My Name is….

I have been a stay at home mom for about 3.5 years of the ten years I have been a mom. This is probably the path I will walk for awhile.

To those who are not a SAHM this blog is probably going to come off as whiny. I LOVE my kids as any mom will say, but sometimes I need to be a human person and not just “mom”.

When I was a single mom and working a full time job, missing important moments in my kids lives I would have given anything to be able to be at home with them. Now that I am home 24/7, I miss having my own money and having actual time to myself. Literally a single trip to the grocery store seems like a freaking vacation. A shower that I don’t have company or interruptions is unheard of. I don’t even poop without an audience.

I tried to orchestrate time for myself so I could be home alone, oldest 2 were at a sleepover and I had my husband take the baby to an indoor jump house but he (the baby) fell asleep in the car and they came back home. Immediately upon arriving home baby is awake and completely underfoot. I just wanted a couple of hours to clean the house without distractions. I wasn’t even doing anything fun.

Even as I am writing this I have been interrupted at least 3 times, some how paint got spilled upstairs and I needed to check it out and now my list contains how to get paint out of carpet AND find all the paint—->get rid of it. The baby is not happy that I am sitting at the desk and he is unable to be the center of attention, so he is sitting next to me screaming and crying. My husband is telling me about any funny video or meme he comes across on Facebook or YouTube.

My brain is in constant overload and I am already planning next week. My son was trying to make me feel better and he said, at least tomorrow is Saturday!! What does that mean to me??? More cleaning, laundry and zero downtime, but at least the kids don’t have school and my husband doesn’t have work; so they will all be there to help make MORE of a mess!!

It is funny to think that I was less stressed while working… but that really isn’t it at all. I was even more stressed, but I was an actual person at work. I wasn’t just, “fix my problems, pay attention to me, he hit me, baby crying, the house is a mess, what’s for dinner, when did we change the filters last, are you going to do laundry, you wanna…..?”

And I still don’t want a job outside of the home, I love that I get to be there for all the important moments of my kids lives. I can be more supportive of my husband. I get to homeschool my kids and give them hands on attention, which they desperately need. I can control their learning, in the sense that as my daughter excels I can give her harder material or when my son is struggling I can give him extra time on something.

I am constantly in a battle of sorts in my mind. I love being there but I want more than just being MOM…. my name is Bonnie.

MY NAME IS BONNIE.

I put fake eyelashes on… and immediately took them off

Homeschooling

I have wanted to homeschool for years and I am taking advantage of the insanity of the world to make it happen.

My desire to homeschool started when my oldest was in first grade the first time. He struggled A LOT with reading, writing, social interaction,  and well, just about everything.

He is dressed up like Han Solo today

My take away from that disastrous year was I wanted to homeschool him. I wanted to teach him in a way that he would benefit, understand and enjoy. But I was a single mom and it was my job to work.

Flash forward about 4 years and I am remarried and a stay at home mom during a pandemic where it became the “it” thing to homeschool. I jumped on the bandwagon!

I went back and forth over my decision, got input from my husband and family. Some super supportive some really hurtful. I researched requirements and costs associated. Being a one income family, I wanted to keep our costs low.

My first step was being added to homeschool groups on FB. Specifically groups in my area. Those moms have so much knowledge and experience it was great to ask their opinions. In our state it is required that we are in a homeschool association so I researched those extensively and asked for recommendations.

After deciding on an association I started to research co-ops. I didn’t even know that co-ops were a thing, (total newbie) but they are and they are EXPENSIVE. I was looking at these prices and my mind was blown. I could not afford all of that. The main takeaway for co-ops seemed to be social interaction.

Well we live in a social media day and age soooooooo I hoped on my trusty Facebook and BLAMO!!!! Playdates that are free and possibly fun for me.

So all that was left was the curriculum (and whatever supplies I needed). When you start looking at curriculums make sure your association does not require a certain one, or have it be religious (I went secular for my curriculum… I teach God outside of school). Also check what proof they require, I need calendar days tracked, and proof of their work.

So I started my search where I always start my search… Amazon… and Amazon told me that curriculums are EXPENSIVE. They were a complete WTF moment.

3 of these are ONE subject!

Enter more peoples opinions, I was told online public school was free?! Worth a looking into…. But they are all online and you are logged in for hours in front of a computer screen and you have to go at the school’s pace. For my daughter that probably would have worked, but for my son, not so much.

Back to the face place to stalk the answers about curriculums and it seemed most moms (who were not doing religious based learning) made up their own…. but how??? This is where I am semi proud of myself (the diet coke of proud). I went to the Dept of Education website for our state and found what they require!! That easy. I pieced together my own curriculum.

If you get it…..

I bought things from the dollar store, Five Below, Amazon (has digital teaching items) and I found videos on YouTube to make learning more interesting and less mommy monotonous. Teacherspayteachers.com has free downloads, they are not entire curriculums but they are some worksheets you can use to insure comprehension.

So we have been “in school” since 8/3, Monday thru Friday, except for 2 days when I thought I was dying of Corona. My son loves homeschooling and is actually retaining information. He still struggles with writing so I’m hoping to have to research how to help him there. My daughter hates it, but only because she isn’t with her friends. She is excelling and because I make up the curriculum she can move ahead.

Not every day is perfect, I am learning quickly though what works and what doesn’t for them. I am praying that we are successful and that I am showing them learning can be fun. This on-going experience is reminding me what amazing kids I have, and for that I am forever grateful.

Remembering 9/11

This will definitely not be the only homeschool blog, I want to talk fied trips and money saving tips. If you have any questions, feel free to ask. I am obviously not an expert but I have a team of them on my Facebook pages!

Father’s Day

Happy Father’s day to all the men doing the most important job in the world!!

I want to take this time to thank the important fathers in my life.

First off, I want to say a special thanks to my sperm donor. The man whom I have never actually had a conversation with. He left my mom when I was a baby and that was it. So seriously THANK YOU for leaving. You are clearly not someone I needed in my life and because you left I got my dad.

To the only man I have called Dad, thank you. Thank you doesn’t really cut it. You stepped up and took on the challenge that is me when you were so young. You sacrificed so much for all of us. You taught me about good music, football and politics. You showed me how much you love me time and time again. We have butt heads more than once, and they are some pretty fond memories now, lol. I love you.

To the father of my older kids, thank you! I love being a mom and I love being their mom. We don’t see eye to eye on things but our love for them is never ending. Between our drama there are good memories that I will never forget.

Finally to my husband. Where do I start? You started being a dad before we were even married. You love all three of our kids so much and do anything for them. So much so that Mackenzie is aware she has you wrapped around her finger, lol. You go above and beyond on a daily basis. You bust your ass to make sure we have an amazing life. I love watching you to learn how to parent a baby/toddler. The joy on Tobias’ face when he sees you after work and listening to the kids run to give you a hug are some of my favorite moments. I love you.

Happy Father’s day!

Quarantine #2

I had to take a mental health break from blogging. It’s kind of funny that something that I love doing can become tedious or something I dread doing. That is my depression and anxiety coming through.

It’s now April 2020 and we have been quarantined for a month. Just like the memes, we started out strong… but it’s wearing on us now

Around day 30…
I was super excited!!

I was really looking forward to homeschooling my kids but as I found out doing the packets IS NOT homeschooling. I don’t even want to go into it!

Days are redundant, we have a picky one year one year old so we watch Cars 1,2,3 or Mater Tales ALL DAY. Schoolwork, Cars, eating and backyard.

Again… and again
I am going to have all these rolls

Other than doing schoolwork, my oldest has enjoyed quarantine the most. He doesn’t have a ton of friends and his one friend is quarantined as well. He is content playing minecraft and watching YouTube all day. I make him go outside and play everyday to give his eyes a break. Honestly he would probably be ok with this awhile longer.

The baby is loving having everyone home. He gets so much attention and love. He is learning so much, he says kitty, no, yes, mama, dada, dog, car, truck. He also is making car noises.

My daughter is a totally different story. She handles schoolwork well, but does not handle being in the house at all! We have spent a small fortune on things to entertain her. I have also tried to teach her to crochet,¬†make jewelry using UV resin, I let her make slime… which is something I never used to. Everyday she says what craft are we doing today??? I’m running out of ideas!!

My husband is working at home now, we are fortunate that he is considered essential. He is working in our closet Monday thru Friday. Poor man is extremely uncomfortable but it’s the only spot he can be on the phone and not hear everything happening in the house. Other than that he’s fine, probably a little concerned by my new online shopping addiction. But he hasn’t left me yet.

I have great days where I’m killing it and days where I cry getting out of bed. I am an introvert so being stuck in the house isn’t terrible, but I’m an empath and I feel EVERYONES emotions plus my own. So that is exhausting. But I am trying to make the best of the situation. I have started making jewelry, wire wraps and other bracelets.

First wire wrap bracelet

I have finished quite a few resin pieces, I started making YouTube videos for crafts, mostly kids stuff so far. I have been working out and trying to diet (so far my diet has consisted of EVERYTHING in the pantry). Reading books, started a new series on Netflix, playing with the kids, hanging out with the husband. Cleaning… I’m cleaning constantly, it is LITERALLY a never ending battle of cleaning.

How is your quarantine going? Are you having ups and downs or just smooth sailing?

My daughter is joining the circus

Just kidding…. I wouldn’t be ok with that until she is older

My daughter is taking Lyra classes, it’s kind of like a hula hoop that hangs from the sky. Think The Greatest Showman “Rewrite The Stars”.

This is her first year taking classes and she is FANTASTIC! Obviously, I say this as a proud mama but also

Look At This Skill!!

My daughter is obviously flexible, but she is also super strong. She doesn’t look like it because she is so skinny, but this girl has strength!

She also excels at anything athletic, a skill she got from her dad. I was flexible when I was skinny, but I was terrible at sports outside of gymnastics. This girl is good at anything, she just picks it up.

If you have a child like her and you are looking for something new and fun, check your local area for Lyra or aerial classes. You will not regret it!!

She made up the choreography
The beginning of her choreography


What activities do you have your kids in?? Or what activities did you do when you were younger?

Happy Birthday!!

My oldest turns 10 in 2 days and we had his party this weekend. It makes me feel old, but it also makes me nostalgic. So I went through the picture folders and watched my oldest grow up again.

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The only picture of my belly during my pregnancy with Brian.

He is over a day old in the picture, he was rushed to the NICU after he finally emerged because the cord had been wrapped around his neck for awhile. He was actually in a fishbowl for the first 24hrs to regulate his heartbeat.

My one year old and his beautiful curls! We “hacked” them off after this picture was taken and his hair was never the same

2nd birthday, he is looking stressed, lol

3rd birthday

My super sweet boy, I love his smiles.

Right after graduating kindergarten, he is obsessed with zombies and loves writing stories about them.

At 6 he wanted to be a Marine or a policeman, anything to help people

7yr old kid, still into the Marines!

My beautiful 8yr old, he was the ring bearer in our wedding!

9yr old, super great at school and just a sweet kid

And finally I have a 10yr old!

He is a wonderful kid, super creative, the sweetest kid. He is such a blessing and was a great introduction to parenthood.

Truth of Motherhood

I have seen many posts shared on Facebook about motherhood and how we (women) lose ourselves when we become mothers. They talk about the guilt and the weight gain, the depression. And that is only part of being a mother.

So much changes after women have kids, and I don’t want to demean what men go through, I can’t speak of it personally though.

Our bodies are never the same; fat in new places, stretch marks, nipples twice the size and darker. My breasts look like deflated balloons when I’m not breastfeeding.

The hormones we have racing through our bodies is INSANE. It’s similar to SC weather, 30 degrees at 7am and 70 degrees at noon, snow the next day.

The first time we hold the baby that’s been destroying us for 40 weeks is …. I can’t even think of a word. We go through the traumatic experience of labor and then we are handed this tiny human who depends completely on us. And though there are plenty of books, they don’t actually help you with your first post labor bowel movement or survive that first night home.

The love and compulsion to keep this little human safe is overwhelming. We have never felt this strongly about anything and it is terrifying. The first time they get shots and let out that shrill cry, the first time they have to “cry it out”, the first bruise/fall. Learning the heimlich for babies because your daughter is actually choking on an apple. The fear and sadness that we feel, going through these totally normal and necessary moments in our babies lives.

Our heart, or a large part of it, is literally walking around outside our body.

We want to be the best mother we can be, whether we are a stay at home mom or working mom. We sacrifice ouselves, body, sanity, sleep, diet, health, careers, all to be involved. Society tells us whatever we are doing is never enough or good enough. We push ourselves to the limit.

I wasn’t actually going in this direction when I started this post, but the blog took me here.

What I am saying here is motherhood is hard, again I’m not demeaning fatherhood, and moms if you read this. I salute you.

Next blog- Keeping Your “Self” in Motherhood

January 19th… well it would have been

*forgot to post this… oh mom brain

I thought I would give an update on my resolutions since it has been over 14 days

Most resolutions last only 14 days, did you know that?

Well I am proud to say that most of mine are going strong. I am exercising, reading, most days I am eating healthy, there are even entire days that the downstairs of my house is CLEAN!!

I have not concentrated on my business yet, which is upsetting but sometimes it feels like there are not enough hours in the day.

I am pretty excited to say that I’ll be recording a video of me working on some Valentine’s day resin pieces. I am both excited and nervous because I’m awkward. I am hoping that I will just come off as cool and relaxed, lol.

I have already finished Me Before You and started on After You, the sequel. I’m probably going to start blogging about the books that I read versus their movie counterparts. I LOVE comparing them!

I am very proud to say that my resolutions are rubbing off on my kids, my oldest son, who HATES reading, has been caught reading a book on his own time twice! And they are both getting more active with me and wanting to workout.

I was really hoping that making positive changes in my life would run off on my kids. Though they are not fat AT ALL I want them to have a healthy outlook on diet and exercise that will help them their entire life. When I was younger I was skinny, and I took that for granted. I was super out of shape and struggled to even get through a gym class. It makes getting skinnier after being obese for so long really hard.

So now that it is actually the beginning of February I can say that I am still keeping the downstairs of my house clean, working out, walking (I did 90 miles last month) and I’m eating pretty well!

I’m excited about the positive changes that I’m seeing in the house

Feeling proud

Merry Christmas!!

Christmas has come and gone now. The gifts have been unwrapped, toys played with, food eaten and kids are now asleep.

Well most of the house is asleep. I am up finishing my book

I am going up to bed, but I thought I would blog the day.

Our Christmas Eve went according to plan completely. Dinner, church, toast, opening one gift.

If you are a parent or an aunt, uncle, grandparent or anyone who helps with a child you know the rush and work that gets put in on Christmas Eve night after the kids are asleep. There is last minute wrapping, toys that need to be built, organizing of the presents and various other tasks. All for giving our kids the most magical Christmas ever!!

On Christmas morning the nerves and excitement are coursing through your veins hoping they love everything, even though you won’t get credit for everything you did *Santa*. But it is all worth it to see the smiles on their faces

This year was a hard one for me. I did not buy my older 2 kids (9 and 8) a single toy! Not a one.

I did not come to this decision lightly and I went back and forth multiple times. My kids don’t play with toys much anymore AND they have so many that they really didn’t NEED anymore. I decided to get them gifts that they would use more than once and things that would stimulate their minds.

I almost cried when I went to bed last night after setting up because we celebrate Christmas with my family. My brother has 3 boys and their piles were HUGE, piles of toys.

I knew my kids were going to see those piles and compare theirs, which were much smaller.

*this is our first Christmas with one income and in the past, even as a single mom I SPOILED my kids*

I tried to think positive and say that they would appreciate what they got.

It was as almost true. My son loved what he got, his big present was a build your own computer kit and monitor. He will be able to code his own Minecraft games.

My daughter did not appreciate much at first, she saw the size difference between piles and she was jealous. She smiled as she opened her gifts, but there wasn’t her normal joy. She didn’t get a “big” gift so to speak, she got roller skates and a radio/bluetooth speaker for listening to music.

I was hurt and disappointed to say the least, but there was nothing I could do. The parents open their gifts after the kids and then we eat breakfast.

After breakfast she came to me with her skates and asked if she could try them. I was so excited!

We went outside and practiced… this was her first time in skates

She did well, which is normal. She excels at anything physical.

After that her whole attitude changed.

I felt so much better.

And despite not recieving any toys, my children never once said, I’m bored!!

Some random pictures

Oh yeah… I got a DSLR camera!!

Mom, Where’s the Meatloaf?

If you know that line then you have seen Wedding Crashers. This blog has nothing to do with Wedding Crashers and everything to do with meatloaf.

If you are a mom and have a son like mine who hates anything green, then this is the blog for you!! I have tricked my “green hating” son into eating carrots, green beans and peas while eating his favorite food. Meatloaf.

I have tried so many different methods to make my son eat the food that he hates, which is mostly healthy stuff, but not always with him.

I tried

1. You will sit at this table until you eat all your food. Can’t watch your tv shows if your kid is sitting there, it’s basically a reward.

2. Screaming and yelling. That just doesn’t work people… ever

3. You’re grounded from… he just plays with something else

4. You’re grounded from everything! Follows you around and asks where babies come from, or makes new toys out of toilet paper rolls and other trash items

5. Catering to what he wants. It takes 45 minutes for him to poop because his body has no fiber

It is hard being a parent and the last thing any of us need is something to make it harder.

Enter my lots of Hidden Veggies Meatloaf

Ingredients, ground beef (can be chicken), bread crumbs, egg, bbq sauce and baby food… yep my secret ingredient is baby food.

I don’t measure anything by the way, I just “feel” what the recipe needs.

Blend all ingredients together

That’s a lot of bread crumbs… I felt too much

Cook at 450 for about 45 min to an hour

You have a happy kid who doesnt know he’s eating carrots, peas and spinach.

This idea is pretty versatile as well, you can use it for meatballs, in spaghetti sauce, if you coat them well, even chicken nuggets would work!