Wednesday, May 26, 2010

I Have A Problem....And It Is Me...

My name is Lisa and I have a procrastination problem. And a problem starting projects that never get finished. I have been thinking a lot about these problems these last few weeks and think I have figured out part of my issues. I'm a perfectionist. Perfectionists can be paralyzed by fear - fear of failure, fear of less than perfection, fear of inadequacy...these fears can cause a person to not act at all because no action is better than trying and failing. Perfectionism also causes a person to expect the first try to be perfect...if it's not, the project/activity is deemed to be a failure and is abandoned. That's pretty much me to a T.

I'm working very hard at starting things and finishing them. I'm working very hard at finishing things I've abandoned. I'm working very hard on breaking up big, overwhelming projects into smaller, more manageable mini-projects.

I started and finished the master bath curtains in one day. I've started the master bedroom curtains and hope to finish them this week.

Bigger hanging up all the pictures left to hang up in the new house, losing weight, keeping up with cleaning the house, catching up on scrapbooking...I've decided to take baby steps every day. Instead of saying I have to hang up all the pictures and since I have only 15 minutes today I can't do anything, I'll see what I can do in 15 minutes. Instead of starting a major diet and exercise program, I've decided to walk the kids to and from school everyday and add at least 15 minutes of exercise would be better to do an hour and have it structured, but 15 minutes is better than none. Instead of waiting until I have a huge block of time to do some major cleaning, I'll take 15 minutes and clean all the mirrors in the house. Instead of spending a week-end scrapbooking, I'll spend 15 minutes labeling digital pictures while I watch t.v. at night. It may take me longer, but progress is progress, and I may surprise myself with how much I can get done in small increments of time.

I hope to beat this procrastination problem and get some things done so I can move on to other, more exciting adventures. We'll see how that goes!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Shopping Requirements

I like to shop. I used to love to shop; but then we had three kids, moved to a better suburb and spent all our money on our house, I got a little older, gained a little weight, and now, well, I like to shop but I don't love it as much as I did.

Where I like to shop has changed as well. In my younger, thinner days, I enjoyed shopping for clothes. When my boys were babies and I was in complete control of their wardrobes, I enjoyed shopping for kids' clothes and supplies. Now I like shopping for food and kitchen gadgets. I could spend hours in a well-lit, big grocery store. Days in Williams-Sonoma.

After exploring some grocery stores around here, I have decided that I have shopping standards (which apply to any store, not just grocery stores):

  1. Your store must be clean. I do not want to leave and feel an immediate urge to shower. I don't want to feel like I need to Purell my hands (and, if I'm wearing flip-flops, my feet) after I walk out of your store. If you are a grocery store, you sell cleaning supplies, therefore you get them at cost. Please use them on your own store. Thank you. [Sidebar: My favorite store is, big surprise, Target. One day when I was in there, I overheard a store manager tell a customer something to the effect that their floor cleaning budget for a month was more than many stores' budgets for the whole store for a year. I may be exagerating a bit, but the point is, their floors are always clean and sparkly because they are willing to shell out the big bucks. I appreciate that. And so do my flip-flop clad feet.]
  2. I want to be able to get down the aisle with the big-ass cart you provide. If you have the semi-truck sized cart with seats for toddlers, please make sure your aisles are wide enough to maneuver such big carts. And for crying out loud, don't stock the store during morning hours when moms are shopping with their children. Even if you are open 24/7, don't you think it would be better to stock during off hours when there (a) aren't many people shopping and (b) almost no one using the gigantic shopping carts?
  3. Please don't make me pay for my shopping cart. OK, so I get my quarter back when I return the cart, big deal. I usually don't have a quarter with me. If my children haven't "borrowed" it from me to buy a bubblegum ball, then I've tossed it in the change jar at home. Also, I'm a bit embarrassed that I can't figure out how to put my money in and get my cart. I don't want to ask the 80 year old grandmother who just whipped the quarter out of her change purse, said "abracadabra" and got her shopping cart what I am doing wrong.
  4. Please, please, please for the love of God, make your cashiers be polite and friendly. I know they are probably only making minimum wage and don't want to be there. That, frankly, is not my problem. I don't think it will kill them to say "Hello." "Thank you." "Have a nice day." It's called manners...good manners, no less.
  5. If you have carts for shopping and carrying purchases out to my car, please have a "cart corral" in the parking lot. After spending money in your store, I don't want to walk the cart all the way back to the store. I'm an American, I'm a bit lazy. But I'm also Catholic, so I feel a bit guilty abandoning the cart in the parking lot.

I know I have more, but that's all I can think of for now. What about you?

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Score: Tilex - 1, Bathroom Rug - 0

There was a most unfortunate incident involving Tilex Mold & Mildew and my chocolate brown bathroom rug from Restoration Hardware. Never leave a spray bottle of Tilex on an expensive rug. It will tip over and do this:
It completely bleached the rug and ate through the fibers as well...the bleached spot is not as thick as it was. (Of course, if you leave a spray bottle of Tilex on a cheap rug from Target, it will remain upright and the rug and the Tilex will be fine.)
The incident got me thinking: if Tilex does this to a rug, what is it doing to my lungs? That's when I decided I'd had enough with toxic chemicals (except Clorox Bleach and Clorox Wipes - I have 3 boys and a husband, all with bad aim when it comes to peeing in the toilet...I need Clorox Wipes). So I've switched to some green products, including Martha Stewart's Bathroom Cleaning Spray. The bottle says to spray down the shower every day, then rinse. The first day, I sprayed the shower then got ready to rinse. I have the handy dandy shower head that you can take off the wall and spray where you want (the good Catholic in me cannot fathom why you would need to do this or where you would possibly spray it, but it does come in handy to spray off the cleaning product). This seemed to work well until I accidentally dropped the sprayer, which of course landed with the sprayer facing up. Well, if my ceiling was dirty, it isn't anymore.
From now on, greening is not enough. I need people to clean my bathroom. I wonder if I can convince Don that this is something I need or if I can convince him to clean the bathroom? I'm thinking no to both.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

If you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to serve as a horrible warning. - Catherine Aird

Note to self: Next time you use a personal care product, read and follow all directions. Did you learn nothing from the teeth whitening fiasco?

Some of you may have heard my teeth whitening story, most of you haven't. No, I did not attempt to whiten them myself using products advertised on the side of the Yahoo's horoscope site. I went to the dentist and had laser whitening. The whitening process itself went teeth are a little whiter, do not look stained like those of a Diet-Coke-addicted 40-something year old, yet not a day-glow white that could blind a person if viewed in direct sunlight. The problem did not, in fact, have anything to do with my actual teeth - it was my lips. I had a reaction of some sort to either the cream they put on my lips to keep them from drying out during the laser treatment, or to the laser itself. The hygienist isn't sure, since she never had it happen before or since it happened to me. My lips were big. Really big. Picture Angelina Jolie's current lips + an injection or two to plump them up. I now know how Angelina stays so thin - you can't eat with lips that big. It hurts. Worse yet, you can't even drink out of a aren't able to pucker up. Maybe that's why Brad looks so angry and depressed lately...kiss free since he dumped Jennifer Aniston. So, while the lip reaction was completely not my fault, I should know to be careful with chemicals...

...after sticker shock over a pedicure up here ($28 plus tip, only one coat of polish, and no massage chair or anything extra), I decided to save myself a few bucks and do my eyebrows myself. I was coming off a successful do-it-yourself bang trim (they were relatively straight and what wasn't straight at least looked like it was meant to be a little choppy), so I thought I was up to the task. Off I went to the drug store, and after a couple minutes of perusing the shelves, opted for Veet instead of Nair (which I have used in the past). The package said "test in inconspicuous area and wait 24 hours to ensure you have no reaction" (not a direct quote, but close enough). Now, in my defense, where is there an inconspicuous area ON YOUR FACE? Especially after I had just trimmed my bangs...they no longer cover my Brooke-Shield-circa-1982 eyebrows. So, I skipped the test and watched the clock so I didn't leave it on too long. Hmmm....several very red, dry and a little painful patches - including the bulls-eye right between my eyebrows.

My advice? Don't be cheap when it comes to your face. It's worth a little money.

*Catherine Aird - according to Wikipedia, my favorite source for *almost factual* information, is a crime novelist.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Happy 10th Birthday - Part Deux!

Today is actually Ryan's 10th birthday. This morning, I asked him the age-old question: "So, do you feel any older today?". His response? "I don't know yet. Ask me at 5:33 this afternoon. That's when I'll be officially 10. Do you know you many seconds it was?"

Tonight was a family-only birthday party. He had a friend over for lunch (open campus at the new school) and baseball practice earlier this evening. I tried to make him a Star Wars cake and was very disappointed with how it turned out, but he thought it was great. Joy! Joy!

The double digits! How did this happen????

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy 10th Birthday!

Ten Mother's Days ago, Don and I brought home our first bundle of joy. I could not have asked for a better Mother's Day. The weather was beautiful. Ryan was healthy. We were thrilled to be parents.

Ten years later, we have 2 more boys, 2 dogs, a new house, and a new country of residence. And now, I finally start a blog to chronicle some our adventures and misadventures in our new home.

I was invited to a "Muffins for Mom" breakfast for Owen's kindergarten class. It was a garden-themed breakfast and we were told to dress in our finest. So, since I rarely have the opportunity to dress up in my VIP role of stay-at-home mom, I was thrilled to put on my "Sunday Best". I even found an awesome sun hat when I was shopping at the outlet mall a few weeks ago. I was going to look like I would be at home at either a Derby Day party or a Muffins for Mom breakfast...until Owen took one look at the hat and said "No, mom. You can't wear that. You will embarass me." This, from my 6 year old. I find it so ironic that two hours later, he and I were attempting to buy some groceries at Loblaw's (my new favorite grocery store), and he started chanting "Can we go? Can we go? Can we go? Canwego?Canwego?Canwego?" over and over and over. Yeah, right. I embarass you with a hat, but your behavior makes me look cool.