Thursday, May 22, 2014

Daily Habits of Disorganized People

I think this a lot:  someday I want to be the kind of Mom that's organized.   One that's not frantically searching her purse for a tissue only to not find one.  That remembers to bring a snack to the park.  You know what I mean.

 I think it may already be too late, though.  There's an article going around Facebook about the ten habits of organized people:  They never leave dishes in the sink, they set stuff out for work/school the night before, they plan a weekly menu and shop for it ahead of time, and they NEVER let paper pile up or their email inbox have so many emails that one can't find the soccer registration message or birthday invite.

So instead I give you, "The Ten Habits of Highly DISOrganized People that are somehow making it work!

1.  When company is coming, we put off cleaning the bathroom until five minutes before.  And by "clean," I mean swipe a baby wipe over the countertop, stuff the trash down in the can so it looks like there's less in there and make sure that the hand towel is "clean enough."

2.  Not only do we let the emails pile up, so does the regular mail.  Throw junk mail out when it first comes in?  Please.  It's so much more fun to sort thru a week's worth of circulars, fertilizer company ads and credit card offers when you're frantically looking for the birthday party invite that you were supposed to RSVP to ASAP.

3.  Laundry is not a chore, it's a lifestyle.  A lifestyle that involves baskets of clean laundry all over the master bedroom, that you can fish from when your child informs you that he is out of pants.  Oh, and instead of spreading the laundry loads throughout the week, try to do five in one day.  And to make it more sporting, forget to put a load in the dryer until the next morning, so it smells funky and needs to be washed again.

4.  Have the kids leave food wrappers all over the kitchen and dining room.  Make sure that they know that even when you ask repeatedly, that that's where they belong.  Same goes for cups, legos, clothes, blankets and whatever else.

5.  Be happy that you have a dog to clean up the scraps a bit.  If only he would be interested in the cereal on the floor in the living room every morning, though.  Oh, and forget to feed your dog at least once a month.

6.  Sigh as you back out of your garage every day that you've neglected the weeding again.  For the 20th morning in a row.  Vow that you'll do it TONIGHT!  Repeat tomorrow.

7.  Have a calendar hanging on the wall to record all important activities.  Still manage to miss a karate class and a yoga class, show up to the dentist one week early with screechy preschooler in tow AND mix up the date for a birthday party.

8.  Even though you run the dishwasher at least once a day (twice daily on weekends) still have enough dirty dishes piled up for at least another half-load.

9.  Stop to smell the roses.  Neglect the housework because your kids want to snuggle and read books in your bed, or watch episodes of "Paw Patrol" with their Mom.  And yes, it is OK to let the dishes go and knit instead.  The dishes (as stated above) will still be there tomorrow.

10.  And most importantly......remember that you are a good parent and to cut yourself some slack.  So the house is chaotic at times......these years won't last forever and someday when you say "For the last time, I've cleaned this up and I want it to stay that way!" it will.  Because they'll have grown up and out of playing with legos, left the house, and the only laundry you'll be doing is your own.  Enjoy these years.  

Monday, May 19, 2014

Lessons about Uncle Sam

We've been teaching Will about having his own money and using it for things that he wants.  He and his brother receive a small allowance every week and I let them spend it, with the understanding that once it's gone, it's gone.    He asked me if he could go to Target this past weekend so he could get some Pokemon cards (all the rage again!) and I said yes but he'd have to buy them himself.

So the three of us ride to Target and naturally, we must go to the Pokemon cards first.  He chooses a package that's $12.99 and is pleased that his fourteen dollars will cover it.  When we get to the checkout, I let him go ahead of me and the cards come to $13.80.  First, he realizes that he left a dollar at home, so Mom spotted him a buck.  Then he wants to know why the sticker says "$12.99" but the total at the register is different.  I explained that the rest is taxes, that "Uncle Sam" charges taxes.  Then that leads to a more complicated discussion about what taxes are and why we pay them.  Then he wants to know who this "Uncle Sam" is and why he wants some of his money?"  I explained as best as I could, and he seemed satisfied but dismayed that the "government charges kids money."

I just smiled sweetly at the teenage cashier and she smiled back as I said "Just wait til you get your first paycheck someday, Darling."

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Closing that Door

I can finally cross this item off my Day Zero List:

87.  Finish up paperwork to close BVWA(5/7/14)

In 2009, I belonged to a Mom's Playgroup because I worked part-time.  The Big Kid and I would attend playdates and events, and it was a good way to network with people, too.  I answered an ad on the message group of this board, looking for volunteers to devote some time in a charity program called Women-Aid.  There's chapters of Women-Aid all over the country, and the jist is this:  to raise funds and donate them to women who are having difficulty financially.  And by "Difficulty" I mean that they are a month's behind in rent, or have high heating bills and the gas is going to be shut off, etc.  But they don't qualify for public assistance of some kind.  People would refer women in need to us, and we would verify the need using a third party.  Once verified, if there were funds available we would pay the bill directly to the provider.

Sounds like a lot of work, huh?  It was!!  We had a few successful fundraisers but were ultimately raising the awareness and funds ourselves.  (Not backing them, but doing a walk to raise funds, partnering up with "Dress for Success" for an evening of raffle tickets, vendors and donating work clothes, etc etc.  We were three women, all with other committments.  Then the three of us all got pregnant within a few months' time (the other two actually delivered on the same day!) and it got harder.  Then one of the other women was getting divorced, and was no longer available for meetings.  Lastly, the other woman resigned due to difficulty keeping up with all that life was throwing her way.  Which left me holding the ball.

That was four years ago.  FOUR YEARS AGO.  This was something that, when I originally answered the ad, I was just looking for a volunteer thing to "help out."   And now I was stuck on "bail out."  So I ignored it.  Every time I came across the folder and notebook labeled Women-Aid, I'd toss it in a drawer.  Out of sight (not quite) out of mind. With a husband and two kids, a very stressful job at the time and whatever else I had going on, I "didn't have the time" to close it out.  I did do some research online and discovered what I thought was that I would have to go to court to close out the charity.  UGH, if there's one thing I hate, it's going to court!  By this time both of the other women had moved out of the area, one out of state.  So, when I was packing up my old house, when I came across the box of Women-Aid stuff, I just tossed it aside again, saying "I'll deal with it later."  I knew I had to deal with this eventually, but I didn't know how.

A few months ago, I decided that I finally had to face the music.  I contacted a lawyer that I've worked with before in terms of my job, and he gave me some advice for free.  He looked over some stuff, perused some stuff online and said "___, this stuff is closed.  The requirements have been satisfied for two years....just close the bank account, donate the funds to a similar charity and keep the letter and copy of check for your records.  Wow, what a weight to be lifted!  So FINALLY, I went to the bank today and closed that puppy out.  It's over, it's DONE.

So, in review, two lessons learned:

1.  Stop being a "Yes-person."  I actually have learned this lesson already, and I'm doing better.  But this is the biggest example of why I needed to learn to say no sometimes.

2.    Ask for help!!  I am the first to admit that I am terrible with this, I take on way too much  on my own, not wanting to "inconvenience" someone else.I spent four years saying "What the hell am I going to do about this....."   Had I picked up the phone, I wouldn't have had to deal with the guilt and dragged-out mess.   Trust me, I am kicking myself.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Home is Where the Yarn Is

I'm back, and so glad that I went to this  conference!  I was a little nervous at first, going away for a few days.  But I got to know people that work for the same company better, and had a lot of fun along the way.  There were workshops, keynotes, dinners, and a lot of activities in-between.  First:  the location.

The Omni Mount Washington Hotel and Resort., Bretton Woods, NH

This place was INCREDIBLE.  It was built in 1902, complete with a ballroom and a former speakeasy.  How COOL is that???   Sadly, I didn't get to stay here because the place was booked faster than fast, lickety-split.  I stayed at another even older hotel about thirty minutes away.  It was a bit inconvenient, but I worked it out so that I only drove up to the OMW once per day and one of  my co-workers were gracious enough to let me store my dress for the Roaring 20's Dance Party in her room.  This means that I got up super-early each day and drove before breakfast and coffee, which was nuts.  It also meant that I knit in between workshop sessions which was of course wonderful.  

Here was my view after the afternoon workshop on Thursday:

Got home Friday afternoon and picked up the boys at school. They were so happy to see me and I them!  I think there was a bone-crushing hug or two in there.  :)  Traveling is always great, but coming home is the best part, to these two kids (and of course my husband, who held down the fort fantastically.  And looked really happy to be getting out of the house to play volleyball alone on Friday!)

Next year's conference is in Stowe, Vermont.  And I will definitely be going!

Here are my babes, "destroying stormtroopers" at the local mall.  

p.s.  Yes.  I did sneak in not one but two local New Hampshire yarn stores.  One in Derry on the way up and another in Concord on the way down.  Thirteen days and counting to the Webs Tent Sale!!