Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Nancy Reagan - Just Say No!

That's what life is like once school starts....the fast lane.  Non-stop go, go, go.  However, I will say that this year, is a little less than the usual school year.  Why?  Because a friend of mine, who I will call my own personal Nancy Reagan.
Why do I call her that?  Because she has taught me that it's ok to "just say no."  Through the few years that we have been friends, we have lived what seems like a lifetime together with the ups & downs we have been through.  One of the best things about our friendship is that we are honest with each other.  Neither afraid to tell the other what we really think.  She has told me more than once, that I do too much, I need to slow down, start saying no to things.  Well, she wasn't the first person to tell me that but she was the first person I listened to.  At first it was hard to do.  I felt guilty saying no because I've always said yes, even when I want to say no.  Finally, I said it...NO!!  The more I did it, the less guilty I felt.  Finally, no guilt.  I realized I don't have to be involved in EVERYTHING!  It's okay to just help out here & there, on the things I love to do, not things I feel obligated to do.  I now enjoy the evenings when I can sit at home with my family instead of running like a mad woman!  Just last night, I had my first night of not having to attend a Brownie meeting in 2 years!  Why?  I said no to continuing to be an assistant leader when the opportunity presented itself, I very politely said that I had too much on my plate and felt it best I let someone else fill those shoes.  So you know what I did?  I hung out with "Nancy Reagan!"  We celebrated a victory in our ongoing battle with the school district about head lice (we've literally become known as the  "lice ladies" because of this, but that's another story!) with champagne on her patio.  Somehow the words spilled from my mouth, "You are my Nancy Reagan!  You've helped me learn to 'Just Say No!"  It was the perfect way to kick off the first Brownie meeting....freedom and it was completely guilt free!  Thanks "Nancy Reagan"!

Friday, August 23, 2013

The First Week of School

We've made it through the first week of 3rd grade.  I say we, because being the mom, I often feel like I'm going back to school too.  Forms to fill out, checks to write, emails to send the school, last minute additions to the school supply list that need to be purchased, being nervous for them on their first day with new teachers, well, you get it.  This is the part where my daughter benefits from having 2 full-time working parents.  There's not much of an adjustment in her sleep schedule.  She gets up at 6 a.m. all year long.  Summer break only means we let her stay up a little later since she doesn't need as much rest due to the lack of brain power that must be applied at day camp.  

What it does mean is that:
  • I need to leave earlier than I do in the summer because of all of the additional traffic once schools in the Cincinnati area start back up.  
  • the evening routines of packing lunches, laying out clothes for the next day, double checking the calenders is WAY more important.
  • evenings are for homework, soccer practice and after school activities like Brownies & maybe dance---of course, playing outside as MUCH as possible before or after those things.
  • more sleepovers & birthday parties
  • B & I both get to see our friends more!
  • schedules are SO important now.

So far, we've done well.  Yeah, it's the first week but it went much better than I anticipated.  I'm getting back into the swing of things by keeping up with the house during the week so it doesn't become an all out war against dirt, grime and clutter by Saturday. The result of me volunteering to take one of B's friends overnight tonight along with a meeting with the PTO president & a spirit wear vendor (I'm the "spirit wear chairperson"), plus hubby's fantasy football draft night left me with time on my hands to get a head start on the cleaning that needed to be done.  I made a decision to clean for 1 hour and that's it.  I set the timer & off I went.  In that hour I managed to clean 2 bathrooms, including the 1 tub we have, sweep & mop the kitchen, dining room, entryway, laundry room & both bathrooms, vacuum the first floor & the upstairs, dust the living room and pick it up, throw a load of laundry in, get the coffee maker ready for that early a.m. soccer game we have, restocked some things in the kitchen from the overflow pantry, gathered laundry and a few other things.  I ended up doing all of this in 1 hour & 10 minutes.  The extra 10 minutes was because there was no way I was leaving that living room un-dusted after I just did all that other stuff.  I wanted the first floor done.  Apparently this is what happens when I forego a bottle of wine & the one child left at home is occupied and my husband is gone.  Hmmmm....perhaps this should happen regularly!

I thought about designing some cute labels to put on the snacks we are passing out after the soccer game tomorrow but one would care & I'm ready to collapse at 10:26 p.m. on a Friday night.  

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Where did summer go?

The only thing I don't like about living in Ohio is that school starts in August.  The summers fly by.  Next week begins the flurry of activity surrounding back to school.  Soccer practice officially begins and so does the end of summer.  This has left me wondering where did summer go?  Now, of course, it's not really over until Labor Day weekend but summer break is coming to an end on August 20.   Since my husband and I work full-time, our daughter doesn't sleep in during the summers, she's busy at day camp all day.  So the mornings will not be much different.  It's the evenings that are about to change.  Homework, soccer practice, Brownie meetings, orientations, conferences, PTO meetings, etc. will suck up all of those hours that are now free time for us all.  This is what I will miss, the free evenings.  The homework battles shall begin along with rushing around to get a meal on the table and get back out the door to the next activity or event.  Meal planning is going to be my new BFF. Schedules are routines become key to smoother evenings and mornings.  Sigh...I'm just not ready for it all.  So I'm hanging onto this last week of summer break...savoring it.  Even though soccer practices start this week, we don't have homework to add to the mix, yet.  I guess I'll look at this as easing us back into the school year.  

Friday, July 19, 2013

Moving along yesterday was NOT as successful as previous days BUT it was not a normal day.  I worked from home due to the ongoing construction.  B went to daycare because they had an awesome field trip planned.  I picked her up & made her something to eat as soon as we got home as her little mouth is sore from her first visit to the orthodontist.  I did sit down with B while she ate & we chatted about her day.  M was solo on dinner last night since B & I had somewhere to be at 5:30.  At 5:30 we went to spend a few hours with friends at their pool.  It was nice.  We left prompty at 7:30 as planned and got ready for bed, made lunches, laid out things for Friday, etc.  That was followed by some snuggle time and once B went to sleep I caught about the last 5 minutes of Sharnado....oh my....terrible terrible tv for sure. 

I've managed to keep up on the laundry this week & stay sort of on track with the menu.  But hey, it's the first week of attempting to get back on track right??

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Not perfect but not completely off track

So Wednesday was not ideal as far as staying on track with the goals, but life gets in the way of things so you must roll with the punches & not stress out about it right?  I came home last night & had to park on the street because our driveway was blocked with vehicles of the guys working on our house.  My yard was strewn with old windows, screens, etc., my house torn up on the inside with piles of discarded materials everywhere.  I walked in, grabbed a cocktail & sat out on the deck with M and discussed the days events.  B had spacers put in at the orthodontist and M stayed home to take her & deal with the window guys.  Dinner was 8 p.m. late and B sat with us & chatted about her day so while things didn't go as they had the past few nights, we still took time to focus on and listen to each other.  Hurray for the small victories right?

Wednesday, July 17, 2013


It's far too early in the game to get too excited but Tuesday night was a success.  There was a set back though - doctor's appointment was canceled & no inkling when it will be rescheduled!  Grrr....ONWARD though!  I moved spaghetti night to Tuesday in light of the fact that we didn't HAVE to have leftovers.  Now, Wednesday and Thursday will be leftover nights instead.  The evening was spent doing the following:

  • hubby took over making dinner when he got home!
  • vacuumed upstairs & downstairs
  • cleaned downstairs bathroom- didn't mop
  • folded 3 loads of laundry - washed 2.  I found a load that had been sitting in the dryer since Sunday.  Dry thank goodness, just needed to be fluffed up & folded! - all 3 loads put away!!!
  • clothes for next day laid out for myself & daughter
  • lunches packed, coffee maker ready
  • helped B clean the playroom/den - O M GOSH.....What a nightmare & it's not over!  American Girl stuff EVERYWHERE!!!  - however, this was an opportunity for us to hang out and talk, which was nice.
  • had a nice dinner as a family, everyone helped clean up
  • took B out for ice cream
  • Got us to bed on time!!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Getting back into routines

No, it's not time for school to start yet but I've realized something about summer.  I let all the routines go...all of them.  No more family dinners, no more super strict bedtimes (for any of us), no more menu planning, etc.  That's great for a few weeks...but WOW!  It soon takes its toll on things. My daily load of laundry has been forgotten about, which ends up leaving me with mounds of laundry, to wash, dry, fold & put away rather than putting away a load a day (or every other day as the amount of laundry demands).  Dinner became hot dogs, peanut butter & honey sandwiches or whatever could be heated up in the microwave in a matter of minutes to feed a kid who comes home from daycamp starving.  Parents & child are tired, very tired...all week, not just Monday.  So this week, I'm trying to get us back to routines.  Here are the goals for the week:

  • Dinner as a family 5 out of 7 days
  • 1 load of laundry every 2 days to be washed, dried, folded & put away
  • Menu plan for the week: 
    • Monday - sloppy joes, mac & cheese with fresh veggies
    • Tuesday- leftovers unless hubby decides to cook since we have an appt. from 5-6
    • Wednesday - spaghetti, salad & garlic bread
    • Thursday - leftovers
    • Friday - chicken tacos/nachos
    • Saturday - pork chops, rice & california blend veggies
    • Sunday - lemon chicken, rice, salad & fresh veggies
  • Regular bedtimes for myself & my daughter
Last night was a success for the family meal.  We had a nice dinner, cleaned up together then enjoyed watching TV together, all three of us.  This is unusual.  I ran errands & still had time to spend with my daughter, just her & I talking while I painted her nails in the colors of her choice.  Bedtime was a bit off schedule but not too far behind.  It was worth it since I got to spend that time with my daughter.  She even seemed a little happier this morning when I woke her.  We'll see how tonight goes!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Step 1 in getting rid of distractions and THINGS

This morning I got up, got my coffee & got to it.  I have a cabinet with 3 baskets - all labeled.  The problem?  They were overflowing, I couldn't find anything and 90% of what was in there wasn't any good anymore!  Those baskets are now organized and only what's needed to be in them is left.  Myself and my husband can now find what we need easily.  I also cleaned out the cabinet under my microwave & organized it.  I eliminated the overflow of coffee mugs in my cabinet & put them in a bag to donate that I intend on adding to.  I'm not planning on getting the whole kitchen & dining room done in a weekend but I figure, if I do a little each weekend - I won't get overwhelmed and before I know it, I'll be able to move on to the next room!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Collect Moments Not Things

Ever start to re-think your priorities in life?  What’s most important?  It’s not things.  It’s moments.  As I looked around my house after a much needed vacation, I have come to realize, there are far too many THINGS in my house.  Those things get in the way of moments because those THINGS need to be cleaned, moved, addressed.  I want more MOMENTS in my life and less THINGS.  So I have a goal now.  To start eliminating THINGS – Room by Room.  I’m going to go through each room and anything I don’t LOVE or NEED must go.  My son & daughter-in-law are going to love it because they get first dibs on whatever gets tossed into the boxes.  I have one child left at home.  She needs more moments with us.  These THINGS take my attention away from having those MOMENTS.  These THINGS must go.  I’m starting this weekend.  I think I’ll post the progress as I start in the kitchen & dining room.  Life needs to be more simple.  I look at my daughter and think, there are too many distractions keeping me from being the parent I want to be.  Time to start eliminating them.  Before I know it, she will not ask me for “snuggle time.”  I know how quickly they grow up.  I need to cherish these moments.  I have a granddaughter that will need those same things from me.  I WANT to be there for them both.  Time to get serious about what’s most important and focus on my real priorities.  MOMENTS….not THINGS!

Saturday, May 4, 2013


It seems for the past 3 years, my life has become a series of trials.  I feel like I should have seen it coming.  I should not have been blind sided by the first one, therefore, I should know that there is another one coming.  Each time, I don't see it coming....they hit me like a ton of bricks. I learn something new from each one but I will tell you that the process continues to be extremely painful.  My latest trial is about trusting and letting my guard down.

I let my guard down fairly quickly when I moved to OH.  I felt safe and at home here immediately.  I made friends easily.  Only a few at first, however, after 11 years here, I have made many friends.  Some of which I considered to be closer than others.  Letting people in and trusting has always been an issue for me. You see, if you are privy to information about my childhood, you know why.  Betrayed and hurt by those I loved the most, trusting has been something I have long struggled with.  It took years for me to get to where I am today...ok not today, where I was about 2 weeks ago when a close, trusted friend of 4 years broke my heart and my trust into a million tiny pieces.  She broke up with me as a friend.  No reason...just that the "season of our friendship had faded with time."  EXCUSE ME?!?!  WHAT?!  Yeah...I begged her not to give up on our friendship, told her I loved her & treasured our friendship.  Her reply after I poured my heart out?  "Be respectful & don't take it personally."  WHAT?! EXCUSE ME??!  Please explain how I am NOT supposed to take it personally.  Sleepless nights & many tears have followed this.  It's left me shell shocked & confused.  It's left me questioning things and thinking non-stop about who I am, what kind of friend and person I am and about opening myself up to be hurt like this again.  

Today as I stood cleaning out my closet....I thought about all of this is therapy for me.'s like re-hab.  I realized that while I am still hurting, I am blessed beyond measure by having opened myself up like this.  I have made some of the most amazing friends.  Friends who leave me feeling like my heart will explode from the joy that they bring into my life.  And I have fantastic memories and many good times that I shared with my "ex-girlfriend" and her family.  I would not trade those to have NOT experienced this pain.  I'm certain that there is a purpose for this trial, like the others.  I just don't know what it is yet.  Maybe it's that it's ok to trust & take the chance at being hurt bc there is so much joy to be had.  I can say, that of all of the places I have lived in my 41 years....this place is home.  This community is where I belong.  The connections I have made here make me feel as though this is where I belong.  I have yet to come to terms with the break-up.  I will, it's just hurtful and I miss her...but I try to view it as she opened up a spot in my heart and my life for someone else.  Perhaps, someone who will appreciate what I have to offer...I'm not perfect.  I never claimed to be.  Accept me flaws and all or walk away.  Apparently, this time walking away was what was best.  My guess is that, in the end, this will be what's best for me too.  While I lick my wounds, I will bask in the glow of the friends who have scratched their heads with me on this one, shared my pain and anger along with a bottle or 4 of wine.  No matter what, I will not close myself off again. The joy that I opened myself up to once I moved here is so much more than I ever could have imagined.  

My life as the Liceinator

Yep, you read that right...the Liceinator.  During spring break, B was infested with the creepy, crawly little buggers.  A race to the drug store for lice killing shampoo and other assorted lice goodies was done.  Along with the lice treatment, mad cleaning was done to eliminate every trace of every body of those gross little things.  7-10 days later, another treatment was in order just to make sure that they were all gone.  No sign of them....whew!  

In the mean time, a mixture of tea tree oil and detangler was used daily.  Along with tea tree oil in her shampoo.  Lice apparently don't like it.  

One day....two bugs appeared in that head of thick, gorgeous curly hair.  However, nothing else was there.  One of my neighbors did a lice check on her because she works at a school where she is required to do weekly checks.  She's a pro at it!  (Not something she enjoys about her job or a title she likes having)  Nothing, no eggs...nothing.  Seems they had found their way into her hair from another warm body.  So....I combed her hair out nightly with the nit comb to make sure there was nothing at the advice of my neighbor.  Nothing.

I stopped combing her hair out each night for a week.  A month from the date of the first infestation...BAM!  There they were again!  WHAT?!!  Seriously?!?!?  I contacted the school; again.  I advised the school nurse that I was concerned that there was an ongoing issue with lice at the school.  Her reply to me left me scratching my head and not because I had become infested.  She told me that I was the only parent that had reported it.  I knew that this was NOT true because I knew of at least 2 other parents that had reported it directly to her and possibly at third parent who I knew at the very least had told her child's teacher.  The school (a school I love, love, love) refuses to send out a note to parents advising that there are kids with lice at the school and to keep any eye on your kids.  You see, the doctor told me flat out, she had been re-exposed to lice and 99% of the time, it's at school.  Someone she is friends with has had an ongoing issue with lice and has apparently kept it to themselves or the nurse just refuses to do anything.  Talk about frustrating.  New steps had to be taken.

I gave up on the chemically based treatments in the drug store.   No, I'm not a hippy but  I'll tell you that I saw what that stuff did to B's head.  It was horrible.  It fried her scalp.  It took weeks for it to heal.  We moved on to mayonnaise gooped on and combed with a lovely shower cap to smother the life out of those bionic lice.  I did that twice within 3 days.  I comb her hair out every single night with the nit comb.  She is forbidden (which breaks my heart) from hugging her friends since we have no clue who it's coming from.  She must wear her hair up every day.  Once her hair is up, I spray it down with tea tree oil & water.  It's really not the most pleasant smell, it smells sterile and not all girly & pretty but for now, we'll deal with it.  

It's gotten so bad that B actually told me to take her in to get her hair cut short.  She's been begging me for 2 years to let her grow her hair long.  I finally gave in and the lice came.  Tears upon tears have been shed over me and by her.  Countless hours have been spent waging this battle.  Time and effort into researching.  Phone conversations with my fellow liceinator friends who have been dealing with it too.  So much so that we had a mayo party for our girls.  The girls got their mayo treatment and hung out together, my fellow liceinator & I drank a couple of glasses of wine & discussed the woes of head lice and the lack of communication on the school's part.  Until the end of the school year, weekly mayo treatments and nightly comb outs will be a part of the routine.   And...I'll pray to God that we never encounter this nightmare again!  

Saturday, March 23, 2013

New roles

So yesterday, I added a new role to my life.  Navy Mom.  My son is officially a US Navy Sailor.  Unlike my other son, who is in the Army Reserves, this one is active duty.  This means he will be gone somewhere protecting and serving our country full-time.  This is my BABY boy.  The child that was home the longest.  Yesterday I watched him graduate from basic training.  I cried.  Not tears of sadness but tears of pride & joy.  Some may not understand that.  My tears of joy were in that I knew that my son had found his calling in life.  After muddling through a semester of college, he realized it wasn't for him.  At least not yet.  We allowed him to try to sort it out & figure out what he wanted to do by not abiding by our own rules.  Our rule was, if you are in college, you live at home free of charge.  If you aren't you pay rent or move out.  We knew he wasn't ready to be on his own so we didn't push it but we hoped he'd figure it out.  He did.  Yesterday, I knew without a shadow of a doubt, my son had found his thing.  He was so full of excitement and enthusiasm !  It was something I had rarely seen from him.  He shined.  I could feel his sense of pride.  I knew that he had accomplished a huge goal.  Getting through basic training is no small feat.  He did it.  My little blonde haired, green eyes, sweet boy is now a US Navy Seaman Apprentice.  That boy is still there, but there is a new shine about him brought on only by the accomplishments he has made in the last 2 months.  I look forward to seeing what he accomplishes in the future.  I never doubted him or what he was capable of.  He told me that he doubted himself, I told him that I didn't doubt him for a second.  I knew that he could overcome whatever challenge came his way because he'd already overcame such huge hurdles in his life.  I told him that while he might have doubted himself, I never had a doubt that he'd make it.  I could not be more proud of my sailor.  I can't wait to see where he goes from here!

My most brilliant ideas come to me when I'm away from my computer

Today, while enjoying a bottle of wine on my deck in the sunshine with one of my nearest & dearest...I uttered the phrase "I think of the most brilliant things when I'm away from  my computer."  Seriously...I get flooded with the best blog ideas and then I sit down to blog and uh...hello....nothing....Yup.  Today a conversation that started with a bottle of wine encompassed everything from gay marriage, military healthcare, puberty, forgiveness and beyond.  One of my best friends in the entire world, who gets me in a way that few others about a blessing!  

Friday, March 8, 2013

True Friends

Through the years I've had many friends.  I thought they were true friends, turns out most of them have been fair weather friends.  Some using you up & casting you aside, some have stuck a knife in my back, but there are those few rare gems that come into your life that continue to sparkle through all the muck that life hands out.  I have a few of those.  Those who accept me for who I truly am, those who allow me to share every dirty detail of my life without judgment.  Who aren't afraid to say what they think and give me permission and validation for my own feelings.  Those rare gems are true treasures.  In the last couple of years, I've had my share of trials and along the way, I have made a great group of friends who I love dearly.  In that group, there is one gem that shines brighter than all the others.  She is always there for me with loving words and the gift of laughter.  When I struggle with things, she lays it out there for me and helps me to see things from another perspective.  Then she makes me laugh.  She's seen me through some of my lowest points as well as some of my highest.  My life would be so very different without her and I am so thankful to have one gem that shines above all of the rest.

Wow...has it been that long

No posts since September 2012!  I guess my life has been busy.  Time to get back to it.  Let's see since September too much has happened to try to rehash and the reality of it is that I barely remember the activities of yesterday so I'm not even going to try to remember what has happened since September.  We'll just move forward!



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