Tuesday, June 25, 2013

we bought a house!

This has been in the works for a while, but now that I'm sitting in our new 3rd bedroom-office writing this, I think it's official.

We bought a house!

I could go into the story of the 1 month whirlwind of looking at homes in a frustrating sellers market, the 2 months of craziness that was being "in contract" for the home, the 2 weeks of packing/cleaning/leasing our apartment, and the last 3 days of unpacking and starting to settle in to our new home.

But honestly, it's not something I want to relive in great detail.

Instead I will do a digital victory dance (da da da dooby da da) and enjoy the idea that we now live in a home of our own.

At some point I anticipate posting photos. For now, here's the exterior photo from the real estate listing. 

Monday, June 17, 2013

I am an Evaluator-Mother

This morning I read a blog post by Shannon Hale (author of Goose Girl, Austenland, Princess Academy, to name a few), where she describes how being a writer and a mother works for her.

As I was reading it, I thought, This totally describes my feelings as an evaluator-mother. I should write my own blog post about my thoughts on the subject. And when I was done reading it I thought, Never mind. Sentiments completely captured, and by someone who is a professional writer.

So, if you want to know what life feels like for me as an evaluator-mother, read Shannon Hale's post here: http://oinks.squeetus.com/2013/06/writing-and-mother-how-i-sort-of-do-both.html.

Points that particularly resonated with me:
- Maintaining balance means saying no to a lot. And sometimes this means excluding other opportunities and friendships to the point that you don't have to even say "no" anymore because no one is asking...
- Being an evaluator and being a mother pretty much precludes most other hobbies, social time, house maintenance, etc. Except mindlessly watching TV at the end of a long day. I can still do that.
- Sundays are crucial days of rest and rejuvenation. I would die without a Sabbath.
- Everyone has their own passions and balance that (hopefully) they can find a way to accommodate. My choices might not always end up being the right ones, but I am trying to choose what's right for me and my family.

(As a side note, listing evaluator first in evaluator-mother is no reflection of priorities. The other way around just doesn't sound right.)

Saturday, June 8, 2013

never go back

I have a list of things to accomplish during kids' naps today, but they would all require me to get off of this bed. 

Hello, blog post.

Today, I want to commemorate a few things I would never go back to.

1. Classic peanut butter. A few months ago we started eating natural peanut butter (my definition: the only thing on the ingredient list is peanuts) from Costco. It is deliciously non-sugary and not a pain to stir to get the texture right. The hardest part about the switch was remembering to look for it in the fridge not cupboard.

2. A single computer monitor. My main computer is my laptop. It has a home on my work desk, next to an external monitor. I always hook it up so I can work from two screens. Now I am almost incapable of getting anything done without having 2 monitors' of workspace (current blog writing excepted). It is unreal how much time I spend comparing between two applications (e.g. looking at a webpage while taking notes in a word document, or writing an email while checking numbers on an Excel file). Being able to see both simultaneously is a huge gain in productivity.

3. Bedroom without a ceiling fan. Okay. This is a lie. I currently do not have a ceiling fan in my bedroom. But every night as I lay in the stifling air trying to sleep, I fantasize about ceiling fans.

4. Using a mouse to navigate in Gmail. In Gmail, you can enable keyboard shortcuts that let you navigate through your inbox, open/label/archive emails, send replies, etc. It's actually kind of fun to open my email in the morning and fly through all the junk mail, deleting it all with a few keystrokes in under 30 seconds.

5. Self checkouts at the grocery store. I am constantly tempted to go back on this one: I'm at the store, ready to check out. The "live" checkout lines are so long, and there's only one person ahead of me at the self checkout. Surely it will be faster this time. 

But a fundamental law of nature declares that either 1) that one person ahead of you is completely at a loss for how to use the self checkout, bogging down the entire system and tempting you to think horribly negative thoughts about them OR 2) you have more produce than you thought you did and you have to look up the item number on each one, place it on the scanner and wait, and then bag it. Over and over and over again until you think you are going to die. 

Only use self checkout if you can answer yes to all of the following:
1. You have less than 10 items.
2. None of those items resembles a fruit or vegetable.
3. There is absolutely no wait in the self checkout.
4. There is at least one other person in the live checkout.
5. You feel 100% confident in your ability to use the self checkout.

Bonus: here's an outdated picture of the kids. It's the most recent one I have that doesn't require additional downloading from a device. Plus, I like to think Xena is looking up to read my list of self checkout rules. Learn young, little one.