Tuesday 10: Spring Color Inspiration

Below are ten colorful items all around me that have influenced my spring color palate.

1. What I Saw: Daffodil Yellow

2. What I Saw: Petunia Red

3. What I Saw: Storm Cloud Gray

4. Pop Culture Inspired: Effie Trinket, The Hunger Games

5. Pop Culture Inspired: Joan Holloway, Mad Men

5 Spring Colors sitting at my desk

6. Cherry Blossom Pink (Lotion by Bath and Body Works)

7. Dark Kiss Plum (Lotion by Bath and Body Works)

8. Fuchsia (iPhone Case)

9. Peacock (Wedding Invitation)

10. Mockingjay Blue

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What colors are inspiring you this spring?

Spring Ambitions

I’m not a winter-girl. If you’ve ever held my icy hand, you might understand why not. I don’t mind November and getting cozy in a different wardrobe, but the excitement quickly fades and I complain endlessly about how much I hate sweaters, scarves, and boots. Not sure if this is the type of thing I need to apologize for these days, but please don’t find my seasonal stereotypes offensive. Christmas is enough to distract me in December, but on the 26th I impatiently wait for spring.

I must be part grizzly, because I set my alarm clock to springtime. I awaken from my hibernation in March and have an urge to do what I am so reluctant to do in the winter; GO OUT AND DO STUFF. In the winter my errands are a chore, in the springtime they are an excellent reason to get out of the house and find something else to do. My energy level skyrockets and being busy when the season changes is less negative than it is in the colder months.

My enthusiasm for Spring doesn’t seem to be motivating me through my to-do list. We all know that no amount of enthusiasm can give you more hours in the day. Already this spring, my Saturdays and Sundays become Mondays and I feel robbed of my weekends. Every Friday in the office, we all discuss our weekend plans. On Monday we discuss what we actually did. As you can imagine, my to-do list and my I-did list look nothing alike. It’s the difference between fantasy and reality. It’s the difference between marrying Luke Skywalker and marrying a man who puts his t-shirts on backwards.

I welcomed Spring with a standard cold; no dramatic fever or vomiting, just enough to make me feel miserable and bitchy for 6+ days. Now that I am feeling like my usual awful self, I am contemplating my current reason for being bitchy. Today I will blame it on Monday. Passing the cold on to my son, mother, and husband didn’t help.

If you have never visited Washington, D.C. in the springtime, DON’T EVER! I will be forced to hate you if you dare visit D.C. in March to April when we have Cherry Blossoms and parents who think they are clever and original for being their kids to D.C. for spring break. Yes, I am that bitch who ruined your beautiful family photo in front of the Capitol because I walked right through it. And despite the fact that I might be going to the same place you are asking me directions for, I will tell you I don’t know how to get there and walk away.

Also making me miserable this Spring is grass. I love boasting to others in D.C. about our 1 acre yard. I also love bitching about our 1 acre yard when we have neighbors who competitively mow their lawn to see who can have the shortest grass. I think our neighbors have stopped judging our tall grass, because they are nosy enough to notice that nobody is home during the weekdays and the weekends are usually raining. If you are good with numbers, we cut our grass 1 time for every 6 times they mow theirs. #TeachableMoment

After miraculously managing to survive on 4 hours of sleep each night to read 2 entire books, my husband has gotten me the 3rd book in the Hunger Games series. Easy read, but not when you are the mother to an over-achieving 1 year old who wants to get a head start on his terrible two’s. Reading books is like a drug; I shouldn’t be doing it because I don’t have the time, but once I start, it is hard to stop.  I’d like to jump into Game of Thrones next… that is like me getting a good stretch after I wake up from a nap and saying I might try out for the Olympics.

I have a long to-do list, but I am sure you do too. I don’t make New Year’s resolutions, but I always have Spring ambitions. Eventually, I’ll be realistic.

But now is not that time.

Now is the time for enjoying new possibilities and complaining about my failure to manage my time effectively.

How do you feel about Spring? Fresh start or just more to do?

The Hunger Games: A review by a mother who was reluctant to read it

Do not beware: this review does NOT contain spoilers!

Do you NEVER have time to read anymore? Yeah, me neither. If I did, I don’t even know what I would read. I am so out of touch with books, I’m not even sure they still call them books. Reading a book is a big commitment for me. I not only invest my time, but I also invest a little bit of myself in the characters.

I first encountered The Hunger Games on Twitter. Next, my coworkers were talking about it and sharing copies of the books in the office. Soon Facebook was dominated by status updates that referenced events in The Hunger Games and included many exclamation points.

I thought if it was getting attention like this, it might be a good book and perhaps I should take a look. I went to Google and discovered The Hunger Games was this massive thing I was too old to understand. Like Harry Potter maybe, or Twilight? My first surprise came when I discovered it was a young adult novel. That was hardly what I was expecting considering family, friends, and coworkers (both male and female and mostly older) were recommending the book. Recommending is a weak word; BEGGING better describes their encouragement.

Intrigued that so many adults (who are only young in spirit) were interested in a young adult novel, I read the synopsis (From Amazon):

Katniss is a 16-year-old girl living with her mother and younger sister in the poorest district of Panem, the remains of what used be the United States. Long ago the districts waged war on the Capitol and were defeated. As part of the surrender terms, each district agreed to send one boy and one girl to appear in an annual televised event called, “The Hunger Games.” The terrain, rules, and level of audience participation may change but one thing is constant: kill or be killed. When Kat’s sister is chosen by lottery, Kat steps up to go in her place.

(Do you see the typo in Amazon’s synopsis? It is SCREAMING at me and driving me crazy!)

Alarms were going off in my head. No, no, no! When there are unusual names for people and/or places, that typically suggests it is a genre or topic I won’t enjoy reading about. When I read, I like the creative freedom of imagining it all, but I don’t like to have to think too much. Reading is for enjoyment and I intend for it to relax me, not give me homework to do on the side to understand what is happening to who. Besides, I was expecting something else like another angsty teen drama. I visited the Wikipedia page and did something shameful; I read the entire plot synopsis. Well why not? I’m never gonna read a book like that. I skimmed the entire Wikipedia page in a minute or two, and moved on with my life.

One afternoon I was chatting with my sister about our usual topics these days: my son, zombies, dinosaurs, and bike riding. She mentioned she had just started reading The Hunger Games and I knew it was inevitable now that I would be reading it too. I purchased the book that evening and read to Chapter 3 the following day on the train before I totally stopped for an extended period of time. Several days, a week or two. I didn’t have the time (work-life imbalance) or the patience (who does with a 14 month old running around the house?) to continue reading. I resolved instead to just see the movie… one of these days… maybe.

I met with a former co-worker for coffee the following Thursday. Just before we shared goodbyes, I asked her if she had read The Hunger Games too. She enthusiastically said yes but was kind enough to sympathize with me when I told her I had read the entire Wikipedia page already. I was at work the following day and had some time to read a little more while I took a small break. I’m not sure what it was, perhaps Peeta Mellark, that got my attention. It was very suddenly Hunger Games love at first sight.

I was pissed during our evening commute when my husband was too busy making phone calls to drive. I grumbled behind the wheel and cursed each time traffic slowed me down. Didn’t these people know I had a totally legit reason my time was more valuable than theirs? I was also very snippy-shall-we-say towards my husband. I resented him from taking away a perfectly good opportunity I could be reading undisturbed.

We all know what happens when mom comes home, not that I would have it any other way, but I was feeling selfish with my time. I was patient enough with my son that I only opened my book when he was happily entertained (cross my heart I did not ignore him). Basically, I carried my son in one arm, and my book under the other. Room to room. Everywhere. We. Went.

After he was in bed, I crammed 4 hours of reading time in. Although my husband is a night owl and only requires 5 hours of sleep max., I am usually asleep at the earliest opportunity. I took his breath away when he discovered I was awake at 1:30 am.

On Saturday I considered setting my alarm for an hour earlier than my son’s anticipated wake-up time. But mostly, I did not lose my sanity. I was happy when my husband invited my son and I to tag along to an event he had Saturday afternoon. Long car ride + sleeping baby (no obligations or responsibilities in the car) = TIME TO READ (See how I did multiplication AND addition there?)

I finished the first book before the return trip home and didn’t take the time to assess whether or not I liked it before we made a pit stop so I could get the second book in the trilogy. I think that was the intended effect of the first book.

By Sunday evening, the second book was finished. I am currently DESPERATELY assessing my calendar and looking for time to finish the trilogy.

Have you read The Hunger Games?

The awesomest thank you!

When I was a teacher, we would frequently thank visiting speakers with a collection of thank you notes from the class. It was an opportunity for students to describe what they learned and express their appreciation for the visit to our school.

A message and an illustration to express 'thank you.'

As moms, dads, aunts, uncles, grandparents, or whatever you are, it is no secret that kids say some silly things. When a student wrote a thank you note to a weatherman who had visited their school, unicorns with donuts on their horns, a supreme-ultra lord of the universe, and 200 story castle were involved in the awesomest thank you note ever!

Read the full story here…

What are some of the totally awesome things your kids have said?

Tuesday 10: 10 Favorite Photos

Below are 10 of my favorite photos that capture some of the most special moments in my life. If a picture is worth a thousand words, I will let these special photos speak for themselves.

1. When we first met…

2. Celebrating our marriage with family and friends…

3. Baby’s first picture…

4. Our first family photo…

5. Mother and daughter…

6. Little baby goes to Washington…

7. Precious smile…

8. Sisters…

9. That’s my boy…10. I love every, simple, mundane moment…

When Mom is Sick

I’m sick. The germ kind. This is what happens when the weather is pleasant and my schedule is flexible. As you can imagine, this happens frequently during holidays, vacation, special occasions, and other times that have the potential for enjoyment. For this cough and cold I have, I blame my sister.

Motivation frequently evades me. Even on my best days, I am easily distracted and unable to… oh, look… Pinterest! If you clicked on Pinterest, you are just as easily distracted as I am. When I am not feeling well, it is even more difficult to find the motivation to complete my daily tasks such as getting out of bed, leaving the house, and showing up at work. Further, I am struggling to compensate for the hour of sleep I just lost to Daylight Savings Time.

The world must go on, but I’m a non-believer. I believe it should stop until I am physically able to continue. Unfortunately, spouses and children do not recognize when mom is not feeling well. Their needs increase as does their own irritability. It is frustrating to the families of sick moms that their needs and requests are not top priority because mom: 1. Does not feel well and cannot fulfill their request 2. Is putting her health and wellness before mundane issues 3. Is not capable are caring about family nonsense. Families are always important, of course. However, so are moms.

It has been a year since I was sick. Last time I was sick, I enjoyed 3 weeks of a sinus infection and was unable to treat aggressively due to nursing. By enjoyed I mean I was miserable. Currently, I am only on day 3 of an unidentifiable cold and cough. I suspect this is the beginning of the zombie apocalypse. We all know how households fail to function properly when mom is sick. Imagine a world of moms with cough and colds. Zombie apocalypse.

My husband is concerned for me… or at least he is afraid I am turning into a zombie with a runny nose and an incoherent attitude. Whilst I coughed for an hour and a half last night at 3 am-ish, he asked me if I was ok. What he means is “You are keeping me awake. You should go somewhere and do something about that cough.” He’s probably right, but a medication induced sleep makes it impossible to find the energy to climb out of bed. I’d rather just lay in bed and cough (and complain about it the following day).

Zombie or not, I managed to brush my hair and show up at work. I certainly hope zombie isn’t contagious. Although I am suffering a sensitivity to sunlight and happiness, I’m holding on to humanity as best I can.

What happens to your household when mom is sick? Share your stories in the comments!

VOTE FOR ME: Top 25 Funny Moms of 2012

I am asking you (yes you and you) to please vote for me in Circle of Moms Top 25 Funny Moms of 2012.

Why?

Because at 8 months pregnant I dressed like a Mom-Zombie and posed for pictures.

Because I am THIS mom: Shit Working Moms Say

Because I compared my Adventures in Commuting to a classic John Hughes film. Also, there were dinosaurs.

Because what mom dreams of breaking the law with her child in the backseat? This mom!

Because I have a board on Pinterest devoted to ridiculous nonsense.

Because I proudly forged my father’s signature on a test I failed with brown crayon. Yes, brown crayon.

Because I invited everyone into the bathroom with me (and you don’t even need to knock on the door).

If I make the Top 25, I will pose for and POST a goofy photo of your choosing. No nudity, but you may suggest something equally embarrassing. I’m not a politician, so you can trust me. I’m good for my word. See, you get something in return! In politics and parenting, they call it bribery folks.

If you would like a daily reminder to vote, leave your email in the comments below (or shoot me an email privately at mommyhuhinfo(at)gmail.com). I’ll even send you something silly with each daily reminder.

Please, VOTE FOR ME!

I said please.

Thank you!

- Jennifer @DCWorkingMommy

 

Welcome to our Kitchen

I am not a good cook. In fact, I’m a really bad cook. If you think my family is starving (or worse, eating the terrible things I cook), worry not. I married my husband specifically because he is a really good cook. Also, I love him.

Our first date consisted of conversation and a supreme pizza from Pizza Hut. Classy, right? In 8th grade, I earned the one and only ‘F’ of my academic career in home economics. It’s not as bad as you think; mom and dad thought it was funny and I was able to repeat the class (which I had skipped the first time around). When my husband learned this and noticed that I lacked the ability to prepare a meal that was not noodles, he made an effort to get me excited about cooking.

Despite the meals I prepared being considered ‘an insult to food,’ I have always enjoyed watching cooking shows. Cooking shows are great for inducing naps and an excuse for being unproductive around the house. Against his better judgment, my husband started including me in the kitchen and our meal preparations. For fun, we would suit up in aprons and he would provide commentary as though he had his own cooking show. Yes, we are very strict and serious when we cook.

Cooking was no longer a chore, it was a fun activity we did together. It was quality time with a delicious outcome. My role in the kitchen includes preparing noodles (boiling water), making rice (I have the patience to get it just-right), peeling potatoes (I’m more careful with a peeler than my husband), and chopping onions (punishment for my crimes against food). I made all of my own baby food purees and I am also in charge of baking and treat making which I do very well (it’s because I taste as I go).

Better, right?

Because we are so busy, we get into the habit of cooking things that are easy or that we can prepare quickly, thus limiting our menu options. When we acquired ground bison, we decided to try something very different. Very different in the kitchen means we have no idea what we are doing. My husband searched the internet for a recipe and was baffled by the results.

“How is this possible?” he asked. It seemed as though he was speaking to the lap-top, but his question was directed at me. “There are no recipes for ground bison. Doesn’t anyone eat this stuff?”

“Are you sure?” I asked absentmindedly as I peeled potatoes.

“There is absolutely nothing. I don’t get it,” he sighed.

I took a moment to look over his shoulder as my potato peeling production halted. As a nerd, I find it nearly impossible that Google does not find search results for EVERYTHING. There it was; 4 odd results and not one recipe.

“They sell this stuff at the store. What are you supposed to do with it?” I asked as my full attention was redirected from the potatoes to the recipe-search-fail. “You idiot!” I exclaimed in an affectionate manner. “You searched for ground bison receipts!”

“What do you mean?”

“It’s recipes not receipts!”

In all the glory of Star Wars, the student became the master.

Our little-chef has also shown an interest in participating in kitchen activities. He’s really good with an empty bowl and spoon and makes delicious invisible food. It’s only a matter of time before he becomes the new master.

Please VOTE for ME daily!

Pinterest for Mommies

I heart Pinterest. I would marry it if I could, but my husband won’t let me.

What is Pinterest? It’s something different for everybody. It is a place to organize and share ideas and thoughts. It’s whatever you want it to be! Am I vague enough? I used to imagine my head was full of tiny people and filing cabinets. This microscopic office environment’s primary function was to retrieve and provide information when necessary. If this microscopic environment had a bulletin board for thoughts to ponder and ideas to try, that would be Pinterest.

Pinterest is not so different from other popular social media; you follow and have followers, can ‘like’ and comment on what you see, and can share and interact with others. When you see an image worth remembering, you ‘pin it.’ Whatever you ‘pin’ can be organized onto different ‘boards’ which represent different categories relevant and specific to you.

Personally, my fave board is Silly-Mommy. I love to laugh and share humor with others! For many, Pinterest is the go-to for crafts, DIY, recipes, and other projects. Here is a list of 5 projects I found on Pinterest that I HAVE tried and 5 projects I found on Pinterest that I HAVEN’T tried. Remember to follow me on Pinterest.

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5 Projects I HAVE Tried on Pinterest

1. Sweet Potato Fries: I have yet to perfect the recipe and get a crispy frie, but it is delicious trying! Cost: About .70 cents per potato

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2. Bacon and Eggs Candy: Take white chocolate discs and place on top of a cookie sheet lined with wax paper. Pop in a 200 degree oven for a minuter or two to soften the chocolate, then drop a yellow M&M and pretzel stick on top. Cost: About $10 for ingredients

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3. Moustache Pacifier: I think moustaches are adorable, especially on kids. Cut a moustache from felt and secure to a pacifier with tape. I used a photograph of my son with a moustache and turned it into a special Valentine. Cost: About .20 cents for a sheet of felt.

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4. Hungry Caterpillar Balloons: Inflate green balloons for the body and a big red balloon for the head. Use construction paper to make antennae and eyes. Secure all with tape. Cost: About $5 for balloons, tape, and construction paper. Learn more

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5. Hungry Caterpillar Cupcakes: Make a batch of cupcakes and add green and red food coloring to icing. Ice cupcakes and get creative with refrigerator and pantry items to decorate the head. Cost: About $5.50 for cake mix, icing, and cupcake papers. Learn more

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5 Projects I HAVEN’T Tried on Pinterest.. YET!

1. Cardboard Playhouse: My son loves playing in closets. No doubt, he would enjoy a playhouse of his own (and I would enjoy not cleaning up closets after he messes them up).

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2. Cloud Mobile: I have been using the ceiling fan in our son’s room to create different mobiles. Fluffy clouds would be beautiful.

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3. Sponge Blocks: This versatile DIY toy is inexpensive and simple. When my son is older (and less likely to eat the sponges) I hope to make him a set of sponge blocks.

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4. Pretzel Buckeyes: Simple, I want to eat it, therefore I want to make it!

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5. Pretzel Rolls: They look delicious and can be frozen for later use.

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Remember to follow me on Pinterest. Are you on Pinterest too? Ready to try it out and need an invite? Leave me a comment!

Tuesday 10: 10 Things in my Purse

Inside my purse...

1. Lotion: Scented lotions are so refreshing. It keeps my skin hydrated and smelling good. (What I’m Using: Be Enchanted by Bath and Body Works)

2. Lip Gloss: I love a subtle tint or shine to my lips. It polishes off my look and compliments my make-up. (What I’m Using: Clarins – Pearl 02)

3. Chap-Stick: Dry lips look bad and feel uncomfortable. I like to keep mine hydrated. (What I’m Using: Blistex Deep Renewal)

4. Tampon: I always keep my purse and vehicle stocked.

5. Wallet: The inside of my wallet is much more interesting than the outside. I never carry much cash and use the empty pockets like a portable filing cabinet. Contents include sales receipts, business cards, love notes, used envelopes, and 4.5 lbs worth of change. (What I’m Using: Dooney and Burke)

My purse.

6. Belt: When my belt didn’t cooperate yesterday, I took it off and put it in my purse. I have yet to return it to my closet.

7. Bobbi Pins: Great solution for hair fixes and a different look for mid-day!

8. Headphones: Excellent way to escape the world and get lost in some good (and bad) music.

9. Stamps: I have a bad habit of carrying stamps in my purse and never using them. These stamps are worth 44 cents each.

10. Keys: Necessary for getting into the office, into my car, and into my house. Also good for entertaining children while you buckle them into their car seat.

What’s in your purse? Link up…