Friday, May 29, 2009

7 Quick Takes: The Shopping Edition

So one of the downsides to me being home is that I've been shopping. A lot... I have a new job now, so I needed just a few things to wear that were mommy clothes, not working clothes. And since I'm home more, I notice that we need a few things here and there. And I have TIME to shop now, and often NEED an excuse to get out of the house. And when the UPS person brings me something that I've ordered on-line, well it's just nice to see a friendly face. Next thing you know, I'm going to be ordering things from HSN just to talk to a friendly voice on the other end of the phone! So here, in no particular order, are the things that I've purchased lately. I'm done now, by the way. There will be no more random buying of THINGS because that's just not going to get me anywhere. I know that, but it's been a little fun while it lasted!


I think that it all started with these black Decker flip flops. Kaley over at ChaChing on a Shoestring alerted me to the fact that they were only $12 and through Cashbaq, so there was a 10% rebate too, with free shipping and free return shipping if I didn't like them. My old black flip flops were super uncomfortable. I would avoid wearing my clothes that required black shoes because I hated them so much. I figured I had nothing to loose since there was free shipping both ways, so I went ahead and ordered them. LOVE them! They are so comfortable. We have tile in our house and it is impossible to walk barefoot at home- it's just too hard on your feet. I put these on in the morning and leave them on until bed at night. And now, I wear my black shorts, black pants and black Capri pants since I have comfy shoes. For $12, I got not only a pair of shoes but also use of three other articles of clothing from my own closet. (Like my rationalization there???) Sadly, these shoes are no longer available and even sadder, there are no plans to make more. :-(


Since I loved the Deckers flops so much, I decided that I could use a pair in brown too, especially at $12! Of course by the time I decided this, they were already completely gone. I'd been telling myself for DAYS to get on and order them, but alas, I waited too long. Never fear though, Cashbaq had another suggestion for me- these shoes by Simple, a sister company to Decker. They were being closed out for $19.90, free shipping, 7% rebate. So I went ahead and ordered them, thinking that I could wear them with my brown outfits. (I know the shoes pictured are red... mine are brown... could not find brown photo!) I just got them from the UPS man today. They are not as great as the flops, but no free return shipping on these and I think that I will actually wear them. We are going to New York in October and I always have a problem finding closed toed shoes to wear in the cold, so I think that these will fit the bill. (More justification, do you like it??)


Just so you know, not ALL of my recent shopping has been for me- I got my little boy in on the shoe buying fun too! I took him to the mall to play the other day and there were twins there with the most adorable shoes- they looked like the ones above, but they had turtles on them. I commented to their mom about the shoes and she told me that they are just the $12.99 ones from Target. Seemed reasonable to me, so off to Target we went! Since giraffes are my favorite animals and Tyler does not yet have a favorite, I picked these out for him. I actually really like them- they have soft leather bottoms and he is starting to walk around more, so he needed something more than socks. These run big, by the way. Tyler is almost 9 months old, but these are a 0-6 month size and they fit fine.


Refurbished Wolfgang Puck Immersion Blender. (No photo. Google it if you really want to! :-)) I make a lot of Tyler's baby food and I was sick of trying to blend a single baby serving of peas, then having to deal with washing the whole blender, etc. This comes with a neat little chopping cup that I thought would be perfect for making baby food. I bought it for $19 on eBay, free shipping, 30 day money back guarantee, no questions asked. So far, it has been less than ideal for the baby food. The chopping cup is still a little big to handle the little quantities that I am trying to make, but I will keep this and make some soup or something! It is good quality, just not as perfect as I hoped for my intended purpose.


The Swiffer Sweeper Vac! I picked this up at Wal-Mart today. It was $27 ish and I had a $5 off coupon (you can request yours via snail mail here) making it $22 ish. We have tile through the main living areas of our house and although I love it, my perfectionistic tendencies mean that I have a three step process for cleaning the floors- sweep to get the bigger pieces, use microfiber cloth to get stuff broom missed, wet mop or wet swiffer. Doesn't sound too complicated, but really, I'm neurotic and if I feel I'm not getting it 100% clean, I just don't do it. So lots of times, the floors are not as clean as I would like. Tyler is crawling around a lot more now and it's just a lot more important that our floors are clean, so I'm hoping that this will combine steps 1 & 2 above. There is a money back rebate, so if I'm not happy, I will be taking advantage of that. I just bought it today and it's charging- I'm anxious to see how it will work. I won't be using the Swiffer dry cloths with it, by the way. I will be using a reusable, washable microfiber cloth to save money (haha, in a post all about SHOPPING!) and help the earth too!


This one falls under the category of saving money and the environment too... it's a Swimmi by Bummis- a reusable swim diaper. We went in the pool yesterday and I had to open a new package of Huggies Swim diapers. It's only May! We have a pool at the house and I imagine Tyler will be going in quite a bit this summer. He loves it, his dad loves it and I love that they love it! When he wants to just be held, it's a lot easier to do that in 4 feet of water than on land- he's a lot lighter! Disposable swim diapers are expensive and most of the time, I am just taking off and throwing away a clean diaper. I did a bit of on-line research and decided to give these a try. I paid about $15 with free shipping on eBay. That's about 1 and a half packs of the Huggies, or 37 swim diapers. I think that we'll be in the pool at least 37 times this summer, so hopefully it will pay off. I just have to convince my husband that it's okay to wash and reuse a diaper! :-)


Another one for the bambino... Walking Wings. My kid loves to walk. He loves the walker, he'll tolerate standing in his Exersaucer, but what he loves most of all is for you to hold his little hands and walk him around the house. He does everything he possibly can to get a hold of your two fingers and get himself UP. He's sneaky... you don't even realize he's doing it until he's on his feet and going. And if you try to stop him, he'll throw a temper tantrum any 3 year old would be proud of. He's advanced- I'm telling you! ;-) I don't always indulge his need for speed, but sometimes, he needs to practice this whole walking thing. The problem lies in my lower back, or yours if you were trying to walk him around. There's only so much time you can spend bent over supporting his weight and keeping his balance by holding onto his little hands. Enter Walking Wings. They are kind of like a parachute harness that he wears around his chest, under his arms. There are straps that go up for mom or dad or gullible strange to hold on to and help him keep his balance. They work well- he does not like them as much as he likes holding your fingers, but he'll tolerate them. They are easier on my back, but still take a toll. I'll be glad when he's walking on his own and I can just hold his hand. And I'm sure that I'll live to regret those works and long for the days when he's not quite so mobile!

So that's it... well, that's 7 and this is called 7 quick takes! There are a few more things that I could throw on this list, but this is it for a while. I'm calling it quits on the shopping- really. Stay tuned in the next few days for posts about where to go to get out of the house that doesn't involve SHOPPING. I'll also introduce you to Larry - stay tuned!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Jon Gosselin

Discovery Channel/Laura Pedrick

Did you watch Jon and Kate Plus 8? Did you know that it was the #1 rated show for its time slot? More people watched TLC than CBS! I'm not sure what it says about us as a nation that we are all wanting to tune in to witness the seemingly inevitable demise of this marriage. It's really sad to see it happening and it sad to see that we as a society are so eager to watch something so sad. I'm not sure that I will continue to watch the show, but I did watch Monday night's premier.

I recorded it when it aired, then watched it early Tuesday morning when Tyler woke up to nurse. Maybe it was the early hour, maybe it was the lack of sleep, but something that Jon said really resonated with me. It seems pretty clear that he resents Kate for being the one in demand. It's her book deal, her speaking engagements, her traveling all the time. He's left home with the kids to manage things on the home front, with help I am sure, but he's the one there. Someone off camera asked him if he thought things would be different if he were the one traveling everywhere and doing all this. He made some pretty self-deprecating comments about how he can't write, so it would never happen and how some people don't even think that he can talk right or breath right. I'm assuming this is Kate based on comments she's made in the past in the interview room on the show.

He then goes on to say this:
I worked my whole life... I mean, I love being home with my kids, don't get me wrong. I mean, I guess you always think the grass is greener. But it's not what I choose. It was kind of chosen for me... and I did it because I love my kids and I love my family and that's what it is.
Here was a guy who, several seasons ago, had a pretty clear cut role- Kate was home with the kids and he left and had an IT job somewhere. Now, he's the one left home with the kids while Kate has a pretty high profile gig doing book signings and public appearances. He's probably at a point where he can't get a job because of the publicity of the show. She's the one likely controlling the money and their careers. It was clear at the end of last season that he wasn't really on board for continuing the show and she just kind of dismissed him and his feelings, saying of course they would be doing the show. His role as provider and what he percieved as his carreer are pretty much a thing of the past- he's become Suddenly Stay @ Home too!

I can really identify with what Jon said. Yes, I love my son and yes, I love my family, but my job fulfilled me in a different way than either of those things can. In some ways, I think that statement is absolutely ridiculous- it's not like I was saving starving children in Africa and working towards world peace, but part of my identity was tied up in that job- having any job. I was part of working society- I contributed, paid taxes, had a 401(k). And I contributed something tangible to our family- a paycheck every two weeks, medical benefits. My contributions now seem so much smaller, so much less significant. I "work" really hard to get free dog treats at the grocery store and save $1 off my husband's preferred brand of deodorant. Sometimes the highlight of my day is actually getting to finish an entire load of laundry. It all just feels really small.

Just like Jon said, I didn't choose this- it was chosen for me. I didn't choose to leave my job- I didn't have time to come to grips with the change- it literally happened overnight. My job broke up with me, I didn't break up with it. There is a sense of rejection that comes with that even though my job loss was because the corporate parent shut down an entire division of a company. It had absolultely nothing to do with my performance as an employee and there is absolutely nothing that I could have done to make the outcome any different. I know this, but at the same time, I'm still a little bitter. They took something that I perceived as mine- my job, my career- I'm not the one who gave it up.

I wish that I had some answers. I don't- I'm just trying to make due the best I can, taking it a day at a time and trying to make things work. I know on some level that what I'm doing is a blessing to my family and a blessing, especially, to my son. I just hope that it starts sinking in to all the levels and at some point I find my own kind of achievement at home.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Dinner Last Night- CrockPot Brown Sugar Chicken

I know that you were all waiting to see how I solved our chicken conundrum (haha!). We had Brown Sugar Chicken last night- mostly because I had all of the ingredients in the house. It was about 12:30 and I realized that if I didn't get something going soon, we were not going to be able to do the CrockPot thing. I cut the recipe in half since I only had about 6 chicken thighs in my package. I also used lime flavored seltzer water instead of lemon-lime soda, because that's what I had. I think that the flavor was just fine.

I served the chicken over rice and it was very good. It was not dry like last time. I skinned the chicken before I put it in the CrockPot and I pulled the chicken off the bones before I served it. In hindsight, I wish that I had left the chicken on the bone to serve, but my husband claimed not to like chicken thighs, so I was trying to disguise them. I also minced the garlic with a garlic press this time and that worked very well. Last time, I tried to chop the garlic and the pieces were just too big. This time, the garlic was in there, but you couldn't see it. Very good!

I was pleased with the cost of the recipe too. I am trying VERY hard to cut our grocery budget. I'm inspired by Erin at $5 Dinners and this post by Melissa. This dinner was under the $5 mark- chicken was $2.50 or so, rice about $0.15 and other ingredients negligible. Success for the night in my book!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

It's been a weird weekend since everyone is off today- does not quite feel like Monday! I hope that you are all enjoying your long weekends! Here is our plan for the week:

Monday: Leftovers! We have meatloaf and a pasta dish from this weekend. We grilled out yesterday, so that's out of the way!

Tuesday: Something with the chicken thighs on sale at Publix. I am thinking of trying CrockPot 20-40 Clove Garlic Chicken or CrockPot Brown Sugar Chicken. The Brown Sugar Chicken gets rave reviews on-line. I made it with chicken breasts and it was not great. It was dry, which is weird for something that comes from the CrockPot. I am willing to give it a second change with the thighs, though, since they have more fat. The garlic was also too big, so if I do this one, I will be mincing the garlic.

Wednesday: London Broil- On sale at Publix last week for $2.49! I managed to find a small one and covered it in marinade and put it into a zip lock bag in the freezer, so it's waiting for me. Because it's small, we should not have left overs.

Thursday: Pulled Pork Sandwiches from the freezer, homemade coleslaw

Friday: Spaghetti with meat sauce (since Ragu and pasta are on sale at Publix this week!)

Saturday: Turkey Dinner complete with stuffing and cranberry sauce. I will use the leftovers next week for Turkey Pot Pie and Turkey Enchiladas, most likely. Details on the why of this in coming posts...

I hope that everyone has a wonderful week!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

I saved almost $100 at Publix today!!!!!

I just got back from the weekly trip to Publix. I knew that it was going to be a good week savings wise with the Kraft Products BOGO plus the printable coupons they've had out there. I had no idea just *HOW* good it was going to be. Normally, I save anywhere from 45- 55 % on any given week. I always follow Sarah's matchups and do fairly well. Today, though, the stars just aligned and I ended up saving $94.63 and spending $46.37. That's 67% savings!

Here are a few of my favorite deals:
  • Denta Styx- BOGO at $3.59- I had $2.50 off coupons that I printed a while ago- not sure how long, but with $5 off, this was a money maker! And the poor, neglected dog got some treats too! :-)
  • A1 Sauce- BOGO at $3.99- I had coupons from last week's circular- $2 off, so I got 2 bottles of A.1. FREE!
  • Kraft BBQ Sauce- BOGO at $1.49- used the Kraft $1 off printables, and this was a money maker too! I could have printed twice from and twice from the Kraft site, but I didn't.
  • Chicken Thighs at $0.99 per lb. I used to be a boneless- skinless chicken breast snob, but I've come to love the chicken thighs. They end up more moist in certain recipes and are PERFECT for the crock pot. I just skin them before I cook them and pull the bones out after they're done.
And my favorite deal of all- there is a coupon in the Publix circular- buy any three Kellogg's cereals (some on sale for $1.99 each) and get a free gallon of Publix milk. I still had some of the $1 off coupons that were out a few weeks ago, so I got a box of Rice Krispies, two boxes of Corn Pops and a gallon of milk for $3! Milk alone is normally $2.89 and I would have bought it anyway! Even if you didn't have coupons, $6 for three boxes of cereal and the milk is not a bad deal.

BTW- I have thirteen boxes (yes, 13) of cereal in my pantry right now. Maybe more... I need them to quit having these deals on cereal. My husband thinks I'm nuts and he might be right... Then again, one box = three servings for him, so maybe HE'S the one who is nuts! I will use the Rice Krispies to make Rice Krispie Treats, maybe with peanut butter and if we don't eat the other cereals, I will start donating them.

Finally, I needed diapers. With all of my planning and saving and looking for good deals, I needed to go buy diapers! Tyler went through size 2 so fast, I thought he'd go through size 3 just as quickly, so I started stockpiling size 4. We're out of size 3 and the 4s just are a bit too large. Luckily, Publix sent me a coupon through their Baby Club program for $5 off Pampers. I stacked this with a $1.50 manufacturer's coupon and got 76 diapers for $13.50, or about $0.17 each. This is a pretty good price- I usually pay about $0.20 each.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Start- Select- B - A- Up Arrow

Do you remember the original Nintendo? The one that came with Super Mario Brothers and Duck Hunt? The controllers had cords and you couldn't really save your progress- you had to leave the game on if you wanted to pick up where you left off? There were cheat codes- ways to get to secret worlds, ways to keep going after you technically died. They were complicated- you had to push buttons in seemingly random order to get the machine to do what you wanted. And all this before the Internet- the secret codes were published in gaming magazines. What would kids now say about our games then?

I feel like my son is that original Mario Brothers game and the key to getting him to sleep is the right combination of feeding, bouncing, rocking and letting him cry it out. If I could only find the right gaming magazine! And if the secret code didn't change on a daily basis!

When he had a routine, he took a morning nap about two hours after he woke up. He would wake up, eat and go down again two hours after that. I know it's weird- he's NOT a morning baby, I don't know what to tell you. When I first started staying home with him, I thought that he should take his morning nap and then take an afternoon nap about two or three. We tried to do that for a few weeks without much success. Finally, I was walking him one day at 1 pm and he fell asleep in the stroller. I thought this was weird and too early for an afternoon nap, but the next day I went ahead and put him down at one. He was out within 10 minutes. He slept through the night, no problem.

I'm not sure what happened between there and here- I think that there were some bad nights with the appearance of his first two teeth and then Nannie and Grandpa were in town and things got a little disturbed there and now we are here- no naps, waking up in the night and staying up for several hours. I know that he's tired- he's falling asleep as soon as he starts nursing and he's clumsy and short tempered. He rubs his eyes and sucks his thumb and the minute I put him in his crib, he starts screaming and doesn't stop. I know that you're supposed to let them cry it out. He cried full steam for 20 minutes today without stopping. Just how long are you supposed to let them cry??

So here we are tonight. He napped for about 45 minutes in the car today and that's it. He was up for 3 hours in the middle of the night last night. I know he's tired. He normally goes to bed at 8. He didn't make it through dinner about 6:30 tonight without a little meltdown. My kid's so advanced, he's going through the terrible twos at 8 months! I held him out until 7 and went ahead and nursed him. He was asleep in no time and when I switched sides, he didn't even wake up to start nursing on that side. When I tried to put him down, though, then, he was wide awake and screaming. So I took him back to nurse on the other side. Same deal- fell asleep almost immediately until I put him down. I finally ended up standing in his dark room rocking him until he fell asleep. I put him down and then rubbed his back until he got settled. This worked last night too, but I had to put him down, then pick him back up three times or so before he finally stayed asleep. I think that he is waking up in the middle of the night because he is not sleeping in the afternoons- sleep begets sleep, right?

I've tried taking the approach of following his cues and putting him down when he seems tired. I've tried following the clock to a tee and putting him down exactly at certain times. Neither seems to work and we're both exhausted. Any ideas??

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Asparagus, Pecorino and Red Onion Salad

Do you watch Secrets of a Restaurant Chef on the Food Network? It's one of my favorite shows- Anne Burrell is really very funny- she talks to all of her food and uses more salt than can possibly be healthy! Normally, her foods are a little more involved than what I have time to tackle, but when I saw this recipe for a simple asparagus salad, I figured that I could handle it. I love recipes like this that let the flavors of the veggies really shine through. My mom picked up a lovely bunch of asparagus at the produce stand this weekend and instead of roasting it like I usually do, I made a version of Anne's recipe instead.

Here's my version:
  • 1/2 bunch pencil asparagus, tough bottom stems removed
  • generous pinch finely diced red onion
  • generous pinch Parmesan cheese
  • few sprinkles red-wine vinegar
  • drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil
  • fresh ground sea salt salt


Cut the asparagus, including the tips into very thin slices, crosswise and place in a medium bowl. Add the red onion and Parmesan and toss to combine. Dress with the vinegar, olive oil and salt and toss again. This salad should be fairly heavily dressed. The vinegar will sort of "cook" or tenderize the asparagus.

The recipe recommends letting this sit for a bit to let the flavors marry. I didn't do this tonight, but I have left overs in the fridge, so I am thinking that this might even taste better tomorrow. I didn't measure- she makes it look so easy on TV to just throw in a bit of this and a bit of that. I think that I'll pay more attention to proportions next time- I don't think that my salad had enough dressing, even through it was very good!

WFMW- Instant Coffee = Instant Afternoon Pick Me Up!

When I worked outside the home, coffee was provided at work. Now that I am home, it seems silly to brew an entire pot just for me. But sometimes, in the afternoons, I just need a little something to help me through the day- I reach for instant coffee.

If I want a hot beverage, I heat 6 oz of water plus 6 oz of milk in the microwave for 2 minutes and stir in about a teaspoon or so of instant coffee crystals. Add two Splenda (on sale at Walgreens this week) and you've got it made!

If I want something cold, I heat the water, add the coffee and combine with cold milk served over ice.

Sometimes I even add a little bit of Hershey's Syrup! Not too often that you can turn your day around in three minutes or less and for WAY less that Starbucks or even that new McCafe that they're peddling. Happy Brewing!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

Although I didn't follow my plan last week, we didn't end up going out, ordering in or wasting anything. I have a package of mushrooms in my fridge that need a meal and will probably end up going into the trash, but not terrible. We used to be REALLY bad about going out and wasting food, so we're still a work in progress. By the way, I no longer allow many leftovers. I deliberately cook less food so that we don't have leftovers- my husband just doesn't eat them, and there's only so much that I can eat for lunch. So here's our week:

  • Monday: Tortellini, Garlic Bread from the bread maker and green salad
  • Tuesday: Meatloaf (with ground turkey- don't tell my husband!), mashed potatoes and cooked carrots and dinner rolls
  • Wednesday: Bacon and Swiss Frittata (still trying to use those eggs!), asparagus and toast
  • Thursday: Swedish meatballs, egg noodles and peas
  • Friday: BBQ Chicken Sandwiches from the crock pot, baked beans and corn

Hopefully this week will be better than the last! Happy Monday!

On Housekeeping

Thanks to tandemracer via Flickr for the beautiful kitchen sink photo!

If my mother knew that I was discussing housekeeping, she would die laughing. And then take me to have my head examined. My husband would just skip straight to the head examination. To say that I am not the world's best housekeeper is an understatement. There are photos of me as a child in the middle of my bedroom and if you didn't know any better, you might think that we were the victims of a horrible natural disaster. There are dolls flung here, clothes laying there, puzzle and game pieces littering the floor. Things did not get much better with age. There were times as a teenager that sleeping on the couch was preferable to finding my bed under the pile of clutter.

I am be no means an expert on keeping things neat, organized or clean.

That being said, I have a husband who is a neat freak. He likes things just-so. On the rare occasion that I move the books on the coffee table to dust, he comes home and immediately notices. He doesn't notice (or thank me for) the lack of dust, but he does notice that his books are a few millimeters off center. And then he moves them back to their rightful place.

I also have a son who is learning to crawl and no longer stays where I put him on his play mats or clean blanket. Having a relatively clean house becomes that much more important when you have a wee one navigating on hands and knees!

Finally, I feel better when things are neat(er). Having a lot of clutter in the house does add to a sense of anxiety. Things run much more smoothly when clothes are put away in their proper place and I don't have to wage an all out search for a particular shirt or pair of pants. I am more likely to have friends over if I can focus on planning a fun menu instead of waging an all out war against the clutter and mess. I used to have a built in excuse for a messy house- I worked all day- I could not possibly be expected to keep everything up at home. No more job, no more excuse. I was here all day, I should be able to deal with the basics of keeping a home. I was here all day, I wanted somewhere nice to be! I would not take a job in a cluttered, unorganized office, so if home was to be my office, I needed it to be clean!

So what's a natural messy to do when it comes to keeping things clean? When I worked outside the home, we sometimes said that you don't have to know it all, you just have to know who to call. I apply this same principle to housework. I rely on tips and tricks I've picked up to help keep things running smoothly.

FlyLady: I don't follow this plan to a tee, but I do think that she's write about a few things. First, keep your kitchen sink clean at all costs. If you leave a dish in your sink- one dish, it announces, "Party in the kitchen sink!" and all the other dishes come climbing out of the cabinets to lounge in the kitchen sink. Really, I promise. And apparently, one dish in the sink in man language means that the dishwasher must be full, broken, dirty or on a vacation, because it there's one dish there, my husband adds more. Even if he has just seen me empty the entire dishwasher and knows that it's empty. I run my dishwasher overnight, so in the morning, it gets unloaded for the day and all of our dirty dishes just go in there, no stop to party in the sink.

FlyLady also advocates getting dressed for your day, down to your shoes. I must admit that I am sitting here in my pajamas typing this post. It's 10:30 am and we've been up since 6:30. But today is a good day- I'm not pulling my hair out, we slept all the way through the night last night and my son went down for a morning nap. On bad days, days when we've been up three times during the night, he won't go down for a nap and I feel like a crappy wife and mother? On those days, we get dressed ASAP. Everything feels better after a quick shower and putting on real clothes. And it makes it that much easier to just grab the carseat and the keys and get out of the house, which is sometimes the only way to rescue a really bad day. There is a reason that they make people in offices dress a certain way- clothing contributes to how we feel and how productive we feel. If you are having trouble getting things done, try dressing for success and see if that makes a difference. I know that it does for me!

Totally Together Journal: Stephanie is the author of this blog and upcoming book of the same name. I first "met" Stephanie through her CrockPotting blog. (It's WONDERFUL too- you should check it out!) Stephanie has a somewhat laid back approach to cleaning- do a little bit each day and you will never get to the point where you have to do a lot. I also really like her approach to laundry- do one load completely- wash, dry, fold and put away- each day. I can't tell you how accomplished I now feel when I do this. If the rest of the day is headed to hell in a hand basket, at least I can point to this one thing and say, "Well at least I did my load of laundry for the day!" For me, it's all about breaking it down into manageable steps.

Part of the reason that housekeeping is so tough for me is because I am a perfectionist. I take the phrase, "If it's not done right, it's not worth doing!" to heart and just don't do housework because I can't do it all perfectly right now today. I can't get the tile grout clean, so I might as well just not clean the floor at all. I don't have time today to sweep, swiffer and scrub on hands and knees, so I just won't do anything. Sometimes, I have to literally repeat to myself over and over, "Cleaner is a blessing to my family, cleaner is a blessing to my family." And sometimes it works! :-)

What are some of the things that help you stay on track when it comes to keeping house?

Thanks to Jenny at Babyfingers for reminding me about the FlyLady. Jenny is mom to adorable Suzy and Ivey, who arrives in 12 weeks or so. Jenny will be a SAHM when Ivey gets here!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Homemade Baby Food- Chicken

Even though today was a little rough, I did manage to make a chicken for Tyler. I make a lot of his baby food because it just looks better than the stuff in the jars. It's also cheaper and I know what's in it. I bought a whole organic chicken yesterday. I don't always buy organic for Tyler and I almost never buy organic for us, but I feel like it's important for him to have the best proteins possible when he's so little.

When he does eat baby food from the jar, I try to buy the Earth's Best baby food for him. I get it for about $0.40 per jar by waiting until it goes on sale for buy one get one free at Publix and using a coupon on top of that. Super Target has it for about $0.75 per jar, which is the cheapest I've seen it at regular price. I checked my Walmart, but they do not carry it, at least here. I've also checked out and their price is decent when you factor in $10 off your first order. Even the Earth's Best food it not all that appetizing when you pop it open... it makes me think of condensed soup which does not make me think fresh or nourishing.

So enter this chicken. Here's what I did- I washed the chicken. I didn't worry too much about drying it. I put it in the crock pot and started it off on high. I turned it down to low when we left the house. About 6 hours later, I pulled the chicken out of the crock pot, reserving the liquid in the bottom. I let the chicken cool, took the skin off it and pulled all the meat off the bones.

I used a ladle to remove the liquid from the crock pot and put it in the fridge so that the fat would come to the top and I could remove it. I used my food processor to grind up the chicken, using as much of the liquid as I needed to get the right consistency. I will use a few ice cube trays to make chicken cubes and also freeze some of the chicken in empty baby food jars. I can mix the chicken with various vegetables and rice to keep things interesting for Tyler. He ate some already tonight with carrots and peas, which I also made for him. I promise that it tasted better than anything from a jar!

If I had roasted this chicken for my husband and me, I would have followed the same method, but added some celery and carrots to the bottom of the crock pot and also some salt, pepper and poultry seasoning to the bird. Then, I would have saved the liquid from the bottom of the pot as super concentrated stock. This freezes really well in breast milk storage bags, if you have any left over!

Struggling to find my Footing

One of the posts that I've intended to write on this site is developing a solid routine to add structure to your day as a SAHM and make sure that the various tasks around the house get accomplished, the child gets fed and you keep your sanity. It seems recently that I am the least qualified person to write anything about routine or structure of getting things accomplished. I have so many goals and ideas for this blog and zero time to accomplish them. Since family left on Monday, I've really been struggling to get the boy back into a good napping routine. He is not taking an afternoon nap at all these days and is also waking up 2+ times per night. This is the child that I woke up to feed at 2 months because he was sleeping through the night and I was concerned that he would be hungry! I don't know how to deal with a baby that's up at 4 am wanting to play! My house is a wreck, I'm not sticking to my menu plan and it's after noon here and I'm not showered. I need a reset button! Any ideas? Recommendations? I'm all ears!!

Have you tried yet? Here's the deal- you pay $10 for a dining certificate worth $25. There are some restrictions on how these can be used- check out the fine print, but overall, it's a great way to save some cash in today's tight economy.

Right now, is sweetening the deal. Using promo code "TASTY" at checkout allows you to get the $25 certificates for just $3. Yep, you read that right- pay $3 for a certificate worth $25 at listed restaurants. It's a perfect time to try out this great money saving site!

Just a tip- the restaurants specify a certain number of certificates to be sold. They generally reset at the beginning of the month. If your preferred restaurant is sold out, you can use the above promo code to buy a gift certificate, then cash in that certificate at the beginning of the month when the certificates reset, but the promo code has expired. I did this for my husband for Christmas and got $75 worth of certificates for $9! Of course, we have a young child and don't actually get to go out to eat, but that's another story!!!

Thanks to Sarah at Fiddledeedee for the promo code. She ROCKS! :-)

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

WFMW- Vinegar and Baking Soda

We moved into our current home about six months ago. The house is about 10 years old, and the last owners didn't really replace anything before they sold it. That means that small things are starting to show their wear around here- including our garbage disposal. Sometimes it works, sometimes it backs up a little, but generally everything goes down eventually.

My in-laws were here fro a visit and in an effort to clean out my fridge to make room for the groceries my mother-in-law and I bought, I threw a container of rice down the disposal... big mistake. Apparently, rice is a big culprit in clogging up garbage disposals! I didn't get too worried when the sink backed up, I just gave it a minute to drain. And then another minute. And then the dishwasher started getting backed up and I started getting worried! My father in law and husband started apprising the situation. "What did you put down here!?!?" was of course the first question.

Then, "Got a plunger?" my father-in-law asks. "Only the one that we use in our TOILET," came the reply. "That's fine, we can Clorox it."

UM NO! Now I am in the unenviable position of having to defend my kitchen sink from the TOILET plunger. Enter my mother-in-law, a.k.a. SUPER WOMAN. "Why don't you try vinegar and baking soda. I think I saw something about that on Oprah." Vinegar. Baking soda. No random poop particles in my sink. Perfect. In goes the baking soda- an old box that I have laying around. I'm not sure that it's going to work with all the water already sitting in the sink and drain, but it's better than the plunger option. In goes the apple cider vinegar, because that's what I've got. The sink starts bubbling... this is good... little more vinegar... the water starts draining! Crisis averted! Toilet plunger NOT required! Woo hoo!

Apparently, she saw some home cleaning expert on Oprah. Our drains are getting more and more clogged these days because of the liquid soaps that we use. They gunk up the pipes. So dump a little vinegar down all of your drains on a regular basis, and you'll be good. And keep the toilet plunger out of your kitchen!!!

For more WFMW ideas, visit We are THAT Family.

Monday, May 11, 2009


When I was a little girl, I loved getting mail. LOVED it. I can remember getting home from day care with my mom and running to check the mailbox to see what was there. I was always hoping for a letter or card from some far away place. Sometimes I would even mail myself letters, just to have something addressed to me at the end of the day! I still love getting mail- something about the promise of really good news being there is appealing to me.

More often than now, though, the mail does not hold much promise- bills and junk mail seem to be the order of these days! That's why, last week, I was delighted to find a sample of Frosted Mini Wheats and valuable coupons waiting for me. This week, it was a coupon for a FREE box of Kashi Waffles and four $1.50 off coupons to share. Does my mail man just really like me?

Nope, both of these came courtesy of Vocalpoint, sponsored by P&G. Not only do they provide coupons, product samples and emails about valuable products, but they also have a message board to help keep your life on track. You can join today at here, then just sit back and wait for the goodies to arrive in your mailbox- it sure beats all of the bills!

Menu Plan Monday

All the company has left and I am looking forward to getting back to a normal routine around here! It's wonderful to have house guests, and we are blessed to have the space for it, but it's also wonderful to just be together as our own little family.

Normally, I plan menus around what meat is on sale, but Publix does not have anything too exciting this week, so I'm trying to use what we have on hand. Here's the week:

Monday: Reheats- yummy leftover meatballs.
Tuesday: Chicken with Peanut Curry Sauce
Wednesday: Beef Polenta Pie (I modify this recipe quite a bit- will post more details Wednesday!)
Thursday: Pulled Pork Sandwiches, coleslaw and corn on the cob
Friday: Quiche or sausage, pepper and onion frittata... I have some eggs that I need to use!

I am also working on some other posts for you, just not ready to be made public yet. I also hope to update the site with the blogs that I read. I hope that your week is off to a wonderful start!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day to all! I hope that you have a wonderful day... remember- no housework allowed on Mother's Day!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

CVS Unileaver Deal

Hello All!

It looks like CVS has a ECB deal for Unilever products this week. (Thanks to Cha Ching on a Shoestring for the head's up!) They are offering $3 ECB when you purchase $10 of participating Unilever products- Skippy, Ragu, Hellman's or Lipton Tea.

In my grocery store this week (Publix) there is a new coupon brochure from Unilever that includes $1 off and Hellman's Mayonnaise. They are manufacturer's coupons, so they can be used anywhere.

Combining these two deals, here is my scenario:

2 Jars Hellman's Mayonnaise @ $3 each
2 packages Lipton Tea @ $3 each

Use 2- $1 off coupons from Publix for the Mayonnaise and $1 off 2 for the tea. That means that I will pay $12 for the items, less $3 in coupons and $3 in ECB for a final cost of $6.

By the way, I get Ragu at various grocery stores for about $1 per jar, so getting 6 jars for $7 after ECB is not too bad. If you have coupons, even better.

More CVS deals to come! Hope that you are enjoying your weekend.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Paying it forward

Although I recently lost my job and we are now trying to make things work on one income, I know that I am still so fortunate and blessed to have a healthy family, a roof over my head and food on our table. The are are SO many people who cannot say that in this economy. Tomorrow, we all have an opportunity to pay it forward...

Tomorrow, letter carriers all over the nation will collect bags of non-perishable food items and deliver them to local food banks. I love that this is a national campaign with people all over the country working together to help end hunger right in our own back yards. Full details on the project are here, but it's really very simple- leave non-perishable foods outside tomorrow, near your mailbox for your letter carrier. They are suggesting items like canned soup, pasta, cereal and juices. They are requesting no expired food or glass containers.

Using coupons and matching coupons to store deals helps me feed my family for less. Now, I'm proud to use my "skills" to help feed someone else's family too. I hope that you'll join me and donate tomorrow too! Have a great weekend!

Tip of the Day and Publix deals.

Tip of the Day: Don't start a blog the week you have family coming into town!

I'm sorry for my absence around here lately. And the lack of depth in posts. And for unrest in the middle east. Swine Flu too... that's on me! We have family in town, so I've been busy entertaining. They leave on Tuesday and I promise to be back with deeper posts on keeping your house in order, saving money on your mortgage WITHOUT refinancing and getting into a routine and out of the house!

I did get to run to my favorite grocery store, Publix, this week. They are having GREAT deals this week- including BOGO Kellogg's- perfect for the coupons just released on and Kellogg's website- you can print two from EACH site.

Earth's Best Organic baby food is also BOGO- Sarah at Fiddledeedee has the details. Stack the printable coupon with the Food Lion coupon and get organic baby food for LESS than the non-organic. I've actually been waiting for this deal for a few weeks now, so I will be stocking up.

Here's a deal that Sarah missed- BOGO Electrosol/ Finish @ $7.79 each. There was a $2.50 coupon in the 4/19 Smart Source Insert. When you use 2 $2.50 off, you get 2 packages for $2.79, or about $1.40 each. Good deal! Don't have 2 coupons? Head over to Fiddledeedee for the skinny on a pritable coupon that makes them cheap too! I love Sarah's site for the coupon matchups!

We enjoyed Strip Steaks on the grill last night. A HUGE splurge at $7.99 per pound, but still far cheaper than going out for a steak dinner- easier with a baby too!

Happy Friday- enjoy your weekend!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Old Navy

Are you hunting Old Navy Weekly for their coupons? They are offering a ton of in-store coupons including $15 off $75, $10 off $50, 30% off if you style your hair like Kelly and even a $75 off $100 coupon!!

Good luck, and let us know what you find!

Thanks to Cha-Ching on a Shoestring for this tip!

Saving Receipts

Lately, I've taken to filing my receipts. ALL of my receipts. I stick them in a box by month and there they all are.

Why, you ask? Well, it seems that I am always finding out about a GREAT rebate deal for an item that I've JUST BOUGHT and thrown away the receipt.

Perfect example- I was just looking over the Caregiver's Marketplace site for my last post on Huggies. Know what else is eligible for a rebate? Cortizone10. Know what I just bought 2 packages of at CVS?? Yep, Cortizone10. And guess where my receipt is? Filed by month in my little box. I'll get $1.00 back for each of the tubes that I purchased.

I just made $2 by saving my receipts! Not too bad!

Saving on Huggies Diapers

Buying diapers was one of the scariest things for me as a new mom. There are so many kinds out there and you're just not sure what is going to work for your baby. Fast forward a few months, and for me, it's all about the best deal! I am fortunate to have a baby who is not too particular about the brand of diaper that covers his bottom. That being said, I seem to gravitate towards Huggies. I seem to find the best deals on them.

We used to buy the diapers at Costco. Big Warehouse Store = Best Price, right? Nope. I've found MUCH better deals by matching coupons and store sales. My personal best was 3 packages of Huggies for $7 at Walgreens. A great Register Rewards Deal matched with some wonderful printed coupons, and viola! Cheap diapers!

Since that does not happen every day, I am always on the lookout for other ways to save. I just got an e-mail from Huggies telling me that they are changing the name and packaging for their diapers. They've also added some improvements too! What does this mean to me? I am going to be scouring the clearance racks at my favorite stores so that when they clear out the old packaging, I'm there, coupon in hand, to save money!

Another way that we save with Huggies is by submitting receipts for Caregivers Marketplace. You get $0.75 cash back for each package of diapers purchased. Other products from adult diapers to pain relievers to itch relief cream are also eligible. See website for details!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Tropicana Orange Juice Coupon

Here in the Sunshine State, we start every day out with a healthy glass of Florida Orange Juice. That is why I am delighted to see Tropicana offering money saving coupons in honor of Mother's Day. Want to print your own coupon? Head over to Coupon Cravings for the info!

Thanks for the head's up Coupon Cravings!

Once you've purchased your carton, don't forget to visit Tropicana's site to enter your code and help Rescue the Rainforest.

KMart P&G Deals

In clipping my coupons this weekend, I noticed an ad placed in the coupon inserts. It said that KMart is offering a $10 gift card by mail when you spend at least $35 in P&G Products. It also said that it would double P&G Coupons up to $2 face value, meaning a total of $4 off the item. I thought maybe KMart was doing Super Doubles again and doubling all coupons, but when I checked the KMart website, it states that they are only doubling coupons up to $0.75 this week.

This could be a great deal if you have a number of P&G items to purchase this week. Generally, rebate offers are on BEFORE coupon prices. So, you could spend $35 on P&G products, save more by using coupons that are doubled and still get the $10 gift card from KMart.

Happy shopping!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Walgreens/ Swiffer Deal

Swiffer is running a deal right now- Spend $20 on Swiffer Refills, get a $10 debit card. If you spend $10, get a $5 debit card.

Walgreens is running a promotion this week- spend $25 on select P&G Products, get $6 Register Rewards (RR). Spend $10, get $2 RR. It's always good when you can combine coupons + RR + mail in rebate!

Here is what I will be doing:

Buy 2 Refill Soltions @ $4 each*
Buy 3 Wet Mopping Cloths @4 each*
Buy 4 Mr. Clean Magic Erasers @ $2.50 each, using 2 Buy One, Get One Free coupons from the 5/3 P&G Coupon insert

*Satisfies my requirement for the Swiffer $10 debit card

Total out of pocket: $25. Get $6 RR and $10 debit card = final cost of $9 for 4 packages Mr. Clean Magic Eraser, 2 bottle Swiffer Soliution and 3 packages Swiffer Wet Mopping Cloths. Good deal!!!

BTW- I am buying extra Magic Erasers because I LOVE them! In order to get the $6 RR, you only need to spend $25 BEFORE coupons. You could spend $22.50 out of pocket and get only 2 packages of Magic Erasers. If this doesn't make sense, leave a comment or send me mail- SuddenlyStayAtHome at gmail dot com.

Hot CVS deals week of 5/3- 5/9

More to come on couponing, bargain shopping and getting the most out of every dollar, but for now, some CVS highlights:

I am a little burnt out on the Grocery Store Game, so my CVS deals are a little light this week. There are lots of other sites who go into detail, but I saw just a few things this week:

Kellogg's Frosted Flakes, Smart Start, Frosted Mini-Wheats, Special K Cereal, Nutri-Grain or Special K cereal bars.

You pay 3/$10 with Card and get $5 Extra Care Bucks (ECBs). Not a bad price at $1.67 per box, but when you combine with 3- $1 off coupons available at here and on Kelloggs' website right now, you end up with 3 boxes of cereal for $0.67 each! Not too bad!

Spend $20, get $10 ECB when you buy Coke or Mars products.

I used to be hesitant in doing these deals- $20 seems like a lot to spend on Coke, even if you get $10 back! In doing the math, though, it makes sense. I bought 5- 12 packs at $4 each and got $10 ECBs. That makes each 12 pack $2 each, or $0.17 per can, about half the price that we normally pay at Costco. And coke does not go bad, so there you go. And if there is a hurricane, coke is as good as water, right?? ;-)

Cortizone 10- Buy one Get one 50% off. I generally go for generic when it comes to stuff like this, but my husband SWEARS by this product. I brought home another brand of cortizone cream and it caused some problems, so I was thrilled to see this go on sale. There are printable coupons for Cortizone 10 available here. There are also paper coupons for Cortizone 10 available in the 5/3 Smart Source insert- $1 off any product and $1 off Cooling Relief Gel. For the tubes I bought, I paid $5.99 less $1 off coupon for the first and $2.99 less $1 off coupon for the second. Total of $6.98 for two tubes of Cortizone 10, or $3.49 each. Not bad.

*** Disclaimer: My CVS ad is frequently different from the CVS adds in other parts of the country. Check your ad online before you head to the store. Click on upper right hand corner where it says "Store Circular"

Why a blog?

My husband doesn't get blogs or blogging or FaceBook, and certainly not Twitter! Why would you want to read about people that you don't even know??

Here's my answer: you bloggy people, all of you out there, you're my village...

Stay with me...

Trent was my gateway drug. Trent writes a blog called The Simple Dollar. He writes about how he turned his financial situation completely around, is now out of debt, living simply and frugally. I have no idea how I stumbled across his blog, but I did. I read it at work on my phone when things were slow. I justified it as content relevant to my job, since I was in consumer lending and Trent writes about budgeting, credit scores, living within your means, etc. I was learning valuable new information to share with our clients! From Trent's site, I found all sorts of other blogs on all sorts of other things. Personal Finance blogs, sure, but also food blogs and parenting blogs. I was a new mom, and breast feeding, so I even found blogs from other breast feeding moms.

And then I discovered Google Reader! I had been visiting each site, checking for new posts several times a day... I didn't know that Google would put them all in one place for you. It changed my life. Seriously! :-) Once I got Google Reader, it was all over. I just kept subscribing. It was so easy! And you, you bloggy people, you became my village.

We all know that phrase, "It's takes a village to raise a child," right? I'm a huge believer in that. One person, or even two people, can't do it alone. It's too big a job to undertake without help of some sort. You need help. You need to know what gear to buy and on what not to waste your money. You need to know what to do when your child will not sleep at 4 am. You need to know that it's some version of NORMAL when your child does (insert weird behavior here). You need to know what to make for dinner when you're sick of eating the same 8 dishes in rotation. And most of all, you need to know that you are not alone. So I'm getting off the couch in our little village. Not just reading anymore, nope, going to put my own content out there and hopefully help someone else to handle whatever it is life is throwing at them today.

So where do I go from here?

The first few days of not having a job were fun- like a vacation... I took my in-laws to the airport, got to spend a ton of time with my son and husband and got caught up on stuff around the house. Then I began to miss the structure of my work day. I missed having coffee and adult conversation with my coworkers. I missed having 25 minutes in the car on the way to work to zone out, maybe listen to some music or an audio CD while I was driving.

My coworkers were starting to get new jobs. Remember the woman who'd been with the company 32+ years? She had 18 months or so to go before she could retire with full pension and medical benefits. She got a job in the collections center about an hour away from where we used to work. She'd be taking a pay cut and making that drive in order to keep her benefits in tact. Eventually, all of the people from my old office found positions in the center. I was happy for them, but the fact that they were getting jobs made me nervous... I was looking for positions, and probably could have gotten one of my own in the collections center, but that meant an hour drive. A 40 hour work week becomes 50+ when you factor in the drive. 50+ hours away from my family, for a job I thought would leave me feeling sad and depressed. So we made the decision, as a family, to keep looking for the right position, and be very choosy about it. In this job market, that means that I am essentially a stay at home mom.

And that's a good thing... right? I always wanted to stay at home. I though that it was important for our kids to grow up with mom there. My mom was a single parent, which meant that she worked and I was in some sort of child care from the time I was a few weeks old. And it worked, I am a relatively well-adjusted human being without deep scars from being in day care. But because I didn't have a parent who stayed home with me, I wanted to be the parent who stayed home with my child. When our son was born, we did not think that we were in a place for me to stay home with him, but then the decision was made for us, and we decided to go with it. And all of my dreams were fulfilled! HA!!!

Staying at home is harder than I ever thought it would be! When I was a working mom, I didn't think that things could get more difficult... when I was at work, I was thinking about my son- was he okay? Did he eat? Was he happy? It was distracting- I was used to being able to focus 100% on my job, and now, I felt torn... I would get calls at work from my husband or my child's caregiver and it was a nightmare trying to parent remotely. When I left my son in the morning and he was crying, it broke my heart. I needed to be at work, but I needed to know that he was okay too. I felt like I was constantly balancing two worlds and neither one got the attention it deserved. Being home would end this balancing act- I would have one place to focus ALL of my attention! I would never have to leave my crying son again!

And that's true... home, these four walls, they are my entire world. There is no place outside of them that I really HAVE TO be... And I never HAVE TO leave my crying son again. That also means that I never GET TO... He's all mine- all the time. I love him and I love that I get to be with him, but sometimes, I would also love a quiet cup of coffee... or a conversation with a real live grown up. I found that I missed my other world, my work world. I missed the interaction, the sense of accomplishment, feeling productive and part of something bigger. I missed the work me, who always got dressed before noon and showered on a regular basis. She, the work me, had really cute clothes and shoes and didn't have to worry about getting spit up on...

So that's where this blog comes in... How do I go from the work me to the stay at home me and not loose my mind in the process? How do I stretch my family budget to cover the expenses now that we are down to one income? How do I find real live adults to interact with? How do I keep my baby entertained so that we do not drive each other nuts? Hopefully somewhere along the way, the lessons that I'm learning can help you too, whether you are a stay at home mom, a working mom or somewhere in between.

(BTW- I know that stay at home moms work, believe me I know that! Please don't read too deeply into the terms "working mom" and "stay at home mom".)

Welcome to Suddenly Stay @ Home!

Hello and Welcome!

On March 2nd, my life changed drastically and overnight. I suffered a loss. Not a deep, tragic loss. No human death, but overnight my life changed.

I woke up on the morning of March 2nd, got ready for work, and was feeding my then 6 month old baby. My in-laws were visiting from New York. I came to the breakfast table when my husband told me to sit down. I knew something was amiss. He proceeded to show me a Wall Street Journal article. It told me that the corporation I worked for was shutting my division of the company down. It told me that I was out of a job. Not quite believing what I was seeing, right there in black and white, in a quite respectable financial publication, I headed to the corporate website, clicked on press releases, and read this one. It was official- they were shutting down the part of the corporation where I worked. I was done. And not just me, but the others in my office too- the woman who had been with the company for 32 years and had been working at that same physical location for 20 of those years. The woman with two young daughters, whose husband has been unemployed for about a year now. My manager, who was the sole provider for a wife and two boys- one of them just a month younger than my son.

I got a call from my manager a few minutes later, as I was headed into the office. "Have you been on the internet?" he asked me. "Yep, sure have... what's going on?" He didn't have any answers for me- told me to come in as usual and see what happened. When I got to the office, I could not log into the computer system. Our access had already been cut off. We had two conference calls later that day, and with nothing else to do, we started cleaning out our desks. I was full of optimism at that point... we would make the best of this bad situation and move on to bigger and better things. I hadn't felt the loss yet.

On the first conference call, I listened to a man who devoted more than 30 years of his life to this company, to seeing it succeed, cry as he announced the corporate decision to shut us down. At that time, he had five months to go until retirement. Right now, I am not sure if he has another position with the company in order to work until his retirement date and receive the full pension he needs. He was not aware of the corporate decision until the night before.

On the second conference call, I listed to a British corporate officer tell me that although this decision was a difficult one from the human standpoint, it was essentially a no-brainer from the business stand point. We were not profitable and getting rid of us meant improving the bottom line, so that's what they did. And they could not tell us before announcing it to the media because of the impact of the news on the stock price. This call gave me no new information and really just made me mad. It drove home the fact that I was insignificant in the greater corporate plan. Not a nice feeling.

And then, we left- went home. Half of the office stayed behind to shut things down and the other half, me included, were just done. Less than 8 hours after finding out that they were going to shut my division of the corporation down, I was just done- Suddenly Stay at Home!