Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Great Neighbor or Greatest Neighbor

I don't know if this is regional or has just started in the last few years but since we moved into our new neighborhood we have joined in on the tradition of boo-ing. Basically a neighbor brings you Halloween goodies after dark in the weeks leading up to Halloween and you have to reciprocate by "boo"ing two more neighbors. Pretty soon the neighborhood is filled with ghost signs posted on doors indicating boo-ing has occurred. This year, because I am living obsessively, I decided I wanted to start the gift giving and I wanted to make all of my treats. So I looked through Halloween ideas and got busy.

The pumpkins are brownie pops (brownies rolled into balls and dipped in candy melts) and the pretzels are just rods dipped in caramel and chocolate and rolled in sprinkles and candies. Pretty simple but it looks like I took great pains to make them. The brownie pops were a takeoff on this and the pretzel rods just seemed like an easy thing to make. I have a feeling I would make brownie pops again in the (near) future and I think practice will improve my technique quite a bit. It was such fun to have Emma ring the bell and then run back to the car before the neighbors caught us. There was much laughter and I hope my kids (and neighbors) will look back on these things with fond memories.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Day 23

Do you ever have those days when your to do list is a mile long but you don't want to think about it so you just take a nap? Yeah,that's today. My in-laws are coming so I really should clean the house right? I did manage to pick up the chaos of the living room and dining room but there's still so much to do. I did get my "boo bags" finished. They were so cute (post to follow). If I could just do things like that all of the time I would be happy. Someone else could take care of the house and I would bake and give food away.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Day 22

OK I'm going to start the week off strong. I don't know what that entails yet but I have every intention of accomplishing lots. I am going to go back to my daily schedule today to see if that helps keep me on track. It's just so hard when the kiddies are out of school. Man they really put a crimp in my plans. : )

Hey, I got my car detailed today. That is one thing off my to do list. Granted, one thing I didn't actually have to DO myself but I did have to drive there with my kids in tow. I also managed to come prepared for class but I'm trying not to think about the assignments I have that are half finished or the weekly notes I'm supposed to be writing. Because I have a philosophy that if you don't think about things maybe they'll magically go away or you can just complete them when you have time and you don't have to waste the rest of the time worrying about them.

Days 18-21

Whew the Martha moment must have taken a lot out of me. I blame fall break. Though I did get my laundry pile almost under control (folded and put away). I always vow to never let it return to its monster state but it does. Maybe the secret of being organized is following through on your promises to keep stuff organized. Wow I should write a book. What else did I accomplish? I started being dragged in by the inertia of not having things to do. Our house is not horribly unclean but I need to make sure it looks nice for the in-laws. I made more treats for the neighbors (pictures coming soon) and I did my homework (finally). I was also prepared for a birthday party (though I did leave my youngest child's shoes at home). All in all not too bad. I definitely need to go back to the daily schedule. Starting right now.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Martha Moment

Yesterday I decided I really, really wanted to make these and these but I knew I didn't want the leftovers hanging around (see references to losing ten pounds). So I decided to be all Martha/Bree Van de Kamp (she'll always be Van de Kamp to me) and deliver treats to the neighbors. I managed to snap a pic of the rice krispie treats but neglected to photograph the cashew bars. Both turned out so yummy it's a good thing I didn't have leftovers. I mixed two recipes for the krispies and added peanut butter from a recipe on the cereal site.

Then I took it up a notch (sorry Emeril) and made the wrapping paper from a Martha Valentine's Day idea. Basically you use a craft punch on tissue paper and then iron the shapes between two pieces of wax paper. So simple a child could (help) do it. After spending all of the time on the wax paper I wanted another idea for the other package. Emma suggested using paper bags (cut open) which we then stamped. I crumpled the second bag for a different effect. I really wanted to glue on googly eyes but I also really wanted to deliver the treats before they sat around my house and mysteriously disappeared.

The final product

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Day 17

I made it to the gym today. That is about all I can say I truly accomplished (other than the mad baking-post to follow). Sometimes it feels good to accomplish something that is not really relevant or necessary but just fun. The fall/summer weather has me alternately yearning to bake and running inside to nap on the couch while watching Food Network. A little aside, don't watch Food Network if you are trying to lose 10 pounds. But you know what, I did clean my kitchen after all of the baking so I feel pretty good about that. I took the Halloween decorations down from the top of the garage (having visions of falling on my head the whole time) and I just need to straighten the living room today so we can put them up. There's nothing better than a decorated clean house.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Day 16

Do you ever find something that works and then abruptly stop doing it? Shortly after, you realize just how well it was working and wonder why you can't just keep on. That's sort of the struggle I'm having with the daily schedule. Sure I got behind some days but I seemed to get a lot more done. Today I just could not get motivated. I have these days where I don't want to answer the phone or go out of the house. I would look a little closer at depression but it's so intermittent. And in reality I know the cause. Sleep deprivation. Or rather, the absence of a full night's sleep. Waking up in the middle of the night to a little visitor in the bed who won't stop wiggling is the worst feeling. And then trying to get back to sleep when your significant other is snoring away next to you is the second worst. I just need to stop making excuses and start getting real. Sorry, a little MTV flashback there. But really. I need to reinstate the daily schedule and better yet make a daily schedule outline (hello Excel?) that I can use.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Day 15

A productive day despite waking up way too early, or rather having someone wake me up way too early. And in true me style I decided to get my to do list out of the way in about 10 minutes when I should have been getting ready for class. I did start working on my Excel spreadsheet of obsessiveness. A list of all the chores to start out with (daily, monthly, yearly) and then I'll add all those other things I should be accomplishing. I can see it now. I'll have an item on my to do list that is making my to do list. But I can also see how it might work. Did you know Blair from The Facts of Life has a website covering many issues (home schooling, organization, chore spreadsheets) that you might not normally associate with Blair? The things you can learn on the internet. So I plan to somehow post my magnificent spreadsheet when it's done. Be in awe. And I'm working on the whole daily schedule thing. I need to come up with something better than writing it every day. Especially if I want people to read this. And it won't be long until my first magazine challenge is complete. Just in time for Halloween.

Sunday, October 5, 2008


I have an addiction to magazines. There, I've said it. It started innocently enough. A subscription to support the Girl Scouts here, a magazine insert there. And suddenly I find myself getting a new magazine in the mail almost every day of the week. So what to do to make use of all the paper wasted on me? I've decided to employ the internet and my astounding craftiness and actually use the information I glean from magazines. Every month I will make a recipe, craft, or complete some crazy diet/exercise program in the name of usefulness and entertainment. Forget just reading magazines and recycling them. I will better myself through print media. It's a dream come true (for print media anyway).

Days 12,13,14

What, skipping three days? That's not living obsessively. I can say I was prepared for the party this afternoon. I'm usually scrubbing the floor 30 minutes before the party so to have this done 3 hours before the party was definitely a step up. I'm working on getting it done three days before. So now my house is clean (the downstairs at least). But my to do list is still the same four to five items. I will really work this week to get that rectified. And I would like to tackle the pantry but I need a few hours when my husband takes the kids so I can take everything out of the pantry without being bothered. We'll see.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Day 11

Once again I vow to accomplish the things on my to do list. Do you ever schedule something and then immediately regret it because it means you'll have to actually get things together on a time table? Well I scheduled a party this Sunday and now I don't want to do it. Mainly because it means my house HAS to be clean. That's what keeps me from inviting people over more often or having play dates for my kids. The thought of having to clean and keep things clean. But one day I hope to be in a spot where things are clean and I don't have to stress.

Today I Still Need To:

Clean living room and dining room
fold and put away all the laundry I've washed
Organize organizer (so sad)

Aaahhhh another day without productivity. I must find some method to just do it. I did have a doctor's visit yesterday, which was stressing me out a little more than I would admit to. I could just imagine the look of horror on the doctor's face as he looked at my EKG. But luckily no such scenario. Now I have a lot to do this weekend so I just have to make myself do it.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Day 10

OK today I will accomplish the four things I've been rewriting on my daily "to do" list since last week. Some day you just have to draw the line and say, "Today is the day I make that phone call I really don't want to make." I noticed I've had to start reaching for things to add to my to do list. Maybe it's because the kids are out of school, or the fact that I have no life, but I like it.

What I Need To Do:

Cleaning (living room/dining room)
Organize hanging organizer

I didn't accomplish the four things. I didn't accomplish anything. Mostly from being so busy I wasn't home. So I can either do "normal" life and run around all day or stay at home and get stuff done. But I can't do both evidently. Can you?

Day 9

I originally started writing this blog the night before and then modifying it the day of. I haven't done that in a couple of days (since the mislabeling of days debacle) and it's kind of throwing me off. I am so tired by the end of the day that I can't pretend to be writing about the beginning of the day. See, that makes no sense. So today I was a "good mother" and I took my kids to the zoo. It was roughly 100 degrees out (the car said 94 but obviously heat is different in Japan or something) but on the positive side it wasn't very crowded. I get to the end of the day though and notice I didn't really get much done in the house, which is starting to freak me out a little because I signed up to "Barack the Vote" on Sunday and I have to have strangers over. Better get cracking on that dusting. See, without the added structure of my schedule I just ramble on. If I wanted to do that I'd start another blog about my life. Oh wait, I already have one.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Day 8

My kids are out of school for fall break (fall, hahaha, what a joke) so I'm a little unsure what to expect as far as routine. I don't have to wake up too early but the little one is like an alarm clock so I don't actually get to sleep in. There's no school to distract them so I have to come up with ways to do that. Man, this parenting thing is hard work. So far I have modeling clay and a plan to study Arizona. What else do you need?

7:00-wake up
11:00-12:00-work on desert plants/clay
2 loads laundry
pick up living room and dining room/vacuum
organize kitchen organizer

So for some reason my day got all turned around but I did have time for the treadmill (yeah me) and laundry. I had to leave for school early so I'm sure that didn't help. I have been encouraging the children to clean up their messes but so far it's still a struggle. I'm kind of thinking it will always be.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Day 7

Whoever said Sunday was the day of rest was lying. After the really long day we had yesterday (birthday parties and Lowe's and going out to a bar) who wouldn't want to just sleep in and lounge around in their pajamas all day? Well I did do that but I was working on my project for class all day long so that doesn't count. My eyeballs are burning from staring at the computer screen so you should thank me for having the dedication to post this. Somehow my posts got off by a day and now a couple of days are labeled with the wrong day. I'm trying to not be too anal about it but I really want to change it. Is there such thing as being too anal but needing to be more obsessive? Or maybe it's the other way around.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Day 6

The first weekend of the new plan. I am torn between wanting to schedule everything and wanting to blow everything off. Sounds like a normal weekend. Usually I have this whole list of things I want to get done. The weekend is like this shiny blank slate and I fill it with my dreams of productivity. And then Sunday night comes and I realize my kids haven't bathed in two days and they've watched so much television they're starting to sing commercials in their sleep. Every weekend I have dreams of family outings and DIY projects. Well dream no more. I will bond and spackle if it kills me (it might).

The schedule:

7:00-wake up/computer
swim class
10:00-12:00-to do/clean Kate's room/stairs
birthday party
2 loads laundry

We did make it to Lowe's for the first of many buying stuff for DIY trips. But the rod we bought for the laundry room needs another sort of bracket and we didn't manage to put up the curtain rod in Kate's room. All in good time. I'd say all in all it was a good start.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Day 5

360 days to go. It really isn't so bad. I know I need to loosen up a little on the schedule but I don't feel like I can yet. It's like the South Beach diet. As soon as I started adding the carbs back I lost my mind a little. I have some ideas to keep things interesting. Right now I'm just writing for myself because I haven't told anyone about this blog yet. I don't want to waste all the good ideas on me.

The schedule:

6:30/7:00-wake up
7:00-8:00-ready for school/computer
8:30-9:20-get ready to go
2 loads of laundry
12:00-2:00-to do list/homework
movie night

It's been a long day but I actually finished the kitchen (after only three days). It's times like these when I wonder how people manage to keep their house from imploding around them. I may say this a lot (I do) but while I'm putting out a fire in one place there's a blazing inferno somewhere else. I either need helpful elves or children who will start putting their toys away and not stuff trash in the sofa cushions.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Day 4

Will the day ever come that I don't have to do more than three loads of laundry daily? Will I ever be able to keep up with the mountains of dirtiness by doing a reasonable two loads a day? In what world two loads a day is reasonable is anyone's guess. I told a friend I wanted to go to the antique market and she was scared until I explained to her about my new way of life. Then she wasn't as scared but she was confused.

The schedule:

6:30/7:00-wake up
7:00-8:00-Em ready/computer
3 loads laundry
Get ready to go
12:30-2:30-to do list
3:00-4:00-Kate's room

I am so close to finishing Kate's room but there seems to be multiplying Polly Pockets pieces or another stuffed animal from who knows where. I also cannot seem to finish the kitchen. Tomorrow. This week has been very informative. I have managed to tackle my laundry and start on the kids' rooms but I didn't talk to my friend for almost three days (which is a little unusual). Maybe I'm not as good at multi-tasking as the average woman. Or maybe I just need to start using my Bluetooth. I keep thinking at some point I'll be caught up and only have to work on maintenance. HAHA. On the positive side, I have started a running list of all those things I remember when I see them (clean dryer vent) but then forget as soon as I leave the room.

Day 3

Yesterday I forgot to play with my kids. Damn, I knew I was forgetting something. It's so funny how personal relationships start to slide when you concentrate on getting things done. There has to be a balance. Do normal people plan play time with their kids or making time for friends?

The schedule:

6:30/7:00-wake up
7:00-9:00-Em ready for school/computer/unload dishwasher/breakfast
3 loads of laundry
9:30-10:30-walk to park and play
10:30-11:20-shower/work on Kate's room
1:30-2:30-help Em with salt dough project
2:30-3:30-to do list/emails
3:30-4:30-kitchen counter/floor

Well my best intentions fell a little short today. We went to lunch after Emma got out of school and that threw everything off. The salt dough project also took longer than expected but I enjoyed it. I hope I get an A. My kitchen floor and counters look like a wreck and I only did 1 load of laundry. The horror! Why do I feel like I ran a marathon then?

Aidan's Room



And that only took me two days. He has a place for all of his stuff. Now to teach him to put it back there. One of the things I don't seem to have time for is decorating. Consequently we are stuck living in a hospital-like white world. I really want to start with the kids' rooms since I think they need more encouragement to actually play in there. We have the television and computer on far too much and they only have like thousands of dollars of toys in their respective rooms. When I think about all of the areas I want to improve I get a little woozy. One step at a time.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Day 2

Still alive after day 1. Falling behind on my schedule a little. Damn personal phone calls. Am I going to have to start scheduling "time for friends"?

The schedule:

6:30/7:00-wake up
7:00-9:00-Em ready for school, computer time (blog posts), empty dishwasher
3 loads of laundry-fold and put away
9:40-11:00-finish Aid's room/start Kate's room
11:00-12:00-Aid ready for school/lunch
Take Aid to school
3:30-4:30-to do list
start dinner

I actually finished my schedule today too. The one problem I'm running into is the time for tasks being pushed out. But I guess as long as I get it done and it's not midnight I shouldn't complain. I keep having visions of my life a year from now and my family and I are all smiling and clean in our perfectly decorated house. Maybe it's a dream but it seems attainable. OK maybe not the clean and smiling in our perfectly decorated house part.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Day 1

The first day of living obsessively. When I woke up this morning I was not aware this was the first day of the rest of my year. Sometime during the day the idea for this blog was formed and so here I am.

The dream (the schedule):

6:30/7:00-wake up
7:00-9:00-Em ready for school, computer time (blog posts), empty dishwasher
5 loads of laundry
9:00-10:30-Aidan's room/clean upstairs
10:30-11:00-play (preferably with children)
11:00-12:00-Aid ready for school/lunch
Take Aid to school
12:30-2:30-homework/to do list
3:30-start dinner so family has nutritious food while I'm stuck in class

The reality:

I stuck to the schedule today. I did five loads of laundry (not all folded or put away yet but I'm working on it). I actually played with my children. They even wanted to play Candyland again. I myself was not up to the challenge. I started cleaning Aid's room but how to keep it clean? When I figure this out I will be the teacher and not the student.