Monday, August 28, 2017

How Does She...?

You guys know how I feel about a good survey, and I found this one that Emily filled out really different and fun, so of course, I had to do it!

Tell us about yourself: 
Where do you live, age, marital status, number of kids and business.

I am Allena, I just turned 37, I've been married to my high school sweetheart, Brent, for almost 13 years.
We have 3 kids {a son and 2 daughters} ~ Trent-8, Drew-4.5, Paige-8 months
I live in the suburbs outside of Austin, TX - I grew up in another suburb nearby where my parents moved when I was 10 months old.
I work in HR for a Big 4 accounting firm where I was an auditor for 11 years. I've worked for this company for 14 years and will probably retire here.

Describe a day in the life of you.

I do a quarterly 'day in the life' post if you want to see the minutia of my life, but here's a high-level look.
**This is our school year routine that started last week.**
Brent and I get up around 6:30, give or take 15 minutes.
Brent gets ready for work while I get ready and then make breakfast for the kids and get them up.
Hopefully we've picked out clothes the night before and lunches are packed, so we can just get down to the business of getting ready and out the door.
The kids have to be dropped off at 8:00, so we leave at 7:40. I get home about 8:15 {or 8:30 if I stop at Starbucks} and start working. Spend a lot of time on the phone for my job.
Pick the kids up at 3:00. Come home and work for a little longer.
The evening is playing, going on walks, cooking dinner, baths, insanity.
Kids in bed around 8:00 {Trent gets to read until 9:00}.
Then Brent and I watch TV - unfortunately not usually together - or I read.
I try to clean-up as I go in the evening and pack lunches for the next day, so hopefully there isn't much I 'need' to do after bedtime because once I sit down, I am DONE.
I tell myself to go to bed at 10:30, but it's usually 11:00 or 11:30.

Do you have help? A nanny or housekeeper? Family?

We have a housekeeper who comes once a month, and it is a highlight for me!
We live close to both sets of our parents, and they help us out a lot - our summer nanny babysat once for us this summer and that was the first time anyone besides our parents watched the kids. 

How do you manage to have “me” time?

After the kids are in bed, ha. That's when I read, watch TV, blog.
Maybe once or twice a month I go to a movie {usually with Allison}, I love my book club.
Brent and I rarely have dates, but as Paige gets older I hope we can have more! It's hard because we don't want to constantly be asking for babysitters - we had kids because we wanted to spend time with them!

How do you manage to make time to stay in shape? 
Do you workout? Diet?

HAHAHAHA. I'm doing a tiny bit better with working out and am joining Orange Theory Fitness, so I hope that helps {it opens in our town in September}.
Food is my downfall...but I'm slowly doing better there too.

Do you get ready every day? 
Makeup, hair and curated outfits?  
If so, how do you do it with children? 

I shower every day, but I don't wash my hair every day, so that is a huge time saver.
Working from home makes it a challenge to actually care about my looks, but I also don't want Brent to come home and think 'THIS is what I married?' Ha. So I'm still trying to figure that out. I try not to wear workout clothes every day and at least put an outfit on - even if it's jeans and a t-shirt - and be put together. I rarely put on makeup because I find that when I do it day after day I start to get dependent on it, and I want to always feel comfortable in my skin to leave the house without make-up.

Has your style changed after motherhood?

I think my style has more just evolved with 2 things:
a) age
b) going from working in an office environment to home

My goal is to have a casual/comfortable style without looking sloppy. Unfortunately, with the weight I need to lose right now, I lean toward the sloppy. :/

What’s your guilty pleasure?

Reese's King Cups with Reese's Pieces inside
And wine

If you breastfeed, how do you schedule your day around feedings and outings?

Paige isn't obsessed with nursing like Drew was, so we typically nurse around her sleep schedule.
So when she wakes up, before and after naps, and before bedtime.
I don't worry about outings - if she wants to eat and we're out, she eats, but she typically is too busy to nurse, and now that she's eating food I bring that during outings.
Breastfeeding is really important to me - I breastfed Trent to 15 months, Drew until 2.5, and my goal for Paige is at least 2.

How many hours of sleep to you get a night on average?

6-7 hours. My goal is 8, but I always seem to decide to read or watch TV a little longer, eek.

What is a priority for you, and what gets sacrificed? 
For example, everyone looks great but the house is a disaster, 

or the house is clean but work deadlines get pushed back.

I am learning to prioritize picking up around the house and doing just a little bit here and there. My goal is to get to where if someone stopped by unannounced I wouldn't be embarrassed. Not quite there yet! But my downfall is once I sit down at night, I am done. So I really try to get everything I want done throughout the day so that when the kids get in bed, I can have ME TIME!

I do feel like to really spend the time I want to cleaning up then I am ignoring the kids, and if I'm really engaging with them, then I'm not picking up!

Do you cook meals every day for your family? If so, how do you plan them?

I keep a spreadsheet with meals that our family likes and cook 3 meals a week for everyone - Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday. Brent golfs on Wednesdays so I make something very simple for the kids {a typical option is grilled chicken or pork chops in the skillet}. We eat fast food a couple of times a month, make frozen pizza occasionally, the kids like Applegate chicken nuggets and sandwiches on the other days. Brent will grill here and there, but given he works outside, I don't like to ask him to work the grill in the summer too much! I do feel like we're in a little bit of a rut, and I've been perusing Pinterest for new recipes!

Have you ever felt like you are losing yourself to motherhood and or life? 
If so, how did you bounce back?

The first year of welcoming a baby into our house is the hardest for me to find myself again. But as our babies get older and I feel comfortable with others helping, I find my way and am able to be more than just my kids' mother. After Trent, I was worried I would never be 'Allena' or even 'Brent's wife' again, but we got there. Right now, after Paige, Brent is definitely getting the raw part of this deal, but he knows it'll even out. I think what makes it possible to bounce back is recognizing it's a process of finding your new normal after adding a whole new person into your circle, and to give yourself grace and time to find that new normal.

Does hubby help you with anything particular? If so, what and how?

I cook most of our meals and do most of the domestic chores, but he does his own laundry and definitely shares the parenting duties. So for example, I might be cleaning up from dinner while he's bathing the big 2.

How do you manage motherhood and marriage?

If you ask Brent, he'd probably say pretty poorly.
Once we get about a year past a baby joining us, I get better at putting our relationship much higher on my priority list. I need to do better though...

Do you work? 
Do you work in an office or at home? 

What does your work consist of and how do you get it done during the week?

I work in HR for an accounting firm, but I work from home which is AMAZING.
I am a resource manager, so my team of 11 is responsible for scheduling almost 2,000 people across the country who perform client service work for my company {which is what I did for 11 years}. I do the majority of my work, which consists of a lot of conference calls and playing people Tetris {we joke that our needs are constantly changing so we're trying to fit people's availability to these needs so it's like Tetris}, while the kids are at school from 8-3. Then I work a little bit when everyone is home or after everyone is bed depending on the day and their moods/behavior.

Have your circle of friends changed now that you're a mother? 
if so, how do you meet new mommy friends?

The majority of my friends are also mothers which I think makes it easier to maintain a friendship - we understand what each other is going through and can help each other, relate to struggles, etc. But the friends I have remained closest to are largely the ones who live the closest, ha. Most of the girls I spend time with live in my neighborhood or in the town we moved from. With as hard as it is to find time to spend together, there can't be extra hurdles! The exception to this is my best friend - we don't see each other nearly as much as we'd like to, but we do text/talk almost daily.

What’s the least favorite household chore you dread doing?

I'd say it's a tie between unloading the dishwasher and folding/putting away the laundry.
I've started to make the big kids help me unload the dishwasher and put their clothes away which is AMAZING.

Fill in the blank: As a mother, it's a luxury to _________

Spend time with my girlfriends.

What is your philosophy on balance and does it exist in your home?

We strive for it and know that it isn't always perfect.
There are times when the kids watch way too much TV or eat too much junk, but I think we just have to keep striving for balance and keeping working to better ourselves.

What are your dreams outside of motherhood that you would like to accomplish?

I want to be a strong woman and a good wife.
I want to be a good friend and enjoy time with my friends.
I want to learn how to sew.
I want to become a better cook.
I want to find a type of exercise I enjoy enough not to quit, ha.

What is one thing that keeps you sane?


Describe a recent experience when you didn’t have it “all together” 
and how you handled it all.

I can't think of a specific example but every day there is a point where I feel like I'm coming apart.
I just follow Dory's advice and Just keep swimming.
I pull on my big girl panties and keep moving. We don't have time for me to lose it!


Emily said...

Yay I'm so glad you did this! It's so fun to read! I didn't realize you were in scheduling which is so interesting to me because seriously Tetris! How many different teams like yours are there? I think our Philadelphia scheduler is still Julie Nemzer but she may have moved on. Would she be under you or report up a different chain? Moving on... LOL on the wine. I really wish I could indulge more (I love it so!!!!) but it kills my runs and sometimes heightens my middle-of-the-night insomnia anxiety. keep up the good work on picking up the house! I'll be your cheerleader from afar! :)

Kathryn Bagley said...

I was paying close attention to the workout question..ha!

BG said...

You do most of the domestic chores? The filthiest person in the house having to pick up after herself doesn't qualify. I do agree it's a full time job though. Creating 27 junk drawers isn't exactly cleaning either, honey.