January: The Month of Blah

I hate this month. I’m also not a fan of February. In Minnesota, these two months are pretty much the worst. It’s winter, not the good beautiful winter we expect at Christmas, but the nasty, cold, slushy winter that comes after. It’s raining outside right now. Which means it will be frozen by tomorrow. Which also means, traffic will suck tomorrow morning. Winter officially sucks now.

The holidays for us went well. Lots of fun, lots of relaxing and way too much eating.

Because of that eating, I decided that my husband and I should get healthy. WE discussed it for about a week. WE talked about getting a treadmill, or a spinning bike for the house. WE even discussed getting a personal trainer. WE then decided a gym membership was our best option. I did research into which gym was better, closer and offering a deal because it was January. I actually found the perfect one. After all that research and digging, WE go in to sign up and when asked how many people will be using it, he said, “Only one. We’re here for her.” Then he looked at me and said, “I never actually agreed to getting one. But you can.” WHAT?! Great. Thanks hun.

I actually intended on us doing this together. Supporting each other. Maybe not working out at the same time, but giving each other the opportunity to go when possible and encouraging each other. Which also included us maybe eating healthier together. Making better choices, together. Key word here: TOGETHER.

So I am now a member of Anytime Fitness. Wanna know something else really super cool? When asked how many months, 12 or 18, he said, “She will do the 12 month membership. And I’ll just pay for the entire cost right now.” WHAT WHAT?!? Seriously. He just paid the entire year. Crap. No backing out now. This wasn’t exactly the motivation I was looking for, but I guess it will work. Guilt. A great motivator.

I am excited to be going to the gym though. It always helps take care of some of the winter blah feeling and I’m looking forward to wearing my pants again. It’s been awhile.

 

You’ve been BOO’ed!

My kids are off school for MEA weekend. I am not so lucky and have Chemistry Lab tonight. However, I decided to take advantage of being able to spend time with my kids and do something fun. We boo’ed our neighbors.

We ran to Target (seriously, this store has it all) and purchased a TON of Halloween goodies! It was actually rather difficult to give it all away. My kids kept trying to get us to keep some of it. Mostly the cool glow in the dark fingers they talked me into. I’m not sure if our neighbors will enjoy those as much as my kids do, but it seemed like a good idea to add some fun.

Then I had to make the cards for the Boo bag. I found this on Pinterest:

Mine were not this cute, but it worked.

After we loaded up the bags, stuffed in our cards, it was time to do the delivery. Now, I know that “traditionally” this is done at night, in secret. But I wasn’t going to be here tonight. Plus, I was thinking MOST people wouldn’t be home.

I was wrong. EVERYONE WAS HOME TODAY!

Also, my kids totally didn’t understand the “secret” portion. I told them to drop off the gift, ring the bell and RUN.

They argued about who was going to drop off the gift and who was supposed to ring the bell. They couldn’t figure out which door they were supposed to go to. Our neighborhood offers 2 options. Then they ran back to our driveway and waited to see if someone answered the door. As the person answered, my kids waved, neglecting the “secret” part of the operation.

I did get photos but they didn’t turn out great since I was taking them through my window, which hasn’t been cleaned since 2013.

This was a blast to do! I’ve never Boo’ed my neighbors before, but this might be our new tradition. Although, I may have to get to know more of them, because I can’t keep surprising the same ones over and over again.

Sorry this isn’t much of an update. School has been CRAZY lately. We’re heading into Midterms now and I’m just scraping by. I’ve put in so much study time it’s unreal. I always thought that you get out of something what you put into it. That’s not true in this case.

Hopefully I’ll have more to say in a week or so. Gotta get through midterm and then we get a “TINY” break before finals kick in. BOOOOO!

First Impression?

School has started.

I’m back. In school. Again. Not sure if I am supposed to be happy or scared out of my mind.

I’ve only been in class (3 out of 4 of them) for 1 day. But here’s my first impression:

  1. I am old as dirt. I don’t know who has been telling me that 35 is the new 25, but that does not hold true in college. These “kids” gasp when they hear my age. “Do you actually have children?” “OMG, You are totally the MOM of our group.” I now tremble in fear whenever we have to introduce ourselves.
  2. Pronouns are the new thing when introducing yourself. Yes, I know the world is changing. I’m actually in support of change. But if you call me a he, rather than she, I will not flog you in front of fellow classmates. I just don’t care. Call me whatever you want. Except Ma’am. I may get violent over that one. I don’t mind being mistaken for a man, but you indicate in ANY WAY my age, I will harm you.
  3. I’m in WAY over my head!!! One of my professors actually told us the classroom is open 24 hours. You could literally sleep there while studying. And people have. “Oh yea, we’ve stayed here studying until 3 a.m.” Crap. I have 3 kids, a husband and a house. I CANNOT DO THAT. “Sorry kids, Mommy is leaving for a year. She’s living on campus so her life is easier. The end.” I never thought I would say this, but I’m so jealous of the people who get to live on campus. Yeah, maybe you can’t drink alcohol in your room, while watching Netflix (which is my big plan for the night), but there are so many benefits! It takes me an hour in the morning to get there, due to traffic. My car alternator died. I barely made it home. If I forget something at home, I’m screwed. If I have a girl emergency, I can just run back to my room and still make it to class on time.
  4. I was so worried about dressing well for class, until I arrived, I realized I was the only one. I know I’m pretty lax when it comes to putting on pants and when it’s appropriate, but to school? Although, I will no longer be concerned about wearing makeup or brushing my hair. I really want to fit in. 80s popular throwback teen witch robyn lively
  5. I remembered how awful it is to work in groups and how much college is REALLY into that. Damn. Can’t I just get through some part of life without being forced to discuss shit with a random stranger? I haven’t been in school in years, I’m pretty sure my life experience isn’t really relevant. I used a cartoon for an example today. Seriously. A cartoon. I will not go into detail because I was ashamed. But damn.

I will say this, I’m actually pretty pumped for my classes. Two of the three have some potential to be awesome. The fourth, I won’t get into until Monday.

Now, time for my homework. I have to finish mine so I can help the kids with theirs.

And yes, I realize I may be showing my age by using the Teen Witch Gif. I don’t care. Still love that movie and that’s the song in my head when I walk through the school.

Here We Go…Again!

It’s time for BACK TO SCHOOL!! Except this time, it will include…ME!!!!

Yes, I get to go back to school, while the kids are in school. I’m so damn nervous. What the hell was I thinking? This seemed like such a good idea months ago and now that the time is here, I DON’T WANNA GO!!!!!

I won’t even be here to take the kids to their first day. How crappy is that? I have orientation first thing in the morning.

Honestly, I’m a little excited. I get to take some AWESOME classes! All that learning, coming at me, I’m gunna be so smart.

However, because I’m going to be at school, doing schoolie-like things, I needed a command center for our family. One place where all the stuff would go. The big calendar. The menu plan for the week. That way when Jalon has to take over, nothing will (yeah, right) go wrong.

Of course, as usual, Pinterest had ALL THE IDEAS in one handy location. Then, as usual, I had NO LUCK finding ANYTHING similar to what I saw online. Crap. And no, I’m not ordering it online and waiting for it to arrive. I came up with this idea and had a week to pull it off. I’d like to say I nailed it. But my husband did most of that for me, since I’m scared of power tools…

I tried several (about 50) different stores. Finally, (thanks to my Mom and her awesome* advice), I found a solution, RIGHT HERE IN FRONT OF ME!! Well, the garage anyway. Bonus points were gained pissing off husband by playing in the garage and digging until I found what I wanted and used whatever I found.

*by awesome, I mean I totally didn’t like it at the time. But, as usual, we always end up taking Mom’s advice. Because that’s just how life works.

This was the area “before”. I had this corner kitchen table we never use anymore. We actually have a bigger dining room table we have been using more often, now that the kids are bigger and less likely to spill. We sold the small corner table. And on the right, you can see where the kids were putting backpacks and coats. And eventually snow pants, winter coats and everything else they lug home. It gets so crowded in the winter that we can hardly open the door.

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This is what I found in the garage. Old windows! I actually have two, but only one was used in this project. I sprayed it a beautiful charcoal gray. You can see my chalk outline design on the driveway. That’s how I plan. By drawing on the driveway in chalk. Elegant.

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And *POOF* just like that, it’s done! Just kidding. I painted it all. The left side is bulletin board material, covered with fabric. The middle is chalkboard paint. The right side is for dry erase markers. The baskets are for the kids hats and mittens. Jalon used magic to put it all together. I’m pretty sure that’s what it was.

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And I had to fix the wall. Because I’m the one that made it all holey before. Oops. I cannot be trusted with a hammer and nails. Ever.

Jalon, lovingly, volunteered to put it up for me. He sweat all over. ALL OVER. But it’s so pretty!!!!

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The FINISHED PRODUCT!!! Isn’t it pretty?! The file holders are for the kids paperwork. They bring home folders each day, so they have to empty them in the holder. The container on the left is for the dry erase markers, chalk and tacks needed. The calendar is our family calendar. And the clock is useless since no one can tell time. But it was on sale and matched the kitchen.

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Just a closer picture in case you want to come over for dinner one night this week. Feel free to pick your day. You will be making your choice, just so you know.

I thought that when this was all done, I would be feeling SUPER ready for the upcoming year. But I find that I’m even more anxious now that I have nothing to do. Shoot.

Top Ten Things I Hate About Summer

I enjoy summer. I really do. However, this past week has been BLAZING hot. I think we hit 116 heat index the other day. I started thinking about how much I’ll miss this heat when it’s in the negatives this winter, but I’m not sure this is the type of heat I’ll miss.

I decided that this was a good moment to share my top 10 reasons to hate summer:

  1. June Bugs, Japanese Beetles, and Cicadas. June Bugs slap against your face during quiet bonfire nights. Japanese Beetles COVER all the plants and eat them all and Cicadas leave their giant shell carcasses stuck to the outdoor furniture only so I can freak out when I accidentally touch one.
  2. Swoob and Swamp-ass. There’s just not enough spray deodorant to go around. Seriously, I hate the feeling of sweat dripping down between my boobs, filling my padded bra (which I have because I appreciate all the help I can get), and having to walk around with what feels like a water bra. I could wring that thing out after a walk outside. It was so hot the other day, after walking to the store, I realized I had a sweat-stache’ beaded up on my upper-lip area. Good God. Someone help me.
  3. Shaving my legs. Don’t get me wrong. I love having soft, smooth legs. But, I don’t really need it every day. Really. I just don’t care. However, forget a few days, then go outside wearing shorts because it’s so damn hot and *POOF* everyone comments on how they could braid your leg hair. (Ok, I promise it wasn’t *that* bad, but it was noticeable).
  4. Summer Vacation at home with 3 kids. Send. Help. Please.
  5. My leather seats. Who’s dumb idea was it to buy a black car with black leather interior? Nothing like forgetting about having bare legs and feeling that searing heat cook naked skin.
  6. Cooking or Baking, Anything. I love to cook. And when I’m craving something, I love to bake. But when the sun becomes a fiery ball of death in the sky that sends licks of flames down to my house, considering even turning on the oven is a death sentence. Although, raw brownie batter, here I come!
  7. Sun set at 9p.m. Yes, it’s nice when this happens and you feel like you get to enjoy longer days. But when you want your day to be shorter, and decide to go to bed early one night, I don’t need the sun telling me what I already know. “Yes, I get it, Sun. It’s 8p.m. I should be out doing something productive or enjoying the evening, but I’m tired. Give up already.” The winter doesn’t try to embarrass me. It just shuts the world down at 5p.m. whether you want to go to bed early or not.
  8. Mosquitos. I almost put them with the rest of the bugs in #1, but they deserve their own #. Seriously. I decide to stay up later to enjoy the outdoors in the evening and all I get for it is 40 mosquito bites that make me look like I have Chicken Pox.
  9. Sand. Where does it come from? I don’t even have a sandbox, and yet, I sweep up a ton of it weekly. It’s everywhere.
  10. Wet clothing and laundry. Every day, my kids find a way to get wet. Then they have to change. Then they get wet, again. Then they have to change. This is a cycle that needs to end. Either stop getting wet or live with being wet. Or I need to make clothing out of plastic wrap instead. I miss the days of them running around in diapers…sometimes.

There you go. My Top Ten for this week.

Top Ten for Summer- Part 2

This is my second installment of the Top Ten for Summer. It’s almost August! Summer is almost over!!

My list this week is: Top Ten Things I’m Sick of Saying.

  1. “No. It’s NOT time to eat! It’s 9:30 a.m. At least wait until 11 for lunch.” Why does this happen EVERY DAY. The rules NEVER change. Yet, I get asked this question constantly. Apparently, I’m starving my children. Just as I wrote this, my son came up and said, “I see lunchtime on the screen, can we eat now?” Never should have taught them how to read.
  2. “STOP FIGHTING!” I’m going to set up a ring in my backyard and let them “solve” their issues the old-fashioned way.
  3. “Shut the DOOR!” This actually isn’t me. I’m just really tired of hearing my husband say this over and over again. “We’re not paying to air condition the outside!” and “You’re letting all the flies in!”, go along with this as well. For some reason, this is a difficult concept for my children to remember.
  4. “You HAVE to take a bath! The top of your feet are a different color than the bottoms. It’s time to see what’s under the dirt.” Bleh. My poor bath. They leave a brown ring every time.
  5. “Put your shoes on!” I get it. Summer= shoes optional. However, this does not mean you can go barefoot into Target. They frown on that. Especially when your feet resemble what I described in #4.
  6. “Please get dressed. At least put on PANTS!” Morgan will wander this house in her underwear for WEEKS if we don’t tell her to get dressed. I guess this summer schedule is too relaxed.
  7. “Stop grossing me out!” The other day, this was a conversation I overheard in the back of my car while I was driving the twins to the store: Morgan: “Hey Declan! Guess what I’m eating?” Declan: “Is it candy?” Morgan: “Nope! It’s a booger!” They both laugh, then 2 minutes later I hear: Declan: “Morgan, guess what I’m eating?” Morgan: “Is it a booger?” Declan: “Nope! I’m chewing on a toenail!” They both start laughing again. If you ever thought having twins was a cute adventure, think again.
  8. “No. A tornado isn’t going to come and blow you away.” Thanks to my son Evan, and his desire to be a storm chaser, all my kids are a little obsessed with Tornadoes. However, to them, every single thunderstorm we get here, holds a tornado just waiting to take them away. We get a LOT of storms here. That’s a LOT of opportunities for them to fly away. I used to love storms. Now I dread the sound of thunder, because it means I have to dig out my prepared speech about how they will not be sucked up by a tornado.
  9. “CLEAN UP AFTER YOURSELVES!” No, there is no magical fairy that cleans up when you go to school. Now that it’s summer, you can see how you contribute to the disaster we call home.
  10. “Please, leave me alone for 5 minutes!” Yes, I know I’m here with you ALL summer. Every single minute of every single day. It’s pretty neat that I get this opportunity. However, sometimes I need just 5 minutes to breath. Or pee in peace. In those 5 minutes, I don’t want to play with you, I don’t want to “just watch this one thing” or even listen to who touched who first. I just want 5 minutes of PURE PEACE and QUIET. In this house, you would think I was asking for World Peace. At least my bathrooms have locks.

Top Ten for Summer:

For this summer, I will be doing a quick series of my Top Ten. Each week will feature a different Top Ten of mine and hopefully, they will all make sense.

For today I will be doing this:

Top Ten Reasons I Kind Of Suck At Parenting:

  1. Tooth fairy– This is probably the easiest job you have as a parent. Kid loses tooth. Kid puts tooth under pillow (or in our case, on dresser). Tooth fairy switches out tooth for money. Done and done. We even made it easier on our Tooth fairy by not putting it under the pillow. We leave it RIGHT BY THE DAMN DOOR on the dresser. SUPER EASY. However, our tooth fairy is incredibly forgetful. Morgan’s tooth sat there for 3 days. She forgot it was even there, so when money finally appeared, she thought it was an accident. I tell the kids stories about her and her hilarious failings. We are her only family and she’s working hard on becoming the tooth fairy for the neighborhood so be forgiving of her forgetfulness. Damn tooth fairy. You have ONE JOB! Also, she suddenly appears in the middle of the day. Like today, for example. Declan noticed it was the second day in a row his tooth remained untouched. BUT, while he was playing video games and was totally distracted, POOF, tooth gone, money appeared. Magic.
  2. Breakfast for Dinner– I know lots of families that do this. It’s not that uncommon. However, our breakfasts are cereal. So when I say “BREAKFAST for DINNER” I literally mean, “Pour yourself a bowl of cereal and be happy.” No, I do not do this often. How “often” is “often”? Cereal is a healthy choice…maybe not the ones I serve, but they have SOME healthy bits in them. I’m pretty sure Lucky Charms has some vitamins in there that can be helpful. The milk doesn’t turn green for good luck. It’s green because it’s healthy. Lettuce and Broccoli are Green. Therefore, Green= healthy. Logic. Boom.
  3. Breakfast for Breakfast– This time I actually mean pancakes or things “other people” consider breakfast. The other day we were actually OUT of cereal. (And no, it’s not because we had cereal for dinner. It’s because I’m a slacker and waited too long to grocery shop.) My kids complained. I had to do something to get them to be quiet. I got up and, very reluctantly, made pancakes, mostly because it was all I had. My kids thought it was a holiday. Evan told me it was the best breakfast he’s ever had and I’m a wonderful Mom. Remember that when we have cereal for dinner…
  4. Forgot to Put a Child to Bed– I felt terrible. Ok, here’s how our bedtime routine goes: Each kid gets tucked in by me. Jalon comes in after to give them kisses and turn off the lights. However, Jalon ran to the bathroom in between one of these sessions and forgot to say good night to Morgan. And we were kind of in a hurry to watch Orange is the New Black that night. Which meant, for about 30 minutes, she just sat in her bed, playing with her stuffed animals, waiting for Daddy to say good night and turn off her lights. Did she think to get out of bed to tell us? No. Did she make ANY sounds at all? Nope. We saw a light reflecting on the wall and checked it out. She didn’t seem to mind much. Just giggled and then went to sleep. I felt terrible.
  5. Cleaning Music– I like to listen to music when I clean house. Typically, we listen to country music, but the kids don’t really enjoy it. So I will turn on the Black Eyed Peas on Pandora and they will go nuts! Unfortunately, I can’t really control Pandora. Every now and then a song will come on that’s just a bit inappropriate. Like, Turn Down For What. Although, the amount of cleaning that gets done during these songs is incredible. So worth it.
  6. Movie Days- Morgan and Evan’s favorite movie is The Ghostbusters. From the 80’s. She loves the “Marshmallow guy”. Declan’s favorite movie is Avengers. Seriously. No cartoon crap in this house. Don’t get me wrong, they will watch the cartoon/Pixar movies, but they won’t choose them over and over again. I think I’ve seen Ghostbusters 8 times already and I just bought it 5 days ago. They also really loved Twister. However, they were learning LOTS of choice swear words, so I had to pull it from our regularly scheduled programming. Which is sad, because they would literally sit still as stone for the entire length of that movie. Declan called his sister “Bitch” once and blamed it on that movie. Darn it.
  7. Nap Time- Apparently, my kids are “too old” for nap time. However, I’m not. So when I need a quick snooze in the middle of the day, Mommy comes up with the “Let’s Be Quiet And Watch A Movie” moment. Sometimes I tell them to grab their blankies, a snack and something to drink because we’re about to have a super awesome movie day! Sometimes it works, most times it fails. I can usually pull it off on rainy days, but my nap times don’t always coincide with rainy days. Declan isn’t falling for my crap anymore and knows that when it’s sunny, he can ride his bike.
  8. Parks/Playgrounds- I start out every summer with GREAT intentions of visiting the BEST parks of the Twin Cities. But when the time comes to actually go, I realize how far away they are, how hot it is outside, the fact that I’ll probably just tell them to stop fighting, and cancel the whole thing. Plus, we have one of those Playground things in the backyard, that’s basically the same thing, right? This summer, that’s going to change…hopefully. It hasn’t yet, but the summer isn’t over.
  9. Ask Your Dad– Which means, I don’t feel like answering you right now. Or maybe it means, this question is hilarious and I want to hear what your Dad’s response will be. It could also mean, I can’t believe you actually asked me this in front of your friend, I’m not answering in front of your friend. And, if you interrupt a nap, this will be my response for sure.
  10. I’m a Terrible Influence– Hands got dirty at dinner? Use your shirt. Want great music to clean to? Go ahead and dance, but if I ever hear you singing these lyrics out loud, you are so done. Caught me sneaking a cookie before dinner? Have one, but tell anyone, and you are done! Want to stay up late to watch Hell’s Kitchen? Fine, but don’t be crabby tomorrow. What does my coffee taste like? Go ahead and have some, but you don’t get your own until you can pay for it on your own. We’re out of milk, OJ and there’s no lemonade made? Fine, have a pop, I don’t care.

I should probably be fired. Although, I’ll have you know, I spent a whole hour today, walking around our neighborhood hunting Pokémon. There’s a new app for devices called Pokémon GO and you basically walk around with your cell phone, GPS on, and hunt for Pokémon outside. For reals! We only caught two because I have weird rules about not going into people’s backyards, without their knowledge, to hunt things that don’t actually exist.

That should more than makeup for all my failings.