I Survived!

I’ve survived summer! The early mornings of getting asked what we’d be doing a million times, and the going to bed late (early?), to enjoy as much quiet time that I could. Those days are outta here!

It’s Overwhelming

It’s hard managing the kids on just the weekends, sometimes. So, I knew that it’d be an interesting summer. Kind of like attempting to make my dogs “shut uuuuuup” after somebody rings the doorbell. I know that it’s pointless, but I proceed doing it anyways.

To provide you some insight, my 5-year-old was less than thrilled (unlike my teenager) about not getting to see her teacher and friends over the summer. I had to be persuasive about this being a great time to enjoy the sunshine, and to do lots of swimming.Red&Pink! Get your favorites!Low to $12.99!Free Shipping!Shop Now!

Pretty much like the rest of my life, I survived by coming up with a warped plan to be creative (which is the bone I’m missing in my body), and embrace the laziness of the months ahead. I say embrace, because of how my nerves get shot by even the suggestion that I march to the door with the kids and get out. The moments before our excursion, I mentally have to check off the things needing to be done first: are the meals accounted for; are their entertaining devices with them? I try to minimize all of the potential issues, that way we’re ready to make the best of our time.

So, here’s some of what we did:

One With Nature
I had visions of the yard looking spectacular while the kids were playing in it, appreciating the beauty of God’s work. Them investigating the different species of bugs (instead of step on them, while yelling “Got ya!”). Ok, ok..that last part’s my own fault! Bugs haven’t survived my shoes many times, either. But at least leave the rollie-pollie’s..and ladybugs!

I’m blessed to be married to a man that does the gardening, with our daughter, since I haven’t picked up the skill yet. I like to still put in my requests for what I’d like the next season, though. I don’t want to avoid participating in gardening completely!

Coffee Beans–

I’m required to drink coffee everyday. Seriously! I mean, that aroma, it’s a little piece of heaven. What I’d like to know is, is it possible to grow coffee in a regular, run-of-the-mill neighborhood yard?? I wouldn’t think it’s too difficult! I’d certainly use whatever we grew. My dessert creations even had coffee in them, for crying out loud! Question: Can you grow it inside, to enjoy the beautiful fragrance?

Blueberries–I know that this grows on bushes..right? The obsession for blueberries is real in our house, so this would make total sense! The healthy stuff is taken where I can get it (if the hubby hasn’t eaten it first). We grew strawberries before and they were magnificent! The gardening thing started with my hubby making the decision to start making a raised bed one day, and BOOM!

Tomatoes

My mom grew tomatoes in the front yard awhile back, and so many were produced! Plus, they survived way past the season. I think I’d like to try cherry tomatoes next! Man, these vegetables attract bugs, though. (“Got ya!”) But I do love salads. I’ve never made tomato sauce, but it’s on my list to do! We certainly eat enough Italian food.

Here’s some dishes I did, with my little assistant by my side):

  • Easy Pineapple Upside-Down Cake
  • Creamy Crockpot Hot Cocoa(so good!)
  • Soft Brown Sugar Cookies
  • Pink Champagne Cupcakes
  • Artichoke Crusted Chicken
  • Rainbow Layer Cake
  • How I Survived With Sanity Intact

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  • Ho Ho Punch
  • Painkiller – This drink consists of rum, pineapple juice, cream of coconut, orange juice and nutmeg. It makes you feel like you’re on an island somewhere! Delicious.
  • Survived
    So tasty!
    Survived
    Rainbow Layer Cake

    The Kitchen
    Most of the time, I’m at home with the kids, while my husband’s at work for 10-hour days at the office. I picked up food for our meals frequently over the summer, to simplify my life. The fast food thing has run its course, though! Now, with school back, I’m preparing to be back in the kitchen.

    God knows, that I wouldn’t have survived this season without H-E-B..my second home.

    Unfortunately, I didn’t use the Ibotta app as much as I would’ve liked to, but I can barely remember the stuff I need when I’m by myself. Give me a 5-year-old, who’s asking for stuff left and right, and yeah..it just wasn’t happening! This app’s such a HUGE money-saver, though!! (And just so you know, it can be used AFTER leaving the store. I had a scattered brain though, so I had trouble remembering to do it.)

    On days that I was truly a glutton for punishment, I sparked the kids excitement, by letting them know I’d be baking some goodies during the day. I didn’t even get to make all the ones I was planning! They’re still going to get done, though. What’s coming next is:

  • Brownies on a Stick
  • White Chocolate Cupcakes
  • Southern Peach Cobbler(I do what I can to keep it Texas, you guys)
  • Fun at Home


    If you don’t already know, I’m an introvert..to the core. My favorite place to be is our home (I’ve survived 4 kids, but dread the chaos). I’ve got Disney movies, things to do on various apps, and then simply flipping through the channels to provide entertainment. At least, for awhile.

    When the intense heat that we get here in Texas would give us a break, we’d head to the playground or take walks after dinner. We had fun playing games, too!

    For our outside entertainment, we’d go break the hose out!

    We’d hose down the dogs, the kids; we’d get out the plastic, reusable water “balloons”; start drawing with the sidewalk chalk, and of course, do some (dead) snail collecting, to bring amusement. And it was all within the comfort of our own neighborhood!

    On the rainy afternoons, (considering we’ve been in a drought, there weren’t many) I’d bust out the watercolors for some artwork to take place. Of course, there was always hide and seek, also!

    I found this amazing little hole-in-the-wall bouncey house place, towards the end of summer as well as some new walking trails to explore. After all, wearing the kids out is the name of the game!

    Survived
    Hanging at Chuck E. Cheese’s

    Connecting

    (Right about this time, envision my drooping eyes and my twitching legs. It wasn’t pretty, friends. Not in the slightest!)

    Survived

    I’ve been so mentally spent, that there’s been nothing left for me to give by the end of the day. My brother and sister-in-law closed on their new house last month, so it’s been awesome to at least have them around! Hopefully, they don’t get sick of us “being around”, anytime soon. Don’t worry guys, I’ll bring adult beverages and desserts!

    I love how there’s no forced conversations with them, too. We freely talk or silently chill, and it’s perfect! (Yep, I’m that girl, who grimaces at the ringing phone – unless it’s work related or a call I’m expecting. I’m completely about that texting life!)

    My mother-in-law took a couple days out of her schedule, to get my daughter and her cousin together for some play-dates.

    They went to The Aquarium and Morgan’s Wonderland, and it was much appreciated on my end!


    Just because I’m a homebody, my kids certainly aren’t! So, I started researching some events on Facebook. This turned out to be pretty awesome! We found some really neat things to do!

    My husband, on his day off, would take them to the movies , which would give me a break. Let me say, I fell in love with him all over again for giving me that.

    I’m a real estate agent, and I mostly office out of the house, so that’s been both a blessing and a curse over the summer!

    My task was picking which times I thought I could be most productive, which was while the kids were heavily involved in some activities. It’s gotta be said..I’m stinkin’ tired. And when I was in the midst of negotiations for some clients? Forget about it! My friends, family, heck – even my husband (sorry, hon!) – wouldn’t likely be getting a response to any messages they’d be sending.

    As worn out as I felt, my guilt wouldn’t allow me to do nothing. Especially in regards to the 5-year-old, who had little time with kids her age and desperately craved any activities or playtime! As much as I’d have loved time NOT worrying about being put together, I couldn’t do that to her. I’ll go ahead and say it again – I’m tired.

    My pep-talk: “You can do this. Actually, you did do this! It’s finishing up. Maybe you haven’t been calmest or coolest, but you got to see lots of radiant smiles on your babies.”

    That’s it!

    We’re wrapping up the summer, and this mama made it through. I’m thinking most of you made it out alright, too.

    We survived!

    My kids are alive and kicking! All of us are.

    How’d you fare with your kids? Post in the comments how your summer went!

    If you liked reading this, you can subscribe to receive emails of whatever I post in the future! Thanks for reading. Xoxoxo

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    Advice on Taking Your Little Ones to Restaurants

    Growing up I loved eating at restaurants, but we didn’t do it very often. When I knew that we were going out, I’d start pre-planning what I wanted to eat, and I’d count down the minutes to getting this vision into my belly. I’m a female, so getting ready was a big, long process and would help with taking my mind off watching the clock. My getting to eat out somewhere was a little bit of a big deal.
    The Then and Now of Eating at Restaurants

    Cut to the 4 babies I’ve had, with every minute of my life being spoken for and you get a woman who has zero motivation to cook, so I’ve suggested that we eat elsewhere pretty often. After dance/football practice, and games, it became way easier to pick up a quick bite at one of our go-to restaurants. 

    I hate drive-thrus, though. I’ve gone on and off diets for years, and knew that nothing good would ever get accomplished by that kind of food to choose from.
    My Advice

    What I did learn from eating out with my rugrats, who are picky (and pretty damn moody sometimes, too) is: 

    You’ve gotta be smart when you pick your restaurants.

    Choosing a place with a sandbox, or a playground, is best for everyone.
    There’s much more to choose from now – on our fourth child – than there was 21 years ago, on our first. Having bean and cheese tacos or cheeseburgers for the little ones is a must. The go-to for us has been the Leon Springs Las Palapas.
    My husband’s kind of obsessed with Mexican food, so he’s in absolute heaven with eating here whenever. There’s a good-sized sand area on the patio, too.

    When I draw the line and demand having a burger, it’s the (again) Leon Springs Willie’s Grill and Icehouse. The whole family is typically happy with either: casual, and yummy. 

    Make sure they’ve snacked a little bit prior to heading there.

    If it’s an event that’s been planned ahead of time, I try to make sure that the youngest has had a piece of fruit or something, to minimize the inevitable whining. Trust me, nobody else eating there wants to deal with this either. “Um Miss, can you ask your daughter to stop licking the picture on the menu, please?” 

    Make them wait for their meal along with everyone else.

    This is one that took me longer to realize, because I thought I was being smart by getting our Little Pest’s plate on the table, so that she wouldn’t irritate the rest of the establishment while we were waiting.

    When I begin to eat my meal though, she’s rushing me to take her to the bathroom and to leave. If her endgame is over, she’s a little more prone to start doing a little “duck duck goose” all around the seats. I’ve got a much better shot with distracting her, if we’re ALL listening to the sounds of our stomach growling together. 

    Don’t be so rigid about what activities are allowed.

    Normally, the restaurants our family picks to visit are going to have something for the little one to do.
    I’m one of those moms that avoids the use of any electronics when we’re sitting together to eat, which is why I normally wouldn’t make this suggestion…However, occasionally, you need to change things up! I wouldn’t make them all engage in conversation while for however long it takes me to whip up their food.

    It’s a different story though, if (and we never will be) we’re in some dimly lit restaurant where people are likely having their date night at (to get AWAY from their kids and the sounds that come with them). Use your considerate judgement!

    It would probably be the last resort, however it’s one I’m certainly willing to utilize for making it to the end of our time out together. And I’m totally cool with this!

    Treat the staff like family (the ones you like).

    They’re going to end up cleaning the spills, and making a kajillion runs for our refill requests.
    It doesn’t matter if you’re at freaking Chuck E. Cheese’s, they probably still hate having young children seated in their section. Even though I know how precious she can be..believe it or not..they likely think she’s Satan’s spawn. Wait. Wha?? I know. I know, it’s crazy talk.

    When my husband and I show our manners,and engaging in conversations with them however, I know it must be a weight off of their shoulders and they usually will go over and above trying to please Miss Thang. So, be chill. 

    Words of Wisdom

    Maybe my words of wisdom will be of some use to y’all, in making the best of your time out together during this season of life. Hey, if I can get just a minute of peace, I’m in heaven! So, I’m willing to try almost anything.

    C’mon folks! Ain’t nothing like an ice cold margarita in these parts of Texas. Because let’s be honest, that’s why we really go out! Right, moms? 

    **(UPDATE: I had an issue with my website for a couple of weeks, so I’m resharing this post, as it was one I lost during the maintenance I was doing.)