Back to School…Or…Where Did All of My Money Go?

Aug 26, 2015 by

Ah, “Back to School”. So exciting, right? I guess…in some ways. As a special educator, “Back to School” does not just apply to my children but to me as well. Back to work, back to our routines, back to busy schedules and back our “normal” lives. I find comfort in routine and I’m much more productive and in many ways happier once we are all clicking along on a nice schedule of school, lessons, and sports. I enjoy work and I get a bit sluggish and antsy by the end of summer. I’m ready to get back to the job I love.

Unfortunately, however, “Back to School” also means spending money at close to holiday season levels. In fact, I honestly feel as if I have absolutely no extra money from late August through Christmas. This is why:

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If Moms Ran the News.

Aug 26, 2015 by

I haven’t watched the nightly news in about 7 years.  Seriously.  Honey and I don’t watch the news around the kids because often there is information that is above their understanding or distrubing, or both.  We share local and world news that is relevant to them in our own way at their level.  Besides, quite honestly the local and world news is depressing.  I can’t listen to it anymore.  Truthfully, this means I am often uninformed about current events (unless I pick up something on NPR in my 10-minute commute to work, which I actually don’t have anymore).  I need to find a better way to get my information on a daily basis that doesn’t come with shock value or political bias and will gladly take suggestions.  My lack of effective news media outlets got me thinking about how much better news would be if it was run by moms.

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Last Days of Summer

Aug 25, 2015 by

As a working mom, those last few weeks of summer are tough to schedule. There’s no camp, school hasn’t started, and it’d be nice to get to spend some quality time together! Now that my son is entering 1st grade, and I have a year of school under my belt, I felt better equipped to prepare for the awkward end of summer schedule.

This year I decided that the last remaining full week of summer would be a perfect time for our family to take our first summer vacation to Maine, and we had a ball. But, what to do about the mid-week school start and those random two days?!?

In the end, it made the most sense for me to take Monday and Tuesday off of work. While Monday was spent getting last minute errands taken care of–school supplies, dentist, and doctors forms and attending an open house at my son’s school, the last remaining day of the summer of 2015 was free.

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Breaking Bad (Habits)

Aug 25, 2015 by

Summer is all about sailing away from the safe harbor and throwing off the bowlines. No regrets, not even a letter. The schedule and the routine fly out the window and you live each day as it comes, right? That’s pretty much what happened at our house anyway. Along our summer journey, we managed to acquire a few bad habits that need breaking. Bad habits are like a comfy bed; easy to get into but hard to get out of. It can take weeks before you stop feeling the pull of that pesky thing, even after you’ve pledged to kick it. But now’s the time for us to make our pledge and put an end to the habits that are dragging us down.

We Are the Millers. No ragrets.

We Are the Millers.
 No ragrets.

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Survivor Series: Mindfulness

Aug 25, 2015 by

How much courage do I have to really touch the present?

I was listening to a Pema Chodron talk and one of her participants shared how anxiety producing it was for her to attempt to meditate.  She literally couldn’t tolerate the stillness.

How much courage do you have to really touch the stillness?

I can stop, put down my phone, and play “keep it up” with my little girl.  I notice that with her latest medication change she seems more alive somehow, more present.

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She also seems more anxious.

She is not a trauma survivor like her Mommy, so I wonder if anxiety as a side-effect of being present is more common than I think.

For me, I’m afraid of my thoughts and feelings.  Willingly entering my inner world evokes an automatic anxiety as I am afraid of what I’ll find there.  I don’t trust myself.  I am afraid of being put more in touch with what still haunts me, when I let it.  Truthfully, I don’t often stop long enough to let it.

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Guest Blog: Summer Lovin’ by Teri Michaud

Aug 25, 2015 by

I’m a teacher, so you know what that means: summers off!  Time off used to make me nervous because I like to fill my days.  For years I taught summer school, so that was a good transition from full time, to part time to off time.  By August, I loved my summer days.  When we became grandparents five years ago, I decided to enjoy the entire summer vacation.

My initiation into grandparenthood began with an ill-fated cross-country adventure.

We took a road trip to Seattle in anticipation of Shawna and Dave’s first baby’s arrival.  The trip was ill-fated not because of our destination, or our mission, but because after many months of planning and prepping our friend’s underused Mini-Winnebago, the thing died on day one in Buffalo, NY. From there, we cobbled together a patchwork of trains, planes, and automobiles to get to Seattle in time.

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Impending Doom

Aug 24, 2015 by

We found out…

We’re having another girl!

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Big sister is thrilled. (photo credit: E. Gonzalez)

I am totally shocked because I convinced myself 100% that she was a boy.  I guess second pregnancies really are just harder – or, I guess a girl can still make me want to eat all the things – or, I guess my “mother’s intuition” really does suck.  Reactions to this news have varied but mostly fall into the positive camp.  My father-in-law said to my husband something like, “Congratulations.  What, you can’t make boys?”  And lots of other guys have joked to that same end.   Predictably, the question of whether we’ll “try for a boy” has already begun.  Given that I don’t even know what I’m making for dinner tonight (AND THAT IT’S NONE OF ANYONE’S BUSINESS), I really can’t say if a third child will happen.  I do know that my waddle, arm flaps, and hemorrhoids are putting me firmly in the NO camp today.  (What, too much?)

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