Friday, February 28, 2014

Getting My Fix from the Lia Sophia Spring Summer Line

The new catalog came out February first. I got an advance copy of the catalog from one of my Lia ladies and after studying the catalog made my wish list.  As usual I found a couple if things I liked at first glance, but after going through it again (and letting my daughters look) the list grew. Not enough to warrant a party though.

I placed my first order through my local rep. As much as I want to wear it (especially the classified necklace) I'm waiting as I ordered the party time and shortcake necklaces from two different advisors so both my daughters could get them.

Party time necklace for March 34
Shortcake necklace 28
Classified necklace in hematite 88
Block party in mulberry 48
123.61 for 198 worth

The second order came yesterday, and actually my daughters have been asking about them so I may give them their goodies this weekend (although I wanted to wait to give them the birthstone ones for their actual birthdays).

Shortcake N - $34
Party Time N (May) - $28
Glacial N - $20
Slow Dance E (Mint) - $5
Shipping - $4.25
Tax - $6.96

Grand Total is $98.21 for $208

I thought I was done when I stumbled across a Facebook party held by a friend if my local advisor and I saw the Bardot bracelet and the offer to get it for $10 if I ordered up to $80 worth of other stuff.
3rd order including 
 Free Flyer earrings

flash bulb earrings

 first dance earrings

Bardot bracelet

106.82 for $200 worth

For a grand total of $606 worth of jewelry (before tax) for $328.64 including tax and shipping.  Not bad especially considering that the full price items were the necklaces for my daughters - total of $124 for all 4.  Bottom line though, I need a bigger jewelry box ;)

I held off ordering until I could checkout the new starter kit.  Unfortunately, like the previous kit, there weren't any pieces I was really excited about that I like (other than ones I already own). I am still seriously considering joining Lia Sophia once my son starts school in the fall, which is partly why I am obsessively following different advisors Facebook pages, and joining Facebook parties of total strangers.  I'm not a stalker, I'm collecting ideas.  Everyone time someone pins any of the pins I have under my Lia Sophia boards (especially my tips for a successful party), I check to see who they are and what I can learn from them.  

I have a couple of pins planned for ways that I use my genius clasps and necklace shorteners that I haven't seen elsewhere. I just need to figured out how to take the pics. 

500 Miles

I started running again in the summer of 2012.  That year I logged 199 miles.  Last year I took the cold weather months off (cause I wimped out) and started running again in April.  I logged 400 miles total for the year.

My goal for 2014 is 500 miles.  A nice round number and not a huge difference from last year if I stay consistent during the cold. To keep me motivated I signed up for a virtual run club through and I'll be earning this cool medal for my efforts.

I've got a long way to go since I took a bunch of time off for my pinched nerve, but I've done the math and I know I can do it (but I have to average 11.3 miles per week from now on). 

It'll take some work and dedication but that's the point of setting goals.  There's no point in setting goals if they are really easy.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Travel Post Kids

Tomorrow I'll be going on my first international solo trip in a long time.  By solo I mean without my husband or kids. I'm actually meeting my sister in Europe to surprise our Dad for his birthday.  

Before kids I worked for an incentive travel company so traveled a few times a year for that, and when my husband was in residency and always liked having his next vacation planned even if it was months away.  Looking forward to a trip to Europe or Hawaii made those long call nights a little more bearable. We took a break from traveling when our kids were little but have started doing more now that they are getting older and more used to it.  We'll be going to California for spring break which will be a fun trip, but for now I am really looking forward to a trip where I have 2 long flights to do whatever I want - catch up on reading, blogging and actually get some sleep on the plane.  

It's a short trip.  I fly home on Monday but in the meantime I'll be celebrating my Dad's birthday with family and friends, going out with my sister one night, and hopefully get to do a little shopping and get to run outside a couple of times, while my husband holds down the fort at home.  If all goes well (which I'm sure it will, I hope to make trips like this more frequent).

MS Awareness Week

This week is MS Awareness Week and actually all of March is MS Awareness month.  Like I mentioned yesterday I'm going to be visiting my parents this week.  Ostensibly to celebrate my Dad's birthday, but also along with my sister to have a frank conversation with our parents about their living situation.  

My Mom was diagnosed with MS almost eight years ago and walks with a cane.  Over the summer she fell and broke her hip.  She is home and goes to physical therapy but cannot drive anymore.  Their house is a two story house with a finished basement. My Dad has memory issues similar to Alzheimer's but it's called something else.  Because of that and a nervous tick, his doctors no longer let him drive. My Mom has always been a proud and independent person and being restricted the way is making her depressed  She's 69 years old and 

Bottom line, they are having a hard time in their current situation and my sister and I agree they need to find some appropriate to their needs.  Some sort of assisted living situation where they can choose what assistance they need and ramp it up when needed.  

My sister talked to my Mom about all this when she was last there in December and while I think my Mom knows that this is what they are going to need to do, she's being stubborn.  Not that I blame her.  I can understand that she doesn't want to leave her home.  I know it's going to be a lot of work to get the house ready for market, and that she's not really physically able to do it, and my Dad isn't really mentally up to the task.

My sister gets mad when my Mom puts it off and they butted heads quite a bit last time she was there.  I think sometimes she doesn't realize how difficult it is for my Mom physically to do some of the things she needs to do.  Hopefully if we can all discuss it calmly we can figure our a solution that's acceptable for everyone.  

It's hard to be so far away when they are going through things like this and if they do end up selling the house I may have to take my in laws up on their offer to fly out and watch our kids so I can stay and help my parents longer.

MS affects different people in different ways and this is how the MonSter (as I've seen it called) is affecting my family right now.  

ADD - kid vs parent

My middle daughter is a bit absent minded.  Sometimes her poor short term memory worries me. I'm not sure if it's a lack of focus or that she truly doesn't remember.  

For example we'll be talking about going to the library and what books to get, and then we'll get ready to go, get in the car and she'll ask where we're going?

I'll ask her to get something and she'll leave the room and come back a minute later without it.  I'll ask where it is and she says she forgot.  

We kiss our kids goodnight in each of their rooms.  Sometimes my husband and I are in the same room at the same time sometimes not.  Very often if we don't go in together she'll say one of us didn't kiss her goodnight.  Not because she's stalking or wants extra kisses, but because she forgot.  

She's eight and maybe this is typical behavior for an eight year old, but my older daughter is so on top of things that she wasn't like that when she was eight.  

I realize these aren't all true ADD symptoms but I did take an online quiz the other day to see if she was even on the spectrum.  I answered as honestly as I could and she came in the low range of possible mild ADD.  Then I saw a link for a similar test for adults so I took it.  I got the same number as her but on the adult scale that put me smack in the middle of the mild ADD category.  I blame the multitasking required of parenting, and my iPhone.  I guess I should work on fixing my own issues and let her be.  

Get Ready Gladiators

I don't watch a lot of TV, but my one show I do follow is Scandal.  My husband  makes fun of me and usually spends Thursday night watching anything else.  That's ok with me.  I admit the show has gotten a bit more graphic now that Quinn has joined Huck in his surveillance and interrogations and gone rogue on a few of her own. 

I can't think of a single character on the show who I like or respect as a person - maybe Harrison but we don't know a lot about his past.  They each have their own level of sleaze, with moments of sincerity. That's what makes it a guilty pleasure.  

At the end of last season Liv's world was turned upside down and she showed a side of vulnerability. I'm curious to see what this season brings to this group.

Having said all that, if you're looking for a show about DC, I would recommend House of Cards over this one - much better written, but I still enjoy Scandal.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Harbinger of Spring

We've been dealing with below freezing temps (and many negative temp) days in Chicago this winter, so when we had a 40 degree day recently it felt like a heat wave.

Little Man and I were outside when he saw a robin.  
"Look Mommy!! It's a robin.  That means spring is coming."
He turns to the robin, "Mr Robin, is spring coming?"
Robin "chirp"
Little Man asks, "does that mean yes?"
Robin "chirp"
Little Man turns to me excited.  "Mommy, the robin said spring is coming!! The groundhog was wrong!!"
Here's hoping

Time To Lace Up

I've been a slacker lately on many levels and I realized this weekend it's because I haven't been running.  Until about a month ago when I took a break do to a pinched nerve in my foot, I would run three days a week after I dropped Little Man off at school.  

Then I started making excuses.  I went to see a podiatrist who cleared me for running gave me some tips on how to lace my shoes and what kind to get for my next pair.  I kept putting off buying them, despite having a credit at my local running store.  Then we had our Super Bowl party so had to get the house in shape the week before, then I took the week after to get it all cleaned up again.  (It wasn't that dirty, I just don't like to clean).  Bottom line, the excuses kept coming and my sneakers collected dust.  I also have barely worked on the dollhouse in all that time either, making excuses for why I can't progress.  I have tons of blogposts swirling around my head, that I need to get out.

Yesterday, I decided enough is enough.  I sat my daughters down and we planned the layout for the rooms and I spent last night painting the ceilings after they went to bed.  Tonight I plan to do a second coat on the ceilings and then put the walls in place so I can start wallpapering.  

This morning I put on my old sneakers, tightened the laces as the podiatrist suggested to prevent rubbing the pinched nerve as I run.  It's still a little cold for me to run outside so I went to the gym and knocked out 5k.  A little slower than my usual pace, but not significantly.  I hope to do a St Patricks day 7k next month.  

I am a creature of habit, a lover of lists, and someone who greatly believes that we are better parents when we also take time to do things for ourselves - for me that thing has been running.  I go in the morning and clear my head after the rush of getting kids off to school, plan my day, and feel much calmer for the rest of the day.  My kids are getting increasingly busier with after school activities, so I know I need to get my run in to maintain my sanity.  

I'm going to stick with my old sneakers for this week and see how it goes.  They were close to retirement anyway, but will go get a new pair if that's what I need to do.  

I read a quote recently that has been replaying through my head lately - "If it is important to you, you will find a way.  If not, you'll find an excuse."  So true and I need to get back to making the important things a priority

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Amber Alert & the Wonders of Modern Technology

Thursday afternoon, cell phones all over town were chiming with an Amber alert.  An Audi was stolen out of a driveway in our town with a 5 year old boy in the back seat.  The Amber alert was shared on multiple Facebook pages - including my own.  I went to pick my kids up at school and shortly after that the good news started being shared just as quickly.  The car and the boy had been found unharmed 2 towns over.  The perpetrator still at large.  

My theory (and many agree with me) is that the perp had been looking to steal a nice car, and had no idea there was a kid in the backseat.  Once he realized the boy was there, he couldn't go back to the house without getting caught right there, so he went a little further and abandoned the car hoping to get away.

He was apprehended Saturday morning and is now in police custody.  This was probably an isolated incident but I will be changing my habits a little bit.  I can't count the number of times I have left my kids sleeping in the car while I unloaded groceries or whatever the Mom was doing.  I routinely left my son in the car when I would pick up my daughters at school if the weather is bad (figuring I was only gone 5 minutes).  My kids all know what happened.  I have told my daughters that if they don't see me at their door at pickup they are to walk down to where cars park and look for me so I won't have to take Little Man out of the car in the rain or miserable cold and we are all safe. 

I can't imagine what that Mom was going through in the two hours or so that her son was missing.  I'm sure it felt like an eternity.  I don't know what happened in the car.  I hope the kid was asleep the whole time, but I doubt it.  I hope he knows the whole community was wishing for his safe return and rejoiced when he was reunited with his family.  

Many of us criticize ourselves or others who spend time sharing trivial things on Facebook or watching meaningless daytime TV, but on Thursday that's where the Amber alerts were shared and that along with our diligent police forces helped get a little boy back home quickly.

Friday, February 7, 2014

January Wrapup/February Goals

Well, I didn't make many of my goals, but that was partly cause one aspect of switching over Little Readers room took much longer than I had expected.  Much like the Chicago puzzle Little Hugger has in her room, Little Reader wanted a puzzle we found of van Gogh's Starry Night painting in hers.  I had hoped we could all work on it together but all his swirly brushstrokes made for a tough 1000 piece puzzle.  I would have tabled it but had to move it out of the way for our Super Bowl party so was forced to finish it. 

Anyway, here's what I did manage this month

1. Finish decorating Little Man's room
Done - rug
To Do - Install tieback hooks & organize closet
Now that his sisters have puzzles on their walls, of course he wants a Star Wars one on his.
2. Finish exterior of dollhouse, and paint interior where needed, start wallpapering and floor
Sadly did nothing on the dollhouse this past month
3. Top to bottom house cleaning (Super Bowl party prep)
Done (of course now that the party is over I have to do it all again :(
4. Start redecorating Little Readers room Done - got the new comforter
Finished puzzle
To do - frame puzzle 
Frame pictures for other walls 
Find a rug
5. Book spring break trip (Sequoia, Monterey and LA) - DONE (flights, rental car, hotels, park hopper passes and tickets to Endeavor) 
6. Update finances with new budget, get bank accounts in order - DONE
7. Run 30 miles (I haven't run yet this year, the roads have been too slick, and I figured the gym would be packed so I'm waiting for the New Years resolution people to fall off the wagon ;)
unfortunately I didn't even make it half that distance but I did finally go see my podiatrist to find out what is wrong with my foot.  Luckily he said I could still run but that I need different shoes which I plan to get this week.
8. Transfer files off old computer - DONE
9. Complete goal list for the year.  This year I'm thinking of going more room by room as things are mostly organized it's more about making our house more homey - Done just haven't posted it on here yet.

So February is mostly about finishing up January's goals