My last 8 posts have all been review/giveaway-related, so I thought it was time to fill everyone in on what we've been up to in the "real world". :)
First of all - work. I've been back for just over three weeks in a new position as a business analyst / product owner. This is quite the change from my prior position as a project manager / team leader, but just as interesting & challenging (in different ways). I'm glad I got the opportunity to mix things up.
My return to work has, of course, introduced many other changes into our lives as well. First huuuuge one? Child care for S. Obviously. This tends to be the change that gets mamas & papas the most anxious, however it ended up being the least of our concerns. Our provider is super-energetic, kind and fun, and S has a BLAST over there! Missing all that additional time with her makes us a bit sad at times, but overall it creates a nice balance for all of us.
Speaking of balance, now that I'm back at work, hubby has really been kicking it up a notch around the house! Tonight, for example, he picked up S from daycare, fed her (copious amounts of cheese), cooked us a delicious dinner, cleaned and folded the diaper laundry. He TOTALLY earned himself a subsequent Skyrim marathon. =D So even though many chores which I'd previously been able to tackle during the day now pile up for the evening, we tag team 'em so I still manage to find some appreciated "me" time later at night.
Free weekends, however, are nearly impossible to come by these days! For the last several weeks, each one has been chock-full of birthday parties, holiday festivities, curling games and family visits (which can no longer happen as readily on weekdays). This should shed light on why vacuuming hasn't been a recent focal point. ;)
Another thing I haven't gotten around to since my return to work is proper menu planning. It's definitely harder now, and popping in a PC 5-cheese frozen lasagna can become quite the seductive option. I'm trying to get back on the horse this week with plans to make three, count'em, THREE meals *almost* from scratch! OK two meals, since Chris made tonight's dinner. :) In any case, homemade goodness will be plentiful this week, dern it! One good practice we've stuck to, however, is ordering our Pfennings organic produce baskets. S eats a LOT of fruit & veggies, and we try to get in there too before she polishes off the whole batch. :)
As for Christmas shopping, for once I'm actually ahead of the game! I have about 80% of our gifts either purchased or, at the very least, decided on. I give huuge creds here to my review/giveaway blogging, contest entering and deal newsletters (Baby Steals, Mother of a Deal, etc.) as I've discovered so many great brands and products this way. No more last-minute rushing around, desperately hoping for some gift-spiration!
One and one more item of note - our single vehicle situation was no longer cutting it so we bought a new car! A 2011 Toyota Corolla SE. Yup, we're a very practical family. :)
As for bloggy g00dness, I have a few more reviews/giveaways to tackle before the holidays, and I'm going to see about lining up some more starting in the new year when life should slow down a little. (Knock on wood!) S's 1 year update post is coming soon too, and I have lots more ideas percolating for other posts - just a matter of finding the time!
So what have you all been up to recently? Anything new & exciting? Drop a comment and share! :)