Thursday, August 27, 2009

Perfection is not the Point


I love this cartoon because it completely captures how I feel some days, especially now that I'm running around after Baby who has decided that she can go wherever she feels and do whatever she wants. Forget the fact that she can't even walk on her own yet. She'll get where she needs to go whether I'm involved or not. There are times when I can barely keep up with her, let alone get a shower or keep the house clean.

There's a lot of pressure (mostly internal) to be the perfect mother and have the perfect home at all times. The reality is far different. When I was pregnant, I imagined all the time I would finally have to do projects around the house and what a great homemaker I would be. I'd be super fit because I'd be taking walks (or better yet runs) using our fabulous baby stroller every day. I would have home-cooked meals ready and waiting for the Fiance every night. Donna Reed would have nothing on this mom. But most days, the amount of free time I have is pretty limited. Naptime and after bedtime are the only parts of the day when I'm not preoccupied by her ransacking the pantry for the item most likely to be labeled a choking hazard. Once she is asleep, there's a long list of tasks to do and sometimes it's hard to know where to start. Perfection is no longer the goal; survival becomes the new target.

Simple Mom recently re-posted an article from a tongue-in-cheek series she did last year called "How to be Disorganized & Unproductive." Coming from a blogger who is somewhat of a home management icon, I really appreciated lesson #2: Aim for Perfection. As she says, "When you aim for perfection, you're defeated before you even start..." Thinking that you can achieve this goal is setting yourself up for failure and disappointment. I'm still working on many areas where I'd like to improve when it comes to our home, but there are a couple things that I aim to do every day that help me feel I've accomplished something despite the level of chaos.

1. I make our bed. Even if the laundry is overflowing and the bathroom needs cleaning, if the bed is made it makes me feel much better. It also helps me feel more relaxed when I get in bed at night because the room doesn't seem quite so much of a shambles.

2. I pick up the toys. Because we spend most of the day in the living room, it makes sense that Baby would have a supply of toys at her fingertips. These toys spend the majority of the day scattered in all corners of the room. But before I go to bed, I try to corral them into some sort of organization so that the next day we start fresh. I don't wake up in the morning to complete disarray.

I generally try to clean off the counters in the kitchen too but that is dependent on the status of the dishwasher at bedtime. These may seem like small, insignificant things but they can make a world of difference when I try to unwind and go to sleep. And truthfully I would rather not get a few things done and spend the time playing with Baby than cross off my entire list of chores while she is stuck in her jumpy watching a Baby Einstein dvd. When it comes down to it, in 20 years I'm not going to care if the house was always spotless but I will definitely care whether I took advantage of the invaluable time with my daughter.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Bachelorette Bonanza

The weekend has finally arrived. Tomorrow three of my girlfriends and I will head to the Pink Palace for my bachelorette celebration and Saturday about ten other gals will join us. I am almost completely in the dark on this one so I'm pretty much ready for anything. My maid of honor/sister and two of my bridesmaids have put a lot of time and energy into planning a fun weekend for me and my friends and I could not be more grateful.

This weekend getaway comes at a prime time when the details of our wedding are starting to become overwhelming. We had one of "those weeks" when you just feel like nothing is coming out the way it was intended. I can't think of a better way to recharge my batteries than to blow off some steam in the desert with my girls! The Fiance is on full dad duty and seems genuinely excited for his daddy-daughter weekend.

The activities that I am aware of include dinner, dancing and time relaxing by the pool. Did I mention it will be 103 out there?! That's actually cooler than I was anticipating. I'm obviously not packed yet but I figure I won't need much besides a bikini and a fun outfit for Saturday night. In my mind I'm already sitting in the pool raft with a magazine and a drink. It's sure to be a fun and memorable weekend for this soon-to-be-mrs!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

A Bonafide Rant

I really try not to focus too much on life's little annoying moments because overall I'm very blessed. But this morning I obviously woke up on the wrong side of the bed and then had a very obnoxious experience at Starbucks. Because I've worked in many jobs where customer service was the primary focus, I know what it feels like on the employee side but that makes me more annoyed not less. I know that the people who work in stores, restaurants, COFFEE SHOPS, etc are trained to treat customers a certain way so here is my response to this morning.

Dear Starbucks employees,

I know that at 8:30am you are busy and responsible for helping a lot of customers at the same time. I try to respect that and wait patiently for my order because after all, I'm not usually pressed for time the way others might be. However, I paid for my drink like everyone else and expect to be treated as a customer and not as someone preventing you from getting things done. I order the same coffee beverage every time I go to Starbucks and have a good idea of what it is supposed to taste like. I also know that when this order is called out at the bar, it comes out as "caramel frappucino" so if you say "caramel frappucino with coffee" it gives me the impression that there is something different or unique about this particular drink. When I question this, there is no need to look at me like I'm an idiot and respond with irritation.

Please try to keep in mind that I paid for my drink and that people like me paying for drinks is why you have this particular job. My desire to have my drink taste the way it should is not an insult to your entire being and if I'm not being rude, I don't expect to be treated like I am. If this drink cost $0.45 I probably wouldn't be as picky but it doesn't. It costs $3.45 and that is not a small amount for coffee. Try to have a little understanding that I just want my money's worth. If you paid $3.45 for a chocolate milkshake and it tasted like vanilla, you would care.

Thank you for making me another caramel frappucino this morning so that it tasted the way it is supposed to taste. I appreciate you indulging me even though you made me feel like an a-hole when I was patient and polite. Have a nice day.


Friday, August 7, 2009

The Alphabet Game

Yes I have been completely MIA lately because I have a crazy to-do list that keeps getting longer. We are now under 60 days in the wedding countdown and that means that we have a lot of details to manage so that our big day is not a big disaster. I also want things done in advance and in a very organized fashion so that I can enjoy our wedding day. I saw some version of this on a wedding website but I've looked at so many that I honestly can't remember which one it was so I can't link back to the post unfortunately. Here's my version of the Alphabet Game, Wedding Style.

A- Appointments need to be made for manis/pedis and hair for myself and all my bridesmaids.

B- Bridesmaid gifts need to be completed. I can't reveal what these gifts are but they are handmade by yours truly and a bit more time consuming than I imagined (possibly due to procrastination on my part.)

C- Ceremony order has to be decided, including the who goes with who in the processional.

D- Dress is being altered and needs to be picked up in 10 days. Yay!

E- Emotional... that would be me, the bride upon seeing/hearing any wedding related show, music, etc.

F- Flowers are decided on and out of my hands. Luckily I trust our florist so this is the least of my worries.

G- Gifts for parents and groomsmen need to be decided and purchased.

H- Hairstyle has been chosen and needs a trial run whenever I find a hair salon.

I- Invitations to the rehearsal dinner/baptism of Baby need to be ordered or made and sent STAT.

J- Jubilation is what I feel when I think about the fact that we are actually going to be married in less than 2 months!

K- Kiss, as in the first kiss... do we practice? do we just go with the moment?

L- Lingerie for under my gown needs to be purchased.

M- Map of the country club grounds needs to be put together for the welcome bags for out of towners.

N- Nails- will I go falsey for the wedding so that my hands look extra pretty in the pictures??

O- Officiant is going to be wonderful and we're so happy that we already know him so we don't have to worry about whether he will make our ceremony special and meaningful.

P- Payment schedule needs to be mapped out so we know when vendors need final checks.

Q- Quiche... not on the menu. Quail... not on the menu either.

R- Rehearsal order needs to be written and sent to officiant and wedding coordinator at the club. Let's all be on the same page.

S- Shoes are ordered and need to be picked up for modifications to be shown later.

T- Topper for the cake needs to be found if I think that would be cute and kitschy and old school and kind of fun.

U- Uphill... the direction I need to be walking on a regular basis to keep shaping up for the wedding.

V- Vows need to be determined. Traditional? Yes. But what version?

W- Welcome bags need to be designed and necessary items need to be purchased/made.

X- eXactly what was I thinking when I decided to wait until the last minute to finish the rest of the bridesmaid gifts?? I claim temporary insanity.

Y- Yummy dessert or cake needs to be decided on ASAP.

Z- ZZZs... I could use some!
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