Back to School, Back to Chaos

Where has this Supermom been?  While I would love to say it has been quiet around here because I’m off on fun adventures with the kids, the reality is much much different.  It has been quiet because this mom has been dealing with a child with high anxiety.  Back to school is a rough time for Samuel because he loves routine but has no idea what the routine in his class is going to be.  Last year was a super rough year with a class bully, no friends in his class, and a teacher he didn’t mesh with.  All of that put together made for some crazy days that left me wanting to run away for awhile.

During one anxiety meltdown, he dumped three jars of spices.  The house smelled great but it was a mess to clean up.

During one anxiety meltdown, he dumped three jars of spices. The house smelled great but it was a mess to clean up.

While we still have a few of those anxiety issues, I’m happy to say it calmed down a bit when the class list was posted Friday evening.  His two best friends are in his class and he got the teacher he wanted.  The bully is still in his class this year but he feels more confident since his friends are there too.  This overwhelmed momma breathed a huge sigh of relief when she saw who was in his class.

I went to the bathroom one morning and came out to find him hanging from this light.

I went to the bathroom one morning and came out to find him hanging from this light.

I am very much looking forward to getting back into routine, but I’m not at all excited about the chaos it brings.  We had meet the teacher last night and came home with a stack of papers to go through.  Just reading the expectations sent my stress level high.  Typical kids can be difficult getting them to do homework but special needs kids take it to a whole new level.  We also have a lot of therapy between two kids that we need to fit in.  And all the therapists and our social worker ask us often what we are doing to keep him in activities so we can work on social skills.  I’m worn out trying to fit it all in and I know it is exhausting to the kids too.

I always start out the year feeling ready for the fresh start.  I’ve planned well, the house is picked up, areas for papers are cleaned out, etc.  This year I just feel defeated.  While the summer flew by, it wore me out. My house is a semi-wreck, I just cleaned out the paper cubbies from last school year last week, and my planning charts haven’t been updated at all.  I’m hoping that once we get into a routine I can get back on schedule and not feel so overwhelmed.  My youngest is starting preschool two days a week next week which means I get a bit more of break too.

Dishcloth

I realize some of my overwhelmed feeling is because I have very little in the way of stress relief these days.  Running or some form of exercise used to be my main way to overcome stress.  However, I’m still injured and no one knows why.  Two doctors, one physical therapist and starting a new PT next week and still no answers.  I haven’t run in six months and was only allowed a tiny bit of exercise a few months ago but had to stop due to the foot not healing.  I reached my limit a few weeks ago and as I was walking past my bedroom I spotted my container of yarn sitting in the corner.  I used to knit and crochet but haven’t touched it in almost two years.  It was always a huge stress reliever as I could get lost in a project for awhile.  I picked up the yarn and crocheted a dishcloth.  It was super simple, helped me get back on track after not doing it for awhile, and didn’t require a lot of brain cells to complete.  Now I’m itching to make a few more things.  I’ve been taking my projects to therapy on days I don’t have all the kids with me and working on projects in the waiting room. Not quite as therapeutic as running but it does help.

So, tomorrow starts a new school year with a 4th grader, 1st grader, and preschooler.  I started a lot of posts over the summer and never was able to finish them so hopefully you will see some great content around in the next few weeks. In the meantime, I’m going to try to get back on track and get our schedule figured out so I’m not so overwhelmed.  Tonight we have our annual back to school dinner out where I usually inform the family of the schedule and expectations for the year.  I’m turning it around this year and asking for input so that they have some ownership in the plan too.

What is your favorite part of back to school and what do you dread?  I know I’m not the only one who has a love/hate relationship with back to school.

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Sometimes All You Need Is a Box To turn a Day Around

Last week we were having ROUGH day.  As in, “count down the minutes until daddy gets home from work and he only left the house an hour ago” kind of day.  I was at my wit’s end and ready to call it a day but I knew there was a lot of day left.

I run an online business and all boxes and packing material that come into our house are saved and reused for the business. I had a huge Amazon Prime Pantry box sitting to the side of the living room as I had just unpacked it.  One of the boys asked if they could use it as a rocket ship.  We were having such an awful day that I decided sacrificing one box was minor for my business but could go a long way towards entertaining my kids.

After playing in it for a few minutes they decided it needed decoration so I gave them a container of crayons and let them have at it.  Between art and pretend play it entertained the two youngest for a good hour and really changed the attitude of our house. In fact, it is almost a week later and they still are playing with that box.

Sometimes we just need a change of direction on those rough days.

What helps change rough days in your house?  Feel free to share ideas as we all have rough days from time to time.

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Mommy Confession: Laundry That Never Makes It To The Dryer

I know I’m not the only one to do this, but it drives me crazy every time I do.  Yesterday I started a load of towels while my child was napping.  Life was insanely crazy (bad behavior from kids, flat tire, asthma attack/croup for the youngest, major storms coming in, etc) and I completely forgot about the laundry.  That night I realized it and they had already gone south.  It was fairly warm here and I didn’t want to turn on the a/c so on days like that I need to move laundry fairly quickly or it starts smelling.

I decided to put it on a quick wash cycle and then move it before bed.  My youngest woke up and needed my help to get back to sleep.  I asked my husband to move the laundry on his way to bed and at that exact moment his phone rang and he got called in to work.  Both of us promptly forgot about the laundry.

I discovered it this morning when I went to start another load.  Ugh, time to wash again as they smelled.  This time I threw some vinegar in and just set it on a rinse cycle.  I had plenty of time before school and morning activities to get it moved over but once again forgot.

I walked in the door to discover the forgotten laundry yet again.  They didn’t really smell too bad so in true exhausted mom form, I threw them in the dryer, added a few drops of lavender oil to help with any that smelled, and called it good.

Anyone care to share their laundry confessions?

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Mommy Confession: My Kids Are Addicted to Electronics

Get used to Mommy Confessions around here, after all, this supermom has lost her cape!

So, I started this lovely blog and then disappeared for almost a week.  Why would anyone do that?!  Well, two of my kids received new Kindles for Christmas and the third is addicted to You Tube videos on the internet.  Our new data plan for the month started on Christmas Eve.  The kids were off school for 2 1/2 weeks and I allowed them to be on their devices way more than they should be.  Ten days ago I went to log on to check Facebook while having breakfast and there was a huge warning across the top of the page that we had used 76.4% of our data for the month with 10 days to go!  We’ve never even come close before so I honestly didn’t even know what the cap was.

I immediately put the kids on lock down.  The Kindles had updated restrictions as to how much time they could be on them (I love the Free Time app where you can easily set restrictions), You Tube videos were limited, and I used the data on my phone to keep up with social media and my online business.  I hit a few coffee shops to enjoy my beloved coffee and some free wifi to get a bit more work done but the blog had to take a backseat for the week since I was so limited on my online time.

We finished the month using 97% of our data.  My oldest woke up this morning running through the house screaming “it’s a new data month!”.  I had to quickly remind everyone that we will still have to watch our data use so this doesn’t happen again.  I foresee needing to go up a plan this summer but we will play that by ear.  Summer gets real interesting around here but that is another discussion for another day.

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Mommy Confessions: Laundry

We all have mommy confessions – those things you are just sure no one else does and that they would probably think less of you if they found out.  It turns out, most of us have done those things too so don’t feel bad about it.  Instead laugh and move on.

Today’s mommy confession has to do with laundry.  My oldest son has sensory issues and will only wear soft pants.  He is super picky about them and they changed the style this year on his favorite ones.  Due to this, he only owns 4 pairs of pants.  I do a ton of laundry anyways so it isn’t usually a problem but my youngest had adenoid surgery on Wednesday so I haven’t been home to do laundry.  This morning I realized there were no clean pants in the house.

Like any good mommy, I went to the laundry hamper, pulled out the top pair and smelled them.  They smelled fine so I handed them to my son.  He would never have worn them if he saw me do this but he didn’t so he has no clue.

As soon as the kids went to school I started a load of laundry so he will have clean pants tomorrow.

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