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Sunday, January 25, 2009

Juggling act at home

How do we mom's do it? The few times I have been at home with my kids (when I was on maternity leave and had my back surgery) my days were full and I pondered on how I manage working full time. The majority of my time as a mom has been spent as a work-outside-the home mom and it is always challenging. With one child it was challenging. With three it is a constant juggling routine.

I think that as moms we realize there are some things that HAVE to get done. We need to pay the bills. We need to feed our kids. There needs to be clean dishes to eat on and food to eat. If we let the laundry pile up too high we quickly regret it. There are also school plays, athletic competitions, school functions, doctor visits, new shoes to be bought, "counseling sessions", homework, etc. I think the ONLY way we manage to get everything done is to juggle. We can do our best to plan but cannot always plan for unexpected roadblocks like a sick child, an unplanned expense, etc. So although I never did master the skill of juggling, metaphorically I HAVE.

I am lucky in that my husband is the more active parent. He is the one that does most of the Dr. appointments, homework, trips to gymnastics, etc. I keep up the house, the laundry, the dishes, the bills and the cleaning.

What do I do to make my life more balanced?
- I have started doing my grocery shopping online - this saves time AND the aggrevation of shopping with 3 kids.

- I clean the kids rooms everyday if possible (every other day at the most) - A few minutes a day saves hours later.

- I do one load of laundry a day - Nothing worse than 6 - 7 loads of laundry at a time!

- I cook meals on the weekends that can stretch throughout the week - great for the nights I do not feel like cooking.

- I pay the bills twice a month

- I use my crockpot 2 - 3x a week - easy peasy

- I indulge in small things - I love scented lotions and candles. Aromatherapy does WONDERS.

- I try to share some of the things I like to do with the kids - baking, drawing, beading, etc. We all enjoy it!

balancedliving is a great resource for information on making YOUR life more balanced. If you re seeking more balance in your life, stop by for a few tips and tricks. Also, while you are there, register to win a $5,000 to make your life healthier and more balanced!

This post was written for Parent Bloggers Network as part of a sweepstakes sponsored by BOCA.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

LOST

Oh, how happy I am. My all time favorite show is BACK ON! Last night was no disappointment either.... My time travel theory proved to be true (somewhat). Still hoping that Jin will make an appearance but I have a feeling it is Hurley that may see him first. How nice to see Anna Lucia again. Last night I watched for enjoyment but I will be re-watching the show this weekend, looking for clues and scouring the ABC forums.

Jack, Kate, Saywer, Sayid, Hurley, Ben, Juliette, Sun, Desmond, Penny, Rose, Bernard, Richard, and Locke - so good to see all of you again.

sigh



It has been a week of computer problems.... Our router stopped working last Thursday and we ended up buying a new one.  Two days ago I received a lovely, nasty virus on my computer that for the life of me I could not get rid of.  I have never NOT been able to fix my computer before but this time was different.  Yesterday my husband ended up bringing it to a technician that was able to save my documents and data.  He then basically wiped the slate clean and uploaded my files back to my computer. 

I also took off from work Monday for the holiday - Sunday I had to work most of the day so I could take the day off Monday.  Tuesday and Wednesday ended up being snow days from school so I worked from home.  Days home with kids - Sat, Sun, Mon, Tues, Wed.    The kids were really good until yesterday when cabin fever struck.  Usually they are fairly well behaved but not at night (when I have them) - then all hell breaks loose.  It was a relief to go into the office today.

I am so behind on my emails, my blogging, etc. but hope to get caught up some this weekend.  Miss C. has a gymnastics competition on Sunday so we will have to travel a little bit.  She did VERY well in her last competition (scored 4th overall).  She is a little behind of where she should be so we had a serious talk with her.  Basically "It is OK to socialize and have fun, but if you want to move up with your friends, you have to work hard too".  In just a couple of weeks we have noticed a HUGE difference in her attitude and her performance.  We will be very busy with gymnastics through April.

I can't believe that it is almost the end of January.  My how the time flies!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Confession.

This is my ALL TIME favorite thing. In less than 2 weeks, my unhealthy, uncontrollable and dysfunctional obsession with LOST will start again. Yes I am SO addicted- Action, Adventure, Romance, Drama, Mystery, Comedy, Spirituality, Horror, Science AND Science Fiction - all rolled into one. Lost started an entire new genre of TV - the Sci-Fi hybrid. Basically Sci-Fi plus a whole lot more.

I love piecing the clues together, the references to religion, geography, historical figures, historical events, philosophy, literature, and of course the numbers! After each show I scour the Lost forums looking for clues I missed - piping in about those I found, slapping my head on those I missed and researching those I knew nothing about. We fans will speculate, theorize and re-hash events in our quest for the truth.

With the exception of last year, the season opener is always a jaw dropper. Typically the 1st and last shows of the season both are. It will be interesting to see what happens with the new characters this year. With the exception of Paulo and whats-her-name (so insignificant I can't remember her name) the new characters have always added a surprising new dimension to the show - Ana Lucia, Mr. Eko, Libby, Benry, Charlotte, Miles, Dan, Juliette and "the pilot" were ALL great additions.

The countdown has begun. I can reclaim my life in a few months but until then it is "Lost-centric". Hurley, Jack, Sawyer, Kate, Sayid, John, Sun, Jin (hopefully), Ben, Juliette, - welcome back. I've missed you all. Claire and Charlie - will we be seeing you? Only time will tell. Remember - time is relative.

OK, any other fellow Losties, feel free to post about your excitement!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Cleaning up - never exciting but certainly relieving

Cleaning up after the holidays. Never exciting but always relieving. And a little bittersweet as you realize another holiday has come and gone.

This year I was on top of cleaning up after the holidays - the tree and all the decor were down 3 days after Christmas. Typically I end up doing all the dismantling and packing myself and my husband simply has to put the boxes away. This year he was the one taking the initiative which was a pleasant surprise. I was shocked at how much more quickly it went with him helping. I think this is the start of a new annual tradition.

One thing that is a HUGE help is in our new home we have plenty of storage. In our old home we would have to lug the x-mas decorations up to the crawl space attic - not fun. The boxes used to sit in our hallway until my husband got tired of hearing me nag to put them up in the attic. This year we simply boxed everything up and placed in the storage room off of our closet.

Packing is pretty simple.

- Large Rubbermaid container contains all ornaments. Our collection has grown through the years - each year less silver and gold balls decorate our trees and are replaced with school-made ornaments. I get sentimental each year looking at these and reminiscing.

- Holiday home decor are stored in large cardboard boxes - this includes knick knacks and centerpieces

- Lights go in another large Rubber maid container.

Everything stays in storage until late November when they are pulled out again.

Parent Bloggers and 1rightathome.com want to know how YOU clean up after the holidays. Visit here for details and share your tips

Make sure to send your blog post link to parentbloggers@gmail.com when you are through!

Giveaway Winner!

Hello, I combined the entries from Blogmania and She Said It First for the giveaway drawing and selected a number via Randomizer (number 10).

The lucky winner of the Personalized "My Fruit Roll-Ups" is Brooke Lorren who said:
I blogged you on Squidoo (2)

http://www.squidoo.com/Blog-Sweepstakes

Congratulations Brooke! I have emailed you. Please respond within 48 hours and I will send you the code.

As a reminder, all future giveaways will be held on "She Said It First" but will be linked and accessible through Blogmania

what's goin on...

Hi everyone, It has been a while since I have made an entry.

The holidays were very hectic - My college roommates and I went to go see our friend Susan in Ohio to support her in her fight against cancer. Susan has been diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor and is currently undergoing chemo and radiation. Susan is one of the greatest people I know - she is a beautiful, caring, fun-loving, care-free, spiritual and genuinely nice person. Everyone loves Susan. This is devastating to her family and her friends but we are remaining hopeful for the best. I will be running a special event in a couple months in honor of Susan and other victims of brain tumors so keep an eye out.

When I returned late the Monday before x-mas I was supposed to have worked Tuesday and Wednesday. My parents came in to celebrate the holidays on Tuesday night and I called out for Wednesday. The trip had physically and mentally drained me plus I had to prepare for Christmas. I made arrangements go into work the week following to make up what I needed to get done but checked my email and messages throughout the day.

My parents, husband kids and I had a nice, quiet Christmas at home and they left on Saturday morning. Monday morning following week my in-laws flew in to celebrate New Years with us and see our new home. I did have to go into work Tuesday but otherwise had off the rest of the week.

I returned to work Monday this week full-time but came down with a cold. I had so much to do at work so calling out was not an option! I normally work from home on Mondays - I did go into the office on Tuesday but on Wednesday and Thursday decided to spare my co-workers from listening to me sniffle and sneeze all day and worked from home again Wed and Thurs. It was not the worst cold I ever had. I basically just felt very tired and the congestion was driving me crazy.

Yesterday I was feeling better and returned to the office. Last night was hectic - as soon as I returned to work I had to buy groceries, pick my daughter up from gymnastics, unload groceries, feed and bathe the kids, do laundry, clean the upstairs, etc. How do we moms manage to get everything done? There are never enough hours in the day......

Today I am FINALLY feeling better. The little girls are playing and my teen is in her room doing who-knows-what. Well I do know that she is NOT cleaning her room like she should be. I need to clean the bathrooms, clean the downstairs, finish the laundry and catch up with my blogging... I did manage to prepare my fabulous slow-cooker chili which should be ready for dinner tonight.

Now that I am feeling better I will be drawing a name for the current giveaway shortly, getting ready to feature one of my blogs of the month and updating the Mr. Linky on MB's Bloggy Sweeps. I hope to catch up on some blog giveaways as well. Also, there will be another really great giveaway coming up in a week or two that mirrors my passion for going green and my obssesion for bath and beauty products so keeep an eye out!

Have a great weekend.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Personalized Fruit Roll-ups - review and giveaway

I cannot get the comment blog to work on my other blog so I have moved the giveaway here. So much for good intentions! Because of this I have extended the deadline. I will work on fixing the comment forms on She Said it First for future giveaways but the comments will currently be taken here at Blogmania for this promotion. My apologies to all of those who tried to enter.

UPDATE - the comment form is now fixed on "She Said It First".
There will still only be one prize but you can enter for this promotion at either Blogmania or She Said It First or both to double your chances to win.










We were so thrilled to celebrate Miss N.'s B-day with personalized
My Fruit Roll-ups from myfruitrollups.com. My Fruit Roll-ups are personalized fruit snacks that you can use to celebrate any important event in your child's life. How does it work? First you Design your "My Fruit Roll-Ups". The available Design Center takes you step-by-step through the design process. We tried this and it is very simple. Basically you choose your favorite template
(canvas) then add images and a personal message to your child. On the website they have a Design Center and a section with party and design ideas. When you are finished, you save the design to your cart, create an account, and order. Easy!











Creating a personalized box of "My Fruit Roll-Ups" was very fun! We played around with several designs until we created an "8 is great!" masterpiece. We ended up using 1 graphic and 1 message from the myfruitrollups.com library plus a recent photo of Miss N that we uploaded from our PC. We used the blank 3x3 canvas in order to use all 3 images. You can also select a canvas with a background OR but you can use just photos, just images, just logos or a combination of any of these. If you prefer, instead of using their own messages, you can create your own. The options are numerous!














It was very easy to preview and save our design. When we were finished we created an account to save the design but we can also visit later reorder if desired OR create a new design. Once we were ready to purchase, we simply submitted our order. The Fruit Roll-ups are created and shipped within 15 days. We received ours in just a little under 2 weeks time and received confirmation of ordering withing 24 hours. When designing the our Fruit Roll-ups and again when ordering, the website gave us an estimate of when the product would be shipped.


Each carton of My Fruit Roll-ups is $30. More information on pricing and shipping is found HERE

Suggestions: These are great for party favors in goody bags - My Fruit Roll-ups are unique and fun! These are also several "themes" including princess, pirates and sports. My Fruit Roll-ups are also great for group events such as team events, holidays, graduations, etc.
Thanks to MyFruitRollups.com and My Blog Spark, Blogmania and She Said it FIrst is offering one personalized box of Fruit Roll-ups to a lucky visitor. This prize is worth over $35 (including shipping)

To enter, simply visit MyFruitRollups.com and post at Blogmania on who you would like to order these for and what celebration these would be a hit at.

* Please make sure that your email address is in your blogger profile or posted with your entry. You can post it like this to prevent spam blots: janedoe [at] fakemail [dot] com

Entries without valid contact information will be disqualified. For my last giveaway I had to disqualify several people because I had no way to notify them. Please check this before you enter:

* US entries only

* Winners must respond within 48 hours of being notified or another winner will be selected.

* Giveaway (extended) ends 01/09/2009 at 11:59pm EST

For EXTRA ENTRIES you can do one or both of the following:

- Add She Said it First, Blogmania Or MB's Bloggy Sweeps to your blogroll - 1 extra entry for blogroll (Please comment 1x for each)

- blog about this giveaway - 2 extra entries (comment 2x)

- subscribe via email or feed to any of my blogs - 1 extra entry for each blog subscribed to (comment 1x for each blog that you are subscribed to)

- Stumble, Tweet or save to Technorati- 1 extra entry each. (Please comment 1x for each and post your corresponding user name).

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