Getting Ready for Back to School

What happened to June and July?  I can’t believe school will be starting next week.  It seriously seems like school just ended.  I’m more prepared this year than last.  Kids have all their school clothes ready and I just need to purchase one more thing for Christopher for school and he is ready to go.  Jacob starts this Tuesday and Christopher will start on Friday.  Friday?  Yes, that is right.  I’m not sure why the school system chose to do that but they did.

We’ve already started football season, we are actually going to be starting week three this week and so far it’s going well.  We do not have a game today, so glad cause I really wanted to spend today getting myself organized for the start of school and getting some work done on my business.

I decided I am going to try to make this school year better, not only for the kids but for me.  I am always feeling overwhelmed and disorganized so I am going to work on a plan to get us all on the same page and hopefully get these kids to being self sufficient as well.

Here’s a few of my goals:

  1. Plan ahead to make lunches for myself and to also have snacks for the kids after they get out of school. So I’m going to figure out what kind of snacks they’d like to eat and also prepare some healthier options for them.
  2. Prepare dinners ahead of time.  Football is two hours every night so we get home and often eat whatever is easy to make.  This is not good cause most times it is not the healthiest of foods.  So planning is going to be key this year.
  3. Getting our home organized for school.  Each of the kids has their own desk in their rooms so now we just need to make sure they are all set and prepared to do their homework.
  4. Make sure kids get their clothes and backpacks ready for the next day every night.  No running around in the AM trying to find things they need.
  5. Make sure to get extra items for football placed in the trunk of the car.  I learned the hard way yesterday about not being prepared.  It was so cold last night at football and I only had a hoodie and a thin blanket.  So I’m going to add some extra items to my 31 bag that I leave in the car so I won’t have to suffer.
  6. Getting to bed early and waking up earlier so that breakfasts are made and healthier.  Less stress in the morning if we are all up and at ’em and not stressed waiting to the last minute to get stuff done.

What are some things that you do to get ready for the school year?

 

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Hubby Implements the No Devices Rule

I’m 44 years old, I’m a Mother, Wife, Sister, Daughter, Aunt and friend.  I also work full time and run this blog along with my Senegence business.  It seems the older I get the harder it is to give everyone the attention they need.  I’m exhausted when I get home and I know I have to get dinner on the table, clean up the dishes, laundry, help kids with  homework, get the kids bathed and off to bed and then maybe I may have time for myself.  Sometimes I feel like I’m in a tug of ward and am being pulled in a million different directions.  We’ve all felt this way.  It’s part of life.

So I guess my Hubby was feeling bad about us (our family) not spending enough time together so he implemented a No Devices rule in our house.  My oldest has a cell phone and he is often on it.  I have my phone an iPad and our youngest has a tablet although lately he’s been watching Netflix on TV and not on his tablet.  He calls it an iTab by the way.  Yes, we are all a family of device users but I don’t know that we are on them constantly.  My oldest likes to play his guitar so he’s doing that more lately than the phone and I do love Pinterest but I tend to get away from the phone cause I’ve been on a computer all day.

I am going to be straight out honest here.  I was irritated. I think I was more irritated than Jacob, our oldest, because I love Pinterest and the few moments I have to myself every evening I sit down and waste time on Pinterest but this man who I dearly love and appreciate on most occasions was taking this away from me.

Out of nowhere he came home after we had just spend at least two hours having cocktails together and running out to grab a bite to eat for the kids.  Seriously?  The guy who loves to play pool on his phone and race cars on his phone wants me to give up my devices for an hour and a half?  I was like WTF?  I rarely cuss so you know I must have been irritated.  So he gathered all of us together and said we were turning off our devices from 7pm-8:30pm to give us an hour and a half of family time.  He said he was concerned with little one not catching on with his reading and that we needed to make more of an effort.

I get it.  I really do.  I want my kid to be successful but I’m going to be a little selfish here for a bit.  I am responsible for our finances, I take the kiddo to the bus in the mornings at least 2 to 3 days out of the week.  I work at home on Wednesday’s so I can pick up kiddo on his early day and than take him to catechism, pick him up and also make sure he has done his catechism homework.  I usually sit down with little one every day and work on his homework, I often make dinner because I get home before Hubby, I do all of the laundry with the exception of the moments when he does his own laundry and I do the dishes every day.  I also take kiddos to appointments, make sure they have money for lunches and snacks and I also have my side hustles.  So tell me why I have to give up my devices for an hour and a half every day?

Again, I get it.  I understand where he is coming from but seriously.  How about we start with dividing up some of the work so that I get more help so that I’m not so exhausted that I don’t need to veg out for just a little bit on my device checking out crafting on Pinterest?  Don’t get me wrong he has a great idea and I am sure it will work out but I was just thrown when he sort of demanded that this was happening.  There was no discussing prior to implementing the no device rule we were just told we were doing it.

We started last night.  I’m wondering what was going on in his head when he decided this and I wonder if he’s going to hold us to it.  I’m thinking it is a good idea, we’ll just have to see if it works out.

Have you tried this?  How did it go?

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My Mother is on Facebook

This post is not about my Mother.  In case you are reading this Mom!

This post is actually about me.  My son gives me a hard time all the time about posting pics of him on Facebook.  He hates when I do that.  He is not on Facebook.  He is 14, going on 40, and is on Snapchat and Instagram.

He changed his profile on Instagram and for the longest time I couldn’t tag him cause I couldn’t remember his screen name.  He did that on purpose.  He didn’t want me sharing stuff on Instagram and tagging him. When I asked him about it he played dumb.  Seriously?  I’m your Mom shouldn’t I always be allowed to tag your stinky butt if I want to?

My Mom is on Facebook it doesn’t bother me.  She very rarely posts anything, she is really more of a lurker.  But I’m a little hurt that my kid doesn’t like me posting pics of him on Facebook. I guess sometimes I wish I was one of those cool Mom’s, you know the one that has the kid with the Youtube channel that is always scaring their Mom on social media.  OK, he probably knows if he tried to scare me that I would punch him in the throat and it would be caught on camera.

He talks about people having Youtube videos and having their own channels and when I told him I have a blog.  He was like “Whatever Mom.”  He doesn’t think I’m cool any more.

What happened? When did I stop being cool?

I was OK when he stopped hugging and kissing me good bye at school and at the bus stop.  That is part of life I get it.  And if he knew I was writing this he would be so mad, he hugs me a lot and asks for kisses as long as no one else is around.  He is my baby and will always be my baby and he used to be so loveable and I used to be his world.  Now I’m just Mom.  I’m not cool anymore.  I should be cool.  I am a hustler!  Not only do I work very hard in my full time gig, I have a side business and I work that pretty hard.  And now I have a blog.  I’m a blogger.  OK, maybe I’m not cool cause this blog is still really new and it’s pretty much like crickets here right now but I am going to get there, maybe not today but I will.

Maybe one day this blog will have tons of page views and will be super popular and I will be able to say, “See kid, I’m cool I have a very popular blog.” I sure hope so because I really enjoy this blogging stuff, it’s actually fun.  Maybe it’s not cool to a teenager but it  is pretty darn cool to me.

Here’s a few other folks I think are way cool:

  • Sarah Titus– she actually inspired me to really start blogging. This gal has some great content and wow what a story?  She is an inspiration.  I will never ever complain about my life, it has not been easy but I have had a home and a roof over my head all my life.
  • Darren Rowse of Problogger– have been reading this blog since before my oldest was born. It’s crazy to know that this blog is that old, he is a rock star in the blogging world and he is still finding ways to teach us all how to blog better.
  • And Then We Saved– I actually found this blog through a podcast that I listen to regularly. Anna was a guest on one of the podcasts and honestly I am so glad because her blog has inspired me.  I’m going to get serious about our debt so have been following her.
  • His and Her Money– I love Tai and Talaat, I listen to their podcast while I’m at work and honestly I have learned so much from these two.

So I wonder what the kids of all of the above bloggers say about them.  Do they think they are cool? Heck they are all making a great living from their blogs, I can just imagine that must be super cool. I don’t necessarily want to be a celebrity in the blog world but I want to grow and learn and in the process teach others.  I know that may not be cool to my kid but it’s pretty darn cool to me.

What do you think is cool that your kids may not think is cool?

Do you consider yourself cool?

 

 

 

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I Am NOT Super Mom

I will never ever be Super Mom.  I have tried.  I continue to fail daily.

I’m disorganized. There are many times I am scatter brained and feel like I have no idea what I am doing.  I cuss.  A lot!  Especially when I am driving.

I am NOT a Super Mom.

I am far from it and I will never ever claim to be.

I work full time and often I’ll be listening to conversations at work about my co-workers baking for Christmas and decorating their home.  I’m not that Mom.  My youngest loves to bake and I honestly hate baking.  He used to say when he was little he is going to be a “cooker” when he grows up, now he says he is going to be a food critic.  The crazy thing is that he criticizes my food already. He always says this could use some salt or maybe a little more pepper.  Did I mention I also hate cooking.

OK, maybe not so much the cooking but coming up with menu ideas. It is hard to come up with new and different things every day.  I work full time people and then I have to come home and cook but along with that I have to think about what to cook.  I honestly love Pinterest but I hate Pinterest because there are so many great menu ideas but who has time to do all of the stuff involved.  Most times I get home and just want to veg out on the couch but those tiny people in my house expect me to feed them.

I had a Super Mom.  I love her to pieces and she can do it all but it makes me feel worse that I am not Super Mom.  She used to make me costumes for Halloween when I was younger.  She has sewn some bedding for my travel trailer, we have a bunk room and she made a comforter and pillow for each bed.

A few years ago my Mom used to give me cook books.  I could never understand why she thought I would like this kind of gift.  I have a cabinet in my kitchen full of cook books. Some are awesome and once a year I will pull one out for an idea.  So one day I finally told her after the 6th or 7th cookbook I said “Mom, do you think I use these?”  She never bought me another cook book.  I felt sort of bad but I honestly do not have a passion for cooking.  I never have.  Even when I was a kid when it was my turn to cook I hated it.  My Brother became a better cook than I did and I hear it quite often.

I can’t sew, I can barely cook, I don’t bake and I don’t keep a clean house like she does.  My Mom’s house is so clean you can literally eat off the floors.  I have never ever seen my Mom’s house dirty even when I lived there.  Our house is not dirty, it’s just small and cluttered.  I have piles of papers on my desk.  There is a pile of paper in the kitchen. The counters often look cluttered and things are always out of place.  Don’t even get me started about my bedroom.  Our bedroom is always a mess. But it’s not dirty.  We just have stuff in places where it shouldn’t be.

Nope, I’m not ever going to be confused with being a Super Mom.

I really do try.  I often will try something on Pinterest and sometimes it may work once in a while and sometimes it doesn’t.  I found some gift items that were made from dollar store items on Pinterest so I decided to try them.  They actually turned out pretty cute. They were super easy but in the process of putting these gifts together I burned myself.  I didn’t burn myself until I was done making a few of these items I burned it on the glue gun I was trying to put away.  I had just unplugged it and was picking up some other items and leaned across the table and my arm hit the glue gun.  It left a nasty burn.

I have tried creating my own cleaning products from Pinterest.  One of them worked out great and my cabinets looked fabulous after I spent the whole day scrubbing them clean.  The other time was an epic fail.  I tried to create a cleanser to clean the bottom of my pots and pans, you know all the dried on burnt stuff that gets on the bottom.  The cleaning did not work. The only thing I got was a house smelling of stinky vinegar.  It was awful.

I will say that I envy Super Mom’s.  I envy the fact that no matter what time you go to their house it’s clean and organized.  No matter what they are doing they seem like they are put together and they have their lives together.  I keep telling myself when my kids leave the house will be less cluttered and clean but I really doubt that, cause a lot of the clutter and messiness is all my own.

 

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Parenting is Not Easy

I wish I was a super mom.  I see other Mom’s who have all their crap together, they post regularly about their kids getting great grades and even hitting honor roll.  They are super organized, get their kids to school with an awesome lunch, dressed like they are a model at Gap and are always prepared. I am about half of that.  I make sure my kids have clean home (I said clean not immaculate), they have food to eat although it’s not always super healthy and they always have what they need.  I work full time so I try my hardest to get them to their activities on time.  I feel bad cause I’m the reason kiddo may be late to football and he gets lectured from the Coach.

My kids are both amazing but let’s be real here.  I have had a lot of struggles with them both when it comes to their education.  I love my kids, they are awesome but sometimes it is really hard to be a parent. There are times I just want to strangle them but I don’t.  Sometimes I just feel like I am the only Mom out there struggling with their kids bad grades and lack of motivation.

Little one truly has trouble learning and our oldest one is just well…lazy.  He is a very good kid.  He is really smart, he just doesn’t apply himself.  The good thing about him is that he is truly a good kid.  He is polite, considerate, responsible and honestly he is not as bad as I was as a kid.  I had a bad attitude at his age, ask my Mom.  She reminds me pretty often and I know when I am frustrated with the his attitude I know she’s thinking in her head…karma.  I love my oldest but he has no motivation for anything.  Wait, let me scratch that…he has a love for playing guitar. So I encourage the guitar even if it is super loud and I often have to tell him to lower the volume.

He told me recently he doesn’t want to go to college.  I hate to say it but I didn’t want to go to college either.  I wasn’t a fan of school.  I loved writing but I hated math and history. I don’t want to force him but I do realize now that having a bachelor’s degree now is like having a high school diploma in years past.  The folks with the degrees will stand out much more than those with just a diploma.  The biggest issue about this not wanting to go to college thing is that I know he is super smart, I know he is far smarter than I ever was at his age.  I struggled in school.  I had to study, I had to work hard to get good grades.  He turns in a project the that he worked on the day before and gets an 88%.  Seriously, imagine if he had actually put time and effort into the project?  He probably could be an honor roll student.

Little guy wants to go to college and wants to be a food critic.  He says he has to be a chef before he is a critic.  So funny to hear him say this.  So he says he has to go to cooking school first.  Let’s hope that happens cause I am a horrible cook.  I truly hope that we can figure out what is going on with little one cause between the stuff they are teaching now and not being able to read well it’s hard.  I hope that one day something with just click and he gets it.  Right now we are all struggling. The good thing is that he has a strong work ethic, wants so much to learn and he loves sports so that is our motivation there.

So there are times when I feel like I fail as a parent.   I ask God for help daily with my kids.  I ask him for patience, strength and understanding and often times understanding.  If I push too hard I don’t get anything from the teenager, if I don’t push enough it’s kind of the same thing.  I can’t take anything away cause he doesn’t care. I’ve even spanked him and believe me it hurt me more than it hurt him.  So what does a parent do?  I don’t want to give up but I’m flustered.

When I see friends on Facebook posting their kids pics with their straight A’s, I tend to shy away from even posting anything.  It’s terrible because I am truly proud of my kids but I’m not proud of some of the things they do.  I want to be that Mom that is proud of her kid holding up his certificate stating he is on honor roll and I’d be totally happy to roll around in my mom car sporting a “my kid is on honor roll at _____” bumper sticker.  Who wouldn’t?

Parent teacher conferences stress me out.  They really shouldn’t but they do.  I remember walking into the first parent teacher conference when little one was in kindergarten and the teacher asked me “Did Christopher go to Shining Stars Preschool?” I responded with “Umm, no he didn’t.”  I got the look.  You know the look that says you are a bad parent for not starting him on the right path to knowledge.  I even got the look from other mom’s when we attended events at school.  So every time someone mentions Shining Stars I shrink.  Teachers always tell me your kids are great kids, they are very nice and polite and respectful but one is too hyper and the other just flies under the radar so he doesn’t get asked to do anything.  So at the end of these meetings I feel terrible.

We work very hard at giving the kids what they need when it comes to supporting their education and teaching.  We spend a lot of time reading with Christopher and helping him with his sounds and words.  We push Jacob to be more and do more.  We ask him daily if he needs help with his home work and every day the same question “Do you have homework?”  He often responds with “I think so…”  Ugghhh, parenting can be so hard.

If you have had these same struggles let me know so I don’t feel alone. And if your kid is the poster child I want my kids to emulate please let me know what you are doing but please refrain from any judgement, I do enough of that on my own.

 

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