It’s the Stuck in a Rut Blues…

I am stuck in a writing rut! I have written a ridiculous amount of content that will essentially be trashed because it is such a disorganized mess that I can barely remember what I was trying to do. I’ve been having a hard time writing what I want to write and instead tend to go off on these little tangents that lead nowhere and I basically keep saying the same things over and over again. And tonight, I am putting my foot down and forcing myself to complete at least one post and publish it!

So, here goes it…

The countdown to Christmas is officially on. One minute, I’m okay with it. The next minute, I am sighing and throwing my hands up because I feel so utterly overwhelmed by it. Alfie wants to take the kids again this year and even though I said last year and the year before and all the years before that that it wasn’t going to happen this year, I ended up saying yes. I thought I would feel worse about it but it’s actually bringing me a great deal of relief to think that we’ll only have to do Christmas with Carter.

Thank goodness for The Boyfriend too around this time, because he absolutely takes over the Christmas shopping. He gets such a kick out of shopping for toys and knows exactly what the kids are talking about when they say they want “this” and “that” thing. Really, I don’t know why I despise these holidays so much when basically everyone around me takes over everything that would typically be my responsibility. Luckily, I am aware of how incredibly blessed I am!

The kids are all doing really great and it’s weird that I don’t have more complaints about them. But they’ve been seriously amazing lately. Yeah sure, they’re still kids and I know that Kaeidyn’s gotten in trouble a few times over the last couple of days because of her attitude, but for the most part, it’s been awesome with them. Everyone has been super cuddly lately, they’ve all been helping a lot with the cleaning (even if they are making destructive messes everywhere everyday… They at least help clean it up!), and I’ve even gotten a couple nights this week off of making dinner because Kaeidyn and Kenzie have been enjoying making it!

Although, now that I read back over the last two paragraphs, I realize that I have been incredibly lazy this last little while. No real surprise there, especially being that it’s winter. And let’s not kid ourselves, I realize that I’m lazy every single day! But I’ve definitely noticed I’ve been more lazy lately. I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that I haven’t slept at night for weeks now. Both The Boyfriend and I have been on the graveyard shift – him because it’s his job, me because I tend to do whatever he does where sleep is concerned. So, he sleeps during the day, I end up sleeping during the day. He’s awake all night, I end up being awake all night.

As it is, it’s 4:30 in the morning and neither of us seems to be anywhere near ready for bed…

I’ve been kicking myself in the butt hard about this sleep schedule. As someone who has suffered with sleep problems for over a decade, I know what I’m supposed to be doing to combat them. Straight up though, I have never slept better than I have been sleeping lately – it’s just terrible when it comes to the hours that I’m awake. And not because I’m tired during those hours, it’s just that I’m incredibly lazy during those hours. Like, I simply do not have the energy or desire to do anything.

And it’s especially bad when I get on the computer. Normally, I get on here and within minutes, I’ve found something to do – what that something is is different every time, but I find something. Lately, I get on here and five hours later, I realize that I’ve done nothing but reload the page I’m on over and over again. Maybe I’ve clicked around and typed up a paragraph of rambles or played the level I’ve been stuck on for over a year on Candy Crush Saga a few times, but mostly, I’ve just stared at the page, reloading, stuck in this damnable rut!

This post is from The List and is for everyone.

TO DO: Online

I’ve spent a lot of time over the last couple of days mindlessly clicking around on the computer, not really sure what to do or where to go. I’ve been writing a lot of posts that aren’t getting finished and I’ve just generally been feeling a huge lack of motivation and inspiration, even though it’s literally staring me in the face!

I think the biggest problem is that there are just so many things that I want to be doing, so many things that I should be doing and so many things that I could be doing, that it’s just a little bit overwhelming. I decided I needed to get the to-do list out of my head so that maybe I can make some progress, any progress…

Things I Want to Be Doing Online:

  • Listening to podcasts

    I subscribe to a few different podcasts always with the thinking that I’m going to listen to, but I just never seem to find the moment or desire to listen to them, so they just sit there piling up on me…

    In a perfect world: I’d love to listen to podcasts live. I’d even be happy with one night a week listening to podcasts. Ideally, I’d spend an hour every night listening to podcasts – since I follow enough to fill up that schedule quickly…

  • Reading articles

    There are so many things to read on the internet. I’ve always wanted to read articles from my favorite blogs and relevant to my interests. And while I’ll occasionally click, the reality is that I’m missing huge amounts of content because I’m not regularly reading those articles.

    In a perfect world: I’d save any articles that I was interested in reading (using something like Pocket) and spend a minimum of an hour every night going over the reading I had saved up for the day.

  • Instagram-ing

    Currently, I post to Instagram and check in on it whenever I post a picture. As those who follow me may notice, I rarely ever post pictures. I’d like that whole entire thing to change!

    In a perfect world: I’d like to take one selfie, one landscape photo and one picture of the kids every single day – that would be ideal for me.

  • Publishing a Book

    This is so high up there on my list right now! I’ve been thinking about it constantly and debating the pros and cons of my options and I just feel like I’m not closer to anything. But, I really want to publish a book and make my first $0.99 sale and the ultimate goal is to one day hold my work in a print book in my hands!

    In a perfect world: By the end of 2016, I’d really like to have a plan to accomplish this goal!

  • Releasing YouTube Videos

    I used to release cover videos on a relatively regular basis, back when I had a guitar. Then, my guitar broke and I basically stopped putting out videos. I miss the good ole days and I’d like to go back to them.

    In a perfect world: More than just covers, I’d like to release a few different kinds of videos. It’d be fun to release vlogs of life with the family, covers and original songs, as well as some things about my biggest interests – sexuality, erotica and The Sims 4. I’m thinking, release a video at least twice a week.

There are, of course, a number of other “goals” I have for online, such as a certain number of Tweets per week or certain types of content on Facebook, for example. However, those aren’t really things that I’d like to be doing so much as things that I’m currently attempting to do – maybe I’ll go into that in a different post. But these are just a few of things that I’d like to be doing online.

This post is from The List and is for everyone.

TO DO: Fall De-Cluttering and Re-Decorating

So, let’s be honest. In terms of decoration, my house has none. Some of you may remember my one piece of wall art. Not even that exists anymore. And in terms of clutter, my house has an abundance of it. This is really a project of epic proportions, especially when you consider my house has three floors, four bedrooms and we’ve lived in it for almost five years.

Get Rid of Junk Furniture

Currently, we have an abundance of junk furniture. We have a reclining chair and washing machine in our basement, both of which do not work. We have broken dressers all over the place upstairs and all of our living room furniture is in dire need of replacement. For so long, we’ve just moved unusable furniture off to the side and out of the way, but now that we have the van, we need to dispose of the useless stuff.

Clear the Clutter

Between the milk crates and boxes stuffed full of records and the bookshelf filled with a bunch of books I’ll never read to the boxes packed to the brim with wires and the laundry scattered through the entire house, there is a lot of clutter taking up space in our place. It’s not just about organizing the clutter, it’s also about getting rid of all the excess stuff. The clothes, the papers, the books, the stuff.

Super Deep Clean

Every Spring and every Fall, we have an inspection that takes place. For this inspection, we super deep clean our house. A clean happens about every two or three days, a good clean happens about every week and a half or so, a deep clean happens about once a month (sometimes longer or shorter, depending on how well we’ve managed the other stages of cleaning) and a super deep clean happens around inspection time or when other special things are happening. We know we’ve got an inspection coming up soon, so it’s definitely that time again. Plus, after clearing everything out and organizing it properly, the super deep clean is going to be needed.

Zone the House

In almost every article I’ve ever read about getting your house organized, there is usually a section that talks about setting up “zones” or specific areas for specific things. For example, I know that I’m going to leave out my front door and come back in through my front door. I know that when I get in, I’m going to empty my pockets. I can then setup a “zone” in that area with a bowl and garbage can; the bowl to throw my pocket junk into and the garbage can for when I pull the bits of paper out of the bowl…

In our house, there are a few different “zones” that need to be created, especially the area I just described, although with stuff for the whole family. We need a front-door zone, a homework zone, a bathtime zone, a cleaning zone, a laundry zone and then the usuals, like the living room, kitchen, bedrooms, etc. Most of this is just creating the space for them, and some of it might include having to replace furniture or buy things to accommodate the zone.

Decorate My Zones

I started this post talking about decoration and then haven’t even mentioned it yet. Everything needs to be cleaned first and once the zones have been figured out, I’d like to add a personal touch of decoration to the spaces. Back at our front-door zone again (because it’s a great example area), I’d love to have a little mirror and a perfectly set up calendar, maybe even a nice chipper plant. I’ve seen some amazing zoning decoration ideas on Pinterest (See: Spaces to Die For) that I’d love to modify to work for our family, so it’s a matter of configuring our zones with what we have and then adding in the decorations.

Set Up a Schedule

It goes on the same premise of many of my other to-dos about setting up manageable routines. This one, more specifically to keep down on clutter and manage the cleanliness of the house between super deep cleans. This particular schedule consists of seasonal or annual chores, like changing out the winter closet with summer stuff or going through all the stuff to rid ourselves of junk. It should also include monthly chores like flipping the mattresses or changing the furnace filters. And finally, things we can do daily or weekly to keep up on the clutter and cleanliness, like using our zones or going through the mail immediately.

There’s a lot of printables around the web with these types of schedule and zoning practices, which I might use. Although like I said in my post about setting up a home management system, I’m not sure what method is going to work best for us, so it’s time to figure that out! And then work it until it works!

It doesn’t look so daunting when I put it into these big chunks like this and that makes me happy. However, I know that each of these headings has a huge list of to-dos beneath it and I know that once we start, that happy feeling will disintegrate entirely and will be replaced with an extreme lack of motivation. I figure each step will take at least a day and a half, but when it’s done and we’re just at the following the schedule point, it’ll be a hell of a great day!

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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.

The List - For Adults 18+

TO DO: Sexual Enhancement Routines

I’ve always looked at sex as something so much more than sex – almost as if it’s a way to achieve some sort of  enlightenment, the ultimate nirvana. I use these particular words, because I have no other to explain the way that I feel about the act and art of having sex.

Like any other act that requires a great deal of mastery, I think that sex is like a marathon you train for. Yes, we are all naturally able to have great sex and we don’t need to work at it – just like we’re all able to throw a punch and hit our target. But if you train your muscles and your mind, your fists can endure stacks of bricks. In the same way, your sex can go from great to nirvana.

Now, I’m not saying that I have the answers to enlightenment. I really don’t and I don’t think anyone does. However, there are a few things that I’ve always wanted to do to improve myself as a partner in a relationship, a lover in (and out) of the bedroom and as a sexual being.

Orgasm Daily

Orgasms have a wide array of health benefits which have been proven over and over again by science. Everything from lowering cholesterol to decreasing your chances of becoming depressed. And, they feel damn good!

Plus, after completing all the other stuff on this list, I’d probably have to orgasm just so that I wouldn’t spend the day in a state of arousal…

Do 100 Kegels a Day

Kegel exercises involve tightening the pelvic floor muscles and decrease the likelihood of incontinence as we age, among a number of other benefits, including a more controlled orgasm. Kegels are easy to do and can be done anywhere and I really do love to do them!

I’d like to aim to do 100 of them, in intervals of 10 or 20 at a time. Wake up, do my kegels, check. Eat, do my kegels, check. Do the dishes, do my kegels, check. Write a blog post, do my kegels, check. You get the point 😉

Sexercise

As I get older (and lazier…), my body just doesn’t move in the way it used to. I mean, I can still get into all the crazy positions and he flops me about like a ragdoll, but it just doesn’t move the same way it used it. Sometimes, it gets sore or my hip locks up mid-pounding or I get a cramp in my leg at the worst possible moment.

Stretches and yoga-esque moves seem to be the best options here. The core strength is necessary for maintaining my balance and the flexibility will help when he decides to throw my legs above my head!

Wear Ben-Wa Balls or Alternatives

In the same vein as the Kegels, I’d like to wear ben-wa balls or some other alternative like the Lelo Luna Beads (both of which I’ve owned in the past). I’d like to wear these separate from the 100 Kegels and I’d like for this time to be a very meditative time, where I’m more focused more on the sensations of the experience.

Kegels can be done rather mindlessly. I’d like to wear ben-wa balls mindfully.

Self-Exam Sessions

Prior to the hustle and bustle of kids, it was common for a quick breast exam or a mirror inspection of my vulvular area. I was also regularly visiting my physician. These things happen far less often (really… never…) and I’d really like to go back to the days of knowing my girlie parts like the back of my hand.

Once a month breast fondling and mirror time is not only a great way to ensure my bits are as healthy as they should be but also wonderful for reassuring me of the beauty of my vagina and breasts 😉

Luckily, every single thing on this list, save for the ben-wa balls, is 100% free and accessible for me – for anyone really, so checking these ones off The List shouldn’t be too hard. It’s just a matter of reminding myself to do them and get them done!

What are some other routines that you could employ to enhance your sex life? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!

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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…