Monday, December 31, 2007

A Winter Dip in the Pool

For some reason the holidays kept us in the house so much more than we are used to. Whether it was having family over or just getting stuff done around here, we found ourselves constantly in the cabin, which created some miserable kids and adults too. Today I broke out of the mold. I left a half undecorated tree and boxes of Christmas stuff that needed to go back to the attic in the entryway and we left the mess simple as that.

I called up a friend that also belongs to our local YMCA and I convinced her to meet us there- although she wasn't in love with the idea. It was a fairly easy sell since she fished around for a good excuse and couldn't come up with one, so she grabbed her three girls and met us there. Finding swimsuits mid winter was a challenge, but it also reminded me of how much work goes into a day at the pool. We had to dig out towels, swim diapers, and a change of clothes since in the summer it's easy to just throw a cover on the wet bathing suit and head outside- not the same in the winter. Winter coats, towels, long clothes, and a bottle of shampoo (one must take a shower afterwards just to check one more chore off the list for the day)

Although it was a hassle, it felt great to get out of the house and into a winter escape that gave us a quick taste of the summer. The kids came home starving and tired, so everyone had a great nap- or is still having one.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Door To Door Organics!

Ah, my dream has finally become a reality. A few weeks ago I got a flier on my front door for fresh organic produce delivery and thought, hey, it's finally happening. Cincinnati is catching on to the importance of organic produce. The beauty of delivery is that it is the luck of the draw, and I love that surprise. I joined a produce co-op last spring/summer/fall and not only did I cook more, I tried new vegetables that I had always shunned in the past and I was fortunate enough to acquire some new favorites too. This system seems pretty flexible in the size order, and what you select. If you only want fruit, then sign up for just fruit. If brussel sprouts make you cry, let them know and they will give them to someone else in trade for something you do like.

Support local businesses and locally grown produce. They start delivery in January, so sign up soon! I'll keep you posted on how I like it.

Speaking of Laptops- Don't buy a Dell Alienware Laptop

I hate my Alienware laptop. I know harsh words for a semi-lover of computers but it's true. I feel like it's my mission in life to stop at least one person from making such a crazy purchase. My husband bought it a few years back claiming to love the slim size. Sure I think it was more of a marketing job well done, since it's a computer geared toward gamers- did I forget to tell you my hubby is a video game efficianado. After about 6 months, the battery died. What is the point of having a laptop if you must keep it plugged in. So we spent I think around $60 replacing the battery. Did this solve our laptop problem? No, not at all. It over heats too. Not a big deal in the winter right? Wrong. One must save work constantly or risk deleting everything you are working on. I can't tell you how many articles I was in the middle of writing for Stuntmom, only to be discouraged by my lovely Alienware shutting down.

I did read in PC Magazine back in March that Dell bought Alienware , so maybe they will turn them around, but don't count on it. Again, if I can stop just one person from buying Alienware computers, then this article has served it's purpose.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Laptop for Kids

My husband has a passion for computers, some might say an obsession. So it's no wonder friends might ask me if I think kids need a laptop. Do they "need" one. No, of course not, but would it be nice if they didn't break yours as they are fighting over who gets to play next?

Here is his suggestion for the season. It's great, buy one, and they give you one to give away- yes it's a tax deduction. Here's the website. It claims to be durable and you can't go wrong with green and white!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Should You Work or Stay Home?

Ah, the endless question. At 2:00 today I'm meeting with a friend that is looking to sign a year contract to go back to work but is in a state of panic over it. She has the same dilemma that filters through so many of our heads. She said she went back into her old office last week to pick up a few things and felt so energized by the office that she said she had a really hard time not signing the contract on the spot. She sent me an email requesting advice, and I really didn't feel that an email was going to give her what she wants. I did admit though, that my advice about working or staying at home changes from day to day.

I remember bumping into a woman that I new stayed at home and mentioned to her that I was going to be staying at home in a few weeks and wanted to know if she had any advice to offer. Her number one tip was to treat your stay at home life like a job. Get up before the kids, shower, make coffee and have a few minutes to yourself. She said she can't stress enough about the shower, and she also said she puts on make up to make herself feel like she's working. Oh wait, she is endlessly working! But I think this is where my friend is having such a hard time. She's at home with a newborn, so she doesn't even have someone to negotiate with, or talk to at all. She also said she is busy, or at least has no problem filling up her days, she is running errands all day long, cooking and cleaning, so she hasn't made any time for her social life. She doesn't have any friends who stay at home! I think every mom that is new to staying at home has found this to be the case. Stay at home mom's don't just appear on your doorstep.

I remember being in the same spot which is why it's so crucial to get out to the park, gym, playgroups, story time, just to be around other moms. How can you meet other people that stay at home if you are only making it out to the grocery stores? I realize it's very had when it's just a newborn, since they don't need to go to the zoo or children's museum, but adults do!

Never cancel your plans as a stay at home mom. It's so easy to have an excuse to cancel plans, but nothing makes yourself and the other friend feel worse than a last minute cancellation. I did call my friend to make sure we were still on for today and she said... "well maybe, my kindergarten er is home sick" so I immediately invited myself over to her house and told her to shower before I arrive. I know, tough love.

It's such a hard decision since we do get so much out of working. One really has to look a lot harder to see the hidden benefits of staying at home. No one is there to thank you for a job well done, you just have to look at your kids to see that you are making an impact.