30 October 2009

I think I need a teepee

Yesterday I was insanely stressed out. There was too much to do and not enough time to do it in- kids needed to be delivered to two different places, Halloween costumes needed to be worn with changes of clothes brought, garbage and recycling needed to be taken out, and I needed to be at work at 7:45 for a class. Then, I got it all done, and I felt awesome. I'm awesome! I can handle everything!

Except this morning I had practically nothing to do. Kids were coming with me to school (they go to the preschool on our campus), costumes were in the bag, no lunches needed because they are going to the babysitter's at lunch time so McDs on the way could be had... should have been a breeze, right?

But no. Mr3 would NOT leave me alone. He wanted me to carry him everywhere, and since I donated blood yesterday, I didn't really want to pick him up (my arm looks gross- like blood will squirt out of the hole if I flex my muscle). Then he didn't want to get dressed, then he wanted a cheese stick even though he had a bowl of colby jack and crackers right in front of him, then he kept pushing me while I was trying to brush my teeth... I ended up roaming aimlessly around the house trying to find a place to get away from him. Just for ONE minute- just enough to drink a few swigs of coffee without getting shoved and spilling it.

I eventually got them dressed and in the car and delivered to school and now I'm at work and everything is fine, but I hate mornings like this. It all started because Max just wanted me to play with him, and I can't really PLAY with him in the morning. I ended up playing this "i'm a hamster in the pet store and you buy me" game with him while I was making breakfast, but that's what set him off. And I feel bad! But what can I really do? It's time to get up, get dressed, eat, get ready.

It's just frustrating and it sucks.

27 October 2009

Early to bed

Everyone's making fun of me about my "new bedtime" but all I have to say is:


Getting 8 hours of sleep is not a joke, it really has changed my life. I'm waking up happier, I have WAY more energy which means I have been exercising more, I haven't been as hungry for carbs and things (so I've lost a few pounds) and my house is really clean.

I was very skeptical of how a single, working mom could go to bed so early and still get things done and have any time to relax. But for some reason, my extra energy during the day is helping me stay on top of cleaning, so that there's not a lot to do after the kids go to bed, just about 30 min of picking up, doing dishes, etc (during which time I talk on the phone to catch up with friends). Then it's only about 8 pm, and I get some reading material, get ready for bed, and watch tv or read until I go to sleep. It is really rather amazing.

I was going to do it for a week... but now I think I might extend it indefinitely!

25 October 2009

it's 9:12 am...

and the groceries are here and put away (the kids LOVED it), the dishwasher is emptied, the laundry is done (enough), the house is picked up, and the kids are at their dad's.

I think I'll exercise, clean the bathtub and take a shower. And then I'm off for a grown up adventure of reading at a coffee shop and visiting a museum. I'm so excited.

24 October 2009

Saving Sunday

Sundays are pretty much the only day I can really count on my ex to spend time with the kids, so they end up being the one day I can actually count on getting things done. Lately I've been feeling like I waste my whole day Sunday doing house things like cleaning, laundry and grocery shopping. A few weeks ago, I went out to have lunch with a friend and left a little early, where I headed down to a local college town where there are tons of awesome bookstores, museums, coffee shops, etc. It was the best day I had had in ages because my whole day was about being a grown up and doing things I like to do, rather than vacuuming and washing dishes.

Ever since then, I've been doing all I can to get the weekly chores done throughout the week so that I can have Sunday to myself. I've been doing a load or two of laundry after work, cleaning up before bed every night instead of leaving things for the weekend, and basically keeping on top of things. I know this probably sounds obvious, but with a 12 hour day of work plus mom duties each day, I was not that motivated to do it before.

Then today, in a stroke of genius, I finally ordered Peapod (a delivery service from our local grocery store) to be delivered tomorrow between 6 and 8 am. I am psyched! When the kids get picked up at 9, the grocery shopping will already be done. I cannot even believe how easy it really was.

I know that this service isn't particularly frugal (they charge a delivery fee, although this time I had a coupon that covered it) but in the grand scheme of things, it seems to be worth it. And I'm really looking forward to a lovely day tomorrow- if the weather is decent, I'm planning on going to an art museum that has free admission. I can't wait.

23 October 2009

Mrs., Ms. or Miss: Addressing Modern Women

Mrs., Ms. or Miss: Addressing Modern Women

This is an interesting article about women's names and identities. A few of my Facebook friends have commented on it. I personally use Ms. but am not offended by Miss or Mrs., and I didn't change my last name back to my maiden name when I got divorced.

I think that the author makes a point when she points out that our maiden names are actually our father's names, so either way we didn't really "choose" them. I love the idea of people choosing their own last names when they get married, but that's not always popular with extended families. What do you think?

21 October 2009

the other 40 hour job

As anyone with a full time job, two preschoolers, and some semblance of a social life might be, I am always exhausted. And this past week was no exception, except now I am also sick (thanks to the previously mentioned job and preschoolers). I started feeling sick last Monday, and another Monday rolled around and I still wasn't feeling much better. And so I decided that I needed to take a drastic step and put myself on a sleep diet.

Only this diet was the fattening-up kind, the kind you do before a wrestling match or you are going to be slaughtered for Thanksgiving dinner (okay, neither of those are practical similes, but you get the point).

Anyway, I've been attempting to get 8 hours of sleep per night. Last night I got into bed at 8:15 with the J Crew catalog and a copy of Self, turned on the Biggest Loser, and promptly fell asleep. I woke up this morning at 5 am. This is significant because I woke up- I wasn't woken up by an alarm clock, the cat, a three year old who has to pee, a four year old who wants to snuggle. And I really feel better today. It's amazing.

19 October 2009

The email purge links

Here's what I'm using to get rid of my massive (like MASSIVE) email backlog:

Now to figure out how to replicate this in my home... I'm thinking giant plastic bins might be the way to start... imagine putting ALL the toys in the living room in a giant plastic bin, and then dealing with them in small doses? Isn't that what they do on that show Clean Sweep? I think I need to have that show come to my house.

17 October 2009

The Purge

I don't know if it's fall, or a phase or what, but I've been feeling the need to get rid of things and start fresh lately. My mom has been helping me tackle my house, which is a massive toy pit. Actually, it's a tiny 1000 sq ft toy pit. There's no room for anything, and the layouts of the rooms make it even harder. There's tons of dead space and too much going on where I actually need to walk... Anyway, not only this, but I also tried one of those inbox-zero email time savor tricks. It seems good so far but we'll see how long it lasts. It would be great to not spend 3 hours a day staring at email.

Too bad I can't move my house into a backlog folder... or maybe I could... hmmmm...

14 October 2009

on being single with children

My "new life" definitely has its pros and cons. For example, sometimes its hard to have to be the adult who does ALL the adult things in the house- I take care of the kids, I work, I make the lunches, I wash the clothes, I pay the bills, I take out the trash, I kill the spiders, etc. Not only that, but I have to be the tough one, the disciplinarian, the one who says no. I hate this sometimes, because I want to be the fun parent. I would like to say "Wait til your father gets home" once in a while.

It's very emotionally draining to always have to follow through on what I say, even if that means spending 30 minutes making a 4 year old stay in time out, or not going somewhere fun because I said that we wouldn't go if they didn't listen or stop fighting or whatever it is that they are doing.

That being said, there are 2 nights and one day a week that I don't have to cook dinner, and I can watch tv or relax or read or take a nap or do whatever I want. This is awesome.

But my favorite part of being a single mom? Watching every single stupid show that I love to watch (Project Runway, the Hills, America's Next Top Model, etc) and never, ever having to watch another creepy Law and Order or show about monster trucks.

I may never date again.

12 October 2009

A day at the farm

Today was the annual school field trip to the farm, always a fascinating and yet macabre adventure. There's just something about standing in front of a 400 lb pig while a woman sticks Velcro-backed drawings of bacon and spareribs to a wood cutout silhouette of a pig that makes me want to die a little. Not to mention the fact that soon the pig is apparently leaving them to "go to another farm," which one can only assume looks like that barn in the movie Twister with all the knives in it.

And to add insult to injury, we came home and had ham and cheese sandwiches for lunch. And to think I was a vegetarian for 13 years.

11 October 2009

it's about that time

So, I started a new blog. It's called "Building Villages" and it's about my life moving on from the divorce and all of the upheaval that has come with it.

Basically, I love writing this, and I miss having a lot to say, but honestly, I just don't have that much to share anymore. I'm VERY slowly paying things off, but this is going to take a while. My ex still isn't giving me what he's supposed to, and there are only so many times I can right about that. I need to move on, and part of that is to move on from here, too. So, I started a new place where I can write about more than just finance- I can write about life and my kids and my job and all kinds of fun stuff. I am pretty excited about it. I hope you come over and check it out. It's kind of pretty, too- this blog was always sort of ugly, I have to admit!

Anyway, here it is: http://buildingvillages.blogspot.com/

See you there!

real life

I've been blogging for nearly two years now, when I started a blog called "The Year of Frugal Living." Twenty two months later, I've pretty much run out of things to say about Frugal Living and how my ex husband never pays his child support, and I'm pretty sure everyone else is tired of hearing about it. I'm not making fast progress, not enough to keep writing every day about it (although I'm still working on the debt paydown- I may move the ticker over to this blog).

But I don't want to stop blogging, so I started a new blog, sort of about my life, and sort of about the reconstruction of my happiness after the divorce and all of that. I've talked about building villages before, and it's something I think is fascinating and real. It also gives me an excuse to talk about my real life- my kids, my job, fun stuff. I'm excited.

So, if you're coming over from the YOFL, thanks for sticking with me, and if you're new, thanks for coming. You get to be in the village, too.