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Silver Linings

We’re more than a month into our new school year. Three of the four boys are in school. Yes- they have full-day preschool in the public school system here. Score one for the middle-of-nowhere! I wasn’t sure how the transition from homeschooling to public school would go but, happily, it’s been awesome!

The boys love school. LOVE. IT. I’m not sure if I should be offended or not, but I’m going to just focus on them being happy and try not to feel like a failure for homeschooling them before now. I will say, in defense of our decision to homeschool when we were in San Antonio, that this new elementary school is a totally different environment than our old one. It’s fantastic. Every teacher, staff member, and administrator has shown themselves to be caring and enthusiastic. It’s exactly what I want from a school. I mean, I just love it. 

However, it turns out that I’m not that great at the logistics of public school. The making of lunches, setting out of school clothes, signing of papers, finding of shoes at 6:30am… none of that is exactly my strong point. But I’m working on it! It sounds counterintuitive but I swear that sending them to school each day is more actual work than homeschooling. I mean, homeschooling was certainly involved but I didn’t have to worry about getting to school on time or forgetting their lunches or supervising homework. Obviously we were doing work at home but there was a much more laid back vibe to making our way through our agenda for each day. The sense of urgency wasn’t the same. I’m whining, I know. It’s just that none of those things are my strong point. 

There are a few upsides to having all these boys in school. First, they’re incredibly happy. Win. Also, I get to hang out with baby Spike all the time. He’s hilarious and it’s been really fun to get some one-on-one time with him. But another benefit is being able to WORK. 

Is that weird? I like working. I like using my brain and having something that won’t be undone by my kids. So right now I’m doing some freelance stuff and hope to be able to find something more regular (and hopefully full-time) eventually. I’m incredibly lucky to be able to have had all of this time home with my kids and to have the luxury of being able to transition slowly back to (hopefully) full-time work. 

So while I’m still not thrilled with where we are currently living and am worried that I’ll be lonely here without any friends, there are so many good things happening that I really can’t complain about the move. It was, and continues to be, an adjustment for sure, but I’m optimistic that things are looking up. 

And this guy? He’s loving life as the only kid in the house most days. Look at him straight chillin’ while we wait outside of school to pick up his brothers. He’s clearly living the good life. 

Lounging

 

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Coffee-Mate Latin Flavors- YUM!

Living in San Antonio was wonderful. The past three years there were full of good memories as a family and with all of the wonderful friends that we had made living there. Leaving the city has been hard for me- I know it’s part of the military life, but I will really miss my community there. Another thing I’ll miss? The food scene. The city has a wonderful selection of food, from high-end restaurants to hole-in-the-wall-but-mouth-watering Mexican joints. Latin flavors stand out in my mind when I think of eating out in San Antonio. 

So I was really excited to try the new Coffee-Mate Latin Flavors varieties. Making my coffee each morning now that we’ve moved already reminds me of San Antonio (a friend got me a pour-over coffee kit and some fabulous organic coffee as a going away gift) but I thought these would add a taste of home as well. They definitely do not disappoint. 

Coffee-Mate Latin Flavors

The Mexican Hot Chocolate flavor added a hint of chocolate flavor to my coffee but with the great cinnamony spice of real Mexican hot chocolate. Oh man, it was such a nice treat after a workout this morning. It really kicked my coffee up a notch from my regular boring coffee. And since we spent the rest of the morning running all over God’s green earth finishing up some errands before my husband goes back to work, I’m glad I had a really delicious caffeinated start to my day. 

Earlier this week I tried the Dulce de Leche flavor- it’s sweet with a milky caramel flavor. It’s a nice treat in the morning but you know what’s even better? Making a cup of decaf at night and adding the Dulce de Leche Coffee-Mate. It’s my dessert while I unwind on the couch and watch TV. Since I’m trying to wean myself off of eating actual dessert at night, this is a nice substitute. 

It’s basically impossible not to love these flavors. If you’d like to find out more, follow Coffee-Mate on Twitter for more delicious fun and giveaway opportunities! 

Coffee-Mate Latin Flavors

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

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Black Clouds

We haven’t had the best luck lately. It’s felt a little bit like black clouds are hanging over our house. At one point a few weeks ago I took pictures because there were literally black clouds over our house with sunny skies all around. It had appeared to have moved beyond metaphor. 

I mean, we have been lucky in that none of the things that have happened are world-ending or life-threatening- and believe me, I’m incredibly grateful for that. But the string of events has me wondering if Sergeant Handsome and I accidentally ran over someone’s pet bunny or something and we’re paying the universe back. 

Just between Saturday and Monday, for instance, our oldest son broke a large window in our living room, the water heater gave out and dumped its entire contents onto the garage floor, and our 4-year old rolled out of bed at 4 am and split his chin open (best method for getting blood out of white bedding?). The past two months have been like this. Just one thing after another that goes wrong, breaks, or generally isn’t the best case scenario. 

Chuckles was, true to his nickname, just as cheery with a giant cut in his chin as without it. The nurses in the ER just adored him (I’m not just saying that because I’m his mother and believe they should, our room was next to the nurses’ station and we could hear them talking). We spent many, many hours there yesterday- just the two of us. He called it a “doctor date with mommy.” Sure!

I was awesomely entertaining, if I do say so myself. It hadn’t occurred to me to bring any sort of entertainment for him- not that we have any, what with all of our stuff already having been moved out of our house- so I spent five hours flexing my imagination muscles. 

I made up a lot of stories, we turned his hospital bed into a boat and went fishing, we hunted for imaginary animals and turned the room into a giant zoo, we added an aquarium to the zoo, we found treasure (and, bizarrely, pretended to clean said treasure… whatever works for you, kid), we flew in airplanes and helicopters. Whew. It’s exhausting to make stuff up for that many hours without break! Ha, I was clearly out of practice. 

Always carry an emergency stash of 'staches. A mustache lightens up any situation.

Always carry an emergency stash of ‘staches. A mustache lightens up any situation.

Once I had exhausted all of my imagination resources, Chuckles took it upon himself to explore the room. And by explore, I mean try to destroy/see how quickly he could add another injury to the list. My only consolation in trying to keep him from climbing up on, jumping off of, spinning around on, and otherwise using the furniture in ways not intended was that I felt pretty confident that the staff would know for sure that my kid is just a wild monkey and I wasn’t just a bad mother that let him get hurt through neglect.

It’s the little things. 

And through all of our string of bad luck (or petty annoyances or whatever you want to call it), it really has been the little things that have continued to make us laugh. We have to laugh because even though we’re at the point where people are making “what’s next, locusts?” type jokes to us, at the end of the day we are all still together and healthy (minus three stitches in a chin). So while I’d prefer to be able to go at least three days without dealing with any repairmen or hearing any bad news on the home-selling front, I’m happy to have the most important pieces of my life together. 

If I can though, I’d love to add “someone bought my house” to the list of things that are good.

Just putting it out there in the universe.

In case that helps. 

 

 

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