Monday, October 26, 2009

My Day in FB Updates

I try and make a point to not keep my Facebook status TOO up-to-date. It would never do for people to think that I have nothing better to do than let them know what I'm doing.

Additionally, I don't really think most of my virtual friends are that interested in what I am eating for lunch, what errand I am running or my current emotional state.

However, you, my faithful followers, I know are interested.

So, for you, here is what I considered posting during various points throughout the day:

Emily Aichele is leaving the house without a shower and in her husband's sweats. If you see me, please disregard my disheveled state. I promise I won't make a habit of it.*

Emily Aichele is about to undertake the absolute worst household chore... scrubbing the bathtub. Ugh. It needs to be said again, UGH.*

Emily Aichele wishes she had a cupcake to reward herself for finishing the most hateful job of tub scrubbing.

Emily Aichele doesn't keep cupcakes (or any other sweet baked good) in the house for the very reason that she would use them as incentive for finishing (or starting) unpleasant chores.

Emily Aichele confesses that she ate the pieces of cake she brought home last night from a party as a coping mechanism for a stressful morning.

Emily Aichele confesses that she medicated herself with cake while watching a show about obesity.

Emily Aichele thinks that no matter how sprinkled a grapefruit is with sugar, it really doesn't satisfy the craving for something sweet and buttery.

Emily Aichele is proud that she at least tried to soothe her sweet tooth with grapefruit. And is glad that there is no fallback baked good to eat following her healthy choice.

Emily Aichele finds herself balanced on the fence of shaking her head at her ridiculous ways and nodding in appreciation of her charming approach to life.

Emily Aichele wishes you a good evening. Sweet dreams.

*Actual update. I couldn't resist.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


So far, everything is as I expected for the dinner swap. Ooooohh I love it so!

The additional benefit is that my housework has been done a good two or three hours before it usually is because my kitchen stays clean all evening. I've discovered that I need some sort of evening hobby, or at least a trip to the library to keep myself occupied. I've forgotten what to do with free time!

In Jack news, the smart boy discovered a trick that will serve him well all his life. He learned how to cover his ears.

On Sunday we went out to dinner with a couple friends after church. While we were waiting for our food to come, Jack was getting wiggly. We were asking him to do all of his tricks to keep him occupied (which currently are adorable animal sounds. The rooster and turkey being my favorite).

I'm not sure how he first figured it out, but at some point he folded his bendy baby ears over and then looked at us with surprise. He kept doing it, and kept making silly faces. It took us all a while to figure out what was going on.

We finally got it when a song he liked came on and he started dancing in his seat. Then he would cover his ears and listen with his cute little head cocked to the side. Then he would dramatically uncover his ears and make a face of amazement.

I tell you what, I never knew how entertaining little people can be! And who would have thought that I would celebrate the day he learned how to cover his ears?!

Oh the wonders of motherhood.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Feel Free To Copy Me

Next week marks the beginning of what I hope will be a thriving and delicious tradition.

Starting Monday, three families (counting my own) are embarking on a dinner co-op experiment.

What I mean is, one night a week I will cook a big meal and deliver portions to two of my neighboring families. Then, they will do the same for me. So I will cook one big meal each week, and get two worry-free meals in exchange. That sounds lovely to me.

Especially since cooking six adult servings is really not that much more work than cooking two.

In my mind this plan is a terrific one. I only hope that it turns out as perfectly as I am imagining.

What should I make for my first meal delivery? Oh the choices!

Speaking of food choices, yesterday I made the most spectacular spinach salad for lunch. This felt like a major accomplishment since I have mostly eaten microwaved nachos for lunch the last few months. I think there is something about hot cheese and corn chips that sooth me when I'm tired and strained. Remember how I used cheesy dip to cope after Jack was born?

Anyhow, my salad had a lush base of spinach and was generously topped with pear cubes, avocado and cucumber (and maybe a little feta cheese). I am planning on having another today.

Okay, and speaking of food in general, have you ever wanted to be a food blogger?

My friend Rosemary is one and she is getting famous. It is pretty awesome to know someone who is in the process of becoming famous.

If I were to confess a whim of my heart, it would be to have a blog like this or this.

I love the look. I love the idea of having different components of self-promoted expertise. If I ever had a big blog, I would have a tab for food, a tab for marriage, one for weird kids and maybe one for "Dear Fancy." What I really love is bossing. And telling people what to do and how to do it, which is, basically, bossing, and I already said that...

Awkward pause...

Anyway, I'm too afraid and lazy to ever set out to host a big blog. So I'll just have to continue to secretly dream and enjoy what other people have accomplished.

But back to the original question, what to make on Thursday for six adults to impress them and make them look forward to every time it is my turn to bring dinner?

I addition to bossing I also like impressing.

I think that might be something I need to reign in... but until a major internal examination and attitude overhaul, I still need to plan dinner!

Your ideas are welcome!

Monday, October 12, 2009


My last week has consisted of diapers, diapers and more diapers.

My little baby Jack has been unwell.

I won't go into details, because they are gross, but I will tell you that I have not had an uninterrupted nights sleep for about 7 days, I've given an average of two baths a day, needed an average of three to wash off the vomit and poop that have covered me and done about 104 loads of laundry.

My creativity is sapped and my energy is all going into just keeping up with Jack and my house.


Luckily energy and creativity can be restored by sleep and good company. Now, I just have to figure out a way to fit those things in.


Oh yeah, and we're having a boy!

Monday, October 5, 2009

The Plan

Have I ever told you that I have the most lovely parents a girl could ask for? When I was growing up I was never shy to announce who my mom and dad were. After saying their names I would usually add some sort of comment about how wonderful they were and whoever was listening to me would grin to hear a teenage girl talk about her mom and dad with such adoration.

My parents are still wonderful. They have done an incredible job growing with me and launching me into this world. They are still a resource for me when I'm melting down or have "how to" questions, but they have understood how to be that while letting me be my own adult and try things a different way then they have.


I love talking about my folks!

A lot of the things my parents had to say over and over again as I grew up still stick with me today. The one that leads me into my topic of discussion this morning is from my dad.

"Emily, you are fixating."

Simple as that. He would use it when I wanted something and I just HAD TO HAVE IT and would pester and cry until I got it (or got over it). Or sometimes, if I wanted him to do something for me at a very inconvenient time and was not willing to wait pleasantly he would pull it out and lay it on the table.

When Lizzie and I talk we still use it to describe ourselves sometimes. "I'm totally fixating on ... fill in the blank."

Well, I am currently fixating on redecorating my house. This is an obsession that waxes and wanes. Chalk it up to baby-nesting, or just plain need-a-change, but I can't stop thinking about projects right now.

The problem with this is that projects are expensive. Andy and I try our hardest to keep to a budget and be wise with our money. We don't always make awesome choices but we don't usually go overboard. We aren't perfect, but it is something we think about and talk about on a regular basis.

In the past few months I have been sending my dear husband very mixed messages. One day I will ask what he thinks about getting more aggressive with our savings plan and squirreling away all our extra pennies. The next day (literally) I will ask him if I can go spend $60 dollars on a house project.

That is not a clear signal I am sending.

But sweet Andy doesn't bat an eyelash (do boys bat eyelashes anyway?) and he just waits for me to settle down and figure out what I want.

And I have.

I've made a plan.

Twice a month we take cash out of the ATM for our groceries, eating out, baby needs, our personal allowance, etc. The idea is that we only spend that amount and once it is spent, we don't spend any more.

Where I get in trouble is when I want a new sweater and just use my debit card, or when I want to go out to dinner somewhere that we would blow our whole eating out budget in one go. I also get in trouble at Starbucks, but that is another matter. All those extra purchases on our debit card or those "I need a break" outings really add up and sabotage our efforts at living on a budget.

So my plan, and my commitment to Andy is this: I will not ask for anything above our allotted budget for SIX MONTHS. That means if we go through our eating out money in a week, I will not pout about having to cook all the following week. Or, if I anticipate wanting a new pair of boots, I will not think of it as an "extra" but will save up my personal allowance (instead of my frequent trips to Starbucks) to buy them.

The benefit of the plan is this: whatever money is left in each category at the time when we "refill" can be used for household projects. SO.... If I am diligent to do my grocery shopping frugally, I can use that cash for supplies to paint my furniture. Or if I make more of our meals at home, I can use the extra there to buy a new bedspread.

Make sense?

I am actually so excited about this plan. It gives me great incentive to pay more attention to how I am spending our money. Each little item (Starbucks anyone?) is now viewed in light of, "Would I rather have this cup of coffee, or put this money toward buying new curtains?" Not only does it make my dream projects a possibility, it also relieves Andy of my fickle and confusing ways.

Well, not all of them, but at least this one.

So friends, cheer me on in this endeavor. I know that old habits die hard and that my enthusiasm for watching my nickels and dimes is fresh now, but will soon be tested by a pumpkin spice latte or bright Target scarf.

I know that delayed gratification is a healthy thing. I also know six months is a long time to feel "restricted" in any area. So, this really will be a challenge, but I think I'm up for it. I'll keep you posted!