Momstown Week Three: Getting Organized: Get Into the Flow

**I know this is a little early, but the kids are staying with Grandpa & Grandma, so I have to take advantage of the time**

So the first paragraph had my name all over it. I am someone who is always trying to get organized, but I never feel like I accomplish it. I have set aside Sunday as a day that I will spend time getting myself ready for the week.

I feel a little ahead of the game in that I already have a planner, I just need to add some things to it to make it a little more personal and user friendly. I love the idea of the HOT IRON task of the day. (I am so this person: “Often we try to do too much as moms and can fall into the trap of trying to do five things at once and not getting any of them finished.” P. 58) I am making it my goal this week to post my Hot Iron task at the beginning of the day (or the night before) and post whether or not it got done and how it went. Wish me luck on that one.

I am a little nervous about the running task list. I think if I sat down right now and began writing, I would have a million things on there. (Probably a small exaggeration.) By Sunday, I want to have a list of at least 5 things that I think are important.

What do you think about the idea of Mastering the Quarter Hour? This seemed perfect for the life of a mom. There are times when it feels like I only have about 15 minutes before the next event, task etc. begins. This could be something that will help me tremendously.

The idea of a home office made me laugh a little. I have a home office, but it looks like an area of our home that needs some help (think national disaster). I am trying to decide whether or not to post pictures of the craziness that it my home office. But with pictures up, that would provide some serious motivation to get it cleaned up and in better shape.

Which leads me to another idea . . . do I dare post pictures of some of the clutter areas with a goal of having some of them cleaned up by the end of the week? I can’t decide whether or not I am brave enough for this one.

The Night Before routine also seems like something that would make all the difference in the world. I’m excited to see where we end up at week’s end.

My Writing Career

Here I am in the coffee shop again. I would look like most important and aspiring writers if I didn’t bring my laptop into the store in a bag that reads, “My Books are Friends that Never Fail Me” and maybe if my computer screen had fewer Rice Krispie treat smudges. But all in all, here I sit and I am ready to write.

Momstown: Week Two Review

This week, I think things went a little better. The bed was made more and the journal writing is becoming something that is naturally incorporating itself into my routine. I made some notes about what I learned about myself after completing all of the assessments. These were very eye opening.

This week I said no to an obligation. It was difficult but it was worth it. I had to tell a little white lie to get out of it, but I feel better about not needing to go. (I’d love to hear your take on this one. I didn’t want to lie, but it was either that, or I say, actually I just don’t want to come to your party. Is there another alternative?)

I had an interesting take on the whole “husband doesn’t get it” this week. Husband has been home a lot more lately. He has always been very helpful as far as the kids go and stuff getting done around the house, but this week he stepped in a little more and picked up Son from preschool and made breakfast a couple days. Also, having more time together meant that we had more time for conversation.

I threw away the maternity pants. I hope that you are standing in your living room cheering for me as it was a difficult ordeal. They were my favorite workout pants. They were black (so obviously, that means they made me look thin, right?) and they always fit. I said a teary goodbye and dumped them. To avoid the temptation of taking them back, I put them out in the big trash can. They are gone forever.

Husband and I went to the Parent’s Information Night at Son’s preschool. (I know where you think this is headed and no I did not wear and evening gown) However, I did swap out those “mommy” clothes for jeans, a new shirt in a color that I love and some girly sandals. It really does feel different to leave the house in real clothes. When I tell Husband I am leaving the house in real clothes, he always says, “As opposed to being naked?” They really don’t get it.

I did fall behind on writing the article. I know, two weeks in a row. It really is something that I want to get done. Especially after reading page 52 and answering some of the questions. I have wanted to be a writer since the 7th grade. I can remember my teacher telling me that one day, I would be a great writer. I want to get back into this, but finding the time is tough. I need to make it more of a priority. As you can see, I haven’t written much as far as the blog is concerned either.

And so, Sunday begins a new week.

Redbox Movie Code for Monday, August 25, 08

Here is the code for today:


It came through early this morning, so you have plenty of time to pick up a movie.

Happy Movie Watching!!

My Blog: My Voice

I have to admit after reading one of comments attached to It’s Official, I am the Parent of a Preschooler, I was pretty frustrated. I thought about it (way too much) and obviously decided to respond with a comment. That wasn’t really enough as I continued to think about it. Comments like this may be partially my fault in that I haven’t really laid out for everyone what I want my blog to be and what purpose it serves not only for myself but others.

This blog was designed as a place to document and talk about deals. So many people I know are always asking about the deals and how they work, and I wanted to have a place to record them and provide instruction for others.

This blog was designed to record funny things that happen in my life as a mother. Everyday, something interesting happens. Everyday I find myself cracking up laughing and wanting to share that with someone else.

This blog was designed to help myself and other mothers. I wanted to create a blog that mothers might come to if they needed a good laugh. I wanted mothers to have a place where they could find encouragement; where someone is working to make her life better and they could follow along.

There are so many negative things that pull at us; so many people who are unhappy and want to drag everyone else down with them. Please pay attention: if this is you, this blog is not for you. There are plenty of other blogs people use as outlets for their negativity. Please go find one of those. You will fit right in there.

As for the rest of you: my apologies. I hate drama. I want to avoid it at all cost. This feels like drama, but I think if I don’t address it, it will get worse.

Resort Life

Resort life was awesome! We had such a great time! The time spent at the pool was wonderful! With both kids being able to swim, things were very easy.(I have been meaning to do a review of ISR, but just haven't got around to it yet.) We ordered a lot of room service and had a great time shopping at the mall. There is nothing better than to escape regular life and make time to just relax and recharge.

And so, I am back and ready to tackle the week. How is Momstown going? I'm looking forward to going over week two again. There was a lot of information and a lot to work on. I didn't get my article written (see last weeks goals) but I did find time with the kids to just enjoy the moment and enjoy being with them.

Signing Out for the Weekend

I am getting ready to head out of town for the weekend! Yippee! A mini-vacation. There is a resort, a few pools and room service calling my name. (By the way, have I mentioned that I have the best mom in the world!) She is rescuing the kids and I and my sister and taking us away!

I will be back Monday and hopefully we will all be caught back up with Momstown. In the meantime, I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

It’s Official: I am the Parent of a Preschooler

Apparently, I am missing a large chunk of time. You see, it feels like just yesterday, we brought Son home from the hospital. We drove 25 mph going home from the hospital that day because we wanted to be extra careful. I remember laying him down and thinking that his crib was enormous. The “Little Prince” was the beginning of an amazing life change for Husband and I.

And so today, he went to preschool. From the moment he woke up, he was ready to go; ready to meet his friends; ready to work in the centers; ready to play on the playground. Husband, Son, Daughter, and I walked hand in hand to the classroom. We had taken about 50 pictures this morning. I had to be sure to get every angle of the moment. He looked adorable in his button down shirt with his “big boy” Cars backpack.

We had kissed him goodbye, washed his hands, made sure he didn’t need to go potty. We were all set to leave. I took one last look at him and I had two thoughts: (This is pretty common for me in case you hadn’t noticed)

1. There goes our little man. That tiny little baby we held in our arms. He looks so grown up!

2. He is so smart and witty and I just know that all of the kids and teachers are just going to adore him!

I held my breath as started into the classroom. But he paused for a minute. With a huge smile across his face, he walked right up to the teacher, told her his name and then proceeded to ask, “Hey, are you my girlfriend?” Again, I had two thoughts:

1. I am going to kill Dad (Son’s PaPa) when I see him! (This week he asked Son about “girlfriends” and if he was planning to pick any up at school.

2. Whose kid is that?

And so, our journey begins. I can see many more moments like this in our future.

Walgreens Coupon for 8/22 & 8/23

Yipee! A Walgreens coupon. If you haven't purchases your Free After Rebate items for this month, now is the time to do it.

Momstown - Update

I have heard from a few of you that we may have started out a little fast and some of you need some time to catch up.

What if we plan to start week two again on Monday? Let me know if that will get everyone caught up.

You can leave comments here, or you can always email me at thisrealmommy @ yahoo . com (without the spaces).

Redbox code for Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Today's code is:


Happy Movie Watching!

From a Husband's Point of View

I just came across this post the other day! It was so funny and so true. I can't wait to send it to Husband to see how much he can relate to. I know that many of you will get a kick out of it too!

I Married a Couponaholic: 5 Ways Life Has Changed ~ Frugal In Virginia

Ragu and Skippy

(It sounds like the title of a cute children's book. Yet another way that couponing and fnding deals could lead to making money.)

This week at Walgreens, you can buy 6 jars of Ragu spaghetti sauce or 6 jars of Skippy peanut butter for $10. After the purchase, you will receive a $4 Register Reward. I added coupons from the paper on Sunday for both the Ragu and Skippy and my shopping trips came out like this:

6 Skippy Peanut Butter $10.00
(3) coupons for $1/2 = $10 - $3 = $7
Register Reward $7 - $4 (to be used on the next purchase – not to be used on the same deal again) = $3 or .50 each

Same exact thing for the Ragu. You can mix and match the two and get the same outcome.

We use a lot of peanut butter and spaghetti sauce (typically not together), so this was a deal worth stocking up on for us.

The “D” Factor

I don’t believe in astrology. However, I am a Leo and Leos are real weirdos when it comes to their hair. If you can believe it, their whole day can be ruined by a bad hair day. On the flip side, a great haircut, great color, and a great style can make everything better. The world can seem brighter if there is no frizz!

And so, I believe that everyone (even if you aren’t a Leo) needs a “D.” She is a lifesaver. She is the person that you can turn to and lay all of your hair problems down. You can cry about them or laugh about them and either way, she has a plan.

When I was pregnant with Daughter, I was really struggling. Let’s face it, no one wants to look fat and waddle around. While maternity clothes have come along way, sometimes it takes all that you’ve got to walk out in those elastic waist pants and not think that the end of the world is near. The tops could pass for car covers and there is just no way to go unnoticed. People look at pregnant women.

And so, I was in the pregnant woman funk. My sister insisted that I go to a “real” haircut place. She saw someone at Toni & Guy and decided that’s where I had to go. Her regular person wasn’t there, but “D” was. I flopped down on the chair and she asked what I wanted to do. I said the magic words, “Just do something to it. I hate it the way it is and I don’t want to look like a stay at home mom.” I vaguely remember her chuckling under her breath and leading me over to the washing center.

When she was done, I was amazed. I was a new woman. I looked modern and had an actual hairstyle! I didn’t look like I had just rolled out of bed. The best part? I didn’t just want to sneak out the door in my comfy clothes anymore. I put makeup on again. I felt totally revived. Can I dare say, “She changed my life!” (Imagine me walking into a salon and handing someone a homemade hairstyle Emmy. Ha ha.)

All of this is to say, that sometimes, it is worth finding the perfect person to transform you. I still see “D” to this day. I had an appointment Saturday. She was just back from maternity leave. It felt great to sit down in the chair, and hear again, “So, what are we doing this time?”

Momstown Week Two: The Gal Identity

My goals for the week:

1. Bed made every day

2. Journal at least three times (in the happy journal)

3. 10-15 minutes each day with the kids (individually if possible) and just realize how much I appreciate my time with them

4. Say no to an obligation

5. Grab a garbage bag and go through the closet and get rid of some stuff

6. Start an anti-clutter list

7. Do a fun activity (without the kids) that I haven’t done in the past two months (I am choosing to write and article for an online site.)

I know, pretty steep goals. There is a ton of stuff in the chapter this week. It took me a while to read over everything and digest it. It was interesting to take the quizzes again. I had marked my answers in the book from the last time I read it. (Son was about 6 months old, I think.) The good news is the some of the answers have changed for the better. The bad news – I have fallen back into some of the old habits.

There is no way that I am posting my scores on some of the tests. A couple of times, my answers surprised me. Again, the good news is that I have a goal and a direction that I need to go.

I hate to admit it, but I have a pair of workout pants that I love to wear. Not so bad right? Well, it is if you just want to wear with all the time when you are hanging out at home. And, it gets worse; they are maternity pants. There, I said it. I feel much better now. I think if they go in the trash tonight, I will be much better off and it will put me in the mindset to go into the closet and make some changes.

I already did the haircut thing yesterday. Cut and some color. It makes a big difference. Everyone should have a miracle worker like I have. I owe her a whole post!!

Anything interesting stand out to anyone else?

The Journal Dilemma

So last week I went to pick out a new journal for the Momstown project. I did not need a new journal. It probably would have been best to use the journal that I started last time. It would remind me every time I opened it that I can’t quit again. But of course, a new one seemed like a much better idea.

So I went shopping. Barnes and Noble had a large selection of journals and I looked through almost all of them. I knew that I wanted lined pages and obviously, one that would be compatible with my larger handwriting. But to me the most important criteria was the outside cover. I wanted something inspirational without being cheesy; something funny, without being stupid; something spunky without being anti-social. It came down to 2 journals and I went back and forth. They were both “me” but displayed different aspects. And so, I decided on both.

And now for the justification: (because obviously, I didn’t need both)

One is a beautiful blue hardcover with this quote on the front: “Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly.” I have deemed this my Momstown journal to record my successes and triumphs. The journal that I will be able to track my progress in and receive encouragement by looking back on how far I have come.

And then, there is the other journal. It’s a soft cover journal with a picture of a woman from the 50’s. (The Donna Reid who vacuums in pearls) She has a white smile with ruby red lips. The caption reads: “high maintenance doesn’t begin to cover it.” I have deemed this the “evil in my heart” journal. All complaining, criticizing, whining, and blaming can be done here.

Interesting, huh? At least I didn’t choose the “medicated and motivated” housewife one!

Momstown Week One – Summary

Saying that I blew it this week would probably be an understatement. I would like to blame it on Husband. (He has been home more than usual, and so kind of throws the schedule off a little), but alas, it is my own fault. Here’s how things have stacked up this week:

1. I did make the bed everyday this week. I have to admit, it does make a difference. It is nice to have one place in the house that is free of toys and clutter and looks complete. Even if the room isn’t perfect, at least the bed looks good. It does provide some time to think about the day and how it is going to go. My next challenge will really be this weekend. Those days are usually lazy days.

2. Here it is; the update post. Check that one off the list.

3. The journal – Okay this one is such a bummer. I wrote on Sunday and Monday, but that was it. This is interesting considering that we have so much going on right now. There is a lot to write about, I just haven’t taken the time. I can’t lie – I want to blame this one on Husband too because he has been home, but it is me. I am going to write tonight. That will put me up to three.

4. So I did the mantra. I am so uncreative when it comes to something like this. I still feel a little silly saying it out loud. I even tested out saying it in front of the kids. Son and Daughter looked at me as if the men in the white coats were coming to take me away to the padded room. It’s a fond memory that I will treasure forever. Anyway, the mantra is, “I have the potential to be everything I dream of being.” (Yes, it is straight from one of the suggestions in the book.)

I loved the “Gal Truths.” I jotted them down in the journal to give me some quick points to think about.

What did everyone else think about the first chapter and the first week?

Momstown Week One: The Gal Starter Tools

So I read through chapter one and set some goals for myself.

1. Make the bed everyday before I leave the room in the morning. (I have been working on this one for about two weeks as I thought about staring this book again.)

2. Post on Friday or Saturday with an update on the goals and opinions on the chapter.

3. (Diary sounds kind of childish – so I just want to call it a journal) Write in the journal at least three times this week. I want to try to write either before the kids get up or after they have gone to bed.

4. Come up with a mantra. This one seems a little tough for me. I know that for it to work for me, it needs to be short, sweet, and to the point. It will be done by Friday or Saturday.

And so, it begins.

My Mosaic

My Mosaic
Originally uploaded by thisrealmommy
To Make Your Own, Answer the Following Questions:

1. What is your first name?
2. What is your favorite food?
3. What high school did you go to?
4. What is your favorite color?
5. Who is your celebrity crush?
6. What is your favorite drink?
7. What is your dream vacation?
8. What is your favorite dessert?
9. What did you want to be when you grow up?
10. What do you love most in life?
11. What is one word that describes you?
12. What is your flickr name?

1. Then type your answer to each of the questions into
Flickr Search.

2. Use only the first page of results, and pick one image.
3. Copy and paste each of the URLs for the images into
Big Huge Lab's Mosaic Maker
to create a mosaic of the picture answers (3 columns 4 rows).

Email me your Mosaic: thisrealmommy @ yahoo . com

A Mother’s Proud Moment

This morning, I heard Son playing in the laundry room. He was pretending to be David from the story of David and Goliath in the Bible. I can hear that he is swinging something over his head and he is just letting that “giant” have it.

My initial thoughts:

One, those bedtime Bible story readings are really working! The information in getting in! We are doing such a good job as parents!

Two, we don’t own a slingshot, so he must have found something else to use. He is so creative. I must have a genius on my hands!

Then, reality hit as I walked around the corner to see what was going on. Son was swinging something over his head; just not what I expected. It was lingerie (and not just a pretty nightgown). Yes, he was trying to put a ball in it and swinging it around. I can only imagine what my face looked like.

Son says, “I found a slingshot Mommy! Can I take it outside and use a rock?”

My final thoughts:

One, can you imagine the neighbors looking over the fence to see Son with said item in his hands, swinging it over his head, filled with rocks, yelling at imaginary giant?

Two, how much is this going to cost me in therapy one day?

The Estimation of the Problem

Dad- This post is just for you. I hate to admit it, especially in writing, on the internet, forever to be seen by others, but . . . . you were right.

If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself, but to your estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment.

Marcus Aurelius Antoninus

Interesting, isn’t it? When you really stop and think about what he is saying. We (okay - - I) have a tendency to blame stress and frustration on all types of external things. But that isn’t really where it comes from. It comes from within me. I am the world’s worst at not being able to let things go. If it bothers me, I end up thinking about it way too much.

And so, it isn’t the issues, it’s me. The issues, I can’t change. There isn’t anything else that I can do to fix them, make them better, or change in terms of the outcome . But, I can change me. I can change the way that I look at things. I can change how much time I spend worrying. I can change my estimation of the problem. I can realize that I have the power to revoke it at any time.

Conversation with Son in the Car

Me: “Stupid idiot! Why don’t you learn how to drive?” (said to man who cut me off and then slammed on the brakes)

Son: What did you say to the man Mommy?

Me: I just think he needs to learn how to drive.

Son: Why doesn’t he know how to drive?

Me: I guess no one ever taught him.

Son: Is it because he is stupid?

Me: Son, we don’t say stupid!

Son: But you just said the man was stupid.

Me: Oh.

Son: You should say you are sorry. That wasn’t very nice.

Me: Good idea.

(a short pause)

Son: You should tell him before he drives away.

Me: I’m sorry.

Lesson learned: Mommy needs to have music playing in the car at all times and learn to speak under her breath.

Just an Idea . . . .

Has anyone ever read The Momstown Guide to Getting It All (A Life Makeover for Stay-at-Home Moms)? I started it a long time ago (after Son was born) but didn’t finish reading it and didn’t really give it a chance. I’ve since picked it back up and wanted to start again, but I have run into a little trouble.

In the first chapter, you need to gather “tools” that will help you with the process of getting a life. I am missing my Ethel; someone to be accountable to, someone to be able to share the ups and the downs with. (Just like I Love Lucy) Thus, my idea , , , ,

Maybe I am not the only person having a tough time finding Ethel. Maybe it would be fun to try and read something like this with a group and have everyone be able to add their input and share their opinions about what they are reading. Maybe, this would be the perfect outlet to keeping me accountable to do the reading and actually apply it. I wanted to start Monday (8/11) and follow it through for the whole ten weeks. I can’t decide whether to commit to posting about the book on Mondays and Fridays or just start the book and see where it goes.

I would love to hear everyone’s ideas about this and if anyone else is interested. You can check the book out from the library (free) and I think you need a journal (everyone has some paper laying around their house) so it won’t cost anything.

So, here’s the deal: If you are interested – post in the comments and let me know. I know that people are reading and checking the blog, but not posting comments. No worries, I am a “lurker” on quite a few blogs and I never post anything. If this is you, take the chance!

The Momstown Guide to Getting It All: A Life Makeover for Stay-at-Home Moms by Mary Goulet and Heather Reider

(Miss Maggie & ACDC this is for you) Anyone else have any ideas on a fiction book that we could read, discuss, etc?

Good In Bed

I knew that would get your attention. I am coming back from what feels like a long hiatus and I needed something to get the readers back. I figured this title would help the blog pick up a few more hits from Google. (ha, ha)

During my vacation, I did read Good in Bed by Jennifer Weiner. I had never heard of the book before, but came across it one someone else’s blog. I think it was part of their recommended summer reading. I’m glad I went out on a limb on this one.

Just carrying the book around on the plane and in the airport was an interesting experience. The cover is interesting and the title certainly peaks people’s interest. I wasn’t sure what to expect. At first, I thought this would be one more romance novel with a predictable storyline and a perfect ending. That was not the case; all issues were not perfectly resolved at the end.

The book is worth reading just to experience the main characters sarcasm and outlook on life! Here is the summary given by the publisher: (I always give away too much or not enough information)

For twenty-eight years, things have been tripping along nicely for Cannie Shapiro. Sure, her mother has come charging out of the closet, and her father has long since dropped out of her world. But she loves her friends, her rat terrier, Nifkin, and her job as pop culture reporter for The Philadelphia Examiner. She's even made a tenuous peace with her plus-size body.
But the day she opens up a national women's magazine and sees the words "Loving a Larger Woman" above her ex-boyfriend's byline, Cannie is plunged into misery...and the most amazing year of her life. From Philadelphia to Hollywood and back home again, she charts a new course for herself: mourning her losses, facing her past, and figuring out who she is and who she can become.

If you need a good laugh and an easy read, you have to check this one out at the library.

Redbox Movie Code for Monday, August 4, 08

Hope some of you can still use the code, even though it is a little late.


Happy Movie Watching!

Catching Up

Things have been a little hectic around here with tons of things going on! I have not disappeared. I think I am just a little loopy from vacation still. I am looking forward to tomorrow and the beginning of a regular week again.

I'm working on deals for this upcoming week (Walgreens and CVS) and trying to put some things together . . . .

Will be catching up on the blog soon.

A Note to Husband

Just wanted to say, thanks for not drinking the kool-aid any more. (Ha Ha) I am so proud of you and so is the lawyer!