Thursday, August 30, 2012

Busy WIth Time-Out!

Tis been a busy week for us in the Phillips' household getting ready for Thursday (today), a BIG day of BYU's first football game of the year (and us hosting our first of many viewing parties), the day my parents fly in to visit us, and the due date of a big quarterly report for work.  And it doesn't stop there... my mom's birthday is this Saturday, my BFF turns 30 on Sunday and my dad's birthday is just two weeks down the road.  So we have been busy crafting, shopping, cleaning, and having time-outs.

Seems to be a normal thing for his age group (he's 16 months today!), but one we have quickly kept at bay with our instituted time-out system.  So this is what we do...

When Jordan refuses to obey, after telling him "stop" or "no" a few times, he gets "time-out."  This consists of going to the front door corner, sitting with him and asking him if he understands what he did wrong.  Then, we ask him to please stop INSERT BAD BEHAVIOR and asks if he is ready.  He then responds with "yeah" and before we leave, we ask him for a kiss and a hug.

Lately, Jordan has had a higher occurrence of time-outs.  Upon getting to the corner, he may freak out or throw a tantrum for a few seconds (or minutes) before he calms down.  Once calm, he will nicely sit in your lap and say "yeah" repeatedly and then, before you ask for a kiss or a hug, he will turn around, and smack his hands on his lip and then yours and try to give you a kiss before taking off.

Well, one thing's for sure.  He's starting to get something - even if it's to withhold his kisses for a quicker exit strategy out of the corner.

I have noticed he seems to consider if he should repeat his bad behavior after.  For example, he knows he is not always allowed to climb the bench by the dining table and sit there or play there, unless I am there with him.  When he does without my companionship, he gets scolded and a time-out after he refuses a few times.  After time-out, he always runs to the bench.. looks at it longingly, and contemplates if he should climb it.  He (so far) has turned around, and run off towards other toys, at least for the time being.  He seems to be smart enough to realize he can test mommy later.   I'm okay with that.

Sometimes, when he's bored and has been good for a long time.. he seems to miss time-out.  He'll walk over to his corner, sit down and just mumble to himself and then say yeah a few times and walk off like he's just been released.

What we've been up to as of lately...

 Look mom, you'd be so much quicker if you used these shortcuts instead
Look mom, smashing it is so much better than eating them!

Okay... I'm a momma's boy and a sucker for matching my mom..
Ugh, my mom's feet are so big, gross.  

Do we live in the best place or what?  Look Daddy!!  

Dude, keep bouncing mom, this is fun! You stopped for a photo?!
Mom, you should really have ice cream parties at our house too.

Mom... my shoe fell off...can you stop buying me shoes too big so I can wear them longer?!

Mom.. when's it my birthday?
Sure I'll help you with your crafts...

Look what I made mom!  Okay helped... helped made.

Monday, August 27, 2012

My Homegirl Martha

Jordan has finally transitioned to a later naptime.  Though he's tired at 9 AM, he just lays in his crib about half an hour, talking to himself, and then gets mad and screams for me to go get him.  So even though we got ready to go out for errands at 12, he decided he wanted to read books (his pre-bed time ritual).  After reading a bunch of books, he wanted to be held, turn off the light, and was content when laid down to nap.  He hugged his blanket tightly as I left the room and now I have seized the opportunity to finish sewing the banners so I can mail one to Tammy today!  As I was sewing, I opened Twitter on my laptop and saw I could talk live with Martha Stewart now until 5 PM ET.  Sure.. why not?!  I have been dying to know if she has any suggestions for how to keep my fridge more organized.  So I went ahead and called her.. no wait time... got in... asked my question.. and spoke to her for about 3 minutes!

Today, I can say I talked to Martha Stewart.  Like old cronies.  Just for a while.  Asked her some question.  Got some tips.  Yeah, my homie Martha.

She told me how she does it but then said, it's so hard and it never feels like there's anything to eat and it's never neat enough.  So if MARTHA STEWART feels that way, I feel pretty okay about my inadequate fridge organization skills today.  Thanks Martha!

Friday, August 24, 2012


I used to think a lot of things... like

How can you forget your own anniversary?


Who forgets to eat breakfast?


How is it possible to not have enough time to work out?

and then life with a child happened.

Check... check... and check.

In other news, I just got word from my bossman that I could fly back to LA for our Q3 meeting mid September.  Though I still have to check with Andy if that's possible (and if he'd be okay with us ditching him for a few days during the week), I am stoked at the possibility.  Yes... despite all my denying it's not that different here and that I do love it (I really do..) I miss LA!!!!!!!!!!  WOOOOOOOOT WOOT!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

A Basic Date Night

Does anyone else think it's funny to see Pinterest posts of "40 fun dates" or "50 things to ask your spouse" ... ?  Or am I alone here in criticizing the futile nature of such posts?

Andy and I both dated a lot before we got married, so between the two of us, we have enough date ideas to last a lifetime.  This includes places to go, things to do, on a budget or something grand.  Creative, thoughtful, exciting, fun... yes, yes, and yes!! However, add a kid into the mix, and all we're looking to do now is have a quiet dinner (though I haven't figured out what we'd talk about besides Jordan) and movie (with no talking to each other except during the trailers can't wait to watch that!  that looks dumb...).  Maybe I'm just not as romantic.  Maybe I'm too pragmatic.  But seriously, all I want is a normal and typical cliche date - dinner and a movie that do not include our sink, our trash can, our television, and our couch.  Nothing fancy.  Nothing complicated.  Nothing romantic.  Nothing over the top.  Nothing instagram or facebook "like" status worthy.  Just an uninterrupted dinner and movie out without baby.

The numerous lists of what to ask your husband or wife also baffle me.  Maybe it's because Andy and I got to know each other over a road trip to Utah with another friend.  The three of us sat in the car, asking each other anything and everything, talking for 10 hours there and back.  Need to get to know someone?  Take a road trip together!  I know some of those questions have answers that will change over time (like your biggest fear, where you see yourself in 5, 10, and 15 years, etc.) but the one place we do spend a lot of uninterrupted time in is the car and what else would you do besides talk about said items?  Maybe it's because I'm loquacious.  Maybe it's because I'm noisy.  Maybe it's because I'm creepy like that.

Whatever it is.. I don't need a different type of new exciting date.  Or detailed suggestions for what to talk to my husband about (sometimes a moment of silence can say a lot).  Currently, we have scoped out all the other couples with one child only (fairer trade, eh?) and are excited for the possibility of a date night.  It wasn't a big deal when Jordan was younger and slept through our outings, but now - going out to dinner with him is involved.  We take turns eating or handling Jordan and then we're out - before you can even say "check please!"  I admire and am slightly jealous of all the other couples who have managed to consistently have date nights even after child(ren).  As for us, given our complicated schedules and our "paying hefty school loan back" place of life, it has not happened.  But we are working on it.  And that counts.

our norm for date nights now... 

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Marriage Is Work

I think marriage continually teaches and pushes you to seal the gap that exists between the two sexes.  We are learning the differing expectations and standards everyday, and trying our best to meet in the middle.  Remembering to praise the other for their efforts.  Avoiding the blame game.  Enjoying the differences that make us work as one.

Andy and I have inventory companionship once a week (inspired by Genny) and let me just say.. it is not easy.  The easy part is thinking of all the good things you appreciate your spouse for doing - that part is fun and great.  Everyone feels great afterwards.  All tingly and wonderful.  Like you're on top of the world!  Amazing!  Brilliant!  The best ever!  Then... comes the part about what you can work on and surprisingly so, (*sarcasm) that part is hard whether you're giving constructive advice for the other person or listening to what you can do better.  It is not fun.  At. ALL!  It's hard to swallow all that pride and commit to be better.  But don't we all have something to improve on? ...

Marriage is work.  And when you work consistently at it, the work becomes fun and doesn't feel like work.  And eventually it becomes easy easier.  So marriage is really easy if you are always working at it.  It's counterintuitive, isn't it?!

Part of making marriage work is understanding men and women are different.  We're wired differently. We think differently.  I can't tell you how many times I get frustrated with the fact that Andy cannot multitask.  He is not faking it.. he really just cannot.  He does not know how.  It comes in handy when I need him to focus on something intently... but for the few times I am talking to him while he is on the computer and I assume he has processed everything I have said.. it is always consistently disappointing to realize I wasted my breath (you'd think I'd learn by now) especially when it feels like I can be browsing through blogs and listening to him (when in reality, my multitasking makes me more inefficient at times).

The other part is setting aside your pride and understanding you can change.  Instead of asserting why I am right, why my standards trump his, I have to compromise and recognize I am not always right and the house does not always have to be a certain way.  This part is not so fun.  This part is where the borderline OCD, sometimes type A anal retentive person in me has to back down and remember that I'm no longer single and living by myself.  There are three people now and I am only 33% versus the 100% I used to be.

It's worth it.  Because have you seen my husband?  He's a stud.

He's also a great dad!
And we are in it for the long-run, for all eternity.  Infinity and beyond. 

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

A Lesson In Auditing

Accounts payable.  Every first year audit dweeb's dream come true *sarcasm.  Nothing better than auditing cash.  LOL.  I crack myself up just writing these lies.

AP is money that a company owes to vendors or services for whom they have purchased something but not yet paid at the end of the year.  The risk with AP is completeness since it's a liability and most companies will want to understate their liabilities (rare example is smoothing income, making it seem they did not make as much money as they did right away by overstating your AP).

So newbies always got the joy of testing AP.  They'd make a selection of large payments made from the check register after year-end and ask for documentation which could be the invoice, the receiving warehouse packing documents (to see when it was actually received if an item) and sometimes even the PO (but really, who cares about the order information unless you're also testing that some control ensures all the info matches from cradle to grave).  Service invoices are the easiest - you just check to see when the service was for and if it was before year-end, it should have been a liability even though they paid for it after the year-end date.  If it was after year-end, it shouldn't have been.  Items are a bit trickier.  For example, a company may have ordered a new printer on December 20th, 2011 and received the item on December 22nd, 2011... but the payment terms are 30 days, so the invoice was dated December 20th and would not be paid until January 2012, BUT it is an item you own as of December 22nd as it's yours.  The auditor would pick then say - have you included this in your AP total and have to ask for a painfully detailed listing of what makes up the AP total and make sure this item was on there.  It could also have been accrued for separately but that accrual listing would also have to add to the AP listing to be the AP amount on the financials.  Fun stuff right?  SO MUCH!

Well, cash wasn't any better, except cash taught me about the Controller's website (at least in California) where you could see if anyone owed you money.  This means their AP got so old because you never deposited some rebate or money you got a check for, and then they gave it to the state.

I forget about this website often - but it's fun to go back and check it frequently.  If you don't live in California, you should check to see if there's a similar website for your state.  I check it whenever I remember and always find money I haven't deposited (lost in mail, lost at home, etc.).  I just recently found over $400 for my parents that they forgot to deposit from rebates.  And if you're wondering how this all came about - I was telling my brother about how AP works for a company since he found a very old check from a company he used to work for that he had not yet deposited and was not sure if it was still valid.  Yeah, it doesn't work the same with personal checks.  If you lost it.. your bad!

CA Unclaimed Property Search

Monday, August 13, 2012

One Nap Only...?

Jordan didn't wake up until 8 AM this morning, but Andy left at 7:45 AM, so I woke up when he was getting geared up to leave.  I decided it was also time for me to get up (it already felt like I overslept given we are normally woken up by Jordan at 6 AM), I made the bed, said good-bye to the hubs, and then I loaded the whites into the laundry machine, and unloaded the dishwasher items from the night before.  I made Jordan's bottle (he prefers warm milk, he's very particular about such things), and then tidied up the living room.

I heard Jordan making some coo-ing noise so I went into his room and he was just lying there, talking to himself.  "Good morning baby!" and at the sound of my voice, he started to get up, with the biggest smile I have ever seen on his face in the morning.  I changed his diaper, as he lay there just gabbing, telling me all about how well he slept, I'm sure.  And then we went into the living room where he got his warm bottle and lay on the wannabe boppy for 90% of his bottle.  The last 10%, he wanted Mommy to hold him.  And after that, he ran around the living room, taking out everything I had just put away (hey, the 30 minutes was nice), and started to explore all his toys once again.

We had microwaved eggs and milk with a sprinkle of garlic salt for breakfast (I had 2, he had 1) and then we watched some Olympics (on demand), went to the indoor racquetball court to chase a ball (I attempted to work out, I got about 10 minutes in before I smelled a stinky diaper) for a little bit, came back to watch the end of Sesame Street, watered the tomato plant, had some watermelon, and a massive near blowout poop (second time).  Normally, Jordan is beyond tired two hours after waking up at 6 AM, but since he had woken up so late.. I didn't think a nap was necessary.  So we continued to hang out.  He wasn't interested in playing with me anymore, so I worked on some paperwork for getting our passports in order, did some research with the local notary publics around town, and got a call from the Comcast representative, who I bickered with very professionally but very frustratingly, for about 20 minutes.  Jordan, meanwhile, explored the huge box of business cards that Mommy has (and probably will never use up), ate some tomatoes, and played with the mini bags of kleenex that are his new toy.

Around 11 AM, he headed to the kitchen, which meant - he was hungry.  He signed "milk" to me when he heard me microwaving something, and when I asked him if he wanted "milk," he said "yea."  Milk before lunch?  That's odd.  Well..... okay.  "But do you want some fruit snackies or wafers first?" I said as I motioned both items to him.  A slight cry came out of his mouth as he whimpered and whined with his head tilted back and eyes intently focused on the microwave.  "Okay, Mommy will get you some milk," I replied.  He groaned for the next three minutes as I got the milk ready and then we went into the living room where he forgot about his milk request.  When the milk was finally done, I gave it to him and he sat on the boppy and drank about 5 oz, and then sat up.  While he played, I went to get some chicken nuggets ready for him and then he ate his lunch while playing with his Melissa and Doug wooden door contraption.  He tried to sign "all done" (it's palms facing up and then turned to face down - but he just kinda held his palms out and when I asked "all done?" he nodded) and then was off to play again while I got my own lunch ready.  Finally around noon, he seemed ready for a nap.  So I took him into his room and he just lay there, whimpering a little, but too fatigued to get up.    

Freedom I thought, but really - who doesn't feel that the moment their kid goes down for a nap?  I raced over to the computer, caught up on work e-mails, began researching an article I have to write for the next business quarterly newsletter, and then .. I was done.  It's only been an hour and a half into Jordan's nap.. but I don't really feel like folding laundry right now... or cleaning up... or figuring out our weekly menu.  Instead, I'm going to blog about if this is the beginning of a one nap a day baby.  *gulp.  I guess it's not that bad.. but I'll have to get used to it!

This weekend, we went to a Par 3 (my first time golfing besides the driving range) and Jordan was in love.  He's ready to become a golfer.  And according to my husband, I'm actually "pretty good," so if that's not just flattery to someone you've already married, maybe there's more than just hope for Jordan.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

The Name Game

A name is important.  Freakonomics claims (along with many other insane things) that a name may partially determine the statistical success of your children in their future.  Naming a child.  It's one of the most important decisions we make as parents leading up to the actual births... there are dozens of books written on the subject, articles discussing the popular names of this year, and this decision coupled with what color scheme for their nursery, what else to put on the registry, and what movie to watch before life is utterly turned upside down and sleep is a luxury, is indeed an important one.

So when is it appropriate to use the same name?  A ridiculously obnoxiously hard to spell pronounce name?  A name that another family's kid has but you will only know for a few years before moving elsewhere?  A name belonging to a distant relative?  An in-law of an in-law?

I find it peculiar how many people love to make a stake for the names they want before a child is born.  I find it mortifying that I am of that population.  For years, I explored a litany of names I wanted for my future posterity, imagining them fulfilling the identities these names would take on.  I argued with ex-boyfriends about which names we could or could not use (useless exercise until you're married by the way), and I've enjoyed mocking the celebrity poor excuse for a unique names that are laugh out loud hilarious and silly while secretly considering if I'd ever use any of them (a few have crossed my mind more than once).  Having been a person who staked names with friends before, I understand (now, after one child) that it's all futile.  Nobody cares.  A name is a name... but there is absolutely no way your name will ever be that unique. Well, at least I say that because I had a kid first among all my friends.  Maybe if I were in their shoes, I'd feel differently.  HA!

So far, I've only met three other people named Daisy in my life.  Yesss!!!!!  I do love my name.

Since names are indeed important, let it be known here that Mormons belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  When someone says they are LDS, that means they belong to this Church.

Every Sunday, when we partake of the Sacrament, we are taking the name of Christ upon us as we renew our covenants, signifying the willingness we have to take His name upon us and promising to always remember Him.  Just a thought.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Working Mom

Sometimes when I read other mom's blog posts about how wonderful motherhood is despite all the hard work, pain, and suffering, I stop for a moment.. then I close their post and think some awful mean thoughts before I scold myself and repent.  I then wonder why I don't feel the same.  I tell myself to be more positive.  To look up.  Find the silver lining.  To turn that frown upside down.  Find the joy in every moment.  To be of good cheer.

But it's not always so easy. ...

I'm no Positive Patty... in fact, I'm quite opposite... I'm in the Negative Nancy ring and work has helped put me here.

Motherhood is great.  AWESOME.  AMAZING!  UNBELIEVABLE!   I really do genuinely love many of the moments, even the ones where I am losing patience and asking Heavenly Father for some much needed help (feels constant to be honest) because I realize how much I have to learn, how much I have to grow still, and how kind my cute son is to put up with me.  The joy that comes with the good... the tender smiles and giggles Jordan offers, the way he hugs or kisses me, the way he learns something new each day... that stuff is priceless and it's the stuff I live for.  But you know what sucks?!

Being a failure at work.  The part-time work that is.

Between trying to find time to send an e-mail, messing up on work stuff constantly (or so it feels), I just can't do it all.  Something has to give.  I need a break more than once a day and yet I try again.. how can I make this more efficient?  What can I cut out of my life?  What can I do to get a bit more time?  How can I improve my routine?  I'm like a broken record of a motherhood consultant, always trying to find a way to be better, to minimize the unnecessary, maximize the time savings...change the order, alter the approach, think outside the box, sleep a little less, sacrifice something else, get help from others, try it all again....  And the truth is... I've slowly lost an edge I used to have when it comes to work.  I'd like to think it's inevitable, but I think it just means I suck.  I'm slowly not as on top of things as I used to be when it comes to work stuff.  Things I should know about, things I should have a working knowledge about, they get missed.  Overlooked.  Neglected.  I make careless mistakes.  I make stupid mistakes.  I make newbie mistakes.  And it feels horrendous to suck at work.

There was an article I read recently about women not ever being able to have it all - work and family.  I don't disagree, but I never wanted it all.  I wanted part of it...?  I'm a part-time worker and a full-time mom.  And I love both of my jobs.  The working gig brings in cash.  Brings in the company of other professionals.  Brings in another perspective.  Makes me think.  Lets me use excel.  But at the same time, I really do not like, in fact, I detest, loathe, and abhor, being bad at work.  I like to be good at what I do, but who doesn't?  I prefer to excel, not suck.  And while motherhood is more subjective, this whole work thing is not.

So what to do working moms out there?  Does your work product suffer or is it just me?

I have to remind myself that it's hard to be a working mom (even part-time), but that it's worth it.  I honestly love my job.  I know many other moms who work part-time who also love their job.  There used to be a joke about this club that there is for people who hate their jobs.. it's called everybody and apparently they meet at the bar.  Well, not me!  Here's to being grateful for the things I have.. including a job I can potentially suck at quite a lot as of late.

A reminder of the perks of work.  Our quarterly meetings in beautiful Manhattan Beach.
Business casual never looked so good.
Our company has two businesses and for the search one (pictured here), there are only two women.  I'm special!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Another Sign of Aging

They say fashion recirculates every 20 years.  Having just recently turned 30, that means everything cycling through as "popular" or "trendy" is stuff I lived to see and was well aware of.  The 90's floral leggings or elastic stirrups my mom made me wear with lace ruffles on my socks.  The off the shoulder too short midriff that went with the polka dot leggings with lace on the hem.  Neon.  Lots of color.  Shoulder pads. Color blocking.  Big chunky ankle boots with laces.  Denim jackets without sleeves.

But try as I might.. I just can't get my head around some of the up and coming trends.  The revival of the Indian Navajo (and other tribes, I'm sure, yes I'm ignorant and a proud Apache grad) patterns, or bright floral, patterned, or skin tight leather leggings.

Remember that children's story, the Emperor's New Clothes?  We are living proof of it! Well, fashion is in the eye of the beholder.. and the more we see of this... the more it becomes normal and we grow to actually like it.  

Sorry, but try as I might, I still see these trends channeling Peggy Bundy and our generation becoming the Peggy Bundys of today.  There are some things I do like that are coming back.  Corduroy.  Elbow patches.  Neon.  Lace.  Animal print.  Oh wait, that's not back yet?  Tell that to my high school and college self who had too much zebra and leopard (I still dream of that one zebra evening gown.. oh how beautiful it would have been with red pumps)!

But seriously, I think all this just means I'm aging rapidly.  When I can go to J. Crew and Gap and actually like the stuff there...(I never made a single purchase from Gap growing up.. it always felt so stuffy and old people type clothing, it wasn't until 2006 or something and that was an epic day when I bought casual khakis from there) that is a sure sign that my taste has evolved to be more mature (and expensive).   It's like when the 70's came back in the form of bell bottoms and retro platforms when we were in high school and my dad laughed and laughed and then roared with more laughter as he told me time and time again, how that was stuff he used to wear in his day.  It's like how everyone loves the thick rimmed big square glasses we used to make fun of my pops for having (and my brother now sports .. yes, he's a spitting image of my dad from then).  Yes... fashion recycles itself but by the time you notice it, you are officially old.

Yet another sign of aging.

On another note, when do you think the MC Hammer pants will make a comeback? And my personal favorite... overalls.  Come back overalls!  You were so dang versatile!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Excel Geek

I have had an infatuation with Excel since I first learned how to use it in 2002.  Over time, as my skills became refined, and I became more comfortable with the shortcuts and potential that excel offered me, I fell in love.  Even when Excel changed (new versions and then re-learning shortcuts on the mac versus the PC), and our relationship became a challenge to maintain, I endured.  Persevered.  Held on.  For better or for worse.

And for the record, I am still constantly amazed by what Excel can do for me.

Budget.  Organize.  Sort.  Group.  Wrap Text  Copy and Paste.  Transpose.

So I thought I'd share some of the wonders of Excel and offer a basic budget template for a family.  I included tithing at the top which is how we Momos prioritize and budget.  The spreadsheet is pretty self explanatory, but I also included commentary to help guide users along.  Like any template, you can modify it and use it as you please.  Have fun like I do!

download budget template here

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Resident Wives' Club

Who doesn't like being part of a club?  For the next year, there are a handful of doctors' wives that are all in the same boat as me.  Here for a year and then off again.  Unlike most of them, I was only with Andy through part of med school, but just like them.. this is only the beginning of a long journey still to be had as we all deal with paying back hefty school loans and raising kids while our husbands are away saving lives.  Getting to know them, hearing their experiences, and realizing I am not alone, has been encouraging, eye-opening, and uplifting.  Moreover, it's been fun to have other girls I can relate to on another level.  Other wives who have dealt with all the expensive and time consuming resident interviews.  Other wives who went through overnight calls and crazy med school schedules.  Other wives who are doing the mom gig full-time.  Other wives who have five more years before they can seriously call somewhere home.  And the best part is that these wives are all here, in close proximity (yeah, move closer Jess!) for the next year.

The families that had husbands with Saturday off (5 out of 7... not bad!) all gathered at Liberty Lake this Saturday for some fun summer volleyball, lake lounging, and sand playing relaxation.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Flashback Friday

Grace and I were talking about how LA we used to be.  We talked to celebrities in stores (to this day, our favorite is Jessica Biel who was so sincere and sweet), sat next to TV show stars, walked right by everyone who's anybody at the Emmy's three years in a row, mingled with sitcom stars at run/walks, or chatted with them like old friends at benefits, and of course, the infamous time our friend got hit on by Mike Tyson in Vegas, and his entourage invited our Asian crew up to their room for a party (super skech, we politely declined after taking a photo with him).  I remember seeing stars dine in hoity toity places that turned into lounges at night, but acting like it wasn't a big deal (inside it was), or realizing how short Ryan Seacrest is (really short).  Those were the days.  The fun LA days.

"But do we have any documentation of it Daiz?" Grace asked me.  Well, after Andy broke my work computer a week before turning it in upon resignation, I didn't have the chance to save most of my old photos.  So sadly, we only have a few.

But the video of Grace clapping as The Office wins for best show is still online!  So she is forever famous... sorta.

In talking about celebrities, Grace and I realized - they're just humans and the spectacular lure of them decreases when you meet them in person and realize they are just like you, only on TV and in magazines a lot more.  But why we study them so carefully and obsess about them, well - that I do not know, but at least I'm reminded that we shouldn't.  I'll try to limit my celebrity gossip even more than I already have.  I am already quite lost at the who's who of Hollywood these days and I hope to be even further disconnected with time.  

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Confident With Baby Shopper

I used to worry constantly about how I would get the groceries once my kid was born.  I used to wonder how the other moms did it.  I used to tell my mother-in-law that there was no way I'd be able to do it without her.  I used to wish my son would grow up faster so he could sit nicely in the grocery cart with me.  How naive I was... to 1) think it was undoable, and 2) to think it would get easier.

It's been 15 months of grocery shopping with baby and I'm finally at a place where I feel pretty confident going with Jordan now.  I went from fledgling mother going on multiple trips to obtain everything I needed with baby strapped into his carseat and placed inside the cart to intermediate mother with then sitting child who giddy with excitement continually snapped photos to document it to know it all to confident shopper who doesn't even think I shouldn't get that until my husband is helping me anymore.  How did this happen?!

I can make it in and out in less than 15 minutes and effortlessly lug two gallons of milk, a week's worth of veggies and household cleaning products up three flights of stairs with Jordan in my bjorn.  I feel pretty dang good about it too.  And some of my friends (recently at the wedding) have commented on my now lean arms and stronger biceps - no doubt from the twenty pounds I carry daily (yeah, he's a skinny minnie) but also from the additional weights I occasionally add on for all our grocery needs.

I know it'll all change with another child (spare me the warning everybody with more than one child), but I'm pretty content with the routine we've got in place, and I wish I knew what I know now then.

1) Create a list - Never, and I mean NEVER, go to the grocery store with child just to pick up one or two items or to see what you may need.  Go with purpose.  Intent.  Create a plan.  A list.  Separate it by item category (veggies, meat, frozen, dairy, cleaning, personal hygiene products, etc.) too!

2) Go at an ideal time  - This one is a little trickier and took some time for me to finesse.  The perfect time for me is after Jordan has eaten... but also after he has gotten some energy out of his body, but not when he's so tired he'll become delirious (some kids get cranky, mine - he gets way deliriously hilarious).... that is not a huge window of opportunity, but after realizing it - I have made it a staple of our grocery trips.  If not, it will HAVE to wait.  I will make other adjustments.  I do not intend for Jordan to get out of his nice little grocery cart seat while in the store, but if he hasn't run around enough before we leave... he'll whine and try to stand up (no matter how tight you make the seatbelt!)

3) Bring distractions - Also known as typical household items and snacks. New items help - ones he has not seen before.  Contraptions with buttons or zippers or straps are all goodies.

4) Prepare your kid! Talk about the grocery trip - I know Jordan is too young to understand but I want to establish good habits young.  So I talk to him about where we're going, what we're getting at the grocery store and try to involve him in the process.  I hated going to the grocery store with my mom when I was a kid, but for me - it was a filial piety thing.  To not go would mean I was disobedient and disrespectful and I wanted to be the good kid.  My mom's mechanism worked also - she always got me a snack of boba milk tea at the place next door or some Chinese red bean filled circle crepe things, yum and I also got to pick out my own cereal and snacks.

5) Park by the cart drop off - I hate putting my cart in the lot randomly instead of the rightful place, in the cart return place.  But putting the stuff into the trunk, Jordan into his carseat, and then taking the cart back is near impossible!  So I find the parking spot CLOSEST - if not immediately next to - the cart return thing!  Genius!  Or so I thought when I first discovered it.  Given the choice between a spot right by the store and one far but by a cart return, I choose the latter.  Bonus points for spots that are close and have a cart return nearby!

I tried to find a recent photo of Jordan at the grocery store sitting nicely in the cart, but apparently, that's not a big deal anymore.  Trust me, it was a HUGE deal when he was a few months old, when he learned to sit, and now .. it's just a normal thing I suppose.  

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Good Thing I Hoarded It All

I have a lot of dresses and skirts from high school that I've held onto, partly because there's hope I'll one day fit into them again, and also because I have dreams about repurposing 'em, making it wearable now.  Because a lot of my high school clothes were baggy or stretchy and because pregnancy has left my butt flatter than it used to be, I actually managed to fit into some of my old stuff now!

So lately, I've become obsessed with making old skirts and dresses into new ones.

I made two khaki skirts longer and got rid of a weird slit up the middle of one of them and then, I did the impossible.  I made a bridesmaid dress re-wearable!  Ho HO HO!!!

No, it's not a tube top - see below, it just looks like it.  

The thing you can't see are all the holes on the inside - some from the fabric I tore and the lopsided stitches I made.
Here is the dress four times, we wore 'em for Julia's wedding in 2010, they were such a steal too - $40 ABS formal dresses from Loehmann's.  Ahh, how I miss Loehmann's.

And now, wa-la!  A new skirt to go with those green and yellow shoes I can never find anything to wear with (but is it too matchy matchy?!)

I look bowl legged here. 

Hooray!  Yippee!  Next step: a stop to Forever 21 for some cheap accessories to revitalize some of my old stuff.  My friend Sara from my CMC days taught me to sew once- well, she basically sewed a top for me, I picked the fabric and style, but she was the first one to show me how to sew a straight line... and then, I've had one 2 hour class and everything else has been experimentation, well I think Sara would be proud of me.  I think so!