Step Up or Step Out

I am going to kind of be on a soapbox today.  Sorry! I was at a meeting last night for my daughter’s gymnastics team.  First of all, it was mandatory that at least one parent for every gymnast be in attendance.  I can tell you that there was probably only half of the team represented there.  Mind you, this meeting has been on the calendar for at least a month.  That is plenty of time to make arrangements so that one parent could be there.  Yes, I know that there are extenuating circumstances for some that really just couldn’t make it, but I can assure that was not the case for half of the team! That isn’t even my real issue, though.  My real issue came when we spent a good length of time determining if we were going to host a big moneymaking event.  The argument boiled down to the lack of parental volunteers to support the event with the same handful of people doing all the work while everyone reaped the benefits.  We ultimately voted to have the event because we didn’t want to take something away from the girls just because there were a few bad seeds.  Now, we have been a part of 3 different gyms throughout my daughter’s career as a gymnast.  In every single one of those gyms, we have had to sign a contract stating that we would complete a certain number of volunteer hours.  Some gyms required more and some less. Regardless, they all had some form of requirement for parent volunteers.  I know that this is the case in other competitive sports as well.  My point is that you know going into it what is expected of you.  However, so many parents think that they can get out of it or that it doesn’t apply to them. I cannot tell you how many times over the years that we have had to beg and plead with people to get enough volunteers to run an event, to get them to do what they said they would do by signing that contract.  It is always the exact same few people who put in their required hours plus many more hours to cover for those who don’t fulfill their commitment.  It is those same people that showed up for the meeting that you see doing all the work all of the time.  I have always been one of those people that does more than what is required, and I certainly don’t mind doing that.  However, I do mind it when the select few do all of the work, but the whole group gets the financial benefits of the work whether they worked or not.  It is not fair.  I know that rules and regulations require that the funds be split equally, but it just makes me angry.  We should not have to be begging and pleading to get people to do what they committed to do by signing that contract and enrolling their daughter in the program. What gives you the right to think that your time is more valuable than mine? Look, we are all busy.  We all have a lot of things going on.  We all have other kids in other sports.  I get it, but I also know that this is what comes with it.  If you sign your kid up to do a sport that requires parent volunteer hours, you better do your part.  If you can’t, then don’t sign your kid up!  It’s that simple. Step up or step on out.  You are in or you’re not.  It is one or the other.  There should not be any grey area in between.  It is what you committed to do, so you better do it. What kind of example are those parents being for their children when they see their parents skipping out on their responsibilities? What message does that send them? It teaches them that it is ok to feel and act entitled and that you don’t have to go the extra mile because things are just going to be handed to you anyway.  It teaches them that responsibilities aren’t really important. Those sure aren’t lessons I want to teach my kids. Guess what? You aren’t entitled. Your time isn’t more valuable than mine. You aren’t better than me.  We are equal and we all have to do our part. It’s plan and simple. The bottom line is this: If you have kids who are involved in competitive sports, you have to do your part.  It is part of the commitment and part of your responsibilities. Step up or step out! 

Anchored and Rambling,

Forever Friends

The Thursday after Mother’s day is one of my favorite days of the year. It is the day that the DD Annual Girls’ Weekend begins. I long for this day every single year. Eight of my best friends in the world and I come together for this weekend every year and head to the beaches of the Outer Banks. Some years it is the only time that I see them all year long, but you would never guess that we have been apart for a whole year. When we come together, it is like no other thing I can describe. We all come from very different backgrounds and many different beliefs, but somehow this friendship has stood the test of time. We make each other better. We get each other in ways that no one else does. We give each other unconditional support and love no matter what. We listen to each other, offer advice, give tough love, and laugh together all the time. You would think that a group of friends that large wouldn’t really work, but it does. This friendship began almost 12 years ago at an elementary school where we all were teachers. The group began with just 5 of us. That 5 all taught in the very back corner of the school where very few people ventured besides us. We were the back hall gang. There were three of us on one side of the hall and two on the other. I remember morning after morning standing in the hallway outside of each of our classrooms chatting as our students arrived for the day. We bonded over tough students, difficult administration, our own children, and New Kids on the Block. That hallway is where it all began. Over the years the rest just sort of melted into the group until we had our core unit of 9. Although we all started as teachers in the same elementary school, we didn’t all stay there. Some moved to new schools, some moved away (me), some quit teaching all together, and some moved to high school. No matter the distance between us, we come together this one weekend a year to just be together.

This weekend, for me, is always about restoration. It is about the restoration of my mind, body, and spirit. It is a time to just be me without the pressures of life in general. I can take off all of my hats and just be still. Those eight ladies give me the fuel I need to move forward with the coming year. They give me strength to face the difficult things in my life. It is a weekend for me to let go of all of the negative and stress in my life. It all melts away the minute I see the first person. It really is hard to describe what these ladies do for me in my life and have done for me over the years. I’ve heard it said that if your friendship lasts for 10 years, you will be friends for life. Those 8 ladies will definitely be my friends for life. I could not even begin to imagine my life without any of them. We always joke what we will be like when we are all old and grey (some of us are getting there faster than others <wink, wink>). We sometimes see a group of little old ladies together and always say that will be us one day, and I know it will be. We will be sitting on the beach while one of us complains about the sand, one is dancing like a maniac, some are involved in deep conversations, and others are just taking it all in. I think our stories would make a great novel one day. We have even joked about writing it. It would surely be a great read. I might even venture to say that it would be a best seller! LOL!

As I get ready to hit the road today, I am reminded of all of the laughter and heartbreak we have shared. The memories are vast and my heart is full. There is no other way to describe us other than my tribe. Without them, my life would not be complete. I love each of them dearly. They are my forever friends. I cannot wait to get there.

Anchored,

The Energizer Bunny

Today is one of those crazy busy days. It started right away this morning getting the girls up and ready for school. My oldest had to be at school early this morning to do some makeup work she missed while we were at the cheer competition. Of course, that threw off our normal morning routine. After dropping her off, I came back home to finish drying my hair and getting ready. Then I sat down to write this post for today. Well, my computer started acting funny yesterday and was doing it again this morning, so I decided to shut it down and reboot it. That was a mistake! It has already been like 15 minutes and it’s still rebooting. It says it has 22 more minutes left! I’m currently typing this on my phone as I anxiously wait for it to finish. I don’t have a whole lot of time to spare this morning. My youngest has an appointment with the endocrinologist at 12:00, and my oldest has an appointment with the audiologist and ENT at 2:30. I absolutely hate taking them out of school again since they just missed 3 days, but I really have no choice.  It is so hard to get these appointments with specialists even though we are established patients.  I don’t understand why the wait is so long to get appointments. I tried to call and reschedule the endocrinologist appointment, and they didn’t have any availability until the end of August.  Oh and let’s not even forget that you can’t possibly get appointments in the evenings where you don’t have to pull the kids out of school.  I just can’t imagine that there are that many kids that need an endocrinologist that they are that booked solid for months ahead. It is the same with the neurologist, gastroenterologist, and allergist. Let’s not even get into the availability at the EOE clinic. They only see patients one day a month.  It’s insane! Kids who are really sick can’t get in to see a specialist for months! It just doesn’t make sense to me.  It has been this way everywhere we have lived, and I hear my friends talking about it all the time.  There has to be a better system.  

We have to do the ENT appointment today. It cannot wait.  If you remember from a couple of weeks ago, I talked about my oldest daughter’s ear issues.  She has a very narrow ear canal that curves so her ear doesn’t drain properly on the left side and frequently gets a buildup of wax that has to be cleaned out or gets swimmer’s ear even though she hasn’t been swimming.  We went to the ENT 2 weeks ago (it took over a month to get her in), and they did a culture of the gunk that they sucked out of her ear.  It came back positive for “heavy mold.” That’s right! Her ear is full of mold! It’s so gross!  We have been doing two different drops every morning and night for the past 2 weeks. One is for the pain and inflammation and the other drop is actually for athlete’s foot, but it works to kill the fungus growing in her ear supposedly.  It is kind of weird putting drops in your kid’s ear from a bottle that says “Athlete’s Foot.”  Today we go back to see if it is clearing up (I don’t think it is) and to have her hearing checked.  She often says that her ear feels “plugged” and she can’t hear.  We hope that it is just from the wax buildup and the infection and not that her hearing has been damaged.  She is really worried about it.  She is afraid that she isn’t going to be able to hear the beeps. 

I swear it is always something. There is never a dull moment in this family, especially when it comes to medical issues.  If it is something abnormal, it is going to happen to my kids or me.  It’s just the story of our lives! We are going to keep having to see specialists, and I am going to keep getting annoyed that I can’t get a decent appointment time within a reasonable timeframe.  My kids are going to continue to have to miss school. It is like a never-ending rollercoaster. There is no end at all. It just keeps going and going and going. It’s like the Energizer Bunny for sure!  Sometimes I feel like the Energizer Bunny myself because I just keep pushing. I just keep going. I never stop.  I just wish that I had the ENERGY part of the bunny! LOL! I surely don’t have any energy. I guess something is fueling me, though. Did I mention that I am still sick, too? I’m still hacking up my lungs daily and there is so much drainage in my throat. I’m going on a month of this mess now.  At least I don’t feel bad anymore. It’s just an annoyance that won’t go away.  Oh, well, I guess it is what it is.  If anyone knows of some secret trick to getting specialist appointments sooner and in the evenings, please let me know.  I’m all ears!

Anchored,

Mommy Sick Day

I am certain that most of you did not notice that I didn’t post yesterday.  In fact, I think my grandparents, who are probably my most loyal readers, are the only ones that did. Anyway, I did not post yesterday because I had to force myself to take it easy.  I have been sick since the end of last week.  I went to the doctor on Monday and was diagnosed with a sinus infection and got an antibiotic.  I didn’t sleep well at all Monday night.  My husband even said I was moaning loudly all night long in his ear. Well, when I woke up on Tuesday morning, I was feeling even worse.  By Tuesday night I was running a fever.  Even though I felt a little better when I got up yesterday, I decided that I was going to try to give myself the much needed rest my body apparently needed.  I was going to take a sick day, but a sick day for a mom doesn’t really exist, does it? There is no such thing as a mommy sick day. I may not have written a post and may have taken one small nap; but I still had things that I had to do like get the kids up and ready for school, pack lunches, drive them around all day, and meet with an agent to turn over the keys to our rental.  Today I am feeling about the same as I did yesterday, a little better but not great.  I have had no voice for days, I am coughing like I have been a smoker my whole life (never ever smoked anything), and my head may burst open every single time I cough from the pressure.  I really hope that I am on the mend, though, because I am so over it.  I am starting to think that I will never get my voice back! 

My youngest gave me a lecture yesterday about taking care of myself.  She told me that the reason I wasn’t getting better was because I wasn’t staying in bed all day.  Of course she is right, but how in the world can I possibly spend a whole day in bed? There is too much to do: getting them to and from school, getting them to and from practices, getting them to doctor appointments, fixing lunches, figuring out dinner, writing my blog, running my other 2 businesses, making shirts for my side gig, meet with agents and cleaners to finalize things with the rental house, attend school performances, take the dog to the vet, do the laundry, do the dishes, get groceries (because my kids think we have no food in the house), continue to unpack boxes, and the list goes on and on! How can any mother really stop and spend an entire day in bed when she is sick? It is not possible.  It’s just not.  That is why so many of us get sick and get sick hard.  We don’t take care of ourselves like we should.  My kids see their doctors at least every 3 months for med checks and once a year for a checkup. My youngest sees specialists multiple times a year. As soon as one of them gets sick, I start calling the doctor.  If I asked most of the moms out there when the last time they went to the doctor was, they most likely couldn’t answer me.  We take care of everyone but ourselves.  Shouldn’t we have yearly checkups too? Shouldn’t we see our doctors on a regular basis? We shouldn’t stop seeing doctors regularly just because we hit adulthood.  Your body doesn’t stop growing and changing just because you hit the magic number of 18 years old.  Your body changes throughout your whole life.  Adults should still have yearly “well checks” just like kids do. The only time that we go see a doctor shouldn’t be when we are practically dying and are so sick that we can’t even crawl out of the bed, but so many of us do just that. I am guilty for sure.  I don’t take the time that I need to get well when I am sick.  I just keep pushing. 

I wish I knew the secret to finding the balance of taking care of myself and being a mom, wife, and entrepreneur.  I wish that I could just stay in bed all day when I am sick, but I just don’t know how that is possible to accomplish.  It is never going to change.  I know this. I will continue to run my body into the ground.  It’s what moms do.  It is a part of who we are.  I wish there was a way to change it, but I sure don’t know how. Sure, things like the dishes and laundry can wait, but, unfortunately, there are those things that can’t. It is just a part of the life of a mom.  It is sad but true.  To all you sick mommas out there chugging along the best you can, I feel you! I know that you can’t take a mommy sick day, but try to do only what is absolutely necessary.  Give your body a chance to heal as much as you can.  It is a lesson that I still need to learn because right now I am getting a big fat “F” in taking care of myself!

Anchored,

Vacation Does NOT Equal Relaxation

My kids are on spring break this week.  They are not very thrilled with us because it turned into the week that we moved so we haven’t really done anything exciting according to them.  We have only been packing and unpacking the whole week.  We honestly did not intentionally plan the move during spring break.  It just sort of happened.  Many of their friends around here went away for the week, and the girls are getting jealous seeing everyone’s posts from all these cool places.  I don’t really know why they expected us to go somewhere.  We have never traveled anywhere for spring break except to our hometown in South Carolina for Easter.  I guess it has never really occurred to us to go anywhere this week before.  When I was a teacher, I longed to make it to spring break because it was a much needed break after the long winter months.  I used this week as a time to rest and recoup.  I know a lot of people think that going somewhere cool is a time to relax and chill, but vacations have never been a time of relaxation for me. Don’t get me wrong, I love to travel and go to cool places, but it just isn’t relaxing for me.  The planning that leads up to a trip, all of the packing, the scheduling of things to do while we are away, and trying to cram everything we can into that short trip are all things that are often stressful for me. I guess part of it is because I don’t do down time well.  I feel like there is something that I should be doing all the time.  I rarely take the time to just enjoy the moment.  It is always about the next thing we are going to do when we are on vacation.  I am a planner by nature, so our family vacations are often fully planned out ahead of time. I like schedules.  My husband is the same way.  We both have a hard time relaxing and he likes schedules and plans too. You can imagine that two uptight schedulers are probably not going to be able to just chill.  It’s just not in us.  I can assure you that I wish that I was able to relax.  I wish I was able to take it all in and stop and smell the roses. I just can’t.  It is something that I am working on for sure, but I’m just not there.  

Speaking of vacations, we are heading to Disney World in a couple of weeks for a cheer competition. Disney is one of our all time favorite places to go as a family.  I have always loved Disney.  One of my very favorite vacation memories was when my husband and I went to Disney back when we were newly married.  We had so much fun.  I’m not sure I can count how many times we have been to Disney over the years.  No matter how many times we have gone, every time is better than the last.  We just love it so much.  While we won’t get to do a whole lot of park hopping while we are there this time because this trip is all about cheer, I am still very much looking forward to going back. Just being there is magical.  Even though we have pretty much done it all at Disney, I still don’t relax when we are there. There is just so much to do and see. It is always go, go, go!

We are currently still debating on what we want to do for our real vacation this summer. Originally we had planned to go to Europe, but with the move and all that we have going on, we decided to postpone that trip for a year.  Now we are debating about whether to do a cruise, go back to Disney, or do something totally different.  The girls and I have never been on a cruise before. I know! How is that possible? I think maybe it is because I am a little scared to go on a cruise.  Both my youngest and I get motion sickness, and I am so afraid of being nauseous for days and being totally miserable with no way to escape. We were initially leaning towards a cruise. The debate with that was whether or not to do a Disney cruise or a regular cruise. However, I think that maybe we aren’t going to do a cruise now.  We actually haven’t even had the chance to get the girls their passports, and we haven’t booked anything.  Who knows what we will end up doing? It is all up in the air at this point. Disney is familiar and easy since we’ve done it a million times, but I think it would be nice to do something new.  I have no idea what that is.  Whatever it may be, I am sure we will a great time.  It won’t be relaxing, but it will be fun!

Anchored,

A Little White Lie

I know that I told you all that I would be back to my regular posting schedule this week, but that was a lie.  I didn’t mean lie to you.  It just happened that I had too much to do. We spent all of last week finishing up painting, cleaning the mounds of dust from when they sanded the floors, and moving everything but the furniture. Then, we ended up having the movers come today to move all of the furniture.  I just didn’t have time to get a style post ready for today.  I will tell you that I am utterly exhausted and there is so much still left to do.  Tonight will be our first official night living in the new house.  After today, we will hopefully have everything that we own over there.  It may still be in boxes and a mess, but I will be so glad to lay my head down over there tonight.  The good news is that we finished all of the renovations and painting that we needed to do before we moved in.  As I have told you before, there are many more projects to do later down the road, but the main things have been finished. I may never paint again, though. I single handedly painted 3 bedrooms, and it was painful.  I had a little help painting the pantry and mudroom, thankfully.  I may never be able to fully use my hands again after all the painting and carrying heavy things.  I can’t even wear any of my rings because my hands are so swollen, and they ache badly.  I can barely make a fist because my fingers are so stiff.  I have said before that I think that I may have developed arthritis in my hands.  It is really bad, and I am not sure they will ever be the same again.  Getting older is not fun! 

I am currently sitting on the stairs as the guys are wrapping and moving all of the furniture. The house is starting to look empty, and I am reflecting on the past few weeks.  This move has been tough.  We have not had to move ourselves since we got married and moved for the very first time almost 19 years ago.  The Navy has always packed and moved us.  You would think that it wouldn’t be tough to move just a couple of miles away, but is sure has been.  Despite all of my purging ahead of time, we still have a lot of stuff.  You don’t really realize how much stuff you have until you have to carry it all yourself.  I still have a long way to go in simplifying our lives.  We really need to get rid of more.  I just have to buckle down and get it done.  It is going to take time, but it will be so worth it in the end.  

My girls are on spring break so I am looking forward to actually sleeping in tomorrow and waking up in our new house.  I won’t feel such a need of urgency now that everything will be there.  I can unpack and put things away as leisurely as I want.  Now, if you know me or have been reading a while, you know that that is probably another lie.  I won’t do it leisurely because I won’t be able to stand it. LOL! However, I won’t feel like I have to kill myself to get it all done, I hope! I have to slow down.  My body is telling me to. I have to start listening, or it is going to force me to when it lays me flat on my back. 

While I may not be back to my regular posting schedule, I am back to posting daily.  I hope to share the renovations with you on Wednesday. You will be amazed to see the kitchen.  It is like a totally different room.  It looks so good.  I also will be sharing with you the trials of trying to to paint an ombre’ wall.  Let’s just say that the end product is nothing like planed.  I look forward to getting back on track! I have missed writing.  Anyway, I will see you all back here tomorrow! 

Anchored,

My Kid is a Slob!

You guys, my life just really isn’t all that exciting right now.  Sorry! I eat, sleep (a little), paint, drive carpools, and write.  That’s pretty much how I fill my days.  I did actually take the time to paint my nails this morning.  However, I am probably going to regret that once I get paint all over my hands today. I will be taking a little time off from painting this evening for a little surprise for my oldest.  I can’t say what it is because she reads my blog sometimes, so I don’t want to spoil the surprise.  Let’s just say that she is going to be pretty excited when she finds out. I am pretty excited about it myself! 

Speaking of my oldest…she is the biggest slob! (Yes, I hope she reads this!) Her room is atrocious! There are clothes and random stuff everywhere. There are protein bar wrappers and muffin paper liners everywhere.  Her bed is always unmade.  In fact, the fitted sheet on the bed isn’t even around 2 of the mattress corners and hasn’t been for days.  I don’t know how she can sleep like that.  It would drive me insane.  Let’s not forget about the smell! I swear it is the way I would imagine a boy’s locker room smelling, like something died in there.  Between her sweaty leotards, stinky socks, and who knows what else, her room definitely has a funky smell. She has a teammate that comes over after school twice a week for me to run them to gym.  They go up in her room to change clothes every week.  I would be so embarrassed for my friends to see my room looking like that, but my child does not care!! I’m embarrassed and it’s not my room! I understand that teenagers are messy (I wasn’t), but I think this goes beyond a messy teenager.  It is just plain gross! The worst part is that she is never home long enough to really clean her room because of practice, and I refuse to do it.  We are just stuck in a cycle of it becoming more and more disgusting.  Is this normal? Like I said, I have always been an organizer by nature, and I don’t recall my room ever looking anything like hers at any age.  Maybe I didn’t always make up my bed, but it was at least somewhat neat looking.  I just don’t understand it.  She is like me in so many ways, but that isn’t one of them.  

The same goes for her appearance too.  She really doesn’t care what she looks like on a day-to-day basis.  She doesn’t care if her hair is a mess.  She hates makeup and only wears a tinted moisturizer.  She won’t wear eye makeup or lip gloss or anything else.  It makes me nuts.  She would rather wear a pair of leggings and a long t-shirt or oversized sweatshirt every single day.  She refuses to wear dresses or any kind of shoe other than tennis shoes.  I wish with all my might that she would start to care about her appearance.  Then I correct myself and remind myself that I guess it is good that she doesn’t buy into all the hype that most teenage girls buy into.  She doesn’t feel the need to fit in.  She doesn’t feel like she has to impress anyone. She could care less about designer labels. She just lives a carefree, easy life.  My need for perfection did not pass down to her; that’s for sure.  I guess that is a good thing…BUT…I still wish she cared just a little! 

I think I can get over her lack of care about her appearance (maybe), but the room situation has to be fixed.  Her dad and I both just can’t stand it.  I think we are going to have to just lay down the law when it comes to her room.  I always say that they aren’t allowed to have food in their rooms, yet there is always food in her room.   I guess I am going to have to start enforcing the rules. Maybe loosing her phone, the one thing she does care about, will make her keep her room a little cleaner. I don’t know. We have to do something.  Things are going to start growing in there and little creatures are going to start living in there too! UGH! I wish I could put the clenched teeth Emoji in here right now.  That is how I feel just thinking about her room.  Maybe when we move, she will start taking care of her room.  I doubt it, but I have to have hope, right? Maybe I will make her sit down and binge watch all the Tidying Up with Marie Kondo episodes. Ha!

Anchored and Rambling,

#khakipants Movement

Today I want to talk about something weighing heavily on my heart.  I learned yesterday of a little girl (10 years old) who passed away after being bullied and was in a fight in her classroom at her elementary school. Much of what happened is still unknown as an investigation is taking place and minors are involved. The bottom line is that someone beat this little girl so badly that it killed her. There are so many emotions and thoughts that have been running through my head since I saw the story. I am angry at the school, the teacher, and all the people involved.  Where was the teacher? How could this have gone on long enough to cause that much damage without an adult intervening? How does this happen in an elementary classroom? They are 5thgrades for goodness sake! I am broken-hearted for the family of that precious child. Most of all, though, I am terrified.  I am terrified because I keep hearing more and more stories of kids being bullied and more and more kids taking their own lives because of it.  I am terrified because this little girl was the same age and grade as my youngest daughter.  I see my daughter when I look at pictures of that precious life lost. 

My child has had several incidents this year of being bullied by a girl that is twice her height. The girl has taped things to the back of my daughter’s shirt. She has called her names and teased her.  I heard last week that this girl is doing the same to other kids too including possibly getting in-school suspension for hitting someone (I do not know that this is fact).  Hearing that and learning of the little girl that passed away, makes me terrified for my child.  My daughter is small and frail.  She would not be able to defend herself in a situation like that.  I also have a friend whose son has been bullied all year long in middle school.  It took my friend numerous phone calls, emails, and meetings for the school to do anything about the situation.  He was finally moved to new classes away from the bully. I don’t know if anything happened to the child that was doing the bullying or not, but my friend says her son is thriving away from the bully.  She is seeing an improvement in his confidence.  One of the things that my friend’s son was picked on about was for wearing khaki pants; for bing the nice kid. My friend has since decided to start the #khakipants movement. I am 100% in it with her on this. Let’s celebrate the nice kids.  Let’s shower them with praise and admiration. Let’s tell their stories of triumph. Maybe it will make those bullies think twice about their behavior. Here is what my friend had to say about her son’s situation:

“Middle school has been rough. <My son> has been bullied all year whether it be because of wearing khaki pants or being asked “to fight” in the bathroom at school multiple times. As a parent, I kept telling him to ignore, find different friends, rely on teachers, and report. After months of continued bullying and not being able to make any friends, which deflated his self-esteem, I intervened. During these times, something became very clear; being the nice kid is hard. And I HATE THAT. I despise using the word, hate. But I am so tired of the nice kids having to accommodate the bullies. I asked the school to change <my son’s> entire middle school schedule to allow him the opportunity to learn, grow emotionally, and be social without fear. We are 1 week into the new schedule and <my son> is HAPPIER than he has been all year! And those khaki pants were pulled from the bottom of the closet and worn again! So, I am here to motivate, to listen, & to help change. This is my #khakipants movement and if you want to join me, I would love to read or hear your story. I want stories of SUCCESS- no downers please. Stories of triumph, overcoming fears, amazing educators who helped and Thank You’s so we can celebrate our NICE KIDS. It’s all about the #khakipants.”

Something has to be done. As a former teacher in the public school system, I have seen bullying.  I have seen it more times than I care to count.  Every school system that I have worked in has an anti-bullying policy and has steps in place to try to prevent it, but it still happens.  The school system is never going to be able to fix the problem.  They just aren’t.  Now, I do hold the school responsible for the little girl passing away (at least until I know the whole story) because a fight that bad should never have gotten that far inside of a classroom. However, fixing bullying overall isn’t going to come from the schools.  Yes, schools should keep doing all they can and educate kids about bullying, encourage kids to report it, and offer a safe space to talk about it. They HAVE to take action when it is reported too.  Every situation should be taken seriously.  It shouldn’t take moms like my friend so much time and effort for the school to respond and do something about it. Those are all things that schools can do, but it won’t stop kids from bullying other kids.  The real fix has to come from home. It has to come from the parents.  Parents need to step up and do their job. If the school ever called me to say that my child had been bullying someone, you better believe the first thing I will say is, “Thank you for letting me know. I will take care of it.” You want to know what most parents would say these days, though? I have seen and heard it time and time again. They immediately give an excuse or try to put the blame on someone else including the victim.  THAT IS NOT OKAY! There is NO EXCUSE whatsoever for treating another human like that. PERIOD! When a kid hears their parent making excuses or trying to blame someone else, do you know what message that sends that kid? It tells him or her that it is totally okay to abuse someone else as long as you can think of an excuse or blame it on someone else. Parents that do that are just giving their kid the green light to keep on bullying.  THAT IS NOT OKAY!  It is not something to be proud of. Your kid is not entitled to pick on another kid just because she may “get on your nerves.” Your kid is not entitled to make fun of a kid because you think his khaki pants are funny. I’m sorry.  You have no right.  

Please talk to your kids. Ask them how they are feeling. Ask them if there is someone that is hurting them or making them feel less of a person. Many kids will never tell anyone that they are being bullied because they are ashamed or afraid. Encourage them to report it.  If nothing changes, call the school. Schedule a meeting. If you think your kid is the one doing the bullying, set an example. Put a stop to it immediately.  Make sure your child knows that behavior is unacceptable. Don’t make excuses.  Don’t put the blame on someone else.  Take ownership and make a change. Pray for the family of the little girl who was taken way to soon.  Pray for all the nice kids.  Pray for all the bullies.  Let’s end this before another life is lost.  Join my friend’s #khakipants movement and celebrate the nice kids and put and end to bullying. 

Anchored,

D.O.N.E.

What a week this has been. I either want a do-over or for it to just simply be over.  The whole mess with Facebook and Instagram has about sent me over the edge.  It is so unbelievably FRUSTRATING because I am totally helpless in the matter.  There is NOTHING I can do to fix it, to get back all the contact that they deleted, or rectify the situation because I can only talk to robots, who just give automated and generic answers.  I’m not going to write a whole post on this again, but just know that I am still angry and very FRUSTRATED.  

To add to the disaster that is this week, my oldest has some ear issues.  For some reason her left ear doesn’t work properly.  She always feels like that ear is plugged and can’t hear as well out of that ear.  He ear doesn’t drain properly and it gets a HUGE buildup of wax and has to literally be flushed out by the doctor pretty much every 3 months.  It’s really gross to see what comes out of her ear every time they do it.  In addition to the wax build up, she somehow gets swimmer’s ear constantly even though she hasn’t been swimming in months.  I know this is gross, but I can actually see the crazy amount of puss that is in her ear right now.  It’s disgusting.  (I actually have a picture of it but she has forbidden me to share it. LOL) Her doctor has finally decided that none of this is normal and that she should see an ENT. I tried calling them yesterday to make an appointment because her doctor wants them to see her ear while it is infected, but I kept getting put on hold forever only to have to leave a message. No one ever called me back. Again, I am FRUSTRATED. 

We are in the process of painting the kitchen cabinets in our new house because I hated the wood color that they were originally, and it really wasn’t going to look good with the new, darker floor. Anyway, my husband sent me to the store on Tuesday to get a gallon of the paint in the color/finish I wanted because he was almost done with priming. I get there and the lady doesn’t really seem to know what she is doing and tells me that she can’t find the paint. Okay, whatever, I’ll come back. I went back yesterday and there was a guy there.  He actually seemed to know what he was doing and tells me, “No problem.” A few minutes later he comes back and tells me that don’t have the paint.  Are you kidding me? He says they only have it in these really small cans.  FRUSTRATION is setting in yet again.  Now I have to choose a different finish.  All I wanted was white, satin-finish paint, the most basic of all!  Now I have to settle for white semi-gloss paint.  It’s fine!  I can live with it, but it’s not what I really wanted.  We are really trying to get it all done before the floor guys come in on Monday to start refinishing the hardwood.  There really isn’t time to go somewhere else to find the paint I want.  We don’t want to take any chances in spilling oil-based paint on the new floors, so it needs to be done now.  

Today I am supposed to be at the new house again while some different floor people come to measure the room in the basement that will be my office.  Of course they give us a timeframe of 8:00-5:00.  How FRUSTRATING is that? Why do service people do that? They know their schedule, they can certainly give us a shorter window than 9 hours! No one has time to sit and wait for that long.  I certainly don’t. Well, it is 8:10 and I am not there.  It is POURING outside!  My daughter usually walks to school, but my mama heart will not let me leave and force her to walk in the rain.  She doesn’t have to be at school until 9:00, so I am just praying that they don’t show up at the house before I can get there or that they will at least call me when they are on the way.  

There have been a lot of other little things (changes to an order, a party not going as well as planned, practice going over by 20 minutes when I have other stuff to do and it’s already late, a missing order, a friend sharing some tough news, etc.) that have FRUSTRATED me this week as well, but I want go into all of those details for your sake.  The actual definition of the word frustration is “the feeling of being upset or annoyed, especially because of the inability to change or achieve something.” I think that is exactly what has me feeling down…the inability to change any of it. I’m a fixer.  I like to fix things and get them done, but I can’t seem to fix anything this week.  I hate uncertainty. I hate the unknown. I know it all may seem small to you, but added all together, it has me wanting to just erase this week and for it to be over. I don’t think the dreary, rainy day is helping either. I apologize for another downer post. It has just been one of those weeks.  I told you all I was always going to be honest and this is reality for me this week. It sucks! Sometimes these kinds of weeks just happen.  It happens to us all.  If it doesn’t, you aren’t human! I said on Tuesday that I was trying to smile through it.  Well, I will admit that I was trying (I AM trying), but I am not succeeding.  I’m just done.  D.O.N.E.  There is no other word for it. Let me just go to bed, wake up in the morning, and everything be back to normal.  Please? Is that too much to ask?

Anchored, Frustrated, and DONE,

Sense of Smell

Today’s post is going to be totally random! LOL! Sorry! I want to talk about the sense of smell. Some people who are visually impaired would say that they have a heightened sense of hearing because they are forced to zoom in on that.  Children with autism sometimes have heightened senses that cause sensory overload. You hear about things like this all of the time.  I on the other hand seem to have a heightened sense of smell, but I have no reason to or anything to force me to zoom in on that sense.  I think this has been the case for most of my life.  I guess you could also call it a sensitive nose, meaning a lot of smells bother me. I smell things that other people don’t smell. It’s weird.  I will tell my husband for days that something smells in the refrigerator, but that I can’t figure out what it is.   I make him smell it repeatedly, and he always says that he never smells anything. Sometimes, I will be cooking some ground turkey or something like that and it will smell weird to me.  I immediately will stop cooking it and throw it out because I think it is bad even when my family will tell me that it smells like it normally does.  I think that my husband thinks I am nuts sometimes because I am constantly asking him to smell things or asking him if he smells something.  Smells also trigger my migraines.  For years, I was not able to wear any kind of perfume because the smell would give me a migraine.  I finally found one that I can tolerate.  If I am in the car with anyone that has on perfume that is strong smelling, I get carsick. I was even late to the essential oil game because I was too afraid that the smells would bother me.  Now I use them all the time, but I have learned which oils that I have to avoid and which ones I can use in only small doses.  It’s really weird. 

Check out my new blue-light blocking glasses from Amazon!

I started thinking about all of this yesterday because I was having a particularly sensitive smell day. I ordered some blue-light blocking glasses (Amazon) because I am on my computer all day long, and I think it is contributing to my migraines.  Yes, everything gives me a migraine! Anyway, they arrived yesterday, and I put them on. I couldn’t even wear them for a full minute because they had this ridiculously bad smell to them.  I decided to let them air out for a while hoping that the smell would go away, but after a couple of hours, it was still there.  As soon as my husband got home, he put them on and said he didn’t smell anything! I don’t know how because it was so strong to me.  Maybe he has the opposite of me and has a damaged sense of smell! I eventually tried cleaning them with soap and water and that seemed to get rid of the smell! Thankfully, I am able to wear them today. 

Hat (Amazon), Scarf (similar Amazon), Jacket (Amazon)

The second smell issue yesterday happened at my daughter’s school.  In the afternoons, parents have to park at a lot across the street from the school and then stand outside at one of the doors to the building and wait for them to be released. Yesterday, when I picked her up, there was a wind chill of 20 degrees so it was really cold standing out there. That didn’t bother me nearly as much as the horrible smell.  It was clear to me that a skunk had been around the school somewhere and had sprayed because there was a very strong skunk smell.  It was so strong that it was making my eyes water (trust me, it was from the skunk smell and not the cold)! No one around me seemed to be bothered by it, though.  No one even commented on it anywhere around me.  Maybe I am nuts.  Maybe there wasn’t a skunk.  I sure smelled one, though! I kept burying my nose in my scarf so that I couldn’t smell it. 

Then the third incident occurred that evening when my husband and I were headed out for our weekly Wednesday date night.  We were in his car on the way to a restaurant.  He likes to blast the heat as soon as we get in the car.  He turns the temperature to like 80 so it starts blasting in your face.  It drives me nuts, but he has always done this.  Anyway, the heat was blasting, and I started feeling like I was suffocating. The air was so thick and hot, but it also had this weird burning plastic smell to me.  It was like the heat and smell were taking my breath away. Of course he couldn’t smell anything so I again looked crazy.  

Things like this happen to me all the time.  I don’ t understand it. Why is my sense of smell so strong? Is it all in my head like my husband thinks? Maybe?  I don’t know. I just know that I smell things that don’t smell good to me and they trigger a migraine.  I don’t know if there is some correlation to smell and migraines or what. By the end of the day yesterday, my head was definitely hurting. Does anyone else have a sense that is exaggerated? Tell me I am not crazy and other people feel this way too. 

Ok, before I hit publish on this post, I looked up “heightened sense of smell.” You guys!!!! There is something called hyperosmia that is defined as a “heightened and hypersensitive sense of smell.” According to healthline.com, “People with hyperosmia can experience strong discomfort and even illness from certain smells.” It goes on to say that it is sometimes caused by migraines.  OMG! I just self-diagnosed myself with something else! Don’t you love Dr. Google? Haha! Maybe I’m not crazy! Or maybe I am!

Anchored and Rambling,