Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Bad Mom V 2.0

For the most part, I'm pretty tuned into my kids.  I can look at them and tell they have a fever.  When they are acting out, I can usually figure out what the underlying issue is.  When they are hungry, I can tell by the way they are acting.  Most mom's have these skills.

I recently realized that I lacked the ability to push my kids away from gender stereotypes.  Swift and quick intervention is required.

The process behind deciding which camps to put Abby in this summer was drawn out, laborious and likely over thought.  This is my approach to most things (ranging from birthday party themes to searching for recipes, you name it).

Abby is attending the following camps, she has already attended 1-3:

1.) Gymnastics Camp

2.) Nueva Camp (very cool and progressive camp at a local private school, her two sessions were Art and Circus )

3.) Galileo Camp (the theme was Amusement Park and the day is broken into art, science and outdoor activities)

4.) Girl Scout Camp

Her favorite camp so far has been Galileo.  When I asked her why she told me "because we get to do science and I love learning".

My heart sank.  It sank far.

I focused her camp sessions on girly things.  Art, Circus performance and gymnastics.  I assumed the Galileo camp was going to be fun for her, but thought she might not like the science part.  It NEVER occurred to me that she would like the science twist to Camp Galileo.  Shame on me!!

I am a Director of Finance and I work in an organization that builds the eCommerce websites.  In many instances I'm one of the few, or sometimes the only woman in the room during meetings.

Why the hell would I perpetuate this trend/stereotype and not encourage my daughters to learn something other than gymnastics, art and performances?  Why would I not want them to be the only female in the room during meetings?

Abby has a week off from camp this week.  This past weekend I scoured the web to find science related projects she might enjoy.

It's going to take me a while to get over this.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Oh Boy, Was She Mad!

My youngest daughter, age 3 1/2, has developed a very unpleasant night time routine.  She won't stay in bed.

No matter what we do, what we say, how we react or don't react, she won't stay in bed at bedtime.  It's like a mildly unruly boomerang that occasionally has tantrums.  And this all started as I'm entering my busy period at work.

After about a month of spending 1-2 hours each night to get her to stay in her bed, it was time for some intervention.  I thought about how she's motivated and one thing came to mind: chocolate.

I spent some time this past weekend coming up with a chart that she can use nightly.  The chart consists of 7 things she does every night at bedtime.  I used a cute font and lots of colors.  As she finishes one task, she gets to put a check in the check box.   These are the items on her checklist:

1.) Take bath or shower
2.) Get into PJ's
3.) Brush teeth
4.) Read stories
5.) Turn on nightlight
6.) Turn off bedside lamp
7.) Stay in bed

We leave the last one un-checked until morning.  She has to stay in bed all night.  If she does, she gets chocolate before breakfast (and by chocolate, she gets one M&M).  It's enough to motivate her.

The first night in, no fights at bedtime.  She was so happy to put checks in her check boxes.  She didn't go to sleep right away, but she did stay in bed.  Whoo hoo, but perhaps a bit too early to declare victory.

We also installed a child safety door knob cover on the inside of her bedroom door.  This is where it goes sideways.

She got up out of bed at 11pm for whatever reason (perhaps to go to the bathroom as she recently stopped wearing diapers at night).  I woke to crying, loud crying.

I went into her room and found her sitting next to her bedroom door and boy was she MAD.  I won't go into the gory details, but it took an hour to get her calmed down and back into bed (took me another hour after that to get calmed down and back to sleep).  She was not the least bit happy we installed the door knob cover on her door knob.  We took away some of her independence, the independence she is displaying so proudly these days.

Let's see how we do tonight..

Sunday, July 14, 2013

A Little Meal Planning - Courtesy of The Pioneer Woman

This past Saturday, The Pioneer Woman's new episode was about quick meals.  I can certainly benefit from quick meals.

Lately in our house, meal planning has consisted of finding something in the freezer or sitting down with a laptop to see where we can order dinner from.  This isn't the healthiest form of eating and Steve and I both know we need some help in the healthy eating department.  Our girth can attest to it.

As my kids are getting older, I'm allowed a little time to get things done while they play quietly together.  Well, at least until they start fighting or the little one hits the older one.  Today, they are working on a straw project and I am working on meal planning.

After watching the Pioneer Woman's episode and browsing through some of her other recipes, I came up with these 4 for the week:

Mini Meatball Sandwiches
(ground turkey for this one and a side salad)

Pasta alla Betsy
(we'll use whole grain penne and add a side salad)

Lazy Chilies Rellenos
(I think I'll add some ground turkey to this one, use egg beaters and use 2% milk)

Beef with Snow Peas
(supplementing with frozen/cooked organic brown rice from Trader Joe's)

I then took the printed recipes to Steve and negotiated for him to make 2 of them.  We have 7 days to cook the 4 recipes.  I think that is manageable, maybe...    The good news, it's likely we'll spend less on lunches this week too since we'll have leftovers.

I'll let you know how it goes.


Monday, July 8, 2013

Summer Art Projects for Kids - Can't Wait for my KiwiCrate order!

I ran across a mention of Kiwi Crate on a blog I read.  I took the name of the website and tucked it away in my brain for a later date.

This past weekend we went to Monterey.  The girls had a blast and cried when we left.  It's always a good sign when they cry, it means they had a good time.  The girls were in bed by 7:30pm or so each night so I was left with two options:

1.) watch TV
2.) shop on my iPad

I chose to do both!

Kiwi Crate came to mind.  I spent some time browsing their site and bought a few things.  The concept is fantastic.  They put together 'crates' of themed projects.  They have great options for both boys and girls.

I purchased the following:

They also have great DIY projects.  I'm eyeing this one our summer vacation:

Vacation Jars (to store your vacation memories)

Here's why I love this site.  For me, time is short.  Their project kits (or crates) take the guesswork out of coming up with new ideas and also alleviates the need for me to go to 2-3 stores to get all the supplies for a project.

When I get my order and the kids have some time to try it out, I'll let you know how it goes.

I am in no way affiliated with Kiwi Crate and the pictures are from the site.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Would a Ham Sandwich Make You Cry?

There are a lot of things that can make a person cry, but a ham sandwich?

Abby has been at gymnastics camp this week.  She's there from 8:30am until 3pm.  That's a long day for her.  She's the type of kid, who everyday after Kindergarten needed quiet time in her room to veg out and re-energize.  She's never been at something this intense for this duration.  She's also a 'young-five' as they call them, so she's a younger than most of the kids in camp.

I worked from home on Thursday so I was able to pick her up.  She hasn't been eating her full lunch so of course that is one of things I asked her about after we got in the car.

Me: "Abby, did you eat your lunch today"
Abby: "No Mommy, it looked like ham"
Abby: then in full on, end of the world screaming, "I don't like hhhhhaaaaaaammmmmmm!!!!"

Then she started crying, uncontrollably.

I mixed up their lunches this morning and packed the wrong one for Abby.  The poor thing is so tired after camp she's having trouble keeping her wits about her.  I really don't blame her and she's generally very well behaved.

Some days I feel like screaming "I don't like (fill in the blank)" at the top of my lungs while at work.  How do you think that would go over?

Art and circus camp is on tap for next week.  She is so excited for it.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Ignoring These Resulted in Abundance

Simply put, we are not good gardeners, not good at all.  The things that grow the best are the ones we ignore...

Last year we planted strawberries and had at most 10 ripe strawberries.  During fall, winter and spring, we ignored them.  Why bother putting time into something that didn't bear fruit.

There's a life lesson in this story somewhere.

The girls and I spent some time in the back yard this evening, to eat dinner, water our herbs and tomatoes and enjoy the nice weather.  I've kind of ignored the strawberries, but noticed them tonight.

Aren't they lovely?

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Is This Normal in Other Parts of the Country - Bus Brigades?

Abby is in summer camp this week.  Her very first summer camp experience ever!  She’s so excited about it and is having fun, spending 6 hours a day doing gymnastics.  Well maybe a few breaks, lunch and an art project thrown in.  

Her summer camp drop-off changes my commute.  Instead of driving up the pristine, beautiful and traffic-less 280, I’m stuck on 101 with what seems like the rest of the bay area, all at the same time.  And there was an accident today too.

I did notice something as I was driving along, in much greater volume than my mellow 280 drive.  Charter bus after charter bus, with either explicit call outs of the companies these buses were taking people to or semi-cryptic code names or none at all.  I must have seen 60+ charter buses ushering people to their jobs, all in a 10 mile stretch.  Here are some of the ones I saw:

GBUS: Google buses, there are a gazillion of these
MPK: assuming this is Facebook, using my Inspector Gadget kills
Cisco: pretty straight forward
Genentech: pretty straight forward
LinkedIn: again, pretty straight forward
Y!: Yahoo buses and they are purple too!
There were also a handful of unlabeled buses; I do wonder where they are taking people to!

It’s not unusual for companies to enlist the services of these charter bus companies to get workers to their jobs.  A lot of people want to live in San Francisco, but don’t want to travel via car to work 30 miles south into the heart of the Silicon Valley.  In the case of where I work, we hire these buses to take people from the South Bay north to our offices for the 30-40 mile drive.  These buses are seen as an employee perk.  

Are these bus brigades typical in other parts of the country or only here?  

Monday, April 22, 2013

A Complex Coffee Problem

We have a complex problem in our house and I'm looking for a better solution.  Here are the facts:

I only drink decaf coffee.
My husband only drinks caffeine laden coffee.
I like lattes, cappuccinos and drip coffee.
My husband only likes drip coffee.

Still with me?  

We used to have a double carafe drip coffee pot, where we could each make our own drip coffee.  It didn't satisfy my need for lattes and cappuccinos.  We got rid of the double, replaced it with a single drip maker and a Nespresso machine with milk frother.  I now had lattes and cappuccinos, but no drip coffee when my husband made leaded coffee for himself practically every day.

I came across a great deal on a small Keurig machine ($99, then 30% off and a $20 rebate, for a $50 total price).  The Keurig could be the solution for me when I want drip coffee the same time my husband wants his leaded coffee.  

This is what we currently have sitting on our kitchen counter.  Count 'em, 4 coffee making items.  There has to be a better solution?  

Yes, those are 1980's gray formica countertops, jealous?

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

I Was Late for Work - I Had to Dress a Chicken

It didn't help that I hit the snooze bar more than I should have, but there was an important task that needed to be attended to.  I was late for work, because I had to dress a chicken.  Does your dressed chicken look this good?

We still can't find one of the chicken feet.

Monday, February 11, 2013

No Words

I'm at a loss for words.  This makes my heart swell.  I can't believe how grown up she looks.  This was her first Daddy/Daughter dance and she had a blast.

I was sad I wasn't allowed to go, but we had fun shopping for her dress.

I'm going to sit back and look at this picture for the next few hours.

Friday, February 8, 2013

I Miss the Things That Annoyed Me the Most

Murphy has been gone for 2 months.  There are days where I think of him and smile and there are days when I come across a picture of him and shed a few tears.  He was our dog and became such an everyday part of our lives.

Murphy had a few habits that would test my patience. Here are some of my favorites:

1.) Whenever I would get ice from the freezer, Murphy would come running.  Sometimes as I was rushing to get out of the house, grabbing a handful of ice for him and tossing it on the floor would annoy me.  I didn't have the time for it and he was always under my feet, jockeying for the quickest route to the ice when I'd put it down.  Lately, when I get ice and I don't hear him running my way, trying to trip me, I feel a twinge of sadness.

2.) Some might say I am the lightest sleeper in the whole entire world.  Even on the nights when I wear ear plugs, I can hear a faint whimper from one of my kids.  Super sonic mom ears.  I digress...  Murphy slept in our room on a dog bed in the corner.  A handful of times throughout the night he would wake me as he moved around on his bed, moving from his bed to the floor, etc.  Some nights, when I knew I wouldn't get that much sleep, I would get terribly annoyed by being woken up by him.  Now our room is eerily quiet, a very uneasy quiet.  Sometimes when I wake during the night for no reason, I have trouble falling back to sleep because it's way too quiet.

3.) Murphy had a habit of eating the smallest of toys the kids would leave on the ground.  I would tell them continuously that if there was a small toy they treasured, they needed to make sure it wasn't left on the ground.  There would be days where I would pry his mouth open and fish toys out of his slimy saliva filled mouth at least 10 times.  Now, when I see small toys on the ground, my instinct is to tell the kids to pick them up because Murphy will eat them.  I no longer need to give them that reminder.

The memories associated with the habits of that darn dog that used to annoy me, now make me smile.  I sure miss that dog!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

My Working Mom Accomplishments

Over the past few weeks, I have been discussing what it's like to juggle all aspects of my working mom life.  It's definitely a humorous conversation at times.  I now reflect back on some of my major accomplishments as a working mom over the past couple of years...

1.) Getting to my desk, relatively on time.  Some days, this is my biggest accomplishment.

2.) Getting through the day with the snot on my pants going unnoticed as my darling little one decided to rub her runny nose on my pants as I was walking out the door.

3.) Disguising the fact, that during a meeting with a C-level executive, I only slept 4 hours the night before.  Not because I spent all night working on the presentation, but because my daughter had pneumonia and I slept in her room.  I woke up every time she moved/coughed/rolled over.

4.) Getting my daughters to school dressed in pajamas on Pajama Day.

5.) Rushing out of the office to pick up my kids, after the last meeting of the day runs late and arriving at the very last minute before having to pay more.  And not getting a speeding ticket in the process.

6.) Having enough food in the house to scrape together a packed lunch for them.  The mere act of packing lunches day after day is quite an accomplishment.

7.) Hoping the fact that I forgot to turn in the sign up sheet for the school play somehow remains under the radar screen.

8.) Getting both kids to school, on time, without having to talk about Mommy's behavior and that I could have handled myself better that morning.  I run out of patience after asking them to put their shoes on after the 10th or 11th or 40th time.

9.) Remembering to sign permission slips and turn them in no later than 5 days past the due date.

10.) Getting myself in bed and asleep before 10:30pm (a rarity these days).

11.) Occasionally getting dinner on the table for Steve and I during the week.  Even if dinner consists of cereal and M&M's.

What are some of your biggest accomplishments as a working Mom?