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    155 posts categorized "Too much going on"

    April 09, 2014

    Grouchity McGroucherface

    I do not know what is up with me today. I started my day by thinking about how even "good" politicians had to lie and cheat and cooperate with madmen to do good in the world and it just got worse from there. I don't know what's wrong with me, either. Who does that?! I am morose and gloomy and BLAH today. In an attempt to snap out of it I bought six giant glass apothecary jars from Marshall's this morning. And some dishes. Because.

    Jars

    I don't care that it's sideways. IT'S THAT KIND OF DAY.

    (Buying useless glass items did not help, by the way.)

    Why did I buy six giant apothecary jars? Oh because Katie and I have this silly idea that we might get hired to do dessert tables maybe and Pinterest is sort of into apothecary jars and how cute would they be filled with pink macarons? Except no one is going to order anything from us and everything is terrible. 

    I honestly don't know what's wrong with me. I should be dancing like a fool after finding out yesterday that I'd gone about the permit process all wrong and the permit I ACTUALLY need is $55 instead of $603. Shouldn't I be elated? Except I mostly feel foolish and stupid and exhausted. I spent a lot of energy going down that road and OOPS, SORRY, I now need to swivel my brain towards THIS road instead. I am just tired. It is an incredibly dumb idea to start a food business, folks. Truly. I don't advise it. 

    If I had more energy I would insert here a giant defense of myself and why I expected to pay $603 and how I didn't just pull it out of thin air I actually DID do some research into my next steps but GOD. No one wants to read that and it's not like making giant excuses for yourself really excuses the Dumb. 

    Holly wrote a post about how she is trying to be okay with not being Proficient at everything. I am the same way. Does it make sense? No! I know it doesn't make sense. BUT IT IS HOW I WORK ANYWAY SO THERE. 

    I am also feeling super fat and jowly and large-nosed and old and lumpy dismally unattractive and no amount of makeup can fix THAT. 

    We are driving to Montana this weekend. Spring break is next week and I got the great idea to drive to Kalispell to visit friends. HA HA HA. I totally want to see them and I don't think I'm even minding the drive (which I usually hate because UGH EASTERN WASHINGTON). But all the packing? And getting ready? That's MY job and only my job and I need an assistant who will do all of it for me. 

    Actually, my parents were here most of the day yesterday and my mother did all of my laundry and swept my deck and cleaned up the dishes and hey, I could get used to that. 

    ANYWAY. I think I have grouched enough here. See you later.

    April 03, 2014

    Extracurriculars: yes/no?

    Molly has ballet on Thursday nights. I've signed both big kids up for swim lessons at the community pool starting in two weeks. We tried out a martial arts lesson last night and now Jack wants to do that too, except I didn't know it's 2 days a week and costs three times as much as the gym membership I looked into today. Because I looked into a gym membership today, did you know that? What am I, crazy? 

    I struggle with wanting to kick the kids out of the house as soon as they get home from school and not see their faces again until dinnertime, like the Olden Days people write about, where you didn't manage and schedule and craft and play and blah blah blah. And then wanting to sign them up for absolutely everything, because there are so many NEAT THINGS they can do and why wouldn't I want them to have every opportunity?! Ballet! Piano! Tae kwon do! Swimming! Camps! MUSICAL THEATER!!!

    Molly is taking ballet because I happened to find a great dance studio near our house with totally affordable and easy-to-schedule lessons. And because she wanted to. And I thought it would be cute. I signed them up for swim lessons (we started last spring at the Y, but these community pool lessons are SO much cheaper) because that seems like a safety issue. And I don't know how to swim. And I have an enduring fear of water, so much so that I am not really looking forward to an expenses-paid Phillip's-side-of-the-family vacation cruise this summer. And I don't want them to be like me. 

    I REALLY want them to take piano (and so does my FIL, sheesh), but I haven't set that up because it's another night, another expense, with the added bonus of having to make them practice. Sometimes I feel like *I* could teach them, but SNORT we all know where that's going. Phillip found a piano lesson iPad app and is kind of sort of teaching the big kids. (I took yeeeeeeeears of piano lessons. Phillip took a few. But he can play better than me AND knows everything about chords and time signatures and keys and WHATEVER, PHILLIP. HOW NICE FOR YOU.)

    I would love love love to get them involved in music - piano lessons, choirs, theater stuff with music. I would love for them to play soccer and do gymnastics and have dance recitals. I've been looking at summer camp opportunities through the community center system and yes, we'll do all of those, thank you. Oh, and I would also like to join a gym. 

    I DO NOT HAVE TIME FOR THIS. I am just now starting to understand the effect starting a small business has had on my free time. Or, I should say, the time that I divide between chores and household shopping and paying bills and driving around and Managing The Household. I was DISAPPOINTED to remember that this week is watching week at ballet which means I can't edit bakery pictures in the waiting room like I'd planned. When am I going to edit those pictures? WHEN AM I GOING TO WORK ON THE BLATHERING WEBSITE?!

    (Right now, you are saying. Stop blogging and do it now.) 

    So the blog has taken a hit, yes, but I can still do that in a few stolen minutes here and there and it's good for me and helps me figure things out. But I almost never see friends anymore, not during the day. I used to schedule my whole week around playdates and lunches and story times and all that toddler nonsense, but now I take the big kids to school and after that EJ is my Errand Running Companion and/or Dora Watcher While I Do Stuff On My Computer That Isn't Just Reading Go Fug Yourself. On good days I put her down for a nap and hop on the treadmill for the length of a TV show and that is WORKING. Where/why do I think heading to a gym every morning (and putting EJ in the childcare center, which I'm almost positive she would resist) will be easier/better? And what do I do for the kids and what is just silly? 

    Jack LOOOOVED the martial arts class last night and has asked me no less than one frillion times if I've signed him up yet. And I'm mad at the class for having us do that before they gave us any information about how to sign up (THEY'RE NOT STUPID). But even if I didn't mind forking over the money every month, that's two nights a week! That's... a lot! 

    As I sat in that gym last night watching small children learn to kickbox (it was awesome, I have to agree with Jack), I realized that if we joined, we would basically be committing to a Small Children Learning to Kickbox community. That is what they do. Right? Or my friends whose kids play soccer in the fall - that is just what they do in the fall. Right now the Cheungs don't have a Thing that we Do. And quite honestly, I like it that way. For someone so reliable and committed and devoted I am totally stingy with my time and who owns it. I need to own my time, not a soccer team or a ballet class. 

    I don't THINK I'm depriving my kids, but it can feel that way. There's just so much awesome stuff out there and it seems like most families are doing something. On the other hand there's no way I'm going to do ALL of it. It's impossible! And how are they going to learn about disappointment and the unfairness of life?!

    I also have this little problem where any time I go to find out about something that costs money, it takes negative effort on the part of the salesperson to get me to buy it. Martial arts lessons? Gym membership? Church kitchen? New car? New HOUSE? SIGN ME UP. 

    Poor poor Phillip.

    AAAAANYWAY. I'm not sure what to do with all this stuff. WHAT A FIRST WORLD PROBLEM. I want to get Jack involved with something, because his sister has ballet, but I don't think we can do THIS. And I want to get back in shape and develop a habit of fitness, but joining a gym won't magically make that happen. And I want to do piano, but let's face it, that's probably just signing myself up for years of another thing to fight about with the kids. Me = not exactly Tiger Mom. 

    Okay! Time to buck up! Ballet in an hour! Homework! Figure out dinner! Put everyone to bed on my own because Phillip works late on Thursdays! I CAN DOOOOO IIIIIT.

    February 23, 2014

    Bunch of quick thoughts

    * I'm using Freshbooks for bakery accounting and dare I say it's kind of fun? I mean, I have the simplest little company in the world, so even I can figure out most of what to do. It's super exciting to see the insta-reports and track expenses and all that. What I can't figure out so far is how I show that I refunded someone (DAMN YOU, USPS) and also how I show PayPal and Square fees. First I have to figure out how to see all my fees in PayPal, then I need to add that as an expense somehow so the accounting program matches my bank account... uh, right? I know I'm supposed to get someone else to do this for me at some point, but right now, while we are still waiting for approval and before we get insurance and a kitchen rental and all that, I think I'm okay. 

    * I went to a Safe Environment training on Saturday - it's the "be aware of child abuse" training all church employees and volunteers have to do. I was absolutely dreading it, but I ended up handling it okay. It was actually helpful in that I have a clearer idea of what to do and what's being done. The "group discussion" part was like being in a high school history class where everyone is half asleep, but I thought the videos were very well done (if uncomfortable) and I came away re-motivated to talk with my kids. It just sucks that you have to, right? 

    * I want to start running again. I think I've said this about eighty times over the past year, but it's okay to start over for an 81st time. I know that for me to stick to it I need it to be part of the routine. Since I haven't really HAD a routine in over a year it's been difficult, but right before we went on vacation I'd figured out how to do Emma lunch, Emma nap, my exercise, my lunch AND my quiet time and I think I can get into that again. Hopefully. Now I just need to start pushing myself because I'm way back at the bottom where I don't think I can run two minutes let alone two miles. So... I wish this wasn't so hard. I wish I was more into working out, like signing up for races or going to classes or whatever, but I'm not. I want to do the bare minimum for Feeling Good. In the past that was a half hour on the treadmill every day. I really want to get back there. 

    * House of Cards. MAN. How do I get hooked on these shows where every character is EVIL?! The evil is just written so well!

    *The kids were with my parents this weekend so we took major advantage, going out for a fancy dinner the first night and a movie the next. We saw Monuments Men, which looked like Ocean's 11 set in WWII and dude, that's potentially the best movie in the world. It wasn't. I still liked it, because I can't NOT like schmaltzy feel-good historical movies, but Phillip and I walked out of it saying, "Did we just see a CUTE World War II movie? I think we just saw a CUTE World War II movie." Which was weird. It was a cute motley crew adventure interspersed with moments of Death and Despair and Hey, Where Did These Oddly Shaped Gold Bits Come From? Bill Murray was in this movie for no apparent reason. Cate Blanchett was there to be beautiful and more interesting than all the actors put together - until her character was forced into a crush on Matt Damon which was RIDICULOUS and UNNECESSARY. (Although, I might develop a crush on Matt Damon in an army uniform too.) Most irritating were the handful of Self Righteous George Clooney Speeches in which he tells off Nazis and, almost as bad as Nazis, People Who Don't Respect Art. SIGH. But I still liked it. I WAS DETERMINED TO LIKE IT.

    * I am going to the Edel Gathering. In Austin. In July. Even though I'm pretty sure I made some vow at some point in my life that I would never ever go to Texas again in the summer. I wasn't planning on going and then Maureen emailed me and then I was all FINE MAUREEN, TWIST MY ARM. It's super hard to convince me to leave my family for a weekend away with friends, but I have committed to making the sacrifice.

    * We decided to spend some of our tax return on a new bed and I am so excited. No really, I am SO EXCITED. I have picked one out on wayfair.com, we'll order the mattress from Costco, and I am just waiting for the actual tax return money to show up so I can click BUY. It's going to be a KING SIZE bed and I can HARDLY STAND IT. My bed is pretty much my very favorite place. It's where I read and watch TV and eat snacks and I'm just going to be SO HAPPY. In fact I'm going to go get in it RIGHT NOW.

     

     

    February 13, 2014

    Blog as therapy, Volume Twelve Million

    I just picked up the kids from school and this is not my normal time to sit down and hammer out some drivel on my website, but I think if I don't stop for a few minutes and hammer SOMETHING out I will explode. 

    There are ants in my house. Ants. I haven't told you this because of the whole starting a FOOD BUSINESS in my HOME and OH GOD, but I can't take it anymore, I have to write about it. We have an Ant Professional (the same company who dealt with our bat - do you remember our bat?) coming tomorrow morning, but it's been days of trying to figure out what to do about the ants and they are driving me to actual tears. And when we got home from school I saw them crawling around the entry way and that's what pushed me over the edge. I think that's why I'm writing here, typing whatever comes into my brain, as fast as I can, because if I don't I'm going to freaking LOSE IT. 

    Molly starts ballet tonight. Which is great! But is something new! That I must do alone, with the three kids. And the anticipation of doing something new with all three kids is never a fun anticipation for me. 

    We go on vacation Sunday! I'm very excited! But I have had NO TIME to plan, to prep, to organize, to list, to THINK about this vacation. It will be fine whether or not I plan, but *I* will not be fine without planning. Do you know what I mean? When am I going to have time? When do I sit down and list out the things that we need before we go? If you say "right now, instead of writing a panicky blog post" you are fired. Especially because as soon as I publish this, which is probably inadvisable, I have to go bleach the everloving you know what out of my entry way. 

    Did I tell you that Phillip didn't want me to to start an ant genocide? Because he wanted the exterminators to be able to see where the ants are? I fairly screamed, "I WILL POINT."

    Also today I received news from a friend that is EXCELLENT for her, an answer to prayer if you will, but is very sad for ME and I've been THISCLOSE to outright sobbing all day long. I am VERY SAD and I have ANTS.

    And Phillip is working late tonight and tomorrow I have to duct tape together some sort of Valentine thing for us tomorrow after the kids go to bed because Phillip deserves a little attention from his wackjob of a wife and I have to do a NEW THING tonight and tomorrow I have to bring food for a funeral at my old church, the one I don't go to anymore, because I didn't know how to say, "Actually, I don't go to this parish anymore" when the old lady who organizes funeral receptions called me and asked for help. Besides, it's the funeral for the mother of a lady I really liked at my old church and WHAT AM I GOING TO MAKE? 

    I am just so overwhelmed right now. And THWARTED. And SAD. I am very very sad and I don't want to do anything except sit and be sad and MAYBE THIS IS PMS I DON'T KNOW I just need prayer for millions of tiny ant deaths and a burst of productive energy and maybe also a nap. 

    February 03, 2014

    Pink potties, rabid fans, days off

    Miss EJ spent the majority of her day wearing various pairs of hand me down Dora underpants and getting them dirty. I honestly don't know what possessed me today, thinking we would try potty training. I think I've overheard various people talk about their potty trained two-year-olds over the past few weeks and maybe it just caught up with me. IS THERE SOMETHING I AM NOT WINNING?!?! 

    So EJ and I and EJ's cousin, who I was babysitting, and who was thoroughly unimpressed with the entire thing, went to Target and bought a pink and white potty with a crown on the lid that plays a triumphant tune when it detects, ah, contents. And then I dug out the underpants because hey! EJ loves Dora! And you guys I have NO MEMORIES of how I potty trained the older two. I know it didn't really happen until they were three. Ish. I also know that whatever I tried didn't work and I basically just had to wait until it happened. But for whatever reason this hasn't deterred me from attempting to control the situation with Baby #3. Apparently SOME children take to this whole training thing. Some of them are not much older than EJ! 

    Anyway, in case you are concerned, I am not COMMITTED or anything. We are basically going to not care about wet pants for a few days and see what happens. I am totally fine with sticking the potty in the closet for a few months and trying again later. But I have also notified the trainee that she gets ice cream if she goes in the potty SO. We shall see. 

    Why I decided I was up for this after the impromptu Super Bowl shindig is beyond me because DUDES. That was EXHAUSTING. I find caring about sports teams sort of exhausting in the first place. I get, you know, EMOTIONALLY INVESTED. Even when I actively try NOT to be emotionally invested. My sympathies for the losing team made me a less than valuable high school sports player. (My team always won. It did. Not because of me. HA HA HA. My school mysteriously had the best girl AND boy athletes in the league. Every year. For every sport. I should count myself lucky that they let me warm the bench let alone get any playing time.) 

    But the whole CITY has gone MAD, people. I've been volunteering in Jack's Sunday School class and even the kids (the ones who showed up on Sunday, anyway) were rabid Bronco-hating football know-it-alls. (Even Jack, who was obviously making it all up. Poor kid.) I do love me a good theme party, so I was pretty excited to have a house full of crazy 12th men, but whoa. I think what got me was all the preparation for the kids. I knew no one wanted their game interrupted with "can you get me a drink?" so I did my best to make spaces for the kids and provide them with their own snacks and juice boxes and all that. ANYWAY. There were lots of people and lots of kids and lots of yelling (and then lots of "THIS IS BORING") and I could barely pick myself up off the couch to go to bed last night. AND THIS IS SOMEONE WHO CARES NOT MUCH ABOUT THE BIG GAME, SEAHAWKS OR NOT.

    It is fun, though, to see the people you love get all excited and happy. Isn't it? 

    The rest of this week involves bakery orders. Which is great! Each order is a new challenge for me, packaging-wise. I should probably just invest in a good supply of boxes from Nashville Wraps, but in the meantime I've been hunting in various less-than-stellar stores and since everything is special order I'm never quite sure what's going to fit in what. And this week I am shipping CROISSANTS and OH GOD we are very nervous about that. The croissant buyer has assured us she is well aware of the risks, but we still had to CONFERENCE today about HOW TO SHIP THE CROISSANTS. (My ideas were flatly rejected. Apparently I know nothing about the special needs of baked goods.) Anyway, each order is always a teeny bit nervewracking until I figure it out. I have several of those this week. 

    Oh! We have a Facebook page. You should go Like it. (This is where I bat my eyelashes at you and smile prettily.) 

    OH WAIT! I didn't tell you about my day off! Dudes, it pays to publish your whiny screeds to the internet, because sometimes your husband reads them and takes action. Friday night Phillip drove the kids to his parents' house and didn't come home until SATURDAY NIGHT. Like, straight-to-bedtime Saturday night. I hardly knew what to do with myself! It was crazy! I had already made plans to meet friends Friday night, so I did that, and then I lulled myself to sleep with a good history book. Early Saturday morning I had plans to meet another friend for coffee and after THAT I got my hair cut. Sort of. It was more of a Maintenance Trim. Right now I am shooting for this. I don't really want to grow it OUT grow it out, but this is long enough to mess with while short enough to be short and maybe if I keep coloring my hair it'll feel kicky and not too mommish. 

    I spent the rest of my day doing some bakery errand running, packaging up some orders, baking for the Super Bowl party, and lying on the couch with my book. Man, I LOVE lying on the couch with my book. Other women fear turning into their mothers, but I am turning into my dad. The type of book and all. HRRRMMM.

    Anyway. It was a lovely lovely day and I was so HAPPY to see my husband at the end of it. A saint among men that Phillip Cheung. 

     

    September 08, 2013

    THIS is the last day of summer

    Up to this point in my year my chief achievements include, and are pretty much limited to:

    painting Emma's dresser

    spending many thousands of imaginary dollars on kitchen and bathroom renovations

    putting a slide on my deck

    memorizing all the words to 'Royals'

    getting a tan

    reading more fun fiction books than depressing nonfiction books

    but TOMORROW? Tomorrow begins the first day of Two Big Kids in School, All Day, Every Day and HOO BOY the productivity is gonna start exploding around here. First up is a trip straight to the treadmill after school drop off. EJ Cheung is going to the Kiddie Playland Paradise whether she likes it or not while I try not to die. It's been a while, folks. A long while. I hope the not dying isn't TOO painful. 

    THEN I might go to the grocery store or (be still my heart) Target. I have to buy groceries not made of carbs and/or preservatives and also Jack's classroom has requested some snacks and antibacterial wipes and glue sticks and whatnot. Then we'll come home and have some lunch and then Princess EJ will go down for her nap while I... WELL GOSH, I DON'T KNOW! Maybe I will read a book! Watch TV! Nap! HAVE A LUNCH HOUR! Or fold clothes. But I could fold clothes WHILE I watch TV and no one will be bothering me for a snack or the iPad or complaining that his/her brother/sister is breathing on him/her! 

    I'm about to bust out singing A WHOLE NEW WORRRRRRRLD! A MAGIC PLACE I NEVER KNEW! 

    But seriously, the treadmill. It needs to happen. 

    SO YEAH. Molly's first day tomorrow. Feels a little anticlimactic, but whatever, we have picked out the first day outfit and I don't expect any tears. From either of us. Well maybe a few from me, but later, in the car, after I've had enough time to Dwell. Molly might be a little anxious at first, but she's had a whole year of going to school every day and waiting to have her own classroom, she's met her teacher several times now, she's totally comfortable with the student teacher, she even seemed to have made a friend at orientation. My little preschool drop out has grown up! Sniff! 

    AND today is Phillip's birthday. He woke up this morning mumbling to himself and the only part I could make out was "thirtyFIVE?really,thirtyFIVE?" We left the kids with a babysitter last night and had ourselves a Totally Typical Night Out by which I mean we went to dinner and wandered around a fancy mall wondering what else we could spend money on. I indulged the computer stores and car stores and the half hour we watched a 3D printer make a plastic bracelet. Then today we went to my parents' house where he watched a whole football game without anyone bothering him and blew out candles on a cake from a Chinese bakery. (The sort of cake I refer to as "cake".) 

    Last year I wrote a shmoopy birthday post. This year... this year I am not making any comments about the fact that he wants to buy a very expensive Practically Professional DSLR camera when neither of us has any idea how to do anything other than point and shoot. Both things come from a place of love and eternal devotion. 

    If you would like to leave a birthday comment or send a birthday tweet, you can say something here or @ him at @pcheung. And there's no real reason to do this other than entertaining me, your trusty blogger pal, and piling up more anecdotes for my future memoir entitled The Internet Is The Best Thing Ever.

     

    September 05, 2013

    In which my imaginary kitchen cabinets become a metaphor

    I was just overcome by a giant burst of Productivity, and instead of doing the dishes or cleaning my room or getting caught up on laundry, I sorted and reorganized my giant stash of gift bags and tissue paper. For yes, I am one of Those People. I do indeed save wrapping paper, ribbons, nice shopping bags, pretty much anything I can use again, and for the last several years I've been stuffing it all into this enoooormous Storables shopping bag with a giant rip down one side. 

    Anyway, I decided to haul it all out of the big closet downstairs and bring it upstairs into the Multipurpose Room Off The Kitchen That I Still Don't Know How To Organize because it's a huge pain going to that closet every time I need to wrap a present. Over the last year I've been slowly moving all my crafty supplies upstairs to the Room That Has No Name. For someone who isn't terribly crafty I have LOTS of craft supplies. It's all more useful to me up here and I don't have to get angry every time I go downstairs and see that Someone (AHEM) has totally destroyed whatever semblance of organization I set up in the storage spaces downstairs. 

    But I am telling you all this because I need to know how you deal with House Functionality Issues. Especially when you have a Grand Plan but you can't execute it yet because the kids are too young. FOR EXAMPLE. That downstairs bedroom and closet will one day house my two girls and all the junk we keep down there will have to go somewhere else ANYWAY. The fact that my two girls will not be moving in together any time soon does not keep me from trying to figure out where everything is going to go. It actually makes me crazier because I can't just DO IT. 

    A few weeks ago I think I told you I spent hours on the Ikea kitchen planner and mapped out exactly what I want to do with our kitchen. At some point. When we win the lottery. Because even an Ikea kitchen will require lottery winnings at this point. (REMEMBER WE BOUGHT A DECK? SIGH.) Well, now I've decided that I need to have ANOTHER wall of kitchen cabinetry to line the back wall of the Family Room Or Is It A Breakfast Area off the kitchen. Right now it's just an empty space. And I like it that way. Most people, when I start yammering on about my kitchen, think I'm going to incorporate it INTO the kitchen. But I love that extra space (at least right now) for kid projects and kid meals and parties and Christmas cookie prep and roman shades DIY and anything else we decide it's for. What it doesn't have is storage. What I want is a wall of cabinets that match what we'll pick out for the kitchen. One big cabinet for brooms and mops and cleaning supplies (WE HAVE NO PLACE FOR A BROOM IT DRIVES ME INSANE) and the rest just shelving for all the Extra Nonsense I have lying around up here. Craft supplies, wrapping supplies, my grandmother's china, the serveware I only get out for the Christmas party, table linens, candles, vases. I could move all the stuff in the buffet into these cabinets, get rid of my buffet, and have a more spacious dining area. 

    And I want to do this NOWWWWWWWWW. 

    I am really super not good at holding off on things. And it's not like I'm banging down Phillip's door to go to Ikea tomorrow or anything. I KNOW a few years of savings are required. I just can't STAND having a solution that I can't implement! I can think of other solutions, but it feels wasteful somehow to spend money on a second choice solution when I already know what the IDEAL is. 

    You are all rolling your eyes right now, aren't you. I get it. I understand. Patience has never been one of MY virtues. 

    Did I tell you my roman shades are a bust? I've made three out of the four and they ARE super cute and that elephant fabric IS the cutest fabric in the world BUT. The shades themselves are CRAPOLA. I accidentally cut the string on one of them, which YES I was furious with myself blah blah blah. I fixed it though and hung it up, only to realize that the second string on the same shade is on its last thread. So I can't use them. And I am so DISGUSTED. This is how I feel about most of my attempts at House Fixing Up. Good idea, poor execution, ridiculous outcome. God help us if we ever decide to go ahead and retile our own shower. 

    Oh, don't get me started on the bathroom and the $30K of work our contractor said it would require. HA HA HA. 

    Why am I fixating on this right now?! This has been a very weird day. Towards the end I realized that most of it, I think, has to do with the fact that Jack started school but Molly didn't. It's like my kitchen plan. I know what's going to happen and how great it will be, and it's so frustrating in the meantime because I can't just DO what I wanna DO. It's felt pointless to get into a new routine when the Molly factor isn't in place, but this whole time I've been SO FOCUSED on getting to that place. You know? I don't do well in in between spots. 

    And I know. It's only a few days. Clearly not something to get bent out of shape about. Except I am, and I didn't mean to and I don't want to, but I AM and it's hard and GAWD I'm just ready to start the new normal already. 

    September 04, 2013

    Supah Glam Cheung Photo Shoot

    It feels like a million years ago, but do you remember when I was all, "Dudes! A fancy photographer is volunteering to take pictures of our chaos!" and you were all, "DO IT!"??? Well, tomorrow I'm headed to Lindsay's studio to see all the pictures and ORDER. Whee!

    Familypix

    (I just totally stole that from her Facebook page. MY BAD, LINDSAY!)

    The photo shoot itself was awesome. Wait, first I have to tell you about the clothes. OMG the clothes. 

    So I bought everyone NEW CLOTHES! And then my sister was all, "No." So then I bought more new clothes! Actually, everybody got something new except for Molly, since we based the whole color palette around her little aqua sundress with orange embroidery. We put (and this was a total We effort, even though I DO feel like I'm half decent picking out clothes, sigh) Jack in a white polo and bright orange shorts from Old Navy, EJ got a pink/orange/aqua shorts and tank set from Crazy8, my sister insisted on a bright aqua polo for Phillip, and I found a pink flowy racerback tank that did its very best to hide my middle. The original outfits I picked were a mix of white, navy, and lavender, but I love that we ended up going with my favorite colors. Hello, aqua! 

    Oh, and the other thing is that we did the shoot at my HOUSE. Which... I honestly didn't know where else to go. Afterwards I thought of different parks or the lake or even the UW campus, but at the time I preferred to feel awkward in my house where at least no one else could see me. I was so worried about what Lindsay would think! (What did you think, Lindsay?! Not to put you on the spot or anything, HEH.) I mean, *I* like my house, but I have that awful Chinese rug covering the carpet hole and the kindergarten project fabric canvases on the wall and the giant television and it just happened to be rainy and dark and OH DEAR. I was fretting. 

    But the whole planning session with Lindsay beforehand was about what, exactly, we wanted to capture in our photos. And for me, that's home. Hanging out. Doing our thing. But did we really want a bunch of pictures of everyone parked in front of their preferred screens? 

    SOOOO the first thing we did was have the kids read to each other on the couch. That's what you see in the pictures above. They were SO CUTE. Maybe I just think that because they're MINE, but the big brother reading to the little sisters makes my heart go all smooshy. Then we played Jenga. Then we piled in Emma's bed. Then we took family pictures on the couch. Then we went outside. Then they played with those magic noodle things (basically colored styrofoam that you get wet and stick together) on the dining room table. I don't know. A bunch of totally random why-would-you-take-pictures-of-this stuff. 

    And me being me, I felt like a dork the ENTIRE TIME. This was not Lindsay's fault. Lindsay is like this little sprite with a camera, flitting around your space, and you hardly have any idea she's there except for when she chirps up with a compliment or enthusiastic noise or "That's SO CUTE!" I kept thinking, "If only I were getting MARRIED" because seriously, best photographer experience ever. I felt like I needed something to DO. Or an event to capture. A Momentous Moment. But again, this was ME and Lindsay's enthusiasm about the whole thing made me feel better. More like, "Yeah! My family is cute! We deserve cute pictures of our cute lives!" 

    One fun thing - she took a whole bunch of pictures of just Phillip and me. This was decidedly more fun than I thought it would be. For one thing, Phillip is a funny guy and we just laughed through the whole thing. But whenever we started to feel stupid or posed or silly, Lindsay had another idea for us (and also plenty of compliments - flattery gets you everywhere.) 

    I haven't seen the pictures yet, just a few teases, and I'm excited to see the slideshow tomorrow. What's impressed me most - though I'm sure I'll be impressed by the pictures - is Lindsay's SERVICE. Like I am totally wowed by all the materials and information and fun little packages she includes, all beautifully designed and presented. I'm into that stuff, I know. Wannabe graphic designer and all that. But really, from the first consultation when she made me a special drink and treats and I got the first glimpse at all her professionally branded materials and products, to the box she mailed after the photo shoot with a sweet note, information to help me order, and JELLY BEANS, it's so much more than what I was expecting when she first contacted me! Everything is SO PROFESSIONAL and SO PRETTY and it DOES make me feel special, gosh darn it! 

    I would like her to please make friends with all of you so she'll want to come to the Blathering and be our weekend photographer. A GIRL CAN DREAM.

    Anyway, I fully intend to beg for digital images for Blawg Publication. Lindsay is offering us a photo on a large canvas, designed especially for one of my annoying empty walls and I get to pick it out tomorrow! I wish I had someone along to help me decide, but at least 1) I'm pawning my children off on my sister so I can think in peace and 2) Lindsay has promised to provide opinions THANK GOD. ISN'T THIS NICE OF HER? 

    In other news: First grade started today. We are total pros. Kindergarten starts Monday - that's the day I expect to feel All The Feelings. Sigh. Also: I burned my finger on rice cooker steam and THAT is the kind of evening we are having around here. I would like to fast forward directly to Picture Picking Out Time. Stay tuned!

     

    August 15, 2013

    It's almost here and it's ABOUT TIME

    Internet! I am going on vacation tomorrow! Well, not really. I'm going to my in-laws' house tomorrow, where we will stay overnight before heading to the airport Saturday morning for VACATION!!! 

    I'm not sure anyone has been more excited for vacation than Phillip Cheung. I think he's been keeping a running tally of how many hours he has left before he can turn off his brain. I am excited, but I am mostly tired. I am at the point where sitting in the middle seat on an airplane for several hours sounds delightful and relaxing. I haven't even come to the part where I imagine sitting next to a pool. I've been cleaning, organizing, scheduling, planning, getting ready, preparing, worrying and what else did I do this week? oh right, I HIT A DOG WITH MY CAR, so yeah. At this point just the anticipation of a burned Starbucks latte while sitting at the gate is enough to make me swoon. 

    I wasn't going to bring my computer. I used to bring it everywhere, but now it just seems annoying. I might be having a healtheir relationship with the world wide web, everyone. Can you believe it? Also, perhaps you remember the post that consisted of "this blog is stupid", so why would I need to bring my laptop? But Phillip seemed disappointed when I said I wasn't going to bring it. He bought me a new one for my birthday (THAT is why he didn't flip out when I showed him where Emma ripped off the Enter key on my old one) and it's, shall we say, a super light variety and it appeared to be this giant bummer to him that I wasn't going to TAKE ADVANTAGE of the travel-worthiness of my new machine. 

    So I think I am bringing my computer and new possibilities are occurring to me. For example, think of all the time I'll have to share the expanding historical horizons I'm getting from reading To End All Wars by Adam Hochschild, which, all kidding aside, is a truly fantastic book. (About WWI. I am branching out.) I'm just going to have a lot of time to THINK which is pretty much my favorite thing and when I have lots of time to THINK I am also compelled to WRITE and OOOH LUCKY YOU! 

    On the other hand, my laptop is super great for watching episodes of Scandal in bed. 

    I'm trying to think of all the other Deep and Important things I've been meaning to write about on my blawg and haven't, for lack of time and energy and brain power, but hmmm, they are all eluding me. Shocking.

    Okay, I'm gonna go frown over the giant bag of Kid Clothes (they are staying with both sets of grandparents AND going on a little road trip) and make lists of all the things I will probably forget. I am SUPER good at those lists. 

    August 07, 2013

    The only things I'm good at finishing are chocolate bars

    Today I was flitting between fixing up my roman shade project (tons of glue, no really, TONS AND TONS OF GLUE), playing around with the Ikea kitchen planner, reading business plan examples for bakeries and writing up the "vision", emailing people and filling up my calendar, eating candy bars (several) (the FPC gave me a stack leftover from some catering event) (no really, like FIVE), hanging out with my neighbor and talking about getting involved in her church, researching white laquered dining tables online, thinking I should probably paint Emma's room even though I decided it wasn't a big deal to leave it that ho hum sage green...

    ...is there... something wrong? 

    I'm serious. After having given a few minutes' thought to how I spent my time today - and not just today; this is a good picture of how I've been spending my summer - I'm wondering if I need to... I don't know. Am I missing something? Am I wanting something? Am I trying to fill the Hole that people are always talking about? Do I just have too much time on my hands? 

    I do have a practical bone in my body and it is shouting GET A JOB ALREADY, SHEESH. But the rest of me is not practical at all, would much rather sit around and ruminate, and that part of me is quite perplexed. Do other people do this? It's true that I don't like to be un-busy. I always want something to work on and/or be responsible for. Even when I complain about it. Not only do I hate feeling useless, I love imagining and dreaming up and visualizing and attempting to bring those things to life. 

    But I feel like I'm manic hopping from one thing to the next. Can't do that right now? Okay I'll do this! Phillip isn't into that? Let's find something else! Let's go to this store! Let's look this up! Let's figure out how to do this one thing with the supplies I already have at home! Let's DOOOOO ITTTTTT! 

    And it just seems kinda nuts. Or it does now that I'm actually thinking about it. It seemed fine earlier today. I can focus on business plans AND learning how to rip out and re-tile a shower, right? OBVS. 

    Except I don't think I can. Or I don't think I should. (I'm not sure which one of those.) And why am I doing this at ALL? What is the thing I actually want to be doing, but I can't, so I am doing all this other stuff? And for the love of God, why the five candy bars? And I don't even feel it! I could probably eat five more! 

    That's what makes me think I'm trying to FILL something. And it's not working. I never thought I was an emotional eater until this year. (Bored eater, yes. Emotional? I have meds for that.) I tell myself I'm just waiting around until school starts. That's when I'll settle into an exercise routine and start eating like a normal person and that's when I'll focus. FOCUS. That is what I'm lacking. 

    Then again, I feel fine. I'm not sad or anxious or upset or moody or any of those things. Maybe this is just me. Maybe I CAN figure out how to write a business plan and do my house projects at the same time. 

    Maybe I'm just not sure what I really want to be doing. GAH!

    I'm pretty sure this is what drives Phillip nuts. The manic hopping between tasks and ideas. There's some part of it that's energizing though. For me. I kinda feel like... YEAH! Roll up my sleeves, hunker down in front of the laptop, think it out, get it done

    Did I even mention parenting my children? Ha ha ha.

    Right now, right before I climb into my bed with my Kindle crossword (this is how I'm unwinding these days) it seems like: yeah, okay, it makes me difficult to live with, but there's also something good about it. There is something about this that is a gift. But it seems like there's also a way that I need to wield my multitasking power with responsibility. With focus. Without making everyone else crazy. It would be good to figure out what comes first. It would be good to figure out what I can actually finish. And then finish it. WHAT A NOVEL IDEA.

    Yes?

    First acupuncture appointment tomorrow. Maybe those needles will slow my roll. 

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