Wednesday, August 19, 2015

The School Paperwork Tidal Wave

Momma's Log August 18, 2015 (Kwrp)

Back to school time is in full swing in our lil ole homestead. I have the house all to myself so I've been cleaning, organizing and being ever so productive. Bling! (this is to show the sparkly part of my gleaming smile) OK. so maybe there has been a nap or two involved, some extended lounging in the kiddie pool (hey, I have to, it's my job to make sure that bugs don't take up permanent residence in it), and staring off into space for inordinate amounts of time, drool sliding out of the corner of my mouth. The boys, on the other hand, have been seeing to it that they add to my already accumulating list of things to do (see previous post). In two weeks this is already the fruits of their young school life labor.

Holy Cow! Does this seem a little excessive to anyone else?  I mean didn't we all agree a few years ago that we needed to use less paper, save trees, things like that? I've heard that doing work on computers has become all the rage for most folks, but no sirree, not in school.  In elementary you hand write everything and allow your zealous-with-a-paper-and-pen six-year-old make drawing after drawing of the same. thing. Over and over again during their "free time" (what the heck is that? --giving a six-year-old free time is just plain scary). Needless to say the pile can get out of hand pretty fast so in years past I have found some handy dandy ways of dealing with the school paper onslaught that comes in every week.  No I don't have a ritual paper burning every week, but I tell you it gets more and more tempting each year.

My problem is that I am a memory hoarder.  "Hello everyone, my name is Jennifer and I save every tiny little item that has borne any semblance of a mark that my baby's have made."  Hey, you never know, they might become famous some day and this stuff could become $1000  items on eBay.  This is my retirement plan. For now.  Plus, I was damaged and left with childhood scars because, when I was young, my mom would tear through my shared room with my sister every few months with hurricane force and clean out anything that was not well concealed in a stealth-like hiding place.  I called them cleaning terrors and I have been known to have a few of those of my own in my day.  Super Rock Star is still searching for a favorite shirt of his that I'm pretty sure was snatched away in one of my fits of becoming a cleaner and more organized wife.  Sorry Babe.  Anyway, my mom accidentally tossed a box of birthday cards I had been saving for all of my 8 years at the time.  I was devastated, but thanks to time and a good amount of therapy, I'm mostly okay now. Sort of.  But now, like I said, I pretty much save every.tiny. little. thing. I'm sure there's therapy for that too.

My system is pretty simple and works if you save everything like me or if just a few choice things like I probably should. I buy a bunch of these folders when they go on sale for a penny during back-to-school supply sales.

Each month, I select one for each child and write their name, grade, the month and year.
All throughout the month each school day, when the papers come home, I look at them, select some good ones for the refrigerator and the rest go in the folder.  At the end of the month, I clean off the refrigerator and put those in the folders too--otherwise my entire refrigerator, oven, dishwasher and probably my entire house would be wallpapered with the art of my young Picasso's.  I have a file cabinet I keep hidden deep in the recesses of our home in a closet --out of sight out of sight, right?  I put the full files in there at the end of every month.  At the end of the school year, I move those files to a storage box like this one:

Someday I will have to spend an entire year going through and purging these.  Either that or I'll just have a big ole bonfire and light em up---therefore scaring my boys for life and therapy required and the mad cycle continues.  I admit, I need to purge and someday I will.


This is the box I keep all of both Morgan and Grayson's stuff from preschool in.  Crazy.  I know.  Certifiable.  I get it.





 But, just look at the darling necklace Grayson made for me and the adorable Valentine's Day box Morgan created:
So cute I can't stand it.  Baby steps for me.  Baby steps.  I'm down to folders now instead of whole boxes.  It's a process.

So, this is my mad method, my brilliant, solve the world's problems plan--how about you all?  I would love to hear how you handle the tidal wave of papers coming in.  Please share AND  for those who write a response you will be entered into a drawing to win a 16GB flash drive.












I'm pretty sure this would be the smarter and more space efficient way to handle the memories--you know take photos of the favorites and then store them on a data stick.  But, hey, like I said--it's a process.


Wednesday, August 12, 2015

First Day of School/First Day of my new life

Momma's Log August 4, 2015 (Kwrp)
Today begins a new chapter in my life.  For the past 8 years I have been up to my eyeballs in all things about my boys.  As of 8:00 this morning, I turned both of them over to District 49 here in Colorado Springs to care for, feed, entertain and teach until 3:00pm this afternoon.  Sniffle... Sniffle....Sob!  I'm fine..I'm fine. I'm just a little verklempt.  Talk amongst yourselves for a minute.  Here, I'll give you a topic.  Why don't birds fly upside down?  Discuss...

O.K. Whew!  I'm back now.  It's just that I have had at least one of those little/turned-big boys around me every day now for 8 1/2 years.  This whole full-time school thing is beyond strange.  My house feels eerily quiet, especially after having them both here every. single. day... loud, laughing, arguing, screeching my name solid for the past 2 1/2 months during our summer break.  My home feels like a foreign planet.  I have literally been walking through it for the first time observing things I had never noticed before.  For instance, when did the walls get so stinkin' dirty? Huh? I mean our home is only about 5-years old.  How is it possible that in that short time, my pristine perfectly new  walls look like they would be right at home in a crack house? So many of you have tried to convince me that I will enjoy my freedom, that it will be wonderful and that I can sing and dance and frolic around without any interruptions.  Uh huh.

I'm slowly beginning to realize that I will now be accountable more than ever for how I spend my time.   Everyone that knows me is watching....Why isn't she going back to work?, Is she going to just sit around her house and eat bon bons all day?  Must be nice to have nothing to do all day. Heh, heh... whoo boy!  It took me one micro-second to look at my home through fresh eyes, not overrun with the herd of boy humanity, and I realize exactly what I'm going to be doing.,...Dom dom DOM! House projects..GASP!  I know, I know.  But, I don't see any way around it.  I've gotten by fat, dumb and lucky for these past few years without my hubby, the Super Rock Star, not being too up in arms about the quickly deteriorating state of our home.  He was content that my time was best spent making sure Heckle and Jeckle didn't destroy it and seeing that they were being fed, watered, and exercised regularly.  I'm in a bit of a state of panic right now.  I really had been kind of looking forward to this Re-lax-ation. thing I've heard all the kids buzzing about.  But, now, I need to act quick or this is going to turn into a real bummer of gargantuan proportions.  I mean, not only is the general overall filth of our home coming to the surface, but I've heard some mumblings about repainting the exterior, the fence needs staining, the accumulation in our garage and several closets needs to be dealt with.  It's only a matter of time before his gaze settles on me as the logical one, between the two of us, who should accomplish these tasks. Folks, I don't mean to panic, but seriously, I'm starting to feel light headed... heart palpitations,  I might need to go lie down...in our kiddie pool.  Be back in a sec.

O.K. That helped....a lot!  Feeling pretty mellow...and sunburned.  The thing is that even though I'm feeling pretty weirded out by the overwhelming quiet in our home right now, I'm kind of looking forward to it too.  It's not often that one gets a chance to have uninterupted time-- especially us stay-at-home mom types.  Most of our time is spent listening to detailed accounts of every. single. thought that pops into our precious little cherub's head. And the endless stream of questions that no sane adult would ever ask: "How do giraffes wipe their hineys?", "Why do cars need gas and how come human toots can't be put into cars?" "When I become a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle, are you going to make me do chores?" I'm hoping to get to do some creative things like balance our checkbook for the first time in 8 years and grocery shop without the half hour visit to the toy aisle.  I'm thinking I may even enjoy a nap and actually go to sleep without worrying about my stealthy ninjas sneaking around the house.  So, even with the impending dread of house projects on the horizon (dom dom DOM!!!), I think that having some empty spaces in my life might be a little refreshing too.  Who knows, maybe while I'm tackling the mountain size accumulation of projects I might listen to some really cool inspirational podcasts that teach me how to be a better mom, wife, and human being or I can learn a foreign language that I can teach my family when they come home..... Nah!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Dear Lucy

Dear Lucy,

It's hard to believe you've already been gone a whole week. I miss your sweet face so much! I felt like everything happened so fast when we had to make the horrible decision to let you go--I still can't think about it without sobbing. But, what has bothered me is that I never got the chance to honor your life. You were a part of a quarter of my life and your absence has left a huge hole.

I will never forget the day I met you for the first time. Daddy gave you to me as a Christmas present, but I didn't get to meet you until January. What a perfect choice--your sweet, soft brown eyes, your velvety ears and that nose with the crooked markings. Grandma always teased you that the angel that painted your face didn't do a very good job :-) Who knew all the enjoyment you would bring us over the years.
It didn't take long for us to see your true colors. Within weeks you had eaten big holes in the walls of our laundry room (your room) in our brand new house. In the first year, I think we took you to the emergency room at least three times--cutting your toe, eating my eyeglasses, and polishing off a whole bowl of Halloween candy. You were meant to be a Glenn, no two ways about it!

One of the worst mishaps was when you broke your leash and ran off while we were inside a restaurant up in the mountains. It took us 13 days, miles of traveling, and hiking circles around the towns of Silvercliffe and Westcliffe before we found you. Amazingly, we seemed to be in worse shape than you when we finally got you back. What a celebration! I will always remember how the people of those tiny little towns supported us and did everything they could to help us find you.

My favorite thing we did together was going for runs. You LOVED it. I couldn't believe how far you could go. When I had the hair brained idea that I would train for a marathon, you went with me on every run--even that ridiculous 14 mile run I went on in the middle of the afternoon on a hot Summer day. What was I thinking? What a champ you were to finish it with me--we were both so thirsty when we got home.

Your favorite thing to do with Daddy was play hide and seek. I have never heard of a dog that did that. But, then again, you didn't know you were a dog. You would sit at the top of the stairs while Daddy would hide downstairs, then when he would whistle for you, you would tear down the stairs barking and yapping, searching everywhere until you found him. So much fun--by far your favorite game.
There were the rides in Daddy's jeep, the fishing and camping trips, and watching the Cowboys games. You never did figure out that Daddy was yelling at the TV, not you. You were our child long before we had children and we spoiled you rotten. But, when our children did come along, you adjusted beautifully, taking them on as your own and loving and protecting them. Morgan asks about you every day. It hurts to have to explain to him that you won't be coming home again, but I'm so glad that he got to know you.















Oh Lucy, it hurts so much to think about all of these memories, but it hurts even more not to. I will miss having your head in my lap in the mornings while I have my quiet time, I will miss tripping over you in the middle of the night, I will miss watching our boys tug and pull on you while you patiently allowed them to do whatever they wanted--you were so good with them. I have told everyone how you didn't trust me to do this "mommy" thing on my own. While they napped, I wouldn't see you, but as soon as they were up, there you were too. I appreciated the "help" most of the time.
I wish we would have had a little more time together. I knew your time was coming soon, I justed didn't know it would be this soon. I would have liked to been able to spoil you rotten for a day, apologize for the times that in my sleep deprivation, I was just impossible to be around, and let you know in my words and actions how much these last eleven years have meant to me. Lucy Lou, you were one of a kind and I will miss you so much. Good-bye sweet girl.

Lucy Lou Glenn

11/1999-08/2010

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Diet Experiment #3: Lean Cuisine

Let me just tell you right away that this was, by far, my most favorite and least favorite plan. It was my most favorite because it was FOOD! Blessed food, and a nice variety too. No shakes, no meal bars, just nice, pre-packaged meals. I was in heaven. "You can lose weight eating like this?", I thought to myself. WRONG!!!! That's why it was my least favorite. I gained 3 pounds over my two week trial. Yes, GAINED. I was so mad!!

It turns out that these delicious meals come with a price--sodium, and lots of it. I was so bloated and felt so gross after two weeks that I just wanted to drink water and eat salads and fruit just to flush out my system. It was not worth it to gain weight while still limiting my calories on diet food. Whereas their meals are good, it's still a small amount. If I'm going to gain weight I want it to be eating all the greasy hamburgers and french fries and chocolate I can consume.

If you're going to eat Lean Cuisine, limit it to one of their meals a day. There is easily a days worth of sodium in one of their meals, let alone two. I personally love their mini pizza's for lunch every now and then. I guess the lesson is that if it seems too good to be true, it usually is. Oh well. On to my last experiment...

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Diet Experiment #2: The Slim Fast Plan

I was feeling pretty good about my weight loss success, but then my family and I went on vacation and let's just say I "slipped" a little in my eating habits :). That's the way it always seems to be with me; one step forward, two steps back. But, in my defense, there was a GREAT hamburger joint in Breckenridge with the best onion rings I've ever tasted.


My second diet experiment was an oldie but a goodie: The Slim Fast Plan. Whereas everything with the Special K plan is cereal, cereal, cereal, Slim Fast is chocolate, chocolate, chocolate. I thought I would be in seventh heaven since I am a confessed chocoholic, but I'm telling you, I was SICK of chocolate by the end of two weeks. The shakes for breakfast were chocolate, the snacks were chocolate and carmal, the meal bar were, you guessed it, chocolate and peanut butter. I was consuming so many sweets on this plan, my teeth hurt. My poor lil guy, Grayson who is still nursing also didn't seem to fair so well on this plan. We were both pretty jittery from all of the sugar.

The good news was I lost another five pounds, but the bad news that it was just....too.....much....chocolate. I honestly didn't know those words could come out of my mouth. This is a also a really good plan to lose a few pounds quickly. I didn't feel nearly as hungry on this plan as I did with Special K, but I was still hungry a lot. Their meal bars brag that they will control hunger for up to four hours. Yeah, I never made if four hours--two was my maximum. I would love to meet the person who isn't hungry. My guess is they are some little pip squeak who doesn't need to be concerned about dieting anyway.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Diet Experiment #1--The Special K Challenge

A couple of months ago I wrote about how I was going to try a series of diet experiments in an attempt to lose my baby weight. My first experiment in this dieting madness was to try out the Kellogg's Special K challenge. You've seen the commercials--"Lose a jean size in two weeks". Sounds promising. In checking out their website, I found out that they offer a variety of cereal, meal bars, and snack bars as part of their plan. You choose two meals, two snacks and then eat a healthy dinner. You're also allowed to snack on fresh fruits and vegetable throughout the day.

One word describes how I felt for two weeks--HUNGRY!! I'm not kidding. I was constantly hungry. All I thought about is "when can I eat again?" I tried to keep my snacks and meals to every two hours, but I was counting the minutes in between. On one day, I was so hungry I ate a whole canelope in one sitting. I figured since the plan did allow for snacking on fruits and vegetables and it didn't say how much....

The good news is I lost 5lbs (and a jean size) during this two weeks. If you are trying to drop a few lbs quickly, I think this is a decent, short term diet. The down side is that you are eating cereal for almost every meal or some sort of cereal snack bar. They try and "church it up" by offering different types of fruit cereals and chocolate meal bars, but cereal is cereal. I was REALLY tired of cereal after two weeks.

All in all, they keep their promise to lose a jean size in two weeks and it was fairly easy to follow. Just be prepared to be very hungry. And try not to eat whole canelopes for a snack--I'm pretty sure that's not what they have in mind :).

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Diets

Most of you know that I had a new baby almost six months ago and in a previous post I mentioned that the baby weight doesn't come off very fast. So, I've decided to experiment with a few of the cheaper diet plans, just to see if any of them work and I can get some of these stubborn pounds off. I'm going to write a post on each one and give a critic of the plans. I've chosen three different diet plans and am going to give each one a two week trial. All three of them allow me to eat a regular dinner, which works very well into my life style. Also, I've started running again (very s-l-o-w-l-y) to get some exercise in--usually about 45 minutes a day. My goal is to get within 5 lbs of my pre-pregnancy weight by the end of October ( about two lbs per week). I'll let you know how it goes. Wish me luck!