Just FYI — I’m having a crazy week!

I’m sorry I didn’t get a post up on Monday and I do have one popping up today at 11. However, I just wanted to tell you that I’m having a crazy week.

This week: I have three school conferences. I’m cooking two nights for our neighbor. I’m taking another neighbor’s kids to school two days this week. I’m planning and buying all the stuff for Lilina’s birthday party this weekend and I’m trying to decide if I have time to bake her cake myself. Plus, doing all my regular stuff – teaching two days, volunteering at the school, taking care of the kids, and supposedly writing for you guys.  Oh, I’m also taking the dog to the groomer.

I don’t mind doing any of this stuff. I’m happy to do it. It’s just all hitting in one week.

I was feeling so overwhelmed that I had to print out my Google calendar to see everything spatially. I couldn’t grasp it all just seeing it scroll by in my phone.

So I will do my best to get topics up but you’ll know why if there’s not a new one when you wake up.

I’m sure you guys have crazy weeks too. What is your tipping point in a week? When is it just too many things and you start to feel overwhelmed and worried you won’t get it all done?

29 comments Add your comment


February 26th, 2013
1:04 am

Wow, Theresa! Get in control with your lists! For the neighbor’s meals- whatever you are having that night, double it. An easy dish is baked Ziti. Don’t bake the birthday cake- see if there are any small bakeries or Moms who bake at home. Have Michael help you shop for the party. If you know exactly what you want, write it down for him to get.

I work an odd job & I get overwhelmed when work comes in all at one time. I have to do it mainly at night but my hubby steps in and tells me how it will be done ( when it becomes overwhelming).


February 26th, 2013
6:48 am


February 26th, 2013
7:27 am

My tipping point is when I have two out of town meetings in one week and two different school shows on each day MTWTH before I leave ( flying) on a TH afternoon for meetings Fr and Sa. All in the ATL traffic. I had 41 school shows in October and then the flying…it was hectic! I was exhausted.

I was in Minnesota this past weekend and it had snowed 3 inches. I mentioned to the front desk girl that I was from Atlanta but knew how to drive in the snow. She said, “Be careful!” I replied, “It is not very far.” To which she said, ” It is clear across town,” Um…that would have been less than 2 miles since I was in a very small town. Made me laugh. I spend 90 minutes ONE WAY on the interstate some mornings here in Atlanta to go 45 miles. TWO miles in the snow was NOTHING. Except I did have to scrape my windows and drove slow.

Stress is different for everyone. I have never had 3 children and so I cannot speak for that level of stress. Take care Threresa and try to take care of yourself too! Sometimes we say YES too often and then we get in over our head. I have learned to say NO more now that I am 50.

DITTO on the cake…I rarely bake birthday cakes anymore…buy it!


February 26th, 2013
7:48 am

funny MJG – we moved from ATL to Minnesota last year. I get it. My husband laughs at his co-workers when they complain about traffic.


February 26th, 2013
8:01 am

@ malleesmom …it was cold…10 degrees! The custodian in Minnesota told me that they take their students outside ( to the playground) unless it is colder than 10 below zero. I thought of the schools here that stay in when it is colder than 40 ABOVE zero. It is all relative. They could NOT stay in all winter, that is for sure. I love Minnesota IN THE SUMMER you betcha!


February 26th, 2013
8:22 am

TWG buy the cake…it really won’t matter to the kids or Lilina.

This weekend I opted to pay to cater a meal I had agreed to provide. Yes it cost me more cash then if I made it myself, however I did not have the stress. It was worth it to me to pay to not do all the shopping/cooking for 25 people this weekend.

The kids that got the food seemed to enjoy it. In fact I noticed more people going for 2nd/3rd helpings and more empty plates than most nights. Not sure if it was becuase it was a popular chain that did the food, or if the kids were just really hungry. (I suspect the former).

Agree with those who said just make 2 of whatever you are doing for dinner. Also make sure that what you take your neighbor can reheat well. My parents had people drop food by after Dad’s surgery and being able to put it in the fridge and eat later was nice for them.

Meatloaf is another good one to share with neighbors.

Let Michael help with getting ready for the party or give yourself 20 min at a dollar store. I find that I get most everything I need for a kid party in 20 min.

Above all, don’t over think it!


February 26th, 2013
8:24 am

OH and I accept that somethings are on the bubble and won’t get done. Just figure which are key to you and which you can say I am ok if “x” doesn’t get done.


February 26th, 2013
8:34 am

Outsource where possible.


February 26th, 2013
8:42 am

Now that my kids are older and we can sit down and discuss past family venues, I look back at what happened. Which will they remember:

Mom made the most delicious birthday cake and we had the best party with all sorts of neat decorations and games.

Mom was so stressed out the week of my birthday and it was not a fun week.

I was the second Mom more than once. TWG…you cannot do everything. No one can. Perhaps this is why people pay $$$ for parties and it is a big business.


February 26th, 2013
8:53 am

Take things one at a time and outsource when possible. Lil won’t remember the cake but she will remember her mom having fun getting ready for the party. Maybe takeout for the one of the dinners?


February 26th, 2013
8:59 am

Ditto on laughing at the “all the way across town” comment! We’re living in the Midwest for a year and the town I’m in is a college town — everything is very convenient. I can walk five short blocks to the supermarket if I need to pick up just a few things. I walk two short blocks (literally, 224 steps, I counted!) to my work here — that’s closer than some people PARK to go to work!) When I mentioned one day that I was going to walk up to the post office, one of the women in the office squeaked, “ALL the way to the Post Office?!” I stared at her and said, “Well — it’s only 5 blocks . . .”. The airport is literally 7 minutes away (the downside is that they only have about 2 dozen flights in and out.) The office I’m working in is moving to a bigger space, and many people are complaining loudly that they are moving ALL THE WAY to the other side of town — umm, that’s 3 miles, folks. That would be a dream commute in Atlanta! Sometimes three or four days go by without me driving the car (I wimp out if it’s below 20 degrees.)

Sounds like you have a busy week, T — now, what’s the word again? Ah: “No, I’m sorry, I can’t do that.” :-) You’ll learn . . . !


February 26th, 2013
9:09 am

Not sure how your grocery store bakeries are but I know here I’d never bake another cake as long as Publix is open. And if I wanted to get fancy with cupcakes I’d go to CamiCakes. Find a bakery. Spend a little more money but a little less time. Michael can go pick it/them up and you can scratch it off your to-do list.

As for dinner for your neighbor, spaghetti always works and can be eaten for 2 nights. Grab some ground beef/turkey and some Prego (Ragu has too much sodium per my old nutritionist), add some onions and bell peppers…dinner is served. Make a salad too and that will really stretch the meal out. Another item off your list.

Good luck. Take some time to breathe and maybe have a glass of wine before you stress yourself out to the point you cannot enjoy the fun stuff. :-)


February 26th, 2013
9:21 am

Take a deeeeep breath, TWG, and relax. Just sit back, relax and understand that with such a hectic week, some stuff will just go by the wayside. It’s all a matter of perspective.

Definitely buy the cake. Make a stew in the crockpot for the neighbors … or, like others have suggested, double whatever you’re making anyway. Spaghetti is always an easy choice, and a good one, as well.

Order the cake. Lil won’t care whether you made it or not.

I had to laugh at the comments about smaller towns and commute times. I live in Texas now, but grew up in Atlanta and am used to big-city traffic. BUT, for awhile I lived in a smaller town in a neighboring state and lived, literally, one street over from my office. I walked all the time. It was fabulous! But I’d just shake my head when folks would complain about driving from the south end of town ALL THE WAY to the north end where the Walmart and Sam’s Club were located. All the way across town meant a grand total of seven miles. Seriously. For those who had to drive it, I get that to them it seemed a horribly long way and yeah, it could take awhile depending on the lights, but still … seven miles. Wow.


February 26th, 2013
9:25 am

No tipping points here. Life is good. My kids are older, working full time, two in college part-time. Hubs and I are padding away, looking forward to retirement. We have spent a lot of time working on the house, getting the gardens ready for planting, etc. We’ve been pulling up carpet, getting ready to paint, and putting in new floors.

I agree with the majority of the posters…..hire out what you can, it’s not worth all the stress. You cannot do it all, your plate is full. Publix bakery is awesome, their cakes are fabulous. I also like Gigi’s Cupcakes, but they are very expensive. $35 for a dozen…..


February 26th, 2013
9:32 am

@Denise, Sam’s surprisingly makes a really good cake too.


February 26th, 2013
9:43 am

If you take care of the little things, the big things will take care of themselves. If you don’t have the time to do it right the first time, when will you have the time to do it over? Today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday.

I’ve never had a good store bought cake. Come to think of it, I’ve never had a good restaurant meal. With only one or two exceptions. What some folks think they can serve and then have the unmitigated gall to ask for money! It’s my fault, and the other seventy million baby boomers who settled for a fast food franchise universe instead of a cool french approach to cuisine. The French! They have a particular genius with food, non? They have a je ne sais quoi. Oui? I visited Paris in 1966 for the Paris Air Show where they were displaying models of the futuristic Concorde. I had my first experience with real food. And people who ate real food. There was a food court there and we sat down at a long community table with a complementary loaf of french bread just lying there. This big fat swarthy Frenchman, sitting directly across from me, grabbed it and broke off a piece and stuffed it in his mouth. Undeterred, I began to reach for it myself, when my dad grabbed my hand, and said, “Don’t even think it”. The Frenchman noticed this slight, and began to give me the stink eye. I was trying to pretend that it was only a movie, when my dad suggested we get up and go see the new soviet fighter which was about to take off. That night as we walked the streets of Paris, eating at kiosks where the melted ham and cheese croissants were out of this world, I witnessed my first couples in full embrace and heard the first really loud smooching sounds as we would pass the alleys between the old architecture. Ah, it was Paris in the late spring of 1966, and all was right with the world. The dream ended in the eighties when I had my first and last Croissan’wich at a Burger King in Detroit. The slop we settle for now is so pathetic that…aw I don’t wanna talk about it.


February 26th, 2013
9:50 am

@Georgia, I have to agree with you. I cannot stand fast food, nor do I care to eat in restaurants, especially chain restaurants. Too much food, too much sodium, and whatever else they put into instutitional food.

We have a huge garden, and I prefer to take a stroll out there, find some veggies, come inside and make a stir fry…….I loved last week’s blog about neighborhood chickens, but I’m not ready for that just yet. I shop exclusively at Publix, and my local meat market. I’ve considered trying The Cumming Harvest, which supports numerous local farms, but $5.00 for a head of brocolli is a bit too much for me.

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

February 26th, 2013
10:09 am

I made tonight’s dinner last night between 8 to 9:30 p.m. I did baked fried chicken, I baked my potatoes and did southern-style green beans — I still want to dig out the potatoes, whip them and then twice back them tonight — so at least the meal is pretty well done.

I didn’t like the store designs on the cake but I will probably just purchase one for the party and then make her one on her actual birthday next week — when less going on.

I am doing ziti for my second meal and will probably make tonight for tomorrow and reheat and that way at least you know it’s done.


February 26th, 2013
10:25 am

Now there’s a great idea TWG – buy a cake for the kiddy party, then make a special one for the birthday girl on her birthday. She may not remember the kiddy party cake, but she will definately remember the special cake, on her special day.


February 26th, 2013
10:52 am

Buy a whole chicken- rub seasonings of choice on it, throw in crockpot (with a crockpot liner)- bake on low 8 hours. Microwave big bag of steamer veggies- voila meal is done. Make rice or cous cous if you feel it needs another component. Less than 15 minutes of work start to finish. Buy the cake. Ask if the groomer does drop offs- if they don’t, shop for the decorations while the dog is being groomed. This really isn’t a lot of stuff to do and no need to burn the midnight oil. We schedule our conferences back to back so it only takes out one chunk of time for 1 day. Taking the neighbor’s kids to school is not really any added work if you were taking your own anyway. As far as the party goes, it doesn’t have to be a grand scale. I paid $200 bucks, that got me an art studio closed down for my daughter and 9 of her friends. The lady decorated the place, I bought Litle Caesar’s pizza, a Publix cake, and some ice cream & soda. No goodie bags as the kids got to create their own painting and take it home. I didn’t have to stress about getting my house cleaned and decorated, only to have a bunch of kids mess it up again. Good luck!


February 26th, 2013
11:27 am

Just a normal week, except you would be working full time, if you were a single parent, plus you would be figuring out how to pay for all of it.

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

February 26th, 2013
12:23 pm

New topic up — nothing too controversial but just stuff we’re working on — My 9-year-old has three research projects due within a two-week span —


Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

February 26th, 2013
12:33 pm

I would love to make her a cake something like this but I’m not that talented —

this I could pull off

this is cute too

love the interior rainbow cake

A friend showed me one like this but with rainbow icing layers — we thought maybe do the rainbow going up the outside of the cake and then on top do green grass icing and put the ponies in the grass — I think I could simplify this by buying colored icing from the bakery dept and then doing ti myself but then wouldn’t be mixing batches and batches of icing — I like making my own cakes and icing generally — I don’t like store-bought cake and icing for the most part — there are some exceptions — see what you think about these ideas


February 26th, 2013
2:41 pm

In regard to small commutes: I remember several years ago when I helped to run a pet care chat room on MSN, we had a guest come in talking about her pets, and then saying she had to go, because she had to leave for work at 7 AM in order to get to work by 8 AM. It took her a grand total of 15 minutes to get to work. I told her to hush, that she had no room to complain. I told her I had a one-way commute of 75 miles, which took a grand total of 1.5 to 2.0 hours, depending on traffic. Sometimes it took 3.0 hours. Those times are known as “Friday Nights”. She asked why I drove that far, and I told her that’s how a lot of people do it in Georgia. They live outside of the city, but work in the city.


February 26th, 2013
2:56 pm

@catlady…yes you are correct. I have friends who have not worked ( outside the home) in quite some time and they think are as busy as those who do. Kind of like me thinking I am as busy as those who come home to children. NOT, as mine are grown and away at college.

My hat is off to single parents. I have never been one.

I have eaten plenty of delicious store baked cakes and also meals at restaurants. I ate at AT Black and White in Minnesota and the Chef was trained at Cordon Bleu ( sp?). It was a pleasant surprise. I had Yukon Gold Encrusted Walleye ( fresh from the lake there) and Broccolini, also Creamy Tomato Basil Soup with Focaccia ( sp?). NOT something I would whip up.

For those who think all restaurant food is awful perhaps it is the type of restaurant you are eating at? I ate at a restaurant in NYC that had the best past with vodka cream sauce. It was a favorite of Frank Sinatra. DB and I ate at Heaven on Seven in Chicago and that was pretty good! We could not finish all the food. I ate at a Portueguse ( sp?) restaurant with my sister recently and it was good too. I love to eat out and try new things in different places.

My Mother often bought me a Pepperidge Farm cake for my birthday, One year, she was mad at me because I MADE her birthday gift at school in art class. That year, both parents went out for dinner with friends ( on my birthday) and my sister and I had tomato soup that I heated up from a can. I was 10 or so. YES I remember that! We always made a big deal on our kid’s birthday and still try to do so.


February 26th, 2013
3:42 pm

MJG – about the only time we go out to eat, is when we are on vacation, and we like to go find where the “locals” dine. Our rule of thumb – No Chain Restaurants on Vacation.

Usually, when at the beach, we may go out twice. We like to go to the fish mongers, buy fresh fish, and grill it at the condo. We are more relaxed, the kids can play, and we socialize around the pool with the other vacationers…..


February 26th, 2013
4:37 pm

@Mayhem…I typically stay away from chain restaurants myself. There are a few I like. I enjoy eating out, as I can sample things I would not eat at home. I also like to eat where the locals dine. We use coupons while eating out at home but I am on expense account when I travel. My favorite is breakfast out…I love Eggs Benedict and have never made it here, for sure. I have cooked meals for 40 years now and am frankly sick of it. To each their own!


February 26th, 2013
10:15 pm

I’ve had a Sam’s cake and really enjoyed it. I love cake. I’m kinda easy. :-)


February 28th, 2013
9:02 am

Theresa – Regarding not liking the store designs, I have found that most bakeries and stores that I have bought cakes for will do whatever design you want if you give them a few days notice. We have gone in several times to a local bakery with a hand drawn sketch (of something our child likes at the time) or a photo (to give a basic idea) and the cakes have turned out great. You are usually not limited to the standard designs in their book.