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Archive for the Category "General"

2 Months Nov 21

2 months have passed since I last posted here. I miss it, but I don’t want to recount every detail of our days. I want to post something that tells the story of us AND contains information that someone else may be looking for.

Let’s start with the general. Both my girls are in preschool this year. The youngest in a Mom’s Morning Out class two days per week, the oldest in a 4 day per week VPK program. (Let’s not talk about my baby getting ready to start kindergarten, mmmkay?)

While I do have more time to myself, I actually have LESS free time, do you follow? I’m doing more things for me and the members of my inner circle than I have in a long time. Also, my inner circle is the smallest it’s ever been. I’m not sure I like it, and am working on adding new members, but it’s so hard. Hard for any SAHM because you are most comfortable with other SAHMs but then you get sucked into the vortex of all kids all the time and it’s not healthy. So I’m trying to be a little (just a smidgeon) less introverted and homebody-ish. It’s hard.

But what really has brought me back to this space is two things.

1) We’re taking an awesome camping trip over the holidays. We’ll be taking the kids and the popup to Stone Mountain outside of Atlanta, Georgia. I’m ridiculously excited, though I usually am about any form of travel. I’m hoping to learn some things and share them with others who might want to take similar adventures.

2) Instead of a chocolate Advent calendar, I’m trying to come up with 24 simple activities for the girls and I to do. And this leads in to my BIG question of the moment:

What would be on your family’s list? I have only 14 ideas so far!

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It Was A Long Summer Sep 15

As the summer season officially winds down, I find myself breathing a sigh of relief. Our plans didn’t happen, instead the girls had surgery. It was a rough morning, but they both recovered easily and finally returned to their normal selves 3 months after first getting sick.

Just in time to start school.

My oldest is in VPK this year and the change is amazing. Not one tear was shed over leaving me for school. When the weekend is over, she’s ready to go back and see her friends. She’s asking for play dates and to make more school projects at home.

My youngest joined the MMO program at the same school and her experience has been nothing like I expected. Last year, I’d have to drag her out of big sister’s classroom. She wanted to play like and with the big kids! But instead, she cries every time I leave and, while she does enjoy herself, is having a hard time adjusting.

I, once again, have 2 mornings to myself. It’s fabulous. My hobbies are resurfacing and my frustration levels are lower.

So why are the anxiety symptoms returning?

We have a ton of plans thru the holidays and I’m hoping they will help me to push thru and move past the anxiety. I’m not new to this, and I think that’s why it annoys me so much when I have these… episodes? They are so few and far between now that sometimes I forget it was ever an issue.

But that’s not why I’m here. It’s time to let anyone who’s still following that I haven’t dropped off the face if the planet, but did spend the summer caring for sick kids. And now I’m remembering who I am on my 2 free mornings a week.

How do you remember who you are in the hustle and bustle of life?

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The Best Laid Plans Jul 01

Summer is halfway over in our neck of the woods, and it hasn’t gone anything like I thought it would.

It started in the middle of May, two weeks before school would even be over for the summer with my youngest catching adenovirus. Her pediatrician also confirmed that there is still fluid in her ears, eight months after we first found it. Then my oldest got an ear infection that, even after 10 days of antibiotics, didn’t go away. We returned to the doctor for another round of antibiotics not just for an ear infection, but for some extremely huge and nasty looking tonsils. At this same visit, my youngest was having her ears checked again for fluid. If fluid remained, she would be referred to a pediatric ear, nose and throat specialist.

Well, guess what? They both got referrals. And are both scheduled for surgery the end of July. The youngest is having tubes put in both ears. The oldest is having her tonsils and adenoids removed.

I’d started dreaming about this summer months ago. I was feeling brave. With no requirements to be anywhere, I was considering many trips to visit friends and family. The kids would have grand adventures and we wouldn’t get bored staring at the walls at home.

Instead, we’re staring at the walls at home.

Now I’m afraid to take the kids anywhere because even just walking outside in the central Florida heat and humidity is hard on a body, and my oldest daughter has lost a lot of weight due to the swelling in her throat. She’s on a mostly soft food and liquid diet and will be for at least a week after surgery. The kid needs to hang on to every calorie that she manages to ingest.

My youngest is the opposite and needs an outlet. She needs to run and jump and play to make sure she eats three meals a day instead of randomly snacking.

How do you handle having two kids that need totally opposite things? Anyone have encouraging words about their upcoming surgeries?

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Summer Has Arrived Jun 06

Here in Central Florida, we have a different way of knowing when summer is here for sure.

It’s not the last day of school (May 24), or Memorial Day weekend, or even the first time the thermometer hits 90 degrees (WAY back in April, might even have been March).

It’s when we deal with our first tropical depression/storm or hurricane.

Today Tropical Storm Andrea pushed its way across the northern part of the state and dumped several inches of rain across parts that needed it desperately. The storm brought some random crazy wind gusts and tornado warnings.

And the official start of summer.

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Blogging From My iPhone May 30

I’ve had an iPhone 5 for 6 weeks now. One of the reasons I was excited to get one was so that I could blog on the go. Napping kids in car? No problem, write a blog post! Cute pic on the phone? No problem, schedule a Wordless Wednesday!

But, like many other times, I got distracted by life and a houseful of sickies and never got around to it.

Now I’m giving it a try and I’ve already “lost” a post. My birthday post (which was already late) says published, but in a category titled failed. Anyone know how to fix this? Are there any tips I must know to get the most out of blogging from my iPhone?

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5QF 4/26/13 Apr 26

I not only liked the questions this week, but they were easy to answer! 🙂 Link up with Mama M!

1. Who drives when your family is together, you or your spouse?
My husband. I hate to drive, and he gets car sick if he doesn’t drive, so it works out well.

2. Are you an introvert or extrovert?
Introvert. While I enjoy people, I am happiest at home playing video games, reading, cooking or crafting. Or at the library looking for new books.

3. Are you married to an introvert or extrovert?
This isn’t as clear cut an answer for him as it is for me. He is more extrovert than introvert, however some days he is on so much that the only way for him to recharge is at home coding or cycling.

4. What’s your favorite type of social media?
I mostly stick with Facebook and Twitter, and neither can take the prize. I like Facebook for family updates and pictures. Twitter helps me with current events and gives me access to other moms who can commiserate with me over the difficulties of raising kids.

5. What’s your favorite way to “recharge”?
Reading. Hands down. If you want me at my best, give me 4 hours and a book.

Now, to see what the deal is on this blog award that appeared in my comments… 😀

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Shoes Apr 15

As a female, I’m supposed to spend my days lusting after super high sparkly heels that are far more pretty than comfortable.

However, I’m a mom of two. I spend my days at home or at the playground, barefoot or in flip flops.

But some days require footwear other than flip flops, and then I have a problem.

Not with the days that require fancy shoes. Nono, on those rare occasions I actually enjoy shopping for those shoes. It’s the activities and locations that require sneakers that stump me.

My foot has a slightly unusual shape for an woman since I spend so much time without constricting shoes. My feet are a narrow V that doesn’t seem to translate well to sneakers.

I keep looking at minimalist shoes, hoping they’ll be closer to what my feet need and will be comfortable in, but how can you tell which shoes are right for you?

I’ve been looking mostly at Brooks Pure Cadence, Pure Cadence 2, and Adrenaline.

How do I decide? Is there an easy way to find ONE store that has all 3 styles for me to try on?

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Sometimes I Freeze Mar 27

Lately I’ve really come to understand what other parents refer to as the “witching hour.”

My older daughter is so mellow that she’s more inclined to burst into tears and throw herself into bed than into a screaming tantrum in the middle of the room, but not so the younger. The closer it gets to her bedtime, the more clingy and cranky she gets and some days when it’s time to make dinner, I just can’t bring myself to listen to the screaming. So sometimes I freeze in an attempt to save my sanity.

This caused us to spend a lot of money on take-out or unnecessary trips to the grocery store for something that could easily be re-heated. Once a month cooking has been a thing for awhile now, and together with a friend of mine who’s a new mom, I think I’m embracing it.

Due to time constraints (it’s hard to have your really young kids somewhere else for an entire day), we’ve done two cooking days so far, making 3 dinners, and 2 breakfasts each time, as well as 1 lunch during our first go-round. These meals, in combination with our regular “quick meals” such as spaghetti and hamburgers, lasted both of our households two weeks and took around 5 hours each time.

It is a BIG commitment to be organized enough to purchase everything and power through the cooking of so many meals. I have yet to find a good way to save as much money with this method as I do otherwise, but practice makes perfect, right? I’m surprised at how much I HAVEN’T saved, despite my extensive pantry.

Does anyone know how to SAVE money by doing freezer meals? Does anyone have a freezer meal recipe they’d care to share?

So far, Once A Month Mom has been my go-to site, but they haven’t let me down yet! 🙂

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5QF Mar 08

Since I was a contributor, I feel it appropriate to do my own 5QF this week! 😉

1. Does your family coordinate clothing for church on holidays like Easter?
No. We don’t attend church very often, and have family pictures taken even less frequently, so we don’t have a need for all 4 of us to match. For various reasons, the girls will have coordinating outfits, and if we feel so inclined and have the clothing pieces to do so, my husband and I have been known to coordinate ourselves to them. But will you ever see me searching for 4 coordinating outfits for a holiday? No.

2. How do you get out of a funk?
Music or dessert. Cheesecake or fresh baked anything with ice cream are the big ones.

3. Online friends – real friendships or not?
Oh, I’d love to say that they are REAL real, but there is enough pessimist/realist in me to know that some of the most offensive people in this world put personas on the internet for years in hopes of turning someone into prey. So I kinda like to say be cautious and if you do physically see these people and your instincts were right and they’re not looney tunes? Give them even bigger hugs and enjoy it all the more.

4. What is the one food you must eat in a restaurant (not make yourself)?
Cheesecake. Too much work, too many ingredients.

5. What would happen in your home if you ran out of ketchup?
Nothing. We’re not huge ketchup fanatics. Honey mustard or a sweet and spicy barbecue are our go to items. Or sometimes Boar’s Head Pepperhouse Gourmaise. Depends on what we’re eating! 🙂

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2012 in Review Dec 31

I just can’t let the last day of 2012 pass without a recap. I never got around to one last year, and it made me a little sad, and we have had SUCH A GOOD YEAR. Seriously. I’ll rack my brain over the next few days, but I can’t remember a better one. (Sorry for the lack of pictures and even post links, but I feel it’s more important to live life than to blog, and more important to record than advertise.)

January brought a trip to Disney (we’re passholders, you’ll see this frequently ;)) to see the Osborne Family Spectacle of Lights at Hollywood Studios and the 3rd birthday for my oldest babe.

February brought… Hmmm, I can’t remember February. Oh! We went tent camping with a couple of friends at Lake Louisa State Park. Always fun to sit and cook by campfire.

This March was the first year that the husband and I didn’t go all out for our anniversary. We used to always go somewhere, preferably without the girls, but last year we celebrated a friend’s wedding on our anniversary and were just too busy. Hopefully this will change, I have big plans for a family trip next March. Cross your fingers for us!

April brought the surprise purchase of a popup camper (that we have loved!) and swim lessons for both my girls. The baby did awesome. The older still hates swim lessons and isn’t that fond of the pool.

May brought our first trip to Disney’s Fort Wilderness campground in our new popup and my husband’s and my 30th birthdays.

June brought my mom’s 65th birthday and a camping trip to Fort De Soto park.

July brought my nephew’s 18th birthday, and his last trip with the family to Anna Maria Island for a long weekend of beach fun.

August brought my nephew’s Air Force boot camp, the start of my oldest’s 3rd year of preschool and a trip to Prague (that I swear I WILL blog about).

September brought another camping trip to Fort Wilderness.

October brought my first real sacrifice as a parent, the baby’s First birthday, and the most fun Halloween we’ve had yet. They both lasted almost an hour our trick or treating!

November brought a family Thanksgiving that was half it’s usual size, but nonetheless still a lot of fun.

December brought tickets to see Transsiberian Orchestra thanks to a very generous friend, the first Christmas my oldest understood, and an epic camping trip at Disney that included my niece for 5 days. In the Florida cold.

2012, I’m sad to see you go, but have high hopes for 2013! 😀

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