Just Another Manic Monday

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Oh, it’s truly just another Manic Monday today. My husband has his Grand Opening of the tavern World of Beer! This really is a dream of his coming true and I’ve been an emotional mess about it all morning. A happy emotional mess, of course.

He took the kids to school this morning then came back home to spend some time with me before we went in. Last night around 3:45 AM Jordan came into the bedroom crying because her throat hurt. She scared the crap out of me when she walked through the door, it has been years since one of them woke us up in the middle of the night. I rubbed some essential oils on her chest (lavender, lemon, peppermint, and melaleuca), set up the diffuser in her room, and sent her back to bed. The weather in Michigan has been going from one extreme to another the past few weeks, so I knew it had to be her allergies.

Matt said she seemed better this morning and she wanted to go to school, so off she went. Matt and I walked in to World of Beer a little after 11 AM and the place was pretty much packed. I took a seat at one of the tables and just took everything in. All the hard work, sweat, tears, long hours, and many many late nights. My husband has done it. He pulled it off!

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As I’m going through the beer list and taking everything in, I decide on a nice Oddside Citra Pale Ale. I got up and mingled with some of our friends that showed up early and ordered some lunch as I waited for my beer. I pour my beer and take a seat, then my phone starts to ring. “Kids School” pops up on my caller ID. Well….she made it a lot longer than I thought she would of. I pick up the phone and sure enough it was Jordan crying on the other end because her throat hurt and she tried her best today. I reassured her I was just 5 minutes away and I’d be right there. Oh well, I didn’t really need that awesome and amazing craft beer anyways….

So here I am, laying down on the couch, cuddled up with Jo, watching Hocus Pocus. “Don’t worry,” she just said, “I’m going to make it for Daddy’s Grand Opening tonight. I’ve been bragging about it to all my friends because I think it’s really cool his name is on top of the front door.” 🙂  No worries, little one…brag away!

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Monday Morning Update

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This weekend was probably the first relaxing weekend I have had in ages. The kids were over Saturday morning. Matt and I were both home from work this whole weekend and it was nice to have some one on one bonding time with each of the kids. I took turns taking a kid with me when I was running errands and it was a nice change of pace for the both of them. Plus, they got some one on one time with their Dad 🙂

A week from today we will be at Disney World! I can’t believe how fast it came up!  (we are flying there too!) That means my birthday is in two weeks. I swear my birthday comes faster every year, but I have one more year left in my 20’s. The kids have no idea we are going to Disney. We have yet to tell them and to the best of their knowledge they don’t think I know anything because I am usually the one to spill the beans. So that helps with the 21 questions they have been asking me. They are getting pretty smart and know how to trip me up on my answers. Little buggers.

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It’s going to be a jammed packed week this week. I will be doing my best keeping up with everything. I have all of our meal plans set up for the week and the food bought for dinners so that’s a huge thing to get out of the way. We had Balsamic Glazed Chicken for dinner last night and it was delicious. It is definitely something we will be adding to our dinner menu in the future.

So I haven’t been to Disney World in about 11 years. I’m really excited to be going again and bringing the kids. Anyone have any tips for when we are there? Any attractions that are a must see? Any secret things that you may have figured out and want to share?  We aren’t staying IN Disney World but we are about 5-10 minutes away!

It’s a New Week

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Happy Monday! It’s been a minute since I blogged. I have had a very crazy couple of weeks. Matt left for Florida this past Wednesday and is gone until next Tuesday. I got really sick Wednesday night and it’s still lingering around today. I thought it was just allergies, but this cough is literally knocking the wind out of me.

The first time my husband left for Florida I was at my mom’s house the majority of the time, so it didn’t really feel like he was gone that long. Now I am sick, have extreme PMS and cramps, and I have a list of things I need to get done before the end of the day today.

The kids had their first week of school last week. The first full day didn’t go as planned for James as he wanted it to. Let’s just say he got in an altercation with a kid on the playground on the first recess on the first full day of school. Their mother got a phone call from the principal and then called me after and told me about it. Boys and their taunting. I still just don’t get it. James beat himself up about it enough that none of us parents really needed to give him a stern yelling. Plus…these kids have been through a lot too this month. Sometimes we forget to stop and think that the things that are going on in our lives, effect them too. Doesn’t excuse his behavior but it makes you stop and talk to him on a different kind of level — a more concerned than angry level.

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Earlier last week the kids were at their friends house and Jordan came home to get some water and told me that James broke their friend’s trampoline net. (This family is moving soon and we are buying their trampoline from them.) I asked her how it happened and she said “James pushed me into the net and the net snapped and it can’t be fixed.” I didn’t yell or get mad, but I said, “Did you guys apologize to Mrs. Harper?” and she said “No, but I will go do that now.” and she left the house.

Later when they came home I asked James why he pushed Jordan into the net. “I didn’t push her in the net! She pushed me! Jordan!!!! Why would you lie!?” He was so pissed at his sister, I knew he wasn’t lying. I told her to go to her room and wait for me there. I walked in and asked her why she lied to me about the net. She told me she wasn’t lying. Crocodile tears and all. I told her I didn’t believe her and she said she MAYBE pushed James. I told her that until the truth came out of her mouth, her butt would be in the bedroom. SIX HOURS LATER she decided to tell the truth and told me she didn’t tell me the truth because she thought I was going to yell at her.

That made me laugh because from what they have both told me, I yell the least out of all the parents. I hate yelling — I have to be REALLY angry to yell. I told her, “I didn’t yell when you told me it was James. I asked you if you apologized. Did you apologize?” And her head went down. “Well. Get up. Put your shoes on. We are walking down there and apologizing.” She was very embarrassed and I was very angry at her for lying about EVERYTHING to me. The only truth out of her mouth was that the net snapped. The neighbors were totally cool about the net, probably because we are buying it from them anyways. (LOL) But when we got home I called Matt and told her he had to deal with her when he got home because I just couldn’t do it anymore.

Matt came home from work and informed her she will be grounded from playing with her friends and TV for two weeks, along with paying for half of what the new net is going to cost. She was devastated and Matt talked to their mother about it and she offered to keep the punishment going at her house as well. Just hearing the support from the other set of parents is very rewarding and makes us feel like a more united front. It doesn’t mean she has to follow the punishment with Jo, but just her offering to enforce it at their house made Matt and I feel a lot better.

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So last week was quite a week. Husband left, I’ve been sick, started my period (which means I’m not pregnant, that’s a whole other emotional battle), our son got sent to the principals office and our daughter lied to my face over and over again. I think it’s safe to say, this week can only go up from here.

Trying to Be Supportive

I woke up early this morning. I woke up early, set up my essential oil difffuser with some lemon and peppermint, and started making my list of things the kids and I needed to get done today. School starts next Tuesday and we have some back to school shopping to do.

Then I got a call from my husband.

He told me that he has to go back to Florida on Wednesday for a week…maybe two.

I lost it. I literally broke down and had a full blown out anxiety attack. He just got home from Florida. He was JUST there for two weeks and it was the longest two weeks of my life. The only thing that got me through those two weeks was knowing I wouldn’t have to do that again. Yet here I am, getting ready for him to leave again for who knows how long.

He’s never missed a first day of school for the kids. He has always been there with me every year. The kids are going to be heartbroken but they are also the most understanding kids I have ever met. Last time, James said, “We have to be supportive of Dad.” and he is right. Those words are ringing in my head right now.

What is making me laugh between the tears is that I am a very independent person. I honestly don’t mind doing things on my own, it’s actually quite calming at times, but that doesn’t mean I WANT to. And I don’t want to go another week or two without my husband — he’s my best friend.

I actually have a lot that I need to get done today — I’ve spent enough time this morning crying over something I  cannot change. I have to make a few calls to family and friends since our plans for this holiday weekend went from the four of us, to the two of us and now to just me.

I’m not usually the Negative Nancy when I blog, but today is a little different. Today I’m sad — but tomorrow will be a new day.

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Monday Morning Round-Up: (8/22)

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Monday is dedicated to recap the weekend and the week ahead!

My husband is home! I cannot even begin to explain the feeling when I jumped into his arms. He thought I was going to just swing by and pick him up on the curb at the airport terminal but I ended up parking my car and waiting for him at baggage claim. I swear to you, it was straight out of a movie with him coming down the escalator. I got up and I literally ran right into his arms and he didn’t even see it coming. 🙂 I never thought I could love someone as much as I love him, but I do and I’m not ashamed of bragging about it.

Matt came with me to pick up the kids yesterday and he really wanted to surprise them. He told me to tell them that he wasn’t back from Florida yet and we were going to go pick him up. (I really didn’t want to say that to the kids, I wasn’t sure what kind of reaction I would get and I was praying I wouldn’t get tears) — the kids and I were headed back to the car and I told them the story and they just hung their heads and as we rounded the corner by the garage he popped out and scared them. They were so shocked and excited. It was a beautiful thing to see the kids hug their Daddy and tell them how happy they are to have him home.

So I have this little issue going on here with our oldest, James. He is a great kid, he really is. He is loving, helpful, kind and funny BUT he has these extremely lazy tendencies and it drives me up the wall. Usually near the end of summer his laziness kicks into high gear, it’s like he was working on perfecting it and by the end of summer he has it down to a science. I get it, kids are kids, but when I ask him a question and the answer is “Okay” and he just makes a noise that kind of resembles “Okay” like.. uhhhhaaaaa” and walks away, all I see is red. I don’t know why, but I do. Maybe it’s because I know he knows better or maybe it’s because I know he wasn’t raised in a barn.  He’s wanting more freedom but can’t seem to talk like an eight year-old boy.  “I can do this myself!” he will demand, “Oh yeah? Well, if I have to remind you daily to brush your teeth because you keep telling me you aren’t doing it when I am telling you to or your mom is telling you to, then I don’t think that really qualifies you for more responsibility. And don’t get me started on your underwear dude…” I love the kid to death, he’s my son, but damn…

I was nominated for a couple of things this week! Tikeetha nominated me for the Happiness Tag and All In A Dad’s Work nominated me for the Black Cat, Blue Sea Award. Thank you, friends! I will get on that this week!

I also was asked to blog for The Huffington Post — I sent them a rough draft last week and they sent me an email to set up my personal bio with a picture for them. This is all really exciting and I’m looking forward to contributing to this awesome news outlet.

Happy Monday!

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Hello, Monday! (8/15)

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Well, I survived a week so far without my husband home. It was quite the week though and it had its challenges, but I kept trucking on through!

Last week the kids and I went to my mom’s house in Indiana to help her out with my Grandma.  The kids enjoyed seeing family, playing with their cousins and swimming with friends they’ve made in Indiana.

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The kids were playing dress up with old Halloween costumes at their cousin’s house. Jordan handed me a pokeball and told me to throw it at her so I could “catch” her LOL

One of the highlights was taking the kids to the pool where I spent my entire summers at growing up. I learned how to swim in that pool and I was on the swim team every summer. The munchkins had fun playing with their cousins and my girlfriend’s kids too. Sitting on the chairs watching them play made my heart happy. Years ago my girlfriend and I would say we would have kids and they would be friends playing in the pool like we did every day. And there we were…sitting at the pool…watching our kids play together. 🙂

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At the pool with cousins and friends!

We traveled back from Indiana on Thursday and I spent the rest of the week emerging myself into work and when Saturday rolled around I slipped at work and hit my knee so hard it swelled into a grapefruit within minutes. I hadn’t cried all week, I’ve kept it together, but that was just the last straw. I just lost it. I missed my husband, I’m exhausted, I have a million things going through my head and all I wanted was for him to pick me up, tell me I’m fine, slap my butt and tell me to keep my head up.

My girlfriends were awesome though. They swooped right in and kept me company, hung out, watched movies and were just what I needed. I’m lucky to have a few close friends I know I can always count on. Shout out to my favorite ladies!

As the week was coming to an end I got a phone call from my mom asking if I could come back down to Indiana Wednesday to Saturday. So, looks like I will be making another road trip this week but this time I will be flying solo!

Monday Morning Coffee: 8/8

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Monday is dedicated to a round up of my weekend and what the week ahead looks like! 

Well the day has finally come. I dropped Matt off at the airport at 5:30 am and I think it’s safe to say that I held it together in front of the kids. Last night they both mentioned to me how much they were going to miss Daddy while he was gone. I told them to think of it like Dad is just at work really late so he can’t see you tonight, but he always comes in and kisses you goodnight. That seemed to put a band aid on that for right now.

Last week I got a phone call from my mom and she needed my help down in Indiana as soon as I could get down there. I told her I would be there Monday after we dropped Matt off at the airport and stay until Thursday early morning. So. That is where we are headed this very minute. We dropped Matt off at the airport and are now headed down to my childhood town in Indiana. Just the kids and me. This is my first road trip with just the three of us and I’m actually really excited! They are fun road trip buddies, and this is just a four hour trip, nothing compared to our 20 hour + trip to Florida every year.

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So this week we will be spending it at “Mommy Kim” and Larry’s house. Steph told the kids earlier this week that we would be making a spur of the moment road trip to visit Mommy Kim and Larry and when we picked them up today they were beaming with excitement to see them. The funny thing is, when the kids get back from Indiana they are going straight to Ohio to stay with their (step) dad’s parents for the weekend. It looks like it’s a (step) grandparent’s week for the kids!

Last week a few tips I had contributed to the Huffington Post for a Childless Stepmom article was published. It’s always exciting to get an email from someone who would love your input and tips, especially if it is the Huffington Post!

Hope everyone has a fabulous Monday! Here is a little quote that I hope puts at least a little smile on your face.

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Monday Round Up: (8/1)

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Oh, Monday. You came way too fast, but I must admit, I like being back into a some what normal routine.

This past Thursday through Saturday Matt and I went down to Nashville, Tennessee! Country music every where! Nashville is known for being the home base to many country artists. We walked around downtown Nashville and stopped by Antique Archaeology which is a store that is on the TV show American Pickers. They had tons of shops with locally made items. I’m a sucker for all things made locally.

We took a tour through the Country Music Hall of fame and it was actually pretty awesome to walk through. It was literally like going back in time and following the story behind country music and where it originated from. If you are a country music fan, I highly recommend making a stop there. It was worth every penny. ($25 per person, not too bad for a two hour tour)

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Boy, did we eat good. I had some delicious meals while down south and I don’t regret one bite. We had amazing breakfast at Biscuit Love and Another Broken Egg Cafe. The menu at both places were so unique I could have tried one of everything. A giant cinnamon roll sliced and made into french toast with banana foster topping and fresh berries. The kids would of thought they died and went to heaven eating that, because I sure did!

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One night Matt took me to a place called The Farmhouse, which is a rustic wooden walled restaurant with very neat antique farm pieces placed around to give it a more authentic look. The menu was insane, almost everything they use in their dishes is from local farmers, again, I’m a sucker for local made things! We ate crispy pig ears, which tasted JUST like candy bacon. And for the main course….a pastrami poptart. Yes, you heard that right, a pastrami poptart. Pastrami stuffed inside a crispy made square crust with mustard cabbage, shallot jam and goat cheese. I was sold at the goat cheese.

We ended our trip with a night on Broadway Street which is known for their live music and honky tonks. Best. Night. Ever. It was so much fun listening to live country music played by some amazing local artists who are trying to make it in the country music world. By the end of the night, Matt had completely lost his voice. I think that’s a sign of a successful evening out, singing our heads off to country music.

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My little brother lives about an hour north of Nashville. On our way home we made a pit stop and had lunch with him and his girlfriend. It was nice to see him, because with our busy schedules, we rarely get to see each other. I am very close with both of my brothers, so seeing them always makes my heart happy.

Early Sunday morning, after we got home from Nashville, Matt and his friends went on a muskie fishing charter on Lake St Clair here in Michigan. They were like little boys, so excited to go out and catch some big muskie. Well, they sure did catch some big ones. All of us wives were getting picture messages of them all day. By the looks of it, he looks pretty proud to me. (Everything they caught was catch and release. The charter captains took extra precautions when releasing the muskie back into the lake and making sure they were swimming before heading off.)

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After the boy’s fishing trip, nine of us went to the Detroit Hoedown which is a bunch of country artists playing on three different stages at an outdoor venue. It was super hot and very crowded. It is usually a three day event, but this year they crammed it all into one day at a smaller venue. We did get to hear Brad Paisley sing our wedding song — which was pretty awesome to see live.

It’s safe to say I had a fabulous weekend in Nashville with my husband. We have some great memories to add to the memory bank and a list of things to do the next time we head down there. Now it’s back to reality and back to prepping for Matt to head to Florida next week.

My Not So Average Week

My Not SoAverageWeek

I’ve had an emotional roller coaster of a week. I missed my Monday Morning Coffee post, and you know what, I’m okay with that. As I mentioned before, Matt is starting a new job which begins August 1 and for this new job he has to travel to Florida for training for two weeks. We didn’t know exactly when he would have to go to Florida, but we knew it would be in the middle of August sometime. Well, Wednesday morning he found out they want him to leave ON August 1.

A million things began to run through my head. The kids were going to over night church camp on the other side of the state this week and they wouldn’t be back to the house until the morning of August 1. Which means…the munchkins  wouldn’t see Matt for 3.5 weeks and they are leaving the house to go back to their mom’s house in a few hours. OH GREAT! This is just AWESOME. Tears began to fall down my face, none of us have ever gone that long without seeing each other. I had to go back to the bedroom to regroup so the kids wouldn’t see me crying which I know in return would make them cry.

In the end, that really didn’t matter because they both ended up crying once James did the math in his head how long it would be until they see their dad again. So many thoughts were rushing through my head, all the things I was going to have to do alone with them and not be able to tag someone else in. I texted their mom Stephanie to tell her about what was going on so she had a heads up as to why they might be a little emotional or talking about Matt leaving. First off, let me say she was awesome and offered to some how get the kids to us this week after church camp so Matt could see them, but we already have our Nashville plans for the end of this week. In the end our schedule stayed the same, but everyone was on board about what was going on. (another co-parenting communication win!)

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A few hours later Steph sent me a text that said “Are you gonna be ok?”

Let’s stop here. This is something I wanted someone to ask me. This was the most caring question I have received about this situation thus far, and it came from my husband’s ex wife.

I told her how doing this alone with the kids is going to be tough for me, because the older they have got, the more they realize they can gang up on me when Matt’s not here. I mean, I can keep them in check, but they are getting smarter and smarter and some times I forget that. After I sent send, I thought, “Well shit, that was a really stupid thing to say to a woman who was a single mom to those two kids for almost a year.” — Which she responded with some encouraging words that she knows I CAN do this, but she was really wondering about the time when I’m alone….without the kids.

I began to cry, because that was a thought I was trying my best not to think about. I’m not the kind of person who likes to be alone. I don’t MIND being alone, it’s nice to be able to reflect on my thoughts and feelings from time to time, but I’m a people person. I LOVE being around people. My husband is my best friend. He’s my go to guy. If something really exciting happened, he is the first person I call. We’ve been together for six years and I’m still head over heels in love with him. Yeah, yeah, I know. Mushy gushy stuff, so cliche, I know, but it’s true.

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I told Stephanie how I was freaking out about how fast it was coming up, and she said to me, “OK, you’ll be OK. If you need me, I’m here.” Those two sentences gave me a sense of peace. This woman would straight up tell me if she thought she was worried about me being alone while Matt was gone, but she’s not. She believes in me just like some where deep down in me, I believe in myself.

So the past few days I have been spending with Matt, just the two of us hanging out and doing things together. I told myself it was OKAY if I didn’t blog every day this week, because well, to me, my family comes first. This morning he left to go fishing for a few hours so I decided I’d catch up on my blogging and explain my different blogging schedule for this week.

I know things could be worse and this is actually a really positive situation, so that is what I have been trying to focus on. This will benefit our family and this will strengthen our marriage. The longest I’ve gone without seeing my husband is three days — so this will be a true test, and I have no doubt that we will pass with flying colors.

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Before the Wild Beasts Wild Wine night at the Detroit Zoo Friday night! Such a blast with great friends!

Monday Morning Coffee (7/18)

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What a week. Last week I wrote about all the fun things my husband has planned for us next week. Thank goodness I did because I wrote down the wrong dates the kids were going to be at church camp and Steph saw my post so she was able to remind me! So it looks like we won’t be going to Cedar Point with the kids, but we didn’t tell them about it – so no one was sad or had tears!

We had a great time at our friend’s house on Saturday night. It was nice to be able to get together, talk and catch up on things we have missed over the past 3.5 years. Which we missed a lot, her two pregnancies, our wedding and how we are working on growing our family. It brought tears to my eyes when I saw a little version of her running around their house calling her mommy. It’s amazing to think we were just two middle school girls and now we are moms with kids.

I woke up in the middle of the night after we got home and was sick for hours. I think I got a total of 3 hours of sleep throughout the entire night. I was miserable yesterday and was thankful the munchkins were understanding and helpful. My dad called me after both kids were at the house and invited us over for dinner. What a life saver because it was just what I needed. My parents hung out with the kids playing catch and corn hole while I relaxed and Matt was at work.

So thinking I’m in the clear today — here comes the lovely monthly reminder that; I Am Woman. Hear Me Roar. (I’m sure you all know what I mean) So I am laid up yet again on the couch while my wonderful kids do their chores, play together nicely and share their chapter books that they both have.

Today I am thankful for our well behaved children, Midol and heating pads.

We have a pretty routine week this week at the Valentino house, with the exception Matt and I are going to the Wild Beasts Wild Wine this weekend. It’s an event put on every year at the Detroit Zoo and local wineries come and you get to walk around trying out the new Michigan wines. MMMmm wine. Is it Friday yet?