Project #1- Ryan's 5th birthday party. The next few months will be pretty busy...we have 3 trips coming up (Oahu, NYC & the East Coast and camping at the volcano), so I figured I'd better get an early start so I'm not rushing later. And I'm glad that I did- because Ryan chose a tough theme this year..the Japanese Shinkansen (bullet train)! It appears that maybe only 3-4 other little boys across the country have ever celebrated one (so ordering party supplies is clearly not an option). However, thanks to those precious few other Shinkansen party trailblazers (I'm talking about YOU little Bryson, Yuta and Cope), I was able to shamelessly adopt a few ideas and individualize them a little bit.
|First up- a Shinkansen pennant...Ryan helped me cut and paste pictures of friends and family that we used to fill all the windows of the train!|
|These are to stick into the musubi and mochi appetizers.|
|Labels for the lunch bento boxes we're making and the party favors (which will be a few of Ryan's favorite Japanese snacks).|
|I made these from cutting origami (Japanese rice paper) to string into another smaller pennant for the food table...|
Project #2 - I've mentioned this gazillions of times, but I'm a longtime flexitarian (i.e.- uncommitted vegetarian). On average, I eat meat once a week. Mostly when I eat out. I aspire to be vegetarian, but for me- moderation is they key to long term success. I've been rocking this diet for most of my life (I've never liked handling meat), but have gotten much more committed about it over the last 5 years...so I feel pretty good (though not great) about eating less meat.
However, one area that I always need to improve upon is eating more fresh vegetables (I got fruits covered). A few days ago, after thumbing through my friend Heidi's copy of The China Experiment, I was reminded of how critical it is to maintain a plant-based diet and not buy into the old-school mentality of animal-protein based diets (dairy is a weak spot of mine, I inhale cheese and yogurt for protein along with tofu and nuts).
When preparing meals, I tend to fall back on a few faithful meals that lack fresh vegetables, vitamins and nutrients- pasta with pesto sauce, cheese pizza, spinach ravioli, etc. (Now you know why I still rock plenty of muffin top.) So today's project was to prepare all our veggies from the Farmers Market. I made three dishes- first I chopped up broccoli, purple onion, red potatoes, tomatoes, sweet peppers, red and green bell pepper, Chinese peas and carrots. Then I tossed them with some olive oil, salt and pepper and roasted them in the oven. I also made a pan of butternut squash and tofu and broccoli/Chinese peas stir fry. Again, I used only olive oil, salt, pepper and a splash of soy sauce. (I eliminated prepared sauces from our diet back in Sep when I broke out in hives).
Project #3 - File our taxes. It's great working from home and only working a few hours a week. The only downside (besides earning peanuts)? We have to file three sets of taxes- federal, the state of Hawaii and the state of California (since my client is there). Thankfully, I did the hours of grunt work (finding paperwork, entering data), and Rich finessed and finalized them. And as of today...we are done! Ha-le-lu-jah.
Project #4 - Money saving. As I mentioned above, mama has not exactly been raking in the dough the last 4-5 years. And now that we're getting ready to move and more than sextuple (I don't know what's higher than sextupling, but we're doing a lot more than sextupling unfortunately) our living expenses, I need to buckle down a bit. So I'm cutting back our spending, and am getting ready to have one of our semi-annual garage sales. Lots of work, but satisfying.
Project #5 - I'm helping a friend that needs medical attention try to get it. I don't want to get to into it online, but suffice to say that this person needs help, but maybe doesn't know to get it, so I've been logging calls up the wazoo to try and help facilitate things.
Project #6 - REST. I had dental surgery yesterday (dental implant round #2), and I'm forcing myself to not run for a few days. My goal is to rest/heal more on this one so I don't reject it again. My tooth is now worth more than I paid for my first car, so I need to take care of it. (Note: If I kick the bucket...don't bother raiding my jewelry chest. Get a chisel and go after my dental implant.)
So that's it...my accounting of much of the last 10-14 days. :-) I'm actually pretty pleased. Nearly 5 years into motherhood (I've never been quick, folks), I've finally found a way to appreciate and thrive in the fortunate situation I've been given. I'm a lucky girl!