Suzi Beech and Family

This blog is about my family and my trials and tribulations as a work-from-home mom of twins.

Back to school…finally! September 14, 2009

back-to-school

I have to say that, although I love my children dearly, I could not wait for school to start again!  We had a wonderful summer full of parties, swimming, camps and vacations.  While all that togetherness was great, it was a LOT of togetherness!

I am lucky that I own my own business and can set my own schedule.  At the beginning of summer I tried to schedule work in the early mornings, late nights and when the kids weren’t home.  Just a few days into it and I was tired and crabby and realizing that they sure were home an awful lot!  After stressing myself out about what I wasn’t getting done, I rethought things.  I realized that this could be one of the last years they consider me cool enough to be seen with and fun to hang out with.  I decided, for better or worse,  to take most of the summer off and spend it with them while they’d still have me.  It went well, for the most part.  We had our battles of wills and our sibling clashes, but I don’t regret a minute of it!

Now that they’re back in school (big-time 3rd graders this year), I can get back into the swing of working again.  It’s really quiet a relief!  My mom used to tell me that going to work was easy, it was staying home that was hard.  I finally understand what she was talking about!

In the back-to-school spirit, I have also taken some classes on time management and productivity.   My first order of business is to set-up a daily schedule and block my time in 60 minute increments.  From there, I’m going to build it out into a weekly schedule.  I like order and predictability.  That’s just how I am.  I know there are people who prefer to fly by the seat of their pants, but not me.  So, I’m off to begin building my schedule for the hours between 8 and 2:30, Monday through Friday.  I’ll be sure to set aside blocks of time to keep my blog up to date, as well.  I know I have a lot of summer pictures and videos that you’re just dying to see, so I’ll get them all posted very soon!

 

Fishing Trip with the Cub Scouts June 12, 2009

Welcome to Horning's Hideout

Welcome to Horning's Hideout

I tagged along on my son’s Cub Scout troop’s fishing trip yesterday.  We went to a beautiful place in North Plains (Oregon, where I live) called Horning’s Hideout.  There were the two troop leaders, myself and 11 Cub Scouts.

Horning’s Hideout is a beautiful place about 25 minutes or so from Portland.  They specialize is outdoor weddings and have a couple of ponds for fishing, camping areas, paddle boats, Frisbee golf…all kinds of fun outdoor things to keep folks busy.  Unfortunately, I didn’t get any decent pictures of the many pretty peacocks on the grounds.  Every time one of them would get close enough for a decent shot, my dog would try to get at them, so I had my hands full!  I did get a pretty picture of this butterfly, though.

Butterfly on Rhododendron

Butterfly on Rhododendron

Two of the boys (brothers) had brought their own fishing poles and tackle boxes.  One of them wanted to use his stuff, the other chose to use the gear provided by Horning’s.  All the boys who used the rods and bait provided caught fish within minutes of tossing in their line.  Seriously, half the boys had already caught their quota (one whole trout!…each!…woohoo!) before the other half even got bait on their hooks.  The boys who wanted to use the fake, neon green “worms” out of the personal tackle box had absolutely no luck.  We waited and recasted and recasted…no bites at all.  Finally, even though they didn’t want to hurt the wiggly little wormies, we convinced them to use the live bait.  Minutes later, their fish had been caught, too.  It was a wild 30 minutes of lines flying, hooks being baited, fish flopping on the dock and much, much, squealing, yelling and shouting.  There were only a few hook mishaps and tangled lines – not bad considering the pace the fish were flying out of the water!  Those red hook-puller things did a great job of getting those hooks out of the fish.  I don’t remember

Nico tied up on the dock

Nico tied up on the dock

having those when I was a kid.  Very handy!

I had to tie Nico up on the dock so I could help the boys.  She didn’t like that very much and cried until some of the boys went over and played with her.  She’s such a baby!

Before we knew it, it was time to head back up the hill and clean our fish.  The boys were pretty much horrified, as was the one leader who had never been fishing before.  I like fishing and gutting the fish doesn’t bother me at all, but it’s not my favorite thing to do, especially with the number of fish that needed cleaning.  Luckily, our hostess at Horning’s came to help!  She was terrific and tried to get the boys interested in the fish insides.  She pointed out their “parts” like liver, gullet, lungs…I think our

How to Clean a Fish

How to Clean a Fish

inexperienced leader almost threw-up at that point!  They did have this helpful sign with instructions posted near the cleaning stations.  I thought they were pretty funny.  I was

Gus holding his big catch

Gus holding his big catch

surprised the Scouts were so standoffish when it came to holding onto their fish.  They all thought they were too slimy.  One boy told me he wouldn’t eat “that kind of fish.”  He only ate the kind from the grocery store.  It’s odd how out of touch they are with where their food comes from!  I hope the rest of the families enjoyed eating their son’s catches as much as we did (well, when I say “we” I mean Philip and I…Gus had a couple of bites Ruby might’ve tasted it, but that was it!).

It was a pretty exhausting couple of hours. Those boys are full of energy, let me tell you!  I was really glad I got to join them on the trip.  I spend so much time with the Girl Scouts, I was afraid my son was going to think I didn’t want to hang out with the Boy Scouts.  I am so lucky to be my own boss and have the flexibility to be able to take time to do these things!

 

Why Does Everything Take So Long aka What Did I Really do Today? May 15, 2009

Filed under: Personal Stuff,Working from home — Suzi Beech @ 8:53 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

Maybe it’s just me, but time sure does seem to fly by.  Each and every day I sit down with my list of things I would like to accomplish.  Each and every day I start out accomplishing a little bit of something and then:  the phone rings; the laundry needs folding; the litter boxes needs cleaning; the dog needs walking; the kids need to be picked up from school;  and on and on.  I have my schedule, I have my list of things to do, but time goes so quickly!  Am I trying to do too much?  Am I not managing my time effectively?

Then again, why would something like creating and posting an ad take precedence over spending time with my kids on the playground on a beautiful afternoon?  Why should I sacrifice making a delicious dinner for one more article written.  Isn’t one of the greatest bonuses and joys of being ones own boss the flexibility of schedule and prioritizing ones tasks?  Instead of beating myself up for the things I didn’t cross of my “to do” list  today, I’m going to create a list of what I did do.  Here goes, in no particular order:

1.  I checked and replied to emails

2.  I checked all my posts, articles, listings, and leads and made the appropriate phone calls and follow-ups

3.  I talked to my mom on the phone, like I do almost every day

4.  I got my kids fed, dressed and off to school

5.  I picked-up the kids from school and took them, with friends, to the playground

6.  My daughter, dog  and I walked to the store, went shopping for a birthday party and visited the library

7.  I put away two full baskets of folded laundry

8.  I cleaned the litter boxes and took out the trash

9.  I got a wounded bird away from the cat using a broom and dustpan

10.  I wrote two articles, chatted with friends and mentors on Skype and listened to several training seminars

11.  I picked up the poor dead bird from the yard and put him in his final resting place

12.  I made a delicious dinner where all the food groups were represented

13.  I watched a family favorite television show with the husband and kids

14.  I am now posting to my blog while my husband and kids play basketball in the front yard

15.  I will read to the kids before they go to bed

16.  I read and re-read my marketing plan, guidelines and training modules

17.  After putting the kids to bed, I will check email, articles and forums, post where appropriate, follow-up where needed and chat with friends on Skype, Facebook and Twitter.

18.  Eventually, I will go to bed and read (currently “Rich Dad, Poor Dad”) before falling asleep

19.  In the morning, I will wake up and do it all again, only with slight variations for weekend activities:  acting class instead of school; birthday party instead of playground; four meals instead of three.

Looking at my list, it appears I actually did accomplish something today.  I worked at my business and I spent quality time with my family.  Some days are more laden with work and some with family.  The beauty of it all is that it’s a balance, my balance, and it works for me, my family and those we love.  That’s the point, right?