Feeling Overwhelmed

I was supposed to do a blog post on Weds for Bonnie’s Book Club. If you were anticipating that, I apologize. I’ve been a little overwhelmed.

I have been biting off more than I can chew lately, it’s a pretty constant problem in my life. I constantly want to go go go but I put so much on my plate, then my depression kicks in so I get NOTHING done. My anxiety then let’s me know what a worthless POS I am and we go round and round.

BUT some great things are slowly happening… the kids and I got some Halloween decorations up

We got some much needed yard work done, we chopped down 5 trees and sprayed the weeds, I might need to do that again.

I have lost 6lbs!! I know that is a seemingly minor victory BUT for me it’s pretty huge.

Homeschool is going… ok… ish… there are great days and days when the kids and I scream at each other. We finally got to the library (our local is closed for renovations). The closest one we can go to is 45min away… and it is in a temporary building. But it was great to get new books!

I have done SO MANY LOADS OF LAUNDRY this week. I gave clothes away, donated some can goods.

I have been working really hard to get my life in order, but I still have SO MUCH TO DO.

That’s where I am this Friday night. I hope you all have a fantastic weekend!! Got any definite plans? We have 90% chance of rain so we are staying in.

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.

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!

DIY

I am a fan of giving personalized and thoughtful gifts. They may not always be the most expensive but they are always planned and throughly thought out.

This past Christmas both kids needed new shoes and I wanted to give them shoes that were reflective of them.

My son’s shoes were much easier to do. He is obsessed with Minecraft…. OBSESSED. So I made what I call creeper shoes (it is a character in Minecraft).

I grabbed $5 slip-on from Walmart, 2 kinds of green fabric paint, chalk marker and a square stencil.

I used the stencil and the marker to create my pattern. There are other ways to make them, some have printed a creeper face and drew the squares around that. It’s a cool effect, that I will try next time. After you have your design I traced the squares and let them dry, then colored them in.

The youngest, trying to help
Total cost $12

For my daughter, I made glitter shoes! Bought more $5 Walmart shoes and did a layer of Elmer’s school glue and then glitter. I painted on the glue in small sections, so it wouldn’t dry and I immediately glittered. In between coats I allowed at least an hour of dry time and I gently brushed off any loose glitter, so it didn’t congeal with the glue. WAY more time consuming and if you don’t keep glitter at home, could be pricey. To finish the shoes I did 3 layers of just glue.

I used the bags to make it easier to apply the glue

So those are my DIY shoes! The kids loved them and they have held up really well.

Do you love homemade presents? Do you ever make them?

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

Photo Fun

My husband got me a Nikon D3500 DSLR camera for Christmas and if you are a camera snob I KNOW that it is not the best out there, or even the second best. But I LOVE my camera and it is my first DSLR so I have been very excited to use it whenever I can. It took some getting used to, like using the viewfinder again and not the big screen that I had been using for years.

It is so funny to think of now but I have been getting camera’s for presents for over 10 years! I have always loved taking pictures, I used to be the family photographer when we went on vacations/trips. And then I turned into a selfie obsessive individual in my early 20’s and once I started having kids they became the focus of my lens. Phones with cameras have been my favorite invention, probably ever. I love having the ability to snap moments of joy as they happen because I have a camera conveniently located in my back pocket.

So flash forward to having my first DSLR camera and I am over the moon.

I do not have editing software, these are just natural pics and I am pretty proud of them! I know that they are mostly of my kids but honestly, my family is my entire life and I love having beautiful pictures of them to show off to people.