The Time Lottery

I won the lottery!

No, not the billion dollar Powerball (though not for lack of trying), but it could quite possibly feel very similar to finding that mythical matching ticket.  I feel light. I have a bounce to my step, and I’m smiling a Mona Lisa-style grin that has other people wondering at my secret. 

Luckily for you, I’ve decided to share because I am so excited, I can’t keep it in any longer…

I have won a minimum of 52 hours a year…FOR. LIFE!

As of this weekend, I have more time than I thought I had when the week started, and if all goes well, this will be the start of a trend that will last as long as I do. 

I have discovered that my friendly neighborhood Kroger offers ClickList!

  
Yes! 

Finally, someone has created a grocery shopping alternative for the busy (and not-so-busy) mommas (and probably some daddies) who have a strong dislike for (aka hate with a burning passion) having to spend precious hours pushing a heavy cart through crowded aisles week after endless week when they’d rather be at home trolling the Internet for shoe sales. 

I just add items to my cart on the big K’s website or app, select a pick up time, click submit and go back to Zappos.com. Meanwhile, a Kroger worker bee fills a real cart with the items in my virtual cart.  I go to the Young One’s soccer game, cheer like a good momma should, and stop at Kroger on the way home like I do any other weekend. 

GroceriesInstead of going into the craziness of the store though, I now drive around to a designated spot, hand over my credit card (yeah, that part doesn’t go away), and supervise another worker bee who loads my wholesome goodness into the back of my car. 

Then I head home…at least an hour earlier than I did before. Yes, I still have to lug it all into the house and put it away, but afterward, I have extra time to read with the Young One, kill some zombies with the Hubs, talk with the Older One or spend some quality time with the blog. 

*sigh*

*smile*

I am a happy momma…a happy momma with more of the most valuable thing there is–time. 

**Today’s post was brought to you by Five Minute Friday and the very appropriate word “time”. 

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Table Rules

A few years ago, I set a new family rule. (As chief operating officer of Chez Moi, I have the authority to do that.) After spending yet another afternoon in the kitchen preparing a hearty Sunday dinner, then another hour after the last of the mashed potatoes had been consumed washing all the pots and pans, I decided it was time for a change.

table-600x600I was pretty much over watching the rest of the family hang out in front of the television or otherwise enjoying themselves while I continued to work and be separate from everyone else. So, I made a declaration.

“New rule,” I announced as the Hubs and the Older One waited for me to clear the table. “The person who cooks the meal, does not have to clear the table or clean up afterward.”

I knew there was potential for this to backfire on me. The Hubs could have said he would take over cooking detail, meaning we would be doomed to meal after meal of hamburger helper. They could have both decided the dishes didn’t need to be washed after every meal and left me to wade through mountains of dirty cutlery until I gave in and just did it myself.

Fortunately, things turned out in my favor. I remained the chef, and they cleaned the aftermath in the kitchen remarkably well.

Now, a decade later, we operate like a well-oiled machine. I still do the cooking, and when he visits, the Older One pitches in on the task. (He’s become quite a competent sous chef.) The Young One, who never knew a day when the rule wasn’t in effect, clears the table. The Hubs washes, and the MIL dries.

I just sit back and take it all in because, after all, my favorite part of the family meal is the family.

***Today’s post was brought to you by Five Minute Friday and the word “table”.

Refuse to Dwell

I refuse to dwell on negatives and the things I cannot change. 

  
Part of the reason I took a blogging break earlier this year is because the only thoughts I had were once that induced worry and stress, and I didn’t want to give precious blog space to things that don’t warrant it. 

Will we find a house in our new city?

Will the Young One make new friends?

Will the Older One visit once he’s out on his own?

Will he be able to feed himself if I’m not there to do the cooking?

I can’t dwell on these things. Worrying about them won’t change them. 

We moved. 

She made friends. 

He visits, and he seems well-fed. 

Life goes on. I can’t change its pace.  

The only thing within my control is how I react to the obstacles in my path. I can stand still and dwell on how I cannot possibly hurdle it or I can look beyond it, focus on the positive and move on. 

I choose to move on. 

Today’s post is brought to you by Five Minute Friday and the word “dwell”. 

Red Cups and Date Rape Marketing

I am weary of the Red Cup controversy. I am cringing as I type because I have avoided the topic all week. Now that I’m faced with the writing prompt “weary”, though, I have realized that I’m not tired about much except how much time the media has spent on a cup that will find itself in a trash can or recycling bin an hour or less after its purchase.

I really think we have bigger things to worry about this holiday season than what graphics are or are not on a paper coffee cup. Let’s talk about ISIS or global warming or politics (but please not about Donald Trump or his opinions on the cup).

Kudos, though, to Starbucks for a non-marketing strategy that got people talking about their over-priced coffee. I say that with the utmost affection since (full disclosure ahead) my gold-level status is something of which I am quite proud. Now, let’s all agree to draw our own depiction of the holidays on our cups and move on.

I’m more offended by this stellar piece of marketing from the hopefully fired marketing director at Bloomingdales. 

   

While Bloomindales has apologized for the ad that appeared in their holiday catalog, they have not offered an explanation for how this endorsement of date rape got through the approval process. I am hopeful we’ll find out it was the case of an over-worked marketing executive who scrolled too quickly through the proofs and didn’t take the time to read every word or examine every picture.

That is not an excuse to be taken lightly, but the alternatives are disheartening. Either someone at Bloomingdales believes drugging your female friend is the key to a happy holiday or someone at Bloomingdales was affected by the scenario depicted here and finds that combatting rape culture is a lost cause. Both are frightening and cause me great concern for the world my daughter will step into when she is a teenager.

On the bright side, should I ever grow weary of marketing my current employer’s products, I may have to send my resume to both Starbucks and Bloomingdales, especially if I am looking to dial down my marketing efforts. At one, you don’t have to put much thought into marketing concepts. At the other you don’t have to think at all.

***Today’s post was brought to you today by Five Minute Friday and the word “weary”.  

The Dance of a Confident Girl

DanceLike most moms of girls, I once had visions of my little princess twirling on stage in a pretty pink tutu. I heard tap shoes in my dreams and saw piles of sequined leotards in my future.

The Young One did try dance class once upon a time, and when requested, she would give us all a living room performance of what she had learned. She also went through a Justin Bieber phase where she would crank up the iPod and pretend she was one of the thousands of screaming, dancing fans at his latest concert. Fortunately, that crush was short-lived.

However, once she set foot on the soccer field, her interest in dance performance also faded.

Now, instead of tap shoes and ballet slippers, she wears cleats and tennis shoes. She flies down the field with her pony tail bouncing behind her, and she is happy…happier than she ever seemed while trying to master the complex steps of the latest dance routine.

Soccer

Instead of teaching her Barbies to plié, she uses her teddy bear as a football and rushes in for the winning touchdown.

My princess is an athlete, a sporty girl, a wonder. She has found her identity on the sports field, and it fits perfectly with my image of the strong confident girl I have always hoped she’d be.

***Today’s post is brought to you today by Five Minute Friday and the word “dance”. Stop by Kate Motaung’s site to read more interpretations of “dance” or link up your own!

Do They Notice?

I wonder if they notice when I’m not there.

NoticeAfter I leave the house for the day, do they miss me? Do they walk the rooms looking for me? Do they stare in confusion at my empty chair? Do they wonder why the television is silent and why the dings coming from the iPad on the counter go unanswered? Do they ponder the lack of clicking keystrokes from the computer?

Sometimes as I make the return commute, I wonder if they will notice I am home.

Will they lift their heads at the sound of the garage door opening? Will they come to see who has walked through the door? Will they greet me with enthusiasm or apathy?

I turn the door knob and face the unknown.

Greeting

Now, that’s a happy pup who notices his momma is home!

Suddenly I am attacked from the front! Paws pound against my thighs and a frantic swishing of tails stirs the air around me. I go down on my knees, and my face takes the next onslaught as pink tongues dash out in welcome. The silence breaks with the joyous yips of reunion.

Yes! They missed me! My puppies missed me while I was gone for the day. They noticed my absence, and they are happy to have me home!

**Today’s post is brought to you by Five Minute Friday and the word “Notice”. Check out other musings on the prompt or post one of your own at Kate Motaung’s site.

Still a Birthday Girl

I still enjoy birthdays.

StillI don’t enjoy the getting older part of birthdays, but the anticipation and celebration of one day made special just for me is still pretty high on the list of things I enjoy. I like them even more when I can stretch the celebration out over a few days or even a week.

Tomorrow I’ll celebrate the official day with family and friends.  The Young One has had a special present picked out and wrapped up for three weeks now, and she has tried very hard to keep it a secret. However, she has asked if she can give it to me every day since the Hubs took her shopping, and sometimes she slips and hints at what is buried inside the gift bag under a mound of tissue paper.

But that’s tomorrow. We still have today to kickoff the festivities.

Today, we’ll start the celebration with an afternoon just for girls. I’ll read to the Young One’s class and then spend the rest of the afternoon with her at the mall. She has basketball tryouts tomorrow morning and insists she needs high-tops on her feet, so the coaches know she really does play basketball. She’s been using my iPad and Siri to Google these coveted shoes, and she grew frustrated with me yesterday when I dared to use my iPad to listen to music while I worked from home.

She stamped her foot, and shook her head at me. “But Momma,” she pouted, “shoes are more important than music!” She may yearn for high-tops like I never have, but she is still my daughter.  I have taught her well.

So, today we read, and then we shoe shop–two of my favorite things. Tomorrow I’ll finally get that present along with a few hugs and kisses, and I’ll remember why I still enjoy birthdays.

Five Minute Friday**Today’s post was brought to you by Five Minute Friday and the word “still”. Check out more great posts on the prompt at Kate Motaung’s site.

Turning a Page

Next week, I turn a year older, and I have big plans to celebrate.

The Hubs thinks my excited anticipation comes from the limo he’s renting to take us and a select group of friends to an adults only celebration, but really the excitement is for the event I have planned for the day before my actual birthday.

I’ll be stopping by the Young One’s school to read to her class. She’s been excited about this since I signed up for the task during Back-to-School Orientation in August. I picked the November reading session mostly because it was the day before my birthday, and I figured I had less of a chance of forgetting the appointment if I planned it around a significant date.

On the first day of school, she started asking me how many days until my birthday and telling me how excited she was to celebrate with me. I was pretty quick to catch on that she was more interested in the date because of my performance in her classroom than in helping me celebrate my big day.

Pirate Princess

The Young One’s depiction of The Pirate Princess.

In mid-September we started planning which books I’d bring to share with her friends. By the end of the month, we had settled on our two favorites, Stanley’s Wild Ride and The Pirate Princess. Each of these is on heavy rotation for our nightly story time.

In Stanley’s Wild Ride, Stanley and his canine friends break out of their yards and highjack all kinds of things with wheels for a joy ride through town. I turn the page where the cops join the action and she supplies the siren sound effects.

Her favorite part of The Pirate Princess isn’t when the heroine discovers gold and becomes a true pirate. Instead, it’s the part where young Princess Bea’s motion sickness gets the best of her. This is when my own pirate princess starts giggling.

I can’t wait for my birthday! I get to be the star of the show and watch my child’s eyes light up as I turn the pages of her favorite stories. I can’t think of a better way to celebrate!

Five Minute Friday***This post was brought to you today by  Five Minute Friday and the word “Turn”.  Join the party over at Kate Motaug’s blog for more great posts inspired by “Turn”.