Archive for July 2010


Being a WFHM

July 31st, 2010 — 3:36am

That’s my silly little acronym for Work From Home Mom ;)

A month in, how’s it going?  By and large I think it’s going well.  It took me some time to get used to it and get into my groove but this past week was great.  I was extremely productive both at home and work.  Work has, of course, been absolutely crazy but I do see an end in sight!

What does being a WFHM look like?

  • I have a dedicated office space at home where I go to work everyday from around 8 to 5. It’s downstairs and when the sitter is here, she is upstairs or outside with Lucy.
  • I have a sitter that comes on Mondays from 7:30 am – 9:30 am, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays 7:30 am – 1:30 pm.  On Tuesdays, the sitter goes to my sister’s house so Lucy goes there during that time.
  • I have a webcam set up so that all of my colleagues can see me at meetings that guarantees that I get out of my PJs!

As you can see, I have help 20 hours a week and the other 20 hours Lucy is here.  Around 8 of those hours, however, Lucy is napping.  But there are 12 hours a week (it feels like longer than that!) where I have to work and take care of Lucy.  This largely works out fine.  The only issues arise when I have a conference call scheduled for times that Lucy is here.  That makes it a bit more challenging!  I’m quickly becoming a master of the mute button.

I have blocked Wednesdays out as a “No Meeting Day” but will occasionally have to have a meeting that day.  I’ve also blocked 30 minutes for naptime everyday.  That allows me to get Lu down without worrying about a meeting getting in the way. It’s nice that Lucy is at my sister’s on Tuesdays since that is my heavy meeting day and I don’t have to worry about her squeals of delight (she REALLY likes the sitter) interrupting the call.

When I’m working and Lucy is here I make sure to have a lot of fun activities for her to do.  She plays Legos, colors, practices her ABC’s, uses sidewalk chalk, and generally plays with her toys.  The backyard is right outside my office through a sliding glass door so she can play outside while I’m in the office-I keep a close eye on her though and she stays close. On Wednesdays, when I have her all day, I move the operations upstairs to the dining room table so that Lucy has full access to her toys, food, and whatever else she needs.  This past Wednesday, I needed to really concentrate for about 30 minutes and I put on Super Why!.  I sort of felt bad but then I realized that 30 minutes of educational tv a week is not going to hurt her.

The pros?

  • I get to see Lucy so.much.more.
  • I can get MUCH more done at home in a shorter amount of time.  I’m able to concentrate here as my old office space was an “Open” plan (no walls or cubicles, just desks in a big room). I get things done much quicker at home.
  • I can throw a load of laundry in or take a break and do some cleaning.  On Friday I needed a break so I steam mopped the floors-it was awesome. I can also go for a walk with Lucy or take her to the park on my “lunch break”.
  • I have NO commute-that frees up 2 hours in the day for me!
  • I’m here for deliveries or service people-easy scheduling.

The cons?

  • I don’t really get a break.  When I worked in the office, I got a sort of mental break from Lucy.  I don’t really get that now-with the exception of Tuesdays.
  • The house gets messy!  While I can take a break and clean up, on the days when I’m really busy I just don’t have time to add another task to the day- Lucy’s toys are everywhere and I don’t have time to really clean the kitchen. I hate a messy house and I DESPISE a messy kitchen.  No worries, it’s clean by the time I go to bed!
  • It’s hard to turn off.  It feels like people have access to me at all times and I need to be better at setting boundaries.  It’s not odd for me to send an email now before my morning run at 6 am.
  • Traveling is much more difficult now.  I have to arrange care for Lucy during the times that I normally have her.  In my old world, she just went to daycare.
  • I have to figure out every.single.thing she puts in her mouth.  I miss daycare breakfast, lunch, and snacks!  The sitter does feed her but I have to have easy and nutritious options available at all times.
  • I forget to eat.  I’m so busy with both work and Lucy that eating completely falls off the radar until I’m starving.

Being a WFHM is like a strange mix of working Mom and SAHM.  It’s the best and worst of both worlds.  I’m loving it so far but I am having some growing pains. 

I hate that the house gets so messy but I’m trying to learn to chill. I also just joined The Y (which is AMAZING BTW) and they have childcare there.  I pay $18/month and I can take Lucy for 2 hours a day as long as I’m in the building.  What I foresee happening is dropping her off, working out, and then sitting in their cafe and working for about an hour.  I won’t do this everyday but I think it will be a sanity saver on Wednesdays.

So, there you have it.  It IS working out!  I think I’m a much happier Mom now that this is my set-up.  I worked out everyday this past week (something that hasn’t happened since I got pregnant with Lu) and we got to go to the pool twice at the end of the day.  Plus I get to snuggle, play, and giggle with my most favorite little girl in the whole world!

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August 2010 Menu

July 25th, 2010 — 5:56pm

Life has been crazy and I’ve been flying by the seat of my pants with cooking.  NO MORE!  My monthly menus help me so much!  It is HOT, HOT, HOT in Boise in August so almost every single meal is going to be done on the grill.  Can’t wait!

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Relaxing

July 25th, 2010 — 5:15pm

I had to go to Atlanta last week and as a surprise I got to have a girl’s weekend with 4 other woman who all have kids born around the same time.

This picture is a great representation of my weekend.

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Wine, relaxing, and the Georgia mountains.  YES PLEASE!

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Summer POM Fish

July 19th, 2010 — 7:31am

It’s the last week of the POM Summer Menu Series!  I had so much fun experimenting with POM Wonderful-I’m going to miss it! 

POM Summer Series Badge

This week I was tasked with a main course and my sister had the brilliant idea to do fish!  I was going to do lamb but loved the fish idea.  She found a recipe in one of her middle eastern books for a baked pomegranate fish dish with onions, tomatoes, and celery-I decided to use the spices from that dish to inspire my marinade. 

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Ingredients:

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-2 pounds wild Snapper (or any other white fish)
-1 cup POM Wonderful
-1 TBSP Olive Oil
-1 bunch of cilantro, finely chopped, ~ 1/2 cup
-4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
-2 TBSP of lime juice
-1 TBSP ground All Spice
-2 tsp cumin
-1 tsp red pepper flakes
-2 tsp salt

Instructions:

-Combine all ingredients (except fish) in a zip top bag and mix well.

-Add the fish and marinate for at least 30 minutes, turning your bag halfway through.

-Over medium flame and with foil down, grill your fish, ~4 minutes each side.

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-When the fish is no longer translucent, it’s done.

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-Enjoy!

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As you can see, I paired this with some rice, grilled asparagus, and avocado.  It was a wonderfully refreshing and light summer meal. 

I had Megan and Luke over and Luke couldn’t believe that there was pomegranate juice in the marinade.  I could tell, it gives it a special little zing that makes you go “YOM!”  It is sort of like cooking with balsamic vinegar but not as intense.  Balsamic has a tendency to overtake dishes, pomegranate does not but it still gives it that something special.

Shaun gave this high praise.  He rated it a 3.5 out of 5.  As you know, for Shaun that’s a HUGE compliment.  Megan gave it a 4 and Luke said that it was in that range as well.  I will definitely me making this again.  So easy and flavorful!

3 comments » | Gluten Free, Recipes

Surprising Sushi

July 16th, 2010 — 12:43pm

Last night I had to work late and I didn’t get dinner started.  We decided to try sushi and take our friends Luke and Megan to thank them for helping with Lu while I was on the East Coast.

They suggested that we go to Tavern at Bown Crossing.  It’s a really nice steak house (not Japanese but an American Steak House) that also has sushi.  You would never expect this place to have sushi, but they do and it was GREAT!

We got some edamame for Lu (and the whole table):

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Lucy loves her edamame!

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I got some miso soup and salad:

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Sushi!

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And preggo Megan got a yummy Thai Chicken Salad:

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It was delicious!!!  A little spendy but oh so YOM!

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Just Eat Local!

July 12th, 2010 — 1:13pm

I’m headed to Virginia on business (I’m on the plane as I write!) and the rule in our house is that I’m not allowed to cook the day before a trip.  It always stresses me out and I sort of turn into a monster.  Me?! Really?!?  Yes, really. 

We’ve cut WAY back on spending since moving and haven’t been out since we got here.  I think that’s a record for us. Thankfully, Shaun’s awesome mountain bike buddies gave us a gift certificate to a local ale house that just so happens to specialize in local food-a match made in heaven for Shaun and I.

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We drove the 2 miles to the restaurant since it was 100 degrees out.  I can see us easily biking or walking in more moderate weather :)

Here are my 2 favorite people walking up to the Bitter Creek Ale House:

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They have a great sign:

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With an awesome garden outside:

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Once inside, it definitely looked like a comfy bar:

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They are serious about selling local!

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Shaun got an amber larger (I didn’t note which one):

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Since beer has gluten and I’m not a big fan anyway, I got a frou-frou cocktail that was made with lemon, herbal tea, and local vodka:

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Super YOM!

It had an awesome little metal spoon straw (that was quickly bogarted by Lu):

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Shaun got some chips and salsa to start:

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The salsa was made on the premises with local fruits and veggies.  It was SPICY!  We like spice and this was a little much for us.  I didn’t have any chips but had a few fork fulls of salsa.  HOT!

I got a hummus plate for Lu and I to share:

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The hummus had goat cheese (which I can tolerate!), kalamata olives, and cucumber.  It needed salt but was really good.  I got it more to top my salad than anything else :)   Lu LOVED the pita bread.

For my entree, I got the spicy lamb burger (hold the bun) with an undressed side salad (hello hummus!).  It too was topped with goat cheese.  It also had fresh jalapeño and crispy onions (that I forgot to ask for them to leave off-the “crispy” is gluten FULL-I picked them off and gave them to Lu).

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It was DELISH!  The pickles were awesome too.  I saved them for last.

Shaun got what he always gets if it’s on the menu, Fish and Chips with Pacific Cod:

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He said it was delicious!  Lu liked the chips and the cabbage too.  (She wasn’t so in to my lamb).

Since they had such an extensive beer list, I asked if they had a gluten free beer and what do you know-they did!  I don’t know what got into me, but I ordered one:

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I usually HATE the aftertaste of beer.  I love the way beer tastes right as it hits my lips but then once it’s down my throat I HATE IT.  Guess what?  I LOVED THIS.  None of that nasty aftertaste.  I wonder if my body was reacting to my allergy?  I can’t wait to have this beer again.

We loved our experience at Bitter Creek.  Shaun commented “That is real pub food!” and yet they had MULTIPLE items on the menu that I could eat too.  And? It’s mostly ALL LOCAL.  Which is awesome!  We got all of that for under $50-can you believe it?!?!

We will definitely be back.  They have a Tasting Tuesday series every Tuesday and I’m sure Shaun would LOVE to go.  The fact that we can take Lucy (until 10 PM) is a major plus too.

There was NOTHING like this in San Mateo.  Maybe in San Francisco (30 minutes away) but 10 minutes away? Nope.

Have I mentioned that I LOVE Boise lately?

~~~~~

In other news, I heard today that our stuff will be delivered Friday!!!!  FINALLY.  They owe us a BUNCH of money now but at least it’s going to be here.  Let’s hope it’s all in one piece.

4 comments » | Uncategorized

In Celebration of Reagan

July 10th, 2010 — 7:02pm

In the past I’ve mentioned the online Moms group that I’m a part of.  We “met” at Baby Center back in February 2008 when we were all celebrating our BFPs. A large group of us moved to a different site but we think of all the October 2008 Babies as part of our “group”.  We’ve become extraordinarily close and I count these women as some of my closest friends and allies.  We are an amazing group of women who support each other every step of the way.

This week, tragedy hit.  One of the Mom’s that we met on Baby Center and who many of us have kept in contact with through Facebook had a Mother’s worst nightmare happen.  Her baby who was born March 14, 2010 (her October baby’s little sister), died suddenly on Tuesday. 

Reagan’s memorial was today and we decided to release purple balloons or plant purple flowers in her honor.  Many also wore purple in Reagan’s honor today.  Janea, we’re here for you.

Baby Reagan.

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We planted flowers this morning.  Since we don’t have any gardening tools, we had to use Lu’s sand shovels-I thought it was fitting.  As we planted these, I told Lu why and we said “goodbye” to Baby Reagan.

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The Tucker Family:

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The Reeder Family:

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The Corbijn Family:

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The Fifield Family:

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The Neal and Herrera Family:

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The Orr Family:

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The Schaap Family:

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The Myhre Family:

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The Corsmo Family:

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The Garcia Family:

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The Bowers Family:

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The Antonowitsch Family:

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The Lawson Family:

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With additional love from the Murphy Family, the Jenkins Family, the Kielson/Benedict Family, the D’Arrigo Family, and the Roop Family.  AND SO MUCH MORE!!!!

Janea-we’re here for you when you’re ready.

Goodbye Reagan.

3 comments » | Uncategorized

POM Rice Salad

July 9th, 2010 — 12:41pm

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This week’s POM Summer Menu Series is early!

POM Summer Series Badge

I was tasked with a salad this week and I’ve been meaning to share my recipe for Rice Salad and POM Wonderful was a perfect addition that added a special kick! 

This salad is both sour and sweet and a pretty complex mix of flavors.  It may not be for everyone but I really love it.  It’s my staple side when I’m going to potlucks because I’m always guaranteed that there will be something for me to eat.

Ingredients:

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-3 TBSP POM Wonderful
-2 TBSP Olive Oil
-1 TBSP Balsamic Vinegar
-1 TBSP finely chopped shallot
-3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
-3 cups cooked rice
-2 6.5oz jars of marinated artichoke hearts, chopped
-~25 small manzanilla olives with piminto, cut into thirds
-3 green onions, finely chopped, including green
-S+P to taste

Instructions:

-Mix the first 5 ingredients (POM Wonderful – garlic) in a small bowl and set aside. (I think this would be a FABULOUS vinaigrette on a green salad too.)

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-Mix all other ingredients together (excluding S+P).

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-Add vinaigrette slowly-you may not need all of it-taste it as you go.  (I ended up using all of mine.

-Mix well, add S+P, and ENJOY!

This can be eaten either warm or cold-I like it served cold the next day after the flavors have melded together.

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You can check out the other awesome blogs that are participating in the POM Summer Menu Series:

Danica’s Daily
Fitness and Spice
Kitchen Confidante
The Wicked Noodle

Next and final week?  You guessed it-a main dish!!!

6 comments » | Gluten Free, Recipes

Will it EVER Wear Off?

July 8th, 2010 — 7:26am

My complete HIGH from our move?  I LOVE it here.  LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it!  I hope this feeling never goes away.

I went for my first run on Tuesday.  Here’s the trail that is literally 100 feet from my backyard:

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I do have to start climbing some of the foothills once I get past about a mile but that’s fantastic too!

This trail also takes us to the park:

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That’s about 10 minutes away, 20 minutes if Lucy is “walking”-i.e. picking up rocks, chasing butterflies (and saying “pretty butterflies”), etc.

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I took her yesterday for my “lunch hour” and she was so cute.  She LOVED this fire truck and thought it was REALLY cool when the boys jumped in the back and she got to “drive” them.  According to the boys, Lu was Princess Leia.

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In other ridiculously cute Lu news, she was home with me yesterday while I worked.  I was on the phone with my manager for my weekly meeting when she comes strolling out in this hat from my closet:

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She picked it out and put it on herself-it totally matches.  She wore it for a good 45 minutes.

Like my living room? HA!  My sister is letting us borrow those chairs for right now and while I’m working, Lu has free reign, hence the bears, cd (we gave that one to her as a toy-no worries it does NOT go to the Netflix that you see in the distance), Netflix paper, etc. on the floor.

She has definitely hit the “terrible twos”.  WOW.  She’s awesome and sweet as always BUT can she ever throw a fit when she doesn’t get her way.  We NEVER give in, so I’m wondering when our persistence is going to pay off?  Hopefully it will!

It’s nice being home with her more often.  She does have a sitter that comes either to my house or my sister’s house but I see her SO MUCH MORE.  She is loving having a backyard and going “ow-sigh!!!”  We did sidewalk chalk the other day and she thought it was “Cool” to color outside.

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Every night, before bed, she runs through the hose and get’s a “hose shower”.

We’ve also been eating outside almost everyday.  Our grill has already paid for itself!!!

Life is grand :)   I hope it NEVER wears off.

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Where’s My Stuff?!?!?!

July 7th, 2010 — 4:08pm

Not here anytime soon :( .  I just got this back from my contact at Mayflower:

I just spoke with the regional planner at Mayflower Transit and unfortunately they do not have any driver planned on your shipment yet. I apologize for any inconvenience this has caused. I will continue monitoring your shipment and contact you about the driver assignment as soon as it happens. 

Isn’t that just awesome?!?!?

As a reminder, they picked everything up on June 25th and we were “guaranteed” that it would arrive by July 2nd.

I’m looking at it as a break from packing :)   My move is also getting much cheaper!  At this rate, they’ll be paying ME!

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