn watch one Curious George episode.The Skype date with Nana is something that's out of the ordinary for a weeknight and although it's later than when K normally goes to bed (8pm is normal 'head to bed' and read a book time), "George" might cool her down after bouncing around with Nana.

8:36: Throw a load of laundry in and get the load from last night from the dryer

8:39: Fold towels on the bed while Kathryn watches "George"

8:45: K falls asleep in our bed

9:00: Let the dogs outside one last time

9:10: Bring Kathryn to her room

9:12: Time for some blogging!

10:05: Put the clothes in the dryer

10:07: Brush my teeth and pop in that beautiful retainer

10:11: Take the meat out of the fridge to defrost - I'm making chili for dinner tomorrow night. Not sure how that will fly with Kathryn...

10:15: Collapse into bed, catch a little bit of the news, set my alarm for the morning

10:30: I think I'm sleeping by this time to rest up and do it all over again tomorrow

Today I learned that it's a major pain keeping a meticulous list of the things I'm doing, but I'm really glad I did it.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

31 Days: 23 - Our Morning, Step-by-Step

I've been meaning to write a post like this for a while, mainly for myself. It's easy to get caught up in the routine of each day. Although it may seem rather boring, I think it's something I'll want to look back and remember in 2 years, 10 years, even 30 years from now.

Starting from the moment I woke up today, I took notes on nearly everything I do each day. Not all days are like today. E. J. works today and there are other weekdays when he's off from work. So although it's a regular day, there are parts that are a little different when he's home.

I've broken the day into two parts. I'll write about our evening routine tomorrow.
So, here goes our AM!

5:30: My alarm goes off. I have never used the snooze button in my life and I literally jump out of bed each morning like I'm about to be attacked. E. J. tells me this isn't healthy, but I cannot just lay there doing nothing, thinking about the time I'm wasting.

5:31: I'm either in the shower or waiting for it to finally warm up

5:48: Done with shower. I may jump out of bed quickly and ready to go, but I'm convinced that I fall asleep in the shower sometimes or I just stand there blankly.

5:50: Time to put my face on. I don't think it actually takes me 9 minutes to put on my makeup, but I'm doing other things like putting on lotion and deodorant - the tiny details that you really don't care about.

5:59: Take our packed lunches out of the fridge, put them in our lunch boxes
         At the last minute, add even more fruit to K's lunchbox to give her more selection
         Make sure everything is in my purse for the day
         Turn off the back flood lights
         Make my breakfast
         Eat breakfast while watching the news

6:16: Brush my teeth
          Dry my hair
          Curl my eyelashes, apply mascara
          Put rings/earrings on6:25: Put on my work clothes

6:30: Wake up Kathryn

6:32: Still trying to wake her up. It's hit or miss with her. Sometimes she'll get up as I'm getting ready, sometimes I'll walk into her room and after I try to wake her up she'll give me a big "SURPRISE", but today it was the "I-don't-want-to-get-up-turn-the-(closet) light-off-it's-too-bright" kind of morning.

6:33: Get K dressed
          Brush her teeth
          Do her hair
          Give her a vitamin

6:49: I let the dogs out. She informs me it's time to tuck kitty and her baby doll into bed so daddy can sleep with them later and keep them warm

6:54: Let the dogs back in the house

6:55: Leave the house and lock up

6:58: All our crap is in the car (seriously, I'm the bag lady every morning), Kathryn is buckled into her seat, and we head out the driveway.

It was a foggy morning and Kathryn informed me as we were driving out that she had fog in her eyes. I was hopeful that as we made our way out, we would pass E. J. in the driveway as he was coming home, but no such luck today.

We made our drive into town.

7:37: We pull into Kathryn's school. As we walk into her class, I prepare myself for the amount of mom-guilt I'll feel that day. I've lucked out today - three kids are already in her class. Score one for me! She's not the first one to be dropped off.

Miles is one of the kids who's in her class. He was a little weepy, but when he saw Kathryn, he lit up and pointed at her with excitement. I thought it was so cute, but Kathryn wasn't impressed at all.

If she wakes up early at home, she usually wants some grapes. Today, she ate some grapes on our way in and still has some left to pair with her cereal bar that I open for her every morning when we get to school. I give her a big hug and a kiss, I tell her I love her, and that I'll be back as soon as I'm done with work (I tell her the same thing everyday). She takes a seat in her chair and tells me to have a good day. Now I count down the hours until I get to pick her up.

7:43: Leave K's school and head to work

7:54: Pull my car into my spot and walk to my building

7:59: Unlock my office and start the work day

8:00 - 12:00pm: Make my cup of green tea with honey, e-mail my mom to say good morning, then it's work e-mails, work on projects, look at my to-do list, realize I have a lot more to add to my to-do list, e-mails, e-mails, distractions, work on projects again. You know the routine.

If I've made it to noon and haven't eaten any of my lunch, it's a small miracle.

I usually eat my lunch around noon, but don't actually take my lunch break at this point. I'll eat and still continue to do some more work.

12:54: I finally leave for my lunch break. I don't want you to be too jealous of what I did on my lunch, but here's a visual to give you an idea.
I find that I have to go to the grocery store every 3 days, if nothing else than for grapes and strawberries. The three of us eat a lot of them, especially Kathryn.

Since I don't have the time to go to the grocery store after work and I like to avoid the drive into town on the weekends, I try to take advantage of my lunch break and take care of these type of errands. I actually enjoy grocery shopping, however, it's a major pain when you have to buy heavy things that need to be refrigerated (like milk) or things that will melt (chocolate, frozen veggies, etc). When I need things like this, I have to bring them into work, store them in our fridge, and then set a reminder on my computer to grab the groceries before I head out for the day. It can be annoying, but worth it.

1:37: I'm back at my desk ready to work through the rest of the afternoon.

Since I've broken into the PM section, I'll pick up with the rest of our day, tomorrow. But before I go...I hope you had the happiest of birthday's, Mom! I love you!

Monday, October 22, 2012

31 Days: 22 - Stalling

Today was as typical as a Monday can be. From the dreaded sound of my alarm to the mountain of projects I acquired at work today. There really wasn't anything eventful today and I wasn't quite sure what I was going to write about until Kathryn started stalling at bedtime.

When I told her "I think it's time to get ready for bed" she gave me all of these excuses in a matter of 2 minutes:

We can watch your show mommy and I'll just sit here and fall asleep with you
I'll be quiet mommy.
I have food in my teeth, I need to floss.
Let's talk, mommy. Let's talk about Nana, and Pop Pop, and my baby doll, and Daddy at work.
Oooooo, look at that pretty dress (referring to a lady on tv). I want a new pretty dress.
She followed it all up with this look and made me turn to mush
...and then proceeded to wipe her snot on my arm.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

31 Days: 20 - Lazy Sunday

Today wasn't a particularly eventful day and it certainly wasn't productive. Besides some laundry and sweeping the floors, I didn't get anything else done.

The day consisted of being lazy, playing, and enjoying a day with no commitments. Even though tomorrow is predicted to be 90 degrees, I insisted on trying to make it feel more like fall around here with some homemade caramel and chocolate apples. They definitely didn't disappoint.
Now I'm hoping to end this lazy Sunday by hopefully sleeping by 9:30 to rest up for the week.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

31 Day: 20 - My iNeed for an iPhone

Let's face it, no one actually needs an iPhone. But, if there were a person who really needed one, I'd like to think that this person would be me. Well, specifically a new iPhone.

I think this picture sums up my point:
My phone has looked like this for about 4 months (after an unfortunate case of falling out of my pocket as I exited my car) and I have patiently put up with it. I have also been very patient with the frustratingly slow speed of this phone. In the iPhone world, it's basically considered an antique.

The 3G is the second generation iPhone - it's two months shy of being four years old. There are apps on it that I haven't been able to use in over a year because it couldn't handle the newest operating system. Yeah, I know, all of these things aren't actual "problems", but you can imagine my excitement when I checked the inventory on Thursday evening at precisely 10 pm and I was lucky enough to claim an available phone.

Kathryn and I packed up the car this morning and made our way to the closest Apple Store (1hr 20 min drive) and I finally got to lay my patient hands on this gem:
K was so patient during the hour+ that we were in the Apple Store. So when we saw the carousel, I couldn't turn down her request to go for a ride. $2 bought pure joy this afternoon.
On our way home, we had to stop to do the weekly grocery shopping. While finding a parking spot, Kathryn saw the obnoxious grocery carts with the cars on the front. She totally called me out on my previous promise to her that the next time we went grocery shopping, I'd get one of those carts. Never have I seen a child so happy to be at the grocery store.
It's been a good Saturday. It's good to be home. It's good to re-join the technologically advanced world again (at least for a little while before something better comes out).

Friday, October 19, 2012

31 Days: 19 - Personality Unfolding

I thought today would be a good time to do a 'brain dump' of sorts of the things that Kathryn is doing/saying these days.

*I let Kathryn lay in bed for me later than normal last night. Mainly because E. J. was at work and I couldn't turn down the company. We were watching some "George" (what a surprise) and she turned to me and said: "Mommy, I'm worried". Concerned, I asked her what she could possibly be worried about. Her response" "I'm worried about daddy". Way to break my heart, kid. How do you know what 'worried' already means...and you're much to young to be worried about things like that.

*A couple of weeks ago, Kathryn was with my mother-in-law. She asked her if she wanted to go help her with something. Kathryn's response: "Well, if I must". Whhhaaat???

*Just tonight, E. J. let her play a game on his phone, but when he gave her the phone an error message popped up and she knew something wasn't right, so she told E. J. how she felt about that: "I'm not very happy with this, daddy".

*"Oh my goodness" comes out of her mouth at least once a day (she gets that one from me).

*She tells both of us (multiple times a day) "I love you". Which naturally makes us and our hearts smile.

*Kathryn was scavenging through the pantry the other day and found the small bottles of wine that I keep that work well when a recipe calls for some. She took one out and with all the excitement in the world said "Oh look! This is my favorite wine!!" I have no words for that one.

*According to Kathryn's teacher, she has informed them that she does not go potty at school, only at home. Hmmm. Now if we could get her to go potty more consistently at home.

*Her teacher asked me today if we had a Spanish speaker at home. Confused, I asked her why. While they were practicing Spanish words in class, she was highly impressed with Kathryn's Spanish accent. Apparently, she's spot on when pronouncing words in Spanish and her teacher also commented that she speaks better than those kids in her class who have someone speaking Spanish at home. Who would have thought.

*At the end of the day, K usually asks me "Soooooo, how's your day goin', mommy?"

*Whenever we ask Kathryn to come to us to do something, her response is normally "Whatcha goin' to do to me?" It kind of makes me a little sad when she says that, but I think she may have got that from us when we're joking around with her.

*Before we leave the house each morning, she tucks her kitty into our bed so E. J. can sleep with it during the day and "keep kitty warm".

*It was 'Family Week' at school this week, so they talked about who makes up a family. Each child made a collage of what their family looks like. This is Kathryn's:

She told her teacher (and insisted) that she has a brother and a sister. She must know something that we don't.

I love these 'little happenings' that make life with Kathryn so fun...and very interesting!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

31 Days: 18 - Project 52 - Week 26

As I continue to catch up on Project 52, I continually find myself realizing that I have no shortage of projects around the house. I know it's impossible to be 100% caught up, but with the completion of each project - big or small - it's a good feeling of accomplishment.

Although I don't find myself in the coat closet much these days (fall hasn't exactly made its presence around here) it has been in the back of my mind to weed through the mess. And a mess it was.
 But it was nothing that 30 minutes and a trash bag couldn't fix.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

31 Days: 17 - Recovery

In 3 weeks Kathryn has had two ear infections. She's never had one before this, however, she's handled them like a champ.

She's also dealing with a head cold that just won't go away (although I secretly love her scratchy-squeaky voice as a result of the cold).

My little one is on the mend. Even though the latest antibiotic is "ooey gooey" (her words), after just one day on the medicine, she's not complaining about her ear. I think we're finally on our way to all of us being healthy again.
Serious sleeper on her way to recovery
Happy mid-week!