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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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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

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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