If there was ever a time I needed to be clone, my kids’ Open House Night was definitely one of them!  But some how I made it to all 3 classes and only missed most of Gracie’s teacher’s talk.  But in my defense, my other 2 children had her and so I know what is expected and that Gracie is fortunate to have her.  I really just wanted to get there to get a hug and catch up!  But it was pretty funny when I came in REALLY late and the looks I got.

So what did I get out of my evening out?  Besides peace from over-tired children, I finally felt a connection to this school year.  You spend your time the first few days of school filling out all this paperwork for EACH child and get a very one-sided view of the year from your child.  As much as I dread listening to the beginning parts of the evening because, as our principal refers to parents who have been with the school for a while, I am a “veteran parent”, I look forward to getting to see where my child spends most of the day now.  Let’s face it during the school year your child’s teacher is the one person who spends the most time with them.  Why wouldn’t you want that connection made?

Now I am left to read more information about the upcoming school year and try to wrap my brain around all the new terminology and all that my children will (hopefully) learn in 180 days.  I have to be honest, I’m not sure how I made it out of kindergarten!

Now that my connection is made, I feel very ready to tackle this school year.  And I think I may need a tutor to survive 3 grade levels of work!


Finding the Positives


The first day of school is always a time of mixed emotions.  And I think it is safe to say not just for the kids but for the parents as well. I am trying to find all the positives of this upcoming school year.

~All three will be at one school.

~This will be the only time my girls will be in the same school and Ella’s class will most likely be Gracie’s “buddy class”.

~(**knock on wood**) I see a light shining in Ella’s eyes that has been dim for so many years.

~Bedtime will no longer be a battle.

~Hunter has won the “Most Responsible” Award for being prepared for the start of school.

This list may be short but for our family it is made up of a lot of huge things.  I pray every night that my children will find the good in each day.  I want them to see how there is good somewhere in everything they do.

Here is to finding good in something each day xoxo

Another First Day of School


Another first day of school is in the books and we survived!  It was definitely a day filled with a lot of emotions and some surprise reactions to the day.

I was quite proud of myself for making sure I had myself organized to start the day.  I started my “Back to School Plan” (I will share in an upcoming blog) and I even had dinner started before 8:00 am!  Woohoo for me!  I think that shocked the hell out of my kids!  But no amount of planning could prepare me for how each of my VERY different children would handle their own emotions of the day.

Ella completely shocked me.  She didn’t need reminders to get moving and she didn’t even pull out her iPad!  I was anticipating a full on anxiety attack.  Her behavior the night before all pointed toward one.  She is on the Safety Patrol Team and she started first thing this week which meant leaving the house early, dropping her off, and getting back for the other two to take the bus.  Yes I wanted Hunter and especially Gracie to ride the bus to school because it was Gracie’s first time and have you ever been to morning drop off at a school????  Ella is very reserved and it is hard to get her to show any emotion yet alone verbalize anything.  She asked me to walk her to the door and as we were walking, she grabbed my hand!  I thought here we go.  She is going to lose it.  I was completely wrong! I asked her if she was nervous and she was calm and said a little.  I gave her a hug and kiss and whispered “I love you” and to my pleasant surprise, she looked at me and smiled and said “I love you too”.  I walked back to the van (thankfully with sunglasses on) and tears of pure joy filled my eyes.  For today, she was OK and that is HUGE for us.  For today, she had a light in her eyes that made her look even more beautiful.  For today, in her world, all was good.


Hunter who is my calm, cool, and collective boy was struggling to hide his fear.  He had been dreading the start of school.  He knew none of his buddies were with him and knew he really didn’t know anyone in his class very well.  But he put on a brave face and was the first to be ready and the first to be out of the van to head to the bus stop.  But as the neighborhood kids slowly came, I watched my fun-loving boy turn into the school boy who lost all his confidence toward the end of last year.  My heart ached.  I knew he didn’t want to go.  I knew he was being the boy who puts everyone else first.  He made sure to include Gracie in the bus stop fun.  He survived the day.  But he was miserable.  Bed couldn’t come fast enough for him.  He doesn’t want to go back.  He cried at bedtime and when I asked him why, he just looked at me and said he didn’t know.  For him, he is afraid. For him, he wants summer all year.  So for him, I will continue to help him find the good in each day.


And finally my sweet and sassy girl, Miss Gracie shocked the hell out of me!  She was ready and she was very impatient waiting for the morning to get to the point when the bus was going to take her to the “big kids’ school”.  She practically kicked Ella out of the van when we dropped her off.  Just like Hunter, she was ready to get out at the bus stop and hang out with the kids.  But as more kids came, the quieter she became and stood by me- no latched onto me.  The bus pulled up across the street and her face changed.  I took her hand and said how she gets to go on the bus first since she is in kindergarten.  So I put her in line and as I back away our eyes meet and her little brown eyes were filled with tears!!!!!  What?!?? Tears?!??  Are you kidding me?!?? Ella and Hunter couldn’t get on that bus fast enough when they started kindergarten. Gracie was my free spirit and I want to be like the big kids child.  And here we are as the bus pulls up and I am trying to keep myself together for her. She is like me…she took a deep breath and managed an adorable smile and got on that bus!  She sat down and I tapped on the window and she couldn’t look at me.  I watched her keep looking up and then down….she didn’t want tears to fall down her face.  The bus drove off and I just had to get in the van…tears just started flowing.  But she is ready for another day.  She told me as we laid on the couch to cuddle this afternoon that she kept saying to herself “Don’t cry” over and over again. Just melts my heart.


Who knows what this school year will hold for all of us.  There will be some struggles and triumphs.  But I am determined to help them get through them all because they are the ones who will help me get through them.

Shark Week Obsession

It is SHARK WEEK on the Discovery Channel and my children have become obsessed!  They have been glued to the TV and actually getting along!  Who knew all it would take was a shark?


I have heard more about this 38 ft great white that is named Submarine and how it terrorized people who fell out of a boat and were trying to be rescued.  My kids could sit for hours and talk about this shark.  the only one who seems to see how frightening this is, besides myself, is Gracie.  I think we are the only sane ones in the house right now.

They have talked about Zombie Sharks.  I later found out it is when scientists hypnotize sharks.  They can name the “mean” sharks and where sharks migrate too.

I am surprised there hasn’t been any nightmares.  I am surprised that they still want to swim in the ocean.  I am surprised at how quiet they can be during certain shows.

This obsession is working to my advantage…I am slowly checking off things on that HUGE To Do List without interruption.  But this obsession is not helping my fear of dark water and the thought of when a wave crashes there could be a shark in it.  YES this is what I think about when I am in the ocean!  Unless I am swimming in crystal blue water.

Oh Stress…..


What’s your favorite thing to do when you are stressed?

I used to exercise when I was stressed but that was before kids and before life happened.  Now my favorite thing to do when I am stressed is to just lay down and be surrounded by complete silence.  I like to just lay there with my eyes closed and breathe.

Well this has not been able to happen for some time.  But like everything in life, stress comes and goes.  Right now I feel it has taken over.  My eye is twitching non-stop!  I never had that before until after my husband passed away.  I find it very funny because every time he would be stressed about something, his eye always twitched.  So maybe he has a part of this twitching to annoy me!  Typically when I am under stress or feeling stressed out, I tend to be very testy- OK very grumpy!  So I have a twitching eye and I am extremely irritable right now.  I am starting to feel overwhelmed about getting everything done 2 days ago.

I look at my To Do List and I am immediately overwhelmed.  I have to say I accomplish a lot more when I am feeling this way but to get it accomplished is not fun at all.

I think we all tend to put certain expectations on ourselves and when it isn’t the way we want things, we tend to stress over it.  So I made a pledge to myself this afternoon to just do 3 things each day.  I need to just focus on little chunks as opposed to the HUGE picture.

Yes I made a HUGE To Do List but I started to break it apart.  And I actually accomplished a few things.  Every little thing counts toward the bigger goal.  Or so I am telling myself this.

Do you have anything you do to help when you are overwhelmed with everything that needs to get accomplished?



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Oh boy it’s the time of the year that you receive the infamous letter from school.  You know THE LETTER that states your child’s teacher for the upcoming school year.

You always know who gets their mail first because somewhere on social media it is announced.  Sometimes it is straight forward and other times its is vague.  But no matter how it is mentioned, the news gets out and you better get ready for your newsfeed and your phone blowing up with notifications!

My phone wasn’t just blowing up but Ella was getting texts and emails on her iPad too!  It was a bit odd to have her come up to me and say “Did you hear….”  Ummmmm no and how did you?  A whole new ball game with a pre-tween!  I refuse to call her a tween yet or is she?  What age does that start?

So now with THE LETTER in our hands, reality sets in, and it is time to get ready for what is to come.  I said to them tonight at dinner~

Buckle Up Buttercups!  Your days of summer are coming to a screeching halt!

I am such a nice mom 😉



Another “Last of Firsts”

There is something about when your child or any child loses their front teeth that changes them.  Their entire look changes.  They go from having a “baby face” to having a “big kid” face once they come in.  Well I am heading there with my baby!


Honestly I am a very laid back mom.  I go with and I accept things for what they are.  But this is really hitting me-HARD!  I actually cried tears of sadness when Gracie came up to me and told me her front tooth was loose!  She looked at me with a face of “seriously mommy what is wrong with you?” look!  It has plenty of time before it will fall out plus what is the big deal?

The big deal for me….

She has been my reason for being a functioning parent.  She was 15 months old when my husband died.  I had to get up and take care of her.  But since his death, she really has been taking care of me.  If I didn’t have her home with me these past 4 1/2 years, my depression would have taken over a lot more than it has.  Every day I had to~

Change her diaper

Potty train her

Help her get dressed

Feed her

Teach her to walk

Teach her to talk

Give her a bath

Brush her hair

Play with her

Hold her hand

Keep her world “perfect”

You know all the things we do as parents, I had to do with her alone.  My older children were at the age where they already knew these foundations, these basic skills.  But Gracie didn’t.

So now my baby is 5 1/2 and heading to kindergarten.  Life isn’t changing too much with our schedule.  She will still be home with me in the afternoons.  The only difference is she will go to school every day and ride a school bus.  Oh….ride a school bus!  OK that is a BIG deal!  But for the most part, it will still be her and I.  I still need to take care of her and she needs to take care of me.  A year from now, this loose tooth will be a memory and I will look back and think how silly I was to cry.  A year from now my security blanket, my crutch, my protector, my companion, my baby will leave me for an entire day of school.  And I will have to face so many things I have put off facing because of her.

I am going to savor this year with her.  A lot of “lasts of firsts” will be happening.  I know she will be there for me and I will be there for her.  She may not know and may never know what she does for me – for this family – on a daily basis.  Her brother and sister have no idea what they do for me and this family on a daily basis.  But this momma needs her babies more than they will ever know and even more than she may know.


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The theme for this school year….ONE

ONE school

ONE principal

ONE Open House

ONE school calendar

ONE lunch menu

ONE pick up/drop off

ONE holiday concert

ONE school phone number to have memorized/saved in my phone

ONE source of school fundraising

ONE source of school commitments

ONE set of procedures (which I already know-yay!)

ONE place for parent-teacher conferences

ONE school schedule to follow

ONE school closing/delay announcement

ONE set of paperwork (sort of)


And it will only be for ONE year until it becomes two again.