The Rantings - For Everyone

The Holidays Are Over

The Boyfriend officially went back to work last night after a week long holiday.

We dropped the kids off at Alfie’s a few days before he started holidays. It was such a good drive out there and the kids absolutely loved having all the room in the truck. The drive home was long and boring and it felt so good to finally be home.

It seemed like almost as soon as we dropped the kids off, our days got really busy. We’d wake up to messages or phonecalls early in the morning and then be gone from the house all day. For almost an entire week straight, we did stuff almost every single day.

We spent one day at Gull Lake, which ended up not being as fun as we were hoping it would be, but also ended up being an absolutely great time. The plan was to go out on this big inflatable island that everyone’s been obsessing about. But everyone ended up being more interested on sitting on the beach or playing in the water. It was quite a gross muggy day and it was really smoky from all the fires out in BC, so I mostly laid in the sun.

Then, we did another Drumheller trip so that The Boyfriend’s Dad could see it. We even got to go see the hoodoos – which were exciting but again, not like what I had built it up in my head to be. It was ridiculously hot when we went and everyone else seemed to have way more energy than me. At one point, the whole family was up climbing on these rocky hills, where everyone was climbing, and I was just standing on the little platform watching them. The museum was pretty much the same, except this time we only had two kids to pay attention to, so we were actually able to read some of the signage and such. By the end of that day, I was very sore! Lots and lots and lots of walking – and unlike last time, I wore my flip flops this time, which is not a good idea when you’re going on an adventure…

We also did another Crescent Falls trip. Normally the drive into the falls really scares me – it’s pretty steep and the road is gravel and it gets really narrow and curves. You even have to drive through water at one point. We’ve been there so many times now though that I took the drive into the falls like it was nothing.

The Boyfriend and Carter went on a 3-hour long hike to get to “the other falls” – although again, I think everyone was expecting it to be way more exciting than it was, so came back a little defeated. I hung out on the rocks by the river with Cazzwell for all that time. Thankfully, my mom-in-law is a genius and somehow manages to create something out of nothing, and we weren’t sitting in the sun all day, because it was an incredibly hot day. It cooled off fast in the evening, but during the day, sweltering!

We also went out for an adults-only dinner – which was super nice. The Boyfriend got dressed up in his vest and had recently picked me out a pair of heels, so I even got dressed up to go – wore a dress and heels in public for the first time in a really long time, like stupid long time! It was nice to feel fancy, even if we looked totally out of place among all the other dinner-goers.

It’s been so nice being down the three kids just for the sake of cleaning. Cazzwell is officially at the age where he’s getting into everything. He’s figured out how to climb the stairs, he crawls off the couch and he moves really fast. Plus, everything (and I mean, everything!) goes into his mouth. He pulls things off shelves to put in his mouth, he squeezes underneath of things to find something to put in his mouth. And his toys (which he barely has any of), end up absolutely everywhere. How did it get it in the bathroom? I don’t know, he’s never even been in there. But somehow, his toy is…

Dishes has been the greatest break. Doing one load of dishes a day and being completely done them is so much better than doing three loads of dishes a day and still having some left (that you forgot on the stove…). So much nicer when a plastic container meant for leftovers isn’t used as a bowl for cereal or when a fork is used as a fork instead of replacing a spoon that people were too lazy to wash. It always drives me nuts that over the years I’ve collected about 14 – 16 plates, and a family of 6 should theoretically need no more than 6 of those a day – and yet, at the end of the day when they’re all home, my sink is filled with 14 – 16 plates… It’s so much nicer to just have to wash a couple of those a day than all of them.

I’m definitely looking forward to the kids coming home. I started missing them really fast this time and especially with us going out so much and doing things so much. I always feel bad when they miss out on these big family adventures – even though, a) they’re having their own family adventures up there and b) they’re normally not that interested in our big family adventures. But I still hate when they miss it! I don’t even know right now when they will be coming home – a bunch of dates have been thrown out. Basically, once their family reunion is over.

However, I’m also not looking forward to the kids coming home because once they do, it’s almost immediately time to start getting ready for school. Have I ever told you how much I absolutely hate back-to-school? It’s probably my most hated time of year, because it is just so mind-numbingly stressful. It’s scream-into-your-pillow kinda stressful, cry-yourself-to-sleep kinda stressful, hate-the-world kinda stressful. This year has the added stress of another kid entering middle school. I’m just not looking forward to all that stress!

The Rantings - For Everyone

The Kaeidyn Drama

Originally written around March 13th:

Parenting is the by far, the hardest thing I’ve ever done. And you’d think it would get easier as they got older, but the reality is that it just gets harder and harder. Since my last post, the Kaeidyn drama reached the boiling point today and we ended up going into the school and having a discussion with them.

As part of the school program, Kaeidyn’s able to use Google Hangouts. She enjoys it because she can keep in touch with her friends. And she knows that all the parents have access to her account and are regularly reading through her conversations. Last night, The Boyfriend checked in as usual and noticed some seriously disturbing messages.

One boy had sent her sexually explicit messages asking her to do a variety of sexual favors for him. No matter how often she said “No” or the number of ways in which she said it, the boy continued to ask her and push her – at one point even stating that he would force himself on her. One girl had sent her pictures of her cut arms and messages claiming that Kaeidyn was the cause of them. Immediately, The Boyfriend called me and we began hashing out a plan on how to deal with it.

We woke up early this morning and went down to the school to get it sorted out. We’ve had problems with the girl in the past and honestly, I’m incredibly concerned about her, so I wanted to bring that to the school’s attention right away. We met with the principal and it sounds like they will be talking to each of the kids we mentioned, including Kaeidyn. He will confer with Kaeidyn’s counselor and they will do what they can on their end.

The Boyfriend had been fuming prior to the meeting but was comforted by the meeting. I walked out more upset than I was before we had gone in. The feminist in me is angry at all men today and I don’t see it going away for a while.

All night and all morning, The Boyfriend kept saying things that just were a little off to me. After the boy pushes and pushes Kaeidyn, instead of saying “No“, she replied “Maybe” to the question “Would you have sex with me?“. This irritated The Boyfriend to no end and multiple times he said things that implied that Kaeidyn was inviting more advances. He kept saying that we should ground her off of Hangouts and essentially punish her for allowing herself to be violated, for not telling the parents immediately, for something. This is after the other night spending hours on the phone with Alfie basically listening to the same crap.

Then, we go into the principal and the language used, once again treats it like she’s instigating and she’s at fault. She’s “vulnerable” and “perky“, “attracts the boys” and “puts herself in the middle“. Again, no one is out and out saying, “It’s her fault!“, but almost implying that it is.

I remember being 11-years-old. You are sexual even when you’re not even aware that you are sexual. I remember one time sucking on a candy cane, like I did all the time. Except this particular year, a boy mentioned how sexy it was when I did that. I couldn’t understand how it was possibly sexy and relied on my Mom to tell me. Kaeidyn’s going through the exact same thing and the language used by all the men and even some of the women in our life, implies that she’s somehow at fault for how others’ see her.

It’s ridiculous how ingrained this thinking is in the mind’s of the people around me. It reminds me of when she was wearing short skirts and everyone immediately told her that she “would be raped” dressing in that way. And I feel like everyone is reacting to this negatively, except for me. And I can’t seem to convince anyone of how okay all of this is.

The reality is, that kid is growing up. And faster now than ever before. And in this time, we make the decision what kind of parents we’re going to be and what kind of relationship we’re going to have with her. And to be honest, it is a thousand times more important to me that she comes and talks to me when she’s ready to have sex than it is for me to not have her having sex. Of course, I don’t want my baby girl to have sex yet and I don’t want her out kissing boys and being surrounded by drama. But I know that I don’t control that, she does!

Added on March 26th:

After being talked to by the principal, the boy is no longer talking to Kaeidyn. He considers her to be a “snitch” and Kaeidyn has moved on and seems entirely un-phased by it. She has blocked the girl on Hangouts and has been attempting to steer clear of any drama.

The Dads have all seemed to simmer quite a bit and we haven’t had anymore discussions regarding it. Kaeidyn spent some time not using Hangouts, simply so all the parents could come back down to earth, and has only recently started up again – so far, so good.

#FridayFavorites

#FridayFavorites: For the Week of November 27 – December 4

Ever wanted to be able to see what I’m up to all over the web without actually having to go all over the web? Well, now you can with #FridayFavorites. Join me every Friday to see my favorite finds and posts over the last week.


Favorite Tumblr Find

Everything you find on my Tumblr will be absolutely NSFW and totally intended for adults only! But here’s my favorite PG-13 find from this week and be sure to check out my #TumblrFavorites posts.

http://valerieraynetumbles.tumblr.com/post/134109520216/allofmydirtylittlethoughts-jennebenn17

Follow My Tumblr


Favorite Google+ Update

Kaeidyn went to her first ever school dance this week. She looked so beautiful and adorable standing next to her boyfriend at the Winter Formal.

Circle Me on Google+


Favorite Tweet

I’ve been spending some time in a chatroom, as I do every few months, and I’ve attracted a few readers. Love when I reach new view milestones!

Follow Me on Twitter


Favorite Instagram Post

We went to the 22nd (if I remember, correctly) Annual Breakfast with Santa with the kids and it was a total blast (see the post below)! This is turning out to be a much better Christmas than I had anticipated it would be.

Follow Me on Instagram


Favorite Posts Over the Last Week

In case you might’ve missed them over the last little while, here’s my favorite posts from around here over the last week…

Follow My Blog


 Well, that’s my #FridayFavorites.

I encourage you to follow me wherever you are and if you have favorites that are different than mine, let me know what you loved in the comments below! And be sure to join me next Friday for another installment of #FridayFavorites – what will I find?

The Rantings - For Everyone

Lessons in Letting Go

I have been sleeping a lot lately. Too much. Being awake seems like such a boring burden. We’re only three days into the kids being back at school full-time and I’m already driving myself insane with daytime boredom.

Then, finances are just kicking our butt right now, as they do every year at this time. And we keep saying, “You’d think we’d learn…“, but apparently we didn’t and we don’t. We know exactly what we’re doing wrong and how we can fix it, but it’s never easy to take ideas and turn them into action – especially when the task at hand seems so large and daunting.

Eventually We’ll Quit

We talked about quitting smoking again, as we always do whenever finances get tight. It seems like the quickest way to save money. Normally it’s all talk, but this time we both flirted heavily with the idea. To the point where we went an entire 24 hours without a smoke, before I caved and begged for one.

After 13 years of smoking, giving it up seems like such a big deal. And I hate when my only motivation seems to be finances, even though I know that I have other motivations – none of them ever seem important enough to make me want to quit – except finances. And that never seems good enough for me.

It’s also a terrible time to decide to quit. Posts on my blog are clear evidence of the stress I’ve been feeling. Quitting the only thing that brings me any relief isn’t the way to lessen my stress. It’s not exactly the best time to make a life-altering change, especially after the steady influx of those recently.

The reality: it’s all a bunch of excuses so that I can continue smoking. And I kick myself in the butt every time, but eventually you just have to realize that you’re not ready and there’s always tomorrow! So, “tomorrow” it is.

Back-to-School Adjustments

In other news, back-to-school is going better than I thought it would and we’ve managed to form a semi-workable routine for the time being. The kids have been waking up and going to bed at the same time, we do all our reading and schoolwork before bed and they all have more than enough time in the morning to gather up anything they could possibly need. The boy have all been doing great walking to and from school and Kaeidyn’s gotten the hang of her bus. Now I just need to stop falling asleep while they’re at school…

Carter is not adjusting well to the full-days at all and is struggling with the whole concept of bedtime. Some nights we seem to have no problem getting him to go to sleep, but other nights, he’ll come down for hours and hours on end. He tends to get scared upstairs “by himself“, even though he’s surrounded by the other kids. He’s been having a lot of nightmares lately, which isn’t helping. And then the waking up early in the morning is being pretty difficult for him. He’s often still tired and wants to go back to sleep. Yesterday, he was so mad at me for waking him up, he got out of bed and stormed out of the room in his half-asleep state and slammed his head right into the door. He was so mad, he didn’t even cry or say “Ow!“, he just stomped his way downstairs.

Lessons in Letting Go

I was not very happy waking up this morning. Kaeidyn has had a “boyfriend” since last year. They broke up because he “cheated” on her, but then they made up sometime later. After a tumultuous summer apart, they have now picked up “dating” again in middle school. I knew all of this and then this morning, I got a message from her boyfriend on my phone asking when they were going to kiss. She’s signed into her account on my phone and so I get all sorts of notifications, and it’ll stay that way until she’s old enough to use all of this stuff independently.

Six in the morning, he tries to call her. I was already pissed about “when are we going to kiss“, I was even more pissed that I was being woken up almost an hour early for a phone call from her boyfriend. Needless to say, I didn’t answer it. When Kaeidyn woke up, she got a mini lecture about the messages I had read and the early morning call. She went to school and then The Boyfriend came home and I vented to him about the whole thing. Being the protective Daddy that he is, he immediately responded to the message, “You can kiss me when you talk to my two Dad’s“, to which the cocky little eleven year old boy responded, “But can’t we do it secretly?!?“. Jaws dropped…

I hope that the lecture that followed after school got through to her. I hope she heard me when I explained why she can’t do it “secretly“. I told her, “Straight up, I care far less about you kissing a boy than I do about you sneaking around behind my back!“. I struggled not to raise my voice as I explained, “You worked so hard to raise my trust up enough that you get to do a lot of things now that you never used to. You worked so hard, it would be a shame for you to lose that all now.“. I never once told her not to kiss him or that she shouldn’t do it, but I did tell her that if she’s not mature enough to talk about wanting to kiss a boy, maybe she’s not mature enough to be kissing a boy. If “secretly” is the only way either of them is comfortable doing it, then maybe they’re not ready to be doing it at all.

I can’t be with her every moment of every day and I can’t always have my eye on her. The most I can do is arm her with an arsenal of support and hand the safest ball possible to her. It’s in her court now and she’s gotta call the shots. It’s a lesson in letting go, that I wish I had a few more years before I had to experience. All I can do is try my best and thank goodness I have a great man to turn to and vent and be comforted in knowing that he carries some of the burden too.

Stress Level 11 and Happy Birthday Monkey

The Night Before Back-to-School

It’s supposed to be done! I finished everything on the to-do list, I checked it all off. The stress is supposed to be gone! But it’s not, it just seems to have gotten worse and worse. I suddenly feel completely bogged down by the stress.

I’m glad it held off all day, even through a beyond bitchy daughter snapping at me all day and a bunch of kids who are way too excited about the first day of school. I got through the school shopping without rubbing my temples once and took everything in stride. I did the cleaning I had set out to do without any issues or procrastination and even had fun mowing my lawn.

I should be feeling accomplished. I should be feeling completion and closure. However, all I feel is stressed. My chest feels tight from the stress. And I can’t put my finger on the cause. I’m hoping that it’s just waiting for the first day of school to start.

The First Day of School

Kaeidyn starts school about half an hour before the boys do, so we had more than enough time to go drop her off in the morning. The Boyfriend came home early from work and we were all so excited. She was a ball of nerves. I dropped her off and it felt good knowing she was surrounded by kids she went to school with last year.

Dropping the boys off wasn’t nearly as much of a gong show as it usually is and we quickly found their classrooms and the whole thing took us less than half an hour. They all rushed off to do what they needed to and we were on our way in no time. The whole experience had completely wiped me out and when we got home, both The Boyfriend and I slept until it was time to go pick them up from school.

All the older three said they had great days and had lots to say about what they had gotten to do and what the plan for the next day was. Carter said it was “a bad day” and that it was too long for him. “It was boring. All we got to do was sit there.“. He’s definitely not used to the full days yet and spent the entire night not looking forward to going back the next day.

The Second Day of School

This morning, The Boyfriend couldn’t come home from work early and so Kaeidyn, who had just gotten her bus pass the day before, took the city bus to school for the first time in her life. I was seriously freaking out about this moment so much for some reason. I went to walk her out there, the morning air freezing cold, and a whole bunch of her friends were standing there waiting. So, she went on her way alone and I returned home to watch her from the window.

Then, the boys walked to school. This is the first year that Kaeidyn wasn’t with them, so Kenzie was the oldest kid – meaning he was in charge. Plus, this was Carter’s first time walking to school without an adult present. It was a big step and they were all so well behaved for it. I got a full report back when they got home on how everyone was and I couldn’t believe how buddy buddy they all were after it. I was expecting some sort of hassle, but it went perfectly.

All the firsts was so much for me though. The Boyfriend came home from work and I felt it all just sort of bubble forward. I vented about a lot of things to him – too many things. I went off about things that I didn’t even mean, just was in the heat of the moment of it all. “I no longer have any babies. I’m an un-fertile old woman. I’ll never have another first like this!”. No tears, but lots of frustration. Needless to say, I went to bed and slept until it was time to go pick the boys up.

The second day went much better for all of them and if I thought they were talkative on the first day, I was shocked at the amount of talking on the second day. Everyone had stuff to say all night long and often we’d have to raise up our hands, “One at a time!!“, because they’d all just get so excited about all the things they did and all the things they were going to get to do.

The Weekend Finally – Happy Birthday Monkey!

Now that it’s the weekend, I’m feeling a little bit more relieved of all the stress I’ve been feeling. Mom took two of the kids last night and two of the kids tonight and that has been helping tremendously. Then today is Keirnan’s birthday and it’s been a day full of reflecting over the last eight years of his life, and that is being beautiful.

It’s incredible to think about how far he’s come, to think about all he’s been through and where he’s now. I spent most of the evening going through pictures of him from his younger years and it’s amazing how much he’s grown. From the baby with the weak lungs and jaundice lying in an incubator to this amazing, kind, handsome, sneaky devil of an eight year old. Tonight, I’m feeling like the proudest Mommy in the world.

The Rantings - For Everyone

Check In and Vent

One of the things that I absolutely love about The Boyfriend is his ability to completely calm me when my nerves are running rampant. He can tell immediately when something is up and somehow always manages to say exactly the right things to make me forget how stressed out I feel.

Getting Back-To-School Ready

We went to the school and got all the school lists for the year. I refrained from feeling utterly embarrassed when Kaeidyn inquired what type of counselling programs her middle school will have – and whether or not there will be one for kids whose parents have split up. First of all, we originally asked for counselling due to a break-IN not a break-UP. Second, we don’t think she needs counselling for something that happened seven years ago and has always been an amicable break up. Third, the first time anyone at the school meets us as a family and our kid is already asking for counselling… I’m sure I turned various shades of red!

We plan on waking up early tomorrow to do the actual school shopping. The plan is to go first thing in the morning when the stores are likely to have less people in them so that it won’t be such a hassle keeping track of the four kids. I’m stressing about the financial aspects and how much it’s going to cost, but The Boyfriend says he’s got it all figured out and I know from experience that if he says it, he means it. So, I’m letting him worry about it and I’ll worry about the kids.

Boys Being Boys

The boys have all been pretty terrible these last couple of days and that’s causing me a great deal of stress. I feel like I’m yelling a lot lately and they all just seem to be at really terrible stages. Kenzie is getting into talking back and I always find that really hard to deal with. I hate when my kids leave my mouth gaping and speechless. Carter seems to always want to fight with everyone and no one is ever interested in fighting. And so he’ll keep pushing and pushing and pushing until eventually the person gets irritated enough to strike back in a big way. Albeit, he hasn’t gotten hurt at all, there is a lot of crying involved in the whole process – this super dramatic, over-acted cry. And while Keirnan never seems to be directly involved in anything that is causing trouble, he does always have to involve himself in some way, sneakily. He’s also been lying, a lot!

I’m hoping that it will just ease itself out over the next couple of weeks. I think a great deal of it all is caused by excitement over back-to-school. I think a great deal of it is caused by a lack of structure in their days. I think once those two things become relatively more fixed, they’ll naturally let up on the constant bad behaviour. I hope…

The End…

I’ve been trying to write a lot over the last two days. My drafts folder is evidence of this, as I am officially up into the double digits for those. I keep getting two or three paragraphs into something, it’ll give me an idea for something else and the ideas just keep coming in those three paragraph snippets. Everything is left undone. And unfortunately, I struggle with picking things back up after I’ve neglected them. I’m working really hard on a few of the posts though and I’m hoping to have something erotic posted in the next day or so, because I gotta get at least one out of my drafts…

Well, that’s all I’ve got to catch up on for now. Just wanted to check in and vent 😉

The Rantings - For Everyone

Whirlwind of Stress

I cannot get over how stressed out I’ve been feeling, about everything. And I was doing relatively well ignoring it all, putting it off and not worrying about it all. I mean, it was there, but it wasn’t in my face. Then, I spent a day in absolute pain – probably my bodies way of shocking me into awareness of the stress.

A horrible pain nestled itself in my back. It started out dull and quickly turned to a constant nagging pain that would not let up. I tried a thousand positions across every piece of furniture in my house, I was rolling around on the floor trying to find somewhere that would feel good, I used every pain management trick I know to get through it. It was brutal and today, I woke up feeling it all through my stomach.

I didn’t realize exactly how stressed I was until I realized that we’re just a couple days over a week from the start of school, and I just can’t get over how much I am freaking out about it. Firstly, can I just say, I absolutely despise how every single freaking year, we go into August thinking that the back-to-school thing will be easy and we’ll have all our finances figured out for it and then somehow we get to the end of August and it all seems to unmanageable, all too big to deal with.

And you’d think after 6 years of doing it, and experiencing the exact same thing every single year, I’d finally get it through my head and prepare better for the stresses and burdens and of it. And yet somehow, nope… It just keeps happening!

It does not help at all that I have a daughter who is like a little mother. When I try not to worry about something, she’s likely to fill the gap and her stress and worry often makes me stress and worry a lot more than is necessary. And even though I raised her and she’s turned out great (and even though I point this out to her every single time she starts freaking out), she does not seem to trust me at all.

She always thinks I’m not going to ensure that everyone is enrolled, or that I’m not going to get them on a bedtime routine for school, or that I’m going to neglect something important. I don’t know how she got this idea into her head, I don’t know where it comes from, but she insists on picking up slack that I haven’t even slacked on yet.

She’s incredibly nervous for the start of middle school. I don’t know if that is the reason why, but she has been very clingy lately. She’s been coming in and waking me up when she gets up, she spends the whole day itching to sit next to me and even though she insists on everyone else going to bed at their “regular bedtimes”, she stays up half the night cuddling and talking about every little thought that pops into her head. I feel like she’s a toddler again, following me everywhere I go, plastered to my hip.

These next few weeks are just a complete whirlwind of things and I just wish I could sleep through it all. Back-to-school shopping, Alfie’s coming into town because apparently I can’t show my daughter how to take a city bus…, first day of school and then Keirnan’s birthday. A couple weeks later is Kaeidyn’s birthday, then a couple weeks after that is Carter’s birthday, Halloween, my birthday, and then Christmas… It’s a lot of stuff all happening in a short period of time. We haven’t even started yet and I already feel exhausted!

The Rantings - For Everyone

Stressed Out Mommy, But Not Tonight…

I haven’t been feeling very well the last couple of days, which accounts for the lack of posts around here. It starts with a pain in my tooth (one day, I’ll go see a dentist…) and then I get a headache. I take some Tylenol thinking I’m being smart, and this always seems to make me incredibly tired. So I end up dozing off most of the evening.

It’s made for a very stressed out Mommy and I am incredibly lucky to be surrounded by people who understand how I process pain and who try their hardest to comfort me in the best way possible. They have all been absolutely wonderful and I have spent the last few days feeling full of love, which is a great squanderer of pain.

What We’ve Done…

The holidays home with The Boyfriend were beyond amazing and you can expect a couple posts recapping the week in the coming days. He went back to work two nights ago and now has two nights off again (because he managed to work his schedule like a freaking genius!) and it has to be one of the best August’s on record for us.

Even though all of the initial plans we had made for his holidays – which had included many things including going up to visit my sister, going to the Calgary Zoo, camping for the first time in my adult life and checking out the Royal Tyrrell Museum – it was still full of adventure and fun.

It was more of a staycation and we did a lot of things around us. Went to a nearby beach and the local spray park, drove out to the middle of nowhere to watch the Perseid Meteor Shower and managed to see six shooting stars between us (and the adults had a great time making fun of the kids who were terrified of the barely dark darkness), and even got to see my brother, which we hadn’t been planning for. We’ve also had a few really fun days just chilling out at home on the rainy days – everyone’s getting along surprisingly well for how long they’ve been relatively stuck together.

This upcoming week is all about getting prepared to check a lot of things off of our perpetual to-do list. The “fun” of back-to-school is fast approaching and as a serious procrastinator and a person who tends to stress out over the tiniest of things (things that aren’t even necessary to worry about…), I’m feeling a huge weight on my shoulders. I feel like I need to prepare to actually get the stuff done, you know, psych myself up for it.

Terrifying Stress

My biggest stress is my oldest, Kaeidyn, going into middle school. She is so excited about it, which only makes me stress out more. It honestly feels like such a huge step for all of us, especially being that it’s like the pulling of the pin in the grenade of her life. It’s when everything starts to happen for her that will take her further and further away from being my baby, and I am terrified of itand I never expected to feel that way.

I’m terrified of her first real boyfriend or of the pressure she’ll feel (and therefore, I’ll feel) to get a cellphone and be on sites that she’s not currently really old enough to be on. I’m terrified of her first day and the way she’s going to behave in a new school. I’m terrified of her first kiss and her first menstruation and her first real bra. I’m terrified of the teenager within her and I’m terrified of the type of parent I will be to a teenager – especially a teenage girl…

Middle school signifies so much more than just her next step in education. It’s a rite of passage and one that I didn’t have until I was two years older than her and that is probably the most terrifying thing of all.

I’m also incredibly worried about Kenzie and his reading because he is not doing well at it. Not only is he highly uninterested in reading but he’s also struggling to comprehend what he’s reading. He’ll often get the words right but has no idea what he just read or what those words mean when they are put together. And we know from last year that he was struggling throughout the school year because of his disinterest in reading, and we just can’t seem to spark his fire.

The End…

Tonight, I am not letting that worry get to me. That is what the upcoming week is for. Tonight, is all about enjoying the night off with my wonderful man and my great kids. Tonight, is all about not thinking about tomorrow, or the next day or the next week. Tonight, I am letting it all go and having one last moment of relaxation before the waves come crashing over me!

Anyone else stressing about back-to-school or is it just me?

The List - For Everyone

TO DO: Get Back-To-School Ready

This year is probably going to be one of the most stressful years of back-to-school that we’ve ever experienced. Even more than our first child going off to Kindergarten and even more than our last child graduating Kindergarten, this year marks some pretty major milestones and/or struggles for all the kids, and therefore, all the adults.

Kaeidyn goes from being an elementary school student to a middle school student, which means that she’s moving schools and will most likely be taking a city bus by herself for the first time in her life. Carter goes from half-days in Kindergarten to full days in Grade 1. Keirnan jumps from the grade where, as all the teachers say, “you’re learning to read“, to the grade where, “you’re reading to learn“. And Kenzie, who struggled with his reading quite a bit, goes into the next grade and we see how good or bad his reading ends up being.

There are so many things we need to do to get ready for this wonderful (and yet, totally terrifying) school year. Honestly, I’m not even sure where to start – so the following is listed in no order of importance, really, no order other than what my chaotic brain spits out.

Make Doctors Appointments

This has been on The List for so long and it still needs to be done, and especially as we go into this school year. All of us need to go in for physicals because we haven’t had one in over four years and not for lack of necessity, just for lack of motivation…

And not just general physicians. We all need to go see an optometrist as well and we already know that The Boyfriend is going to end up needing glasses. Finally, getting everyone in to see a dentist. Keirnan’s the only kid who has ever seen one and that’s something I seriously want to change.

We’ve already agreed that The Boyfriend has to set me up a spa day as a reward for making these calls.

Find Out About Middle School

They had an information night before school ended, but we weren’t able to go. Now I’m wishing I would’ve done more to ensure that I was there, because I feel like we are so ill prepared for Kaeidyn’s first day of school. She keeps talking about needing this and that, I have no idea where I’m supposed to put this and that. It’s all just a stressful ball of unknowingness.

Get School Supplies

We’re waiting for the lists to come out on this one and hopefully we won’t leave it to the last minute like we’ve done almost every year prior to this. It’s always amazing to us how hard this process can be and how much of a headache it causes everyone.

Along with the regular school supplies, every year we get the kids two new pairs of shoes (one for indoors and one for outdoors) and a first day of school outfit. This year, they are probably also likely to need new backpacks and at least one of them has grown out of their jackets from last year. Hopefully we’ll get the masses of laundry under control so that we’ll have a better idea of what’s needed in terms of clothing before school starts.

Adjust Sleeping Schedules

As soon as summer hit, all of our sleep habits became completely erratic. The older three left for the month to their Dad’s and followed his late evening work schedule, often staying up until he got home from work after midnight. The Boyfriend, Carter and I completely and easily adjusted to The Boyfriend’s graveyard sleeping schedule and are more likely to be sleeping during the day and waking during the night.

It’s especially important with Carter going into full days this year that we adjust our sleep schedules and in a better time frame than the night before school starts. We’re hoping to start making all the kids stick to their normal, regular, school-time bedtimes after this weekend and hopefully I won’t take long to follow in their footsteps.

Create a General Routine

Many of you know, it’s long been a goal of mine to create routines in my life and I generally tend to suck intensely at doing it. I’m not saying it has to be perfect or even good, but I’d like to have some sense of organization going into this school year.

Big important things include a regular laundry schedule, a regular homework and reading time (in which Mommy ensures their agendas get signed and any papers that I need to know about get seen – because it was such a big problem every year before this…), a set dinnertime and specific chores that the kids have to do to help us keep the house clean during the school year, because it always seems to go downhill then.

Clean, Clean, Clean!

Since we’re on the subject, I really would like to get the house clean as part of the back-to-school readiness. I’d like for the first day back at school, not a single one of us stressing out over any messes. I’d like all the laundry to be done, all the dishes to be put away, the floors to be mopped and the cobwebs to be vacuumed out of the corners of our basement.

I want my table set up and ready for the kids to use for homework, I want my bookshelf neatly organized with a space specifically for all the books they’ll be bringing home. I want to get rid of all the crappy, worn-out, raggedy furniture that we’ve currently got and replace it with less crappy, worn-out and raggedy furniture. I want all the stuff to have its place and be tidy.

In a Perfect World…

If we lived in a perfect world, I wouldn’t have to worry about any of this stuff because I would be homeschooling my kids year round. Alas, that will always remain the elusive dream.

In a less perfect, and yet still entirely perfect world, I wouldn’t have to deal with middle school because we’d live closer to where I grew up and there was no such thing as middle school.

And finally, in a perfect world, I would not leave so many things until a month before school starts…