February 26, 2024

My current Roman empire.

Let's be clear: my Roman Empire is not the Roman Empire. There's lots of historical eras and events I could go on and on about, but that's not the point of this post. 

I suppose TRE could be something you think about more often that you do other things.

I bought this skirt in December in Pennsylvania.

I brought it back to Missouri with me. 

I unpacked it. 

I put it in a drawer. I may have put it in the closet. But then I decided the dresser was a better spot for it. 

And I haven't seen it since.

I am beyond frustrated. 

I bring it up to Scott at least twice a week. 

I have ripped the closet apart.

I have taken out dresser drawers, thinking it got wedged into that abyss where only socks go. 

I took apart Scott's dresser. 

I looked through the baskets of black PT clothing because that's all black and I thought maybe it got mixed up in there.

I went through Wells' dresser. Just in case. 

I drug out the suitcase I took to PA, in case I accidentally left it in there. Even though I knew I put it in that dresser. 

I am not Catholic and do not believe in saints but you better believe I start talking to St. Anthony when things like this happen. Someone taught me the St. Anthony prayer once and I've never forgotten it. (Usually it's me asking for some interceding on behalf of Scott and something he can't find.)

Last week, I lost a paper at work too. Like, an important one. I had it when I walked into my room. It got lost or mismatched with the wrong pile of papers (I had a lot of papers scattered about on this day) and I spent the entire afternoon looking for it. I am looking forward to seeing where I put it when I eventually come across it again. I did check the trash. It's in that room somewhere. 

In addition:

We own this Daniel Tiger toy. We own it. I have no idea where it went. It is on our Missouri property, house or barn. We own it. It came here with us from Kansas. 

I have no idea where it is.

I have looked. In the barn loft. In the tubs of toys I hide from Wells.

In the closets. 

I cannot find it.

I will not buy another one. I won't. You see, we got the trolley for free and then my parents bought the figurines. 

Iwillnotbuyitagain no matter how much Sutton loves Daniel Tiger.

I won't.

Back to the skirt:

I am thisclose to buying it again in a different color (just in case it reappears). 

To further my annoyance, I got it in a Christmas sale of sorts and it was like $25, instead of $45. 

I am out of places to look so I will, I think, just start checking and rechecking again at this point. 

To recap: if you see a black skirt, a class roster with information on it, or a Daniel Tiger trolley toy, let me know. 

February 22, 2024

I (unapologetically) go to bed with a dirty kitchen

Guess when I have the most energy?

5:30am. 

I know my day is beginning whether I want it to or not. My alarm goes off at 5:00, I snooze it once usually. Then I put in the kcup, I put in my contacts, brush my teeth, and pop in an earbud. Lately I've been trying to make it through Exodus and Leviticus, and I'm always a few days behind on the plan. I need the most empty version of my head to listen to The Old Testament genealogies and laws and I'm only getting that at this time of day. 

Anyway. 

That's when I clean up the kitchen from the night before. 

Now, relax.

I put away leftovers after dinner and usually leave the pans to soak. Most times I wipe down all the counters too. But I don't touch anything in the sink. Instead, I load the dishwasher and run it at 5:30am, and I wash all the pots and pans. 

The internet is full of moms who swear that they cannot rest until the kitchen is clean and the house is "put to bed". That's nice. Seriously, great for them. But when I put in 60 minutes of putting the house to bed at 7 or 8pm, I'm so exhausted that I can barely take a shower, let alone enjoy even 15 minutes of tv or reading or whatever it is I feel like doing in that kid-free time before I pass out, counting down the hours of sleep I'll get if I go-to-sleep-RIGHT-NOW. 

In the summer, sure. Before I went back to work, absolutely. On the weekends, usually. But during the average school week, I do not clean the kitchen at night because my time to decompress is more important than the feeling of a clean kitchen. 

This is how I also know I'm Type B and not Type A: I don't get an ick feeling from leaving a dirty kitchen. It doesn't actually phase me or affect me at all. Sure, I feel better about myself and my time management if I clean the kitchen at night. But I don't get that creepy, crawly can't-sleep feeling so many of you seem to describe. I don't think about it at all. If anything, I sometimes feel disappointed that "ugh yeah time management got me again" if I get up in the middle of the night to get water or milk for Sutton or something. But otherwise...

This guy watched me do the dishes the other day. 

February 20, 2024

3 1/2 day weekends should be mandatory


 

I have to say, Friday was a great day. 

It was a teacher workday and then we, the teachers, were released at 11:00am because of "inclement weather". So I threw everything I was working on into my GIANT tote and got home in time for Sutton's nap :) She watched TV for about an hour and then took a 3 hour nap. Wells played with Legos for 7 hours and did his reading and sight words for me. I watched 6 hours of Love is Blind and did all of the grading and sorting and planning I had been wanting to accomplish. Well, most of it. As well as all of the laundry (all of it), dishes, and basic housekeeping I'd been neglecting. 

Saturday was super cold. I worked on my sourdough attempt. I went to Walmart to look for a dutch oven. All they had were the gaudy Pioneer Woman ones so I had to order from Amazon. I also attempted to bake in a loaf pan instead, since I already had the dough going. 

I had gotten a starter from a teacher who was offering a class on how to make the dough. The catch was that I had to haul everything there and back myself and the whole supply list angle was very unappealing to me. I can barely get myself in and out of the building each day without a kid melting down. I'm not taking breakable bowls, ingredients, and a starter back and forth to the building with me. 

This is what Youtube is for anyway and I figured I wasn't an idiot so I could figure it out on my own if I set my mind to it. I've spent 3 years resisting the sourdough trend because the idea of learning something new is overwhelming. I really thought I could just bake the bread without learning how the process actually worked and it turns out that's impossible. You need to immerse yourself in the blogs and the videos and all that to understand it. 

Anyway. Now I have a new weekend hobby I guess. 

Moving on...still sick not feeling 100%, I went into Sunday by taking both kids to the playground for the first time in 2024...Wells wanted to know when the splashpad would be open. Summer seems so far away.

Monday I had a dentist appointment and I took Wells to get a haircut. 

I made my favorite soup for dinner and I added cream cheese instead of heavy cream. I make this soup all the time and it's so easy to change up the recipe. I do shredded carrot and zucchini if I have it on hand. 

(We were in the driveway and he was half unbuckled. Does it bother anyone else when people record stories while driving? Like, we can SEE you driving. I don't care if you're at-a-red-light. Your car is in Drive. I cannot understand why people think that's okay. It's like advertising your irresponsibility in the most public way.)


If you want a peek into my mind, here's my screenshots from the weekend:
















I was looking up the vaccine schedule and I'm beyond puzzled by the use of "pregnant woman" in one sentence and "pregnant person" in the next. 







And my life in a nutshell:





February 16, 2024

Stuff and things that bother me.

I have been sick all week. Like head cold, barely-functioning, not sleeping because of numerous reasons and just on autopilot trying to make it through the week. Also, when I'm sick, I do not like to be touched (by human or dog). So it's working out great for my family as you can imagine.  No fever so I kept going to work. Not really medicating because I've learned I get super anxious when I take cold/cough medicine at this phase of life. 

I do my grocery shopping almost exclusively by pick-up order because it's the least energy-extensive option. But this is the email chain I get for every order. This is insane. 90% of my unread emails are from Walmart, I'm sure. I also have thousands of emails in my inboxes because I never delete anything. I'm that person.



I'm baffled by how much I'm bothered by the Chiefs winning the Superbowl. I don't know why I care. We lived right outside of KC in 2021 and I wasn't bothered by the Chiefs love. And last year, when they won (which I don't even remember happening), I didn't care. Something about *this* year annoys me. My only solace is in the Lord and knowing that the arrogance of Holmes and Kelce will be dealt with is that no one ever remembers who even won the Superbowl by March. I immediately forget almost every year. Here's to August 10th. 


Going anywhere after school, ever, bothers me. I had to bribe them with Pringles to run errands last Tuesday. 


Which involved running to a florist to buy flowers for the guidance counselor and somehow getting this to school safely while dealing with ^^


We stopped at the post office this week and then to get gas and Wells told me he was actually going to starve "for real" if we didn't get home immediately. 

Sutton is still not sleeping so I set up pack and play next to our bed thinking it'd be an option to plop her down in the middle of the night (didn't work), but I did use it for all of the clean laundry last weekend. I immediately envisioned a habit forming, folded and put away everything, and put away the pack and play.


This is the least effort I've ever put into Valentines: 


No picture of Sutton with her box because by this point on 2/14, she'd already thrown up her dinner and refused to get in the bathtub. 


Wells did make the sweetest little card, Then his teacher told me he needed to "do his reading" each night and I'm like "well that's my fault" because refer back to the beginning of this post. 




And my number one complaint:




Stitchfix loves to show ads with the best outfits ever. And there's no way to get to the outfit. It just takes you to the SF site to sign up for a box. It doesn't matter how much I'd pay for this. I can't find it. 

February 13, 2024

Dinnerly review.


I subscribed to Dinnerly a few weeks ago. I picked Dinnerly on a whim, based on this article, which I bookmarked to refer back to. 

I think it was the best deal, price per meal, even though it wasn't a company I'd heard of before. 

Immediately I was annoyed: you must put in your card information before you pick your meals. Which means, you are locked in to a shipment before you pick and see what's available. Which led me to immediately, also, cancel my subscription as soon as I picked 6 dinners. 

The price was right with the hefty first-time customer discount, but I felt a bit like I was doing this:

...as I tried to navigate canceling without accidentally giving them more money.

I think I wrote that in the "why are you canceling?" reason box too. 

In addition, because I ordered on a Thursday, for a following Tuesday delivery, a lot of the meal kits were sold out. Friday is the last day on Dinnerly to make adjustments to your order for the following week. I didn't want to wait almost two weeks for a box (like, I was doing this so we could eat dinner the next week) so I just took what they had. 

Plus, my reason for doing this altogether was to get more variety in our dinner routine. Taking their recommendations seemed like a small price to pay and $70 was a good deal for what we got for sure. 

But that was a logistical issue on my end; I initially wasn't sure how the process worked. 

Anyway. It was about $70 for 6 dinners. 

The box showed up right on time. I don't know when it was actually put on the porch, but the timeframe was 9am-8pm and it was there when I got home from work at 4pm. 

Everything was packed in ice packs and still cold. 

There was one bag of chicken that leaked on the bottom of the box though, so I had to scrub down some of the items and throw away the ice packs away. 

I did report this on the website, which was very easy to do, and I immediately was given an $8 credit...

...after I reactivated my account of course and was set up with another delivery for a few weeks from now. 

Scott really enjoyed these dinners. They were, I admit, very easy to make and the 4-person portion gave us lots of leftovers because the kids didn't eat it. They have pb&j most nights with fruit and yogurt. They also like to eat their dinner at 4:30pm so there's that. 

I was okay with the dinners. I don't really do pork. Ground beef is hit or miss for me. I like chicken and vegetarian meals most. This box had a mix of all of them so I hit my goal of variety and they were all very easy to make. 

Here's the details:


Ravioli. This was really good. I'm usually not a fan of stuffed pasta and never buy/make tortellini, but this sauce was great and it made a lot. The ravioli in the box was round and the ravioli in the picture was square. I don't know why. 


Shepherd's Pie. This was like a bbq beef with veggies cooked in it. It was supposed to be "sloppy joe". I took a short cut and used a package of instant potatoes for the top. Scott liked it a lot. It was fine but not my favorite. Wells didn't try it either. 

Boneless pork chops. Scott, again, liked this a lot. I've literally never made a pork chop before because, shocker, it's not my type of food. I was in a hurry so I saved the rice for another night. 

Garlic Butter Steak. I made the rice with this. Skipped the potatoes because of time. Probably our favorite of the meals. 


Okay, this fascinated me. I could not get behind the cooking method of putting raw turkey sandwiches into the oven, so I cooked the turkey first. The sauce was good. It needed some tomatoes and cucumbers and it would've been make-at-home Greek food. So I feel like that was a missed opportunity.
Fresh dill on potatoes is a must after making this. The fries were very good. 



Flavor palate-wise, this was tasty. Stone ground mustard on chicken, and ranch on potatoes. You kind of can't beat that. 

Liked:
Lots of food for the price.
Very simple recipes but lots of flavor.
Some new cooking methods learned (cottage fries, put dill on fries, put garlic butter on steak)

Disliked:
Very potato heavy. We still have a bunch of potatoes on the counter.
Very meat-and-potatoes, which Scott liked but I didn't care about.
You are given nothing but raw ingredients in a box and you have to sort out what goes with what. 

In the end, I really liked the convenience of it. While I don't mind *cooking*, it's the finding recipes, making a list, physically getting the groceries, making sure I have everything...and then cooking that just wears me down in this particular season. 
This was a good experience so I do have another order placed for this week. I do recommend them 100% for the price vs. some of the other companies. 
This is obviously not a sponsored post but here's a link if you want to try it. 

Opening the box was a lot like the co-op experience I had in Colorado, when my friend and I would get fruit/veggies every week and then have to figure out what to do with them all. 

February 9, 2024

Currently in February.

If it's any indication of how things are going, I've missed two of my favorite link-ups this week and I haven't even seen this week's episode of The Bachelor in its entirety. 

Loving: 

I am truly loving how Wells and Sutton play together. Wells never needed a buddy around because he can amuse himself, but seeing them interact makes this mess worth it. Kind of. 

Looking forward to: 

I made the hard and fast decision that we are not doing summer school this year. Last year, I sent Wells in June because I wanted him to get used to new people, a new building, and the idea of kindergarten before we actually started school. This year, no. I actually signed up to teach summer school and then realized I was dreading it and dreading the possibility that we'd be tied down to school. And also dreading not having a full summer. After deciding we were going to not do it, I felt a huge sense of relief. There's other logistical factors too: locking down alternative childcare for Sutton, Wells having to go on field trips without me, having to get up early every day and basically extend the school year. 

I'm going to do a dry run of "homeschool" each day in the summer. Wish me luck. 

Doing to be romantic:

Do you remember how I tried so hard to find a dress for the engineer ball last year? Still have some PTSD from that experience. Another ball is coming up in April so I figured I'd start early, one dress at a time. I've pushed the limit with midi-dresses and tea length, always, because I prefer them. But this is the *regimental ball* so I gotta go with the full-length. 

This fits "romantic" because being prepared in advance for something I'm supposed to be doing as a military wife is an attractive quality LOL. 

I have decided I'm not shopping from site after site this year (truly, it was a frustrating experience). I learned to use Nordstrom as my go-to way back when I lived in Alaska because it was free shipping and free returns (the locals recommended it to me!) so that's where I go when I'm looking for anything specific now. I'll keep you updated. 

Changing:

I feel like I'm always trying to perfect a routine. It's exhausting. That being said, I'm changing the way I do things each morning. Some mornings, I do dishes. Some, I fold laundry. Some, I blog. Some, I might take care of a last minute task for school. Some, I do pilates. Basically I have one hour (5am-6am*) and I have to use it wisely. 

*it's a cruel time of day. I prefer to sleep til 8am, always. 

Celebrating:

I realized we go from Christmas, to my birthday in January, to Valentine's Day, to Sutton's birthday, to Easter REAL quick. There's never a month off. I just got done putting away the Christmas toys and treats and decorations and now I'm buying Valentine's Day things. 

Linking up with Jennifer for Currently!


February 3, 2024

(I guess) Saturday things, 2/3

1. Do you remember this? 

2. I bought a few things online recently:


This is the best shampoo and conditioner. It's basically Biolage repackaged and sold not at a huge markup. And I'm always looking for a new purple shampoo.This one had good reviews and I really like it. My hair was looking incredibly brassy these last few weeks. This took that right out of it.



In an effort to make life easier, I ordered a giant box of kcups and these beef sticks I can't get anywhere else. My kids hate flavored applesauce and, for some reason, we had a bunch of flavored applesauce in the cupboard. I sent it into Wells' classroom and bought this instead. 

3. I did take outfit photos this week as I was walking in the door each afternoon and you can see the boxes of Christmas decorations adorning the backdrop. Also, crying children and dogs.

This a scuba material circle cardigan. I got it at TJ Maxx but if this is the same material as the LLL hoodies people used to buy, I see the appeal. I would like a scuba hoodie but that's a definite splurge.


Sweater is JCrew. It's part cashmere and I didn't pay attention and put it in the washer so it kind of lost it's shape :/ 
Dress is from Stitchfix awhile back. The neckline is kind of low for work so I always put something over it. 

I'm laughing here because I'm on the phone with my friend. Sweater and long flowy tank underneath are both Merona brand from Target, 4 years old and 9(!) years old, respectively. 

Scuba cardigan again. And t-shirt dress is JCrew factory, I think. It's 2+ years old but I was pregnant when I bought it so I didn't get to wear it much outside of this school year. 

4. I did post What's up Wednesday and I've got to get blog posts ready for next week. I'm attempting three posts a week in this season of life and I was caught off guard by how exhausting the first 5 day week since mid-December would be. 

5. 


I spent an hour on the phone with the health insurance company the other day. Still not resolved. I had been putting it off since November.

I told the kids "the vibe was off" the other day when they were acting terribly and weren't allowed to have partners. They nodded in agreement.


I believe ACV is a scam.



An oldie but goodie.




Why these blog posts don't happen on time ^^^