Multi-Tasking

Posted in Everyday Life on March 6th, 2009 and tagged , , , , , , ,

Because being a Stay-at-home-mom (SAHM to laypeople) is my current profession, I am required to multi-task on a daily basis in a way some people have never experienced.   My “pay” (bringing up healthy happy children who turn into independent, admirable adults) is by no means immediate, and it also depends upon my ability to multi-task.  Consider the following 2 scenarios most SAHM’s must endure on a daily basis (and these are just 2 of MANY!):  Can I fold and put away a load of laundry while planning and preparing a nutritious lunch for 4 kids while simultaneously managing “surprise” but necessary tasks that appear; like changing diapers, washing hands, and refereeing any arguments that break out?  Can I accomplish buying everything I need at Walmart while staying within our family’s budget AND concurrently fulfilling the needs of my two youngest children in a timely enough fashion to be able to pick up their older sisters at school at the time I’m expected?

Man, when I put that all on paper it sounds difficult.  And sometimes it is, but most of the time, I do it without thinking because I love and treasure my family.  But if you know a SAHM and she seems like an airhead or like she’s not-so-bright or even a little bit loopy, just remember everything that must go through her mind on a daily basis, then multiply that by how many kids she has…  It just might provide enough explanation for her scatter-brained behavior!

Gee, being a SAHM-of-four sure makes my working-mom-of-one days look easy.  Back then my multitasking consisted of paying bills and doing paperwork while I sat in  traffic…  And although my current lifestyle is much more hard work than I’ve ever had before, it’s that much more rewarding also, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world!

Awesome Anthem Of Moms Everywhere

Posted in Fun Forwards on December 22nd, 2008 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Apparently while people are on Christmas break – off work or just home with their kids – they like to send email forwards.  I’ve gotten a burst of them lately, and 2 caught my eye so I will share them.  The first is another personality quiz, but it had some different questions than ones in the past, so I’m posting it.  Second is a really cute youtube video of a lady doing a marvellous job singing a song with which every parent will identify.  She is very talented, and it’s a good performance.  Not only do the lyrics ring true, but the woman has a nice voice, and she just performs the song very well.  It’s amazing to me that she was able to memorize all those words – they come awfully fast!

Here’s a copy of the personality quiz email with the answers I wrote:

A little fun thing to do.
44 ODD Things about you! If you opened this, FILL IT
OUT! Learn 44 things About your friends, and let them
learn 44 things about you! Send back to Me and to
several more friends !!

1. Do you like blue cheese? yes
2. Have you ever smoked? yes
3. Do you own a gun? NO!
4. What flavor of Kool Aid was your favorite? mountain berry
5. Do you get nervous before doctor appointments? yes
6. What do you think of hot dogs ? like em – especially Vienna Beef or Nathans
7. Favorite Christmas movie? Elf
8. Favorite thing to drink in the morning:water
9. Can you do push ups? barely
10. Favorite piece of jewelry? my wedding and engagement rings
12. Do you have A.D.D.? I just might
13. What is one trait you hate about yourself?  that I can be high strung
14. Middle name ?  Marie
15. Name 3 thoughts at this exact moment. My Grandma’s Christmas village is cooler than the one they’re showing on the news – I can’t wait until Christmas – I can’t wait until Chris gets off work
17. Current worry? money
18. Current hate right now? arrogant, self-absorbed people
19. Favorite place to be?  home
20. How did you bring in the New Year? with friends
22. Name three people who might complete this.  Jamy, Megan, Mary Beth
23. Do you own slippers?  no – I wear imitation Crocs around the house
24. What shirt are you wearing? a red sweatshirt with snowflakes on it
25. Do you like sleeping on satin sheets? yes – but only in the summer
26. Can you whistle? yes
27. Favorite color?  green
28. Would you be a pirate? I’ve got a parrot…  but I don’t really know what this question means.  I would not hijack ships and steal from people, so I guess not
29. What songs do you sing in the AM. Country
30. Favorite girl’s name?  Taylor
31. Favorite boy’s name? Christopher
32. What’s in your pocket right now? a piece of Barbie fake dog poop – don’t ask
33. Last thing that made you laugh? My girls seeing their baby brother jumping in his bouncy
34. What vehicle do you drive? minivan
35. Worst injury you have ever had? emergency cesarean with a blood transfusion
36.  Favorite Season?  Spring
37. How many TV’s do you have in your house? 6
38. Who is your loudest friend? Lisa H. I guess
39. Do you have any pets? 2 dogs, a parrot, and one hibernating ladybug
40. Does someone have a crush on you?  does marriage count as a crush?
41. What is your favorite book? Monkeys on the Interstate by Jack Hanna
42. Do you collect anything?   board games, Legos, Cubs stuff, local historical memorabilia and books
43. Favorite sports team? Chicago Cubs / Bears
44. What song do you want played at your funeral?  Whatever other people want to listen to, I guess…  it’s not like I’ll be enjoying it!

And here is the Mom’s Anthem video:

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Why I Loathe School Fundraisers

Posted in Kids on September 15th, 2008 and tagged , , , , , , , , ,

It’s that time of year again – back to school already!  For the most part, this means good news for me as it clears out half of the foot traffic around here during the day.  And since my oldest 2 are school-age and also the ones who are constantly misbehaving lately – Whoo Hoo for back to school time!

But back to school season also means it’s time for school fundraisers, and my oldest daughter brought one home on the second day of school!  They really couldn’t wait until the second week of school at least?  Because of how busy we’ve been around here between the new baby, my husband being in a play and his health scare, I set the fundraiser order form aside until the night before it was due when I reluctantly sent out an email seeking fundraiser participants.  We actually did pretty well; better than I thought, actually, so I have to thank those of you who ordered stuff.  But I have to come clean and say I did not order anything from my own daughter’s school fundraiser.  I just could not find anything I needed or even wanted for quadruple what it should cost.

My nephew sent me an email about a week later seeking participants for his first school fundraiser, so for him I was a little more motivated to order something.  Since the kids get credit for the number of items they get people to order versus how much is spent, I started looking for something inexpensive I could order.  I began by trying to think of any gifts we might need for people sometime soon.  No luck – we have a basement full of stuff my husband got from overstocked wholesalers that is just waiting to be gifted away.  Next I tried looking for a small kitchen gadget I could use, even if it was only once in a blue moon.  I found a can strainer – a plastic disk with holes in it you put over cans to drain the water out.  It was $5 – outrageously expensive, of course, but I could justify it for my nephew’s first attempts at fundraising for his school.  This wasn’t so hard, I thought as I clicked on the shopping cart to check out.  Except that all of a sudden, I was spending $11 instead of $5.  And there was a text box on the webpage that told me that $2.20 of my order goes directly to his school.  They were trying to make it sound like a good thing, but $2.20 out of $11?  And I’m spending $11 on a 4 inch piece of plastic with holes in it?  It really is easy enough to just use the can lid to strain whatever is in the can – and now I couldn’t even justify buying an over-priced item “for a good cause” since the school was only getting $2 of my money!  Ugh, back to shopping on the fundraiser’s site…

Have you ever had to shop for something you didn’t want?  It’s actually quite difficult.  We had a similair experience after our new baby was born.  Someone got him some clothes that were the wrong size, so we ended up with a bunch of Kohl’s store credit.  My husband and I spent almost 2 hours in the Kohl’s trying to figure out what we wanted; it was really difficult for us.  Kohl’s is not our type of store – we love bargain shopping, and even though it was “free” store credit we were spending, it was hard to justify their expensive prices on things we barely needed.  We ended up with 2 candle warmers and an electric razor for my husband.  He can grow a beard in a matter of days, and this razor cut his shaving time drastically.  The candle warmers are pretty cool too – you put candles on them and still get the scent, but without the ‘something’s burning’ smell or the danger of the open flame – a must-have if you like candles and have 4 little kids running around.  So anyway, where was I before the Kohl’s tangent?

Oh, yes, trying to shop for things you don’t need…  Like I said, I could justify the $5 for the can strainer, but when it climbed to $11 (especially because only $2 went to my nephew’s school), I had to explore other options.  I considered a ‘dip kit’ for $6, figuring I could use it at one of the many game nights we host – then it would double as a conversation piece as well – but shipping on every item was $6.  Since the dip instructions read, ‘just add mayonnaise and sour cream’, I couldn’t justify $12 on a packet of powder, again with the school only getting a measly $2.  So anyway, over an hour later, I finally found a good solution – a magazine subscription.  Sure, I was now spending $15 instead of $12, but there were no shipping fees which meant the school got $8 of my money.  With 4 kids I barely ever have enough time to read the daily newspaper, so I don’t really know what I’m going to do with all the US News and World Report magazines that will soon be piling up around here.  But hey, my kids already have a subscription to Highlights and my husband’s not really into magazines, so what else was I supposed to do?  The subscription to Parents magazine was actually cheaper, but as I’ve said many times before to people who try to borrow me books about parenting – at the end of a long day full of changing diapers, cleaning spills, refereeing fights, and serving meals for people to reject, the last thing I want to do to unwind is read about kids!  So I figured I could maybe save time – instead of surfing the ‘net at night reading news stories, I could bring my US News and World Report up to bed and start my reading time a little earlier so I don’t stay up too late.

But the point of this long rambling blog is this:  I hate school fundraisers.  I hate asking people to spend their hard-earned money on them, I hate ordering from them, and I hate the way they’re set up.  Don’t get me wrong – I was more than happy to order from my nephew, especially because it’s his first one; I find that kind of cute.  Nevermind that little voice in my head that says, “but he’s only in Kindergarten and they’re already making him sell things!”  But lucky for me, my sister only has 2 kids.  Can’t say the same for us -our family’s fundraiser victims will get hit up a whopping 4 times a year!  Not only that, but when the kids are in different clubs and activities, those are also prime targets for fundraising opportunities.  My daughter brought home a newsletter just today that said her Girl Scouts fundraiser will be starting in a few weeks…  ugh, here we go again.  So even if we don’t have any more kids and say each of our kids is in only 1 club or activity that does a fundraiser (girl scouts does 2 if you include selling cookies) – that’s now a minimum of 8 times per year I have to hit up my family and friends.  And that 8 times a year will probably all be overlapping in the autumn months!  It is my hope to someday be able to put aside enough time to attend the PTO meetings and urge the implementation of a new fundraising system – one where not so much money is wasted on the company that is hired to actually do the fundraiser.  Until then, maybe I will just buy stock in one of these fundraising companies that are preying on our children’s schools…  in a struggling economy, something tells me that is one type of business that isn’t hurting!