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.  🙂


Brain cells, where art thou?

Still have only one running car at the moment, and that totally blows!  Whatever, we will get by.  I need to stop making plans, expensive obstacles keep popping up and ruining them!

My baby cousins both have birthdays this month, and with it being so close to Easter, we had *hoped* to make a road trip to Indiana to go visit them with Easter goodies and birthday goodies.  Then all the car drama, boo!  And apparently, not having many brain cells left in my head after having four babies and perhaps inhaling too much E-6000 during all my crafting, it never occurred to me that the giant over sized gifts I got for them would be ridiculously expensive to ship, since we weren’t going to be there in person.

I didn’t even realize this until it was too late to ship on time for one birthday, and meanwhile, have been scrambling to find replacements that are more easily shipped.  Why does shipping have to be so expensive, by the way?  They don’t live across the world!

I feel awful about it, but it is what it is.  I miss having them all so close to us, Saraphina is only 6 weeks younger than her one little cousin, so it has been so fun watching them grow up together.

Wah, wah, wah, woe is me.  😛

Meanwhile, it is already the end of the school year!!  When did that happen?  And as always, May is insane here for us, with end of year school activities, scout outings, band concerts and dance recital!  I am trying desperately to stay on top of everything, but I would be lying if I said I wasn’t a wee bit panicked.  Bella has 8 costume changes in one of her performances this year, and being on the dance team, she doesn’t do just one of the two recitals, she does them both.  o.O

I splurged a bit and invested in a Dream Duffel.  I am in the process of blinging it all out, but in the mean time, I will tell you that it’s awesomeness is neverending!  It has a collapsible garment rack, for hanging and organizing all of her costumes, loads of room for shoes and accessories and even a stool to have Bella sit on while we do the hairstyle changes!!  No more sitting on the floor!!!  Gosh, I am way too excited about this thing!  Haha!

Another big change coming up, Abe has finally agreed to change scout troops!!!  Thank goodness!!  The commute was insane, and more often than not, they cancelled meetings with zero notice, after already driving the half hour it took to get there!  Ugh!!!  This will help immensely with calming down the hectic schedule and crazy commuting.  Yay!  Plus, Matt has made friends with some scouts in his new school, so he knows he will have some buddies in the new troop.

Matt’s birthday is at the end of May!!  My baby will be 12 years old!  What?!  Huh?!  Craziness!!!  Although, he is starting to get the attitude of a 12 year old, not yay.

Once all the craziness of May comes to an end, I will buckle down and commit to fully potty training Sara.  There is just too much going on right now, it’s not fair to throw something so big right in the middle of it all when I don’t have all the time needed to completely devote myself to the process.  I know she will catch on quickly though, she has shown lots of very promising signs!  Yay!

I am hoping in the very near future, maybe this weekend, we will be able to start digging into the Lancer and seeing if we can get our hands dirty and get it fixed ourselves.  I love the sense of accomplishing things on our own, and honestly, we just don’t have the money to take it to a shop that will charge way more than it would cost for us to do it ourselves.

I am feeling stretched very thin right now, I feel like I am letting people down, taking too much on, stressing about the cars, etc.  I love the fun activities in May, but I am always so relieved when June comes around and I can take a big breath before the next birthday!  Whew!

Patience is a virtue….

The Origins of Virtue

The Origins of Virtue (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One that I have never claimed to possess.  Here we are, five long months after our house hunting officially began.  The good news is, we found a house!  Again!  Hey, and this time, it’s not in a flood plane!  It even has light fixtures and flooring!  And door knobs!  We put our offer in mid May and it was accepted the very next day.  Since then, we have been waiting.  And waiting.  Annnnnnd waiting.  Ugh!

All of our papers are in order, all of the inspections, appraisals, pest checks, you name it, have been long done.  We have written checks, so many checks, so much money!  And now we are simply at the mercy of the underwriter, the one that is backed up and taking their sweet time.  Awesome.

We sold our current home, and if we aren’t out by the first, we owe the new owner rent for the month of August.  Ummm….no thank you!

Meanwhile, there is absolutely nothing that we can do.  We have done everything in a timely manner, now all we can do is wait.  I am so not good at waiting!

The house is in a new school district, so we have school registrations coming up fast.  I had hoped to get moved and settled well before that, so the kids felt less rushed and more at ease with all the changes.  I guess I just need to stop planning things.  Pffffft!

We’re hoping to hear good news this week.  We had a closing date of the 12th, which came and went because of the backed up underwriter.  Our loan officer *thinks* we should hear something this week, he said it’s all “clean” and that we need five days notice to schedule the closing with the title company.  Abe already took off a few days next week in anticipation of closing next week, so any thoughts, prayers or good wishes that everything stays on track would be greatly appreciated!

We have a new house, just waiting for us.  For that, I feel blessed and excited.  Honestly, I do.  I just need everyone on my frantic time schedule.  🙂

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!

It’s over!


That, my friends, is the face of a very proud little boy who was taken to our local polling place to watch the right to vote exercised in person.

The kids school did a mock election, which of course brought the children home with some very interesting views shared from their friends who were no doubt repeating things they heard their parents say.  It’s a fine line, trying to explain to them what each candidate stands for without tainting them with our opinions.  I think they deserve to make up their own minds, too many people automatically support who they think they should, as opposed to who they are more in line with.

How awesome it is, to live in a country where our say matters.  People give their lives defending our right to vote.  Whatever your political beliefs are, whoever you supported, I just hope that you voted and that you realize that every single vote matters.  We are a part of history, and our children are watching us shape it.

God bless America.  And thank goodness the mud slinging election ads are over!  Whew!  I have never in my life been so happy to see a commercial for toilet paper as opposed to another ridiculous political ad!

Thank you Charmin!

Well, what do you know?

Busch Stadium, as seen during the park's openi...

It would appear that our hummingbird friend and little grasshopper buddy did indeed bring good luck.  We were informed Friday morning that we won St Louis Cardinals tickets for this Thursday’s game.  Um, awesome much?

Had a great weekend, nice and cool and strangely productive.  The kids start school later this week, so they are soaking up the very last bits of lazy summer days while they can.

I am working on reviewing a few new products right now, one of which will be including a very generous giveaway.  We’re talking 10 winners, my friends!  Stay tuned, I’ll have more info on that very soon.

Meanwhile, I am definitely feeling the shift as we move into a new school year.  We are adding onto our already crazy schedule this year by signing Noah up for dance class.  He is excited, and as long as he wants to do it, I’m all for it.  The boys are a pretty spiffy little novelty in the dance routines, so I predict an extra awesome recital next year with Isabella and Noah sharing the same stage.  It can only be awesome.  Once I find some tiny, toddler sized black ballet shoes, that is.  That task is proving harder than expected.

It won’t be sad saying goodbye to summer this year.  It was hot and miserable, keeping us indoors far more than we would like.  Hopefully the fall will bring us some nice, cool temperature to enjoy the outdoors and make up for lost time in the fresh air.


Back to School

World-famous Crayola crayons are manufactured ...

The stores are filled with back to school supplies, the supply lists are out, the summer, though just begun, is quickly coming to an end.  The kids start school mid August.  Craziness.  I remember when the school year started after Labor Day.  Yeah, I guess I’m getting old.

One thing that has always irked me about the kids supply lists, is the insane specifications of exactly what color, what brand, etc that they have to have.  What annoys me further is when the teacher uses the all caps and bold fonts to really pound in the message that Roseart crayons are not good enough, they must be CRAYOLA!!!

Do you know what that does to a stubborn headed, childish, Latina mommy?  Well, if you guessed that I buy the Roseart crayons just because it’s the opposite of what the anal, OCD teacher wanted, then you are correct!  A crayon is a crayon.  A folder is a folder.  A notebook is a notebook.  I could go on and on.  I get everything on the list, I even send in extra Kleenex and hand sanitizer and anything else I think could be useful for the classroom.  But holyantiauthority Batman, let’s not get on a power trip about art supplies.

I was pleasantly surprised this year to see that the lists aren’t crazy specific as they usually are.  That makes the entire supply hunt so much less stressful.  And cheaper.  And less passive aggressive.

Summer School

Film poster for Summer School - Copyright 1987...

After an ever so brief week off from school, los ninos are returning today for Summer School.  Now, I don’t know about you, but when I was a kid, summer school was for…well…the less than bright students.  It was for catching up and passing subjects that were failed during the school year, so you would be able to progress with your classmates to the next grade level.

Was that the way it was for everyone else?

Well now, Summer School is like summer camp!  The kids have classes with Legos and magic tricks and even an entire class dedicated to Dr Seuss.  There are daily prizes given out by random, and an attendance price for each child at the end of the roughly four week session.

The kids get paid.  They get a gift card with $60 a pop for perfect attendance.  It was $100 a kid a few years ago.  What the what?!

I am envious!  I would have loved this program when I was a kid!  My mom wouldn’t even let me join Girl Scouts, to say I was a bored child would be an understatement.

So, today it’s just me and the littles.  Matt and Bella are having awesome adventures at school and earning money while they’re at it.  Lucky little brats.


I can’t leave this post without adding that Summer School was an AWESOME 80’s movie!  Mark Harmon, Courtney Thorne-Smith, Kirstie Alley,  Chainsaw, omg, I love me some cheesy 80’s movies!