Mama's Mission of the Month

Mama’s Mission of the Month: January 2019

Here goes the perennial flub of mine. I am determined to make it work this year, however. If this is your first time coming across a Mama’s Mission of the Month post, you can see where I got the idea here.

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This time, I’m going to expound on everything a little, just to add some extra motivation and reminders of what my thought process was when I wrote these all out.

PERSONAL

  • New routines for EVERYONE. We have fallen into a semi-productive routine over break, and with a few tweaks and adjustments, I think it’s going to work really well. Bedtime is once again being set on the phones and tablets, and bedtime are going to be followed. It’s going to be rough at first, but in the grand scheme of things, I think it will b e more than worth it.
  • Read and journal EVERY day. I’ve already started a list of books that I want to read this year, and I’m finally going to use the peacock journal that Connor, Ryli, and Landry got for my Mother’s Day gift in 2017.
  • Self-Care: exercise, sleep, hydrate. My darling stumbling blocks of not taking care of myself. I already have self-care quotes above several of my weekly spreads in my bujo (bullet journal), my current favorite being “Self-love is the greatest middle finger of all”. Exercise will start next week, when the kids are back in school, in the form of swinging by Bachman Lake and doing lap(s) unless there is precipitation in the act of falling. I’ll most likely start out with every other day, as it’s a 3.1 mile loop. Sleep I start tonight, and I’m nearly sixty ounces in on the hydration.

PARENTING

  • Solidify routines. (by the end of January) Falls in line with the previously mentioned routines, there’s will just take a bit more tweaking, I’m sure.
  • Blast Off to Reading with Landry 5 days a week. Landry asked, and I am going to oblige. He wants me to tutor him, so I got a highly recommended Orton-Gillingham workbook to work on.
  • 20 minutes reading EVERY night. I don’t care if I have to read it to them, or they read to themselves, or a combination, but every night they spend with me, they’ll do a minimum of twenty minutes.

FINANCES

  • Stick to budget. Pretty self explanatory.
  • One meal out this month. See above. The only possible exception would be if someone wants to take us out. LOL
  • “Wish Lists” for each room. Every room/area needs some additional TLC, whether it be rugs, trash cans, bedding, or anything else.

HOMEMAKING

  • Finish organizing and purge by 1/15/19. The hardest part of this was done last month… the kids’ Elf on the Shelf, Tyrion, and his supervisor came in and organized their toys and purged a bunch while they were at their dad’s. Now, to do all the clothes. My carrot to keep me going will be the reduction of dirty clothes.
  • Meal Plan! To keep eating in and all that, I need to make a good meal plan and stick to it. The InstaPot has been a godsend thus far.
  • Order more dishes. Time to get some more dishes. The Brandless set is short a bowl, and the others have been nearly decimated, mainly due to gravity.

SCHOOL RELATED

  • Volunteer once a week. I’ll just check what opportunities present themselves.
  • Be there by 2:00 for pick up. It sounds crazy, being there at least 55 minutes before dismissal, but the first week I picked them up from school, I had to do so many laps, I tried getting there earlier. The first tank of gas disappeared much faster. So, I’ll go early and occupy myself on my iPad, or reading.

FRIENDS/FAMILY

  • Start Nic’s apartment 1/16. I’ve done such a job here, I’m being enlisted to pull off the same feat at Nicole’s. I’m going to do her car as well. This should be fun.
  • Save for a trip south. I have a car, and we will use it!
  • Plan for reunion. Twenty five years. I think I know when it’s going to be. Just waiting on confirmation.

BLOGS/ONLINE

  • Post a minimum of once per week per blog. Yep… I’m going to try to do these the right way.
  • Post on the pages’ FB. Just keeping them up to date. No big deal.

MISCELLANEOUS

  • 2019 Goodreads Challenge. I committed to read fifty books this year. Going to start today with You Are A Badass here today. Next up, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a #@%!.
  • Keep calendars up to date. All of them. This will be fun. I have the Scribbles That Matter Markers, my pen collection, and stickers.
Life with...

Welcome 2019, and here’s to starting the year off on the right foot!

2018 has been simultaneously wonderful, atrocious, embarrassing, awesome, and so many other contradictory terms; I’d list them all, but I’d be going well into 2019.

As I said the other day, things really have changed quite a bit during my accidental hiatus. Finally, the right combination to keep my mood up and keep my wandering brain in the nearby vicinity. Add to that my blood thinners, allergy meds, and the Chiantix I finally kick my worst habit into oblivion. It’s all working, so I will not complain. Actually, if the recall on testing strips for my INR tests last much longer, I may start. What can I say, besides the fact I’d rather be pricked in the finger than go through a standard blood draw with a minimum of fifteen minutes in coban.

The apartment is finally starting to look like a home and not a hodgepodge. I have my little office area set up almost completely. I finally have the dining room table and Ryli’s desk set up so that there is plenty of space for say hauling out toys, moving, or extra people. I love the futon and the pillows. One of these days, I’ll try to get a new comforter for it. It is so comfy! The kitchen is great, especially since I got the bakers’ rack to hold the small appliances, bulk items, and the cups so that the kids can get drinks without needing to scale the countertops.

Connor’s room has been cleaned in his absence. I also gave him my old bed, along with the risers so he can stash his mini-safe under his bed. I sleep on the other futon, and the minions still have their bunk bed. The closets are split. Connor now shares his with Landry, and Ryli and I share the walk-in, along with storage for decorations and keepsakes. The bathrooms are the sticking point. Everyone prefers to bathe in the master, as the shower head is better and the tub is bigger. Hell… as long as we have two toilets, it’s fine.

I’ve started to bullet journal again, to go along with my mammoth Happy Planner. I confess, I may also get another Academia now that they have a smaller size. The results of the budget for the month will determine that. I’m also keeping my Cozi app up to date and I’m using the kitten calendar from Nicole for the kids by the front door, and my desk blotter for when I’M fielding calls from doctor’s offices and whatnot. So, hopefully, all the repetition will sear things in this brain of mine, and teach the kids to check their calendar.

Everything is finally falling into place. I think 2019 is going to be the year that ends the slump I have been trapped in. We shall see.

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Death, Planning

Another classmate gone…

I was on Facebook, scrolling away, when I saw a post from an old teammate’s mom, with him tagged. I guess he passed away three days ago; they don’t know why, just that he’s gone. That is the third since just after Thanksgiving. The first to go was two years ahead of me. Second was just a year ahead of me. Now, our class lost one. It’s not fair. We aren’t old yet, despite the arguments of our children, nieces, and nephews.

It definitely took the winds out of my sails tonight. Hell, I’ve cheated death more than a few times. It just isn’t fair. Is this a weird sort of survivor’s guilt by proxy? They were all rather popular in high school. I wasn’t. I’m just confused. And mad. And questioning my own mortality. When is one of those close calls going to be too close; when’s my number really going to come up?

I think I’ll just ring in 2019, then drag the kids to bed for a mammoth cuddle session. When you are feeling sad, nothing brings you back to earth than cuddly kids that hog blankets?

R.I.P. Ryan, Tracy, and Justin

Life with...

Lost & Found

Wow. That’s really all I can say about this year. There has been NOTHING here since May. Not because I didn’t try. The old saying about the best laid intentions going to waste is pretty appropriate in this situation.

I thought my medication was working, but when I realized that it wasn’t, my health insurance got all screwed up. Eventually, we got that all sorted and I am now prescribed my magic mix.

When we first got this place, I signed the kids up for Big Brothers/Big Sisters, in spite of a waiting period of undetermined duration. Ryli and Landry got their matches right around the time I last posted. The matches came in so close to one another, we had a double meet for the initial meeting and paperwork signing. They both adore their Bigs. It has been great.

There was the logistical nightmare of Ryli and Landry switching schools this fall and having no vehicle of my own. Nicole filled the void and drove them both ways until I got my car at Thanksgiving. The kids are flourishing at the new school. I was actually heard at Ryli’s 504 meeting this year, and they are testing Landry for a learning deficit, more than likely dyslexia. Ryli has become a social butterfly. Landry is coming out of his shell.

The car is another story entirely. Once the ideal choice was made, it was purchased, and delivered to my mom while she was at my stepsister’s wedding. Dacey drove it back to Georgetown, and there, it waited until we got there  before Thanksgiving. Ryli and Landry helped me set up their new booster seats, seat organizers, and whatnot up. Ryli went with me one the maiden voyage. I drove us all home Saturday, and it was glorious.

Connor was practically driven crazy by his former job. He went back to Iowa in October and thus far, he’s planning on coming back, maybe. Who knows at this point. He was going to ride back with my mom and step-dad, and now he has extended, again.

Landry getting a SPED referral for his speech difficulties and what is, most likely, dyslexia. It has been surreal, to say the very least. The results of the testing should be in by the end of January. In the meantime, G’ma-Mom got him a workbook that I can work with him on. If he does get diagnosed as dyslexic, I will look into either getting him a tutor, or doing it myself. He wants to read so badly. Next week, we’ll probably crack open the workbook and start at it.

I think that with all that has gone on in the nearly eleven years that I’ve been in Texas, I just had to find me again. I lost her for much of it, and through the kids, I caught glimpses. With the political climate, I realized things that I hadn’t before. Things that I thought that I had figured out eons ago shifted, and many light bulbs went off. Now, I’m busy in a good way, as opposed to busy in a self-driven trip up and down ALL the walls, repeatedly.

From the first day of school until the last day before Thanksgiving break, Nicole took on the Herculean task of driving the kids to and from school every day. There were exceptions, but that sums it up rather well. Lexi helped me get the kids to and from visitation exchanges until her van gave out; from there, their Memaw was kind enough to help us out. Then, the evening before Thanksgiving, the kids and I hopped on a Greyhound for our annual Thanksgiving shindig, and I drove us home in our new car. For the first time, I have a car that simply did not exist in the 20th century. We call her 5, short for Maroon 5, because we can be a smidge goofy at times. Right now, I’m in the middle of learning her feeding patterns so I can better budget for gas and maintenance. I feel like an adult again, and not a stranded kid. DART was okay, but now, I can do roughly three days worth of errands in three hours, and no unwanted hikes, either. Plus, now I can actually function the day after said errands. Previously, they wore me out.

Connor being gone and not having a clue about when or if he’s coming back is hard. Ryli and Landry miss him something awful. I’m talking sob sessions when they are tired and someone mentions him, or he texts me. Hopefully, we all figured out soon.

We all adore the kids’ new school. They actually like it more since they no longer have to stay and wait for Ms. L. to have enough work done to be able to morph into Nicole again. It’s a night and day difference from that sorry excuse they went to before. Considering that Landry was a referral from Child Find, the new school has done so much, where as the other did less than nothing, besides put him on a 504 for his ADHD. Landry is finally being tested and evaluated, and we should have some answers by the end of January. It breaks my heart to see him struggle like he does. Add to that he inherited my stubborn streak and healthy helping of determination, and it has been hell getting this far into the school year without straight jackets for the both of us. If all goes well, I should have a tutor for him in spelling, reading, and all of that. Bonus: despite his weaknesses in reading and spelling and his quirks in speech, he’s turning into a little math whiz. And, for his after-school club, he’s in yoga. He may be the only boy, but he really likes it.

Ryli is doing well. The social butterfly is still flying. She’s still in TAG with a teacher who adores what she’s teaching. Her home room teacher said she wishes she could clone her behavior for all her students. She picked the Harry Potter after-school club, and then got invited to join the 4th & 5th grade art club to boot. She finally has some accommodations for her ADHD that the old school blew me off on.

I started my new bullet journal with a quote that for whatever reason really resonated with me.

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Onwards and upwards, right? I think that if nothing else, this year will be different than the previous.

As far as what to expect around this old blog, I intend to start up with Mama’s Mission of the Month, same as before. I’m having a lot better time now that I’m mobile and happier than before. Other than that, it’s still slightly up in the air. Things should be sorted before the clock strikes midnight and closes this year out. Until then…

Parenting, School

What sorcery is this?

Daily while school is in session, it is always mass chaos, or so it seems. Murphy’s Law is the unofficial motto. No matter the amount of night before prep (or, not, since I’m being completely honest). It was always a chorus of “I don’t feel well”, “Where’s my ___________?”, “I have homework due first thing” (usually following insisting there was none the previous night), and many more. Nine times out of ten when I attempt to rouse them from their slumber, I get their rendition of a 21-gun salute: they roll over and unleash a slew of farts. They call me names, and on particularly lovely mornings, throw half-hearted swings at me. Good times, I tell you.

Then, there was this morning. I noticed Ryli was stirring on my way to the bathroom, so I stopped to murmur some sweet nothings to her. She broke into an enormous grin and opened her eyes. I was flabbergasted.

She told me to wait for her to make her bed up. Ryli has never made her own bed, let alone volunteered to do so. Then, she followed me to the bathroom to brush her teeth and asked if she could wash her face and use some moisturizer. WTF? Who are you, and what did you do with my daughter?

Washing faces was a blast. She did whatever I did, up to and including using the Brandless toner (its green apple scented). As she rubbed the cotton ball across her face, she solemnly looked at the bottle and proposed marriage. It was absolutely adorable. Then, we moisturized before she scampered to her room to play while her uniform finished drying.

By now, I’m thinking that I better just get it over with and wake up Landry. He started off playfully sluggish, muttering about not wanting to go to school, claiming a headache. So, I told him that Connor was thinking that if he and Ryli went to school every day and a few other things that he was working on, he was going to give them his XBox. Boy oh boy, did that ever change his tune. He was dressed all by himself in record time.

The lone hiccup was miniscule. After swearing the night before that he had no homework, Landry promptly pulled out a four page spread from his workbook, and Ms. Doshi was giving out candy for those who had it done. So I grabbed him a pencil and clipboard, and told him I would help him on the way to school. I just needed to do his hair first. That, he did balk out, insisting that he be the one to do it. Mr. Messy Hair, Don’t Care. So I let him, and surprisingly enough, it looked damn good. I’m talking the part looked like it was made with clippers.

With everyone in the van, we pushed off for school. Ryli helped Landry with his math homework, so we only had a few problems to finish off while we waited for the doors to be opened.

I drove back home shocked. They got up without a fuss, they got ready with ease and grace. I was positive they’d been body snatched.

Flash forward to school letting out. They were back and totally normal; alternating between at each other’s throat and the best of friends. Ahhh, motherhood; never a dull moment.

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This was originally written on Wednesday… I thought I had scheduled it, when apparently, I hadn’t. 

Routine, Scheduling, Self-Care

Recap: A Month of Self-Care May 1-7

This month is already off to a much better start than April. I actually had the first day’s “task” done before I even published the April Recap of Mama’s Mission of the Month. For the next several weeks, I will post little recaps for the week of tasks that happened prior.

I got this challenge from Brianna Fae Mental Health Blog and thought it was perfect. My original intent may have been to do this in April, a month with only 30 days, but I figure this way, I can do the recap on the 31st. Problem solved.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018 Fill in your planner. Set days aside for yourself.

This was easy and fun. I actually forgot that it lead off the challenge for the month. I filled in my desk blotter calendar, in all it’s Crayola marker color glory. Then, I had at it in my Academia planner. (Speaking of which, I need to review this; I finally found planner peace!) The Academia is complete to date in the monthly spread, and I have the week ending on Sunday, May 6, 2018 complete, to the best of my knowledge. I’m also waiting on Connor and Lexi’s work schedules to really get it all together. As it stands, I have four big chunks of time set aside to just chill and do whatever.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018 Take a relaxing bath or shower.  Due to errands and appointments, the day was a tad on the chaotic side. So, I opted to flip around day two and day three. So, as I paid bills, cleaned house, and everything else, I binged on “The Originals”. I’m half way through the third season at the time I typed this.

Thursday, May 3, 2018 Catch up on a show you enjoy. As previously mentioned, Tuesday was a tad on the busy side, so that relaxing bath was today, and it was glorious. Me along with my Brandless faves. It was awesome. I’m going to have at least one more while the kids are with their dad this weekend.

Friday, May 4, 2018 Clean out your social media feeds. Well, due to being at my appointment longer than anticipated, that will be delayed until the kids are at their dad’s and Connor is at work.

Saturday, May 5, 2018 Clean a room in your home. I settled for one of those “rooms within a room” and knocked off my bedroom. Out of frustration and for the safety of Ryli and Landry, I took my bed and set it up in the corner of the dining room. I’ve gotten more nights to sleep alone, and the kids no longer jump onto my bed from the top bunk. Win-win. I even took the Iowa State Football throw that was my grandpa’s and hung it up at the head of my bed.

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Sunday, May 6, 2018 Do your laundry. Fold and put it away. Laundry, laundry, how I simultaneously loathe and love thee. I love the fact that aside from changing loads over, you can get so many other things done while the washer and dryer does the dirty work. I like to fold and hang it. I just hate putting it away. Part of that is because I want everything to be perfect, and partly because the hoodlum roommates tend to demolish it when they get in a game of fashion show. This task will continue to run in the background for the foreseeable future. I confess, while funk bound, I did just enough laundry to get by. Summer break is fast approaching, so I really need to do a bit of taking inventory of the kids clothes. I am also fairly certain that I need to buy more socks and lock up all the scissors, as they have once again been chopping up socks to make clothes for their Baby Alive collection.

Monday, May 7, 2018 Eat something healthy. This was fun, even if my INR could suffer for it. I ate raw brocolli and carrots and cabbage all day long. I am, and will forever be, a veg head at heart. I love salads and veggies, the only healthy food that can compete is strawberries. I’ll find out Friday at my lab appointment, I’m sure.

I’ll be back next Tuesday with the next week worth of updates, and hopefully, a few more posts as well.

 

Planning, Scheduling

Plan with me Monday

I am absolutely out of sorts planning out my week. It’s comparatively blank for us. I still need to get Connor’s schedule out of him, and with my major spring cleaning planned for the week, there’s just not a lot to it. I know that Ryli’s Big Sister wants to do something with her Saturday, but aside from that, it’s just empty.

As the week goes on, I’ll set my priority for the day based on what I accomplished the day before. I’ve even written some things in so that I have a task after my favorite little hooligan’s drift off to sleep. I’ll get my Self Care Challenge tasks done around the noon hour, and hopefully by week’s end, the house will be all prettied up and I’ll be ready to start the fun task of planning things for the summer. Scary.