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Remember when I did my Towels and Toilets post, way back at the beginning of the year? That was to be motivated to deep clean portions of my house, and Tuesdays were my “towels and toilets” day. (You haven’t heard much more about that because, well, that wagon left me behind. Sigh.)

Anyway, I’m giving you this post today because it sort of fits in with my cleaning routines for Tuesdays (even though I haven’t actually followed said routine since, oh, I dunno….. winter?). Now, I’m not one to talk about cleaning supplies much, so this is obviously huge. (PS – I am not getting paid to do this post. I just was amazed with the product and wanted to share it with you!)

Ok, backstory….. I hate my toilets. We have well water here and the hard water stains/rings on the toilets have been there forever. I’ve scrubbed with I don’t know how many different chemicals and powders and cleaning solutions, all to no avail. The stains just would not come off. I was resigned to a life of constantly dirty-looking (although scrubbed clean) toilets.

Then, I read about this handy product in a cleaning blog. (Yes, I read a cleaning blog. I’m a nerd.) It’s called a Pumie Toilet Bowl Ring Remover, and it’s a miracle worker. (They are on Amazon, not sure but I assume elsewhere as well.) I bought it, and Hubby laughed at me. “Hope you didn’t spend more than a quarter on it cuz it’s never gonna work” was his response when I whipped it out to try it. Little did he know, this stick is magic! In fact, I called him into the bathroom to inspect the first toilet after I used it, and he was literally speechless. So, before I ran and scrubbed the second toilet in our house, I had an “a-ha” moment and thought to take before and after photos, to share with you! Because everyone loves to see toilets, after all! (Ok, I know, it’s kinda gross, but I was so thrilled with it I had to share!)

Here is our other toilet, after being scrubbed with heavy-duty chemical toilet bowl cleaner and a regular toilet bowl scrub brush….. So yes, it’s clean, even though it doesn’t look like it.

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Rings around my toilet bowl, even after significant scrubbing. Sad.
Rings around my toilet bowl, even after significant scrubbing. Sad.
Close-up of my stains. I’m embarrassed to show them, but it must be done!

So, gross, right? I mean, I literally scrubbed extra hard knowing I was going to take a picture to show you guys, and these stubborn stains just won’t budge. But, then along came Pumie, my bathrooms’ new best friend…..

Meet Pumie! It's a pumice on a stick specifically for tough stains. Says it doesn't damage the toilet, so we shall see.....
Meet Pumie! It’s a pumice on a stick specifically for tough stains. Says it doesn’t damage the toilet, so we shall see…..

After some scrubbing with Pumie the pumice stick, I was shocked. Amazed, even. It was a miracle…..

Ta-Da! No more ring around the toilet! First time in forever!!!
Ta-Da! No more ring around the toilet! First time in forever!!!
All sparkly and clean!!
All sparkly and clean!!

For just over $8, it was worth it. Well worth it. It’s basically idiot-proof, so that’s a plus too. You literally just dip it in the toilet bowl to wet it, and rub the stains with the pumice. The pumice wears away as you use it, so it conforms to the shape of the toilet. It’s a game changer in my house. I hated scrubbing the toilets because they never looked clean. Now, it’s like they are brand new. (And I didn’t spend hours scrubbing!)

So, that’s my PSA for the day. You’re welcome!

Attitude of gratitude

My back deck is amazeballs for stretching after a run. It's quiet and peaceful and just perfect. Til the kids wake up.
My back deck is amazeballs for stretching after a run. It’s quiet and peaceful and just perfect. Til the kids find me.

Day three of my #NoExcusesJuly and so far, so good. It helps that the weather has been gorgeous for running and yard work. And it also helps that Hubby won’t let me wuss out with his #NoMercy approach. And while I feel awesome, I know there’s a lot of month left. Good thing for accountability, huh?

So, this morning I got up and out of bed for my run. (By the way, typically today would be the day I’d quit because after running Wednesday and yard work yesterday, I knew I’d barely be able to move today and I’d be exhausted. But, I kicked that excuse the curb before I went to sleep and told myself I had to do it!) So anyway, I’m jogging along, listening to the birds, and feeling really good – which is a little weird for me, but whatever. So, I start talking to myself (in my head of course – can’t have people calling to have me institutionalized) because I can’t figure out how to get my music on my phone to work (stupid technology). And I’m all, hmmm, what should I be thinking about on this beautiful morning? Dreams? To do lists? Coffee?….. Gratitude? Wait, what?!? God, did you hijack my conversation with myself?!? Cuz let me tell you, at 6:30am while running, gratitude and thankfulness are NOT what is going through my head. Typically my head-talk is more it’s too early, I want bed, my legs hurt, I can’t breathe, I hate running, whine whine whine groan and so on. Obviously, this gratitude thing was not my idea. But, ok, I’ll run with it. (Ba-dum-bum)

So, I started to think about what I was grateful for at that moment. And you know what? My answers surprised me. I realized I was thankful for being healthy enough to run – I had legs that moved me and lungs that work and the drive to actually do it. I realized how thankful I was to have a loving husband that supports me and sticks with the decision to allow me to continue to be a SAHM so I can go out for a morning run, even though it means he has to work his butt off to do so. I realized how thankful I was to live in a neighborhood that is safe for me to go out early in the morning – alone – and run without fear. I realized how thankful I was for the time alone just for me.

Talk about deep thoughts! And I hadn’t even had coffee yet! (Usually my pre-coffee thoughts consist of merely random babbling and incoherent mumbles.)

So, this #NoExcusesJuly may be more than I realized. I may actually grow during this process and find out a lot more about myself than just my level of willpower.

Who knew?

No Excuses

No Excuses
Photo: Google images

July is going to be a big month for me. I’m making it my new start. My clean slate.

I have a bad habit. In fact, I’ve nourished this habit so well that I honestly don’t even realize how often I do it. It has become second nature and automatic. It’s been years in the making, so breaking it will be hard. I’ve justified it and became enabled by it, but it’s gotta stop.

I make excuses.

They start out innocent enough….. Oh, it’s raining. I guess I can just go to the grocery store tomorrow…. I was up with the kids again last night, so I really should stay in bed to try to catch up on extra sleep…. I know we should be eating healthier but it’s so expensive sometimes. It’s just easier to do it this way for now…..  I can just clean the bathrooms tomorrow, we aren’t having anyone over anytime soon anyway.

This trend has been my life for a long, long time. No wonder I get very little done, eh? I can talk myself out of doing virtually anything with just a little reasoning. But you know what I’ve realized? Reasons are just excuses to make lazy seem ok.

Did you catch that?

Reasons are just excuses to make lazy seem ok.

I’m not saying reasons don’t exist. I’m saying reasons shouldn’t be stopping us from doing what we need to do.

I’ve fallen into the trap of Stay-At-Home-Mom Syndrome. My brother-in-law used this phrase to describe what happens when a stay-at-home mom falls into a rut. There are no deadlines, so there are no real pressures to get things done. There is no boss watching over us to make sure the work gets done, so we just put things off. There’s no real issue with appearance because our kids don’t care if we’ve showered or not, so even that gets put on the back burner. After all, as Scarlett O’Hara says, tomorrow is another day! Unfortunately, that’s the mantra I’ve been living with – tomorrow is another day – for years. It’s just going to be the same things tomorrow as it is today, so why bother?

You know what? I’m kinda tired of it. I want to have a house that isn’t an embarrassment when people stop by. I want to have a daily routine that involves taking care of myself. I want to get into healthier habits, for myself and for my kids. I want my business to take off and give me the dreams I see in my head, but….. I’m too tired. It’s too hard. I don’t have time. I don’t know how. The weather is bad. It’s too nice outside. I have a headache. It’s too far. It’s Tuesday. And the list goes on, and on, and on.

Time to get off that hamster wheel, folks. And I’ll be the one to jump first.

Here’s the thing. All of my excuses – every single one of them – comes back around to me. I am my own worst enemy and I constantly sabotage my own efforts. But if I’m honest with myself, I can see what my “reasons” are really saying:

I’ll just do it (whatever “it” may be) tomorrow. -I am choosing to be lazy.-

I can’t get my business moving/I don’t have time to focus on my business right now because of x, y, z. –I am choosing to not make my business a priority.-

I can’t believe the car broke again – just our luck! We’re never going to get our debts paid off. –I am choosing to have a negative attitude.-

I just don’t feel up to it today. I’m too overwhelmed by everything. I don’t even know where to start. –I am choosing to let my past issues with depression and anxiety get a foothold in my life.-

I can’t get up early to run, I’m too exhausted. I hate meal planning, I can’t get a good system in place. -I am choosing to stay unhealthy.-

I can’t start this project or do that thing or learn this skill, I don’t have time. I’m already running around like crazy as it is! -I am choosing not to manage my time wisely.-  

Basically, I am choosing to stay in my rut. I am choosing to hang out in my pity party. Puts a different perspective on it when we realize virtually nothing on the outside is a factor, doesn’t it?

 

“If you really want to do something, you’ll find a way; if you don’t, you’ll find an excuse.” – Jim Rohn

 

Just because I want something doesn’t mean squat unless I actually take action and do something about it. And for that to happen, I have to choose to beat the living daylights out of silence my inner whiny girl. Cuz really? She’s annoying. And sometimes, (ok, probably frequently) she sneaks out of my mouth. And the only way to silence her is to just do it. Whatever it is. Get up early. Go for that run. Make that phone call. Scrub that floor. Find the silver lining. Whatever it is – it must get done. No more excuses. The choice is all mine.

July is No Excuses month. Wanna join me?

#NoExcusesJuly

My extraordinary

I’m going through this crazy period of self-reflection. I don’t know if it’s an identity crisis or a mid-life crisis or if I have just read too many self-help books, but it’s causing me to search and dig deep to find out what drives me. (I’m not usually this deep and reflective, so it’s making me bonkers. To be perfectly honest, I much prefer my witty, sarcastic persona, but I’m thinking that’s just my “safe” me, not my “real” me. Good grief, I need therapy or something….. Introspection hurts my head.)

It’s frustrating because I have no idea what I’m “supposed” to be doing but I feel like there’s something – I know there’s something – and it’s scary because if I do figure it out, what do I do about it? And if I don’t figure it out, what then? I keep trying the “if I could do anything, what would it be” exercise, and I’m coming up empty. How sad is that?

I’m not looking for a career or anything. Heck, I’ve been a stay at home mom for nearly 9 years now, and I have zero interest in getting back into the work force and doing life based on someone else’s rules and schedule. (That’s why I’ve been in direct sales and now oils. I “work” on my terms….) I’m just looking for direction, I guess, toward something more than just the dishes and the laundry.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my life. I love Hubby and the kids more than anything, and we live a happy life. I just know there is so much more out there, and I want to experience it with them. I want us to have a life that is not just ordinary. I know extraordinary is out there because I read about it. I see it. And I want it. And while it’s good to be content, I don’t want to get stuck in ordinary and not strive for more. I just don’t know how to get there yet.

I’ve been making a running list in my head (sometimes it makes it to paper, although those papers keep getting lost). This list may or may not point me in my right direction, but it’s a start. It’s a list of what I want, what I think makes me happy, and what I may be afraid of. It’s a list of seemingly random things, but I’m hoping that somehow, they connect and will guide me to my purpose and my passion and hopefully, to my extraordinary.

(Ugh, I sound like a self-help book just waiting to happen, don’t I? *sigh*)

Why am I posting it here? Because I keep losing my papers, of course! So, here goes…..

I want to create.

I want to inspire.

I want to learn and to teach.

I want simplicity.

I want to travel and explore.

I want to be surrounded by the beauty of nature and God’s creation.

I want to slow down.

I want to savor.

I want less time wasted.

I want to cook from scratch.

I want to enjoy my kids and see the world through their eyes.

I want a stronger faith.

I want quiet time.

I want to be strong.

So, what do we think? Anyone out there have any clue what I’m supposed to be doing? How I can get to my “extraordinary”? Anyone?

Guess I’ll keep searching and digging.

Summertime!

End of the school year shrapnel.
End of the school year shrapnel.

The last day of school is finally here! You know what that means?

Chaos.

We will suddenly be all together, all the time. Like, for real, not just for a few months. (Silly homeschool idea.) On one hand I’ve been counting down these days. I can’t wait for summer and relaxing and fun and family time (and no more lunch-making)…. But, who am I kidding? I don’t know how to relax. I don’t know how to have fun. And family time? Well, we have to work on that one.

In fact, I vaguely remember last summer thinking “we really have to get some good habits in place so we can start fresh for school in August”. Well, here we are a year later, and no good habits are in place. Or even in site.

So, things are gonna have to change! (Famous last words, right?)

I think baby steps are in order. My kids have very few responsibilities in the house, which is completely my fault for not taking the time to teach them to do things because, let’s face it, it’s so much faster and easier for me to do it myself. However, this will not help them – or me – in the long run. So….. we’re going to get some chore action going on.

First, we need chore training so they know how to do things. Like how to fold clothes and put them away, instead of just jamming them all in the closet. (Speaking of which, we really need to weed out these closets….. Sigh.) So, laundry help is on the list. Peanut has already been in charge of hanging up their shirts since Pumpkin can’t reach. However, at least 25% of all the items she hangs fall on the floor. And then they stay there because, apparently, if it’s on the floor it becomes invisible. The other 75% precariously balance haphazardly from the hangers. And don’t get me started on the lack of organization in their closet. Apparently, they did not get my OCD gene. So, we must learn the best way to fold and hang clothes that are clean.

Kitchen duty – also neglected by the kids, and again my fault. Good news is they are better about clearing their dishes from the table and bringing them to to kitchen. They still need prompting on occasion, but I’ll take it. Now, to work on loading and unloading the dishwasher. This may require intervention by Hubby because I’m someone who loads the dishwasher a certain way. The right way. My way. (Ahem) I may also be someone who constantly rearranges when others put things into the dishwasher. Obviously, this is something I will need to work on in order to get help in the kitchen. (This chore training is apparently just as much for me as for the kids.)

Bedroom and playroom? UGH. We have too much stuff, and I swear I cleaned it all out not that long ago. See, the problem is, my children are packrats. (Which they also *may* have gotten from me. I’m happy to say I’ve become a reformed packrat, but that’s not overly helpful here.) I could easily go in and toss 75% of everything in their possession, but that’s not always a good idea. Anyone have any ideas on that, because I’m at a loss there. And now with it being summer and them around all the time, I can’t be stealthy with my trusty black garbage bags like days past….. So, we have to work on what’s really a treasure and what’s just trash. Not even sure where to start on that one.

There’s also bathrooms, other living spaces, yardwork, oh my! Not to mention a treehouse to build and camping trips to take.

So, that’s where I am at this point on the almost-first-full-day-of summer. I’m in all out panic mode, which, I guess, is pretty typical for me.

But baby steps. Today, I’ll work on figuring out the chore list. The rest of the week and weekend? Off duty and a family meeting to get on the same page. A few days of rest sounds like a good idea right after school is over, and getting input from everyone makes me less of a dictator. But next week?

Boot camp.

Mwahahahahaha

I’ll attempt to keep you updated on any progress (or lack thereof). I have big plans and ideas in my head, but actually implementing them? We’ll see.

Til then – chaos.

Alter-Ego

Rose is Rose comic by Don Wimmer and Pat Brady. See more at http://www.gocomics.com/roseisrose
Rose is Rose comic by Don Wimmer and Pat Brady. See more at http://www.gocomics.com/roseisrose

She’s a bad a$$, my alter-ego.

She’s tough. She’s tattooed and pierced. She rides a Harley and can hold her own in any confrontation. She’s strong, independent, drinks beer, and shoots whiskey. She’s in amazing shape and turns heads, not that she cares. She makes her own rules and does what she wants, when she wants. She doesn’t care what anyone thinks of her. She knows who she is and she doesn’t take crap from anyone.

I miss her.

It’s been years since she’s shown her face. I mean, she wouldn’t be caught dead in a minivan, so I guess I shouldn’t be too surprised. I used to catch glimpses of her here and there, way back when. She’d show herself in college. A few times after I was married. But she’s been away for quite some time.

Recently, she’s popped back up. She showed up when I noticed an edgy haircut on a waitress with a nose piercing. She roused when I started running again. She perked up when I finally decided get that next tattoo I’ve been wanting for years. No, I haven’t actually gotten it yet, but at least it’s in the picture.

But she’s back. I’m not entirely sure why, but I think the restlessness I’ve been feeling over the last few years has a little to do with her. She wants me to take more risks. Be less boring. Be more confident. She wants me to figure out what the heck happened! She’s wondering when I lost that part of me.

Now, don’t worry. I have no plans to get a Harley anymore (tears), but I do plan to get myself back in shape so I can totally rock my minivan til I swap it out for something less minivan-ish. I don’t plan to get a bunch of piercings, but I will absolutely get my tattoo(s). Little by little, I’m going to get back in touch with that free-spirit side. I don’t plan to be stupid or do anything crazy – I mean, I am a married mom, after all – but I owe it to myself and my kids to be a better me. A more ME me. And my better me involves a dash of that alter-ego. Not a lot. Just a dash.

So don’t be surprised if in the near future you see tattoo pictures, or a new, edgy haircut. It may be a mid-life crisis…. Or it could just be my alter-ego peeking through.

Rose is Rose comic by Don Wimmer and Pat Brady. See more at http://www.gocomics.com/roseisrose
Rose is Rose comic by Don Wimmer and Pat Brady. See more at http://www.gocomics.com/roseisrose

The Beast

Can I just brag a little? Not a lot, I swear, but maybe a lil bit?

See, Hubby and I started on this new adventure a little while back. We didn’t really know how it would work, or even if it would work, but we decided to give it a go. Couldn’t hurt, right? If we made a few extra bucks, awesome! If not, meh, we’d live. Either way, we’d be using these awesome little bottles to improve our household, so it was a win no matter what.

Well, we’ve been doing pretty well. Very well, actually. In fact, our team hit a huge milestone in April with a nice promotion. That promotion earned us The Beast.

The Beast. 120 little bottles of awesomeness.

The Beast is coveted by those in this business. The Beast is amazing. And The Beast is ours.

I am so proud of what we’ve been able to do with this business in a short time, and I cannot wait to see what else is to come! We have starting dreaming big (more on that later). And I don’t mean “Gee, wouldn’t it be nice if someday we could have/do this dream”. I mean, “In 5 years, we are totally going to be owning/doing X, Y, and Z”!

I’ve never done that before.

We’ve always been very frugal and very paycheck to paycheck. We make every cent count. We rarely splurge on a pizza, let alone a vacation or something to that effect. We budget everything from groceries to haircuts to new shoes. We’ve never been able to dream big because our reality wouldn’t allow it, but we chose our reality and learned to live with it. We decided long ago to make sacrifices so I could be a stay-at-home mom. Our reality isn’t bad by any means. It’s just frugal. It’s cautious. And, if I’m being honest, it’s not always a whole lot of fun.

But now? We have big dreams. BIG. I didn’t believe it when we first started, but now? Believing is what we are doing. Believing, and a lot of hustling, is making this real. Believing is changing our reality, little by little. Believing is big. And what’s even better? I get to help others change their reality, if they choose it. That’s what I am looking forward to most. I cannot wait to see others follow and get the Beast for themselves.

Funny thing? The Beast isn’t the end game. I mean, it’s awesome without a doubt! But it’s just one step in this plan. So, what’s the end game? What are we really working towards?

Freedom. That’s where the believing is leading us. That’s what the hustle is all about.

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#lemondropper4life #Si6

 

Curious about this new adventure? Contact me and I’m happy to share more! Otherwise, here is a link that gets you right where you’d need to be to join me…. http://tinyurl.com/DropsofSanity

A Saturday Project

Ahhhh, the weekend. The time to relax and socialize. The time to rest and do the things you can’t do during the week. The time to just enjoy each other. The time to –

Who am I kidding!?! We don’t get weekends at our house! In fact, I dare say that many people don’t get true “weekends” anymore. How sad is that? But, that’s another post for another time.

This post is about actually accomplishing something on a To Do list that has been on said list for a long, long time. Let me tell you, that’s an awesome feeling.

As a mom, my to do list never gets done. And by “never gets done”, I mean that there is never a completed task. All of my tasks are continuous, ongoing, and indefinite. (I’m looking at you, dishes and laundry.) There is never an “ah, I’m done and look how fabulous it is” in my life. If I clean it, it gets dirty again. If I cook, it’s expected of me to cook again. And household projects? Ha! Unless it’s something that can be started and completed in a small window of time, I don’t even bother.

Hence “The List”.

Most of us have one. It’s that list of things you want to do around the house “someday”. My list is gigantic and includes such things as replacing the kitchen sink and faucet (on the list since I was pregnant with Pumpkin, so we’re pushing 5 years on that), painting the outdoor shutters and garage door to match our “new” (new 2 years ago) front door, and remodeling our small powder room (on the list since we moved here). And there’s also finishing the basement, fixing the deck, and it goes on and on and on….. Time and money have been obstacles on making any sort of headway on this list.

But today I decided I needed to do one thing, just one thing, that had a visible end result. Something that could be concretely accomplished so the mind-numbing cycle of daily life activities could be changed up a bit. Today, I decided we would re-cover our dining chairs.

When Hubby and I bought our table and chairs set, we were newly married, in a new house, and blissfully unaware of how a purchase would hold up in the future. We purchased a large, counter height table and 8 matching chairs, with cream-colored seat cushions.

Needless to say, after a move and two children, the chairs are, well…..

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I’m embarrassed to even show them.  You can see which ones were most… loved.

Don’t judge.

It’s been bothering me for years, to be honest. I actually apologize to anyone who chooses to sit in chairs normally occupied by children because I’m concerned that remnants of years of spills, glue, crumbs and glitter may adhere itself to their bottoms. (And yes, spills and such were always promptly wiped up, but “deep cleaning” those chairs wouldn’t even put in a dent in them. So, it was a battle I didn’t really fight.)

Today was the day to make it right! Today, my chairs would be presentable again! So, off to the fabric store we went, our family of four. After searching for the right choice (ahem – anyone else decision-incompatible?) and keeping my youngest offspring from knocking over everyone and everything in site (what did this child eat before we left, pure sugar?!?), we left the store with fabric in hand – at half price! Score!

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May have called the kids Cinderella once. Or twice….

Once home, I put the kids to work cleaning the chair frames while I sipped a chilled beverage. (I’m an amazing supervisor.) Once the kids were done, I shooed them off to fold a little laundry and I re-scrubbed the chair frames. (Control freak, remember?) All the while, Hubby was tackling the actual re-covering of the chairs. Multiple four-letter words were uttered at the staple gun and its lack-of-functionality, and it *may* have been thrown once or twice.

At this point, my spidey-sense kicked in and I made myself scarce. I did the smart thing – I made a food run. Nothing says “I come in peace” like fried chicken, right?

In the end, the chairs look amazing. Hubby did a fine job – although I do feel guilty that my project became his project. I felt better when he told me the staple gun issues probably would’ve discouraged me from all future projects ever. We can’t have that, now, can we?

So, a To Do that has been glaring at me for years finally was accomplished with a real, visible result. My chairs are pretty again and even pride worthy. And this time, we chose a dark, durable, newly-Scotch-Guarded fabric. Lesson learned.

Cheers!

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Ta Da! Reminds me on those inside out Oreos with the vanilla cookie and chocolate filling…. and now I need a snack.

It’s Official

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Trust is a funny thing.

Today, TKEP Academy was born.

Ok, not really. Technically, TKEP Academy won’t be open until after this school year is over, but the paperwork is in pulling Peanut out of the public school system as of the last day of school. We will officially be a homeschool family in fall 2015. We had been talking about the idea most of the year and made the decision a few months ago, but the “official letter”  didn’t go to the district until today, the day registration for next year is due.

For whatever reason, this letter was difficult to write. Not because I didn’t know what to say – I managed to find a template and just copied and pasted – but because it makes it real. Up until this point, homeschooling was just something we talked about. Now it’s something we will actually be doing.

(Hold me.)

Homeschooling has been on my heart for a good year. As I may have mentioned, I didn’t necessarily want to homeschool, but someone else kept gently leading me to that direction. Even after I turned away and laughed it off, He would delicately bring me back. So, I guess it’s about time I actually listen, for a change. Who knows? Maybe He actually does know best. I mean, He does seem to be supplying all our needs these days…..

See, here’s the thing. I *may* have some control issues. In order to trust someone, you have to let go of some of that control. This year, I’ve been attempting a whole more more trusting and letting go, albeit usually while kicking and screaming. I don’t like not knowing things.  I don’t like not being able to see what comes next. I don’t like it when plans that I thought were good, apparently weren’t the right plans. This has been a very confusing and potentially life-changing year for me. And it’s only May. I’m pretty sure I’m in the middle of a very important lesson I’m supposed to be learning, but I refuse to look at the notes and just learn it already. (While typing that, I had a mind picture of God face-palming Himself and shaking His head.)

Also, I may not be dealing with it all that well. My anxiety levels have been through the roof. I’m overwhelmed over everything and nothing. I’m pretty much a jumbled mess.

Trust in the Lord….

Yeah, but what about….? And what if….? And I think we should……

…. lean not on your own understanding….. 

But how will I know what I’m supposed to be doing? I’m completely clueless! I’m stressed out! I’m a mess! How can I possibly handle all that when I can’t even handle all this?!?

…. in all ways acknowledge him, and he will direct your paths.

So, that’s that. He knows what He’s doing with me and our family. (I personally still think He may be a wee bit crazy on this one, but whatever.) I’m trusting that this homeschooling journey will not end in disaster, but will instead open my eyes to bigger and better things. I’m trusting that He’s got this, even when I know I don’t.

I’m telling myself I will trust, even though my thoughts and actions are not in alignment with that notion yet. But I must learn to trust. I must learn to let go and just…. let go.

So, wherever this path may take us, the first step has now been made. That first leap into trust has been done. And now, we wait. We wait to see what happens next, what is planned for us, and what is expected.

And we trust.

 

“The Talk”

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Design by Tom Lindsay

 

We have begun the age of “the talks”. I’m not sure how this happened, and I’m quite certain I was not consulted ahead of time on this agenda. If I was consulted, I certainly would have balked at the timeline. I would have prepared more (or at least thought about it ahead of time). I would’ve read books and had funny anecdotes and possibly a diagram. No, scratch that, no diagram.

But, nope. No warning for me. Just had to wing it.

Last night, right before bedtime (because that’s when ALL IMPORTANT THINGS are remembered and mentioned – when I’m already clocked out for the day on onto my wine time), Peanut came to me and said, “Mom, at school, someone said something really inappropriate”. “Mmmmhmmmm” I respond, already assuming it was less-than-earth shattering and merely a way to push bedtime and keep me from my wine. “Do you want to know what it was?” she asks. At this point, knowing how past conversations at bedtime happen to lead to significantly later bedtimes, my response was “Nope.”

She didn’t quite know what to do with this.

“So, you don’t want to know?”

“Did a boy say it?” I respond.

“Yes.”

“Then nope. I don’t want to know. Boys are gross.” Sorry if you have a boy, but that’s a standard answer over here. But really, they can be a little gross…..

“He was even suspended from school because of it!”

At this point I assume a swear word was uttered, but she won’t budge. She wants to tell me, so finally I just let her, again assuming it was just a bad word. (And she knows all of them. We had that talk last year, and Hubby just flat out told them all to her. At the table. Without warning me first. Nothing like an f-bomb to get the conversation rolling. The reasoning was if she knows them and hears them, the curiosity/secrecy factor goes away, which is a good plan. But again, a little warning would have been nice.)

“He said he stuck his ‘thingie’ in some girl’s butt.”

Back the truck up. Please stop the world. I’d like to get off now. This ride is no longer enjoyable.

Now, at this point, she’s watching me intently for some sort of reaction. I, being the mature adult that I am, withhold any such reaction. On the outside. But on the inside? Red lights, sirens, and mayday signals are blaring.

Some of you are very open and comfortable with talks of the body and such. I applaud you. I am not you. We used the term “bits” when my oldest was young to identify that area, as in “clean your bits and bottom”. My little one is going to be even more confused because she thinks anything below her belly button is her “booty”. So, in hindsight, learning the correct words and such isn’t a bad idea. (Take notes, new moms.) In fact, I had to use the term “vagina” with my oldest last week because she was dead set on hearing me say it. While I was able to keep from visibly squirming, it was hard. So very hard.

Apparently, I’m not all that mature.

So, back to last night. After a moment of panic, I did exactly what any parent would do…. I kind of nudged it off. But then she continued. “So-and-so said that’s how a girl gets pregnant. Is that true?”

Well, crap. No getting out of this one now. (Keep in mind, she is 8. I thought I’d have more time to prep for this.) Suck it up, buttercup, we’re too far in to stop now!

So, off I went on a PG-rated version of how babies are made. Believe it or not, I think it went relatively well. I clarified a few things (no, the butt is not involved), stayed fairly “technical” as to what happens for the whole baby-making thing (there are eggs and sperm/seed), and stuck more with what goes on inside as opposed to, well, the rest of it. Threw in the “it’s something special God made for two people who love each other very much” for good measure. Of course, now her wheels are turning, and she looks a bit mortified when she realizes that – wait – she was a baby once! “You mean, you and Daddy had to do THAT for me to end up in your tummy?!?”

Now’s where it got fun because, technically, um, no. I explained a doctor needed to do it for us to get her in my tummy. Then I realized how bad that sounded without further explanation (and her look of utter confusion confirmed it), so I elaborated a little on the whole IVF process. Which led to a few more questions, and that was that.

All in all, she went to bed seemingly satisfied with the answers, although still pretty disturbed. (Yes!) I think she was a little proud of knowing some of the details, because to her, that means I think she’s old enough to know. I figure this was a good stepping stone and lets her know she can come to me with any questions. Ultimately, that’s my goal. I want my girls to come to me no matter what.

So far, so good. I did forget one small detail – the fact that the act has a name. Oh well. We’ll save that tidbit for the next conversation. In five years.

Needless to say, I needed an extra glass of wine last night after she went to bed.