Sunday, August 28, 2011

GSD Weekend

I declared it GSD weekend on Saturday morning.  GSD is, pardon the profanity, Getting Shit Done.  I busted my tail all day Saturday cleaning the house, as the budget does not allow for the housekeepers to come this week.  Husband spent the day on a geometry problem that involved figuring out where the most level place in the yard is for a 12' kiddie pool.  As it turns out, there is no such place.  But never fear, swimming did occur.  The pool was on clearance at Target, and we just couldn't say no.

I'm heading out of town tomorrow afternoon until Wednesday evening, which will have me back in town in time to keep the kids occupied while Husband has to go through fasting, etc. to prepare for an outpatient procedure Thursday morning.  With Boy starting preschool tomorrow and us trying to shuffle Girl around to the appropriate places, I worked on a couple of projects to hopefully make Husband's time a little easier while I'm gone.

We did our usual meal planning and shopping today, plus got Boy's haircut.  He is such an angel when he is getting his hair cut.  When we got to the store, it dawned on me that Boy's class is already having a birthday celebration on Tuesday and I'm not prepared to bring something GF/EF for him to eat instead.  I was already planning to send snacks for daily use, but a sweet treat is a must!  So we grabbed a bag of Pamela's Chocolate Chunk cookie mix.

While I was tackling cheerleading practice and taking the kids to play in the kiddie pool, husband made dinner for tonight (hamburgers and fried okra [from my neighbor's garden] and salad] and tomorrow night (which is an awesome homeade chicken noodle soup recipe).  He might even get two night's worth of dinners out of it!  He also prepped our smoothies for tomorrow and his for Tuesday.

In the meantime, I was working on a clothing organization system for the week:

I put a sign for each day of the week.  Then I made cards for each of the specials Girl has.  Husband put velcro on the back, so we can change it every week.  She has her entire wardrobe for the week picked out, and Husband can see what types of shoes she will need given the special she has.

Beyond the organizational aspect, we have some behavioral challenges to work on.  With Girl, we need to work on some general reward-based incentives.  She wants an American Girl doll more than anything.  I even tried to get her into the cute generic ones at Target, but she was pretty firm on it.  So Husband and I sat down and talked about what would make his life easier when I'm gone since she tends to be the catalyst to things going downhill.  Then he assigned values.  She has to earn 40 stickers to earn the doll she wants.

Additionally, Boy has been having a hard time going to sleep at night.  There is a lot of stalling and then, eventually tears.  He ends up staying up too late and is tired the next day.  He really, really, REALLY wants a Zurg toy.  I just happen to have one in my closet.  But no freebies at this house.  So he is being introduced to the performance chart.  We tried to explain it to him before he went to bed, but he's lost.  Hopefully, it will make more sense to him when he starts putting stickers on the chart.  Four stickers = Zurg.

 So wrapping things up for the night, we learned Girl lost another tooth.  I sure hope the Tooth Fairy comes through at the last minute.  I finished baking the cookies for Boy's party on Tuesday and ran a load of dishes.  Finally, I found some websites Girl might like, so I left her this note on the computer monitor:
Hope she enjoys them!  Thanks to the hard work of my family, I believe GSD weekend was a success.  Now off to OKC!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Coming or going? Anyone?

Okay, it's true.  I can't keep up.  I mean, I'm making it, but this blogging thing is not happening the way I had originally intended.  I thought I might blog with each trip, but no-ho-ho, that has not been the case.  I have traveled MANY times since my last blog post.  In fact, I have one flight to go (which I will take Monday afternoon) to get my A-List status with Southwest.  That means no more checking in exactly 24 hours ahead of time (which is not fun at 6:45 on a Sunday morning) to get a good place in line.  Yeah!

So what's the problem?  Well, oddly, there is not much free time at the hotel after a hard day at work.  I am usually doing admin work or staring at my Facebook page desperate to have some sort of connection with my friends.  My brain is not in a blogging place at that point.  Often, I'm zombified.  For instance, I was in Tulsa this past week.  I had a 6:45 AM flight Tuesday morning, which meant I was up at 4:15 AM.  Got into Tulsa, and headed straight for Staples to get some supplies.  Got to my class location and set up tables for the day.  Studied the material, as I had not taught this class previously.  My first class was at noon.  I then went on to teach three 2-hour food safety classes, finishing at 6 PM.  Someone left me this likeness of me in a notebook:


Set the room for the next day, then off to dinner with my colleague.  Tried to talk with my kids in the small window of time they are available to talk between dinner, bath, and bedtime while my childless co-worker sat patiently in the car with me.  Checked into the hotel around 8ish.  Chatted with Husband for a few, then worked on paperwork and prepped for class until 10:30.  Zonked out and got up at 6:15 AM on Wednesday.  Met my colleague in the lobby at 7:15 and headed over to prepare for the day's class.  An 8 hour food manager certification class for management.  Finished that baby up, and headed to drop off colleague at hotel by 6.  Off to the airport to return car and catch flight.  Oh, but wait, per usual, flight is delayed.  I finally got out of there at about 8:40, and by the time I walked in the door at home it was 10:30.  No dinner.  Back up at 5:45 to get the kids ready for school/babysitter, then off to meet the regional president's assistant to scout meeting locations.  I'm sure I was drooling by that point.

This is just a 2 day glimpse.  This is SOP (standard operating procedure).  Now, I say this not to complain.  I absolutely love my job.  This is largely to point out that my social life is dwindling, and I keep imagining passive/aggressive Facebook posts aimed at me.  Paranoia is a side effect of guilt.  Guilt I feel for not having the time to be the friend I want to be.  I recognize this shortcoming.  But beyond the waning social life, Husband is totally over it.  So to recap, I love my job for the first time in my life, and Husband is not pleased with the situation.  I don't blame him, which is all the more reason for me to be overcome with guilt on a daily basis.  I go out of my way to make things easier, but there is only so much I can do when I'm in another state and the kids are acting like animals.  I also cannot seem to get him to change his mindset, no matter how hard I try.  Self-fulfilled prophecy, yada, yada, yads.  I have to work, though.  For financial reasons and for mental reasons.  So, if I have to work, I want to enjoy my job.  It's hard to fully enjoy it with an anvil of guilt weighing me down, but I'm hard-pressed to find a solution to please everyone.

Girl started back to school last week and is involved in cheerleading (2 practices per week!).  Boy is starting preschool this week.  Husband is playing in a recreational softball league.  My school starts back up this week.  Scheduling has been ridiculous.  We have some amazing people in our lives that are stepping up to offer help, but it is no easy task for me to ask for/accept help.  My Cozi and Outlook calendars look like rainbow explosions.  I am not creating more things for us to do.  I'm just doing everything it takes to keep on track with our goals, while making life as easy as possible on my kids.  So the casseroles I meant to make for the friends with new babies and the phone calls I have been meaning to make (in spite of my serious dislike for the telephone) have fallen through the cracks.  And I feel like a jerk.  But every birthday party and playdate have been attended, because my kids' needs and social lives come first.  That is not a complaint, that is a fact.

So there it is.  Filled with sentences starting with conjunctions.  I'm going to go eat chocolate now.