MMMM + Kids are back in school!

Man, I felt great about this morning until I remembered about Rush week. Those dumb girls just sit in all the public walking areas and even on the building steps and I can’t get through! I see red when this happens and I never ask nicely. I mean, how stupid do you have to be to block people from walking? OK, I’m letting this go now because you know what? My kids started school today!

Dakota moved up to the 2 year old room, Isaac started kindergarten, and Elliot is in 3rd now. It’s insane how quickly time passes. They all did great this morning. Dakota I wasn’t worried about but Isaac I was. He was quiet but he didn’t cry and he even smiled before I left. I call that a win. Ell was fine, of course. He just wants a good teacher and I do have high hopes for this woman. I’m pretty excited to hear from them at the end of the day!

SO. Weekend. We just a literal ton of work on Saturday in the yard: mowing, weed whacking, weeding by hand, moving old deck concrete supports, and hedge pruning. I was exhausted by noon but we still went out to lunch. Every single one of us napped then later, we did some more yard work – nitpicky stuff – and Elliot played with Matthew for a bit. Ash picked up the keg and we finagled that thing into working. It wasn’t as easy as you’d think! But finally, we had beer flowing’ in our own garage and all was right with the world.

Yesterday was less work intensive. I ran to target EARLY to avoid every other mom shopping for school supplies. In fact, I got everything I needed to do done in a timely manner. It was odd to be on the couch at 9:30 and NOT have laundry still in the dryer or things to fold. I had all the kids’ school supplies organized and in bags by the door. I was at peace with day one of school. Now I can do my work work at the pace I set. And I am!

 

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This was the song that came to m first and well, I think it speak volumes to the theme.

Friday Five – Semi-sick, orientation, games, beer

Five Thoughts:

  1. It’s certainly been a week. I was busy at work – which is good of course – but then home life was nutty because 4/5 of us didn’t feel well. First it was baby then Ell and Ash had stomach issues, then I had a funk in my throat and a foggy head. I even took a half day yesterday to recover at home. That was nice – I finally swept my darn kitchen – but it also made me feel behind.
  2. I am taking another half day today because the boys have orientation in the afternoon. I am actually really excited (yet nervous) about it. If you recall, I met with the principal to discuss Elliot’s third grade teacher. I hope SO very much that they put him with Miss Arassi. If not her, then Bosarge. I don’t know much about the other ones but I know Miss Arassi helped my boss’s grandson a whole lot. And as for Isaac, he can’t get the same teacher Elliot had because she’s taking a year off. It sucks but I think Isaac could adapt to anyone, unlike my oldest.
  3. So there’s this Japanese puzzle game from the early 2000s that I am really good at. Like, I used to beat the ever-loving crap out of guys who thought that were God’s gift to the gaming world. It’s a jewel matching game – somewhat like Bejeweled and somewhat like Tetris – and Ash modded his Dreamcast so we’ve been playing it. My oldest boy is a cocky little thing and he was certain he’d beat me. Ooh, what a moment that was when I just beat his butt. It was everything I could do not to rub it in his face. He was seething with anger but I think he learned a good lesson. Meanwhile, I played single player last night and beat every comp opponent until the final and then got my ass handed to me. Sigh. I guess I have some work to do.
  4. I posted the pic on Instagram last night (and have shared below) but Ash and I went out last night (separately) and we both came home with a beer glass! LOL. He went to Goodwill to check out their specific electronics store but ended up finding a glass from the brewery we’re going to tour in October. Meanwhile I wanted a slightly smaller one. Our keg will be delivered Saturday and while he found some big handled mugs to keep frosty in the freezer, I thought a nice small one would do for weekday drinking. I am really pretty pumped about having beer on tap in my garage.
  5. Today is my sister’s birthday! I really need to stop thinking of her as being so young. It’s a subconscious thing; in my mind, she’s still, like, 22. Today, she will be 31. I know, that’s bad. But she still struggles to make it day to day. Yes, she has a job and a boyfriend and pays her bills (for the most part) but I guess that’s why I can’t ever think of her as that old. Also, thinking about her real age reminds me of how old I am. LOL.

Five Photos:

Here are the glasses we purchased. Bring on the beer!IMG_20150813_192841_resized

 

I walked on campus the other day and found this awesome old tree:IMG_20150811_115720_resized

 

And some random stuff from Pinterest:416803e8159275d531c8977c40317d9a

 

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Wednesday Hodgepodge – Glad to be back

1. When was the last time you relocated? Did you move yourself or leave it to the professionals? Are you happy staying put or is there a move in your future? Best thing about moving to a new city or town? Least favorite and/or hardest thing about moving house?

The last time we moved was in-town. I have moved five times in this city: from the dorm to an apartment, to another apartment, to a rental house, to a townhouse, to the house we have now. I believe the last time, Ash and I rented a fairly large U-Haul and had friends help us unpack. I kind of hate moving but I do like setting up all my stuff and realizing what can be thrown out or given away. The worst part is just how overwhelming it can be to have to assess all your belongings. It can be ridiculous.

2. When were you last ‘moved to tears’? Explain.

Ha! To be honest, it was watching Full House last night, believe it or not. It was an episode I had never seen and Stephanie asked a boy to the dance and he stood her up. Unbeknownst to her, Danny talked to the kid and then she stood up the kid on a subsequent date. It all worked out and as she was leaving to actually go on a date with the kid, she ran back into the house and hugged her dad, thanking him for being involved in her life. I just had a little moment.

3. Do you have rules about eating in the car…any forbidden foods? What’s the last thing you consumed in your car? Your go-to car snack when traveling long distance?

In my car, I’m not too picky because I have an Element and most surfaces just wipe down. My husband’s Pilot is a no-eating zone unless we’re on a longer trip and they can then have cracker type foods only. Our go-to snack is indeed Goldfish. Oh, and all waters even must have lids. the last thing I ate in the car was probably a Zebra Cake and I had no business eating that whatsoever!

4. Share a favorite song relating to cars and/or driving.
18 Wheels and a Dozen Roses – Kathy Mattea. It was the first one that came to mind.

5. What’s your most frequently visited drive-thru…Starbucks? the bank? the pharmacy? some other window?

For sure, Starbucks. Though lately, my car’s been having idling issues so I avoid it. I will say, if I promise the kids Chik-fil-a, I refuse to sit inside so we pick up. And I have been trying to use CVS’s drive-thru a lot more often.

6. “He who hesitates is lost”…would you agree? When it comes to making decisions do you generally act quickly or do you more often than not fall into the ‘lost’ category?

What if your hesitation is really just being cautious and evaluating the situation? Then in that case, it’s the smarter choice. I tend to wait an appropriate amount of time but have been known to jump on a decision and have it end poorly.

7. When was the last time you got lost? Was it stressful or an unexpected happy adventure?

Hmm, that typically does not happen to me. I have a really good sense of direction. I honestly cannot think of one!

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

 The bulk of my summer work is done now, yay! I have some other things on my plate but they aren’t difficult or time-sensitive, really. I’m going to rearrange the grad lounge mailboxes today and I have to place an order for a keg. The day began rainy but it seems to be lightening up now. I didn’t have *quite* enough coffee and I am feeling at a loss right now. Guess I’ll finish up this entry and then get started. Sometimes by forcing myself to do work, I feel motivated to do more.

Random Tuesday – It’s always something

Stacy Uncorked
  • SO, half the daycare got Hand, Foot, and Mouth which, if you have a kid who’s had it, is kind of a joke. At least, in our experience. The rash is half-assed and she barely ran a fever. Let me clarify: I am thankful for only these symptoms. I have just only seen this side of it, I guess.
  • I had to pick her up yesterday and do you know how much work I have to do? HA! I mean, it’s so much there aren’t words to describe it. But I offered the boys to go home with us and what a mistake. I even picked them up lunch but then they were whiny brats all afternoon. I felt worn down after spending the day with that.
  • Today I am still grading and putting out fires in the department. Like my title suggests, it’s always something.
  • Whew, I just did a ton of stuff and I feel like my head is spinning. I really did want to post this SOME time today!
  • I saw my running buddy today. Not someone I run WITH or someone I even know. Just a guy we always see running down the same road. He always runs up Mitchell as we drive down it on the way to school. He always waves and is a polite runner; observes proper etiquette. He also always wears a cotton shirt and must be hating life after a long run.
  • I pissed off my boss this morning, unintentionally. I know she’d never tell me but I can tell. I am torn between people higher up telling me to do stuff and her wanting to keep it insular. Ugh.
  • My kids have been really into Pee Wee’s Big Adventure lately. I remember watching it when it was about their age – 6 or 7 – and loving it too. Funny how some things don’t fade away. Also, you can’t go wrong with Tim Burton.
  • I’m so sorry this post didn’t post in the AM; this has been a crazy day and now that stuff has calmed down, I want to take a nap!

MMMM + Didn’t see that coming

We had a very nice Ethan Allen cherry wood queen bed frame for years; it had been Ash’s parents’. Then we upgraded to a king and it sat disassembled in Dakota’s room. I tried to sell it for way less than its worth on local garage sale sites but no one would bite. Finally, a friend of ours traded it for a loft bed for Elliot. So Saturday, after a run and a trip to the flea market and Sonny’s, we took her the frame and we brought back the loft bed. That spurred an entire relocation of items in each of the kid’s rooms. Dakota’s crib got moved after the big pieces of wood vacated her room, Isaac traded one of his bookshelves for Elliot’s dresser – since the loft bed has a ton of extra storage – and then there was all the set up and vacuuming and organizing books and board games and all the junk we’ve acquired. I even posted to Facebook that we own too much stuff and I felt like throwing it all away and moving to the woods with nothing!

I didn’t realize all the moving around that would follow the acquisition of this new piece of furniture.PhotoGrid_1439122663908_resized

 

That photo was taken in the midst of it all; I got it cleaned up now for the most part. Elliot needs a chair for his new desk area and I have to work on the corner by the crib for baby because my FIL plans to buy her a play kitchen. Ugh. I know she’ll love it but just another big piece of play equipment we don’t need! I remember my play kitchen very fondly; I loved that thing. Even more so, I loved the fake food. I have a feeling I will buy her some. ;)

That activity pretty much dominated our weekend. I mowed and did laundry yesterday and by 9 PM I was exhausted. I struggled through grading papers and folding clothes even though I had a headache.

This morning, I have already had a work phone, graded a few papers, and cleaned up my office. Happy Monday!

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I know you’re tired of me always posting Culture Club songs so since it’s a freebie, let’s go in an entirely other direction.

 

I don’t normally listen to pop music but here are a couple songs my 8 year old loves and keeps playing over and over!

 

 

A moment in time

This morning’s sun tried desperately to peek through gathering rain clouds, which I kept thinking about. I hoped they faded away before our pot luck at my boss’s house later in the morning. The sky was a beautiful mess of gray and yellowy-orange and some pink-tinged edges too. I was somehow calmer than usual as we went through our normal morning routine. Inside, I was stressing about Elliot, who is at the younger kids’ daycare this week and not exactly behaving. He’s just being a pain and they aren’t used to him but it bothers me. He’s nearly eight and I can’t have him being a punk. When will he outgrow that?

Regardless, I got them off to school just fine then returned to my car, Culture Club coming through the ipod into the speakers. Enveloped in the contemplative words of “Victims” I got through town in record time; my car seemingly speeding through the narrow roads of Seventh and Bronough. Down through the historic section of town are these gas lamps and a slew of age-old Live Oak trees, the subject of my next tattoo. I saw a particularly aged one, all bumpy at its base and… wise. It felt like such a powerful object, sitting just to the side of a well-traveled road; a permanent fixture of downtown Tallahassee.

Once to my office, I emailed the two people I had meant to yesterday, I ate my breakfast, then sipped my coffee; sweet sweet coffee. I opened all the necessary tabs; pulled up pre-written text for specific aspects of my job. I’m about to delve into a round of hardcore grading. I have to focus, buckle down, be free of distractions.

Random Tuesday – Just an expulsion of random brain crap

Stacy Uncorked
  • Geez, have you seen all these celebrities getting a divorce lately? Blake and Miranda, Gavin and Gwen, Reba and her hubs?? What is going on?
  • I guess those kinds of things always make me glad that I make time for my husband and we have a pretty strong relationship. We’re not that far from our ten year anniversary!
  • I told you I recently got back into Culture Club’s music. I find myself sad for The Boy. A lot of his songs were written about his relationship with the drummer, Jon Moss. Such sad lyrics! Half of them are about losing him from the start and then I remember what I read about how when they broke up, Jon went on to marry a woman and have kids. What a knife to the heart!
  • This kind of mirrors Sherlock, oddly enough. Sherlock loves John but then John marries Mary and…well, I’m getting entirely too geeky on you guys. I apologize. I know you’re all like:tumblr_n6cirbZSAZ1rzik3go1_250
  • I didn’t sleep well last night; kept thinking about all the stuff I have to do this week before Friday, which is a non-existent work day. We have a pot luck breakfast upstairs (a working meal though; we have to revamp our department website) and then it’s my half day. I love taking a break but I’m a “get all your work done before you play” type person.
  • Both my boys were hot messes this morning. Elliot had on a shirt with a hole in it and his hair seriously needed to be brushed. Meanwhile, Isaac had this white splotch on his head, which turned out to be dried shampoo from last night. Sigh. Neither of these things did I realize until we got to the daycare. Oh well. At least they aren’t in school yet. Not long though! Next Friday is orientation and then they get going. Someone I know in Alabama starts today. How early! Meanwhile, don’t people in the West not begin until after Labor Day?
  • I finished my iced latte way too quickly this morning and now I am sad. So I am going to force myself to work now. Happy Tuesday!

MMMM + Made it through the weekend

Crazy busy weekend in the books! As I mentioned last week, Ash went to a birthday get-together down at the coast. I couldn’t go, of course, so I picked up the younger kids and the original plan was to head to Target then get Elliot from his day trip to a water park. Except they didn’t come back at 6 as planned. No, they didn’t get home until 7:30. So I got him and his friend, Addy, then a pizza. It was a looong evening. They all played together really well and then after Isaac was in bed, the other boys watched a movie. Elliot was exhausted so he was done by 11 but his friend couldn’t sleep. I stayed up with him until 12 but then he just couldn’t get to sleep and started crying for his parents so I had to wake up his dad. Sigh. I know this happens to kids but I was just so tired.

In the end, it worked out for the best that he wasn’t there the next day; I got quite a bit of cleaning done. It’s been a while since I really tackled the house. By 11:30, we were taking Ell out to my boss’s house for her grandson’s birthday. Luckily, Ash got back a bit earlier than anticipated so I got a break; though the younger kids did nap so it was quiet for a little while anyway. I went back out to get Elliot, hung around for maybe 30 mins, then we went to our friends’ (Addy’s parents) going away party at the arcade. We didn’t stay all that long though; all the activity was taking its toll on Elliot and he was melting down. So that evening was all baths and parking it on the couch.

We were up early Sunday so Ash and Ell could run and then by 9, we were on our way to Mashes Sands beach. We hadn’t been before but it was great! Even though it was overcast most of the time, the temp was wonderful and the kids had fun. The afternoon was all laundry and beer and cooking dinner and not much else. I was happy to just relax for the most part. Later, I reflected on some things. I hate when friends move away but that’s the peril of working at a university and with graduate students. In this case, their kids and my kids also must deal with separation. It’s a fact of life, I know. But I feel badly for Elliot. It’s not the last friend he’ll have to say good bye to, that’s for sure. Anywho, let’s get to the music, eh?

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The theme is funny or work songs but I like work songs better. This first one – I warn you – has a “bad” word in it but it’s a great punk song. The other is from one of my all-time favorite 80s bands!

 

 

Friday Five – Of trees and solo parenting

Five Thoughts:

  1. I have a friend who seems to always be busy; she has fun plans and family things and I used to be jealous. Because at some point, my life also got busy and now I crave a weekend with nothing going on! Today begins a long event-filled two days. Elliot is having a friend over tonight but he won’t be back from his big end of camp outing until maybe 6. Ash will be at the coast celebrating a friend’s birthday so I get to do this on my own! Tomorrow, after said friend goes home, Ell has a birthday party (my boss’s grandson) from 12-3 and then at 4 we have a going away party for the kid who spent the night. (We’re friends with his parents.) Then on Sunday, we’re going to the beach with my busy friend! LOL. I like doing these things, I do. So many memories for my kids. But I would also like to just sit on my butt sometimes.
  2. I hadn’t taken a Buzzfeed quiz in a long time so I clicked on “How old is your inner child?” and apparently, she is 8. “Your inner child knows exactly what it wants. It’s the kind of child who hates to be told it has to be less stubborn and that it isn’t always right. Your inner child finds way to creep into your life by manifesting itself as your strong sense of independence. You are ambitious and will stop at nothing to get there. Sometimes, though, you may get into a lot of heated debates with coworkers…that’s just because you are right, duh!” This is eerily accurate! Embrace the inner child!
  3. I fell asleep early last night but in bed. It may have been about 10:15 so I was wide awake at 5:20. I lay there a while before realizing it would just be best to get up and work out. I then weighed myself and with the healthy eating and working out I have lost… nothing! But I guess once I start running outside that will happen. I hope.
  4. I feel surprisingly good this week; not unmotivated or irritated. Just saying.
  5. Have I mentioned my next tattoo? I think I have but let’s reiterate: it will contain the kids’ names in their handwriting (Dakota’s at some later date) but I have no decided to incorporate a tree. I used to be pretty artsy and I almost always drew trees when I was bored. So I feel like this is the right choice. I have been sketching all week, trying to find the right look of said tree. Should it have leaves or a lot of branches? I have pared it down to a few and decided on a Live Oak. They are prevalent here in the South – another personal representation – and they also have squat trunks – wide enough to fit the names. I am still deciding if I want leaves. The cool thing is this: when Dakota can write and I get her name added on, I could possibly add leaves then. For now, just branches. I am pumped!

Five Photos:

I watched this episode of Jeopardy but saw this clip again the other day. Check out this sass.

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This purse!

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I want to buy this and mount it on the side of my garage fridge, which will put it conveniently right next to our kegerator. ;)

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An artsy pic of where we’re going Sunday.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Wednesday Hodgepodge – Light, summer goals, etc

1.  I recently read here about four secrets to happiness from around the world. They were-

Overcome your fears by facing them head on, allow yourself to relax and reset, work to live versus living to work, and find the good in life.

Not sure if these are the actual secret to happiness, but which of the four do you struggle with most? Which one comes most easily to you?

This one is easy: facing fears head on. It’s not as straight-forward as saying, “I’m afraid of roller-coasters; I’ll try going on them.” It’s the other sorts of fears: failing as a parent, not pursuing career interest, etc. But I know I sometimes move those to the back burner and make excuses about other stuff that has to get done first. It’s not a good trait.

The others I definitely work on to varying degrees. I definitely have to remind myself to relax and reset but I do.  Whether it is going into my room to read or taking a bath or going out with friends, I do take time for myself. I definitely work to live because the other way doesn’t afford me my family or personal happiness. And thought some days it is hard, I look for the good in life and in people as often as possible.

2. How would you spend a found $20 bill today?

Oh geez, really? I would most likely buy food. Whenever I have cash, I unwisely buy food. But I don’t want to buy good food with it. I’d want junk. But I’m not eating junk these days so as boring as it is, I’d save the money.

3. Ego trip, power trip, guilt trip, round trip, trip the light fantastic, or trip over your own two feet…which ‘trip’ have you experienced or dealt with most recently? Explain.

Trip the light fantastic; I told you I went out dancing Friday. ;)

4. If you could master any physical skill in the world what would it be, and how would you use that skill?

You know, this is hard. My first thought was martial arts; be really skilled at karate or jujitsu. I think that would be so awesome. But I’d also really like to be able to dance skillfully, not just all crazy like I do now.
5. As July draws to a close, let’s take inventory of our summer fun. Since the official first day of (North American) summer (June 20th) have you…

been swimming? Oh yes, lots! We had a small pool in the yard (until the kids broke it) and then we’ve been to the beach, my parents’ pool, and to the local one.

enjoyed an ice cream cone? To be honest? No. I have been dieting so ice cream has been off the table. But we have eaten some Otter pops!

seen a summer blockbuster? Every other Friday! We saw Mad Max, Terminator, Jurassic World, Ant-Man…

camped? Negative. We’re not big on camping BUT I think some day we might be

eaten corn on the cob? Indeed. Unshucked, in the oven, 400 degrees, 30 minutes. Bam.

gardened? Does mowing and weeding count?

deliberately unplugged? No, not really. I mean, when we were out in Monticello for the 4th, I had no cell service so that was kind of nice to be disconnected.

watched a ballgame? You know, not really.

picked fruit off the vine? No, but I’d like to. We have a local place that has peaches.

taken a road trip? Yes. Not like a real one with no aim but we drove all over Florida.

read a book?  Somehow, I have. J.R. Ward’s The Shadows

Are any of these activities on your must-do-before-summer-ends list? I would say that I will probably eat ice cream before summer fades away.

6. The Republican Presidential candidates will debate on August 6th. What’s your question?

Hmm, rough one. If I had to ask any of the candidates a question it would be: How do you plan to bridge the gap between the reps and dems in the house? How can we come together as one American people and find a middle ground?

7. What’s your most listened to song so far this summer?

Man, I listened to quite a few AC/DC songs there for a bit and, as always, Jimmy Buffett, but I have been rocking the Culture Club lately so I’m going with Miss Me Blind.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

Do you realize how far into summer we are? Not the technical season; here in Florida it is summer forever. But I mean, summer break. My kids go back to school on the 17th and you bet your butt it’s going to be here but quick. It’s going to be great though; routine, homework, more planned meals, cooler weather, my kids entrenched in books more often… yeah, you could say I am ready.

My Fall is always a crazy mess with college beginning and my job getting busier but I love to stay busy. The Fall semester will be punctuated by events though: Hawaii in mid-October; two weeks later, the Tough Mudder; two weeks later, Ash will be going to a conference; two weeks later will be Thanksgiving. Lordy! Time goes quickly, doesn’t it?