Day in Photos, pt 6,370

As a reward for reading her entire red folder, Mini decided she’d like to take her friend, affectionately called Jules, on a lunch date and an afternoon at “the jumpy place”.

If you’ll recall from prior blog posts, my experience at the jumpy place isn’t always a happy ending. What with waning pelvic control and a natural birth, it’s just best I leave all the jumping to young children and other women of ability. No need to embarrass myself further. I did mention to the kind staff how amazing it would be if they sold coffee or alcohol, but the guesstimated 12 yr old attendant didn’t crack a smile. He probably hears that sentiment all the time.

As a mom with a twin who gave birth to a single and only child, mini is a social butterfly. However, as the day continued, it seemed she and Jules were growing disgruntled with the other. I know well the feeling. As I always had a built in playmate, alone time was rather rare…which I’ve come to appreciate immensely. I truly believe mini hits points of too much togetherness and may gasp even begin to realize how hard it is to entertain others.

Nonetheless, each girl was a good sport. Probably helps I’m an expert negotiator. Icee’s for everyone!

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I ask you –

What types of rewards do your kids enjoy?

What would your ideal date be? A bookstore and coffee date.

Tell me your guess for what Mini will request when she completes the next folder prior to school end! Probably a pony.

Final Christmas Thoughts

We finally (like it’s not only January) got snow, then the following day I had to take down Christmas decorations. But I was rewarded with nature at its finest – tiny ladybugs everywhere! It certainly wasn’t enough snow to play in; I still have plenty of hope we’ll have another February blizzard like last year.

bare feet

Belated Christmas with mini was a rousing success. We had her requested snack supper and she opened gifts until I couldn’t see the floor for all the wrapping paper, boxes, and tissue. How does one small child have all this stuff? Maybe next year we can do a one gift limit. Somebody tell Santa. I’m still sorting the gigantic plastic tub of gifts she returned with from Tennessee and her dad’s family. It never ends.

Now that I’m thinking about it…the title of this post seems a little dark. I didn’t mean it’s the final Christmas. I meant it’s my final thoughts on Christmas. Since Christmas was held at my house in January. Whatever. You’ll figure it out.

As school has gone back into session, the familiar feeling of gotta-do-it-all’s returned. From homework to reading folders to checking out her first library book, the sleepiness of holidays faded into the background. Just where I like it. Even after all these years, I still struggle getting into the holiday spirit and end up sounding like a Scrooge with my final comments…

school routine

I’m really glad it’s over. Now, where’s the spring flowers that bring May showers? Or whatever they say.

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I ask you –

Any final Christmas thoughts?

Did you get snow on Christmas Day?

A report I read stated thousands of people or more will go into debt during the holidays. I just don’t get it.

Day in Photos, pt 9029

Christmas edition!

Mini is with her dad in Tennessee this Christmas so allow me to reminisce and smile through this year’s holiday adventures before she departed.

Obligatory hotel lobby photo! I know last year’s and 2019’s photo are around here somewhere!

Special Santa letter! She was beyond excited when retrieving it from the mailbox.

a tutu a day is the only way

Bet you’ve never seen/heard a girl squeal in joy when getting buttons in her stocking! Mini loves to craft so buttons were on her Christmas wish list. Buttons. Of all things.

oh look, another tutu

Ice skating with Aunt B! My sweet sister was such a trooper to take Mini skating the weekend of my race. She prevented me from breaking anything pre-run, only fell once, and encouraged mini to keep going through the approximately 47 falls of her own! Towards the end of the at least 2 hour icecapades, Mini was bravely traversing the ice alone. Definitely a must do again!

A school trip to the local library for a visit with the Clause’s!

And, finally, a cuddly moment for mini and I. This amazing girl is reading sentences, making friends with everyone, and has the biggest heart! She sings with her whole body and, no matter how big she gets, will always be my snuggle buddy.

a tutu – again

Merry Christmas, from Running on Fumes to all my loyal readers! Thank you for blessing my life with your friendship!

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I ask you –

Are you traveling for the holidays?

Have you ever received a personalized Santa letter?

Again, may your holiday be filled with love, joy, and a silent night!

Mom Fails, pt whatever

Narrative: mini’s class was having a movie day experience and a message was sent to parents for help acquiring small boxes of candy.

My perspective: this time, I’m not responding. I don’t have time this week to peruse for candy boxes. Too much on my plate, but I’ll check back to ensure what was needed was purchased, then, if not, I’ll chime in.

Spoiler alert: all candy was successfully located.

Credit: mommy.meds via Instagram

Final observation: a mom whom I know personally and absolutely love had the final say – to the effect of if you have the dollar general app then candy is buy three get one free. FIRST, I had no idea there was a dollar general app. SECOND, this is the mom level I aspire to…the one who knows about apps and deals and where to go for the best coupons. LASTLY, what an amazing person to share this info for those of us who flounder around in the world with no real experience in “mom’ing” and rely on other mommier moms for encouragement. Isn’t it like us to compare and see others doing it better (or so we think)? Let it be known, I don’t doubt my mom abilities, but I am very realistic about my strengths and weaknesses! Becoming a candy purchaser is not my forte – lest I buy the celery-flavored stuff.

And we all know how that turned out!

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I ask you –

What’s your favorite movie candy?

Did you know there was a Dollar General app?

Link to my celery debacle post: Rants & Raves – RoF Edition

Rants & Raves, RoF Edition

There’s a time to rant and there’s a time to praise. Unfortunately, now is not the latter. It could be, but it’s not.

Credit: momsbehavingbadly via Instagram

Group text from school system with individual phone numbers listed: blah blah blah, your child’s order is in; report to this place between these hours

Random number: What do we do if we didn’t receive our entire order?

Me: I’ll tell you what you don’t do! Don’t reply all to this message because it’s probably a) unattended and b) unlikely to help your situation. But it will make the remainder of us who didn’t ask to be a part of this group text really angry.

If you intend to homeschool your children, then please do so. Emphasis on the school part. When your teenager can’t tie their shoes, your schooling ideas are failing. Choosing to homeschool your children makes you directly responsible for their education. You have forgone the right to blame public education for your mistakes. Shoes and all. Home schooling is not an excuse to not send your children to school.  It’s a conscious choice to take sole responsibility in creating valued members of society. Not for the faint of heart, I’m sure. I wanted to be a teacher when I grew up. Note: wanted…past tense.

And if this isn’t enough to make you laugh, then you’re beyond help. Mini, along with her classmates, was instructed to bring bite-sized pieces of things to the class’s Thanksgiving feast. Parents were told to choose 3-4 items, then you would be told which of your choices to bring to school. Some followed the instructions, others not so much. When I positively told mini what she (I) had been assigned, her disdain and palpable disbelief was comical only to me. Days later, she still sounds upset whilst I giggle.

Celery. Mini had to bring celery. Apparently it’s the most hated food ever. My thought was some child will be overjoyed to see celery because it’s their favorite food! Alas, nothing could be worse than being the child chosen to bring… celery.

Final update: as I suspected, there was ONE child who proclaimed their love of celery.

Mommy: 1. Life: 8,374,150.

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I ask you –

How much do you ensure not to reply all when it’s not warranted?

Were you homeschooled? How did it work out for you?

Name your most despised food! Sauerkraut, for one.

Day in Photos, pt 75

This is more like a week in photos. Work with me.

My cherry tomato plant is still thriving, even into November! Perhaps bucket planting is the way to go next year.

Tooth fairy time, round 2. In an unexpected turn of events, she let it be pulled out by her Papa. Shocking. I was no part of any of these festivities. Teeth – when they’re not in a mouth – gross me out. $2 later, we have a winner.

There was also a week of drug-free activities, aka Red Ribbon Week. I’m still a little confused by this and I believe many memes already exist but I’m going to say it anyway…no one (I repeat, no one) has ever offered me drugs. I was offered cigarettes a lot, but not like real, illegal drugs. Maybe cocaine was too rich then. Anyway, just say no.

I digress. One of the week’s dress up days consisted of pajama day! My workplace really needs to get it together. Since I got to take my mini to school that day, we stopped for coffee first. Because no pajama day is complete without a huge coffee.

Edit: I heard, errr read, about National Novel Writing Month, aka NaNoWriMo, a nonprofit that challenges writers to complete 50,000 words in the month of November (roughly 1667 words daily). So it’s like a running streak, but writing instead. If you’re reading this, then you may/may not know today is November 1st. The organization encourages writers to participate in the daily goal in order to complete a novel, but many use it to brainstorm blog posts, etc. Always up for a good writing task. Let’s see how this goes!

Thank you to https://brianlageose.blog/2021/10/30/friday-night-clam-bake-35-its-almost-the-time-of-year-when-i-do-that-questionable-thing-that-confuses-most-people/ for the idea!

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I ask you –

Are any of your vegetables still alive?

What’s the going rate for a tooth nowadays? I think I’m getting scammed.

Tell me something funny about your week!

Saving the Post Office / Why not?

…one child at a time. Occasionally, ideas for posts arrive in the most unexpected ways. Hahah posts, get it, get it. Well, you’re about to!

First, read this article. This is how it started: I found the below on Instagram and sent it to the one person in my life whom I knew 1000% wouldn’t report me to the authorities (or NSA) for thinking this concept is hilarious.

Credit: @sammichespsychmeds via Instagram

In true best friend fashion, Jason encouraged my wonky sense of humor by recalling where sending your child via postal service was actually a real thing. Of course it was!

Relatedly, I shipped a hoodie from TX to TN and it cost $15 which is only about $10 more than the hoodie cost. Hello, post office people. It really is a barrier to shipping anything with costs like that, but I continue to support them. Alas, I would never attempt to ship my precious mini anywhere; however, with the rising cost of airplane tickets I may consider it more than usual. Usually I never consider it.

Now I just want to make stork jokes. Stop it Kel. Too many times I’ve shared here my love for mailing cards, letters, etc. It’s my thing! Even on the radio one morning, the hosts were debating reasons why you shouldn’t mail thank you cards. They reasoned it’s an outdated medium and much easier to send a text or a video to say thank you. I don’t know about you, but I actually still have some family members without texting/videoing capabilities. She’s 93, I believe she can make her own rules. Would it be easier to send her videos? Absolutely! But do I get angry, unhappy, or put out by stamping a letter? No. I imagine the joy she feels from receiving a card is the same joy I receive when opening a card. Channel that joy and send someone a card today!

Standby for the cost of mailing a 55 lb package. It’s only coincidence that’s how much mini weighs.

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I ask you –

On a scale of always to never, how often do you use the postal service?

Did you know there was a time children were mailed?

Share your best ‘I wish I could’ve mailed someone’ story!

Humor Knows No Bounds + Tetris Master?

The adventures in Bonnywood Manor are some of my favorites to read. Brian’s humor is the best!

In keeping with more office-themed things, here’s a few nuggets: my title should be changed to calendar girl. But not the sexy, mildly inappropriate calendar girl you may have immediately been considering. More like I play Tetris with calendars and am on standby for changes at a moment’s notice. In fact, a wonderful co-worker called me with these words – “Let’s play a game!” – which really wasn’t a fun game at all because it involved moving around days’ worth of events to accommodate some last minute silliness. Good thing I love her.

She said “Can I take my own picture?”

Also, as the reigning queen of dad jokes, it’s my sworn duty to entertain strangers with punny, simple jokes. To my own delight, of course. I feel like our security team draws straws on who has to deal with me when my car rounds the bend. I’m on the “do not engage” list. Occasionally they laugh with me (at me?) and I congratulate myself on a job well done. I’ll be here all week, folks!

Hallelujah for the return of football

Lastly, soon they’ll be requiring IQ tests in my workplace. Hahah, I wish. Short of missing a few crayons, inability to decipher which floor we’re on, and following basic computer instructions, I think it’s going well! It’s just a three ring circus without a grandmaster.

Clap, clap. Ohhhhhhh, cabana boyyyyy!!!

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I ask you –

Want to join my circus?

Are you the problem child of your organization? Be honest!!

Please check out fellow blogger, Brian Lageose. He’s hilarious!

What Matters Most / Prioritizing

Making Priorities

Faith/Family

Forgiveness. Redemption. Grace. Kindness. Among many others, these are words that mean much to me. Being responsible for a family unit is quite a burden to bear which is why I believe the next few points are incredibly important. Responsibility weighs heavily on the shoulders of those who choose to accept the load. (and sometimes there’s no choice)

It has been said that ‘the two greatest days of your life are the day you were born and the day you find out why’. God created you with a purpose in mind (2 Corinthians 5:5). Indeed there are big plans for me.

Sleep

My body has an internal alarm clock prompting me to go to bed at 8:30pm. Every. Single. Night. Like my dad, I’ve always been a morning person. It has served me well! 9 hours is my optimal, pre-programmed amount of sleep necessary for a fully functioning day. I’m a light sleeper and have little trouble falling asleep, but find difficulty in staying asleep.

This may sound like I put way too much priority on knowing about my own sleep patterns. However, recognizing the importance of sleep and how it affects your body is something I think many take for granted. Sleep – or lack thereof – is attributed to weight, outlook on life, stress, and disease. When we sleep, our bodies recuperate from innumerable daily encounters with germs, people, and events, as well as prepare us for days ahead. Personally I think consistent sleep schedules are one of the most important ways to set up children for success.

Running

As I’ve probably mentioned before, streaking is such a confidence booster. Even when it’s only 1 mile a day, the proof is tangible. Typically I notice a difference 2 weeks into it – I’m lighter on my feet, stamina is high, and the urge to keep running is overwhelming. Although I despise treadmill running, the routine (aka priority) of running at lunch (aka runch) is much needed. My lunch hour at work is nearly sacred. Soon enough, you can find me back on the roads near the office happily making the rounds.

Badminton!

It’s important mini sees me doing what I love. Running helps in many ways: decreases anxiety, increases the feel-good hormones, and recharges my people’ing batteries. We all need an outlet, if you will. Mine is found inside a pair of running shoes.

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I ask you –

How many hours of sleep do you average nightly?

What is your outlet?

Share a priority I may have missed here!

An Open Letter

…to the pretzel shop in our rather dismal, dying mall.

Dear Pretzel Peoples, I really needed you to come through for me. Let me explain: my kindergartner just finished her first full week of school. Earlier in the week, this child (my child) who rarely asks for anything, asked – politely – if we could go to the mall this weekend to get pretzel bites. As any proud mom would do, I smiled and replied affirmative. The weekend came. After many other unexplainable events of which were not her fault, we arrived at said mall to purchase said pretzel bites. “The ones that are all buttery and delicious”, she said. Unbeknownst to us, your pretzel bite location was closed. To my shock, I read the posted sign detailing your legal and financial woes. As my young child stared in horror at the darkened heat lamps and noticeable lack of “buttery pretzel bite” smell, the realization began to sink in. There would be no pretzel bites for her today. And, according to the date in March 2021, there had not been any pretzel bites in quite some time. I hope you understand this: I get it. Times are hard, the economy is a rollercoaster, the list goes on. But I made a promise to a young lady who had her heart set on pretzel bites. Yes, the buttery, delicious ones. Of which you let me down. You, pretzel people, did not hold up your end of the bargain. Therefore, I had a sad, disappointed, mildly angry child to explain to, in an age-appropriate way, why there would be no pretzel bites today. I SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN IN THIS SITUATION! You should be ashamed of the second-best option I presented to her. Sure, cookies and smoothies and coffee are some of her favorite things. To be honest, they are some of my favorite things, as well. However, they were not pretzel bites! They were not what I promised. You should make this right. Sincerely, the mother of a pretzel bite-loving girl.

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I ask you –

Have you ever made a promise you couldn’t fulfill but which was completely out of your control?

Do you enjoy pretzel bites?

Please pass this on to anyone you may know whom owns a pretzel bite business. They need to know how important this business is to at least one young girl.