Sometimes Life Requires Cake

There are sometimes events and moments in life that just call for cake.

Like, for dinner.

CakeForDinner

{Yes, dinner}

Yesterday was one of those days. Just as I thought we’d cleared the sickness train and were well on our way to family wellness land, it hit us again.

One child had been diagnosed with bronchitis earlier in the week, but then another went down. I noticed one of the twinnies was breathing a bit shallow. I watched. I listened. I watched some more….wondering “do I call or just wait and see?”….my gut told me no, I needed to call. So I called.

{If it’s one thing I’ve learned….always trust your instincts}

Turns out, my littlest boy had the beginnings of croup and an ear infection. Blech. Sure glad I called! We’ve done this croup thing before, but it involved a long night at the ER of the local Children’s hospital….no one needed to do that again. Nope. No thank you.

However, this meant a long afternoon spent getting two toddlers packed up and to the pediatricians office and then racing back home in time for the school bus to arrive with the older kiddos. By the time all that finished, it was after 4 and what I had planned to make for dinner I really wasn’t in the mood to make.

{it was pancakes. pancakes/cake, same difference, right?}

I was, however, really in the mood for cake. Like, serious craving for cake and icing. I actually wanted a cupcake, but I figured the other five members of the household might want one too. And I was out of cupcake liners….so I made a cake.

I used this recipe for the cake:

Homemade Yellow Cake 

which I love because it’s SO simple and doesn’t require difficult anything. And it’s tasty.

And I used this recipe for the icing:

Creamy Chocolate Frosting

Super simple and I had all the things on hand.

My oldest laughed and thought I was totally joking when he asked “what’s for dinner?” and I said cake.

He said “like pancakes?”

I said, nope. Cake, like yellow cake and chocolate frosting.

He responded, “mom, I like this thinking, keep going with that, it’s awesome”.

{also, this brings me to ask, do you say icing or frosting? I use them interchangeably, but, it makes me wonder, if there a correct terminology to either? I know, that was random. Happens a lot around here. Let’s blame the cake.}

I usually stick pretty consistently to the meals I’ve planned out, but I looked at the flour and eggs and realized they could either turn into breakfast for dinner in the form of pancakes, or make an actual cake.

So, cake it was!  I served some fruit on the side, so it totally balanced it out. That’s what I’m going with.

Dinner was actually awesome though. We all enjoyed dinner together after a somewhat chaotic day (more like week…month….). Definitely a fun memory for my family.

And really, that’s what it’s about….family time and enjoying each other and life. Even in the midst of the crazy.

Sometimes, life calls for cake. For dinner.

The Traveling Sister Mugs {DIY fun}

I sat down and cried the other day. Like boo hoo couldn’t stop the tears from flowing cry.

And it was all sparked by a picture my sister had posted on Facebook. A perfectly wonderful picture about fall starting to trickle in where she lives. Not something that would typically cause someone to cry…but it caused the stinging in my eyes of the tears that were soon to flow from them.

You see, my sister moved over 900 miles away last year. For the previous 12 years, we’d lived max 10minutes from each other. And now it takes a 4-ish hour plane ride to get to each other. My littlest littles think their Auntie lives in mommy’s phone.

{For real}

travelingsistermugs

Last month was my her birthday, and I had decided loooong ago I was going to get my craft on and make something with our respective states we now live in on it.

I had originally planned on making something like the nail and string art coolness that’s been super popular and all over pinterest of late, but I decided my sanity and trying to make it with twinadoes (aka twin toddlers) circling about my feet and wanting to “help” with ALL THE THINGS lately, well, no. I love my sister, but I’m not sure it would’ve ever gotten finished.

Then I thought about something I KNEW she’d love and appreciate and actually use and not stress about a place to hang….a coffee mug!

I’ve seen the sharpie mugs all over pinterest for a while now, so I decided to try it out myself to make my sisters mug.

{I actually ended up making two, in case I totally screwed one up….}

Wanna make one too?

It’s a pretty fun and simple enough project. Just plan a couple days or a weekend to complete it…it’s not a make the same day as giving kinda handmade gift!

What you’ll need:

-Plain coffee mug (I got mine at Tuesday Morning, but The Dollar Store or Target would be good too)

DecoArt Glass Paint Markers  {aff link}

-pencil

-printer (optional depending on design)

-tape

Instead of trying to freehand the outline of the two states I was drawing, I decided to print them out. Then I cut out around it, turned them over and colored over the back with a pencil.

statesilhouette

Then I taped it to the coffee mug and traced the outline onto the mug. I didn’t press super hard, but firm is good to make sure it transfers well to the mug.

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coffeemugpens

I then, following the instructions that came with the pens, traced over the pencil lines and added a little heart on our respective cities. Or at least close-ish to them.

And Voila! I let them dry overnight and then baked them according to what the manufacturers instructions were.

And, in an effort to be absolutely thorough…..I tested the durability out by hand washing AND putting them in the dishwasher, and both ways they came out looking great. I’ve used and washed mine several times in the dishwasher and still looking great, no chipping, peeling or fading.

{I’ll come back and post in few months and update how they are still holding up…}

So, now my sister and I can enjoy some coffee long distance in our sister mugs. It’s not quite the same as meeting at our favorite local coffee place in person, but FaceTime coffee chats are pretty good too.

How fun would this be for a long distance friendship {or sibling or relationship} gift? Be it the upcoming holidays or a going away gift, I think this is a super fun and personalized way to say you care and are thinking about that special person.

Have you made one of these? What design or state would you put on yours?

Taking a Break For My Kids, Not From My Kids

TakingTimeForMom

It was after a long couple weeks of 3 out of 4 kiddos sick, snotty noses, coughs, sneezes, not enough outside time and it was all catching up to me.

I was sick of my yoga pants and t-shirt covered in smears of snot. I made a decision that day to not let it overtake me.

After a long morning of busy toddlerness with the twinnies, I got them down for a nap and crossed my fingers that there would be no nap strikers that day. One of my toddlers seems to be on the verge of giving up ALL naps and I’m not sure Mama is ready for that!

I waited a few minutes to make sure they were both, indeed, going to nap. Success.

I stopped by our bedroom and glanced at myself in the mirror. Hair in a top not, snot smeared shirt and who knows what on my worn three days in a row yoga pants.

Ugh. I really did look like how I felt….and I didn’t like it.

I decided to change out of my clothes and put make-up on, regardless of how silly it might feel, since I had no plans to leave the house anytime soon. And as I pulled out my flat iron, put a little make-up on and changed into non snot smeared clothes, I began to feel so.much.better. And as I looked up and saw me, I could see the change in my entire being….I hadn’t done anything major, just jeans, a slightly dressier shirt than my usual snot smeared ones of late, and a little lip gloss. And earrings.

I breathed out a long breath and felt so much lighter. Even if it was for a moment of time. I felt like not “just mom”, but like mom in not yoga pants and a little bit of makeup (that covered over those dark-sleep-deprived circles…).

It reminded me of the time we finally got to go out on our first official date after we’d had the twins. I had begun to feel lost and completely overwhelmed by motherhood with four kiddos and two of them being infants that I was breastfeeding.

I felt nothing like the mom in the mirror with a little bit of make-up and a simple, clean shirt. I felt more akin to a dairy cow with two appendages constantly attached….oh, and two older kiddos I was trying to remember to actually get fed more than popcorn for breakfast.

{Yes, that actually happened. Popcorn for breakfast….more than once.}

And our date wasn’t anything major, it was to chuy’s for a late lunch. Not a quiet place, but somewhere taking all four kiddos to was just not gonna happen, and I’d been craving it and didn’t want it in a to-go bag.

We only had about 2 hours to get there, eat and get back to my nurslings twinfants. Part of that 2 hours being spent pumping in the car. Yep, hot date right there.

But before we’d even left to take the kids to the grandparents and even attempt a date, I was staring at the mom in the mirror, feeling awkward and unsure of what exactly I was supposed to be doing to get ready. Make up? Oh yeah….where is that again? Clothes….what even fits?

I rummaged through my clothes trying to find something that both fit and made me feel non-dairy cow-ish. I wasn’t having a successful time and I sat down on the bathroom floor and just started crying.

I felt silly, awkward and just not myself. I desperately wanted to spend time with my husband, but the effort it was taking was literally exhausting. And, it’s not like I had a ton of time to even get ready! Remember those nursing twinfants?

Yeah….

Thankfully, we were able to actually make it out the door, drop kids off and eat a mostly relaxing lunch.

It would be another few months before we’d actually make it out on a date again. That is another story in itself, but dates out are difficult to manage right now, so we try often to have dates at home….something else I’ll be talking more about in a future post…

Meanwhile, back to present day. Big kids at school, toddlers napping, I put on make-up and non-snotty clothes. I even flat ironed my hair a bit, just because.

Then I grabbed a cup of hot coffee and sat out on the front porch with my computer to get some things accomplished. I had my phone with the baby monitor on it, so I could hear the kiddos if they needed me.

It was only about 45 minutes total, but it was a glorious 45minutes. To myself.

And I think that is important for us mamas. It’s so easy to get taken over by the day in and day out mundane things. Not that yoga pants and t-shirts aren’t fabulous (because they totally are. I love them), but it matters that we try to keep hold of us too. Even if that means changing briefly out of the “mom uniform” and putting on a little lip gloss and drinking hot coffee on the front porch. Or scheduling a time for you to get out of the house, meet a friend for coffee, or simply go for a long walk or a bike ride, just you…do it.

Talk to your spouse about it, about how you feel. Work something out for you to be able to get away here and there, even if just a couple hours, one night a week.

It makes a huge difference, doesn’t it?

I love, love, LOVE my kiddos and my family. But sometimes mama needs a break. And not a break FROM my kids, but a break FOR my kids.

Making sure to take time for mom, helps me be a better mom for my kids. And a better wife to my husband.

So carry on mamas. You’ve got this.

Tell me….how do you take time for yourself? What does that look like for you?

Mocha Java Latte Love {make your own mocha recipe}

Make Your Own Mocha Syrup

It’s no secret around here that I love coffee.

Like, a LOT.

And I adore a good iced mocha. But I don’t so much adore the cost when getting one at the oh-so-convenient drive-thru around the corner….

I’ve attempted to make my own here and there over the years and never could get it quite like I liked it.

Then, one day I decided to try it again and was determined to get it right this time! So, I thought I’d share my discovery with you…

Now, there is something you should know about me. I don’t like super sweet anything. I don’t even like sweet tea.

{Gasp. I know…and I’m a native Texan….}

I drink my coffee black at home. And if I’m out and about, you might see me add cream and sugar. Just depends on my mood and how strong/bitter the coffee is.

My mochas? I don’t like too sweet. So, just FYI, this is not a super sweet mocha syrup, but you can adjust it to your liking….that’s the beauty of making it yourself, right?! Right.

Mocha Syrup DIY

Basically, you take some unsweetened cocoa powder, strong brewed coffee and a little sugar and whisk it all together in a sauce pot….

Mocha Syrup DIY

bring it to a low boil and whisk it while it thickens….

Make Your Own Mocha Syrup

{not quite ready yet}

I Spilled My Coffee Mocha Syrup DIY

{done!}

Then let it cool and place in a jar and then pop in the fridge for when you want to make up your own mocha!

Mocha Syrup DIY

{Now when you make this, be sure to lick the chocolate off the whisk (obviously for taste testing purposes), but do it just before a neighbor knocks at your door, so that when you answer, you have just a little something on your face and your neighbor is staring at you, and you’re all wondering why, and then you check the mirror later….It’ll be awesome.

Not that I’ve…ahem….done that or anything}

Mocha Valencia DIY

Want to kick it up a notch and make it mocha valencia syrup? Just zest an orange into the mix while whisking the ingredients together. YUM!

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Recipe recap for DIY Mocha Syrup:

***************************************

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup strong brewed coffee (I kick it up a notch in my french press for this) or coffee concentrate.
1/4 cup sugar (I use organic cane sugar and sometimes coconut sugar)

DIRECTIONS:

Whisk all ingredients together in a pot on low heat
Bring to a low boil, whisking often until it begins to thicken
Once thicknened, remove from heat and let cool.
Place in glass jar {like a mason jar} and refrigerate.

Easy Peasy!

Here’s the fun and delicious part…..

To make yourself an iced mocha, simply pour one cup of your favorite milk {I use coconut, but almond, cow’s, whatever you like kind, would work well too} into a sauce pot and place it on the stove on medium-ish heat. While that’s heating up, take your favorite glass or mason jar and add in a couple tablespoons of the mocha syrup.

By the time you finish doing that, your milk should be warmed up enough, so go ahead and pour it right over the mocha syrup in your glass and stir it up!

{if you like your mochas warm, just do the same, but add it to your favorite coffee cup and enjoy a nice hot mocha!}

You could add in a little extra coffee at this part, or leave as is. You could add some ice cubes (or some coffee ice cubes ), grab a straw and drink it up! Or, as I like to do, at about 10-ish in the morning I make this up, then place it in the fridge. Then when the littles go down for a nap, I grab my already made mocha, toss in some ice, add a straw and take a deep breath and enjoy my iced coffee for the two seconds the house is quiet.

I Spilled My Coffee Mocha Syrup DIY

{happy sigh}

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go do that right now….

Day Dates…..What You Have When Night Dates Don’t Always Work Well for Your Family

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Sometimes we go on “day dates”, the husband and I.

When the bigs are at school and it’s just the littlest littles with us. Sometimes we’re able to get someone to watch the twinnies, and sometimes they join us.

{The funny thing is, when you have four kiddos, only having two with you seems almost easy…sometimes…}

When you’re not fielding bigger kid questions and special needs situations and arguments and LOUDNESS with all four kiddos in the van all at the same time, well, it can definitely feel a little more relaxing!

And sometimes, when you have four kiddos, one with special needs and the youngest being twin toddlers, finding affordable child care can be difficult. And sometimes night dates just don’t work out as well….especially not in our current season. “Date Nights” can almost be more stressful than helpful and can be more time spent trying to get OUT the door than you actually spend time being out TOGETHER.

So, “day dates” happen. And they’re pretty awesome.

Like this last week, we ended up with an impromptu Day Date, the twinnies were doing great, we had some errands to run, and well, we decided to make it a mini date! Sometimes, that is just the way it works. And sometimes, the way it works, is the way it needs to happen to stay connected.

On our “mini day date”, we had to drop off some books to the library. We used the book drop off that’s on the outside of the library, but my littlest little knows that THERE ARE BOOKS IN THAT BUILDING. She loves books. LOVES them.

She didn’t stop asking “can we go get books?” for the rest of the morning and again after nap time.

{she really really really likes books}

So, after our “day date” of running errands and enjoying some quiet, the bigs arrived home from school. I decided to take the oldest (that also really really likes books and was wanting to go pick some up that had been reserved) and the youngest with me on what turned into a mama and kid date.

Two dates with my people in one day….well, three out of the 5 of them at least.

{don’t worry…the other two will get their mama time too. Promise}

I don’t always have “big black” with me (what I lovingly call my DSLR), but there were some moments I was quick to grab my phone and used it’s handy dandy camera.

{seriously…WHAT did we ever do without those? Oh yeah, we used point and shoots..and had a phone…and…too many other things to juggle and balance…}

The photos above captured two of my kiddos perfectly in their element. My oldest and my youngest. My book lovers.

I loved standing back and just watching them navigate the isles of books. M and I exploring some books for her, then going to find her big brother and her running to him when she found him.

Having four kiddos spanning a fairly wide range in ages can be crazy and difficult and chaotic at times, but days and moments like these bring it home and remind me just how amazing it all really is.

The Coffee Dates I Miss The Most

Coffee.

I love coffee for all it’s amazing a wonderful benefits and how it helps make my bloodshot zombie mom-ness dissipate when my body fully finishes caffeinating.

But there is more to the story of my love of coffee.

My Gramms.
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My Gramms introduced me to coffee. She always had her cup all day, every day full of the dark goodness.

She drank it black. Always. So do I….perhaps because that is how I learned to drink it.

As I got older and was able to enjoy a cup along with her, we would sit at the kitchen table and chat about life as we drank our coffee.

It was our time together. We were the only coffee drinkers in the house.

I grew up, got married, had a family….but, we still almost daily got together for coffee.

It was our thing. Whether taking her to a doctors appointment and grabbing some as a treat at the coffee shop, or her making some in the percolator, knowing I would be coming over soon….we always had our coffee dates to keep us connected.

My Gramms also loved cardinals. She even had a little porcelain one sitting on a side table. I remember it always being on that table growing up.

When my Gramms passed away unexpectedly almost five years ago, I spoke at her memorial about how I would miss those coffee dates….I learned so much about my Gramms through those moments shared over a cup of coffee.

It wasn’t too long after she had died, that I got a new phone. I had a message saved on my old one from her….the last one she ever left, wishing me a Happy New Year. I never wanted that message to fade. Ever. When things were changed over, that message got lost.

I’m pretty sure I cried until I couldn’t any longer. I know it was only a message, but it was my message, to me, from MY GRAMMS only a few weeks before she passed away.

I was devastated.

When we moved a little over a year ago to our current house, I remember seeing a cardinal here and there. It wasn’t until we were well settled that I began to notice them daily.

She has never been to this house, but I know she’d love it. When I cook in my kitchen or bake apple and pumpkin pies for the holidays, I think about how much fun we’d have in this kitchen. We had so many laughs in my last one that was tiny and she, my sister, and I would somehow cram in there and bake pies for our families on what became our annual “Pie Day”.

Sometimes, when there is a (very brief) moment when the big kids have left for school and the twinnies are happily occupied for five seconds, and I am able to sit at the table and drink my (amazingly still) hot coffee….it’s not uncommon to look out the window and see one or two cardinals.

And I smile. And sometimes I cry…because I miss those coffee dates with my Gramms the most.

I sometimes imagine what we would be talking about these days…so much has changed in the past 4, almost 5, years. Three more kids and seemingly a lifetime of change has occurred in that short time. And there are days I want to talk to her so badly about it all….

Over coffee. At the kitchen table.

Loving It Tuesday!

I don’t always talk about it, but I am a sorta crunchy gal.

Like a baby wearing, cloth diapering mama and all. But! I’m totally cool if you’re not. Sometimes you just really need to do what works best for your family. Really.

And total confession? I sometimes use disposable diapers too. Life happens. It’s totally okay. Promise. Our double stroller is also a favorite sanity saving item too.

{see, only sorta on the crunchy…}

Last year I also stopped using antiperspirant and switched to a more natural, not so scary ingredient list, deodorant.

But here’s the deal…when I work out, I don’t glisten or sparkle, I sweat. Like a lot. And kickboxing pretty much is the most intense and sweaty workout ever for me.

Sooo….I’m not gonna lie. I was worried the more natural stuff wasn’t going to cut it and keep me from stinking up the kickboxing studio.

I had already been using this one deodorant that I LOVED and it worked great for both the hubs and I. But, I started having some irritation with it and, through trial and error, discovered it was the baking soda. Apparently that isn’t uncommon. My hubs still uses it and it works great…even for extra stinky worked in the yard man sweat.

{As always, in full disclosure, this post may contain affiliate links, which means if you purchase something through them, I get a tiny percentage at absolutely no additional cost to you}

One day as I was searching for an alternative natural deodorant that wouldn’t irritate my under the arms area, and stumbled upon this really fun little online shop called Meow Meow Tweet. I saw they had a baking soda free cream deodorant…..hmmmm, I was intrigued. So I read through some of the reviews and decided to take a chance.

You guys. I LOVE this deodorant. Like, it’s amazing and awesome and WORKS! It smells good, but not overpowering and keeps the stank at bay. Regular, everyday wear it’s awesome….then, I tried it out at kickboxing….

FABULOUS! Seriously, it works. But, I decided to keep trying it to make sure it was going to stand the test of sweaty workouts and stank.

Guess what?

It totally still works. It’s been almost 3 months using this now, and I am definitely going to keep using it. I raved about it so much, my sister tried it. She said she’s sold on it too. Totally win.

They have more than just deodorant…lots of goodies I haven’t tried yet, but all look fabulous.

Oh, and this company has absolutely no idea who I am. I just love this product so much, I wanted to share it with you. It’s just so awesome.

Do you have a favorite natural deodorant you love?? Please share!

Over Here In Between All That……Is Me. I Think.

In the current state of the stage of life I am in, I seem to fall somewhere in-between “I really want to look put together” and “I totally do NOT have my crap together, I’m a total mess”…..

Haven’t quite figured out where that somewhere is yet.

Coming out of the last two years of “twinfant turned twinadoe toddler” stage, and actually taken a breath and been able to keep my head above water for more than 3 seconds, I finally feel more like getting into jeans and a nice-ish {read, not covered in snot and goldfish crackers} t-shirt and maybe even some {gasp!} makeup and actually brush my hair out of it’s usual pulled back pony.

Now, let me say, I am a huge fan of my yoga pants. I love them. AND? I actually do workout in them…and then just keep them on, because: twin toddlers. For real.

However, in this wanting to be more put together when leaving the house, I almost feel like I’m TOO dressed by having some lip color and earrings in. And my kids notice…even the littlest littles. And then it makes me more self conscious, like, am I trying too hard here or something?!

Naturally, then I just totally overthink things. Because that is just totally WHAT I DO. It’s a terrible habit.

But then people notice I am wearing non snot covered, non sticky like clothing…..and then I think to myself, “so do I always look like a slob?”….cue that blasted overthinking again.

I want to look put together. But I don’t want to look like I care TOO much. But, I also don’t want to look like I am a completely ridiculous person who totally doesn’t have her crap together.

You get me?

Yeah. I know…I totally don’t have it all together. I’m not really sure I ever will.

Then there are those days that I am totally rocking it, lunches packed, homework signed, clean laundry for all my people, and actually have clean clothes on ME TOO. And it’s awesome.

Then other days, well, opposite of all that.

Balance.

Does this actually exist? Because I’m truly beginning to wonder.

{Le Sigh}

SO, I’m a little in between right now. Perhaps for longer than I wish. Also? Learning to except that sometimes it’s absolutely perfectly OK to not have it all together.

But I still want to.

How about you? You ever feel in-between the put together and not so much so? What do you find helps to balance it all out?

First Week of School Shenanigans….

First week of school shenanigans….err….recap.

No. Shenanigans.

Last week was our first week back to school. I know several that have already started back, and some that have yet to start…and we seem to be somewhere in the middle of all that.

So it was our turn.

It seemed to start off pretty good. I mean, except for the missing teacher packet deal and the potentially very scary backpack situation.

But, other than that, I felt we were SURE to be starting off right!

Hahahahaha….haha.

Apparently, the magical bus people that do the bus scheduling for the special needs bus, scheduled us twice. But, the second call said there was no drop off time listed….

It was too late on Monday (day BEFORE school) to call back by the time we’d gotten the message, so we figured we’d just check it out the next day.

My brilliant husband (no really…brilliant!) thankfully thought to ask WHAT school the bus was headed to.

WHA?? Hadn’t actually thought that it MIGHT BE TO THE WRONG SCHOOL!

(See? brilliant he is. SO smart. Me?….shh.)

A little backstory: she was transferred to a different school than last year, same district, so instead of the magical bus people communicating this to one another, they scheduled two different buses for the same child. Apparently, they are NOT so magical after all.

Bummer.

So, bus #1 was sent on it’s way WITHOUT our child. Bus #2….bus #2?

It never showed. We called. It was SUPPOSED to have picked her up. It did not.

(this is the part where we go Oh C R A P and shove two kids into the car, drop one off smidge early at middle school and then dash the other to her school)

Oh yeah. Middle School. My oldest’s FIRST DAY at Middle School.

::blink::blink::

I had planned this awesome breakfast and stuff. The babies slept in and I baked muffins for the Sunshine, and my oldest requested his favorite eggs.

I was TOTALLY going to be on this and make sending my kiddlings off to their first day of school AWESOME.

Instead, it was more like, quick! grab and apple and let’s jet!

(or something like that)

My husband (the really awesome brilliant one) was taking them, so I said “please, oh, please! DO NOT let the man child be LATE on his FIRST DAY!”.He promised and set off.

Texted me (from the parking lot. While parked. Not in a school zone…safety first you guys!) to let me know both big kids had been successfully dropped off ON TIME to their destinations.

WHEW!

By then, the littlest little were waking. I was enjoying my still hot coffee, letting them chat a bit, set my coffee down (that was one of my first mistakes…) and went up to get them.

First thing out my littlest littles mouth “my tummy hurts”…

Ohhhh

Clearly my twinnies didn’t want me to miss my bigs too much. Nope, they were so very thoughtful and decided to BOTH be sick.

Yes. Both.

By noon, both were sporting a fever, one with snottiness, the other with “tummy hurts”.

{End of productivity for the foreseeable future…}

Get a text from the husband saying drop off for Sunshine is going to be the same time as oldest child gets out of school. And since he did NOT want to take the bus the first day, this was going to be a bit challenging.

I can do this. Surely….maybe the magical bus people will drop off early like last year??

Maybe.

Just kidding….they were late and thankfully the hubby made it home to meet her bus while I took the not so feeling well twinnies to get their big brother.

Yeah. That was NOT the best plan. Remember “tummy hurts?” I will not go into great detail here, but she puked.

Twice.

My only child to have never tossed any cookies did so. TWICE. Once on the way there and once on the way back.

(I kinda lied about not giving details there, huh? At least you weren’t in the car with me…)

By the end of the day, I wasn’t quite sure if I should laugh or cry or both.

And that was only day one.

Day TWO:

correct bus shows up.

YAY!

Sent wrong lunch with wrong child

Boo!

Twinnies still not so great, make doctors appointments. Decide to take the missing sammie to child missing it on the way to take the twinnies to the doctor. Forget sammie.

{can I PLEASE get a do-over yet?!}

Decide there’s just enough time AFTER appointments to race home and get it to child at school JUST IN TIME for lunch.

Whew.

By day three, things were starting to even out. Twinnies were finally on the upswing and no other children caught whatever the viral bug from hell was.

That was, until Friday when mama got hit. Yes, me, I got sick.

Let’s just say, we were dragging across the finish of the last day of school….of only the first week.

I’m not even sure I want to look at this week yet. But, here it is…

Someone tell me that this means that this year is gonna ROCK. Like, that the harder the first day or week is, just means AWESOMENESS is right around the corner?

The Potentially Very Scary Backpack

It was the day before school started.

That really should say enough, right?

I was going over the checklists and making sure things were in order and ready to head off with the big kids to school.

lunch boxes? check.
lunches made? mostly…
water bottles? washed and ready, check!
clean clothes ready and set out? yup.

(interrupted by email checking…see an email from daughter’s teacher…something about Meet the Teacher packet and don’t forget all those fabulous forms, change of clothes, etc….)

Hmm…Meet the Teacher packet. I don’t remember getting one.

(text husband, reminds me where he thinks he saw me put it after the insane back to school night…okay, located)

Get change of clothes ready and enthusiastically go to put them in the backpack I SWORE I’d cleaned out and made sure was ready for another year….

c r a p

I pick it up and notice it’s pretty heavy.

It’s still packed. From last school year.

::blink::blink::

I set it down on the kitchen table and just sorta stared at it.

(to be honest…I was a little scared of what might be lurking about behind those zipped up tight spaces…)

And it was at that moment I realized I’d become THAT mom.

Whatever THAT might actually mean, I’m not entirely sure.

What I know? I used to totally be that mom that seemingly had it together. School supplies taken care of by way of the handy-dandy “school supply order form” that I could order all needed supplies by simply checking a box and writing a check, and then doing a little happy dance thinking of all.that.time it was going to save me!

And I was totally that mom that made those lunches and had clothes ready and helped encourage my child learn to be more self sufficient during those school mornings so things weren’t as chaotic.

I am still that mom that color coordinates my oldest daughters clothes so that she can more easily pick things out and try her best to put them away with as little frustration on her part. Oh, and it helps her remember her colors because she forgets things easily…

(that’s a whole other blog post…)

And I am STILL that mom that makes ahead most of the weeks lunches for my daughter because she needs help in that area and I make sure she gets the needed nutrients in them as much as I can. My oldest? He’s totally rocking it on his own with his lunches. Mostly.

But, in becoming a mom of four and one of those four being a child with special needs, I’ve realized something….I’m the mom that sometimes forgets what my daughter cannot do.

My oldest? He knows to go through and empty his backpack and make sure it’s still able to make it through another year. And as long as he does so within the first month, I’m all good…usually don’t have to remind too often.

But my daughter? She needs many verbal cues and reminding. And sometimes in all the encouraging and cheering her on and hoping for more and seeing her reach new goals and do amazing, albeit small from the outside perspective, but amazing leaps in her world….well, I forget that she still needs reminding.

So, her backpack sat unzipped and unpacked all summer. And I’m nervous about what’s in there…

I’ve become that mom. Not completely scattered (although I’m sure there’s a good argument there that I absolutely can be), but that mom that has realized that there are things that take priority over others.

That making sure my kids are fed and have clean clothes and a mom that’s available versus a perfectly organized life with everything in place, is more important.

Because, let’s be honest, nothing is remotely perfect around here. I’m a constant work in progress.

So, I’m that mom. And I’m OK with it.

(sorta)

P.S.
I opened the backpack. And other than a broken fairy wand and some papers with random coloring on them, there was nothing that jumped out to eat me. Thankfully. Whew.