Depressed mOM WITH DEPRESSION day in the life

A Day in the Life of a Mom with Depression

6:00 Eyes pop open and brain sizzles. Realize that the two-year-old is still asleep and you don’t have a headache, for the first time in two or three weeks. Try to go back to sleep but your brain is on now and you can’t. Try to get out of bed. Lay there. Your neck and shoulders hurt so much you can barely move your head.

7:00 Get up and find coffee. You are so achey you hobble down the stairs like an 85 year old. You know you’re not sick and that it isn’t from too much exercise. The boys are ready to get on the bus and just want their snuggles and love. You just want to be left alone, but you do give the hugs and kisses. Realize that you have some time completely alone and you take advantage of it and read your Bible. Sneak in a little creative verse drawing.

8:00 Decide to work out for the first time in several days. Can’t get the TV to turn on. Try to watch videos to entertain you on your phone. But it’s just not working and you keep getting distracted and get off the trampoline several times to clean this or pick that up and put that away. Grab another cup of coffee. The little girls are up now. Kevin comes in the house briefly and fixes the TV by unplugging it and plugging it back in. Your foggy brain couldn’t come up with that solution. You hug and kiss him in thanks but he’s in a rush and you feel brushed off.

9:00 You feel like you’re moving through a field of molasses in a swamp. Sometimes it feels like you are a swamp walker all the time.  Everything takes such a colossal effort.  The big girls are up and the boys are back home. You homeschool, and you keep thinking that you’ll do school  with the kids but you also want to see if you can get some more walking in and watch motivational videos which improve your mood.  You can’t get them motivated to do their work when you can’t get motivated yourself.  They get their own breakfasts and watch YouTube while you keep walking on the rebounder. Put on some educational videos at least.

10:00 Check your planner and remember that your daughter’s orchestra concert is tonight. Cry, because doing something in the evening seems like it is way too overwhelming. The husband is telling you someone is going to come over and consult about  the floor you’re hoping to put in, and you know the piano teacher will be here soon so you get dressed and put on some make up. You play with your two-year-old and watch her laugh, but feel apathetic. You wish you could be so carefree.

coffee mom talk depression day in the life depressed mom mental illness

11:00 The kids’ piano teacher arrives and you walk the dog down to the barn to find your son. It’s a beautiful sunny day and you want to stay outside but the wind is too windy and the wind chimes are to chime-y and the sun is too shiny. You go back inside.  Time passes and you don’t even know what you did.

12:00 Now it is lunchtime and you realize you had meant to go down and get hamburger out of the freezer to thaw several times and never actually made it happen. Let the kids make their own sandwiches. Do some reading and Marco Polo with some friends. Want to support them and what they’re going through. It’s very hard because you don’t have any emotional strength for yourself.

1:00 It is time to take oldest to orchestra. You cry because Finnella cries and tries getting in the car. You go and get your nails done so they look pretty because feeling pretty makes you feel better. And they are pretty,  but it doesn’t really help. You’re reading a book about a recovering drug addict who is in jail and it’s hard even feel any empathy with her and you know your problems aren’t even that big but they seem insurmountable.

2:00 You get home and take a picture of your crabapple trees because three of the four of them aren’t blooming and it really bugs you, as in, you think about the not blooming trees on a regular basis. Bugs you like,  it comes up at random times in your mind, “Why aren’t they blooming?! Why do all the other trees look so good!?”  And you want to post to gardening experts about what you should do.

You try to think of solutions for the things that really bother you because you know it’s not normal thinking. But you can’t help it, and actually finding a gardening forum is overwhelming and several days later it’s still not done.day in the life with depression depressed mental health mom mother mental illnessYou see your puppy lying still in the yard. She doesn’t get up when the car drives into the lane. Suddenly you worry that she’s dead, she’s really dead. What would you do if she was dead?? You feel your heart racing and you start sweating, and you’re breathing rapidly and you can’t think of anything else but if she’s dead and so you start to walk over to her and she lifts her head  and runs excitedly over to you. You thank God she’s not dead and you know that it’s crazy to even have thought that she’s dead, and that logically it’s nearly an impossibility but you can’t help it. You snuggle her for a while.

3:00 The kids are all playing out back and you watch them through the deck doors for a while and marvel at their wonderful creativity even know they’re doing some things they’re really not supposed to be doing, like playing with the fire escape ladder. You don’t have the energy to make them take the ladder back upstairs and have a sneaking suspicion that it will be in that tree all summer, but you can’t even care. You are just glad they are leaving you alone.

You have gotten the new patches for the ceiling in the mail so you apply one.

You go out to the yard to try to get some vitamin D.

depression day in the life depressed mom describe mother mum

 

When the kids discover that you’re home, you really can’t handle them climbing around on you so you go sit in the living room and they wander off to play outside some more. When the two-year-old comes to ask you to read to her you do, but you are so exhausted that you just fall asleep. You literally just fall asleep on the couch without meaning to.

5:00 The next thing you know your 13-year-old is telling you that it is time to leave for her orchestra concert and asking if you can please do her hair. You do a  pull through braid, very loose  and beautiful. But she doesn’t think it’s fancy enough and doesn’t think that there is enough time to fix it again and she make up. You feel defeated. No one can understand how hard it was to just make yourself braid that incredible child’s hair.

You actually did remember to have someone get the meat out of the freezer. But now there  is no time to make dinner. The kids have to fend for themselves again. Brielle has offered to stay home with Finnella (2) and Elivette (5) so you let her despite your misgivings because it would be a lot easier to not have to deal with the little girls during the concert.

You notice that the spackle on the ceiling is dry so you start to do that, even though it’s nearly time to leave.  You just think you would have enough time while Aviana finishes her make up. She’s annoyed by this idea, because it’s really a foolish move to try and spread spackle smoothly on the ceiling when you have a deadline of walking out the door in a couple of minutes. Your brain just doesn’t do logical sometimes a lot of the time.

6:00 You’ve arrived on time at the concert and save seats for Aviana’s (and your) friends , and the husband and Cadrian (9)who are coming. Denton (7) plays a game on the Kindle and you try to read your book on your Kindle app on the phone. It’s super hard to concentrate because you worry you will miss the people you’re saving seats for. Your legs are aching like crazy and your whole body feels out of control and heavy and fuzzy. You can’t just sit still and enjoy reading.

7:00 The concert is four different orchestras and your daughter gets two recognition certificates. You’re really proud of her, and want to enjoy the remainder of concert, but you also really want to leave. It’s hard to keep in your seat, but it helps to have the boys asking questions and feeling restless too, because helping them behave appropriately and encouraging them, helps you.

9:00 You discover that Kevin has stopped at McDonald’s because he didn’t get supper. You didn’t get supper either. You could have stopped for food too, but chose to get home instead. After getting the boys in bed and talking with Brielle and Aviana, you have some time to talk with Kevin, for the first time in several weeks.

In spite of feeling grumpy towards him, you’re working at flirting with your husband and talking with him about vacation plans and ideas. And everything seems to be going really well when he says some snide things to you. Whether unintentional, or intentional,  you say “You don’t need to make fun of me like that,” when he tries to drive a point home several ways. Then he gets offended and suddenly you’re in a fight, and you’re comparing him to Donald Trump, and he stamps out of the room. Now you’re alone again.

10:00 You apologize for the Donald Trump comment and then sit on the couch scrolling and watching Intervention. You like Intervention because they’re worse off than you are, you know you don’t want to self medicate like they do, and  you do want to learn how to handle your emotions in a healthy way, and learn better coping skills,  and almost all of the episodes are a story of redemption.

1:00 a.m. You take your vitamins and medicine,  go to bed and watch it some more until your eyes are heavy enough and your brain is numb enough to finally sleep. You average between 5 and 6 hours of sleep when the depression is bad. And it’s been bad lately.

 

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tired mom why am I tired exhausted can't sleep

You’re tired, Mom. Here’s why.

In honor of Mother’s Day-have a nap! We know you’re tired! These could be reasons why:

  1. The neighbor’s dog is barking.
  2. Firecrackers. Somewhere.
  3. It was daylight savings time last month and you still haven’t recovered.
  4. You’re hungry and you can’t sleep but you are too tired to get up and make a snack.
  5. Your kid peed the bed.
  6. Your kid threw up in your bed.
  7. Your kid threw up in her bed.
  8. You threw up.
  9. You got your kid’s throw up in your hands.
  10. Your kid stepped on a cactus in the middle of the night.
  11. Your child can’t find his blanket.
  12. Your child’s pillow is too lumpy.
  13. Your teenager is out with friends.
  14. Your teen came home drunk.
  15. Your husband sleeps like a polecat on a leash.
  16. The dog needs to go out.
  17. You buckled and unbuckled baby dolls in the van 57 times.
  18. Musical beds. The adults never win.
  19. 4 shots of espresso doesn’t last long.
  20. You drank 4 shots of espresso and now you can’t sleep.
  21. Carrying laundry up and down stairs a bajillion times takes all your energy.
  22. The people who sleep in your bed talk in their sleep.
  23. People snore.
  24. You’re close to menopause and get night sweats.
  25. You got a muscle cramp and have been awake since 4:22 a.m.

Thank you to the amazing community of the Quad City Crunchy Mamas for their contributions and ideas to this list! ❤️

For more reasons you are tired, check out the post I wrote for the Quad City Moms Blog.

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What I Wore Weekly- Spring Mom Outfits

You’re a busy real life mom. I am too. I share with you relatable   outfits and wearable, stylish fashion so you can feel put together while you’re wiping noses and tables and feeling wiped out. It’s a challenge to be fashionable on a budget, but I can help you with that!

This post contains affiliate links, which help me keep my kids stocked with books and food, clicking through is good for me, at no cost to you!

style mama SAHM fashion outfit of the day what to wear mom cheap chic frugal gold sneakers farm cardigan lace vest

Sweater: hand me down

Crochet Vest: Goodwill

Support your local farmers shirt: Zulily You can find one like it HERE

Jeans: Zulily

Gold Skechers: Purchased at Ross and you can get yours here

This outfit is perfect for hanging out with your 13 year old all day in Des Moines and finding out she was an alternate for qualifying for Nationals at the state level of National History Day!

style mama SAHM fashion outfit of the day what to wear mom cheap chic summer hat spring skirt flipflops

Hat: Dollar Tree similar HERE

Shirt: Goodwill

Skirt: Land’s End via Goodwill (I cut five inches off the bottom as it was an awkward length. I just left the hem raw. If you like an item but it has something wrong with it, see if you can alter it easily.)

Shoes: FitFlops available HERE

This is the perfect outfit in which to wake up with another headache and try to do your best and get the basics done and with a pretty good attitude even though you’re seriously not feeling it. It’s also good for standing in some weeds at the side of the road because it makes a cool photo.

style mama SAHM fashion outfit of the day what to wear mom cheap chic frugal

Dress: actually a nightgown a friend gave me because her more abundant boobage kept escaping–I don’t have that problem, unfortunately. And who can tell it’s meant to be a nightgown anyway? This is another way to save money. (Also it was literally because I just didn’t bother to get dressed)

lace vest: Goodwill

Hat: Goodwill

Shoes: NEW Old Navy via Goodwill

Necklace: Target

This is the perfect outfit in which to have a migraine and not want to get up but you have to get up and sit very still until you’re forced to do something and then just throw on some accessories because you have to take people places and people are coming over but thankfully by then you feel better and can enjoy your friend and kids’ friends and the first party of the year and dancing in the rain. But seriously, people, I wore a nightgown all day.

second hand thrifty fashion mom life outfit of the day style

Cardigan: Wish

Shirt: hand-me-down

Skirt: Old Navy via Goodwill

Shoes: Like, 15 year old Skechers, seriously, these have lasted for freeking ever

Necklace: hand-me-down

Earrings: Shortline Design

This is the perfect outfit in which to get a bit of business done, have some friends over and run here and there, and go to the chiro and acupuncturist finally and fall asleep and for sure drool, and then realize you don’t have enough time to run home and change at least your shoes and fix your hair (which is left over from the day before!) because you get to help host the Bloom! Event with the Quad City Mom’s Blog, but you just smile and act like you meant to do it all along. And when you get home, it’s perfect for hiding in the car in the garage because you just don’t want to talk to your people but of course they are waiting up for you, and hug them but you can’t sleep and feel sad.

 

Silk Vintage Scarf: Thrifted from Life’s Little Treasures

Sweater: Hand-me-down

Sloth dress: Amazon

Jeggings: Sam’s Club

Converse: eBay

Earrings: Iowa hand made by Shortline Design

You can see another way I styled this dress here.

This is the perfect outfit in which to wake up with ANOTHER headache and not even want to face the day but you do it anyway and you are glad because you get to serve with your family and your CC (other) community and move a lot of rocks and hang out with your kids who are your favorite people and have lunch at a park and sit in the van ALONE while the boys are in tutoring because the two year old fell asleep and take them to Walmart because even though you did the pick up thing, you forgot several things and buy a new amazing mop that you’re in love with, but also that the kids want to use all the time, so that’s a win, and an incredible carpet cleaning gadget that is way less than the ridiculous heavy Kirby you spent a lot of money on a long time ago but works way better and actually gets all the stains out in the worst of the carpet (which you hate but that’s another story) and to think you’re going to sit and relax at the end of a long day, one in which your husband is not only working late, but he’s in another state and then when you take the dog outside, you see that the COWS ARE OUT so then you spend the rest of the evening chasing stupid bovines and you fall asleep on the couch and sleep there all night because it was a hard day; but at least you got your steps in.

This is also the perfect outfit to wear for most of the next day until the mail comes and you get your new tee shirt, so you change so you can put it on.

style mama SAHM fashion outfit of the day what to wear mom cheap chic frugal

Five year old took this picture.

Shirt: IOWA by the Iowa City Mom’s Blog  I hate when clothes are too small so I ordered it a little big, but this particular style was WAY too big, but I got to put four tiny rubber bands on the inside and kind of blouse it and it looked awesome.

Shorts: Levi’s via Goodwill (I bought these last spring, but ended up gaining a lot of grief/stress weight, and they were too small and I could never wear them, however, I actually took the tags off today!)

Sandals: American Eagle via Goodwill

Necklace: Etsy, gift from a friend/doula client

Earrings: Shortline Design

I bought both these shorts and sandals last spring when I was putting together a summer capsule wardrobe on a tight budget: you can read about that here.

This is the perfect outfit in which to build chain reactions with your boy and spruce up the kitchen a bit and give baths to horribly dirty people, and clean all the things over and over because seriously as soon as you put away those towels somehow they’re out again when you walk back into that room, and really want to see your friends but decide you need a quiet night in even more and that’s hard and it’s perfect in which to be sad and cry because a year ago today was when your beloved mother-in-law went into intensive care for a couple of weeks and then got better and then suddenly we lost her. Life is hard without her. Spring is always hard for me, but it’s especially hard without her, her experience, her understanding, her having been through so many spring plantings and farm crises and survived, her help and assurance.  It’s hard without her.

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ideas for the busy and stylish mom outfits cheap fashion frugal style

What I Wore Weekly-Real Life Mom

This post contains affiliate links-at no cost to you, clicking through helps keep my children in books and food! 

You’re a busy real life mom. I am too. I share with you relatable outfits and wearable, stylish fashion so you can feel put together while you’re wiping noses and tables and feeling wiped out.

stay at home mom style fashion frugal mom on the go busy stylish what to wear outfits

Sunglasses: Warby Parker

Kimono: Goodwill

Wild and Free Mama Shirt (similar)

Necklace: National Institute of Art (similar), Noonday

Watch: Amazon

Pants: Sam’s Club

Shoes: Walmart ($5!!)

This is the perfect outfit in which to keep and feed 8 children, go to town at Goodwill, quickly alter a dress you bought, take the Middlets bowling and out to Steak and Shake and genuinely enjoy your offspring.

stay at home mom style fashion frugal mom on the go busy stylish what to wear outfits

Faux Leather Moto Jacket: Goodwill

Tanktop: Goodwill

Necklace: Amazon (similar)

Pants: No Nonsense  (pockets! Not see through! Cheap!) from Amazon

Sandals: Chinese Laundry at Francesca’s (A Store in the MALL!) but you can buy them here!

This is the perfect outfit on which to spill coffee within eight minutes of donning it, in which to have an enlightening therapy session, and to take off and forget to wash for a week.

stay at home mom style fashion frugal mom on the go busy stylish what to wear outfits

Shirt: Goodwill

Precision Necklace: Noonday Collection

Pants: Goodwill

Boots: Zulily

This is the perfect outfit to wear for the last last day of Classical Conversations for the Year End Celebration and to take off as soon as you get your son to take this picture and sleep for days, and after which, experience total mental shutdown.

stay at home mom style fashion frugal mom on the go busy stylish what to wear outfits

Scarf: Target (I sewed it to make it infinity)

Tanktop: Walmart

Joggers: Ross

Sandals: FitFlops purchased at Zulily but Amazon has them. These are the most comfortable flip flops you will ever own. I’ve even worn them “hiking”!

This is the perfect outfit which to wear for basically two days after you put it on yesterday aternoon. It’s good for doing a lot of communicating, grocery shopping, clothes sorting and donating and labeling, library going, lesson chaueffuering, and momming.

stay at home mom style fashion frugal mom on the go busy stylish what to wear outfits

Earrings: Noonday

Top: Goodwill

Pants: Zulily

Shoes: Gold Skechers purchased at  Ross

This is the perfect outfit in which to have a couple of extra kids on board and take everyone roller skating, under strict instructions to not tell me they’re hungry or ask me for any food for the hour and a half you’re there and have your five year old say, “I’m not telling you I’m hungry, I’m just letting you know that if you wanted to buy me a snack, I’m okay with that.” and host an informational meeting for Classical Conversations even though you weren’t really planning on it because no one RSVP’d so you had gone to Dollar Tree instead and try to show yourself grace. Lots and lots of grace because even when you make mistakes, it’s really, truly part of the human experience and it’s really, truly acceptable and expected to make mistakes.

stay at home mom style fashion frugal mom on the go busy stylish what to wear outfits

Jacket: Zulily

Dress: Zulily

Earrings: Noonday

Watch: Target

Velvet leggings: Ross

Gingham Converse: Ross

This is the perfect outfit in which to get up early and spend a delightful day in community with other Classical Conversations directors, and learning lots of wonderful ideas.

stay at home mom style fashion frugal mom on the go busy stylish what to wear outfits

Kimono: Goodwill dress I DIY’ed

Dress: Zulily

Belt: Amazon

Necklace: Etsy Five Arrows Gifts

Leggings: Sam’s Club

Silver Sandals: Goodwill but you can get them here!

This is the perfect outfit in which to celebrate 10 years of your church’s existence, connect with some friends briefly, eat fried chicken, laugh hysterically at your daughter’s hilarious play, get chastised by the grumpy old woman siting behind you for your awful cackling, get over it because most people love your laugh, and you’re okay with it, and drive to Des Moines with your oldest to daughter to go to her history day competition.

 

 

 

 

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Stay-at-Home Mom Style outfit for the week jeans leggings cheap chic fashion frugal style mom on the go

What I Wore Weekly-Stay at Home Mom Style

Stay at home mom style fashion cheap frugal easy outfits

hoodie: Birth Boot Camp

basic grey leggings

Shoes: Skechers via Ross

This is the perfect outfit in which to sleep in the top half-because you can’t get the sweatshirt off over the straws you used to make your hair awesome, work out, hang out, go out (well technically to the shops, but it sounded better) and eat out ( and by out, I mean at home, but whatever 🙂 )

I feel like curly hair is fancy. I felt dressy in my hoodie.

You’ll notice that I’m baring some skin here–it was 35 degrees today and if frostbite on my ankles is what it takes to end this always-winter-but-never-Christmas Narnia situation Iowa is poorly imitating, then by golly I’ll do it. This thinking is in no way logical.

Stay at home mom style fashion cheap frugal easy outfits

jacket: Sam’s Club

Shirt: Old Navy via Goodwill

Sweater like joggers: Ross

Converse: Ross

This is the perfect outfit in which to get the thing done all morning, fall asleep reading to the two year old in the afternoon, and then set out with the idea of working during Eleven’s play practice but only watch clothing hauls on YouTube instead.

Stay at home mom style fashion cheap frugal easy outfits

Sweater: Ross

Sloth Dress: Amazon

Basic grey leggings

Skechers: Ross

Necklace and Earrings: Noonday

This is the perfect outfit in which to endure ANOTHER April snow, cope with all the last minute changes to the last day of Classical Conversations, be completely overwhelmed and touched out and need space and still not completely check out of life.

Stay at home mom style fashion cheap frugal easy outfits leggings

Earrings: Noonday

Necklace: gift from some doula clients-the wooden piece in the middle is how big a newborn baby’s tummy is after a week. The smaller beads are how big it is at 1 and 3 days.

Basic white tee

Shirt: Old Navy via Goodwill

Boyfriend jacket which is actually my husband’s jacket: Goodwill

Super soft leggings: Aldi

Boots: Younkers

Attached children: Boy was made in the Caribbean, the other two are farm fresh

This is the perfect outfit in which to get in 10,000 steps by noon, clean up all the messes-like when the little girls had permission to play with moon sand OUTSIDE, but then I found them in the kitchen, or when I was doing grocery shopping online and they both traipsed through the house with muddy boots on, and by clean up I mean make them do it which is infinitely harder, force people to go for walks and be outside and enjoy the beautiful sunny weather, and spend some hard won time alone sitting in the van, reading a terrific home design book.

Stay at home mom style fashion cheap frugal easy outfits

Hair: styled by sleeping

hoodie: Zulily

jeans: Zulily

Shoes: Walmart (chosen by Brielle)

This is the perfect outfit in which to be trapped in a van with your kids/hoodlums for far too many hours, clean the kitchen far too many times, listen to far too much yelling, and have a cozy at home date night watching a far too creepy of a movie.

Stay at home mom style fashion cheap frugal easy outfits

Earrings: Goodwill

Shirt: AB Studio via Goodwill

vest: TEK Gear via hand-me down from friend

Boyfriend Jeans: Zulily

Velvet Boots: Target

This outfit is perfect for doing a zero dollar kitchen update aka taking some cabinet doors off, taking a daughter to play practice, taking sons out for a lunch date and to do some woodworking, taking time to tickle the tiny daughters and play, taking a different daughter and sons to a Classical Conversations year end celebration, and taking time to rest and read.

I love frugal fashion! What would you like to see and read more of?

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Potty Training

Potty Training My Sixth Child

Potty Training my Sixth Kid

One would think I would be an expert in all things child, since I do have children ranging in age from 13-2. I’ve got boys and girls. I’ve got all the personalities (Ok, maybe not, since there are 16 main personalities, but it feels like it most days!)

I’ve got lots of experience in many layers of different. All five of my older children were out of diapers full time before they were three. They all currently use the potty on the regular.

potty training three year old
Three year olds sleeping without diapers can be risky

With my first five, they had a little sibling coming along around the time they turned two, so I was hyper-vigilant before the new baby arrived. We had long stints of Elimination Communication when they were wee babies. I instituted “Potty Train your Kid in Two Days” (Lies!) type policies. We used cloth diapers when we were out and about so they could feel the wetness. They were pantsless at home. They got chocolate chips when they did their business in the right place. They got it. They learned.

One would think potty training my sixth child would be a breeze.

If you think that, you would be wrong.

potty training before three
Almost two year old covered in caulk on the potty

Even with more eyes that should be watching this sixth kid, she gets away with more. Case in point: she completely flooded the bathroom the other day. There was at least an inch of water on the floor. The drawers in the vanity under the sink were two/thirds filled with water.

Kevin was home with the kids while I was on a writing retreat, and I like to think it wouldn’t have happened on my watch. (Lies.) Perhaps with more people around to keep an eye on her, everyone else thinks someone else is watching her, and no one actually is.

There’s a possibility she wasn’t being trained as closely during her readiness window because of her beloved grandma being sick and subsequently dying right around her second birthday. It could be because I stopped cloth diapering all together when she was still a baby. We could attribute it to the fact that I didn’t do Elimination Communication as long with her as I did with the other kids. It’s likely she’s just more stubborn and I’m more tired.

Maybe there isn’t a good reason.

The reason doesn’t matter as much as you knowing that whatever stage of motherhood you’re in right now, you’re not alone. Even us seasoned mothers don’t know what we’re doing, or why we’re doing it, or why it’s going wrong. If your kid won’t sleep through the night and is crawling in bed with you, it’s normal, you’re not alone. If you can’t get your kid potty trained by 3, don’t worry, you’re not alone. If road trips make you think you’re going to lose your everloving mind, and any self control you had at any point in your life, you’re not alone. If you’re afraid your kids are going to kill each other in a spatula fight turned nasty, take heart, you’re not alone. What is going on with you and your kids happens to all of us. I’m here for you. You’re not alone.

Unless your kid is using the teeter totter to catapult  dead mice into an open window. Then you might be on your own.

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Stay-at-Home Mom

Stay-at-Home Mom Style – Spring

Sweatshirt: Iowa State

Pants: these are so old I have no ide

Shoes: KSwiss from COLLEGE era y’all!

I’m not one to quit on a garment just because it has a little age to it.

This is the perfect outfit in which to spend all day in the rain and in the garage doing an amazing DIY patio update and painting all the things.

Tunic: Zulily

Necklaces : Target and Noonday

Velvet leggings:Target

Boots: Target

This is the perfect outfit in which to premiere as a greeter and usher. I’m a terrific greeter but my ushing was rather clumsy. It’s also perfect in which to take your daughters and friends out to eat and endure the snow and freezing April temperatures, take the girls to A Wrinkle In Time, and write all evening while watching Murder on the Orient Express, while the oldests wrap your hair around 89 straws.

Dress: Goodwill in DC!

leggings: Ross

Shoes: Younkers

Pup: Snuggles and Cuddles

This is the perfect outfit in which to start off optimistic that it’s going to be as lovely as the day before but quickly realize that you’re going to freeze, and supervise the cleaning of the patio and deck and balance bank accounts (well, try to) and babysit three more kids and hope they don’t die and have a bonfire and go out with friends and drink and talk and talk and talk.

Top: Old Navy via Goodwill

pants: PINK via Goodwill

Shoes: Converse via Ross

This is the perfect outfit to wear to babysit and end up with 10 kids including a baby who you get to wear and whose head you get to smell and kiss and know that you know that you know you are done with babies but you are so happy you get to love on friendbabies and to make an actual lunch that almost every body eats, and to buy new chairs at Theisen’s which don’t fit in the car and be late for picking up your Wal-mart grocery order and they have to page people to unlock it but you don’t even care because you just want your Kix!

dress: Garage Sale

Hairbow: chosen and loaned by five year old

practical shoes: Danskos

This is the perfect outfit to wear for Classical Conversations Costume Day and just generally enjoy yourself immensely and not even get irritated when your daughter loses her shoe in the creek and your son wades in over his ankles to retrieve it, or when the two year old refuses to come to the van and you have to chase her across the park but you catch her because you wear the practical shoes.

Sweater: New York and Company via Goodwill

Puffer Vest: Goodwill

pants: Sam’s Club

Boots: Goodwill

This is the perfect outfit in which to stalk and photograph ducks and coots aaaaaaand do some other stuff.

Top: New York and Company cia Goodwill

Puffer Vest: Goodwill

Blanket Scarf: Amazon

Joggers: Zulily

Converse: Ross

This is the perfect outfit in which to get a lot of house work done and school work done and be the best Monday-er in the history of Monday, and also get carried away at the library book sale and also get a manicure and ALSO even make a proper farm wife supper.

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DIY Patio Deck Upgrades update fix (2)

Spring DIY Patio Update for under $100

This post is sponsored by Theisen’s. I would never recommend a company I don’t believe in.

It’s April 15. Our spring has never arrived and I’m not feeling optimistic it’s coming any time soon. Even to the point of considering spring cleaning, (or possibly just changing all the sheets), I’ll do anything to get out of the never ending winter doldrums. It’s  winter but never Christmas.

As a gift to myself, I’ve made a long, long list of spring spruce ups, and the patio and deck area is at the top of upgrades I want to do. Some of the updates I want to do just aren’t in the budget this year, but I host a lot of patio parties and wanted to upgrade as much as possible as cheaply as possible.

The kids and I raked and picked up and burned all the leaves and sticks  which had accumulated all year. I was impressed how much that alone helped! Brielle, who is highly motivated since the first patio party will be for her cast party for the Davenport Junior Theater play she’s in, scrubbed off the tables and chairs.  If it ever warms up and stops raining, The Handsome Husband will power wash the deck.

All our patio furniture is second hand and our plastic Adirondack style chairs were all broken and cracked so I headed to Theisen’s where they had them on sale! I was delighted that they even had my colors! I had painted the deck furniture (which my great aunt had given me 15 years ago) a few years back, and it seriously needed updating. I also picked up some Rust-Oleum Spray Paint which included a primer because I’m all about streamlining.  While I was there, I noticed some hanging plants who were optimistically trying to bloom despite this freezing Iowa April.  I bought a couple to eventually put on my patio swing. I want to paint it too, but I knew I wouldn’t have time this weekend.

I also wanted to have all of my cushions match. Some came with the furniture, a few we had bought, and some others my sweet mother-in-law surprised me with. I wondered if I could paint them too. Turns out, I wasn’t the only one to think of this idea. I read a few tutorials (this was one of them )when I thought of painting the cushions,decided it would work, and just went for it.  A few $3 cans of paint are way cheaper than new cushions!

Before painting in the foreground, after one coat in the back

I spent all day Saturday in the garage, painting furniture and the cushions. We couldn’t find all of the cushions, and they had gotten rained on , and it was too cold to properly dry according to the can, and I’m not a very patient person nor do I like to follow directions to the letter, but I was pretty pleased with how everything turned out.

Other than the fact that after I was through, and I was complaining because my pincer grasp wouldn’t work, the tendons in my forearms were completely exhausted and sore, and I couldn’t even cut my own meat, my husband then informed me we had a handy dandy trigger handle I could have used. (like this one)

Voila! 

 

My new snapdragons wonder what in the world is happening with this beautiful April snow.

 

I love having new grey cushions and like new furniture!

 

A new conversational area
The view of the deck
A fresh socializing area near the fire pit, which is flanked by our new Adirondack chairs.
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Day in the Life of a Farmer

A Day in the Life of a Farmer

A Day in the Life of a Farmer

6:00 Wake up to alarm. Try to sneak out of bedwithout disturbing beautiful wife or two year old who’s snoozing between us. Am largely unsuccessful. Sneaking is not my forté. Grab a cup of coffee to down while putting on my coveralls. It’s 15 degrees on the seventh of April and the cow herd is calving. Dangerous conditions for newborns. The plan is to haul the last month’s accumulation of manure out of the cattle yards and use it to fertilize the fields while the ground is still frozen. It’s a week long job at least with nothing going wrong.

6:30 Check the cows. Discover a half frozen just born baby calf. Haul him in the calf sled to under the barn so I can get him nursing. His mama is not cooperative and keeps trying to charge me. Stupid cow.

7:30 Still having trouble getting her in the head gate. I’m sick of this cow trying to kill me, when all I’m doing is trying to save her baby. Take a break and go check the rest of the herd. Discover two more babies, just born while I was under the barn with the first ridiculous cow.

Drag them in to under the barn as well. Their mamas follow docilely like they’re supposed to. Get the calves all in the calf warmer—a tiny A frame shed with a heater.

Head up to the house for some frozen colostrum. I’m going to have to tube feed them all.

Put 9 year old in charge of warming up colostrum, the first highly nutritious milk. We always milk cows who have lost a baby or have extra colostrum, to keep on hand. Without those precious first few nursings of colostrum, the calves won’t live no matter what you do. It’s a miracle that newborn human babies who’ve never nursed can survive, as no animal will!

A Day in the Life of a Farmer

8:30 Go back out to barn to check on the situation and see that two of them are starting to stand and be halfway normal. The kids all want to come out and watch, so I let them peer through the window so they won’t disturb the mamas. Milk the two cooperative cows and tube feed their calves with their own mama’s colostrum since they can’t nurse yet.

9:30 Go back up to the house, get the warmed colostrum, tube feed the first calf. I don’t think he’ll make it. This is even more discouraging as just yesterday, I had twins (highly unusual for Gelbvieh cows), both born back feet first, both born dead. They’re supposed to be born front feet first. Besides feeling badly for the animal, we’re losing big money every time we lose a calf, and this is definitely not the year to lose any money on anything.

After feeding the calves, I headed up the breakfast operations while my wife was working out. Cadrian, the nine year old can make popovers on his own, but he still needs a little guidance and a lot of reminders.

10:30 Finally start hauling manure while it’s still frozen. I go into the cattle yards with the tractor, load the manure and the straw we use as bedding material into the loader bucket and dump it into the manure spreader. The ground needs to be frozen while I take it out to the field so I don’t tear up the ground with ruts, which then causes compaction, because I want to plant into it soon.

11:30 Take a break from hauling manure when my best friend comes over to get hay for his goat. We shoot the breeze for a while.

By this time, Jessica is gone to write all day at a local farmer owned coffee shop. I go back up to the house to check on the kids and get them to start lunch. They make frozen vegetables and macaroni and cheese.

12:30 The ground is starting to thaw, so I finally start chores. This involves feeding all the cattle in the cattle yards a special mixture of silage, hay and nutrients, and taking bales of hay out to the cattle in the pastures. I mow and bale hay all summer long so out cattle can be grass fed all winter, and I sell some hay to local horse owners. I keep a close eye on the worst off calf.

1:30 The kids are bounding around outside since it’s warmed up a bit. They want to help and be in the way and see everything. Elivette manages to get some milk to feed the half frozen, now thawed, babies!

A couple more calves are born, in the sunshine, which even though it’s still record lows,  makes a big difference so they were fine. After I got the new ones all ear tagged, I poured hot water over that first calf for quite a while, trying to get him warmed up internally.

2:30 Our pet cow Lolly had her calf! She is the smartest cow we have. She had the calf at the warmest part of the day, in the calf shed I just erected yesterday. Really it was probably dumb luck, but I like to credit it to her intelligence.

day in the life of a farmer
My wife with all her sick headache accouterments.

3:30 Jessica has gotten home but she has a sick headache and can’t go to the party with the family.

I get the kids around and we head off to Aviana’s friend’s and Challenge A director’s home for tacos and a sing-a-long. On the way, I meet up with Brielle’s friend’s dad, because her friend Esther has stayed the night and needs to be returned to her family.

4:30 The kids have a great time while I chat with some of our friends. I have to supervise our kids pretty closely because they’re still so young and impulsive. The family who live here with their two teenagers lead a completely different life than us with our six rambunctious rascals ages 2-13.

Our nine year old especially needs to have some quality friends who are boys. We seem to have a lot of friends with girls. He and the host’s 14 year old son love to wrestle and roughhouse.

7:30 It’s impossible for me to round up six kids. You have to start an hour before you’re ready to leave, and then when you finally find them all, and get them pointed in the right direction, someone wants to chat some more and they all disperse again.

Bedtime is the best time of day for this farmer!

8:00 Get teeth brushed and pajamas on. By lying down with her, I get the two year old to sleep. I love snuggling her and helping her fall asleep. Often I fall asleep with her for a little while, and show her how it’s done. This farmer teaches thegreatest life lessons: Bedtime is the best time of day!

9:00 I head back outside and get the calves nursing for the first time. That’s a huge relief! The first one died. I check the cows again and see another new calf born, which brings our total to 7 for the 7th! That’s almost 10% of our herd calving on one day. I have to go out to the field to bring back the tractor I forgot out there because I drove the tractor pulling the manure spreader back and then got busy with the cows. If I had a fit bit I’m sure it would show that I walked 20 miles today.

10:00 Sit down for a rest while Jessica quizzes me about my day for this blog post. I like that she’s paying attention to me, but I’m almost too tired to think! Snuggling with the puppy in the comfy chair is putting me to sleep.

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Stay-at-Home Mom

Outfits of the Week: Stay-at-Home Mom Style

What a crazy week! I wore more than these few outfits, I just didn’t get a lot of pictures taken. I didn’t even get a photo of my Easter style.  Although, I have been known to wear the same thing for several days in a row (#SAHMlife), so I guess my wearing the same outfit for an entire week is not out of the realm of possibility.

Base Top: Goodwill

Asymmetrical Jacket: StitchFix

Leggings: Aldi

Boots: Goodwill

This is the perfect outfit to wear to a local coffee shop and work on your blog and then for some reason get a blistering headache and then go home and straight to bed and feel better when you wake up and then get a weird, incredibly painful attack of heartburn which lasted almost all night (although I wasn’t wearing the boots by that point and my hair was pretty tangled).

Top: Ross

Jeans: Four Seasons

Boots: Goodwill

This is the perfect outfit to wear for all the homeschooling and laundry doing and slip on the kitchen floor and nearly kill yourself a few times because of the ridiculous slick bottomed boots, and do a quick tutorial for a friend, settle sibling spats (all day, every day) and stop by and pick up the purse you left at a restaurant on date night, and do a Director Proof for a Memory Master for Classical Conversations, hold an Informational Meeting and be told “I just LOVE stylish people!! (and have the internal reaction of WHAT?! ME?! and look around because she must be talking about someone else, and go to your friend-daughters’ plays, and out for raspberry lemon ice.

Jacket: My MIL’s closet

Sweater: Goodwill

Necklace: Noonday

Pants: Sam’s Club

Boots: Younkers

This is the perfect outfit in which to completely go off the cuff while leading an orchestra unit for your Classical Conversations community because there must have been some sort of miscommunication with the people you had lined up, to talk with many many people all day long and get asked repetitively for play dates and sleepovers and field many complaints about why do we have so many friends who only have girls and cancel your chiropractor appointment which you really need because you can’t figure out how to make it work with the things the kids have going on and realize even though you kind of resent it, you actually are putting other people first, which isn’t easy, but nevertheless, you’re proud of yourself.

Shirt: Goodwill (I cut small holes and laced up a ribbon, and sewed it at the bottom)

Basic leggings

Shoes: Ross

This is the perfect outfit in which to assist with all the music (piano lessons for two kids, orchestra, cello for one), spend some one on one time with my sweet Baby A, try a new coffee shop with your Handsome Husband, and go out to eat for delicious food you didn’t have to cook.

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