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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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Life Lately {9.19.17}

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If you follow me on Instagram then you saw that Tyler has another concussion. He took a helmet to helmet hit in the game on Sept 8. He started feeling bad Sunday and saw his sports med doctor on Tuesday. He’s not happy. He is out of football for at least another week then he can start the impact return to play protocol so he’ll probably miss 2 games. He is very unhappy about it but his brain matters more. So far this week he’s made it to school for full days and then come home to sleep. Tomorrow he goes back to watch practice but he can’t participate. 

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I got some good pictures of him in that game from another parent who was down on the sidelines take photos. 

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While Tyler was recovering and taking it easy I got to spend some one on one time with the little kids. I like to take them one at a time when I run errands just to hang out with them. Mason went with me to Aldi and to pick up the Walmart order. He’s such a funny kid. He was looking out the skylight finding shapes in the clouds and all of a sudden he yelled out “I found Jesus.” Talk about swerving on the road. Ha!

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Then I took Zoey with me to Lowes to buy some caulk for the hot tub tube that’s leaking. She found a new friend. And named him Bones. Then we swung past Sam’s Club and I fed her dinner by walking past every single sample stand in the whole store…twice. No shame in my game. 

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We rounded out Saturday night with the Clemson & Louisville game. Tyler actually was able to watch a whole quarter of the game before he needed a break. That’s the first thing he’s been able to watch on TV in a week so progress!

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Life Lately {9.11.17}

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So the first thing I noticed about this picture was the bump on his nose. Remember he broke his nose back in April during football drills? Well it healed with a slight bump. We could have gotten it set properly but he would have had to sit out this season in football and he said no. So we left it. And last week he took another shot to the face in practice from a freshman who was messing around. Said freshman will be keeping a 100ft radius from Tyler for the rest of the season. Ha! I don’t think his nose is broken again thankfully, just sore and a bit swollen. The second thing I noticed was the eyebrow. That’s what happens when a teenager tries to trim up his bushy eyebrows and yawns in the middle. Ha! Matt and I called him Vanilla Ice for days. These are the moments I live for as a mom. 

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This lil lady turned 7 years old last Thursday! She took cupcakes to her new class to celebrate and just had the best day. We ate her favorite dinner (biscuits and gravy) and enjoyed rainbow vanilla creme cake for dessert. She’s such a fun kid. She’s spunky and sassy. She loves art and music and funny animal videos on YouTube. She’s the perfect youngest kid for our family. 

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Friday morning. I posted this on Instagram with the caption: “Every morning feels like we’re the pit crew in a NASCAR race. Drag kids out of bed, make breakfast, help them get dressed, brush hair, find missing shoes, assemble lunches, check book bags, load them in the car to leave by 6:15am. After they’ve left Matt and I collapse on the couch in shock that we pulled it off another day.” These early mornings are killing my soul, y’all. My alarm goes off at 5:30 and it takes us the full 45 minutes going full speed to get all 4 kids ready and out the door. If one of us gets sick or runs away from home the remaining parent is going to have a really rough morning. Ha! 

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Friday Night’s Football game was awful. We played a team that we never should have been playing. They’re a private school who recruits players from all over to play for their team and gives them “scholarships” to cover the $25,000 yearly tuition. We are a lottery based charter school. We cannot compete with that kind of program. It was just ugly and our guys are really banged up. 4 starters out with injuries including 1 concussion and 3 players under observation for possible concussions (including Tyler). Tyler played a good game but it was a hard fought battle on both offense and defense.

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Saturday was a busy one. Zoey chose to have her bestie come sleepover instead of having a party. Maia also invited one of her new friends from school to sleepover. Tyler escaped and went to the movies with some of the football guys and then slept over at one of their houses to escape the giggling girls at our house. The girls watched movies, ate cupcakes, made ice cream sundaes, played balloon tennis….it was so LOUD in our house. ha!

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The little girls finally settled down around midnight but didn’t fall asleep until nearly 1am! And they were up by 7:30am. Matt and I were dragging butt. But I rallied and made some Pumpkin Spice Cinnamon Rolls for the crew. 

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Sunday was basically cleaning up, doing laundry, and watching football. We’re anticipating some serious rain and wind in our city today and tomorrow from Hurricane Irma so I did all my errands on Saturday to avoid having to do any in the rain. Tyler started feeling really bad last night with a headache and some nausea. He woke up this morning feeling a lot worse but he toughed it out and went to school. I called his trainer and she’s evaluating him for a concussion along with a few other guys. I’m hoping he’s just tired from a busy weekend but I have a bad feeling. We’ll see. 

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