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Archive for September, 2010

5 Days On, 2 Days Off Sep 28

Is this pattern familiar to anyone else? I remember when I started working at my first “real” job at the age of 17, thinking that I would know I had “made it” when I was working 9-5 Monday through Friday. Or something similar. Considering I started in retail, this is a mind boggling, almost impossible concept to wrap the brain around. Still, I kept at the dream. I went to school and worked on a degree. I got “promotions” (HA!) and a department change at work. I LOVED my new department, and worked whenever I could, whether it was open, close, or a random mid-day shift. I finished my degree and was working four 10 hour shifts Monday through Thursday in my much loved department. Despite still being on the low end of the world’s pay scale, I thought my Monday through Friday 9-5 schedule was just over the horizon.

Then my husband and I decided to have a baby. It took a year for me to get pregnant, and set off a roller coaster of events that kept me from searching for that “perfect” job that would combine my degree and my current love. My initial thought was that this was no big deal, I’d take maternity leave, return to work for a few months, then continue on my search for that ideal job.

Then my husband was offered THE job. A chance to use his master’s degree and more money per year than our current two jobs provided combined. Suddenly, a whole new world of options was opened to me. The most frightening, and intriguing, option being that I could be a stay at home mom to our daughter. At first, I was confused. I’d always wanted to be a mom, but I always pictured myself as a working mom like my own mother. I took an extended maternity leave and decided to give it a try.

And fell in love. Not just with my newborn daughter, but with the ME that I had discovered. Once the insane newborn days passed, I was more relaxed than I had been in years. I was on a chore schedule that kept the house presentable. My daughter and I started going out to story times and checking out all the kid play places. Now, we’re on the go to MMO, two story times, Tumble Time, and swim lessons.

In doing that, I found my ideal job. Motherhood is not Monday through Friday. It’s not 9 to 5. It resembles a 24/7 highly demanding roller coaster ride that only pauses briefly to let others on or off before it takes me on another ride.

But do you know what it IS?

It’s 5 days on and 2 days off.

Category: General  | 4 Comments
A Lil Bit of Inspiration Sep 23

I love when 5QF with Mama M over at Five Crooked Halos gives me inspiration for a post. Things have been so routine around here that posting just didn’t seem worthwhile. My daughter is continuing to improve at school, but other than that, not a whole lot is going on. We will be going camping again next month, and have decided to take a road trip to NY to visit with family around the holidays. I have not yet started my fall baking, nor do I think I’ll be tackling any craft projects this year. Like I said, things have been very routine.

Now, on to what you’re here for!

1. If you could speak with a different accent, what would it be (i.e Australian, Scottish)?
Probably Irish, since my name is Erin and I do have red hair. It’d be fitting. 🙂

2. Can you fall asleep anywhere? (i.e floor, couch, deck)
As long as I’m tired, I can sleep anywhere that I NEED to sleep. If the option is available, I’d prefer my bed or the couch…

3. Do you use public restrooms? If so, do you sit on the toilet?
I do use public restrooms, and I paper the toilet, although recent studies have shown this doesn’t keep you from getting any germs that might be on the seat, and that there are actually less germs than we believe.

Given the choice, I’d rather use my own bathroom. I’m sure this question is more than you ever wanted to know about me. 😉

4. If you were stuck in an elevator for 24 hours, what celebrity would you most want to be stuck with?
Ok, I can’t even begin to think about celebrities because within an hour, I’d be passed out on the elevator floor. I’m claustrophobic and HATE elevators. I don’t use them whenever possible. This means that I have taken my daughter out of her stroller, folded it up, and carried it up an escalator with me. Yes, I have a problem.

5. Where did you & your significant other go on your 1st date?
Um, that’s a good question. To keep a long story short, we didn’t notice we were dating until we had already become a unit. The earliest time I can recall was a sub picnic at a lake near the mall. I remember wearing a jacket, which means it had to be in the “winter,” so that has to be pretty early in our relationship.

PROGRESS! Sep 15

It took 5 weeks for my daughter to stop being miserable at school.

As soon as we walked in the door of the school, she started to cry. We walked into her classroom and she started to scream and hang on to me for dear life. I put her bag away and took her to the tables to check out the toys available for play that morning. One of them was a Disney babies pop-up toy. I sat on the floor. She glued herself to my lap and stopped crying while she played with the toy. I gave her a hug, told her I had to leave, and passed her off to a teacher. She started screaming again, but I have to leave anyway.

As I head to the Y for a wellness meeting, I’m feeling positive that my outgoing and friendly daughter WILL adjust to school. It’s been a big one for her, and I don’t discount that, but when she’s always been so happy to see other kids, her reactions have left me confused.

So I head to the Y intending to learn some machines and still have time to do some shopping. I was wrong.
The fitness expert I was paired with was really nice, and not at all mean like the personal trainers I’ve met or worked with in the past. She really wanted to make sure that I knew how to use the machines and equipment that would help me best. However, there are a LOT of machines I can use (and at least as many that I shouldn’t) and so I spent two hours getting the run down.

I haven’t been that tired since my daughter was newborn (or that sore, either). I raced home from the Y for a shower and a turkey sandwich (I’d only had a banana for breakfast, and the peanut butter sandwich I had in the car was gone in two seconds) and had to stop at Starbucks on the way to pick up the babe just to stay awake. I couldn’t wait for nap time.

Then I got to the school to pick my daughter up. As soon I started down the hallway she saw me (she likes standing at the door and watching everyone come and go) and, for the first time, was NOT crying hysterically for me. She was ecstatic to see me, and reaching and bouncing and yelling, but she wasn’t hysterical. I picked her up, gave her a huge hug and she looked at me and gave me a tiny smile before laying her head on my shoulder. She’s NEVER smiled until I put her in her car seat to go home. Her teacher tells me that even though she still wasn’t joining in their games, that she had come over to check out each new thing that they were doing, and had ASKED to paint! Her teacher pulls her painting out of her bag to show me, and even though it was loud and I couldn’t hear very well, I swear my daughter said, “I paint” and gave me a big smile before burrowing into my shoulder again.

She still isn’t eating snack or lunch, but this? THIS IS PROGRESS. 😛

Category: Alyson  | One Comment
Freedom! Week 5 Sep 12

Let’s recap the first four Mom’s Morning Out classes that my daughter attended.

Week 1: She cried the entire four hours I was gone. I had a very lazy morning that included coffee and a scone INSIDE Starbucks and taking care of some chores since the husband was out of town.

Week 2: She cried almost the entire time I was gone and took a very short nap she was so upset. I had a very good morning at the movie theater seeing Vampires Suck.

Week 3: She cried for a long time at drop-off, but then quieted down for a bit until other parents started coming in for pickup. I picked up coffee on my way home and spent 3 hours lounging in my recliner playing Warcraft. The silence was fabulous, but I also was wishing that I had something to DO.

Week 4: She calmed down shortly after I left, although she was still refusing to participate. This week she did actually drink and eat the mini strawberry fig newtons out of her lunch. Pickup was upsetting again, even though I was one of the first parents back. I spent the morning touring and filling out membership forms for the YMCA, registering the babe for her very first swim lessons, and meandering through Target. For anyone who has missed seeing it on Twitter, I <3 Target’s remodeled grocery section. It’s wonderful. This brings us to the present. Week 5 is tomorrow morning, and I have no idea what to expect. I’ve been warned that one of her usual teachers will not be there, which I’m sure will throw the babe for a loop. I have a wellness meeting at the Y shortly after I drop her off and I don’t know what I’ll be doing during that either. I know they’ll be introducing me to their equipment and the FitLinxx equipment, but am not sure how to plan my own activities around that. Especially since I don’t really want to run errands while sweaty and gross.

It sounds like tomorrow will be another learning day for both of us. Wish us luck!

How do you handle new situations?

An Early 5QF Sep 09

I know this is posting even before the linky, but if I don’t do it now, it will get forgotten like so many others that I have written and found too late to post. 😉

If you want to join in the fun, check out Mama M!

1. Do you feel guilty spending money on yourself?

Yes, all the time. If I don’t absolutely need it for my survival, I get the WORST buyer’s guilt. And, if I don’t leave the store fast enough, it’s bad enough that said item(s) will go back on the shelf. Or, I may not make it to my shopping destination…

2. How well do you know your neighbors?

Not that well. I could pick out the people on either side of us out of a lineup, but the others… not so much. This probably makes me a hermit. Although, despite our “ghetto” city, I have some seriously snobby people in my neighborhood.

3. What age are you looking forward to being?

The one I am right now! Less than 30, married w/ a child… I’m good here. Can we pause time, please?

4. Do you get excited when the mail comes? Why?

Negatory. Most likely the mailman is bringing me bills. I don’t want any more bills. Now, the UPS and FedEx delivery people? I get excited when I see them on my street! They bring PRESENTS!!! 😀

5. What is your earliest childhood memory?

Burning myself on the lid of a pressure cooker. I don’t know exactly how old I am, but I know I lived in the house that it happened in from 18 months to 3 ½ and I was walking at the time. I have one other memory in that house, but I remember quite a bit of the building process for my “true” childhood home that happened in the same time frame…

Yay for Fall! Sep 08

Ok ok, I know fall doesn’t officially start for another couple weeks, but I’m already SO excited. Fall and winter are my favorite times of the year. How can you beat apples, cranberries, pumpkin pie, hot chocolate, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas??? Please, let me know if there is something better, because I want to try it out!

There is ONE negative to my favorite time of year. I live in Florida. It’s still hot. And will remain hot at least until Thanksgiving, and possibly until Christmas. So while I’m looking forward to all these great fall meals and baking projects, I’m also dreading turning on the oven because I know it will make it even hotter. Anybody have suggestions for No-Bake fall treats?

I have already started purchasing my favorite fall candles (Yankee Candle Autumn Wreath and Mandarin Cranberry) and am looking for a Halloween costume and fall dress for my daughter’s upcoming fall photo session. We *thought* she was going to be a bumblebee, but when I went to buy the costume they only had one in 12 months, and she wears 18 month clothes. I bought it anyway, and it does fit her (JUST barely), but I’m hoping to get lucky and find another one before picture time.

I’m having a really hard time finding her a fall dress though. Last year, they were EVERYWHERE, and I had no problem finding one in time for pictures. This year, it’s a much more difficult search. However, I was able to find some fall skirts at Target, so they will have to do. They’re really cute, just not what I had in mind.

What are your favorite things about fall?

Category: General  | Leave a Comment
Filling In The Gap Sep 02

When I started this blog, I wanted it to be about me and my journey as a stay at home mom. I think I’ve accomplished that, but I’ve also left out quite a bit of “me” to fit into the mom-blogger category (and I use the label loosely). Food is VERY important in my house, and not just as fuel for us all to run on. I LOVE to cook, and research new foods and recipes, and try to substitute unhealthful items for healthful ones. I hope to one day return to school to be a Registered Dietitian. However, the quantity of food information that I have wanted to share did not fit in with the rest of this blog, and my husband shares some strong feelings about nutritional needs as well.

To fill in the gap, we (mostly meaning me 😉 ) launched our food blog, The Way We Eat. Please peruse what we have so far, and hopefully subscribe to our RSS feed. This is new to us (especially the food photography we’ll have to master!) and appreciate any advice or constructive criticisms. Also, I know there are a few disclaimers that should probably be present, but I’m not real sure what they are, so, again, advice is appreciated.

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