Blog, Boy mom, Life, Mom blog, Mom Life, Motherhood, Shenanigans, Snow, Winter, Winter wonderland, Writing

Snow, Snow, (s)NOOOOO(w).

For those of you who don’t know, winter in Louisiana is usually a balmy 70 degrees with three or four “cold snaps” that consist of temps at highs of 60 & lows of 35. Because God has a sense of humor, we usually have a cold Easter. Alas, a few days after the last of the egg salad’s been devoured our temps shoot up to 85 –complete with 1000% humidity. It’s just as groovy as it sounds.

However, 2021 clearly will not be out-shone by 2020 and, in true 2020 2.0 fashion, the southern half of the United States (except Florida, because why the hell not) became the unofficial set of Winterfell — complete with nightwalkers.

I believe I speak for everyone here when I say we are NOT built for these shenanigans. I’m fully insulated enough to build up a sweat in Walmart if my cart becomes loaded down (kidding), but my fluffiness is not equipped to withstand arctic blasts from Mister Snow Miser. And speaking from someone who has worked both home and auto insurance claims that weren’t the byproducts of The Tundra, I was not super excited about the winter wonderland that befell us.

Obviously, I don’t meant to sound like Scrooge McDuck. The snow was lovely and I did enjoy seeing my boys play in the frozen stuff in true southern-kid snow garb (layers, layers, layers, and socks for mittens). Mason, in particular, loved the snow and I had to practically drag him in before he froze. However, that’s where the fun and games end. I currently work for a propane company and Y’ALL — when I tell say you’d think the world was ending, I mean it. You know the old saying, “When southerners get snow, they buy all the milk and bread?” That’s inaccurate. It should say, “When southerners get snow, they buy all the toilet paper & propane.” We’re simply not accustomed to driving on icy roads and we lack the equipment and supplies with which travel in winter weather is made possible. Needless to say, I’ve never been more grateful to see our temps back in the 60s & 70s like they’ve been this week.

It was an adventure, to be sure. 2021 could get its act together right this minute and still leave a memorable mark on history.

In other news, I officially hit $10K in sales with Limelife (I’m pretty proud of myself for sticking something out for so long) and our little arcade made a YEAR this month. That’s right, we survived a pandemic. Having lived in CenLa all my life, I’ll admit that I was dubious when my husband and his friend wanted to open an arcade in this area. Vintage arcades are a hard market to sell as far as “novelty” goes, but our little town has really embraced the business and has been an amazing support. We’ve got surprises in store and to say I’m equal parts relived and appreciative is putting it lightly.

Kids just got off the bus, so I’m going to stop here. Enjoy the weekend!

Baby, Boy mom, Chaos, Children, Confessions, Family, Home, Home life, Humor, Kids, Life, Lifestyle, Mom blog, Mom Life, Motherhood, Parenting, Relatable, Writing

Duplo Blocks & Leather Jackets

I’ve never considered myself to be an overly soft, ooey-gooey momma type. Taking a second to note: there’s NOTHING wrong with that kind of mothering if you’ve still set boundaries, etc. It’s just simply not my personal mothering style. Carry on!

I’ve always classified myself as a Momma Bear. Raising boys, I guess that comes with the package. I love my brood, but I keep tough love on tap around here. Funnily enough, I didn’t think I’d be Betty Badass as a mom growing up. My own mom is basically southern sweet tea without the lemon twist, personified. She has basically been in training all her life for grandmother-hood… and she’s got that role in check, y’all. My boys know they’re going to get a hug and a quarter from her the minute they sense her presence. It’s a trip, to be sure.

But I digress. In spite of my momma bear ways, I’ve still got a soft spot hidden amongst all the fluff, delirium, and innate survival skills. That soft spot doesn’t often rear its head, but LAWDY MERCY when it does. Kleenex, please and thank you.

Back in, oh… I dunno, September? We moved Gabe out of his “little kid” room he shared with his brother and into his own room. The move, itself, was a feat of comedic horror. It involved moving Mason (the youngest) out of that room, which involved moving clothes, toys, furniture… disassembling furniture… nearly taking out a window and my kneecap… you know. The usual. And then came the big dogs. I ordered a metal loft bed to help with space management. The room he’s in now isn’t very big, but he also wanted a desk so he could draw and do his homework away from the noise of the house. The loft bed has a built in desk, so I really thought I was on a roll with that purchase. I’ll take, “Things I’ve Never Been More Wrong About in My Life Before” for $1,000, Alex!

I’m not even going to talk about that life experience as I’m still having nightmares (insert eyeroll here), but rest assured, it was an EXPUREEUNCE. Needless to say, I got it up not long after I swore to burn the whole room to the ground, but I don’t suggest putting a metal loft bed together single-handedly unless you’re roughly the size of Hulk.

I also put together a couple of bookshelves and rearranged the entire room — all in one school day. Yeah, yeah… I’m a total badass.

“Why is this relevant to the story?”, you might ask. Patience, young Jedi.

During the entire disaster that basically proved Joanna Gaines I am NOT, I was a swearing, sweaty, nearly broken mess. I could not wait to be out of that room and to get my hands on a Twisted Tea. It wasn’t until I finished replacing Gabe’s things with Mason’s that reality started to sink in. Reality shook my by the shoulders, though, when I put Gabe’s old sock monkey on his desk. The monkey he’s had since he was about a year old.

From out of nowhere I saw that room in a totally different light. I went from angsty and irritated to somber and emotional in just moments. The difference in the two rooms shook me to my core. My oldest spent the last night in his room just half a day before. It took a room change and stopping long enough to see how his tastes and interests have changed. He was no longer the little boy who needed stuffed animals and a song to go to sleep. He didn’t have a need for train tables or coloring books. Nightlights had long since proved unnecessary. Yet, until those things were removed from his space, they still seemed relevant. Once upon a time, they were relevant. Once upon a time, he needed those things.

Now, going in to my youngest boys’ room, I see very clearly the difference in little boy and young man. And, I’m not at all embarrassed to admit, it scares me a bit. “They grow up so fast,” is a cliche most parents (myself included) don’t often have the patience to hear.

“Why can’t they grow up faster?!”, is something that I have, on occasion, been guilty of thinking when I’m feeling overwhelmed or flustered. But, oh my goodness, the years do soar on by without a moment’s hesitation. And, before you know it, you’re replacing Tonka trucks and Duplo blocks with cologne and leather jackets.

Tonight I’ll sing my song to my littlest boys. I’ll sing because they still need it — and so do I. And maybe I’ll sing just loud enough for my “too old for songs” boy to hear, too. Because maybe he still needs it — because so do I.

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When Life Gives You Stomach Bugs…

…pack a bucket.

2021 has started off explosively…. and not in a good way. As if 2020 hadn’t been enough to knock all of us senseless, here comes the New Year on a bender. COVID, quarantines, masks, virtual schooling, job loss — we’ve experienced constant historical events and, I think I speak for all of us when I say, it’s gotten old FAST.

Parenting in all of the nonsense has certainly been a stay-at-home adventure that I’m sure most of you can relate to. Our lives stopped (basically) on a dime back in March and humanity as we knew it was shuttled in to virtual learning, virtual working (or, like in mine and my husband’s case, lack of working altogether), virtual everything. This world-wide-web, instant-gratification generation still proved that we as a people still crave outside human interaction. In short: it’s been nothing less than a dumpster fire.

Some things that have not changed on the parenting front are tummy aches, booboos, and other such childhood ailments. That, my friends, is where this story and the things I’ve picked up on over the years begins.

My boys are attending school on campus because my husband and I work. Virtual is just not an option for us. Besides the work factor, my kids learn better in a traditional school setting. Our school is amazing and has done a stellar job at keeping things as “normal” as possible as well as keeping our kiddos safe. So far, so good (praise!). That said, kids are gross in general. Colds, flus, and stomach viruses are basically unavoidable. My kids pick up everything like a bad habit, so I knew they’d be sick soon when I heard a stomach flu was making the rounds. Man, when they get sick they go big. Both my middle and youngest woke up sick last Saturday morning with no end in sight. I registered almost 2,000 steps on my FitBit between 1AM & 8AM just cleaning rugs, couches, blankets and children. By the time I got them both settled in and I tried to do likewise (about 4AM), I was exhausted. Unfortunately, and I’m sure you mommas can understand, I startled awake in mild panic with every cough, sniffle, and sudden movement from the boys. Both boys woke up around 830, which meant I only got a solid 30 minutes of sleep. Thankfully, they bounced back relatively quickly. This momma sure could’ve used a solid eight hours — although I’d have settled for at least a few hours uninterrupted.

That said, here are a few things that I wish I’d have known going into this parenting gig:

  1. Invest in buckets. Y’all, I cannot stress this enough. If you can buy buckets by the dozen, do it. I keep one in my car and we have several in the house for times such as these. Believe me when I say you’ll much rather clean a bucket than have to scrub a carpet at 2AM. However, when accidents happen (and they will) make sure you have…
  2. Kitty litter & baking soda. Do yourself a favor and don’t skimp on the kitty litter. I mean, it doesn’t need to have gold flakes in it or anything, but you’ll want something that won’t morph into a gelatinous mess when all you’re trying to do is restore some semblance of order in the house at the buttcrack of dawn.
  3. Any beverages need to be sugar free. I almost didn’t add this one, but you’d be surprised at how many people don’t consider the effect sugar can have on a sick stomach. Basically, it’s not great. Stock up on sugar free ginger ale, Gatorade, and Pedialyte. This will help hydrate the body without stimulating another bout of tummy upset. Plus, at least for my kids, it helps control the urge to take long gulps. The taste isn’t bad, but my kids sip these beverages slowly rather than sucking them down in .02 seconds.
  4. Mattress protectors. It never hurts to have a few cheap mattress covers on hand. My boys like to sleep on the couch when they’re sick (I did when I was a kid, too), and a twin size mattress cover will cover the most couch cushion sets without issue. Obviously, these are great for actual beds, as well. So… not a bad investment in general. I don’t leave them on mattresses all the time because the noise drives me nuts, but I learn to deal with it during stomach flu attacks.
  5. Emetrol & kids’ Pepto tablets will be your besties. I just found Emetrol this past go ’round so maybe I’m late to the game, but Y’ALL. I love that it didn’t make my kids sleepy but that it helped soothe their tummies enough to help make them comfortable for sleep. I don’t like giving my kids anything that might make them drowsy, but know that they’re like me enough to not handle nausea well. This is something that will be a permanent medicine cabinet fixture in the Paul home. BONUS POINTS: it’s safe for kids 2 and up.
  6. And last but not least, find Febreze Pet Odor Eliminator. “But Sarah, that’s dumb.” Nah, girl. Hear me out. This stuff doesn’t mask rough odors — it totally annihilates them. Plus, it leaves a clean scent that isn’t overwhelming, flowery, or super sweet. When I say it smells clean, I mean it. smells. CLEAN. And it completely covers that puke smell that even the most iron-gutted individual struggles with tolerating.

I’m sure there are other things I could point out that I’m just not thinking about, but I think you get the idea. If you take nothing away from this except, please do yourself a favor and remember to “Invest in buckets”.

Boy mom, Chaos, Children, Coronavirus, COVID, Family, Home, Home life, Homework, Kids, Kids' Health, Life, Lifestyle, Mom blog, Mom Life, Motherhood, Parenting, Recent Events, Relatable

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. ūüėČ

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

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Mom Genes.

I’m a product of the eighties and brought up in the nineties.

 

I’ve seen some pretty crazy things as far as fashion goes. Designs, cuts, and fabrics all over the spectrum. I wore l.e.i. jeans from Mervyn’s, jelly shoes, butterfly clips, and white eye shadow (shudder). I lived in my Doc Martens only to alternate in on occasion my black platform sandals. I begged my mom to buy me ponchos and Juice Bar body spray and loved perusing the walls of Claire’s & Icing.

 

In short: I was a very typical, 1990’s tween girl.

Fast forward a bit to the 2000’s. Gone were the days of baggy jeans (thanks, I’m sure, to Rachel Green) and in waltzed a more hip pair of bottoms: low cut jeans. Low-cut jeans weren’t a new thing — they were pretty popular in the late sixties and seventies. But for those of us not born in the Flower Power days, they were new and they were what everyone wanted. Everyone except me and anyone else born with mom hips — regardless of whether they had kids or not.

rach

 
For a while, low-cut jeans were all you could find unless you wanted tapered-leg, boob-holstering denim. Obviously, being a teen girl and not an eighty-year-old woman, I wanted nothing to do with tapered-leg anything. So I took my chances and wore low cut jeans — for better or for worse.
 
Low rider denim ain’t for everybody, y’all, and they certainly weren’t for me. I found myself even more awkward than usual in the butt-crack bearing britches and took to wearing excessively long tank tops under every shirt I owned. Tucking in? Think again. These were not jeans that took tucked in shirts into consideration. You either wielded that plumber’s crack/thong with pride or you blocked views and drafts with your neon pink, French tip manicured hand.
 

I am one of the former, for sure. You won’t catch this three-times a momma in low cut ANYTHING. Or, at least, not on purpose. I am an avid believer in high-waisted jeans and thick ponte leggings. I wear shirts so long that some might confuse them as short-ish dresses. If you catch me wearing a tee shirt, you’ll also note that I’m wearing a tunic style tank top underneath. I’ve got no shame in my mom fashion game, y’all. No. Shame. At. All.

History repeats itself to those of us who choose to hide those high school yearbooks from our kids. Pretty soon we’re going to be subject to hormone-raged tweens and teens leaving very little to the imagination where their backside is concerned. I’m not ready, guys. My kids aren’t ready. And, no, I’m not relying on the old stand-by, “Boys will be boys”. I hate that phrase as it puts forth the idea that little guys (and grown ass men) are only capable of Neanderthal-esque tendencies.

With that said, I’m doing my best to ensure that my boys are confident in their own masculinity but also hold to respectfulness and mindfulness of women and young ladies in general. Even at their young ages, we are doing our best to instill in them common courtesy and a “hands off at all times” policy. We’re not messing around and they know it.

Nevertheless, they are little boys which brings me to an entirely different issue: potty humor. Potty humor is very much a thing, which means that butt crack humor is very. much. a. thing. You boy moms know my grief, I’m sure. I don’t even try to hide it anymore. I feel I can confidently say that if my five and nine-year-old boys laugh when someone passes gas, they’re going to laugh at a random buttcrack in Target. I mean, really, Jiffy Lube mechanic guy, if you don’t want a five-year-old to laugh at your hairy buttcrack, keep it covered.

 
Thankfully, low-cut jeans took a back seat to mid-rise, boot cut jeans pretty quickly. I still catch myself guarding my backside with my hand on occasion, though, even though I’ve since moved on to high-rise skinnies. But(t), alas: low cut jeans are making a comeback. Former wearers of the pant can be found all over Facebook and Twitter in either utter disgust or in total excitement.
 
lego drop box
 
 
If it were up to me, low-cut jeans would stay forever locked on the sets of Friends and Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, a distant, slightly embarrassing memory that we can regale to our kids. A scary campfire story-type thing, if you will. I guess, however, this is really all coming from someone who does not and will likely never fully understand “fashion”. Don’t get me wrong — I can dress myself. But my clothing style is definitely more classic-casual. I’ve only recently started stepping out of my comfort zone. But a huge factor for clothing for me is COMFORT. If I’m having to constantly pull down, pull up, push up, button up, or cover up, then it ain’t for me. Being a mom to three boys? Comfort and practicality are key.
 
I’m not talking sacrificing on-trend for practical, though; I’m not buying my wardrobe from a ’95 Sears catalog. In fact, I get most of my things from Target or Old Navy (because: budget). But I am talking decency and modesty. Because I’m a mom to all boys, I don’t want them to grow up thinking women have to be frumpy to be classy, but I equally don’t want them to grow up believing that women are only sexy or attractive if they’re baring all constantly. Obviously, they’re going to form their own opinions in their own time. However, I’m a firm believer that living by example is key. A frustrating process, but key, nonetheless.
 
Jumping off the soapbox, I am curious to see how long this on-again-off-again trend will fare this go around. Honestly, though — I think I’m even more curious to see how long the corduroy jumpers I saw at Target a few weeks ago will last. If anything should have stayed in the 90s (besides JNCOs and white eyeshadow), it was corduroy.
 
Anything making a comeback fashion-related that makes you wince? Comment below!
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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.¬† ūüėČ

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Fangirl Friday – Lexie Too Designs

Happy Black Friday, y’all (is that even a thing?)!¬† I’m super excited to share with you guys a new series that I’m calling FanGirl Fridays.¬† No, this isn’t about Jason Momoa or Captain America (although I know some of you would be all. over. that).¬† In this series, I am going to be showcasing female entrepreneurs, near and far, and the businesses and products that they have helped pave new roads for their dreams and goals.

First up, I have Jessica with Lexie Too Designs.  Jessica is a Louisiana native and single, working mom.  The idea behind Lexie Too is so cool and inspiring and I am so excited to introduce her to you guys.  So without further ado, I turn the mic erm, blog, over to Jess.

**At the end of this post is a link to her Facebook page.  Please check her out!  If you like what you see, follow and share!**

1) Hey, Jessica! Thanks so much for joining us today!
Thank you for having me.

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2) So today you’re going to tell us about your business, Lexie Two Designs. How did this get its start?
I started this as a fundraiser for my daughter’s cheer. She was accepted to University Academy. Sports can be expensive lol. So in June we came up with making a few colors of faux druzy studs. They sold out really fast! I added a few more colors and it just grew from there. A few weeks into June a wonderful friend of mine gave me a nudge to turn it into an LLC.

3) What is the best thing to you, personally, about Lexie Two? Has this changed anything for you and, if so, how?
I love creating new pieces. I spend alot of time finding new materials to work with and in different ways. Helping people find what they are looking for and at an affordable rate. I’ve been a single mom for 13 years. I wanted to make something beautiful that all women could afford. I am incredibly grateful for Lexie Two Designs. It has truly been a blessing for our family.

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4) If you weren’t doing this today, what would you be doing?
I would still be looking for my passion & trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life. Now I’ve found it.

5) I’ve looked at your designs, and they’re stunning! What is your favorite thing about putting art into everyday items?
I like to find the beauty in everything. Have you ever seen a woman’s face light up with a compliment on something as small as her earrings?

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6) How has sharing your creativity with others changed you?
I am more open to others & their likes & dislikes. Some friends and I have bonded over discussing LTD and its operations.

7) 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?
Find out why you are doing this. What’s your motivation and what do you want out of it? Find your brand. The look, logo & feel of your company should match your mission. Write it all down! And then the most important….do it scared. If your dreams don’t scare you they aren’t big enough, right?

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8 ) Thanks so much for sharing with us today! Anything else you’d like to add?
Just to all women, know your worth & add tax. Never settle for a life less than what you want & deserve. Make it happen you’ll never regret it.

Lexie Too Designs

Anything else you guys want to know?¬† Hit me with your questions and I’ll pass them along!¬† Hit her link directly above to check out all of her new designs — and don’t forget to follow!

Interested in being featured on FanGirl Fridays?  Shoot me an email or message me at Memoirs of a SAHM.

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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”.

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  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.

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  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.