The Summer Re-set

I can feel it. My lungs filling more fully. The knots in my back slowly untying. I can see it in the dirt on the kid's feet after a day playing outside. The warm car I get into is like a blanket. Sometimes I just let it comfort me before turning on the blast of cold air. 

Summer is here. Today is my kids' last day of school. It's bittersweet...part of them wants to stay in school (mostly because of their friends, but luckily they also love their teachers and classes). Part of them wants to jump back into the camp they've gone to every summer for the past few years. But before we know it these precious, sun-filled summer months will be over and we'll be back in the grind again. So for now, I'm going to revel in the warmth and the free afternoons. The spontaneity of a picnic or a dip in the local lake. Lemonade. Summer dresses. Flip flops. Lazy days. 

No extracurricular activities. No homework. No rush to bed at night, or rush out of the house in the AM (though I do work...it's still less stressful than getting them to school before that unnerving late bell!). 

I hope we can all enjoy these fleeting summer days. I know we may be wishing them away when school nears again in August, but maybe not. Maybe we can grasp that in another few years summers may not be as sweet when our kids would rather be elsewhere than hanging out with us on a beach. So my mission this summer is to simply savor it.

Happy summer everyone. 

 

Tales of a Multitasker

I don't believe in balance. I believe in multitasking and getting stuff done so that I can enjoy my kids and my own free time. As I write this, I'm on hold with my bank to discuss my mortgage (been on hold for 40 minutes, 27 seconds), sending emails, fixing something on this site (I am *not* tech savvy)...and now writing this post. I'm a  little nuts. I guess I hate wasted time. But then again you could easily catch me napping on the couch at 3:30pm, curled up next to my children who watch a show that downright puts me to sleep. There's a wasted hour or two. Still, I'm quite productive. People ask me how the heck I do it all. So I thought I'd share my mad multitasking skills. Here we go: 

- 2 cups of coffee. 

 

- A running to-do list. I keep this as a draft email on my phone. That way I have it with me at all times and add to it all the time. Unfortunately. :) But this should be however you prefer - some people still like a paper notebook, others love certain apps (Here's a list of recommended/highly rated apps). 

- I do this same thing with groceries. Running draft email. Of course you can use any of the apps recommended in the link above. But for me, personally, adding ANOTHER app to my phone just scrambles my brain more. 

- Set timers. I use my phone. With the constant influx of emails, texts, random calls, and the never-ending laundry and dishes (not to mention interruptions of the human kind), I sometimes feel like I cannot finish even one task. When this happens, or when my list is too long and I just need to chip away at everything, I set timers. I might give myself an hour to write, an hour to answer emails, an hour to clean the house, and another hour to run errands. Or maybe I just have :15 to devote to each. Depends on the day. 

- I act quickly. If someone mentions making plans, I try my best to shoot them an email that day to get it on the calendar. Same with appointments. Except maybe the one or two I put off on purpose. 

- I turn off. At least I try to. My kids hate my phone. Hate it (unless they're using it). But unless something is urgent (urgent could qualify as arranging a playdate or taking an unexpected call from work). So when my kids are at school, at playdates, in classes, etc. I'm on. And when they're around, I do my best to be "off." 

- Me time. I need some every day, at some point. Could be writing (my own personal addiction), exercise (not my addiction), reading, taking the dog for a walk, or a guilty pleasure. In full disclosure I'm a TV addict. I need about an hour a day, my own digital fix, as it were. This comes at the end of the day for me and helps me take my mind off the million things that are jumping around in there. 

Those are a few of my Mad Multitasking Secrets on the quest to enjoy the moments in between. What are your secrets to multitasking? Do you do it? Do you shun it? Tell us all...

Need food now?

No one ever said, "Let's take the long way 'round." If you're living in the world I'm living in, we need short-cuts. Especially on Those Days. 

You know the days. Sick kids. Sideways rain. Appointments. Errands. Husband traveling. You traveling. On. And. On. 

Or maybe you're just freaking tired. Exhausted. Done. 

On top of that, you didn't menu plan for the week. I mean, you meant to...you kind of did (in your head). 

 

You could do mac 'n cheese. Pasta. Frozen nuggets, or pizza, if you have it in the fridge. Otherwise...eggs. Yeah, eggs is always a good backup. But there are only four left. So what will YOU eat? 

For those of you who haven't stumbled on this lovely service, I'd like to introduce you to Peapod by Stop & Shop. For under $15 (fee + tip) you can peruse the aisles and fill your cart. In your jammies. With a glass of wine. Watching TV when the kids are asleep. 

And if you'd like a couple other options, these other two grocery delivery services have also saved me: