Saturday, March 25, 2017

Miscellaneous

It may seem like I don't blog that often, but I actually blog a few times per week, I just never get around to finishing and publishing my posts.  I always have tons of drafts sitting around, most of which eventually get deleted.  Today I thought I would just combine a bunch of those into one post and call it good.

On our upcoming anniversary

On May 13th, 2006, Paul and I got married.  It was a Saturday (as most wedding days are).  And in the 11 years since, this will be the first time our anniversary will fall on a Saturday.  It has fallen on a Friday a few times but not Saturday until this year.  I've known pretty much the whole time that it wouldn't fall on a Saturday until this year and I have been wanting all this time to go away somewhere overnight for this anniversary.  But now Olivia has a dress rehearsal for her dance recital that day.  We could still go somewhere overnight, leaving right after the rehearsal and coming back Sunday evening, but it also happens to be Mother's Day that Sunday, so I'm reluctant to ask any relatives to watch the girls that weekend because I wouldn't want to interfere with their MD plans.  So again we wait.  I think our 17th will fall on a Saturday again, or maybe we can do something special for our 15th even if it doesn't fall on a weekend.

A Perfect Day

Seattle has a reputation for being rainy but the reality is that it isn't as bad as most people think.  Except for this year.  It's been every bit as bad and maybe worse.  But a week ago Thursday was a beautiful sunny day and people lost their minds.  The streets were filled with kids playing and people out walking.  The girls went to a friend's house for a playdate and Paul and I went for a nice walk, just the two of us.  Then on Sunday is was sunny again.  At one point during the afternoon Paul and the girls rode their bikes to the frozen yogurt shop and I sat outside sipping a glass of wine, painted my nails and read a book.  It was heaven.  And it has rained every day since.

Ha ha.  I had already finished my wine (or almost) when I snapped this picture.


Kool-Aid Hair

The girls had been bugging me about getting their hair dyed.  Just the ends, or streaks.  There is something called dip dying where you just dye the ends of hair and apparently it's a thing to use Kool-Aid.  So, since it's a ton cheaper than going to a salon we decided to give it a try. It's supper easy, you just add 2 packs (except with Olivia I only did 1 because I didn't know you were supposed to use 2 when I was at the store buying it.  I just used less water and it still worked fine) of whatever color Kool-Aid you want to hot water and then put the ends of the hair in however far you want and leave it for 3-5 minutes.



I didn't get a picture of Kayley's but she did a reddish purple (we mixed cherry and fruit punch).  It actually looks really good with her medium brown hair, and you can still see it 3 weeks later, whereas Olivia's had totally faded.


Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Work Life Balance

I'm late, but today I'm linking up with Shay and Erika for their Workin' it Wednesdays series (which, this time, was on Monday, hence my lateness).  It's a topic that I really struggle with and want to blog about, Work/Life Balance.  I can't wait to read what others have to say on the topic because I need all the help I can get!



Work/life balance is something I’ve been actively seeking and striving for ever since I went back to work 3 years ago.  But sadly, I have only discovered that, at least for me, it simply does not exist.  Some simple math will prove it.

My work week starts when I get up around 6:30 AM on Monday and ends on Fridays at 6:30 PM when I get home, give or take.  That is a total of 108 hours.  Of that 108, 60 are spent working, getting ready for work or commuting to and from work.  Another 28ish are spent sleeping.  That leaves 20 hours for “life”, and 14-16 of those are spent cooking, cleaning, chores, making lunches, helping with homework, etc.  So, “life” pretty much consists of 4-6 hours (1-1.5/day) in the evening, watching a show, reading or playing on the computer after everyone else has gone to bed or is at least in bed reading (Kayley).  60 versus 4-6.  Ehhhhh…not exactly balanced.  I get that "work-life balance" is not meant to be 50/50 and it's more about making the most of the free time you do have and managing your time in such a way as to maximize the amount of time you have for what's important to you, but still.  I am never "off duty" until AT LEAST 9:00, sometimes 10:00, and it's very frustrating.  Most of this post was typed up at work on a break, because otherwise I'd never have time.

Of course, there are weekends, but as you know, those are mostly consumed with running errands, cooking, laundry and other household stuff.

Having a housekeeper has been a lifesaver.  Before that I literally did nothing but all of the above AND clean.  It was awful.

I try to menu plan and make meals ahead but it's hard because the girls won't eat most things I make/want to make and I don't want what they will eat, and most nights they have to just eat something quick before rushing off to dance/gymnastics/violin, so we eat a lot of pre-made things from Costco like stuffed peppers, shepherds pie and rotisserie chicken.  And I know the importance of not overscheduling them but Kayley is only in one thing (piano, and she comes to us) and Olivia is in 3 (dance, gymnastics and violin) but the dance is just to try it out and see if she likes it and if she wants to keep going she will have to chose between that and gymnastics.

So, for me, there is no balance.  I'm working at it and as the girls get older and can do more for themselves and help more around the house, it will get better. Meanwhile, I will check out the link up for some great ideas.

Friday, March 3, 2017

9th Birthday Party

The girls' 9th birthday was Tuesday (February 28th) and we had their party last Saturday (February 25th) at an ice arena.  They skated for an hour and a half, and then we had a party room for an hour.  It was a fun party, not horribly expensive and not much work on our part.

This was supposed to be them posing with their cake, but you can't even see the cake because it's so bright.  I'm pretty sure the flash wasn't on but my phone camera has a mind of it's own.

Kayley in the middle

Kayley being Kayley

Sweet freinds

Staying close to the rail!


The whole gang

When I ordered the cake, I asked for anything ice skating related.  A friend had recently had an ice skating party and had a cake from the same place with ice skates on it.  But when Paul went to pick it up, they said they didn't have ice skates and he ended up getting horses instead.  I thought they could just draw on some skates with icing or whatever but I guess not.  So we put all the horse stuff on (2 horses, trees and a fence) but then I decided I would try to draw on some skates myself, so I did.  But I decided to leave one horse and the trees.

The in-laws were coming over for dinner after the party, and I wasn't sure if there would be enough cake left over (there wasn't), so I made an extra with a Minecraft theme.  I made a creeper face with black gel and then just put on a bunch of little figurines the girls had.




Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Mid-Winter Break

The girls are on mid-winter break this week.  I simultaneously love and hate school breaks.

Pros:
  • I don't have to make lunches the night before
  • I only have to get myself ready in the morning, not supervise the girls or fix their breakfast.
  • No homework
  • Usually no after school activities (gymnastics, music lessons, etc.)
Cons:
  • Finding childcare.
  • Girls staying up later (less "me" time).
I finally have a teeny bit of PTO built up (mostly saving for our cruise this summer and for sick days) so I was able to take today off (yesterday was a company holiday) and Paul has Friday off.  So we just needed a sitter for 2 of the days but so far we only have one for tomorrow.  But if worst comes to worst I can take another PTO day or a personal holiday on Thursday.

Anyway, we've had a fun few days so far.  Yesterday we broke out some new painting supplies and had a fun painting session.  I just looked on Pinterest for inspiration and ended up painting this flower.



I think it turned out pretty good considering I'm a total novice.  The girls did good too.




Then today was another fun but busy day.  We had to take one of the cats to the vet for her annual checkup (Paul took the other cat yesterday), then we went to Starbucks.  Their smoked butterscotch is my new favorite drink.  It's so good!  I'm a sucker for anything cararmel or butterscotch, so no wonder, but yum!  Then we went to a pottery painting place that just opened in our neighborhood over the weekend.



After that we went out to lunch at Subway, and then to the party supply store for goods for their birthday party this weekend.  Then an orthodontist appointment for Kayley, and finally back home.

Back to work tomorrow after 4 days off :(



Monday, February 6, 2017

Snow Day

It started snowing yesterday and sure enough, school got cancelled.  The plan was for Paul to stay home with the girls, since I stayed home with Kayley one day a few weeks ago when she wasn't feeling well, but this morning we decided that I should stay home as well as road conditions just didn't warrant trying to go in.  We had about a foot this morning and it had stopped snowing but now it has started again.  There's a good chance school will be cancelled tomorrow as well.






The park down the street has some good sledding hills, so we did that this morning.  Lots of our friends were there and it was really fun.


Now I'm panicking that I might get called in to work, as we have a lot of power outages and some of the storm bases have opened.  I really don't want to have to work all night, so I'm hoping that most of the outages are restored today.


Monday, January 16, 2017

A Typical Day These Days

I am long overdue for a Typical Day post.  I like to document our daily routine every now and then to have something to look back on.  So here is our current routine.

Between 6:15 and 6:30 - Alarm goes off, I may or may not get up.  If I decide to go without a shower and put my hair in ponytail, I reset the alarm for 7:00 :)

7:40 - Done getting ready for work, get the girls up.

7:45 - Breakfast

8:15 - Leave for school/work.  I drop the girls off on my way.

9:00 - 5:30, give or take - Work

3:15ish - Girls get home from school and are alone for 15 or 20 minutes until Paul gets home.

3:35 - Paul gets home.  Girls do their homework.

6:15 or 6:30 - I get home.  Paul and the girls have usually already eaten.  I eat and then clean up the kitchen, go through their school papers and the mail, make lunches and other next day prep.

8:00 - help with bedtime routine, instrument practice, fold laundry, etc.

Anywhere between 8:45 and 10:00 - Finally done for the night and can have my "me" time before bed.

Tuesday variation

6:30ish - Get home from work, Kayley has piano lesson (at home).  Eat, clean up, etc.

7:15 - Leave to pick up Olivia from gymnastics.  It ends at 7:40 but I try to get there a little early to watch for a bit.

8:00 - Home from gymnastics, finish homework and start bedtime routine.

Wednesday variation

Paul gets home at his normal 3:35, then at 4:40 it's off to Olivia's 5:00 violin lesson.  Often they will go out to Subway or something for dinner, but not always.  On the first Wednesday of the month they will grab something before violin and then go straight to their Girl Scout meeting right after, from which I pick them up at 7:30.

This has been our routine since mid November when soccer ended, but as of tomorrow we are adding dance classes on Mondays.  We're dreading it, but Kayley needs to do something active and Olivia really wants to do dance, so we decided to give it a try for one series and see how they like it.  It is just until May and then if Olivia really likes it she will then have to chose between that and gymnastics because we can't do both on top of violin and Kayley's piano.  And to further complicate things, she wanted to do modern dance and Kayley is doing hip hop, so they're not even in the same class, but at least their classes are back-to-back on the same day.

Monday, January 2, 2017

First Post of 2017

It has been an awesome 10 days.  I have had 8 out of the last 10 days off!  Christmas Eve through the 27th, then I worked on the 28th and 29th, and now I've been off since the 30th.  It has been so nice to finally have some time to do something besides work, clean, shop, cook, make lunches, etc.  (Speaking of making lunches, I just realized this morning that I will have to make lunches TONIGHT for the first time in over 2 weeks.  Blah.)  Last Tuesday, the 27th, Olivia and I spent the day together just the two of us because Kayley went to an overnight birthday party at Great Wolf Lodge (Olivia didn't want to go because I wasn't going to be there) and Paul went skiing with a friend.  We went to the library, then to Michael's, then out to lunch at Red Robin, then to the pet store.  Once we got home we painted some canvases.  It was awesome.  I bought a bunch of painting supplies back in June or July and they sat in a closet unused until last Tuesday.  Sigh.

Anyway, we had our annual New Year's Eve party at a friend's down the street.  We always watch the East coast feed of the ball dropping at 9:00 and then we used to come home shortly after (then I would be the only one to stay up until midnight watching the Space Needle fireworks), but this year we stayed until midnight.  Then on New Year's Day we woke up to a few inches of snow.




We got all of our Christmas decorations put away yesterday and I was able to work on some other projects throughout the weekend so it's been a productive few days.

I plan on taking the girls to see Sing today but we'll see.  We were going to go on Saturday but then a friend came over and that was the end of that.