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2017 Monthly Goals: November

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This is going to sound awful but I barely even registered that it was already November. I mean, seriously?! What is wrong with me? Oh yeah, kids. Kids are what is wrong with me. It’s been a long hard couple of months in our household. I’m counting down the days until our week long Thanksgiving break. It cannot come fast enough. 

October Goals:

1. Plan and enjoy Varsity Football Homecoming. DONE. It didn’t go quite as planned, but what does around here? Tyler was not cleared to attend Homecoming at all, he could not even be on the sidelines. So our family from out of town did not attend. We went because I’m team mom and had responsibilities to attend to. The kids all had their friends there and it was a good time. 

2. Choose new recipes to try. DONE. I tried 4 new recipes last month and all 4 were a huge hit. I’ve added them to our regular monthly rotation. You’ll be seeing them on the blog soon. 

3. Shop around for cheaper TV service. DONE. Kind of. I shopped around but didn’t find anything cheaper that’s reliable. Matt is adamant that we need all the sports channels and I agree. So for now we will keep our existing service and just pay the $20 difference. 

4. Organize recipes on app. DONE. It’s so much easier to find recipes now and I was able to weed through and delete recipes that we didn’t like or that I won’t make again. 

5. Plan Thanksgiving menu. DONE. It’s planned and I’ve already started buying some of the non-perishables. Boom. 

November Goals:

1. Shave $100 off of the monthly grocery budget. We are drowning right now. Between Maia’s $40 a week therapy appointments, Tyler’s $150 a week post concussion PT therapy appointments, and planning for the holidays, something has to give. And the only place we have to cut right now is the grocery budget. If I can shave $100 off it will help considerably. 

2. Plan and decorate for the holidays. I love the holidays. It’s truly my most favorite time of the year. I decorate for Thanksgiving and then we decorate for Christmas the weekend after Thanksgiving. 

3. Write and schedule blog posts for the month ahead of time. I’m sure you’ve noticed, blog posts have been….irregular around here lately. Having 3 therapy appointments every week plus Tyler sees his sports medicine doctor every week, on top of school stuff and football stuff…it’s been really hard to blog. I want to take some time and schedule an entire month of posts. 

4. Purge all closets. Mason has grown so tall and I know his clothes from last winter won’t fit. I need to go through and pull out outgrown clothes and make a list of what the kids need for this year. They’re good on school uniforms so it’s just evening and weekend clothes. 

5. Meet with the head of schools about Tyler. I hesitate to share too much right now but we’ve had an ongoing issue with one of the football coaches about Tyler’s concussion. The coach has made the last 9 weeks absolutely awful for all of us and now that the season is over I need to address these issues. 

 
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Life Lately {10.23.17}

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Well it’s been a minute since I did a true Life Lately post and a lot has happened around these parts. So I thought today would be a great day to catch up on what’s been going on. 

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This little lady is my sidekick lately. Whenever I need to run errands she’s right there wanting to go with me. I know she won’t want to hang out with me forever so I’m enjoying it while I can. 

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Tyler was recently cleared by his trainer to start hanging out with his friends a little bit more. He started with a soccer game because he is a fool. And of course, he came home with a headache. So the next time he was allowed out of the house he went to hang out at a friend’s lake house with a few friends. He said he was fine but I can see in the second picture that he was still having symptoms. He was supposed to spend the night but came home early instead and then slept for 18 hours straight. It’s been a frustratingly slow process for him. 

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Maliah had her very first braces tightening recently. It wasn’t as painful as she had been anticipating and she didn’t have any issues afterwards other than a little soreness. She’s been taking progress pictures every month. The top one was Day 1 and the bottom one was Day 60. I can already see the difference!

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I love getting pictures of my kids during their school day. This one was taken by another parent in Zoey’s class while they were at STEM a couple of weeks ago. 

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Speaking of school, Mason recently took a trip with the entire 4th grade to Raleigh. They spent the whole day there and he had the best time. The kids really love this school and their teachers. They’ve made great friends and they really have just fit right in. I’m so grateful. 

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Tyler was so upset to not be cleared to even be on the sidelines at the Homecoming game. He knew he wasn’t going to be cleared to play but he had high hopes that he’d be allowed to at least be there. But unfortunately he was not. It was a sad day in our house because we’d planned a big BBQ tailgate and our families were coming into town. But it wasn’t worth the risk of making Tyler’s symptoms worse just for one game. 

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I had to be at Homecoming as the Varsity football team mom so we decided to go ahead and take the kids even though Tyler couldn’t be there. Alot of their friends were going, even down to Zoey’s class, which is one of the benefits of a K-12 campus. I was overwhelmed by the amount of parents who asked how Tyler was doing and wanted to say they were praying for him. It was so nice to hear everyone has been pulling for him. 

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Because Tyler’s symptoms are still present and he’s not making a whole lot of progress, he was referred by his sports medicine doctor for post concussion physical therapy. He was also put on a medication called Amantadine. It’s supposed to help with focus and concentration issues.

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This girl has been struggling lately with some anxiety issues. She’s had a lot of change in the past few months and it all just kind of snowballed on her leading to anxiety and migraines. We started her on a low dose anxiety medication and weekly therapy. She had her first therapy appointment last week and I think it’s going to help her out a lot. 

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The little kids school had the annual Fun Run at the athletic field last week. It’s a fundraiser for the school and parents, family, and friends sponsor a child for each lap they run. Mason ran 34 laps and Zoey did 30 laps. They each were able to contribute $30 to the fundraiser. And they had a blast!

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Tyler had his first post concussion PT appointment last Friday. It did not go as well as he had hoped. He showed significant issues with vestibular movement, spatial disorientation, and vision. He couldn’t balance on one foot with eyes closed, balance standing heel to toe with eyes closed or balance at all on the foam mat. It was a little surprising because I wasn’t aware he was having balance issues. His eyes are showing a lot of saccadic movement (bouncing rapidly without focusing) while he’s trying to focus and concentrate plus he’s doing a lot of blinking and has considerable eye fatigue very quickly. He’ll be doing this PT twice a week for at least a month. Hopefully we’ll see some progress. 

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Tyler was invited to a Halloween costume party and his PT gave him permission to go as long as there was no strobe or black light and no loud music. He didn’t get permission to attend until the day before so he didn’t have a costume. Fortunately we have a huge bucket of old costumes in the attic so he was able to piece together something- not sure what he is supposed to be but he ended up in Matt’s doctor costume and Matt’s 70’s wig from his hippie costume. Ha! The little kids had a blast going through the costumes and wore them around the house all weekend.

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How am I old enough to have a daughter who goes to the mall with friends and texts me pictures of potential purchases? I mean, what??? It’s so bizarre to me. But she’s having a blast with friends and it’s great to see her getting out of the house and having fun instead of sitting in her room stressing out about homework. 

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I love my neighborhood. Ha! We were driving down the street yesterday and this is what we saw. Those are not kids. Those are 2 adults. They went around the entire neighborhood and even tried to play tennis. It was hysterical!

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10 Lessons Learned On The Neighborhood Website

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A couple of years ago my neighborhood started using an app called NextDoor to let neighbors communicate, post announcements, and the such. Now, at first glance this seems like a great idea. But a couple of years into this endeavor a few things have become clear- giving 1000 plus homeowners and residents an open forum to discuss whatever strikes their fancy is not a great idea. I try not to interact too much with these people. And below you’ll find 10 reasons why. 

1. Don’t poop where you eat. Puppies learn this lesson early. It’s taken the neighbors awhile to catch on. It’s easy to pick an argument online behind the relative safety of your keyboard. It becomes trickier when you have to see Harry getting his newspaper every morning after you called him a “big-headed ninny pants”. 

2. The neighborhood watch is a hot button issue. Not everyone likes being watched. 

3. Naming your wifi can start a war. On one street alone we have “Carl is a cable thief”, “Bob is a baby”, “Get your dog poop off my lawn”, and “that’s not dog poop”. These are grown people, y’all. 

4. Some peeps are scary crazy, not just eccentric. I’ve seen some For Sale posts that raised my eyebrows clear off my forehead. We won’t be trick or treating at that house. 

5. The old adage “Opinions are like buttholes” has never applied to anything more than the neighborhood forum.

6. There will always be that one neighbor who is never happy. Even when he gets his own way.

7. Quickest way to become a pariah in your own neighborhood is to let your dog poop on someone’s lawn and leave it there. See number 3. 

8. Everyone has a camera. Please wear pants while getting the newspaper in the morning.

9. Hiding excessive wine bottles in your neighbors recycling can will be noticed and you will find AA pamphlets in your mailbox.

10. There will always be that one person who can quote the bylaws by heart and loves to point out all the houses where the grass is 1/10 of an inch too tall. 

Best thing to do in my unsolicited, non professional advice? Turn off your lights, close your blinds, and hide in the back of your house where you can’t be seen. It’s safer that way. Then pop some popcorn and scroll through the posts on the forum shaking your head and marveling at the magnitude of crazy living right down the street from you. 

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2017 Monthly Goals: October

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It’s Fall, y’all. Too bad it still feels like summer here in the South. My chunky knit sweaters and tall boots are just sitting there on the shelf…mocking me. October is one of the busiest months in this house and I have lots of things I need to get done. 

September Goals:

1. List all outgrown uniforms for sale. DONE. I sold 99% of them in the first 2 hours that I had them listed. I still have a few things that need to be re-listed but I’ll wait until I have more and do it all at once. 

2. Plan and implement a new monthly meal plan. DONE. I did great on the first month of our new meal plan. We ate only off of the meal plan, did not get take out at all, and did not buy more than we needed. 

3. Cut the grocery budget. DONE. We went from a triple digit grocery bill in July to spending almost half the amount in September. I feel great about it!

4. Organize the pantry for lunch packing. DONE. And life is so much easier now. Lunch packing will never be one of my favorite things but I have it down to spending less than 10 minutes every evening packing all 4 lunches. That’s a win. 

5. Read 10 books. NOPE. But I did read 8 so that’s pretty good, right?!

October Goals:

1. Plan and enjoy Varsity Football Homecoming. It’s coming up quickly on 10/13. Tyler is still not cleared to practice or play and I don’t know if he will be by then. But I’m still the team mom so I have a job to do. We have family coming in town for homecoming and it requires a lot of work on my part. 

2. Choose new recipes to try. I did great on the monthly meal plan last month but I want to switch out some of the recipes. I have a whole board on Pinterest dedicated to recipes that I think I’ll make soon so I need to see which of those can be made on my budget. 

3. Shop around for cheaper TV service. We have had Google Fiber for a year and while I love the high speed internet I just got notice that our TV service is going up by $20 in December. The TV service has issues- the remote rarely works, it freezes, and I don’t know if it’s worth paying $20 more monthly. So I want to shop around a bit and look at some of the streaming services like Sling TV, Hulu Live, etc. My problem is that we are sports lovers and we cannot go without live sports. No. 

4. Organize recipes on app. I downloaded a great app for recipes and I’ve been importing them but I need to organize them into categories. 

5. Plan Thanksgiving menu. I can’t believe I’m thinking about Thanksgiving already but I am. I need to get a rough head count and start making the menu and grocery lists. We typically host 20-30 people so I have to start buying non-perishables in advance to avoid a big $500 grocery trip. 

 
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Life Lately {9.25.17}

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One of my favorite things about having my kids in charter school is getting pictures texted to me from friends who were up at the school. Three times last week I had pictures sent to me of both Mason and Zoey. Mason had STEM class and one of the class volunteers sent these out. Then another friend sent me this hilarious picture of Zoey during Garden Day. The girls were standing at the pen holding the pig and apparently the piggie was stinky. Ha!

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Maia has been having some problems lately adjusting to her new school. It’s really hard to switch schools in 7th grade without knowing a single person in middle school. Add that with being the only new girl in the entire 7th grade. Add the new braces. Add the increased educational demands of this school. And you get a 12 year old who is a hot mess. She’s been stressing herself out to the point that she’s getting migraine headaches several times a week. I took her to see our family physician who, after speaking with her for almost an hour, decided that she could benefit from a couple of different things. We started her on a low dose of an anti-anxiety medication, she now has an abortive migraine medication, and she will be starting therapy next week to help her learn to manage her stress and anxiety. Being a mom is hard. Especially when you know that anxiety runs rampant through your side of the family. 

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Last week Target had their 40% Halloween costume cartwheel sale so we made what was supposed to be a quick trip there after school. It turned into a “try on every large animal head” trip. Mason and Zoey really liked the unicorn and Zoey was very disappointed that it didn’t come home with us. Mason was the only one who needed a new costume this year and he chose the ninja one with nunchucks. It ended up being $15 total! Now that’s a Halloween costume I can support. Zoey is going to wear one of Maia’s old ones and Maia is probably going to a party this year. My babies are growing up and going to parties now. Insert sad face here. 

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Mason did his first school project at his new charter school. It was a timeline project where he had to include a image and description of an event from every year of his life. And I saw the difference between public and charter school immediately in the instructions. The instructions were sensitive to foster and adopted children- they wanted an event that happened during each year the child has been alive NOT necessarily an event from their own life! Talk about a small difference than means the world to kids who don’t want to be different! I love this school!

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A picture of the saddest boy in the world on Thursday night when he got the news from his coach and trainer that he was not cleared to travel with the team for the Friday night away game. So sad. Tragic. Sad panda. 

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But just because Tyler wasn’t allowed to go to the game didn’t mean I got to stay home. No rest for the team mom. So I was front and center for a game that we lost badly. The best part of the night was seeing the penis hats on the band. Seriously. Those plumes are fantastically phallic. Clearly I have the maturity level of a 12 year old boy. 

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Tyler had been free of concussion symptoms since Wednesday so he was allowed to go hang out with a few of his friends on Saturday afternoon after he did most of his make up assignments for school. This is the picture that was texted to me of him and his “friend, not girlfriend”. You just have to laugh. 

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