August 26, 2015

Family Band

I'm feeling wishy-washy these days, mostly on account of my currently being enrolled in school. I kinda don't want to do it. It was fun to take a class or two, but the fact of the matter is, I don't want to be a teacher with my own classroom. I kinda just want to be a sub. And that doesn't require a college degree. And if I'm being totally honest, I know that I don't want to do it, but Troy is adamant that I finish, which is why I'm wishy-washy. 

Honest to goodness though, it's basic math. I can't go to school, AND work, AND do all the mom stuff for four kids, AND do church stuff, AND do the laundry, AND have clean toilets. It's just TOO, TOO MUCH. Plus, that kind of schedule most definitely does NOT allow for any type of sick day, and you KNOW that I have a plethora of those bad boys. 

Meanwhile, mom stuff: Thaddeus is in band. Blayne is in band. Daniel is in orchestra. Taylor is in third grade and is gypped. Plus, we have cub scouts, and boy scouts, and activity days, and doctor appointments, and dentist appointments, and Blayne needs new glasses, and Daniel probably needs glasses, and YOU GUYS: IT NEVER STOPS. 

Babies were so stinking easy. They had naps. They only went to places I wanted to go to. They didn't have their own friends. Basically, I was the dictator of our happy, little planet, and time gone done and blown it up. For reals though, there are so many things to keep track of. I can't imagine how crazy it gets for families with even MORE extra-curricular activities. Meanwhile, Taylor sighs loudly and complains about the general unfairness of her life. (cry me a river girlfriend.)

But let's talk instruments. Thaddeus has decided on percussion. Which is fine and dandy. Daniel has decided on cello, on account of him being in 4th grade, and only being allowed in orchestra and not band but also: "Have you seen how big a cello is, Mom? I never even KNEWED they made cellos that big! I'll have the most hugest instrument in the whole SCHOOL!". Meanwhile, Blayne thought that all the instruments sounded good. Luckily, they had a band try-it night, where they have all the instruments for beginning band, along with actually helpful specialized music teachers. So Blayne narrowed down her picks to clarinet, trumpet, and flute. She thought she would like the clarinet the best, because she plays recorder. Nope. And the flute? Nope. Girlfriend has a set of LUNGS on her, and can blow that trumpet like nobody's business. 

Which means that after we finished renting our instruments, and buying our books, and our band shirts, we came home, and promptly proceeded to blow our trumpet and bang on our drums. (Daniel has NOT gotten his cello quite yet. Thank you Lord.) Not to be out done, though, Daniel grabbed his harmonica, and Taylor grabbed her recorder, and we had an impromptu concert! It was awful! Especially, because at this point, the only person adept at their instrument was Daniel, who was playing Amazing Grace most beautifully on his harmonica. 

Thus, we have new rules regarding SOUND. For example, no practice in front of the TV... that's ON. And we will be having assigned practice times, because I can only handle one sound at a time. 

So, fun times at my house! 

August 24, 2015


Alright. I am going to put it out there: I need to lose weight.

I have had a bad year with my MS, and have had to do a LOT of steroids. And every round of steroids adds 10 pounds... no joke. So I'm about 45 pounds heavier than I was last year at this time, and it is SO not okay. (Especially, because 45 pounds ago, I still wanted to lose another 20...)

This means that I have some GOALS.  And you will probably laugh at them, but I have to take baby steps people.


  1. Go to bed by 10 pm. 
  2. Get out of bed at 6 am
  3. Walk around the block
  4. Eat more protein
  5.  Stop with the Soda
So those are my starting goals. They will change, no doubt, but I have to start somewhere. AND! I was in bed before 10pm last night. It was pretty exciting for me. Normally, I just hang out at night, watching TV while I crochet or fold laundry. But I need to sleep better, and establishing a set bedtime will help me in the long run. 

Getting up in the morning hasn't been a problem, but just because I'm AWAKE doesn't mean I'm out of bed. This morning, I was awake, and then Taylor came to snuggle, followed by Daniel. So we snuggled in bed and watched Property Brothers. 

Walking around the block. Guys, this is a hard one for me. Do you know there are days when I literally don't even leave my house? I mean, I open the windows, and I look at the backyard and watch the kids playing and stuff, but I NEVER GO OUTSIDE. Even if I just go outside to check the mail, that's moving. But I figure, I need to put on my shoes, get out the door, and just walk. I'm starting with only once around, because BABY STEPS. 

Eating more protein... I have been HORRIBLE with my nutrition lately. It's horrible when you know WHAT you should eat to make you feel good, and then you eat something else. I have fallen back into some yuck-o habits, and I need to kick them to the curb! I just need to be more conscious of what I'm eating, so that I can lose some serious poundage. I am making a LIST, and I am going SHOPPING, and I am going to EAT WELL IF IT KILLS ME. 

Which means: No. More. Soda. I have a problem, because I am addicted to Dr. Pepper. It's bad guys. I think about a year ago, or maybe a little more... I had totally cut Dr. Pepper out of my life. I didn't drink any soda at all. It was all water, and sometimes a protein drink, for me. But then I got really sick. I had a horrible relapse, I was in bed, and my head, I can't begin to describe the pain in my head when I have a relapse. It's like my brain is too big for my head, I can't see, I can't hear, I can't even stand up straight. The room spins around me, and all I do is lay in bed, with my hands gripping the sheets, and I tell myself "It's not real. The room isn't spinning. You are not moving." Meanwhile, it's like someone is digging a tunnel in my head with a pick ax. I have auras, double vision, ear pain, jaw pain, tinnitus... and that's just the beginning. I become so nauseated that I have to throw up, but the physical movement that accompanies the vomiting makes my head feel worse. It's a horrible cycle that just doesn't go away. I have medicine, which helps sometimes, but the side effects aren't that super. The BEST one I have, tightens all my blood vessels. It constricts ALL of them. So my brain stops throbbing, but my chest and neck are so tight, that I feel like I'm choking.. like someone has taken a belt and put it around my neck, and is pulling it tighter, and tighter.... 

So I had one of my super awesome migraines during a relapse, and I had a Dr. Pepper to make me feel better, because the thought of it didn't make me want to throw up. So I had one... then I had another one... and another one... and now, I drink it all the time, and it's total nonsense. I NEED TO STOP. 

At any rate, I am going to be a new person. A better person. A non-caffeinated person... Heaven help me. 

August 19, 2015


GUYS: We are THISCLOSE to having our systems back in place. The last few mornings have been very successful. We have gotten UP, gotten DRESSED, gone through the whole morning spiel without complaint... It's been pretty sweet.

Meanwhile, my kids have always, always, ALWAYS wanted to be "packers" at lunch. But we always did school lunches because it was super easy and cheaper. Except that the schools up here have weird lunch rules, because, you know, federal mandates and exceptions and a bunch of nonsense. Plus, it would cost $4.50 per kid, per day. Except on Wednesdays, which are noon dismissal days, so the school doesn't bother with lunch. So, I am packing lunch for people every day, and they like it, and I pretty much think it's the worst. And I've already heard how our lunches don't have any snacks in them, like cookies, and candy. So I pointed out that those aren't "snacks", those are treats, and I'm not packing treats, I'm packing LUNCH so your brain can stay happy and awake all day. I've rather come to think I'm not the most pleasant person to live with. However, they finally get their wish of being packers so at least there's that!

We are also WALKERS. It's the first time that we haven't ridden on a bus to get to school. It was really exciting in theory, but some of us have already started to complain about hurting legs. Naturally, I pointed out that every time they walk up the hills to school, their legs are getting stronger, so be next month, it shouldn't be a problem! Then I offer them one, little baby orange aspirin. Nobody has accepted my proffered aspirin, but I'm not taking it personally.

Also, I was very proud of myself today. I did two loads of laundry, and I scrubbed my bathroom top to bottom, literally. We had a bunch of dead gnats on the bathroom ceiling, I don't even know how they got there, but it was disgusting. And I had the boys try and suck them up with a vacuum, but that just resulted in bug guts on the ceilings. So then I asked Troy, because he's a few inches taller than me, but he kept being busy at all the wrong times. So today, I got out our step stool, and I stretched my arms as high as I could, and I scrubbed bug guts off my ceilings. And being near the ceilings means I got a good look at the top of the medicine cabinets and shelves, and so on and so forth. Plus, I finally replaced the towel bar with a shelf with six hooks, so there aren't a bunch of wet towels sitting on the ground getting stinky.

I also made myself an apron. Back in Virginia, my friend Kristy had this apron that I coveted fiercely. It's a wrap-a-round pinafore style that crosses over in the back, that doesn't require any ties! I love aprons, but I hate the stupid ties that always come loose. So I finally made myself one, and I am giddy over it. I am going to make another one tomorrow, because I like to wear aprons around the house when I'm working, because then my clothes don't get disgusting. I mean, not that I'm dressed to kill, but I have my favorite pants that I don't want bleach stains or paint on.

And yes, I painted today. I've been in a bit of a DIY mood, and I needed some simple solutions to problems that wouldn't drive me nuts. For example, I have a HUGE box of Q-tips in my bathroom that is not full, and taking up a bunch of space, and bothering me. And our flossing picks fall out everywhere at least once a week. And don't even get me started on all the other odds and ends. So I grabbed the empty jars out of my cupboard, and I painted them PINK. Because pink makes me happy. And a pretty pink jar holding q-tips won't get on my very last nerve.

I also happened to have 4 bins that are exactly the length of one stair tread. So I put masking tape on each one, wrote a kids name, and put them on the stairs. Now, as I pick up downstairs, I put it in the correct person's bin, and at the end of the day, they take the bin with their treasures and put them in the right place.

I realize that this seems neurotic to a lot of people, but I seriously don't understand how you don't have at least a little neurosis in your life, especially when you have multiple children with different activities.  It's a GOOD crazy.