Resolution Addendum

While walking the dog, I remembered something else (oh, and also, “walk dog more often for exercise benefits for both me and her”.)

I sell lesson plans here.  Just slap up some things that have worked well for me and every quarter a sell some stuff and get some pittance, like $30 or so, for what I’ve sold.  I got an email this week from the founder of the site, saying that someone sold $27,000 worth of stuff in one quarter.  Yee haw!  I think selling thousands of dollars worth of stuff is an unrealistic increase for me, but I’d like to increase my sales to triple digits, enough to pay for my personal maintenance each quarter (you think this kind of gorgeousness gets maintained into one’s fifth decade without professional assistance?)  So that means creating more products and posting them.  Because I’m sure doing that will help with feeling less overwhelmed.  Uh, yeah. . .

I am wearing lipstick and mascara today, so score one for me!

Resolutions 2011

Here’s last year’s resolutions and a brief summation of the results.

  1. Reduce overall monthly expenses by 10%. Totally done, but not in the way I planned nor with the results I planned.
  2. Move forward with our adoption. Mostly done.  Not finalized, no court dates set, still doing permanency counseling.
  3. Make more things from scratch. Ehh, maybe two-thirds?  I really slacked off on making bread.  I need to re-up my commitment here.  Making bread is easy.  Making desserts is necessary because of my commitment to avoid HFCS (except in pancake syrup.)
  4. Landscape. Totally done, but not in the way I expected.
  5. Reduce our paper towel habit. Totally done, but I’ve been buying paper towels again a bit, because nothing beats disposability when you have to clean up dog puke.

And for 2011. . .

  1. Look and feel less overwhelmed. I may *be* overwhelmed, but I’m sick of *looking* overwhelmed and if I look less overwhelmed, maybe I’ll feel less overwhelmed.  That may be a lot to ask of a lipstick.  There is likely a school of thought that says I ought to change my life so that I *am* less overwhelmed but there isn’t really anything that I’m willing to change about my life.
  2. Establish a proper emergency fund. I’m thinking two months living expenses, including day care.
  3. Make more things from scratch. Bread, yogurt, desserts, cleaning solution, waffles, hot chocolate– the current ones.  I’m adding gift bags here and maybe something else. . .
  4. Reduce clutter. Less stuff around means less stuff to pick up! 🙂


Have You Missed Me?

I’ve missed you.

Resolution for 2011 – more blog posts.

Um, also, merry Christmas to all and to all a good night, although I might be back again before the 24th.


10:00 Check

I’m obsessed with the idea of a productive day.  I have a mental image that productivity begins with getting dressed.  It is my goal when I am home all day to have everyone up, dressed, fed and by 10.  Okay, 11.  In an attempt to make myself accountable a la Food Waste Friday and Menu Planning Monday (neither of which I’ve done in a while and y’all can see how well that’s working. . .wait, maybe you can’t. . . I don’t know how it’s working, but I do know that I don’t have time to worry about it), I bring you the first in an occassional series– 10:00 Check!

beds made – 2

children sleeping – 1 (C down for a nap)

episodes of Curious George viewed – ZERO! (episode 1 for the day now in progress)

meals prepared, served, eaten and cleaned up – 1

piles of dog hair swept up – 1

adults dressed and showered – 1 (Mr. AFT has to go to work.  I have nothing to do with this.)

cups of coffee consumed – 2

mice spotted – 1 (I cannot get rid of them!  I have to get a cat. . . )

dogs deskunked – 0 (that was last night’s super fun project)

On the agenda today– picnic in the park, playground date with friends.



K and the AFTHOTW gang

Why I Blog

Some bloggers claim that their blog exists to serve its readers, which may be so, but I’m not entirely sure that this blog serves anyone at all!  I try to be on topic but I can’t always be bothered.  Some days, I just want to ask you silly questions, like can I shave the back of my head like I did when I was 19, because it would be so much cooler in this humidity.  Some days, I just want to post links to other places, partially because I want to share and partially because I hope eventually someone will post a link to my page (thereby driving the viral-osity I so crave.  People, I gotta get a book deal.  Then I’ll never get dressed and my children will be glued to Curious George forever.)  Some days, I just need to clear out my memory card on my camera.

It’s one of those days today, Cha Cha centric version.

She’s so cute. . . photogenic children are such a curse. . .

The bow kills me– it’s her Abuelita’s doing.  She wants the girls to be. . you know. . . girly. . . which is, weirdly, not my forte.

Happiest child ever.

Now I need to come up with a d centric post and a m centric one. . .

It’s the weekend, time to roll.  Have a good one.


K et al at AFTHOTW HQ

A Wrinkle Too Far

I didn't take this (and it's not me!) Photo found at


In my ongoing attempt to reach goal #1 (more detail), sometimes I cruise around on a variety of frugality blogs, like this one. (Oh, PS, I don’t think of my blog as being a “frugality blog,” it’s just one of the things I write about.)  Recently, I found some frugalista who has stopped washing her face at night and moisturizing to save money. She believes that her face doesn’t get that dirty in the course of the day and that her skin produces enough oil on its own.  I have two words — guh-ross. 

I admit that I am both vain and a little thrifty (I’ll tell you about the wrinkled tomatoes some other time.) I draw the line at cleanliness and maintenance.  Your face doesn’t get that dirty in the course of the day?  Don’t you eat or go outside?  There’s enough flying detritus to goo up any face! I embrace almost any money saving strategy (I would never have thought to cut my dryer sheets in half, for instance) but not at the expense of my future fabulousness.  I want to grow up to be Zoe.  🙂  I’m still going to wash my face twice a day (except when I fall asleep and forget) and slather on moisturizer (luckily the one that works best for me is plain old cold cream.)  I’m already concerned with the furrow.  I need to buy more spackle. (I am not affiliated with Estee Lauder, receive nothing if you click through or buy, but man, this stuff is GOOD!) 

I tried to find the actual link to the wrinkled cheap-o but searching was eating up too much time and I kept getting sucked in to other blogs.  I’ll post it later if I find it. 

Char is eating her first blueberries this morning.  Guess what?  She digs ’em. 


We promised the kidberts a walk to the park. Despite the photo below, M and D don’t always want to be doing the same thing, so Mr. AFT and I packed ’em all up and went to play.

While we were out, we figured that we’d get D’s haircut.  It was his first haircut with us (and we think, perhaps, his first time in a barber shop– his foster dad had always cut his hair.)  We weren’t sure how he would do, so we decided both parents being there was the best bet.  That meant all of us in the barber shop.

D did great!  I saved a bit of hair.  Barber shop had frosty AC. Here’s my question: what is barber shop etiquette?  Because after Daniel’s haircut, he watched Mr. AFT get shorn for a while, but he got bored (as, I guess, most 4 year olds would) and decamped to the mirrored wall with Mads.  You know what the major entertainment for 3 and 4 year olds at a mirrored wall is?  Babbling at their reflections in an attempt to make each other laugh.  They were also eating the ubiquitous goldfish.  Everyone there was tolerant. But I wonder– should I have been more insistent in my shushing? I tried to get them to sit down and eat the crackers, but no dice.  On the one hand, it’s not church (and it’s not like we do that well at staying quiet in church.)  On the other hand, barber shops seem like pretty staid and grown up places, certainly not pre-schooler friendly.  But not pre-schooler unfriendly either.  What say you?

I’m giving myself a bye on ending with a question in this case.  Comment away and let me know your stance — muzzle ’em in the barber shop and let their cuteness fly?

Read This Instead

An Apology

This is a rare two-posts-in-just-two-days thing.  I just had to apologize for yesterday’s piece of crap.    I want to delete it, it’s just so bad.   It doesn’t make any point.  I felt like I *should* write about not going to church and how it makes me feel a little off, but not that off. Then I wondered if skipping a few weeks is de rigeur for the Protestants, especially in the warm months.  The tone is both self-conscious and dimly self-righteous.  Then I ended with a question.  Blech.  It’s enough to make me want to stop reading my own stuff.

God’s Vacation

We haven’t been to church in a month.  I went 6/27 with the kids but I was the childcare volunteer that day.  The following week we were in Connecticut and the week after, the human alarm clocks slept until 9.  This past Sunday, my folks were in town for M’s birthday.  The pastor and organist have called to make sure that we are okay, which is so reassuring and. . . I don’t know. . . quaint? 

As a kid, missing church was a joy. But I feel kind of unsettled now.  The Congos have summer scheduling (an hour earlier) and no coffee hour, which is making it more difficult to get everyone up, dressed, out the door and remotely on time.  But I’m telling you now, vast multitudes of readership, I really want to try and make it this week.  I will bring my own snacks, but I need to go.

And it’s not that I haven’t been contemplative for the past month.  I have.  I’ve been having my personal chats with God, He’s letting me know that we’re on the right path.  But I need to go to the physical building (which will be beastly hot) and sit there for an hour (really more like 45 minutes– the Congos tend to go for shorter in the warmer months too.) Why is it different to go and pray in the church?

I just hope there is childcare.  The goob-keteers don’t go in for sitting.

But both Mr. AFT and I have been feeling unsettled.  There’s been some changes afoot at HQ (an understatement.)  We have no plans whatsoever to reverse any of those changes but we need the balance of contemplation.

Do you?