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COVID Chronicles: Catching Up

Hello again.

I’ve been out for the past few days because: life. It’s amazing how time can get away from a person when epidemic strikes. Honest to God, my days have not been fully getting started until around 9:30, and it’s killing me. Between that and our days running together, I feel like I’m catching myself coming more often than not.

The boys and I have started walking around a track (no worries — we’re practicing social distancing) and I’ve been making sure to get 10,000+ steps in every day. This is a welcome change as my desk-job did not allow for this. I’m feeling so much more energized and I’m even sleeping deeper through the night than I had been. I know that exercise making one feel/sleep better is common knowledge, so no huge revelation here. But I guess I didn’t realize just how tired, both mentally and physically, I’d become. Yay, body cues.

The boys have continued on with their studies and have otherwise amused themselves with various activities. We played a rousing game of Monopoly the other day (insert exaggerated eyeroll/dry heave here), and I figure if I could survive those shenanigans, then COVID ain’t a thing. Right?

In other news, it looks like we all may be quarantined until April 30th (if not later) because people cannot follow directions and keep away from crawfish boils/bonfires/and other public places (lookin’ at you, Walmart). Y’all, I think I’ve done pretty well thus far considering my extroverted-introvert ways (I’m missing that Target dollar spot like you WOULD NOT BELIEVE), but I honest to God don’t think I can hang in until the end of April. The stir-crazy is real here, y’all.

Social Distancing, because I ain’t trying to catch ya cooties.

In trying to contain my crazy, or at least quell it a bit, I have been trying to stay on top of Facebook LIVEs and posts for LimeLife by Alcone (a cosmetic/skincare company I joined back in September). I’ve certainly got more time to dedicate to it now that I am no longer working with Allstate, but I’ll be the first to admit that it can be difficult juggling household activities, the kids’ schoolwork, getting in exercise, and marketing my company with this weird situation we’ve got going. Like I said earlier, our days are getting kicked off around 9:30AM, and that has been such a HUGE time-suck. I decided this morning that I’m going to come up with a new house schedule since the one we have now isn’t exactly the best.

I’ll take a gander at Pinterest and put that together with what will work best for us and let you guys know what I come up with. I’ve put together some charts and whatnot using Canva, and I love how that has helped to keep us organized. I may even feel froggy and put together a Facebook/Instagram schedule for LimeLife (I should have done that a long time ago.. procrastination is my greatest skill set).

How have y’all been passing the time? My kids are going to start AR testing today, so drop some book recommendations (my boys are 10, 6, & 2) and anything else y’all may be doing that might be budget and kid friendly. We love suggestions!

xoxo
Sarah

Blog, Boy mom, Chaos, Children, Coronavirus, COVID, faith, Family, Health, Home, Home life, Homework, Kids, Life, Lifestyle, Mom blog, Mom Life, Motherhood, New Post, Parenting, Relatable, Trend

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

believe, Children, Christmas, Holidays, Home, Home life, Humor, Life, Lifestyle, Mom blog, Mom hustle, Mom Life, Motherhood, Parenting, Relatable, Writing

Do They Know It’s Christmas?

Evidently not, or else they wouldn’t be poking one another in the eyes and hollering like banshees every .02 seconds.

Long time, no see friends! In case you’re wondering, I’m referring to my feral heathens precious moppets. I feel like if they had an adult’s understanding of the impending doom that is Christmas, that they’d make like a play and get their act together. But that is CLEARLY wishful (if not mythical) thinking.

Don’t get me wrong — I love Christmas. This year, however, I’m having a hard time getting into the spirit, and I’m placing all of the blame on the crap-fest that has been 2019. That and the break-neck speeds at which this year zoomed past. We’re a week away from Christmas and, just short of having our tree and lights up, I’m nowhere near ready. I’m feeling somewhat like what the product of Scrooge and the Grinch would be — and it ain’t pretty, y’all.

I’m using this post, however, as a last-ditch effort to get over my damn self and embrace the beauty that is holiday magic.

It is, after all, a truly wonderful time of year if you go about it the right way. And there are so many things that I have to be thankful for. Don’t worry — I won’t go full Hallmark card on y’all. 😉

As I said earlier, this year has been hard. Actually, adulthood has been hard. But if that ain’t life then I simply don’t know what is. I’ve recently come to a very hard self-realization that I have a hard time letting things go. Not like “holding a grudge” letting things go, just “trying to sort crap out” letting things go. I like to have life figured out and, let’s face it, that will simply never happen. None of us really ever have life all panned out, no matter what our social media presence allows.

We’re all just winging it — granted, some better than others. But what I do have figured out is this:

  • The love I have for my kids and their big, generous hearts. Though little urchins they may be, they all really do have sweet hearts that are just beating to be loved and to love. Their compassion can truly be overwhelming at times and I am so, SO proud of them for having spirits of giving.
  • I have a home that can be warmed and cooled at my will (thanks to living in Louisiana, my thermostat is permanently set on “freak out”), and that it is covered from the elements.
  • We may not have tons of gifts under the tree, and the ones that are there (or will be there because: toddler) are given with a heart of love and received with hearts of thanks.
  • I have a tribe that consists of friends and family that I know have my back at the end of every. single. day.
  • My health, which has been iffy this year, is still with me. I’m more thankful for that than I ever have been in my life.
  • My ability to find humor in utter BS, while it is indeed on edge these days, is still ever-present with the help of snark and sarcasm.
  • I have a job that helps pay the bills and that has allowed me the opportunity to meet some of the nicest, most humble humans.
  • I have the sweet, sweet knowledge of what truly makes this magical time of year pure magic, and it didn’t come with ribbons or tags, or in packages, boxes or bags.

I am far from perfect, y’all. So, so far. I am horribly flawed and, yes, often times Grinch-like. I sometimes forget the Reason for the Season and allow myself to get tied up and bogged down in Christmastime commercialism. But, at the end of the day, I know the sweetest gift came down in the form of a beautiful baby whose life would be the ULTIMATE gift to a world full of hate and venom. And for that reason, and that reason alone, can I be truly grateful for all of the things that make my existence this “hot mess express” that I know as life.

I wish you all a very, very happy Christmas and a wonderful New Year.

xoxo
Sarah

Babies, Baby, believe, Blog, Boy mom, Christmas, Confessions, faith, Family, Holidays, Home life, jesus, Kids, Life, Lifestyle, Mom Life, Motherhood, Parenting, Relatable, Uncategorized

The Wonder of it All

Christmas has always had a special place in my heart. I know – that statement gets thrown around like a bad cliché. But it’s true; this special day and the days that lead up to it have always left me breathless. It goes beyond the twinkling lights, festive packages, and family gatherings — it’s found in the season’s meaningfulness and the renewal of one’s spirit.

That fact has proven even truer since becoming a mom. I’m tough on my boys, that’s a fact. Too tough at times. I am hard and very much the epitome of a “momma bear”. But they are my world. My three reasons for getting over myself (or attempting to, anyway) and facing the challenges of adulthood and parenthood, alike. My kids have given Christmas a completely new magic for me as well. Sure, I love watching their eyes light up at the sight of a Christmas display. I love that they tell me about the cool, new toys that Santa may bring. I love how they think of others and what cheerful, giving hearts they have. However, I think the most magical thing to me of all where they are concerned is the one thing about Jesus’ mother, Mary, that I can relate to.

I cannot relate to the period of time in which she lived or the every-day struggles she faced in that era. I can’t relate to her being pregnant before marriage and the scorn she may have received because, while I have been an unwed mother, I did not face the criticism that she likely did. I don’t know what it must have felt like to ride upon a donkey nine months pregnant. I cannot fathom what it had to be to know she was carrying the King of Kings in her belly and how humbled and terrified she must have felt.

And, while I do not (and hopefully will never know) what it feels to know that my child will face very distinctive struggles, I do know what it is to be scared for them. The comparison is bold if not completely asinine, I know. Obviously, I will never know the grief of watching my child grow to be the sacrifice of a world so undeserving. I’ll never know the pained pride of watching that child so diligently and humbly pick up that burden. I will never know the angst, knowing that my child could die for something ultimately, by human account and motherly standpoint, so worthless.

But I do know the love that filled my heart the moment my eyes caught their first glimpse of my children. I know the pain I feel when they are sick, hurt, or sad. I know the disappointment that floods my soul when they require discipline, as children do. I have felt their pride in every accomplishment they have achieved and their discouragement when they feel less due to failure. I have looked into their eyes knowing that I would die for them, kill for them, and give it all up for them. I am their mother. They are my children. For them I would walk the world.

Unfortunately, that is where my relatability to Mary ends. I envy her gift and feel sorrow for her pain.

My heart swells with sadness but also with gratitude when I think of the sacrifice that was born to die. I look at the faces of my own babies and wonder how on earth she gathered the strength to give such a priceless gift. I wonder what I would have done had I been in her place. Would I have been so selfless? I assure you, I would not have been. And I choke up when I think of her watching her baby crawl out of her arms and walk into a fate created by man.

To think of how it could have been. To consider the “what if”. It’s heart wrenching. It is bittersweet. It is humbling. It is hard.

My boys drive me to the brink. I have yelled over the Christmas tree and dared them to open gifts. I have rushed them through the aisles of Target, Walmart, and the mall, citing “running late” as a reason not to slow my pace. I have been unforgiving and harsh and not always consistent. However, today I am humbled. Today I remember. I tonight, amidst the chaos, clutter, and Christmas gift wrapping I will hug my children and love them a little harder. I will be grateful that I am not in the place of Mary; that my children have received a gift that is irreplaceable and glorious. The gift we celebrate this season is not wrapped, battery operated, or expensive. It isn’t the newest tech or biggest display. The gift was given in the form of a baby, born into the humblest of origins, to a world who didn’t deserve such a kindness.

If I do nothing else right in my walk as a mother, I hope I teach my kids the beauty of this sacrifice and the strength that was born out of it. I hope my little ones will one day cling to the knowledge that they are never alone. My wish is that they will celebrate the birth of our Savior every day of their lives – not just at Christmastime. I hope they become good, strong men who walk the walk and talk the talk in ways I have never succeeded. Above all, I hope they grow to know how precious they are to me and how grateful I am for my own three gifts.

By: My Gabe

Merry Christmas to y’all. Until next year, friends!

-Sarah

Blog, Boy mom, Children, Christmas, Confessions, Family, Heirlooms, Holidays, Home, Home decor, Home life, Humor, Hustle, Life, Lifestyle, Mom blog, Mom hustle, Mom Life, Motherhood, New Post, Parenting, Relatable, Writing

Elf on the Shelf? Hell to the No.

Okay, guys. I’m going to go ahead and preface by saying I’m no Scrooge and I am not bashing any of you parents who have gone the Elf on the Shelf route.  I think the actual little Elf, itself, is precious and I understand that the idea behind it is less so teaching kids proper behavior and more so good, festive fun.  This post is mostly targeted at myself and my inability to properly “mom”.  With that said…

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Mother of three boys and ruler of utter chaos, here.  I know most of you have 2+ children, are rulers of your own chaotic kingdoms, and are still able to fulfill your Elf Shelf duties.  I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t envious of those time-management skills.  And while I love my boys and the insanity they bring (that’s a lie.  I am not a fan of the madness), I am the queen of absentmindedness.  Case in point:

I struggle to remember what needs to be put on my grocery list.  If I remember what needs to be written down, I forget to remember to put it in my purse.  And if I remember to put it in my bag, the list will, inevitably, somehow get left behind in my car.  And if, IF, that list actually makes it’s way into the grocery store, a breeze will steal it away in a last-ditch effort to give my attempt at organization the ultimate middle finger.

I left my phone at home Friday.  Actually, I thought I’d left it on the roof of my car and lost it to the great outdoors.  However, my husband was kind enough to send me a picture of it via messenger of it sitting on the bathtub.  Because that’s CLEARLY where it belongs.  (FACE. PALM.)  Once I finally retrieved it, I realized I’d forgotten my wallet at the office.  With my debit card, checkbook, and license in it.  And also, my Burt’s Bees which, obviously, is infinitely more important than say, MY LICENSE.

I forgot to take my keys out of the front door last night after I’d unlocked it to get my heathens inside.  After a frantic thirty minutes of searching for the “lost” keys the next morning, I found them on my way out said front door to search my vehicle.  Y’all.  I can’t make this crap up.

So do you guys really think I need to attempt to remember to move an elf every damned day of my life?  No?  I didn’t think so.

seriously?!  this would be part of their christmas gifts.  have y’all priced foil lately?!

Listen, I’m from a generation where we didn’t need a rogue North Pole spy to remind us to behave — especially during the holidays.  We fully relied on, and were totally okay with, being told once that Santa, an old man who knew our every flippin’ move, could see us 24/7.  We didn’t need to see that Christmas-y creepiness to believe it — our parents took full advantage of our fear and innocence stupidity.  Nothing was ever moved, there were no elaborate schemes, and mom didn’t have to bold-faced lie to us with an outrageous story-line about why an Elf had or hadn’t been moved because THERE WAS NO FREAKING ELF NARC.

As a product of the eighties, I distinctly remember belting Alvin & the Chipmunk’s version of, “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” on my Fisher-Price cassette player every day of my existence when I was a kid.  Yes, even then I was that obnoxious person who played Christmas songs on loop all year ’round.  There was no doubt in my mind that I risked “losing it all” if I didn’t get my act together.  My parents didn’t have to waste precious hours of sleep and ungodly amounts of aluminum foil to keep us in check.  The simple white-lie of Santa’s existence was enough to go on.

And I get it.  These days, kids literally (think they) need elaborate plots and twists and turns.  Most of these kids have everything on demand — and I’m not even talking about the bratty ones.  No, today is very much an on-demand kind of life.  So maybe the purest form of Christmas magic is simply fading into the background.  I remember the excitement of driving around neighborhoods just to look at lights and decorations.  These days?  That simple kind of happiness just doesn’t exist.  I can’t even say that my kids are ovely-excited at the prospect of light searching.  Sure, they love the festive twinkling of lights that only come once a year.  But does it thrill them?  Not the way it did when we were kids.  Now, if there aren’t a couple of inflated Nutcrackers in addition to the lights, it’s just… “meh”.

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I guess I’m just too old-fashioned, and too absent-minded, to fully appreciate the newness that is Elf on the Shelf.  Or, perhaps, I’m just stuck on the simpler magic.  The things that left me breathless.  The things that, growing up, I couldn’t wait to share with my own little ones.

I suppose, though, that traditions are fine but are sometimes meant to be broken or bent.  Not only that, traditions are best when they’re made or reinvented with the ones you love.  Rest assured, there is no hate for the Elf and his (or her) antics, and if y’all could package up some extra energy and Ginko Biloba and send it my way, that’d be swell.  😉

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Fangirl Friday — JK Farms

Hey, y’all! Hope you guys had a great Thanksgiving. Hard to believe we are heading into December — and I haven’t even started decorating yet (not counting the wreath on the front door). This year has flown and, just being honest, I’m not entirely sad to see it go. However, Mason’s first birthday is next Friday and I am so pumped about that! I’m equally bummed, though — this is my last baby and I cannot get over how quickly his first year has gone by. He has really completed our family dynamic and I can’t begin to imagine life without his thousand watt smile.

But getting to the topic of the day! We’re kicking off today’s Fangirl Friday with my sister-in-law’s “baby”, JK Farms. She and my brother are forces to be reckoned with when it comes to farm life and I have loved watching their farm, and their love for it, grow. So now I’m turning the mic over to Kristyn.

1) Hey, Kristyn! Thanks so much for joining us today!
*Thanks for having me and spotlighting our farm…JK Farms!

2) So today you’re going to tell us about your “baby”, JK Farms. How did you decide this was what you wanted to do?
*Well, it’s definitely my “baby”! I’m an animal freak basically — haha! Some think it’s a little overboard, but I enjoy them all. I’ve ALWAYS been an animal lover. Once I moved back out to my childhood home and set some roots down we decided to get chickens. I kept hearing about chickens being the “gateway” animal to farming….well it’s true! We started out with 12 chickens in June 2016….now November 2018 we’re up to around 100 animals! We have chickens, guineas, turkeys, ducks, Muscovy, geese, rabbits, mini pigs, goats, 2 cats and 6 dogs.

3) What is the best thing to you, personally, about JK Farms?
*The best thing about JK Farms is it’s mine! I put my whole heart into these animals. They’re not only there to help feed my family and make us a little money, but they’re my pets. Most of them have names, of course. They bring me joy and happiness.

4) Has this changed you and, if so, how?
*I think it’s changed me for sure! I’m learning what it’s like to own my own business so that’s making me more responsible, for sure. I can also now understand all the hard work it takes in building your own business. Even though this really started out as a hobby, I now want to do this full time!

5) So, I know that you’ve got a full-time job in addition to JK Farms, but if you weren’t doing this today, what would you be doing?
*If I didn’t have JK Farms…hmmm, I don’t want to think about life without JK Farms! lol.

6) What are some reasons that you like to share this passion with others?
*I love sharing about JK Farms and my animals because it makes me happy and I want to make others happy. Seeing my goats running and jumping around and raring back to ram each other all in play is so peaceful. Seeing the mini pigs lounging around with their guardian dog in the sunlight; a chicken chase after a cricket or a muscovy going after a moth; one of the cats jumping up to catch a dragonfly; and watching a chick hatch, seeing the start of a precious living thing is an experience everyone should have at some point in their lives. Not owning a farm — but being able to witness the pure innocence and joy of animals.

7) This is definitely a lifestyle commitment. What are some ways that you enjoy sharing your experiences with others? Do you feel like your love for JK Farms has inspired others to broaden their horizons as far as recognizing their own passions?
*I hope I have inspired at least one person to follow their dream, no matter how big or small. I would’ve never thought this would be my life, but I’m so thankful for it. I can’t wait to raise a child on our farm and instill my passion for animals in them. I pray they enjoy it all as much as I do.

8) These days, everyone has so much going on and dreams/goals become lost in the busyness. How would you encourage other women to stay goal oriented?
*You gotta start somewhere! Make a vision board! Gather pictures, newspaper or magazine clippings, words, whatever it may be that makes up what your dream is or your goals and post it somewhere… somewhere you’ll see it every single day as a constant reminder to chase your dreams! Make lists! I need to do better at this, but it’s the best way to stay on top of your goals.

9) Thanks so much for sharing with us today! Anything else you’d like to add?
Thank you so much for helping us small business owners get out there and share our passions!

Hope you enjoyed reading about farm life with Kristyn! It’s so cool to me how different interests cultivate different goals, making them realities. If you want to stay linked in to what’s new on the farm, hop over to JK Farms on Facebook at the link below and share this post! Thanks for reading, y’all!

JK Farms

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Ten Ways Children Are Like the Government

Growing up, I was so blessed to have parents who not only discussed with us current events and political/moral beliefs, but who also allowed us to have our own opinions — no matter how laughable or illogical those opinions happened to be. The same could be said with their methodology of parenting, though; nothing was off-limits as far as discussing why things were the way they were. We didn’t have to agree with their standards, we just had to respect them. Having since grown up, I realize that we, as kids, did respect our parents for this — even though it wasn’t necessarily a conscious effort. We recognized from early ages the work and effort our parents put in to our raising and, even though we obviously saw them from a childlike standpoint, my siblings and I developed strong work ethics and values.

That said, we were kids and made mistakes. Our parents allowed us to make those mistakes and we knew fully that there would be varied degrees of consequences when those missteps were brought to light. A lot of these occurrences were brought to light by discussing with us similarly-happening current events/politics and the outcomes that came from the choices that had been put into motion. I cannot tell you how grateful I am for those life-lessons; it’s something that my husband and I are subsequently (attempting to) instill into our own children. Now with that said — the one thing my parents never fully explained to me that, sweet Lord, I wish they would have, was how BLOODY FRUSTRATING it would be to develop and mold our children into productive, decent, non-life-sucking individuals.

Y’ALL. I. CAN. NOT. EVEN.

What’s more, since becoming a parent and a more involved adult, it’s occurred to me how similar raising small children and sorting through political garbage tends to be. Seriously, it’s baffling. Is it because our children are politically geared and diplomatically minded? Anyone who has ever listened to an argument between two or more ankle-biters know that that’s not the case. No, it’s because politicians and their individual agendas have become so mundane and juvenile. Think back to the latest presidential election if you aren’t catching what I’m throwing. I couldn’t watch or listen to the debates half the time because of how much they sounded like my kids’ arguments. No joke, sometimes I replaced the words “foreign affairs” with “sneezed on my pizza” and the comparison was uncanny.

I’ve decided to share with you all my epiphany, so sit back and enjoy my list of “Ten Ways Children Are Like the Government”.

Blue Red Fourth Of July Quote Pinterest Graphic

  1. Someone is always watching you.
    Never was I so paranoid — until I had children. These days it’s a miracle if I’m not constantly looking over my shoulder. Forget about “Big Brother”; it’s “Tiny Terror” that you should really be worried about.
  2. They argue even when they know they’re wrong.
    I tell my husband regularly that if our kids don’t grow up to be successful lawyers I’m going to be pissed. Seriously, these kids would argue with Jesus. My two oldest boys argued recently over whether the name of breakfast was “banana blueberry pancakes” or “blueberry banana”. Facepalm, guys. Face. Palm.

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  3. There’s a lot of name-calling.
    Look, I could be okay with this part if the names being called were at least witty or came from a place of some intelligence. But no. My kids dig down deep and go low and it doesn’t even have to MAKE SENSE. That’s the worst part. My kids were both in tears the other day because they both called each other, “Mick McBootyFace”. I cannot make this shit up, y’all.
  4. Denial, denial, denial.
    A few days ago I walked into our bathroom to get something or other. I don’t remember what. But that’s not important. What is important, is that upon walking into our bathroom, I noticed my once white and turquoise bath mat was stained a gross shade of mud. Naturally, both suspects adamantly denied having even been near the bathroom. One even blamed his sleeping (infant!) brother. Not today, Satan!
  5. They’re wildly out of touch with reality.
    And I’m not just talking about the Santa & Tooth Fairy stories we pump into our kids. No, kids in general, like most politicians, have zero sense of time & zero sense of reality. Case in point: Connor said we bought our house for $50 and a four-wheeler trade. Gabe threw in that if there weren’t so many of us that we could have a DeLorean or a motorcycle with a sidecar. SAY WHAAAA? Adulthood is going to hit these kids hard.

    kids2

  6. You never have a shortage of bed partners.
    Okay, so at least the only thing I’m catching from my bed partners is an occasional black eye or the flu. Nevertheless, co-sleeping can be a beeyatch and I’ve got a dislocated shoulder to prove it.
  7. Whatever it is, it’s never their fault.
    Oh, sure. You might have witnessed your kid dump an entire gallon of milk onto the floor because he was attempting to impersonate Captain Underpants. But was it his fault? According to him, no. Why? Oh, it could be anything. The floor made him slip; his foot was itchy; he got too “into character”.
  8. Things aren’t always what they seem.
    It’s quiet in the house? They’re all “sleeping”? Think again. They know they’ve got you where they want you… and they’re coming for you. “He’s right behind me, isn’t he? HE’S GOT THAT WATER GUN AGAIN, DOESN’T HE?!”
  9. It’s all a big mess.
    Nobody is ever on the same page, we’re always running thirty minutes late, and we’ve misplaced homework or doctors’ excuses for the millionth time. Our house is clean, but only because our closets aren’t, and if we can distract you with something over-the-top to keep you from seeing what a shambles our lives are then, dang it, that’s what we’re going to do.

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  10. No one ever really knows what’s going on.
    We’re all just winging it, guys. Doing the best we can day by day. So long as everyone is fed, (fully) clothed, & dry shampooed, I can deal. Did we throw out the permission slip instead of the two-year-old water bill? Probably. Did I make a grocery list and leave it sitting on the kitchen counter (again)? You betcha. Are my kids going to need therapy in adulthood? Psh — I’m not paying for it.

I’m just trying to raise kids who won’t grow up to be entitled man-children. If they grow to be successful and happy, then I’ve done my job. If they end up being life-suckers? See numbers 4 & 7.

However, if they grow up to be politicians…. eh, can’t say I didn’t see it coming.

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Final Countdown

We’re in the process of some life-changes in the Paul household.  Read: I’m studying for my insurance license exam until I can get back to school.  Because of this, household chores are being re-delegated according to age, capability, and efficiency level.  My boys have done piddly chores here and there, but nothing chore chart worthy since I’ve been a stay-at-home-mom for so long.  I mean, hell — I get most everything done during the day (or week), so by the time they come home, tasks are slim pickins.  Don’t get me wrong — they’ve been exposed to yard work, laundry, and garbage detail; slackin’ is not allowed here!  But now that we’re looking at life and schedule changes, more daily chores added are pretty much a must.  I’m not staying up until midnight only to get up at 5AM every freaking day of my life.

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I’ve looked at lists on Pinterest of “age appropriate” chores for the boys and have modified accordingly.  Adjustments will likely still be made, but baby steps are the best steps in figuring out who is best at what and who can stand some improvement in other tasks.

One chore that both boys have been assigned is folding, putting away, and sorting their own laundry.  This is one chore that neither of them mind doing as it allows them some TV time — provided they stay on task and get the job done quickly and neatly.  This has gone off without a hitch…. mostly.  As with most things, there is one flaw that, by God, I’ll have hammered out by the time I’m employed.  Both Gabe and Connor have a SUPER annoying habit of showing off their (lack) of basketball skills by throwing their socks and underwear in the general direction of the washer.  Only their socks and underwear, and only in the general direction.

I don’t know if y’all know this but… I’m a big girl.  I’m also thirty going on one hundred.  My appliance climbing days are DEFINITELY behind me. But, since I’d prefer to not continuously repair or re-buy equipment attachments or hoses, I’m the one climbing behind the washer and/or dryer to retrieve the wayward foot and butt covers.  This wouldn’t be an issue if it weren’t happening daily or if they weren’t running out of undergarments.  Really, I guess “issue” is the wrong word.  Nuisance, perhaps?  Because it isn’t the end of the world, obviously — just a pain in the ass.  Nevertheless, two straight weeks of me crawling my mom hips and carb-loving arse over and behind the washing machine has left me desperate for a solution.

I thought and thought about how I could get their attention that would get the message across loud and clear but without going full Ozzy Osbourne Crazy Train.  I considered making them do jumping jacks every time they missed the desired target, but they enjoy exercising and the goal, here, is for them to put aside their Kobe Bryant tendencies — not encourage them.

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I thought about acting like I was stuck between the wall and dryer, but I am 99.9% certain they’d take advantage of that situation.

And then one day it hit me.  CANTEEN MONEY.  Canteen cash is like gold around these here parts and I’m not above making a dollar for a large Diet Coke, no ice, from McDonalds (a dolla ten, y’all!).  I only ever give each of them a dollar for canteen anyway, so this works out perfectly.  Monday through Thursday they have an opportunity to keep their canteen money.  Every time I have to hoist myself to the back of the washer/dryer, they lose a quarter.  They’re fast learners, so each had seventy-five cents to take to canteen this past Friday.

I’m not above taking candy from a baby my kids, guys. This is especially true if it means I won’t get stuck in a place tighter than pleather leggings from the clearance rack at WalMart.  But I digress.

Other than our battle with “The Case of the Missing Skivvies”, chore completion and delegation is going pretty smoothly.  I’ll admit, I was planning for the worst.  Both boys like to help, but as with any new strategy, things get bad before they get better.  Luckily, there have been little-to-no hiccups and I’ve only had to issue threats of death a handful of times.  My night-caps have drastically decreased in volume and we’re making it to bed by 10:00 instead of 10:30 (BABY STEPS).  Also, my voice is slowly coming back from all of the Death Metal-esque yelling that took place ALL OF LAST WEEK.  Side eye to you, Eureka Math.

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Tonight I’m shooting for a 9:45 bedtime and only refolding the towels once.  Fingers crossed, y’all.  Fingers crossed.