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COVID Chronicles: Day 2

It is bewildering to me how wildly different children from the same gene pool can be in personality. Truly mind-boggling. Today, we started full-fledged “school work” in an effort to stay on top of things. I kept it light and simple and let the boys know that they were under no circumstances on a “time limit”, per se, but that the faster they completed their work, the faster they could make way for free-time. I knew two things going in:

  1. Connor would be overly enthusiastic and foam at the mouth to do all the things and,
  2. Gabe would all but do a sit-in to protest any and all things academic.

This is nothing new and is what it is, but Lord have MERCY, y’all — help me, help you.

Let me backtrack a bit and say that Con woke me up at the butt-crack of dawn asking when we would do classwork.

SIX O’FREAKING CLOCK IN THE MORNING, AND THIS KID WANTS TO DO HOMEWORK. AND IT AIN’T EVEN FOR A GRADE.

I let him know in no uncertain terms that if he did not release the death-grip on my cheeks and get out of my face that he would have zero homework and we’d move straight to naps (savage move). He grudgingly let go of my face and then asked for Pop Tarts and cereal. Kid doesn’t exactly take a hint.

So we finally got to what I thought was a more manageable time for homework shenanigans. Connor, ever eager, jumped right in and flew through five or six sheets (front & back) in about 15 minutes. And then there was Gabe. Bless him.

Gabe is not my homework fan. Having a double whammy of Sensory Processing Disorder & ADHD has left him wanting to do literally anything but anything classwork related. It’s not that he can’t, it’s just not his jam. It took him about forty-five minutes of complaining and the removal of screen privileges before he finally conceded and went through the multiplication motions. But he got it done and, after realizing momma ain’t playin’ around, decided that he would rip it off like a Band-Aid tomorrow to avoid losing further device time.

Gabe did do something today that pulled at my heartstrings, though. He’s such a sweet, goofy kid, anyway — but today… this was special. Like I said yesterday, Ev & I have been stressing over work and whatnot. We set off hard this morning/early afternoon trying to find some resolutions that would work best for the family, and I think Gabe knew we were overwhelmed. He went to the office letting us know that he’d prepared lunch for the whole family and was so proud. I gotta say, I was proud for him. Sometimes I have a hard time seeing him grow up, and then other times I see this little boy growing into a big guy and, gah. It just gets me right in my gut. It was nothing fancy, but man it felt like a million bucks. Just when you think your kids aren’t paying attention, you know?

Ham sandwiches, courtesy Chef Gabe.

He made everyone ham & cheese sandwiches and was in the process of grabbing drinks and chips when Ev & I made our way to the kitchen. He even thought to make Mason ham and cheese roll-ups rather than a big sandwich.

The rest of the day was spent playing, catching up on laundry, napping, watching dragonflies on the deck, and ending with baths and a ZOOM call with Connor’s teacher. She’s been calling her class to read them bedtime stories and to ask about the kids’ day and Connor LOVES it.

Watching dragonflies.

We’re currently watching old episodes of Scooby-Doo for the millionth time and are settling in for the night. I’m not sure what the day holds tomorrow. Guess we’ll cross that bridge when we get there.

I think of all the things I’m hoping to gain from all this COVID business is some patience and maybe a little boost on my faith. It’s been severely lacking for quite some time, and at no one’s fault but my own. I think we could probably all find some kind of life lesson from this situation if we open our minds to it — hard as that may be.

pc: Brooke Wilkerson of Coffee & Chaos (fb)

Going to get these feral children off to bed, now. Talk soon.

xoxo
Sarah

Blog, Boy mom, Chaos, Coronavirus, COVID, Family, Health, Lifestyle, Mom Life, Motherhood, News, Parenting, Recent Events, Relatable

COVID Chronicles: A SAHM's Musings, Day 1

If you’ve never had a Nerf bullet bounce off of your forehead at point-blank range, are you even a parent? Maybe. But the likely answer is, “No”. As much as this might sound like a barrel of laughs, I assure you it is not. “Shots fired!”, my six year old proclaimed. I don’t think he was really expecting his mom to lunge off the couch in his direction but, hey. Live and learn.

Living in Central Louisiana, this is our first “real day” of quarantine. We are on a Stay in Place order, and I’m gonna be honest with you — even though I totally understand and agree with the precautions, I can’t help but feel annoyed. I am a rational enough human to understand that this isn’t affecting solely me & my family — so don’t get the wrong impression. I just feel like had this been done sooner rather than later (now), that a lot of this nonsense could have been avoided. That said, I’m not too big to admit defeat when I say I was a HUGE COVID naysayer at the beginning. I’m not one to jump headfirst into anything the media deems as a “catastrophe”, so I’m definitely eating crow on this event.

At this point, we’re just doing our best to keep our heads above water. Things definitely just got real for a lot of us, so it’s still a lot to process.

Until Friday the 13th (go figure), I was a full-time LSP at a local Allstate branch. With the schools and daycares closing, I had no choice but to come home and stay with my boys. This being the precarious situation that it is, I didn’t feel comfortable seeking assistance from anyone outside of the home. My husband and I co-own an arcade, Wayback’s, with a friend of his. We opened February 14th. A month later, and we’ve had to close our doors — with the hopes that the economy will be stable enough to reopen after all this dies down. My husband is also out of work for the next two weeks, minimally.

To say that I’m stressed to the max about what’s going to happen next is the understatement of the century. I’m doing my best to stay calm, though, and we have been pulling together as a family unit to try and stay on level footing with one-another. During times like these, it can be easy to get on each other’s nerves. So far, we’re fine. Some bickering here and there (that’s to be expected when you’re parenting more than one kid, anyway), a few removed screen time privileges, and trips to our local track, and all is well.

Well. Apart from being shot with a Nerf gun and having my knees knocked senseless, courtesy my broom-wielding, Braveheart wanna-be toddler.

Our kids’ school is AMAZING and they have provided some packets for the boys to keep up with studies since we likely won’t be back until August. They’ve also been providing breakfast and lunch for kids in the area, which I think is incredible. This year is a pivotal one for both the boys since Gabe is in 5th and Connor is in 1st. LEAP testing has obviously been canceled and all school minutes suspended thanks to COVID. Nonetheless, we’ve got to maintain some degree of normalcy (and mom’s sanity), and 2nd and 6th grade is inevitable.

Situations such as these always show a community’s true colors though, don’t they? I have to say, I’m extremely impressed and grateful for so many people in the area. People have really stepped up and are going above and beyond to help. If everything keeps up at this pace I know we’ll all be back on top before we know it.

I’m signing off for now. Y’all take care!

Blog, Children, Family, Food, Health, Healthy eating, Humor, Kids, Kids' Health, Links, Mom blog, Mom Life, Motherhood, Parenting, Snacks, summer

Snack Thirty

Lemme just preface by saying this post isn’t about my snacking habits.

This time.

Before this summer, my kids weren’t super snack-y.  I mean, sure — from time to time they’d request gummies or an apple.  Nothing out of the ordinary and not super often.  Little did I know that dark days were upon our household.  Enter Summer 2018: the two and a half month period where my kids asked for snacks literally every ten minutes (no kidding — my oldest just came in and asked for a donut.  UH, NO).  I didn’t mind for about the first week.  I’d simply throw them a banana or give them a bowl of grapes and some water and send them on their way.  Then week two reared its ugly head; it was then that I realized my kitchen, nay, our LIVES would never be the same.

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Now, in case the obvious has escaped you, my parenting style is “sasshole”.   I haven’t always been this way, though.  No, there was a time when you could see me frolicking through the tulips, singing songs from The Sound of Music.  I’m done making apologies for that.  My kids are great, but they’re challenging.  It’s either be a sasshole or rock back and forth in a padded cell, and my insurance doesn’t cover that.  My kids, on the flip side, are newbie SNACKholes.  I mean, they could own Snickers commercials guys.  “Hungry?  Grab a case of Snickers.”  Except don’t, because: diabeetus.

My boys could have feasibly rivaled any hongry, hormonal woman during her monthly visit from Aunt Flo this summer.  Things got ugly, FAST.  You’d think that after almost 5 and 9 years of me being their mom that they’d know better.  Well, my children are smart, but no one has ever accused them of being Mensa smart.  And so the Battle of the (Mom’s Trying to Keep You From Developing a Stomach) Bulge began.  There were survivors — but only because I don’t do orange jumpsuits.  Also, I’m not mentally prepared to be anyone’s cell wife.

Listen, I’m no skinny-Minnie.  I’ve struggled with weight since I was a kid, partially because of a (legit) thyroid issue.  And I say “legit” thyroid issue because it’s just that — legit.  Not a, “I ate ten pies and a cake, and I don’t understand why my pants don’t fit” issue.  But because thyroid issues run through my family (as well as diabetes), I try really hard to make sure my kids understand that it’s okay to enjoy themselves but to believe in portion control and self-restraint.  My goal isn’t to be a party pooper, but for them to live their best lives — and part of that means self-control where eating is concerned.  My boys are healthy and active, but that doesn’t mean they can’t change those qualities one day down the road.

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It occurred to me that they could actually be hungry — they will be five and nine in the next week, after all.  Of course, they could also be bored (unlikely) or dehydrated (more likely).  So we agreed that they could have snacks if they A) had been largely active prior to eating a snack and B) had consumed x-amount of water prior to snacks.  This wasn’t a huge deal for either of them because they are pretty much constantly active and they both drink water without complaint.  I also told them that large amounts of junk food were out of the question and that our snack choices would be healthy.  At first, they were worried that snacks would be gross.  I distinctly remember Gabe saying, “Are we just going to eat lettuce all day?  Because we don’t like lettuce.”  And I get it — snacks are a part of childhood memories.  I assured him he wouldn’t eat lettuce 24/7 and that I would find fun, healthy alternatives.  He didn’t believe me.

Enter KidFresh Triple Cheese Pizza Bites.  They’re packed with hidden veggies which include pureed carrots and spinach (joke’s on you, bud!) and made with whole wheat flour.  There’s no high fructose corn syrup and nothing chemically engineered, so I feel totally cool with letting my kids nom on these!  Bonus: my kids love them and never believe me when I tell them about the “hidden” veggies.  And while KidFresh Pizza bites are considered a snack, I’ve even given them to my kids as lunch with a not-so-hidden vegetable and cup of applesauce.  Winning!

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My oldest starts school tomorrow and Connor begins a week after.  I’ve already promised them that these will be in our freezer ready for a school-afternoon-snack the minute they walk in the door — give or take fifteen minutes.

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photo courtesy: me. illustrations courtesy: kidfresh website.

Disclosure: The above opinions are those of my own; I am receiving no compensation from KidFresh brand, nor have I been approached by them to advertise.  This is simply a product that we, as a family, have tried and have enjoyed.  Any opinions given are given purely as personal recommendations to other parents and/or anyone interested in healthier snack options for little ones.  The above image is linked to the KidFresh website; illustrations are not my own.

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Poop & Circumstance

“In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun.” – Mary Poppins

element

There’s a reason her name wasn’t Mary Poopins, y’all, and clearly, she never had to deal with one of Jane or Michael’s poop diapers. Sometimes there simply isn’t a big enough spoonful of sugar to make those BM explosions go away.

You’ll find a common theme in my posts among the rest of my Disney references that involve Miss Poppins. Girl had it going on, y’all, and I’d kill for that bag (in an updated fabric, of course). But, as is characteristic of opinions, I have to disagree with one of my favorite fictional characters on her “element of fun” mantra. I just can’t see myself gettin’ jiggy with a poop disaster. Sorry, lady — “A” for effort!

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I’m not necessarily complaining about diaper changes, guys. It comes with the territory, after all, and truth be told I’d rather deal with having to hose my kid down than having a little one with constipation issues. On that note, however, a spoonful of sugar ain’t gonna help that issue, either.

Being a mom of three, I feel like I can confidently say I’ve seen my fair share of different tummy and booty-cover nightmares. All three of my guys have had varied tummy issues, all of which have been a chore to sort out. Gabe was lactose intolerant until pre-k and, thankfully, we figured that out relatively quickly. He took to almond milk products really well and still likes them even now. Connor was my easiest to figure out as far as gastrointestinal fun goes, but even now his tummy can’t hold much of anything which leaves him as a “grazer”; no lie, it takes him an hour to eat dinner — or anything, for that matter — and even then he becomes full quickly. Mason has occasional bouts of constipation, which can be normal for his age, but Lord when he is experiencing constipation it’s a doozy. He has been harder to figure out as far as formula goes because he also deals with moderate acid reflux from time-to-time.

When he hit six months he was able to begin eating small amounts of whole milk yogurt. I bought a brand that I’d been eyeing since he was a newborn and was so excited to give it a go. I was a little nervous giving it to him as sometimes yogurt can be a little sour, but I was determined to try it anyway and hopeful that it would grow on him eventually. As luck would have it, he loved it and, bonus!, his tummy loves it, as well. The probiotics in HappyFamilyOrganics have done wonders with helping regulate his digestive system and the taste is absolutely on point. They aren’t limited to just yogurt for babies though, guys! Their products begin with mommas (breastfeeding bars!), and move on to babies, toddlers, and kiddos!

Listen, I’m in no way getting paid or otherwise reimbursed for my opinions. This may be a no-no in the blogosphere, but I just really felt like other moms and dads out there might need a recharge for baby tummies. I sure did! You all should also note that this product is being used in addition to small amounts of gripe water (when needed!). I try really hard not to give in to gas drops and gripe water unless absolutely necessary, although neither hurt him (gripe water is 100% natural! — here is the brand we use for drops and GW).

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I’ll be so glad once we are all finally past the baby tummy ache stage — I hate it when they hurt! But I am relieved to know that there are products out there that help keep everything moving as they should. What are some remedies or products you use or have used? Hit me up! Like this post? Sharing is caring!

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