Monthly Archives: August 2014

Cheap easy and quick just the way I like it!


For quite a while I was content to have the kid order hot lunch. Then I volunteered for a few months to help pass out breakfasts. The lowest sugar amount was 21 grams. The highest was 51 grams. I was appalled. What the breakfast printout said would never lead me to think there was this much sugar. The fruit was in syrup and rarely fresh. The whole grain breakfast bar had 31 grams of sugar all by its self. There were some good choices. Things I would give my daughter at home. However the other choices were so sugary and processed that it was decided we would not do school breakfast or lunch.

Grocery lunchbox

pretzel crisps $2.50

Bananas $1.16

Sugar snap peas $3.65

Carrots $1.69

Peaches /apples $2.93

Raspberries $1.67

Hummus $4.99

Turkey $3.89

Flatout bread $3.19

 Rice Dream milk boxes $1.00

Yogurt sticks $3.50

I had the cheese sticks from last week and celery from last week left over. This grocery stack will last us  a week worth of lunches and afternoon snack.  Some of this stuff I only have to buy once a month , like the bag of baby carrots. The flat-bread is also a once a month expense. My total for this trip was $26.67. Divide this by five days of school-it cost me $5.33 for lunch and snack.

She has access to her lunch box for snack time as they have the earliest lunch at eleven fifteen.

Monday’s Lunch

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 Rice dream milk box, yogurt stick, cheese stick, banana raspberry peanut butter roll ups Carrots and snap peas.

Only half the roll up came home everything else was gone.

Tuesday’s lunch


Snap peas and carrots with ranch dressing, yogurt stick, cheese stick, Rice dream milk box, Peaches, Ham and cheese roll ups

This time only half the roll up came home but she didn’t tell me right away so the cheese was all melty by the time I found it. We discussed why this made me upset and how she can help next time. TELL ME CHILD JUST TELL ME!

Wednesday’s Lunch


Yogurt stick, cheese stick, Milk box, Carrots snap peas with hummus, Celery and peanut butter, apple slices and peanut butter.

One celery stick was all that was left.

Thursday’s Lunch


Ham and cheese roll up, yogurt stick, cheese stick, milk box, raspberries, peaches, apples, Carrots and snap peas with hummus.

Today she did not eat the sandwich but only a few raspberries and a peach slice was left. She also said she was not hungry at snack time so the cheese stick was left as well.

Friday’s Lunch


Ham and cheese roll up, Carrots snap peas and hummus. apples and peanut butter, milk box, yogurt stick and cheese stick.


This is the bread I get for the roll ups. It is a sneaky way to add more protein, and grains.

We still have enough left over that the only thing I had to buy today for lunches next week was fresh fruit. I can easily get at least three more lunches out of last weeks groceries for lunches. This will actually bring the total daily cost down to $3.33 for eight lunches and snacks.  Our school lunches are $2.10 per lunch and no snack.  This makes packing lunch for us the more affordable and nutritious option.

I survived!


Back-to-school started bright and early on Monday August 18th. I forgot how nasty it is to wake up to an alarm. It’s not like I had not heard the alarm going off. My husband still had an alarm. I, however, was able to go back to sleep. 

The first day went really well though. I made her lunch the night before. NOT because I was excited or anything. Okay that’s totally a  lie. It totally was because I was excited. It was also so I could sleep an extra five minutes in the morning!  My daughter was up and dressed and ready on time. She was excited to go.  We got out of the house on time. I even snuck a note in her lunch box. 

The second day-not so much. I come out of my room at seven fifteen. She is not dressed. She has not eaten. She is playing computer games. So we are right back into our routine. We some how manage to get to school on time still. Nothing says back-to-school like loosing your shit at seven thirty in the morning.

Recess is drastically different this year. They may get some recess time but it could also be a gross motor group activity that day. I believe in unstructured play being a  part of her school day. My aim is to get her to school between eight am and eight fifteen so that she gets some unstructured playtime before school starts.This is the before care time that parents are not charged for. The kids are normally out in the front yard of the school playing games. 

Tuesday night we have a discussion about what is expected of her when she wakes up. No, I don’t wake her up. She is predictably up every morning around five forty five maybe six am. Every once in a while she will sleep until seven. We wrote out her responsibilities and posted them on the refrigerator. 

Wednesday went much smoother. It was a good thing because I was skipping my morning coffee. I was meeting another parent for coffee after drop off.  It was a good thing everything went so smooth.

The mornings are my domain. The husband is off to work by six thirty am. The husband takes the nights most of the time. I get dinner done most of the time and it is up to him to get her in bed.  It works for us. Most of the time.

Thursday she was up extra early. She was ready at seven forty five. Which was extra good because we had to drop her off at eight am to get the husband to the orthopedic doctor for his thumb. Even still we dropped her off at almost ten after eight.  

Friday morning dawned bright and early, with the realization that I did not put her ice pack in the freezer-nor did I pack a lunch. Crap crap crap… I hate when I forget to pack her lunch the night before.I am not awake enough and it takes me twice as long. I also was not as thrilled with what got packed. It was still balanced, I just wasn’t as happy with it. OH and look she left her water bottle out in the car. Sigh. So needless to say we did not get to school today until twenty after eight. By friday my body is pleading for mercy most of the time. Thursday and Fridays are the hardest for me to get up and get moving. Fibromyalgia and Arthritis are really quite angry with me by then. Sometimes I set my alarm at seven and when it goes off I take my meds and lay in bed for another fifteen minutes. It helps sometimes. 

In the end though, we had a good first week of school. I almost wish she had some homework so we could slip into our afternoon routine as well. One routine at a time though. Homework will come. I did have her read and work out on her spelling words. 


Do you know?


Do you know who you have made an impact on? In the wake of Robin William’s death this has been on a lot of people’s mind. We know how much celebrities can impact people. Over the tv, in person on stage, over the radio they reach out. What about the people you pass every day? Doing every day things. The cashier at the grocery store. The cashier at the gas station. The kid on the corner waiting for the bus. 

How true that rings for me today.  Today the kids here went back to school. Despite having already gone to the grocery store , childless I might add, I still forgot stuff. After picking up the kid, off we went to the store. We got the forgotten item, Milk. A few other things that we decided we simply must have. coconut water, carrot sticks, bread, to name a few. We go to check out and it happens that the ten items or less was backed up. We hop over to one of the regular lines. I notice the cashier notice us, her face lit up, smiling ear to ear. She could not get to us fast enough. I had no idea why.  She gushed over the kid and they had this big person conversation. 

“How was the first day of school?”  

“pretty good. We got to do a crossword puzzle!”

“oh that sounds fun! How did you do?”

” I got a lot of them! I think I did pretty good on it.” 

The kid bopped off, happy as can be. The cashier gave me my change. and says 

“I just love talking with her! She lights up my day!” 

I was kind of perplexed by this at first. This was not a grocery store I ran to often with her. We step outside. AH! It dawns on me. My husband and her ride their bikes to the store. To that store, to be exact. 

” Do you like that cashier?” I ask?

“Yeah she is nice. She smiles at me.”

Just like that, She smiles at me. She is good people because she takes the time to smile at her. 

A week ago , I probably wouldn’t even have noticed or given this a second thought. 

How many other people has my family touched? Do we ever truly really know?

We are almost at the car.

Mommy can you take the bag with the milk.. Its hurting my muscles.

Okay. But how are you going to grow your muscles.

MOMMY! I haven’t eaten any celery today!

Burst out laughing.

MOMMY!!! I mean spinach.. Whatever that stuff is that makes your muscles better.

For back to school day, the kids are not the only ones learning. 



Since we got back from vacation, I have been struggling. I don’t want to get up in the morning. I have let myself fall out of my medication routine. Basically I have been doing the bare minimum. It has been driving me nuts. I did get my cleaning job done on Monday but unlike normal, It completely tapped all my energy. It’s been a week since we got back. I feel like I should be back with the program. I don’t have much time to get back in gear as school starts Monday. 

It’s just a reminder that Fibromyalgia and Arthritis are willing to be appeased for only so long. Even with all the planning I did, I should have still expected a flare this bad. One that would last as long as this one has been lasting. It did not help matters that I ran out of my heart medications and missed a dose. While my humor was still there, yup I still have SVT!. It was exhausting and so soon after the extra exertion during vacation.

Even knowing all this, It doesn’t take away the guilt. I feel I should still be doing so much more with my daughter. Savoring these last few days. Truth is, when I really think about it. She needs rest too. My guilt is not well founded so I need to let it go. 

So I am taking the time to remind myself that I need to rest. That if I really wrote out a list of everything I have done each day since we got back, it would astound me. It is not just the physical things I have done either. There is also social and emotional accomplishments being achieved daily.  I have realized this to an extent. I haven’t spent all day doing absolutely nothing. Being a mother is hard work too. I think sometimes we forget just how hard it is. It is rewarding, but it is hard too. It comes with physical , social and emotional demands. 

It all really hit me when I realized tonight is Open house at school and its at six pm. Anything after five pm is normally a big no. I know my limits have been reached by then. Its one of my worst time frames, five pm to bedtime. I realized If I had not stopped cleaning to check my email. I would have worked myself to my limit and would not have been able to go to Open House. I had thought it was tomorrow. 

Pacing and hydrating and being gentle with myself is the list for the rest of the day.


I am nine years old!


Today was my due date. August 11th 2005.  By that time though I had already been a new mom for eleven days. I knew early in the second trimester I was not going to make it to that date. By the beginning of the third trimester induction was scheduled for August 1st.

It still amazes me that even nine years later how I can pick her out. We went to Epcot and Fort Wilderness for her birthday. I momentarily would loose eye contact with her at the pool.  I marveled at my ability to ” nope thats not her,scan scan. there she is”  All I had seen was a foot kicking. I knew that foot. I knew every detail of that foot. Even from the lounge chair twenty feet from the pool, I knew that foot. She would come up and snuggle and my hand on the back of her head. I still felt that newborn head. Every ridge and bump and divet.. I knew that head.  If I closed my eyes holding that nine year old head I can still smell that baby smell.  Her skin while not quite as dewy soft still feels the same. It still has the same glow.

I used to hear others say these kinds of things and I thought ” how do they just know”? There really isn’t an answer to that other than, you just do.

I have written about her birth, I have done a year in review, so this year I wasn’t going to do any kind of blog post about her turning nine.

Then I walked out of my bedroom to see on the freezer the little white board we use to leave messages. I AM NINE YEARS OLD.

Yes. Yes you are. To her this is THE greatest thing ever! For the last year she has counted down to being nine. People would ask her how old she was. Eight and one fourth, Eight and half, Eight and three quarters. At one point her and Daddy even tried to figure it out when she was down to two weeks away.

 So it seemed wrong to not do some kind of reflection post…… then I went to the pictures. I seriously have easily three thousand pictures per year. She is nine years old. IT was not a small job. Even still I still don’t feel I took enough pictures. I still see gaps in my picture taking.  It was almost like I had realized I hadn’t taken pictures for a few weeks and suddenly there was a few hundred.  It is also all very unorganized. A task that I would like done but, not going to happen any time soon.

I tried to find pictures that really bring through her personality as it developed. I am rather pleased with it. Even if I can’t find pictures of her fifth birthday. They are around some where. Also I think I only printed out her first birthday pictures. It is also entirely possible they are on some other disk, or sd card I never uploaded. The elmo cake is her second birthday.


 I am still not ready for her to be nine.

Mom , be objective!


This year my daughter starts third grade. She is starting to turn into this wonderful little student who can actual explain what she is learning. She is also able to tell me all I ever wanted to know about a subject. She was fascinated with tape worms , she did her research. I was not so fascinated.

However, when her school room assignment came and her Best friend forever like a sister to her was also in her class we knew it had to be changed. It had absolutely nothing to do with the teachers assigned. It had everything to do with those two can not NOT talk to each other if they are in the same room. We gave it a go last year. They found ways around actually talking. They pantomimed… Because that is not the least bit distracting to others. They had their own sign language. While that was ingenious , work was not getting done. It was requested that my daughter be moved, which was approved. Easy peasy lemon squeezey.

The new selection was with a male teacher. My first thought was, no!  The what if’s invaded.

What if he comes off too gruff and she burst into tears?

What if he ……… insert fifty million irrational reasons. 

A friend of mine told me I was lucky. She wished her kids could get in a class with a male teacher.  Say what?

I had to step back and think , am I seeing this objectively or am I acting only on emotions?

When I really thought about it, I was acting solely on emotions. She is nine years old. An adult will say something stern to her she may not like. It may be a man. I can’t keep her emotional state in a bubble. Boy do I want to though!! Then I started thinking back, my favorite elementary school teacher was a male teacher. I had always admired the difference in interactions with the kids, I saw when teaching with another male teacher. I actually had a male teacher as my co-teacher several times.

Once I stepped back and really looked at the situation. I realized I was actually okay with this. In fact, perhaps he will be that MAGIC teacher for her. We all have one who has opened our eyes to something. There are so few male teachers we should be grateful when our children get the opportunity to have a male teacher.

 Was I really going to let a difference in gender be the deciding factor?  Turns out , that no I was not.  We have told her she can be whatever she wants to be. There are no boy jobs or girl jobs, there are just jobs. If I changed her room based solely on gender am I not sending her a mixed message.

This summer her math tutor pushed her and was a bit hard on her. She realized quickly that she was doing that to get the best work out of her. It has only helped her.

Now I can’t wait for what the new year holds!

Exciting news!!!


have some really exciting news. I have been bouncing off the walls. I found out yesterday and seriously had a hard time getting to sleep. 

This is something I have been working towards for over a year now.  Its been a lot of rejections. Not just from this magazine.. From many.  Such is the way it goes. 

I will be published in Mamalode Magazine this month.  I can’t tell you how often I turn to Mamalode Magazine for solace and comfort. They really get this parenting stuff.  I read there stuff just about daily.  I have yet to find something I can not relate to. 

I will make sure to share the link with you guys as well.  So make sure you keep following me and if you are on Facebook….Follow Mamalode as well! That way you won’t miss it!

So be sure to stay tuned !!


No one asked you paranoia anxiety!


Okay so technically there is no such thing as paranoia anxiety.  They are two separate conditions. It feels the same though. Anxiety can mimic paranoia in a lot of ways.

Anxiety often has you thinking very negative thoughts and sometimes even believing the negative thoughts. Paranoia you can’t see that its a delusion. No amount of therapy can help you see that lie.  So I know, after years of therapy, that it is in fact just anxiety.

I really hate though when it gets that severe. I start wondering if other people are reading my text messages. I have not left my phone anywhere. Then a voice in the back of my head says, “oh but they have technology that allows that.”  When its really bad I can get sucked into that and really disconnect from people. This normally leads to a depression. Luckily last night I was able to recognize it for what it was. I listened to some meditation, made fun of it and tried to move on.  It is not as easy as that makes it sound. It took years in therapy and wanting to move past these hurdles. I read books about retraining your brain. I use meditation to help me focus on positive thoughts. Positive thoughts help drowned out the anxiety.

No matter how good the medication combo is, no matter how much therapy, its always going to be there. I just have to remember that. I have to remember that its not always because of something I did. I wasn’t eating as healthy, sleeping as much, or whatever. I know my triggers. I know I hit some of them on our vacation. It took a lot last night to be able to make fun of it. It took a lot to pull out my toolbox for fighting anxiety. Sometimes I tell myself to just go through the motions. Somewhere along the lines, it does actually start to help.

It’s not completely gone today, but it is better. Writing helps. I will also probably go through our vacation photos and edit some. It always makes me happy. I will only have positive shows on today. Things like food network or something similar. This is opposed to my normal Law and Order or Criminal shows. They are too negative to watch with anxiety flaring. I will make it a point to go outside when the dog needs to go. Sunshine really does help. Even just five minutes outside can be so helpful.  The other thing I will make sure to do today is hydrate.  I have been drinking some soda but I will counter it with water. For every oz of soda I drink I plan on drinking two oz of water. If I could get past the fatigue from our vacation without caffeine I would. Well honestly I would try.  I doubt I would succeed at that.

The summer climax….family vacation


Family Vacation-It is grueling in a lot of ways. It is also worth it in a lot of ways too.

We booked our vacation in February. After receiving our income tax return. Thank you Government! It is the only way we can budget in a vacation. I was really really surprised how reasonable a Disney vacation package is.

I was determined to maintain reading time even with being on vacation. The car drive was a good place to enforce this. It was more like me saying every ten minutes. READ.. Are you reading? READ!  She had her book out the whole way there, a two hour car trip.


We got to Fort Wilderness campsites. The check in time was suppose to be one pm or later. We got in ten minutes early. BONUS! We got campsite 2006. It would have been super awesome if it was 2005 since that was the year she was born , we were here to celebrate her birthday after all. I was super stiff from the car drive so I did some stretching while the husband went all Master Tent Setter-uper. It took about twenty minutes before the kid was ready for the pool.  We went ahead to the pool. Hubby was super about setting up the tent and inflating the air mattresses.


Let the standing in line begin! An hour and half and we are done-for now.  A small trip to Wal-Mart. No vacation is complete without a trip to Wal-Mart.  We saw the good side of Orlando. We saw the bad side of Orlando. Thank you G.P.S. for taking us on the longest route possible.


Each night Fort Wilderness has campfire events, Chip and Dale were there. The first night it was charades. It is amazing how much they can express without saying a word.

As a native Floridian you would think Epcot would be old news. It actually has changed a bit. It was a nice mix of familiar and new stuff.


Of course, there is also the difference of seeing it through your child’s eyes.  Remembering how you felt and seeing it expressed on their face.  It really is priceless.  That’s what you hold on to when the kid is in mid temper tantrum. Actually she was really really well behaved.

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Some of the things have changed. Figment is not the same.  It takes a bit to remember that change happens. The message is still just as fantastic.


Kids absorb so much more than we realize.  There were some really inspiring quotes around too. Which was great  because what else are you going to do in line? Think deep thoughts of course!

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NOT! It’s more like how long until alcohol!

There were primarily two types of parents at Epcot. Those who had alcohol and those who wished they had alcohol.

We did not indulge this trip. It was really tempting in Mexico to stop for some Tequila!

No really after ten hours at Epcot I can see how kids would have temper tantrums. I can see how parents could have temper tantrums. I am  physically only able to handle one day, even that was hard. I can’t even imagine going to parks back to back.


Sunday we chilled. We went to the pool. We went to the arcade.  There were a few temper tantrums. It really should be expected. If you are tired, your kid is tired too.  It also helps to remember to eat frequently.  That is primarily where we ran into trouble. You really do loose complete track of time and not realize its been so long.

There was Mommy and daughter time. Even if she did say…..” look Mommy I am floating like you only better!”


There was Daddy and daughter time.

There was bike riding, not by me though. My back won’t tolerate that. They rode their bikes, I walked to the bus stop and took the bus!

I also took advantage of the hot tub at every available chance.

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The campfire events were the perfect end to the day. Okay the S’mores might have been part of the reason for that. They had a movie as well but, realistically we were beat by seven pm. We headed back to camp by eight thirty each night. It was hot. I am not gonna lie. It was not miserable hot though. We had electricity hook up so we had a fan, which really did help.

It really was exactly what needed as a family.

Monday we packed up and drove home.

Tired, slightly burnt(despite copious amounts of sunblock) and ready for home.

I did not do much of anything once we got home.

Other than start planing next years vacation to Animal Kingdom!

So what did I learn?

1. Medicate medicate medicate.

Set your alarm. You may even need multiple alarms to actually take the medications! Don’t wait to be in pain! It slowed me down to wait for pain to ease to keep up with the kid.  It was easier to put aside my discomfort to make sure she had a great vacation by telling myself its temporary and rest is coming. Make up a mantra to help keep you motivated.

2. Pace yourself and go with the flow.

Some of our past vacations I have been completely stressed out.  It is better to have an idea of how the day will go but not be very rigid.

3. Speak up for yourself.

I mostly use over the counter medications. However I did discuss this trip with my Doctor. He was willing to prescribe muscle relaxers and pain control meds for the few days we would be gone.  I also was more tolerant of myself using some of my vices, Chocolate and Caffeine. I used Mountain Dew and a snickers bar to finish the trip home.  It was a small boost but it helped.

4. Plan ahead

So this may seem a lot like training for a marathon. YOU are training for a marathon! I did slightly more walking the days prior to going. I also tried to rest as much as possible as well.  It doesn’t always work but being mindful of needing to train and rest certainly helped.

5. Plan for REST!

I am really glad this year we added an extra day to hang around the campsite. It really helped me feel less taxed from our vacation.

I am still extremely tired and easily exhausted. I am still in higher amounts of pain. I expected it though. Plan for plenty of rest after the vacation as well.