February 28, 2011

Goodwill $22 trip

Last month I bought a calendar at Goodwill, which included a $5 off $25 purchase coupon. It was expiring soon so I made a trip this weekend to see what I could find. My local store in Hermitage has started to put out summer items and I was thrilled. Here's what I found. Pardon the pictures. My camera died so these were taken with my phone.

I happened across this cute grey hooded cardigan by Wet Seal as soon as I walked in the store. I love that it has short sleeves. This time of year it can still be cool but not downright cold so this will be perfect.
Next I made my way to the dresses and found this Xhilaration long cotton dress. It is so comfy and I love the colored stitching for the banding.
I also found this purple sweater in the dress section. It's a little to short for me so I will probably wear it over jeans. Again, I love a short-sleeved sweater for spring.
Next I found this top by Willi Smith. All the ruching is really nice and it doesn't cling. It's also more of a navy but I had to lighten up the picture to be able to show the details. Navy is very in right now I believe.
Finally I came across this white GAP skirt. This is really versatile material meaning I think I will be able to dress it up for church or down for a playdate and it will still work.
So, those are my Goodwill finds for this week. I was rather thrilled that I came home with 3 tops, a dress and a skirt for around $20.

February 25, 2011

Stomach Bug (with a vengeance)

Yes, sickness is newsworthy at our house mainly because it is so rare. We're typically a pretty healthy bunch. So when I got the call from my daughter's school that she was throwing up, I replied "Oh no!" But it wasn't with a "bless her heart" tone. It was more like "OH! Noooooooo! Ewe!"

I promptly grabbed my things and headed out the door but had sense enough to grab a large popcorn bowl and towels. You know, just in case. Upon arriving at school, I find her in the bathroom trying to change her clothes but she has gotten sick again. All. Over. The. Floor. You can imagine my relief when they told me not to worry about it. At this point, my goal was to get her changed as quickly as possible and get the heck out of dodge.

The entire ride home she kept asking me to hurry, hurry. At home she continued the vicious 20-minute cycle for the next 5 hours. It was awful. It took 2 cycles for me to get her changed into PJs and set up shop. FYI - It was her idea to stay in the bathroom and I was happy to oblige since that kept her that much closer to the toilet.
The remainder of our day went a little something like this.
  • She pukes.
  • I clean her up and lay her down.
  • She sleeps for 15 minutes while I run upstairs and try to work during the lull.
  • She wakes up, yells for me, and I come barreling down the stairs.
  • Repeat.
I had to think long and hard but, in the past, I can only remember her throwing up one time. She was an itty bitty (like 14 months) and it was a single, random occurrence. Either way, she was too young to have any recollection of the event. So yesterday she was a little out of sorts with the throwing up. Quite honestly, she was pitiful. She thought there was an actual stomach "bug" inside her body. With every cycle she would ask me if the bug came out. About half way through she said, "I'm TIRED of throwing up!" Another hour after that she started to ask, "Why am I STILL throwing up? It was pretty rough for me to watch my typically healthy girl be SO sick. It was horrible to watch her little body rid itself of any and every bit of sustenance and then wrench and writhe when that was gone. It was heartbreaking to see her fall asleep sitting up or resting her head on the potty. She was in a bad sort of way and there was nothing I could do.
After almost 4 hours of this vicious cycle I couldn't take it anymore. I called in reinforcements (AKA my dear mother-in-law) and asked her to go to the health food store for me. Remember, we're pretty healthy so all of the "stuff" I have on hand are preventitive measures. But I was knee-deep in RE-active mode so I requested peppermint oil, chewable probiotics and Rescue Remedy. The oil is a natural way to help with nausea and my hope was that this would help to break the cycle. The probiotcs were to get some "good" bacteria in her tummy to help fight off whatever crazy virus was wreaking havoc down there. As for the Rescue Remedy, that was for both of us. Nobody needs to be hysterical with everything else we had going on.

After the herbals arrived the cycle started to spread out by 30 minutes, then 45 minutes, then an hour, and it was done. The little girl tried a few sips of Gatorade and then a few spoonfuls of applesauce. When that stayed down I figured we were in the clear. By this point it was bedtime. She went right to sleep (HIGHLY unusual) but was up a few more times saying she was hungry and thirsty, which was a good sign. So we gave her a few sips of Gatorade and a piece of toast. All the while we were having some really bad storms here in Nashville. At 11 o'clock I was done physically and emotionally so I went to bed. That's when hubby took over for 2nd shift. Bless him! He ended up sleeping on the floor in her room and refilling her Gatorade cup a few more times as she woke. This morning she slept until 8 am but woke up like the little girl that I know and love. In fact, she was bouncing on my bed requesting breakfast. :) Today was spent sanitizing and washing anything and everything that The Little Girl came in contact with yesterday and particularly any items that had been with her at school. I'm talking shoes, lunchbox, everything.

After it was all said and done reports are that 13 kids were sent home yesterday and that didn't include those who were puking left and right at dismissal. Today's absentees totalled 81! This was one vicious little booger. I've never seen anything spread so fast. I'm certainly glad to see it gone from our house. Here's hoping that mama and papa don't get it either. We've already started our probiotics... because PROactive is how I roll. :)

February 22, 2011

Goodnight Moon (Nashville Children's Theatre)

I took The Little Girl to the Nashville Children's Theatre for the first time and it was a hit! Tonight's performance was Goodnight Moon. I'll admit that I was a little concerned about how they would take this short book and turn it into a full-out stage performance that would keep little ones entertained. Well, they did a fantastic job!

Basically, the beginning and the end of the book are the same but there is a whole lot of ad lib in between and it was rather funny and very entertaining. This version of Goodnight Moon is similar to a typical night at my house where I put my child in bed and then spend the next hour deflecting excuses. An hour later, all is right with the world but not without some drama mixed in the middle.

The Little Girl sat still in her seat the entire time. Her eyes were glued to the stage and she clapped proudly after every song. I was doing my own version of proud clapping but it was more for her than the actors. I kept thinking to myself that 4 is a beautiful age. She's old enough to understand the performance and mature enough to handle the setting. I've always wondered what age would be appropriate for certain activities like the theatre or movies or museums or performances or other artsy-type stuff and I think we've finally hit our stride. Now, we've certainly tried all of these types of things before but it was stressful for me. I was always busy redirecting her attention or shoving snacks down her throat to keep her engaged. Not tonight. It was a pleasure to be there with her and we both enjoyed the evening.

I'm also thankful for establishments like the Nashville Children's Theatre who don't freak out over fussy, squirmy children or snacks & sippy cups. They know they are providing a service for kids and are fully aware of what they've signed up for. Tonight was the opening performance for Goodnight Moon and the show runs through April 3rd so you have plenty of time to get tickets and see it for yourself.

Overall, it was a great date and an outing that I hope to make a regular occurrence in the future.

February 21, 2011

Mother's Helper

Remember when I said, "I am certain that we would have to hire a chef, a maid, and an after-school nanny in order for me to go back to work" a few weeks ago? Well, I did. Kinda. I hired a Mother's Helper and it was the smartest thing I have ever done.

I talked with the youth pastor's wife at our church and asked for suggestions for a teen girl who could come by twice a week for an hour at a time and simply help me with whatever. Mainly, it would be laundry, light cleaning, meal prep and babysitting. She said she had just the girl and boy did she ever!

My "helper" started last week and it has worked out gloriously. She has been helping with simple tasks like folding and putting away laundry, unloading & loading the dishwasher, sweeping, dusting, wiping down mirrors & counter tops, and entertaining The Little Girl so I can work.

I try to have a list ready when she comes and we just work down the list together. I set the oven timer for exactly 1 hour as I don't want to keep her past our agreed upon time. It's amazing how much you can get done with 2 people in an hour. Besides, The Little Girl is smitten with my helper, which means she follows her around everywhere. More importantly, it also means that she's not making a mess while I'm cleaning in another room. So, at the end of the hour, things start looking pretty tidy and that makes this momma very happy!

Now, I can't be certain but I'm pretty sure this isn't a bad gig for a teenager who is looking to earn a little extra money. It's also good practice for future homemakers. I know that I hated doing chores at home when I was this age but the idea of getting paid for it has to make it somewhat more appealing. My helper is as pleasant as pleasant can be and words can not express how thankful I am for the help she provides me twice a week.

Right now, we have agreed that she will help me out until Spring Break. By then I should be caught up on this looming project at work, consignment time will be over, and hopefully things will go back to normal. But, I gotta admit, I may have a hard time letting her go.

February 17, 2011

Work From Home: Medical Transcription

Updated post (2014) can be found here.
I get lots of questions about my job. I think most mommies would work from home if they could but it's hard to find a legit work-at-home gig. I knew before we had our daughter that I wanted to be at home but there was no way we could cut out an entire income. I don't even remember how I learned about medical transcription but it sounded like something I would be interested in and I knew that I could do it from home so the information search began.

Education
My previous job was as a pharmacy technician so I was already familiar with some medical terminology and I took a course from Career Step. I chose them because they are 1 of 3 accredited schools in this industry and, honestly, because they were a little bit less expensive than the other 2. I also liked the fact that they are partnered with several companies who test and hire their graduates. Built-in job placement was very important to me. I didn't want to spend the money and complete the program only to find myself without work. Another big perk for me was that the program is self-paced. Reports are that you can finish in 3-12 months depending on how much time you can devote to studying. I was still working full time so my goal was to finish in a year. It took me a little longer than planned because of such a difficult pregnancy, delivery, and recovery. That's a story for another day. :)

Training & Job Hunting
With Career Step, all of your tests are completed and tracked online. You have the option to purchase textbook materials but everything you need is accessible via the website. Besides, if you are going to be working from home on your computer, you might as well get used to doing just that. You will learn typing, medical grammer, medical terminology, formatting, and finally move into actually transcribing. I graduated from Career Step with High Honors, which is the highest certification you can receive from them. They helped me prepare my resume and gave me information on certain companies that I was interested in. I had a job within a month of receiving my certification. Yay!

Companies & Options
There are tons of different medical transcription companies out there but you just have to find one that is the right fit for you. Basically, they contract the work from doctor's offices and hospitals and then delegate the work out to their employees. With this job, you can choose to work from home or inside a clinical setting. Most hospitals will have some in-house transcriptionists but a lot of the work gets outsourced. Same thing goes for doctors offices.

Working From Home, Hours & Benefits
When you work from home, doctors will dictate into a digital recorder and those files are uploaded to an FTP server or emailed directly to the transcriptionist. After the work is completed, you either upload it to their server or email it back in a Word document. The schedule is also going depend on who you work for. Some companies want you to work specific hours while others will give you a Turn A Round Time. For me, a TAT works best. In this scenario, I can work whenever I want as long as my work is completed within a certain time frame (usually 24 hours). There are some companies who offer benefits if you work full-time hours. I typically only work about 15 hours a week so that isn't something I have looked into a whole lot but it is out there.

The Learning Curve
With any job, there is going to be an adjustment period. First, you have to learn the specifics of your account including what kind of format(s) they want. Also, if it is a specialty, you will need to learn all the terminology associated with that account. Initially, you will spend a lot of time researching to verify all the terms but once you know them things will go a lot faster. On my very 1st account it took me about 4-6 months until I felt really comfortable and then I was flying through my work.

Tricks of The Trade
The one thing I can not live without is my text expander. This helps me to type faster and more accurately because there are lots of common phrases used in medical settings and really long, difficult words to spell. For example, for an examination, a doctor might dictate "pupils are equal, round, and reactive to light." With my expander I only have to type a few letters (first of each word) and it will type out the entire phrase for me. I type PAERARTL and it spells out the entire phrase. Also, doctors say "the patient" A LOT! I can type 2 letters (TP) rather than 11 and get the same thing. Let's also look at the word "triglycerides." When I first started, I would always mix up the "i" and "y". Granted, my spell check would catch this for me but the expander helps me to get it right the first time. I type TG and it spells it out (correctly). I'm telling you. This one piece of software (Instant Text) has been a lifesaver!

Salary & Taxes
Most transcription work is paid on production rather than by the hour. Work is calculated by lines (65 characters including spaces). Starting pay in the industry is anywhere from $0.06-$0.08 per line. I have done some transcription work that is by the hour but that is pretty rare. Most medical transcriptionists are considered Independent Contractors, which means that you are basically your own boss. Even if you work "for" a company they are really just contracting the work out to you. This also means that they will not withhold any taxes from your check. You will be responsible for that come April 15th. It also means that you can deduct all sorts of business expenses including the part of your home that you use for an office. In our case, because I only work part time, my taxes have never been so much that my husband's withholdings haven't covered it.

Longevity & Flexibility
One of the things that appealed to be about medical transcription is the long-term job security. I've been doing this for a little over 3 years and I don't see anything changing in the near future. The healthcare industry is growing like crazy, which is good. The other thing I love about MT is how flexible it has been for our family. I work WHENever and WHEREver. I've been able to stay home with The Little Girl during these precious preschool years and that means more to me than anything. Besides, working in your PJs isn't half bad. :)

Getting Started
If you want more information, simply request a free information packet. If you choose to enroll, let them know that I referred you and you'll receive a tuition discount. This is just another way that Career Step continues to support their graduates.

February 16, 2011

Recycle: Flat Sheet to Bed Skirt

I still haven't decided what vision I have for our guest room. Right now it is functioning as my office, and a play area for The Little Girl when I'm working, but it also has a bed in it. There is random furniture like an armoire and two nightstands but these are basically rejects from other rooms in the house. It functions okay but the bed is an eyesore. Because of where my desk is placed, the bed had no other choice but to get shoved in the corner. It currently looks like this.
I'm cringing. It's horrible. But, hey, when you need a bed it comes in handy. I'm not ready to buy a bed set for it because I'm still waiting on my "vision." Since I don't have a comforter set, I've tossed this double wedding ring quilt on top. However, it was made for a full size bed and ours is a queen. Hence the visible sheets. Ugh! Then there are the visible items under the bed. Hideous! Since my hall closet is like a 2nd pantry, under the bed has become an alternate storage area.
Today I decided to do something about it but I wasn't about to spend any money. I have an old twin size flat sheet that had gotten a hole it in it, right smack in the middle. I got to thinking that I could use the material to make a bed skirt. Who cares about the middle. I just need two sides. I love it when I can use something old and turn it into something I need. I quickly ironed the two edges of the sheet and then placed it under the mattress. I really needed some starch but I'll have to deal with that later. No, I did not iron the middle. Who cares? :)
Then, I wrapped an old, white, hospital blanket around the mattress over the sheets and laid it over the "new" bed skirt. Finally, I topped it with the quilt.
While it's far from the most beautiful guest bed I have ever seen, it certainly looks a whole lot better than it did before. And this is probably how it will stay until I make up my mind as to what I really want this room to be like.

BEFORE:
AFTER:
Ahhhh.... that's better! :)

February 14, 2011

Working from Home (guest post)

I get asked about my "at-home" job all the time. You know, the paid one. :) Today I had the opportunity to write about medical transcription, how I got started, and my favorite perks. You can view the full post at Spend Less and Save More.

Stick around because in the next few days I plan to give my readers an in-depth look at the specifics of MT including training, pay, and work schedule.

If you don't want to miss it, be sure to subscribe to my updates via RSS feed, Google Reader or email.

February 11, 2011

REVIEW: The Hunger Games (Suzanne Collins)

This book is 1 of 3 in a series that has become wildly popular. Almost every reader I know has read this book (or the entire series) and loved it. Me, not so much. Not at all actually.

First of all, it's futuristic and I'm usually not good with that. In this book, the setting is in North America where, for one reason or the other, the United States no longer exists. It's now the land of Panem, which is 12 Districts ruled by one, not so very nice, Capitol. Because of the rebellion of District 13 back in the day, each remaining district is required to send 1 boy and 1 girl (via a completely rigged lottery system) to fight in the Hunger Games. Basically, they are sent to duke it out among 23 other "tributes" until the last person remains. Literally.

Secondly, the whole idea of The Capitol and the unfair practices they promote are sickening. They dole out the food, the electricity, the supplies. Everything. It's no surprise that they are pretty stingy with the goods. People die from starvation in the Districts every single day. All the while, folks at The Capitol are living high on the hog too busy to notice or even care about what's going on in the rest of their world. It was a little to realistic and possible for me to want to think about. Let's just say that I went to bed being extra thankful for heat and food this week.

Thirdly, the tyrannic theme that runs throughout the book was very unsettling to me. I was anxious the whole time I was reading. Not because the book was a page turner but because I was in constant fear of what unfair practice the Capitol would rationalize next or what impossible task they would require. I've never been a fan of not having free will. The Capitol basically eliminates all hope of that for their people. Sure, you can make whatever choice you want but it comes at a high consequence for you (and mostly likely your family too).

I will admit that the author writes in such a way that keeps you wanting to know more and wanting to find out what the outcome is. Maybe that's what all the hype is about. It definitely got a bit better in part 2 of the book (The Games). However, there is an underlying romance being developed between the main character (Katniss) and her fellow District 12 tribute (Peeta) that I thought was poor, at best. I feel certain that this develops even further in the remainder of the series but I won't be picking up the next book to find out. Though, the book breaks at a point where fans of the book will HAVE to run out and pick up the next one to get the complete story of how The Hunger Games ends.

I've been a nervous wreck for days just trying to finish this book. The storyline made me physically anxious. No, not kidding. It captured enough of my interest to try to stick it out and see if it were salvageable but, alas, it's not for me. I honestly think I made my mind up somewhere in the middle (maybe even before) that, if I could just finish this one, I would leave it alone. These characters are still on my mind but I've read the reviews of the future books and it looks like things get a lot worse before they get better. In my mind, this book was bad enough. That's gonna be an "over and out" for me.

Today: Preschool Crafts on Snow Day

Today is snow day number one million. Seriously, I have honest to goodness lost track at this point. My poor girl is going to be stuck in school until 4th of July (kidding).

Anyway, school was closed today. Again. This is week 3 of me working like crazy, which means that I have been desperately missing sweet time with my girl. I decided to forgo my MOPS meeting (with childcare) to ensure that we got to spend quality time together today with a little bit of work thrown in when she wasn't paying attention (read: Watching Toy Story 3).

Since I'm not a fan of the snow, and because the low this morning was 8 (Brrrr!) I had to come up with some ideas to keep us busy inside. My girl loves crafts so this is what we did today.

First up was these Love Birds made from foam hearts. This idea came from Moments of Mommyhood.
Next, I made up this cutting activity. I drew 2 circles, 1 square and 1 rectangle. She cut them out, then arranged them and glued them down making the shape of a truck.
This is a counting game that I created by cutting out numbers and then asked her to put the correct number of "beads" under each. These are just the little decorative rocks that you can get at Hobby Lobby or any craft store. We counted the numbers in increasing and decreasing order.
Next up was painting. I sketched a quick rainbow and filled her palette with 6 different colors. She did really well at remembering to wash out her brush between colors. :)
Then, there is the infamous Target box that has been around all week and was still going strong today. She has all of her markers inside and has been coloring away like crazy. This one box has provided HOURS of fun!
The last project of the day was this Valentine card that we made by ripping pieces of paper and then gluing them into a pre-traced heart shape. She said this was her favorite! Good thing I saved it for last. ;)
Overall, it's been a pretty good day. I was so thankful to be able to restore part of our bond that has fell through the cracks with my work schedule. Hopefully I only have another week or so before the project gets completed and things can get back to normal around here. Whatever normal is anyway... :)

February 10, 2011

Breastfeeding in Tennessee

Did you know that you can nurse your baby anywhere you want at any time you like in the State of Tennessee? You can. Nursing in public is protected by law. Isn't that great?!?!

Well, until they reach 12 months of age. The law no longer protects nursing mothers from indecent exposure once their child has crossed the 1 year mark.

There are NUMEROUS reasons why I would encourage you to continue to breastfeed beyond the 12 month mark. The benefits are amazing for both baby AND mom!

Currently, there is a bill being introduced which would remove the 12 month age restriction that is currently spelled out in the law. It's Senate Bill 0083 which was introduced this year by Senator Faulk after he was contacted by a TN breastfeeding mother.

This past Sunday, the Tennessean ran an article with some great statistics about the current state of breastfeeding in our state and what this bill would mean for us. Let's just say that we can do better in TN!

However, the bill currently only has one sponsor and it has to be filed by the 17th. That gives us just one week to encourage our elected officials to take notice and get on board.

Here's what you can do. First, find your legislator and contact them. You can call or e-mail them or BOTH!

I drafted a quick letter (see below) and emailed it to my local representatives. Feel free to copy my letter and change it as you see fit. A quick copy & paste will take you less than 60 seconds. Do it! Please? For all future nursing mothers. It just might be you one day. Maybe it's you right now. ;)

My legislators:

Good morning,

I am writing today to encourage you to support Senate Bill 0083. I'm delighted that the State of Tennessee is moving forward to encourage mothers to continue to give their babies the best nourishment possible, breast milk. There are numerous statistics available as well as statements by the World Health Organization (WHO) as well as the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) which show numerous benefits of continuing the breastfeeding relationship beyond 12 months. There are ample health benefits for both mom and baby when breastfeeding is continued past the first year. Therefore, I deeply urge you to support this bill.

Thank you in advance for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,


February 8, 2011

Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors

So, I came across this band the other day, Drew Holcomb and The Neighbors.

I fell in love with the title track to their new album. More accurately, I fell for their new video Fire & Dynamite. There is just something about this video that grabbed a piece of my heart. I think it's just the people. They all look so "normal." I love normal people. Not fancy schmancy, just normal-looking people like me. Some of these folks are really beautiful. Normal can be breathtaking sometimes if you just stop and pay attention. Then, there is the way the video was cut with color and black & white shots. LOVE! Plus, the camera angles managed to capture some of the neatest little things. The little things get me every time. Every. Time. Check it out:


Anyway, as it turns out, my new favorite band released a new album today called Chasing Someday. It's available on iTunes and Amazon. You can actually get a $2 credit on Amazon by following these steps.
  • Click here and select the "Buy From Amazon" button.
  • Choose the option for "Give Album or Song as Gift." (THIS STEP IS KEY)
  • Give the gift to yourself (hehe) and use code VDAYMP3S at checkout.
  • It will deduct $2 from your total.
So, go grab yourself some free music and let me know if you love the video and song as much as I do.

I doubt it. I'm pretty head over heels right now. ;)

February 5, 2011

I'm not a bad speller but my fingers are.

I misspell things a lot but it's not my fault. I blame it on my fingers and my job.

See...

At work, I use a text expander. A text expander allows me to type just a few letters of a word and it "expands" the rest of the word for me. For example, for the phrase "a lot of", I simply type ALO. For words like "definitely" and "absolutely" and "approximately" I only have to type the first few letters and Voila! the word appears. I have to be a super fast typer in my line of work and I don't have time to stop and contemplate spelling rules like "i before e" and "double letters" and all the exceptions. I get paid for production, not for pauses.

However, I have noticed after working for entended periods of time that I start to misspell words in email and in social media conversations. I hate it! I can't stand misspelled words or incorrect uses of words (there vs. their), mainly because I have to be so exact in my job. I'm trained to catch these types of errors but I also have several tools in my bag to help me so that I can work quickly.

Without my "tools" it seems I have to be even more vigilant to catch spelling and grammar errors, but it's hard to slow down after I've been moving along so quickly at work.

Anyway, I guess this is a disclaimer that I want to be a good speller and I am a good speller but my fingers still want to type it the way they do at work. Muscle memory is a very interesting thing.

Attention Grammar and Spelling Police: How many errors are in this post?

February 1, 2011

My Salute to Working Moms


This week is shaping up to look a lot like last week where I'm working darn near close to full time hours. Granted, I am at home but my (paid) job means SOLID hours of work. I don't have one of those cushy office jobs where I get to check email, make personal phone calls, and update my status on Facebook. (Not saying that all working moms have this luxury either. Just trying to make a point that when I'm working 25-30 hours a week, I am working those hours).

Honestly, I don't know how you working moms do it. Here's why...

I'm a wreck. I'm exhausted. Not only are the hours long but my job is mentally tiring. I'm in pain. Sitting in a chair for 8 solid hours a day is not my cup of tea. I like to be able to get up and move but I can't exactly walk and type at the same time. My neck is stiffer than a board and it feels like my shoulders are in my ears. I would love to make a visit to the chiropractor but, alas, there is no time. Just when I think I'm caught up more work comes in. Then there's mommy guilt. Guilt for neglecting my household chores. Guilt for sticking my child in front of the TV or getting frustrated when she wants me to play with her or read to her. Guilt for not having time for my husband. Basically, it makes me feel like a big pile of worthlessness. This feeling alone may keep me from ever entering the outside workforce again.

My kid is a wreck. The Little Girl is definitely showing signs off ADD, as in lack of attention. She's extra whiney and trust me when I say she is whiney enough on a regular day so this is over the top. She's also going through one of her I'm-Not-Gonna-Sleep phases. While this is not terribly unusual for my child, it makes it extra difficult for a work-from-home mom to get her work done. I also think part of it is a ploy to get more attention. She's smart I tell ya. Because she hasn't been sleeping and because she's extra needy right now, she's had some interesting days at school. Not the worst, but not her best, by far. It does make me feel slightly better that she's not sleeping for them either but that's par for the course when she's hell bent on defying the sleep charts. [Side note: It's now 9:32 pm and she is still awake even though I put her to bed at 8:00 *sigh*]

My house is a wreck. You know the saying "it looks like a tornado blew through here" and "it looks like a bomb went off?" Yeah, well, you could easily apply both of those cliches to my house right now. Laundry has gone unfinished and I am pretty religious about my laundry routine. Dishes are piled high. Floors are unswept. Beds are not made (cringe) and there are at least 141 items out of place at this moment. My inner type A is about to have a come apart. Let's be honest, if I don't clean it or put it back in it's place, there is a high degree of certainty that it will stay just like it is. Don't believe me? Here's proof.
Exhibit A: This is probably the worst of it but I "feel" like my entire house looks like this.

Our finances are NOT a wreck. YAY! The extra money has certainly been a blessing. This is the slow time of year at work for the hubs and my paycheck will help tremendously. However, the old saying is true: It takes money to make money. Because I have been working so much, there are certain purchases that have slipped in. For example, after working all day long with more work still left to do after dinner, there is NO WAY I am making dinner (not that I had time) or cleaning up said dinner. Therefore, we ordered pizza. Also, I usually make hubby's lunch for work. Not this week or last week either. So, lunch is another non-budgeted cost. [Side note: As I'm typing this I realized I have yet to make hubby's lunch for tomorrow *sigh*]

How's hubby, you ask? Honestly, he's fine. He's the only one. He's happy for the extra money and has graciously agreed to help out here and there around the house. While I appreciate his efforts, since I wouldn't have survived these 2 weeks without him, his housekeeping skills are no match for mine and I think he would agree. Love you babe!

In Conclusion. The combination of the "wrecks" have caused a state of utter chaos at our house right now. We are spending too much time looking for misplaced things and trying to compensate (at the last minute) for things that got overlooked. We are in a very RE-active state of motion. I much prefer PRO-active because it literally does save time and money. There is a lot that goes into running a home and, around here, it is usually a one-woman show. My absence "in" the home is showing. Big Time. Therefore, working outside the home or working full-time from home is just not for me or our family right now. Hubby may disagree with me here but, based on the events of the last two weeks, I am certain that we would have to hire a chef, a maid, and an after-school nanny in order for me to go back to work. Otherwise, it is very possible that I might loose my mind. Considering the above costs, I think we actually make out a little better if I stay home. Besides, less mommy guilt. Whew!

Anyway, I stand in awe of working mothers. I can't fathom how you do it.

Now, please excuse me while I go pass out in my unmade bed with sheets that haven't been changed in who knows when. Is it Friday yet?