Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Just In Case

I'm in major clean up and throw out/donate mode. Call it the New Year, call it Too Much Crap Making Me Crazy, but I am tearing through closets and cabinets and getting rid of things. As I've gotten older I think I've begun keeping things Just In Case.

Just In Case we get invited to a Hawaiian/Scary Mask party I have a Hawaiian print dress and Tim has a very scary Halloween mask that frightens even adults. (We're hermits and don't get invited to costume parties.)

Just In Case I need old sorority t-shirts and sweatshirts for painting projects, I have three boxes full in storage in the basement. (I should keep a couple for posterity and toss the rest. Where will I ever wear a size large sweatshirt with the words "AXO/ATO Pledge Dance 2000"? But I will keep my paddle...it may come in handy with these children someday (KIDDING). )

Just In Case we start a company again, we have 6 office chairs and that many desktops gathering dust. (We will never, I repeat, NEVER, be self-employed again.)

Just In Case I want to redecorate, I have extra lamps, pillows, vases, candles, CHAIRS sitting around. (In  outdated color combinations from our old condo/college apartments.)

Just In Case I get invited to a Fancy Dress Party, I have four formal bridesmaid dresses...yeah, no.

Just In Case I want to go skiing, I have the coat, pants, gloves, etc. (I hate skiing.)

There is so much more...crap stuffed into the basement and closets than I care to admit. On the surface, I think my home looks relatively orderly and clean but if you get deep into it you would be appalled at the stuff I've kept. Most of it just needs to go. I need to remove my attachments to things and just get rid of it once and for all. I need to stop saying "we'll sell that on CList/put it on Freecycle" because I won't get around to it and honestly, the process of listing and getting emails and not having people show up is a HUGE annoyance for small gain. Plus putting decent things out in the alley ensures they'll get picked up by someone before garbage day and I consider that a great form of recycling.

It's time to let go of the excess stuff and enjoy a less cluttered existence. It's time to buy a better scanner and get rid of the piles and files full of paper and SHRED IT ALL. It's time to donate anything that is in decent condition and get it out of my house. I think I'm going to keep our local Salvation Army pretty busy this weekend.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

I'm really bad at remembering to drink water

I'm going to tell you three random things that I am really bad at and then three random things that *I* think I am really good at. 


1. I suck at couponing. I mean, I GET the idea of it but the practice of it leaves me trembling. I have an entire subsection of my Reader devoted to couponing websites which I avoid because I feel bad about myself that I just cannot figure it out.

2. I'm really bad at math (hence the above admission...too much maths). Like shamefully bad. So bad that I refuse to pay our sitter based on the exact hours and ALWAYS round up and over pay to avoid having to do anything more complicated than adding whole numbers. My husband is so disappointed in me right now.

3. I hate small talk. I am the worst guest at a dinner party where I don't know many people. I fear I come across as rude when in actuality I am just nervous and can't think of things to talk about it. This is why I am STILL worried that people thought I was a huge jerk at The Blathering 2010. I'M SORRY. I like you, ALL OF YOU. REALLY. I promise I'll do better this year.


1. I have excellent navigational skills. I can get many places, even if I've only been once, without the aid of a map or GPS. I have most of the city plotted in my head. It does drive me a little crazy though when I say "turn east" and my sister looks at me like I have three heads.

2. I'm good at organizing things...my desk at work, my files, my linens, my cabinets. I need order to function and when things are out of whack I tend to organize. For example, Tim put away the groceries last weekend and his willy-nilly-throw-it-all-in-the-pantry-and-close-the-door plan means I get to take it all out and do it over. I am irrationally pleased about this. I'm weird, I know. (The label maker my mom got me a couple of years ago is my favorite thing ever and when I thought I had lost it, I almost cried.)

3. I'm an amazing parallel parker. I'm sure almost ten years of city living helps not to mention the sweet backup camera in my car. Give me a car and a tight spot and I'll have you parked in a jiffy.

This is where I admit that it was super easy to come up with things I'm bad at (I could easily add ten more things) and much harder to come up with the good. Isn't that always the case? What are you bad/good at?

Friday, January 20, 2012

Second baby syndrome in full swing

Things I have been asked this week about Chloe for which I have no answer because she is my second and I am not CHARTING or KEEPING TRACK OF ANYTHING:

How old is she? (I SHOULD KNOW THIS.)

Is she rolling over yet?

When will she start solids?

Does she love to pick up toys and shake them?

How is she sleeping?

How much does she weigh?

Poor second baby. She should really put in for a new mother (especially one who doesn't call her by the dog's name every other time).

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Things that have gotten me riled up this week (and it's only Wednesday!)

WARNING: You're entering a Complaint Zone. Enter at your own risk.

Oh lordy, did I get worked up today. Basically a benign conversation with a co-worker wherein I was relating something ridiculous Noah said to his teacher yesterday ended in me defending our discipline philosophy. I was told I was a "pushover", one of these "touchy-feely" parents whose children will "never grow up to respect authority." The issue, obviously, is spanking...to do it or not to do it. See, we don't spank. The reason being is that it just doesn't work for ME. Let me repeat, FOR ME. We have chosen to not spank our kids but I could care less how you choose to discipline yours. Much like breast vs. formula, staying home vs. working out of the house, daycare vs. a nanny, to each their own. Whatever works for you. Yada, yada, YADA. I DO NOT JUDGE NOR CARE.

And all this from someone who doesn't HAVE kids and each time she hears me talking about mine likes to relate a story about when her DOG did something "similar". No, no. Your DOG is nothing like my KID. My kid may act like an animal at times but at least he doesn't lick his own butt.


I hesitate to even write this (and that probably means I shouldn't) but Chloe's sitter said something that really got me going. On Monday morning, as I was taking Chloe out of her car seat, the sitter said she had a dream about Chloe the night before. A dream that she was BREASTFEEDING my baby. And she went on and on about how great it was and nurturing and loving and OH MY GOD. I just keep reminding myself that a) our sitter is of Eastern European origin and from my experience that culture tends to be very open, honest and frank when speaking with others and b) this might have been her way of showing me how much she adores and cares for my daughter. I left feeling really sad. It was a bold reminder that she gets to love my girl all day while I sit here, in my ergonomically-correct office chair, typing on my computer, looking at spreadsheets and contracts, and staring longingly at the picture of my kids.


While I was on maternity leave HR let my share of the health insurance premiums accrue so now I have a HUGE balance to pay back. And they'll only spread it out over two paychecks which means these next two paychecks will be a pittance. I do not like.


We cannot seem to get on a good morning schedule. Unless I start waking up at 5:00 am (which, no) I feel like our mornings will always be rushed. We have four people, going four different places and all at different times. Both kids can be at their respective caregivers as early as 7:30 am but I think the problem is that I had gotten used to Tim dropping Noah off at 8:30 am (Before Baby) so 7:30 am seems really early when, in reality, it's not. So we have to figure out who takes who and when. I have a more set time I need to be at work whereas Tim is more flexible (I guess that's why he has the V and the P in front of his name and I...do not). This lack of a schedule and PLAN tips me from HappyVille to CrazyTown in two point two seconds.


The office vending machine is out of Snickers and I have to settle for M&Ms and not even the good peanut butter or pretzel kind. The nerve.


Anything gotten you all riled up this week? Do share!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Simple Arugula Salad...quick, go make it!

I'm posting this quickly before I forget and because I love it so much I want to share:

Simple Arugula Salad

1 bunch arugula, washed and dried
1 can mandarin oranges, drained
pecorino romano cheese, grated
olive oil
lemon juice
(No measurements...just add or subtract as needed)

In a small bowl, mix together a few tablespoons olive oil, a few squeezes of lemon juice (fresh or bottled), and salt and pepper to taste.

In a larger bowl, toss the arugula with the olive oil dressing. Add the oranges and then generously sprinkle on the pecorino romano cheese. Toss the whole thing together, making sure to evenly coat the arugula. Then add more cheese because cheese is one of my reasons for living and is yours too, I know it.

Serve immediately or hoover up the whole damn bowl by yourself if you please.

This salad is SO easy and SO divine. I love how a few simple ingredients turns into something so wonderful. I've been making this salad as a pre-dinner "snack" for a few weeks and I haven't gotten tired of it yet. I bet it would be lovely with a little chicken or nut of your choice to beef it up a bit. I think it would be a great starter salad at a dinner party and especially great during the summer because it's such a light beginner. ENJOY!

(I found this recipe a while back in some magazine and I cannot for the life of me remember where or when...probably when I was in the OB waiting room and hungry as a hippo. It obviously would have  appealed to me at the time.)