Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Keep It Real...

-It is cold - far too cold for this Bama girl. A few snowflakes spat at me this morning. Seriously, if it is going to be in the single digits, I want some serious snow - a bang for my buck - make the frigid worthwhile - know what I mean? I'm not picking a fight with Mother Nature; I am casually giving her the finger as I shiver all day while NOT looking at a Winter Wonderland outside. 

-People had to sleep in their cars on the interstate last night because of the freaky weather around the Birmingham area. I even have one friend who spent the night with a total stranger. Seriously, I have texted her several times to make sure she doesn't wind up being the victim of a very polite serial killer who served her blueberry pancakes for breakfast.

-There have been a couple of times the last few weeks when I have almost missed car line. I don't miss spending an hour and a half each day driving from school to school, but I do miss playing with the kids as we wait in one line after another. We have taken a lot of crazy selfies. Like this one...

-I might have told a client I was going to put both her kidneys and a chunk of her liver on Craig's List. This might not have been the best way to start a discussion about taxable transactions in Alabama. In my defense, when trying to make sales & use tax seem like a fun topic, use any and all tactics including illegal organ sales. Otherwise, people will glaze over and stop listening about the time I say,

-Guys, I have reached a level of stress that I normally don't hit until the first of March. I am jumpy and snappy. I am snarky and have been unable to control the sarcasm. If I happen to yell at you for no good reason, ignore me. I will come to my senses in October. Or, I will have to start being medicated next week.

Friday, January 24, 2014

I Did Not...

If my Great Grandmother Grace were still alive, this is a moment she would truly enjoy. I took the children to school while still in my pajamas. I threw on some cardi Ugg boots. This is not the part that would make Grace smile. 

The part where I also put on lipstick, mascara, and properly coiffed my hair is what would amuse her. From the neck up, I looked ready for the day. From what I hear, Grace pulled this trick a time or two herself. She even donned a stylish hat with her gown on occasion. 

Thursday, January 23, 2014

The Height of Embarrassment...

You know what is really, really satisfying as a parent? 

That moment when you can pin down a teenager on the sofa for a hug while she looks like she hopes that you vaporize...all while you look peaceful and happy. 

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Twilight Zone...I Went There...

A while back I attended a continuing education class in Huntsville. It was a lovely class regarding payroll rules and regulations. Contain your jealously, people. I know you all want to know everything there is to know about statutory employees, but you don't have to beg for it here. 

Anyway, at the mid-morning break, I had to pay a visit to the ladies' room. Imagine the look on my face when I walked inside and was greeted by an entire basket of complimentary feminine hygiene products. I mean, seriously, this was a hotel restroom outside of a CPE class not an encore of The Vagina Monologues.

I felt like I had walked into an Always commercial instead of the ladies' room. Have a happy period, always. Maybe I should send the jack-hole who thought of that slogan this picture along with a pitch for their next commercial. The dowdy accountant steps into the ladies' room only to be magically transformed into a smiling, thin woman wearing fabulous heels while twirling around with excitement over her free goodies. This is not something women are happy about unless the woman happens to have had a drunken one night stand a few weeks back. These Happy commercials fall into the same bucket as Valtrex commercials for me. Those people are running through fields of daisies and look really freaking excited about having herpes. 

On what planet do these commercials increase sales? Don't tell me you have never thrown something (in a fit of PMS) at the TV when you're told to have a happy period. Is a happy period even possible? Happy periods are more like unicorns - they DON'T exist. Am I supposed to feel empowered every time the commercial airs? Guess what, that right there is some business I want to take care of on my own without Regina King's advice. Maybe the person who came up with the Happy Period slogan was tripping on acid at the time....or was suicidal and working from home where his PMS-ing wife walked by and saw the storyboard on his desk. 

Maybe I have thought about this too much. 

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Blow It Up...

***I have no doubt that when I took this picture, I actually had a reason for thinking that this propane exchange station would make for good blog fodder. Instead? It gave me a title completely unrelated to this post.***

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As a working mother to three children who are involved in sports and school activities, I am often asked, "How do you manage it all?" The truth is that I don't manage it all. It (whatever it is) manages me, and I have developed my own methods of coping with and reacting to what can only be described as controlled chaos. I don't think my precious family will be offended by my saying that our life is controlled chaos. I'm pretty sure they have noticed.

I am not even close to being an expert on organization, but these are some of the things that have worked for me.

Numero Uno on my list is my family binder. I have been meaning to make it pretty, but I haven't gotten around to that yet. This 3 ring binder contains everything anyone would ever need to know about my children and their routines and also for the various responsibilities I have. Class schedules, school calendar, lists of phone numbers for teachers and friends, schedules of practices...all of this is in the binder. I often make a copy of field trip forms before sending them back to school. This way I have all the pertinent details for every trip. I also keep coupons in the front sleeve along with their safety IDs.

Inside, each child has his or her own section. Activities that are big, such as the charity 5K that my friend Megan and I are co-chairing have their own section as well. Does Hadley have any major events coming up? Check her tab. Can Layton eat Fruity Pebbles? Check his tab. What is the email address for Ella's math teacher? Check her tab. 

I know this probably seems like overkill to many of you, but honestly, I don't know what I would do without it.

Numero Dos would be my calendar. I know! What idiot keeps a three ring binder and a calendar? Me. I like to buy from either Erin Condren or Plum Paper. This year I went with Plum Paper because I could customize the sections inside. The first few blocks of the day read "appointments." That is followed by "to do" and "Menu." I do a menu plan every week and jot it on the calendar. This helps with grocery shopping and makes having a home cooked meal an easier task each day. There are lots of things that can be made ahead of time and frozen or mixed together and place in the refrigerator until time to cook. We'll talk more about menu planning another day. 

I keep up with all the reminder cards for appointments and tape them to the applicable day. I clip bills to be paid to the date I need to mail each one. I place items that I need to do something with inside each week. The only bad thing is that I trust my calendar with my whole person. If I accidentally write an appointment on the wrong date, I will never notice that I have shown up on the wrong date. If it's on the calendar, it's in granite. A couple of times I have shown up a week early or a week late for various things. That's why I like getting reminder cards. Ha!

I am always looking for ways to help manage my time and resources. I would love to hear from all of you about the things you do to keep your schedule organized. 

Later this week I will post more details about my meal planning and grocery lists and also how my family has to call on friends to help out sometimes. If you are like me, you have a very hard time asking for help, but I have discovered that asking for help is the strongest thing a working mother can do. 

Have a great day!!! And don't forget to comment or email suggestions for how to stay organized!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

I Need to be Medicated...Stat...

I love saying stat. Don't you? There is something about saying it that makes me feel like a successful person when I say it at work. Of course, I am usually saying it to myself. Does it really count if I say aloud, "those quarterly reports need to be finished stat?" We'll pretend like it counts. We'll also pretend like I have self confidence because that is what it would take for me to hit publish on this post without having a panic attack. It's a selfie.

Several of you commented on facebook that you would like to see my new do. Well, it was late last night when I decided it would be okay to post one. I had been rained on and worked late.  I had stripped out of my work clothes and was sporting a hoodie. My make up was gone.

And like a fool I took a picture...
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So there you have it. My hair is short. Matted and gross at the end of the day but short. 

Monday, January 13, 2014

Parents Just Don't Understand...

In today's edition of How Can I Embarrass Myself on the Internet? I will make it even more difficult for me to show my face in public.

1. I love the post office. Any post office. Especially rural post offices that are next to barns. There is something about mail that just makes me giddy. I have spent much of my life desperate to be loved and liked, and it is my belief that junk mail was the only thing that made me feel wanted until about 1997. Heck, I only had a date to high school dances a few times, but Publisher's Clearing House loved me enough to send two letters a week. Suck on that, homecoming queens.

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2. I got a major hair cut. Major as in my hair was half way down my back, and now the hair on the back of my head is shorter than J's beard. As in you will do a double take the first time you see me with the new do. Layton hates it. He told me that I don't look like his Mommerz anymore. It took two full days for him to even warm up enough to hug me.

3. I have started on my "If I Survive Tax Season" list. I make one every year. It has things like.....If I survive tax season, I'm going to get the carpet cleaned....If I survive tax season, I'm going to take a long weekend away with J....If I survive tax season, I'm going to paint the children's bedrooms...If I survive tax season, I'm going to rip up the hideous landscaping in front of my house and redo it all...If I survive tax season, I am going to take a whole day off just to sleep...If I survive tax season, I'm going to shave my legs. It's not hard to be classier than I.

4. Speaking of tax season, it has already kicked off for me. I am busy. Do not be offended if I don't return your phone call or email immediately. Do not be alarmed if I don't return your phone call, email, or text, for three days. It is what it is. My required hours at work have doubled this week and will only continue to increase. I love you all, really I do. I just can't talk to you until April. :)

5. Something amazing is happening for me this year. I have successfully pawned all three of my children onto other drivers in the afternoon. That's right. I no longer have to suffer through an hour and a half of car lines after school. Three car lines really is enough to make crack seem like a good idea. The two littles are riding the bus together, and Hadley is riding home with a good friend who got her driver's license several months ago. I will continue working while Hadley babysits. Or, I will be at Casa Blanca drinking celebratory margaritas because I am sans car line.

6. Something I am asked regularly is, "How do you do it?" I would like to believe that these inquisitive minds want to know how I manage to be so witty and humble and such a good mother. They are actually asking how I manage work, family, social functions, volunteering, etc. I guess I seem more involved and busy than I feel. The truth is that I don't do it well. I sacrifice sleep and on occasion clean socks. I have dragged my children to fundraisers and parties that were not intended to be kid friendly. If you put one of those fake mustaches on Layton, he can almost pass for the monopoly man. Not that I have tried that at an adult party or anything. Or maybe I have. I do have a system, a process, that I use to schedule out my days and nights. As a working mother, I feel it is important that we all share our ideas and methods of finding balance with each other. So, over the course of the next few weeks, you can look forward (hahahahahahah, I know, that made me laugh too. Like anyone looks forward to me blathering on this blog) to a series of post dedicated to various ideas I have about balancing all aspects of my life. And, some follow up posts exploring how often I fail at balancing my life.

7. It's okay to laugh at me instead of with me. I am fully aware of how ridiculous a human being I am. 

Friday, January 03, 2014

Thursday, January 02, 2014

Look Away...I'm Rambling Again...

Wow. In the last year she has grown so much. She looks so small and young in this picture.

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Another year is in the books.

I am grateful for the new year and the new start. I think it will be a good one. I elected not to make any resolutions. I thought I might, but then I decided I would just be setting myself up for disappointment. I am pretty hard on myself.

I have decided to cut my hair shirt. You can laugh at me later.

I should be cooking dinner, but I haven't been to the store. What to do? How about one of you comes to my house and makes dinner magically appear. Yeah, I didn't think that would work.

I have had such a nice, relaxing holiday season. I am not ready for the storm that is about to hit. Tax season is looming. Anyone want to be my personal servant for a few months?

See ya later friends.