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.

ISUblanket.jpg

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.

Memorial

Nine years gone

Nine years ago yesterday, I flew Austin to Dallas to Cedar Rapids, racing against time, hoping to win a few moments to tell my grandpa how much I loved him before it was too late.

By the time I got there, it was too late by my mom’s estimation to go to the hospice center. I argued, but eventually relented to the promise of rising early and making the trek.

The next morning, as I got myself ready, I found a group of three stark white hairs at my crown; my first greys. Everything seemed to be taking too long. G’pa had a rough night, according to my eldest uncle. He had taken the night before’s vigil. Finally, it was time to go.

My mom and I got into the car to go collect my grandma. As we neared the gates of Meth-Wick, the call we’d been fearing came. G’pa has breathed his last. There would be no goodbyes from me to him breathing, and hearing me. My goodbyes would be to his body, soul already departed.

We collected G’ma, and my mom gently told her that he was gone. It was a tear filled ride. My mom apologized to me for not taking me the night before.

The time after that was a blur. I remember snippets, but that’s it. I stayed with G’ma the rest of the time that I was in Iowa. They played “On Eagle’s Wings” at his funeral service, and I cried thinking back to being little and going to church with he and G’ma. Whenever that hymn was in the program, he’d be so happy, and tell me that it was his favorite. The night before I returned to Texas, I went out with one of my oldest friends, proceeding to get drunker than a skunk on Bud Light, because that was what he’d have periodically through the summer, after a long and hot day in the garden, with his bees, or, more like than not, both.

I flew back with a hangover, which is horrible. My step-dad gassed up my Jeep and I drove back to Killeen. I was numb. X was waiting, mowing my lawn with one of those old school, motorless mowers. He did what he could to cheer me up.

By the time that June was half through, an expected guest failed to arrive. By the time we found out why, I learned that within the week that I’d returned to Texas, I’d gotten pregnant.

Flash forward nine years. Uncle Carl passed about ten months after G’pa. I gave birth to Ryli in San Antonio during his memorial service.

The comical thing about Ryli… she is stubborn as me, a trait that was inherited by me from G’ma and G’pa. She has the curls that G’ma always wanted, but had to get perms to acquire; Ryli also inherited a forehead that is a nearly exact replica of hers. Ryli loves to garden, and has a temper slow to ignite but pretty damn scary when it does, like G’pa. Ryli just has a litany of characteristics that she inherited through me from them.

He’s been gone for nine long years, and I still miss him to this day. Sometimes, when I’m feeling nostalgic and sappy, I imagine him “special ordering” Ryli at the stork’s shop. But I have Grandma’s memory; I can’t forget, but the reminders help me deal.

I still love you, Grandpa.

Home, Review, Shopping

REVIEW TIME: Brandless

First, I paid for the entire order; this review is the opinions of myself and my family, there was no compensation or recognition. For more on my disclosure policy, click here.

Brandless was and is TOTALLY worth it. It came last Tuesday, as promised. I may have gotten a tad excited and forgot to take pictures of the box. It also didn’t really help that the box arrived mere minutes before the school bus and my eternally ravenous youngest two children. I did catch something that did accidentally get left behind in the warehouse; I contacted customer service via email, and they shipped another, smaller box behind the bulk of the order. No worries on my part, as they handled it quickly, and it was just the two bottles of melatonin, just delayed by a day.

invoiceretake

I will start with the snacks, which were devoured within days. The overall favorite goes to the Chocolate Chip Cookie Thins. I actually had to divvy those bad boys out, because the three offspring were all fighting over them and/or attempting to barter for them. They’re like the crispy, thin edge of a cookie. It’s basically the cookie equivalent of a muffin top. Everything else was equally as good, just not all unanimously adored as the cookie thins. I was the only one who got any Tomato Basil Hummus Chips. Those are M-O-M-M-Y-‘S. That is final. Ryli’s favorite was the yellow corn tortilla chips and salsa. Landry had an affinity for the cheddar cheese popcorn. Connor has been asking for cookie crisps nearly daily.

The toilet paper and facial tissues… the treeless paper products. Texas sized allergies made short work of the facial tissues, since they were the travel side. They held up well to the allergy spawned drainage for the kids, however. I’m not quite sure how to describe the toilet paper. Its got  nice feel to it; it feels thin, but it holds up well. The rolls seemed on the small side, however one pack of six with four to five people using it lasted a week. This second pack just may last longer, as the littles go to their dad’s this weekend. I was so impressed, I have a current order for boxes of tissues and six packs of toilet paper.

While I’m in the bathroom, let’s talk about the personal care items I ordered in this box. I was a bit leery as to how long the shampoo and conditioner would last when I plucked them from the box. Connor was the first one to use them, and it made his hair look so good. Next up were Ryli and Landry. I was instantly impressed, as I realized that a little bit of each does the trick, and it smells divine (tea tree and aloe). It’s also the same scent as the equally awesome body wash. The kids have decreed that they must use these products. The scent is neutral, so the boys liked it as much as Ryli and I. In case you were wondering, I loved the three of them at least as much as the kids did.

Rounding out the personal care items comes the facial cleanser & moisturizer and the toothpaste. The facial cleanser instantly makes you feel a surge of pep with its grapefruit scent. As with the shower supplies, it doesn’t take a large amount to do the trick. The moisturizer soaks in without the residual greasy feel, with no scent. Combined, I was happier with them than I’ve been with some of my other products, running the gamut from grocery store buys to MLM and Department store splurges. Thumbs up on that.

The toothpaste and mouthwash surprised me. I’m a bit picky about the flavors, and how long it affects the taste of everything. They are both a light mint. The smell coming out of the bottle and tube was stronger that what they left behind. I liked that very much. I also am fairly certain my teeth have already whitened some. The mouthwash left my mouth feeling clean, but not overly fried with the mint  and alcohol combination. I’m the only one who has used it thus far, as the kids are fully stocked in the dental department.

As for the kitchen, I’ve only used the olive oil spray to date. I used it to spray down the innards of my slow cooker before making my salsa-cheesy chicken. It’s looking like it’s going to be an easy clean up. I still have some olive oil left from Kroger, so I’m going to leave the jury out for that. The coconut oil will be used as soon as I make brownies, and lastly, that sturdy little whisk will be used on the eggs for said brownies.

I didn’t forget the melatonin. That works like a charm. The 3 mg caps are perfect for me.

I’ve already placed my second Brandless order. Next month, I intend on making a try with the dishes and table linens. My overall review… I’m in love.

Sorry about the delay. My time at the doctor’s office went long, then I came home, took care of my self-care, and prepped Ry and Lan to go see Avengers Infinity War with the kids. We had to take off early to get across town and to the theater early enough to get some excellent seats.

31 Day Challenge, Factor 5 Leiden, Home, Mama's Mission of the Month, Meal Planning, Mental Health, Organization, Parenting, Routine, Scheduling, Self-Care

Mama’s (tardy) Mission of the Month: May 2018

 

Hello May

Here it comes, May 2018’s Mama’s Mission of the Month. Sorry about the delay, but I may have fallen asleep before the prime time line up on the networks made it to their first commercial break. Then, I woke up soaked in sweat. Apparently, the kids felt the need to crawl in bed with mom, and each sleep on half of her. Last time I checked, they have each other in loose choke-holds; silly little cuddle monsters.

If this is your first time reading a Mama’s Mission, you can find out all the details about it here. Otherwise, without any further to do, here is May’s edition.

 

Self-Care (Physical)

  • Boho Berry Checklist *
  • 2,500 steps (minimum) a day
  • 64 ounces of water (minimum) a day

Self-Care (Mental/Emotional)

  • Boho Berry Checklist *
  • Minimum 7 hours of sleep a night
  • Read 30 minutes per day on average

Health

  • OB-GYN appointment to (hopefully) get scheduled for an ablation **
  • Keep INR *** appointments and keep my levels between 2.0-3.0
  • Schedule Landry’s 7 year well child check up (eeeeek)

Parenting

  • Get a routine going
  • Keep/get appointments and couseling as needed
  • Schedule for all the end of year events at school

Household

  • Continue streamlining storage and organization
  • Keep planners up to date
  • List of things to keep a look out for (make lists by room?)

Financial

  • Stick to budget
  • Meal plan
  • Keep registers up to date

Blog/Online

  • Self-Care Challenge
  • Schedule and stick to it
  • Clean up and keep up with social media sites

Miscellaneous

  • Tweak BASS
  • Take/give all medications daily and journal
  • Figure out what kids will need for school for 2018-2019

 

* I’m a member of Boho Berry, so I get free downloads of all manner of printables on the Boho Berry Tribe Free Resource Library. I printed out the May Monthly Tracker and use it in addition to the monthly tracker in my Academia. Feel free to check out Boho Berry here.

** An ablation is basically getting your uterus cauterized. I’m on blood thinners, and have yet to reach even a hint of menopause, so I have some monthly bleeding issues on a horror movie/crime scene level. I can’t do hormone replacement on account of the Factor V Leiden, so a hysterectomy is out, as is anything hormonal, leaving me this as my potential out.

*** INR stands for International Normalized Ratio, which is a measure of how a person’s blood clots. Being that I have Factor V Leiden that has reared its vile head twice, I should be on blood thinners for life. “Normal” is 1.1 or lower. For a person on thinners, its 2.0-3.0. I’m currently flirting with the high side… yikes.

Mama's Mission of the Month

Mama’s Mission of the Month April 2018 Recap (not good)

AprilMMotM

Remember that? Unfortunately, I do. April was a month for big dreams and bigger frustrations. My medications aren’t quite where they should be, which led to a lot of frustration and tears on my part. I also figured out what was off and will address that with my doctor this month. The kids being at home for a week with that wicked stomach bug didn’t help, either.

I’m going to strike through what I accomplished, and turn the disappointments a lovely shade of red. Anything that was at least started, but not completed, will be green.

Self-Care (Physical)

  • AM/PM routines
  • Walk a minimum of 2,500 steps a day
  • Minimum of 7 hours of sleep a night (partially dependant on Ryli and Landry)

Self-Care (Mental/Emotional)

  • Journal at least every other day
  • Weekly therapy (only missed once, thanks to the stomach bug from HELL)
  • Read 30 minutes minimum a day, and take a half hour all to myself.

Health

  • Keep up with everyone’s medications
  • INR* appointments as scheduled
  • Schedule with dentist

Parenting

  • Nail down routines
  • Address need for counseling
  • Finalize things for “House Cup” (trust me, that will get an entire post to itself)

Household

  • Streamline storage and organization 
  • Meal plan
  • Set chores

Financial

  • Budget
  • Keep registers up to date
  • NO extra purchases

Blog/Online

  • Make and follow blog calendars
  • Facebook and Twitter regularly
  • Reorganize my Pinterest

Miscellaneous

  • Planners up to date (final set on Sundays)
  • Minimum of 64 ounces of water per day
  • 30 Day Self-Care Challenge (that would be on top of what I have previously listed here)

 

As you can see, it was not my proudest month. That shall change this month, I know it. I’ll unveil May’s a bit later. Until then, my friends.