What God has in common with Juan Valdez

When we went to drop the baby off in the nursery at church on Sunday it was quite a scene. It was the whole heartbreaking scenario: handing him over and having him throw his arms out towards us crying and calling “Mommy!” “Daggy!” (yeah, the daggy thing is darn cute!) As I’m about ready to burst into tears myself hubby tells me it will be ok (baby only cries for a few moments and then has fun playing) and then he reminds me we should make our trip out to the coffee cart before services start. I've got to say, the whole coffee cart at church thing; brilliant! I know it’s pretty standard to have the complimentary coffee available in the lobby, but I’m talking about the fully stocked coffee cart where you can purchase (for a reasonable cost) a good coffee drink. I’m a firm believer in the simple joys in life and coffee at church is one of them. [insert obligatory joke about staying awake for the sermon here] I’m sure it's also another thing to bring folks in that perhaps otherwise might not be so inclined; kind of like the whole casual dressing thing and modern music. I think it’s great that churches are doing things to encourage attendance. I guess the come as you are/casual dressing thing is a big one nowadays. Personally, our family is pretty traditional and I have never in my life not worn a dress or skirt to church—I just can’t do it! I relaxed my standards on what teenager wears (cotton pants, button up or polo shirt and loafers) and apparently this is even considered dressy to most! Then there’s the music; today’s Christian churches with the full on “rock” style bands are a little hard for me to get used to and honestly I'm not a huge fan. But, it’s popular with a lot of people and if it gets them out then I suppose that is point. And really, who am I to argue? After all, I get to enjoy my cappuccino during services and I’ll tell you what folks, that I consider a little gift from God.

BIG news!

We have so many great things happening I can hardly believe it - when it rains it pours! So, we are getting ready to leave on the most awesome trip (can’t tell you where, it’s top secret) and we are so excited but that’s not even half of the news. We just found out we won the lottery! But wait, there’s more--- I am pregnant! And I’m almost sure it will be multiples this time! Can you believe it?! Yeah, me neither because none of its true. Doh! (Sorry to disappoint you, Special Reader.) In real news, we are taking a trip to the mall this weekend (the hubby can hardly wait!), I did win some free diapers and today I’m currently working on multiple loads of laundry. Just sharin’.

Be sure to bookmark SAHM: Surviving Assorted Home Mayhem and check back for more exciting adventures in the life of this stay-at-home-mommy and writer whose life is so fascinating that her ex-husband’s wife can’t get enough of her blog and must check in every hour to see if she’s said anything shocking/exciting/incriminating. Wouldn’t you like to be a “Special Reader”, too? Well ok, maybe not that “special”.

SAHM: Surviving Assorted Home Mayhem- Giveaway!

Okay, seriously people! I know there are lots of you reading according to my stats. But, you'd never know it by the lack of comments. Okay, I know, what you can you say about a Wordless Wednesday photo, but still! Lately the comments to recent posts have been non-existent. So here's what I'm going to do: I am getting ready to do a giveaway here soon, but let's just say in preparation for that I'll do a "practice" giveaway in the meantime. Here's the deal: leave me a comment, you can say whatever you like but here's some suggested topics; tell me what you like about SAHM: Surviving Assorted Home Mayhem, what you'd like to see me write more about, (for those of you just joining us you might want to catch up with a few posts by reading some of the popular posts to right or taking a peek in the archives) a question you're just dying to ask, or anything else you'd care to write. The winner will receive an organizational item (given my career in this field I've got a few new items in the garage waiting for just such an occasion) of my choosing. Okay folks, let's hear from you! The winner will be chosen using a highly scientific method (random number) and upon receiving your mailing address (I'll contact you if you win--as long as you aren't posting anonymously I'll be able to reach you) you'll receive your prize within a few days of my making it down to the Post Office. Edited to add: (because apparently I forgot one little detail!) Comments will close on Monday at 4:00 pm Pacific and the winner will be announced shortly thereafter.

Wordless Wednesday

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Sometimes it’s just regular ol’ stuff

Okay, okay, you’re dying for a new entry, I get it. As I sit and think about something interesting to write I realize that sometimes there just isn’t anything. Now there’s an opening line to bring readers in...have I lost you yet? Anyhoo, my point is how do you entertain people with tales of a trip to the warehouse store for paper towels and toilet paper? Well ok, there was this one time when I did this… and hilarity ensued. I know, I know, it’s like a re-run post. (Hey, they do it all summer on TV.) Anyway, that didn’t happen this time. Oh, I’d previously mentioned (for those of you on the edge of your seats following this story) that we were going to venture into the garage this weekend—we did, and though we didn’t get as much done as I would have liked, there was some significant clearing out done. The hubby worked his way through a lot of the stuff and we managed to sell one of the baby items we no longer use that was taking up space. We are getting closer to beating a path to some much more interesting items that I am anxious to go through as I know they will inspire several intriguing blog posts in the near future. Stay tuned.

In other news…

The baby got one of those wooden puzzles that makes the appropriate animal sound when you place the shape in its spot. Apparently the thing is light sensitive as we discovered the first night we had it.
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Kinda sounds like a party at Sea World, huh?

Teenager has been busy with summer school and the other morning when I went to his room to see if he was ready for school I saw he was wearing perfectly pressed khaki pants, a polo shirt and loafers. For a teenager this is practically formal wear. I asked what the heck he was doing so “dressed up” and he replied that he had an assignment to dress business casual and give a presentation about possible career choices. “That sounds good” I said. Then I realized that he’s only taking Driver’s Ed and Health and how on earth does this assignment have anything to do with either of those subjects? He said; “Oh, teachers just like to give us random assignments that have nothing to do with the class.” Ok then! Sounds like a good idea to me in any case. Despite summer school teenager has been able to do at least a few fun things this summer. He’s gone to see a few movies, including Karate-Chop Koala (or something like that) and Wall-E as well as Ironman. Baby is getting ready to turn the big two in another month (which means I may have to start officially referring to him as a Toddler) so we are preparing for his little birthday party. The other day we sat him on his potty for the first time and to our amazement he actually used it. We were so excited we all clapped and cheered for him so hopefully he will get the idea. The hubby and I have been attempting to work on various projects around the house (clutter clearing, sorting and other household fix-up projects.) I know, I know, the excitement around here is non-stop! I’m pretty sure next week we’re going to venture into the garage and who knows what kind of tales I’ll have to tell from that adventure.

Seriously, So Blessed

I haven’t mentioned other people’s blogs before but I’ll hop on the current bloggie bandwagon for this. There’s a very new blog out there gaining attention. Yeah, it’s pretty funny for a “fake” blog (the content is all made up stuff written as satire).The irony is unless you’ve previously lived this lifestyle or been around this culture much you wouldn’t even “get it”. As luck would have it, many moons ago (seems like another life) I did live in this lifestyle and was submersed in this culture for years. I know all too well exactly what the author is talking about. Yeah, I could have written this myself. So it’s almost like a little trip down memory lane reading about this woman’s “way fun life” as she calls it. (I’m getting some serious inspiration here for a future blog post—I’ll have to see what I can come up with.) For further irony, many of her readers haven’t figured out its satire and have left comments chastising her for her writing. (now that’s funny!) I also am highly amused at the comments from readers who are the exact same type of people she’s making fun of! (even funnier!) I realize some of them do “get it” and are good humored enough to laugh at themselves (always a good characteristic). However, I honestly think others don’t get it and think she’s serious as they themselves write about the same things in the same manner but yet it isn’t satire. Clearly she’s making fun of a certain group of people but the question remains is she herself really one of them (and thus able to make fun of herself) or is she just one amongst them (thus making fun of them, but not actually one of them)? I would love to know the answer to this for my own curiosity. (Either way, it’s good work.) I could certainly share stories with her from back in the day (pre-blog and even pre-Internet) as about twenty years ago (holy crap! has it been that long? Ok, now I feel old) I could have literally been her, or at least the “her” she makes fun of—either way. Whoever she is, she should appreciate the free press. She is seriously, so blessed.

See another post on this subject: Choice is the Real Blessing

FAQ’s and almost everything you're just dying to know

I love to hear from my readers and I thought this would be helpful/interesting to many of you with questions and comments for me.

Q: Clever alternative meaning to the SAHM acronym! As a SAHM I love reading about how other moms cope and just hearing about everyday details. What made you decide to start this blog?

A: Quite simply, I love to write. The idea of blogging, specifically mommy blogging, struck me as something made for me. I started this blog to share with readers (moms and everyone else) about the daily trials, triumphs and hilarity of life, specifically with regards to being a mom, wife, and homemaker. Not all my writing has to do with being a mom though, I write about life; the hubby, the house, losing (or gaining!) weight, health issues, social issues and just “stuff” in general.

Q: Are you funny in real life? I mean, does your husband laugh all the time or what?

A: Yeah well, that depends on if you mean does he laugh at me or with me! Seriously though, we make each other laugh—the hubby is actually hilarious! We are so goofy around here; we not only crack each other up but the teenager as well!

Q: I like reading about your real life, down to earth examples of weight loss and your challenges with it. Do you have any advice to offer others who are also having trouble with this?

A: Ha! I should be asking you for advice! Seriously though, it is hard. When you combine getting older [which makes it that much harder to get the pounds off], with all that needs to be done as a mom and wife sometimes losing weight takes a backseat. (Incidentally, that’s exactly where my weight goes…but I digress). Honestly, I have had good luck with Weight Watchers. However, this time around (after the baby) it’s been challenging because I started on the nursing plan with all those extra points/extra food and when baby weaned himself at one year I had to cut back. I thought I was going to starve! It’s been tough and I have not always been great at sticking to the plan. I addressed some of this in my post Next up in the ongoing weight loss battle… It’s a double-edged sword when you don’t plan for exercise and then don’t plan for meals [that are within guidelines for weight loss]. Sometimes I do one, sometimes I do the other, but too many times I do neither. I am currently working on getting back on track with both of these and hope to start seeing results. {Frankly, I would love to be of those “results not typical” weight loss cases where I can show fabulous before and after photos of how I have completely changed my body. But at this point, I think I’d be happy to take my rear and thighs down a tad and not have a muffin top over my waistband.} It takes a lot of discipline. I wish there were an easy answer but there just isn’t which is why I sarcastically mention that the experts are right: you really do have to eat less and move more.

Q: Your cartoon drawing of your family is great, did you have someone do that for your blog?

A: Yes, actually we have a talented artist in our extended family that did this for us! Interesting side note about that; the hubby looks exactly like that in person—as soon as I saw it I told him that if he were a cartoon character that is what he’d look like- it still cracks me up!

Q: The baby is really cute, how old is he?

A: Thank you. He’s currently 22 months. This summer he’ll turn two which is so hard to believe. (I guess every mom says that!)

Q: You haven’t said too much about this other than in one post, but I’m sorry to hear about the custody and parenting difficulties with your oldest son, that’s really a shame.

A: Yes, it really is. Teenager is a remarkably well adjusted [thankfully] and well behaved young man- we are very lucky to have him and do what we can to make his life as happy as possible. It is quite unfortunate that there are some parents who, for whatever reason, simply do not do the right thing for their child.

Q: I liked your Simple Thing entry, why haven’t I seen any more of those?

A: Yeah, about that. I’ve been a slacker. Every time I came up with another one I think it was just too simple and everyone would have thought of it already (i.e. online banking). I’ve just not put a lot of concentration into it lately. I hope to do more. Stay tuned.

Q: You’ve said that you were a Professional Organizer but don’t take clients anymore, are you going to go back to this someday?

A: It’s unlikely at this point. When I was working as a Professional Organizer my main focus was helping folks to realize that they have to prioritize not only their belongings but their activities in life and not over-clutter/overburden their homes or lives with excess. It would be going against that very principle to try to take on clients while still devoting proper time and attention to my family and writing. My plate is full.

Q: Are you really organized and have your house totally in order?

A: I freely admit I am one who struggles with organization in my own life so I have to be really diligent to stay organized. Sometimes things are totally organized to my standards and other times not so much, but I do know what to do to get things that way. (It goes back to the old adage of the painter’s house that needs painting, etc.) So many things have gone on in our lives over the last few years that we’ve not made it enough a priority to get things together in the manner we want them. I recently went into a little more detail on this subject in my post Clutter.

Q: The Oh No She Didn’t entries were hilarious! So, your ex’s wife actually reads your blog?

A: Thanks! And yes, she really does! I can’t begin to guess why, other than the obvious reasons (like why all of you are reading!) but, honestly I find it amusing and really don’t care one way or the other. I only write things that I don’t mind anyone reading and knowing.

Q: I haven’t seen any mean or negative comments yet, does this mean you haven’t gotten any or do you just not post them?

A: I have had some, actually. The few I have had haven’t been worth posting. If someone is just making a remark to be mean I generally reject it. However, if their comment is so ridiculous that it provides entertainment value then I’m likely to post it.

Q: Who does the Wordless Wednesday pics? You’ve had some nice shots. Can you tell me more about them?

A: The hubby gets the credit for nearly all the Wordless Wednesday photos- he’s a great photographer! Occasionally I will snap something I deem worthy, but they are generally from him. Some shots have been taken on vacation, some on other travels (like hubby’s business trips), a couple from our honeymoon and others from our own backyard. The pics of the baby are usually taken by me since I’m the one who’s around him the majority of the time.

Some very bad combinations

Here’s a little rant and whine-fest update. The running thing hasn’t worked so well. I started as I promised myself, then the forces combined to make it impossible—we’ve had an issue with unhealthy air quality for over two weeks now, perfect timing! So, I was handed an excuse and one I didn’t even want because I was so determined! I finally got my new running shoes and haven’t even had a chance to try them yet. Then, the rest of it went a little something like this...we had a lot of family in town, which was really great but resulted in some not so great food choices, overindulging during the holiday, the loss of my heart rate monitor [during a mad cleaning-fest], which in turn meant I didn’t even do my inside exercises for a few days. Then the @%*#! A/C went out. It’s been triple digits. They are currently in the process of attempting to repair it and of course they’ve “never seen our particular unit before” and the parts need to be ordered from Pakichinastan or something. The hot temperatures and poor air quality have meant that we can’t go anywhere and do anything and the baby’s cranky and hard to handle (this isn’t much different from most days, but still). Because of the inside temperatures I’ve not been cooking the last few nights [more bad food choices] because I sure don’t want to do anything to increase the temperature. I’m afraid to even use the toaster at this point! So, put all this together and guess what? I gained four pounds. Just like that. I’m supposed to be losing and here I am gaining. Yes, I should have had the fortitude to not let the above be excuses and find a way to still stay on track, get some exercise in and make it all work, but that didn’t happen. I did finally get on the elliptical yesterday [found my heart rate monitor!] and made it all the way to my 30 minutes before the baby hollered at me, so that’s something. I would have done it again this morning but I have to wait for the A/C repair guy. Currently, I’m looking for the silver lining in all of this. I know it’s got to be there somewhere!

Holy Guacamole!

I never envisioned sharing recipes on this blog but during our 4th of July Party my guacamole was a hit so I thought I'd post the recipe.
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· Ripe avocados
· Lime- fresh
· Sea Salt
· Garlic- fresh
· Salsa-fresh

Mash several avocados (a pastry blender or potato masher works great) leaving some “chunks” unless you prefer it smooth. Squeeze fresh lime juice over the top. Sprinkle in sea salt. Add a couple of spoonfuls of salsa and several cloves of minced garlic. Mix together with a spoon. Squeeze more lime juice on top to prevent browning and add flavor. Serve with good, yellow corn tortilla chips. (Each 1 oz of guacamole is 1 WW point)
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A note about ingredients and amounts: The amounts of each ingredient will depend on how many you’ll be serving and personal taste preferences. I’ve been making this for years and don’t really measure, but to give you a rough idea, one good sized avocado per person, a teaspoon of salsa per person, 1 clove garlic per person, 1 lime for a small batch, more for larger amounts. The secret to this recipe is using “real” ingredients. I only use real garlic, not powder, salt or even jarred [unless I’m really desperate & have nothing else]. Fresh salsa is also important—I am not talking about jarred “picante sauce” from your grocery store shelf. You need good, refrigerated salsa, preferably the kind with cilantro as this adds a much needed flavor to the guacamole. If you do not have fresh salsa in your area you can substitute my homemade Pico de Gallo which is as follows:

· 1 small ripe tomato- finely chopped
· ½ white or yellow onion- finely chopped
· A couple fresh cilantro leaves (found in the herb section of your supermarket) finely chopped
· Lime – a couple squeezes
Mix together & add to your guacamole as you would the salsa, though you will use less since there will be less water.

Many of the ingredients used in these recipes are from Trader Joe's where we buy the majority of our food. I highly recommend them if they are in your area.

Of course no appetizer of chips and guacamole would be complete without a margarita!

Since we make attempts at keeping reasonably healthy and our calories down, I have developed my own margarita recipe inspired by the Skinny Girl Margarita mentioned by Bethenny Frankel on the show “The Real Housewives of New York City”. I stopped making my margarita with a mix, due not only to the high calorie content but the use of HFCS which I am trying to avoid whenever possible.

I am currently searching for a clever name for my margarita, but so far I’ve got nothin’. Feel free to write in with your clever suggestions! There’s no prize, but you’ll receive my gratitude and a mention on SAHM: Surviving Assorted Home Mayhem.
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· 3 oz. 100% Agave Tequila (silver is best, we just happen to have this one on hand)
· 3 oz. Triple Sec
· 1 T Blue Agave natural sweetener
· 5-6 Limes, juiced
· 2-3 oz. water (depending on how strong you want it)

Mix Blue Agave sweetener into lime juice, add to your cocktail shaker with the alcohol and water and shake. Pour into salt rimmed and lime garnished margarita glasses. Enjoy!

This recipe makes enough for two and fills two small margarita glasses approximately twice. By sharing half this recipe the WW points are 3.5. This is down from about 8 or 9 with a traditional margarita mix.

Photography credit: Many thanks to the photographer: my hubby. His efforts were well rewarded-- he got to eat some guacamole and wash it down with a margarita.