Back to School Times Four


I knew it was coming, that I could not escape it.  It was inevitable, but it still took my breath away and has me typing this at one in the morning.

This year, our youngest baby starts kindergarten.  For the very first time, in the history of sending our babies off to their first day of school, I will be coming home alone.  No little hand in mine, walking home together, collecting leaves and planning our day.  No little voice singing along to the radio as we drive the older kids to school.  No kids shows as background noise.  No little shadow following me around the house.

Just me.  And the fur babies.

Every single last piece of my heart will be leaving me at home by myself all day.  Just the thought has me sobbing and in tears.

For over fourteen years, my life has been my children.  I went on maternity leave with my eldest and once he was born, I never looked back.  My entire day centered around my babies, it’s all I’ve known for so long, I feel lost knowing this chapter of my life is closing.

Sara still feels like a little baby to me, not ready to be sent away all day.  She still says words that take us several minutes, to her great frustration, for us to understand.  She just barely turned 5 a little over a month ago, and already, she has been stamped as ready for school and will be starting her journey outside of our home.  Away from me.

This all feels greatly rushed, especially not being in our own home, still living in a rental house as our place is in the process of being put back together from the fire.  I feel cheated out of our last summer.  I had so many plans, so many dreams of the perfect summer vacation with my babies before school started.  I allowed our circumstances to steal that away from us.  Shame on me.

Already, the hectic school year schedule has started, with dance and marching band kicking off earlier this month.  The days are flying by, I am running out of summer, and there is nothing I can do.

So I cry.  And I type at 1 in the morning, trying to make some sense of my sadness until my brain is too tired, too exhausted to think one more sad thing, and I finally drift off to sleep.

Tomorrow, I will hold my babies.  I will kiss their sweet, chubby, little baby hands, and I will cherish every last glorious minute I have with them before the school year steals them away from me.

I don’t know how moms survive this.  It feels unbearable to me, watching my babies grow up so quickly right before my eyes.


Teacher Gifts

Teacher gift 2

Can you believe that December is already here?!  Craziness!!  I like to get all the grunt work done as early in the month as possible, so I can try and enjoy the fun and traditions with the kiddos without worrying about last minute shopping, baking, etc.

Yesterday, between our water being turned off accidentally by the water company (new computer system apparently, but holyhell was that a major headache!!), a sick baby coughing her cute little head off, and our internet not working for most of the day…….I happened to hop online and quickly had my holiday spirit squashed like a bug.

I’m not sure exactly what I had searched, but I happened upon a blog with a list of items teachers really want for Christmas, along with a very long list of things they apparently hate getting for Christmas.  Basically, it boiled down to giving them cash or gift cards because they hate anything teacher related, handmade, or simply bought out of the goodness of your heart.  The post had soooooooo many comments from real teachers, agreeing with the list and groaning and moaning about all the tacky stuff they get each year.


It got real ugly real quick, and the overwhelming vibe was how ungrateful the list and the people replying to it really were.

Now, valid points were made.  I guess.  Of course, the teacher won’t like every single lotion or candle or goodie that they receive.  But shouldn’t they love the thought behind it??  The love and the intention of someone carving out precious time and money during the holiday season to show their appreciation??

If I were swimming in money, oh the gifts I would give!!!  I would spoil every single person around me!  Being without oodles of cash, I still make a point to try and show our love and appreciation to our loved ones and the amazing teachers we have in our lives.  Isn’t that enough?  Shouldn’t the recipient of any gift at all just be grateful that you thought of them and made sure to include them?

This one little post soured my mood and filled me with more bah humbug than I care to admit.  Of course, I want to believe that we are the exception, and that anything we ever give is greatly received and appreciated, but now I am filled with doubt.  One thing this girl can’t stand to be is unappreciated.


For the most part, each year, we give a gift to the main teacher, and then I have my kids make hand drawn cards for all the extra awesome people they encounter daily, like the special area teachers, the lunch ladies, the bus driver, janitor, school nurse, everyone we can think of that is a part of making each day awesome.  Along with the homemade cards, we usually attach a piece of candy or something of the like.

The response from all of the usually forgotten people has always been amazing, and we will continue that tradition for sure.  But I find myself on the fence now with the teacher gift because, well, I want to be appreciated for appreciating!  Is that so crazy?  I have four kids who are all very busy with school, scouting, dance, band, etc.  For me to carve precious time and money from our already overstretched schedule and pocketbook is a big deal to us.  I want to give a gift that is appreciated and makes the teacher feel loved and cherished.  I don’t want to imagine them rolling their eyes and throwing our gift in a pile of perceived crappy gifts.

I guess really, I will give them whatever the heck I want to, try and forget that crappy blog post I read, and just hope that the people in our lives are not as ungrateful and awful as the people that felt the need to trash the things they get for Christmas each year.  It’s hard to feel sorry for people who are showered with gifts, whether they are up to their snooty standards or not.

I choose to believe that we put good thought and intentions with our gift giving, and if the people want to be jerks about it, so long as I don’t hear about it, I don’t care!  Pffffffffft!!!

I guess I should get off this soap box before it splinters…….

Last thought, and something I am constantly saying to my kids since they were teeny tiny:

You get what you get and you don’t throw a fit.

Rant over.  🙂


Happy Spring!!



Several days into the beginning of spring, we woke up to snow!  And not just a little snow, we got over 12 inches of snow in less than 24 hours!

Of course the kids wanted to make a snow man, and with Daddy’s help, they made a pretty big one!  Mama decided it needed to be a snow bunny, since we are less than a week away from Easter.  Isn’t he cute?!

The kids are off school today, so I am off to make hot chocolate while they keep peeking out at their snow bunny and giggling.

Gotta love a late season snow day!

Doubts of a 10 year old

I heard a knock on my door this morning while the kids were getting ready for school.  I expected it to be someone tattling, that is a favorite past time in our house right now.  I opened the door and Matthew came in, closing the door behind him and looking very serious.

“What is it?” I asked him, expecting to hear about Noah being mean to Sara or Bella not helping to straighten their room.

“Okay,” he started, and then took a deep breath as he studied my face and continued.  “I have been meaning to tell you this for a long time.  Like, a really long time.”

“How long?” I asked, trying to imagine what ridiculous thing was going to come out of his mouth next.  Did he lose a school paper I was supposed to sign?  Did he break something and hide it?  Did he find a cure for cancer?  The possibilities were endless and it was far too early for such hard thinking.

“Like, over a year,” he answered.  Over a year?  What on Earth could he need to tell me?  I instantly thought of my brother, the one who had severe abdominal pain for over ten years and never told anyone until he couldn’t stand it anymore.  He had a hernia, which was recently fixed through surgery, but holywhatareyouthinkingbatman, not telling anyone you were in pain for so long?  Being the worry wart anxiety stricken mami that I am, I started to panic, anticipating what he would say next.

“What is it?” I asked, praying that whatever horrific ailment he was about to share with me could be quickly and easily cured without surgery.

He took another deep breath and studied my face as the next sentence fell from his lips, “I know Santa isn’t real.”

I suddenly realized I had been uncomfortably holding my breath when I loudly exhaled, letting out a guttural sigh of relief.

“What do you mean?” I asked, curious to hear what he would say next.

“Mom.  I know Santa Claus is really you.  Like, I know.”  He emphasized that last word to let me know he meant business.  This was a very adult conversation he was having with his mother, he was getting older and felt he could have this mature discussion with me.  It’s like he doesn’t know me at all.

“You know what happens when you stop believing in Santa.  Socks and underwear for Christmas.”  I smiled, still utterly relieved that my son was perfectly healthy, despite my mind’s ability to instantly arrive at the worst case scenario and then multiply that tragedy by a million.

“Mom.  I’m serious.  I would never tell them or anything, but I know it’s you.”

“Okay.  Well, just remember that when you get lots of socks and underwear.”


“I’m serious.”

“Okay, well, I’m more serious, I know.”

“You’re gonna need a bigger underwear drawer.”

He rolled his eyes and left.

Hey, we have a rule in our house.  Stop believing, stop receiving.  Also, don’t try to have serious conversations with mom.  🙂

Snow Day!


Today, we were surprised with an unexpected snow day!  I have to admit, I think I may get more excited for snow days than even the kids do!  Something about not having to jump out of bed and rush around in the morning is just, well, awesome.

We don’t have buckets of snow or anything.  Just a dusting, really.  But it is enough to be pretty and certainly enough to enjoy some hot cocoa and board games with the babies!

Not the weather I think of for the first day of March, but I’m sure we’ll be spoiled with gorgeous weather soon enough.

Happy March 1st!

Hear No Evil

Hear No Evil Monkey

Or any other sounds for that matter.

I am suffering from painfully clogged ears, a lovely byproduct of this insane cold we’ve all been blessed with.  My goodness, it makes me feel just awful when I think of how annoyed I might have gotten with the children when they were whiny these last few days, possibly suffering from the very same discomfort!

It’s so hard to know when the littlest ones are in pain, or even sometimes what may be bothering them at all.  Thankfully, everyone seems to be doing so much better, and I am hoping that this ear pain will soon be a distant, albeit painful, memory!

I am trying decongestants to drain any fluid that may be built up, and some ibuprofen to help with the terrible pain and swelling.  Really, what it bothering me the most, is not being able to hear clearly.  It’s one of my best tools for detecting baby mischief!

The Neverending Sick Day

"Coughs and Sneezes Spread Diseases - As ...


Since my last update, every single person in this family has come down with the cooties.  I’m not sure if it is a really bad cold, or a mild flu, but what a miserable week and a half this has been!

I currently have an ear that is completely clogged, driving me insane.  I had no voice at all for about four to five days, sore, swollen throat, congestion, nasty cough.  Just feeling really awful.  And so has everyone else in the house.

I try to avoid medication whenever possible, so there has been a lot of vapor rub and humidifier action going on.  We have been using Mucinex though, which is amazingly awesome at helping to make coughing more productive.

I *think* for the most part, everyone is on the mend.  Matthew never really was very sick, just the carrier to this lovely super bug.  Noah and Sara are leaking a lot less snot, and if my ear wasn’t so dang clogged, I dare say this is the most alive I have felt in over a week.

I don’t remember the last time every single person was sick at the same time in this house.  Matthew gets the monster cootie award for managing that one.  Him and his mighty super immunity.




It’s that time of year.  The cold weather means staying indoors, easily transmitting all the nasty little cootie bugs that the kids like to bring home from school with them.  And believe me, my kids are germ magnets, so there is lots of happy germ breeding in the winter months.

Colds are common, but not a huge deal to me.  A sniffle or two here and there, usually nothing too serious.  Except that Noah, my little Stridor Prince, likes to turn cold viruses into scary, bouts of croup.  Every.  Single.  Time.

Do you see where this post is going?

Poor Noah has croup.  Again.  Only this time, he decided to show symptoms in the day time, during regular business hours for the pediatrician and the pharmacy.  The kids is losing his touch, what can I say?

We called the doctor’s office and they were even able to prescribe him oral steroids without an office visit.  Awesome.

I should mention that our regular doctor is on maternity leave, so covering her is a doctor I not so lovingly dubbed Dr Dumbass, several years ago when we had the first displeasure of meeting him.

To make a long story short, we took Bella in for a wellness check when she was about four months old and was being exclusively breastfed.  He decided that she wasn’t growing fast and chubby enough, so instead of suggesting ways to try and increase my milk supply or just be generally helpful, he informed me that breast milk isn’t always enough and some babies just need to be on formula.

Really?  Breast milk isn’t enough?  Instead, I need artificial milk…….?  I won’t turn this post into a crazy breastfeeding rant, but when a pediatrician is too lazy and/or ignorant to encourage and support breastfeeding, they are doing a great disservice to both the parents and the children that they have taken an oath to protect.

Okay.  Rant over.

Anyway, Dr Dumbass prescribed Noah’s oral steroids so we could nip the croup before it got serious.  His directions were one lump dose of the medication, whereas when we go to urgent care or the ER for croup, they always have us split the dose, half in the morning and half at night.  After Noah’s lump dose yesterday morning, he ended up getting sick.  Now, it could have had nothing to do with the lump dose of the steroids, but since we’re talking about Dr Dumbass and since he was seemingly completely fine beforehand, I blame the doctor.  The side effects did mention upset stomach, and Noah’s stomach was certainly not happy.

Happily, Noah seemed to recover pretty quickly, acting like his normal self within an hour or two.  He has a slight cough and a little bit of a runny nose, but the bark is gone, so I am hoping that the croup has left the building.

Not long after going to bed last night, Bella was at our door.

I hate it when the kids come to the door in the middle of the night, it’s never good.

Sure enough, she had thrown up.

Now, I know I have mentioned before how freaked out and anxious I get when anyone even says they have a tummy ache.  We have had great success with using 100% grape juice as a stomach bug preventative, especially for Bella who seems prone to the nasty virus.  I hate to admit it, but we have been lax with it for the last week or so, and lo and behold, now she is sick.  Coincidence?  Maybe.  I like to believe it works though.  Now that we are out of it and I am scared to death of it spreading to other members of the family.  o.O

I have read that apple cider vinegar can be used in place of grape juice, about a tsp-tbsp with 8oz of water.  In my panic mode, you can bet I was choking down some good old ACV within an hour of her leaving our room.  After liberally spraying everything I could imagine she may have touched or breathed on with her cooties.

Winter is kind of a sucky time for a germaphobe mama.

Wet Ones Blog Blast!

Sticky Situations Contest


Being a mama of four, you can trust and believe that I have walked in on more than one sticky situation!  It never ceases to amaze me, the incredible messes the kids can make when you turn your head for even a split second!

This picture of Noah is what happened when I left him for less than two minutes to change Sara’s diaper.  He got a hold of a dry erase marker and decided to go to town on his face, hands and even his feet!



Plus there are just the regular day to day messes, like when the kids are helping out around the house, or when we are having fun with crafts.  Having kids is messy business!  In our house, it is easier just to laugh it off instead of getting angry.  I make sure that when I need to leave the room to do something, everyone follows.  It is much easier to keep an eye on everyone when they are right next to you!  I also plan for messy activities.  When we know we are going to do something messy, we prep the area with newspapers, wear old clothes, and of course, have some Wet Ones ready when we are all through!

Wet Ones is running an awesome contest right now, where all you have to do to enter is share some of your own sticky situations and tips!    It is super easy to enter, just head to Facebook and submit your own tip and funny story by clicking HERE.  When you enter, you have a chance to win an iPad mini or Six Flags tickets!

ipad sixflags


I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Wet Ones. I received a promotional item to thank me for participating.