mom life, Motherhood, online shopping, SAHM, Shopping, Stay at home mom, Uncategorized, WAHM, work at home mom

Things I Love – An Amazon Prime Love Story

Raise your hand if you are an Amazon junkie….*raises both hands*. I have a serious problem. I’m on there all the time, looking for things I might need. And having free 2 day shipping with Prime? Shoot, that’s like GOLD. Don’t ask me why. I can’t explain it. Those people know how to cater to our need for instant gratification. I cringe when I order from other sites and see 3-5 day shipping is the quickest option. WHO HAS TIME TO WAIT 3-5 DAYS TO GET THEIR STUFF?? #calmdownstephanie #itwillbeOK

If I think of something I need, Amazon is the first place I go. I also just browse when I’m bored or avoiding housework. My thought process goes something like this:

House: you really need to do these dishes. There are gnats circling them. They need to be washed. You aren’t doing anything now, wash them.
Me: I need to check and see if Amazon has a good deal on fruit fly traps.
House: But…if you do the dishes, the fruit flies won’t even come around.
Me: Oh look, they have a special. I can buy a 20 pack for the price of 5. *clicks “buy with one click” button* – Wow! I’m tired now. That was hard work.
House: The dishes…they are still there. Also, there’s a smell. Probably need to check that out.
Me: Oooohhh…Amazon is having a special on batteries. You can never have enough of those. And I can even save 50 cents if I subscribe and save! WOW! Let me add that to my monthly subscription. I need these batteries for my diffuser, so I can use my essential oils to make the house smell nice and help me relax from all this hard work I’m doing.
House: Look around you. Literally, around where you are sitting. There is trash on the floor and crumbs. Oh, there are crumbs on you too because you are a messy eater. Maybe you should sweep the living room. Make sure you get all around where you are.
Me: Is that the book I have been wanting to read for months???!! It’s on sale for $2.99???!!! I must have it on my Kindle. *clicks “buy with one click”* It gets on my kindle so fast! I love this. I’m going to start it right now. But first, let me get a snack to eat here in my comfy corner chair.
House: This is useless. You are useless. Why do I even try. *makes another piece of popcorn ceiling fall to the floor* There, that’ll show her. Here’s a cockroach too…have fun!
Me: *too engrossed in my new book to notice anything else happening until roach crawls up my leg and I scream like I’m being murdered by a swarm of bees*
End SCENE

Maybe things don’t play out *exactly* like this, but you get the picture right? Amazon is my jam. I love shopping online as much as possible and Amazon literally has just about anything you could ever possibly need. #amIright #yesIam 

So I thought it would be fun to share some of my favorite things I get from Amazon to celebrate becoming an Amazon affiliate! I have a handful of items I subscribe to each month that are life savers: (As an Amazon affiliate, I will receive a small commission if you click on the links and purchase through them. My full disclosure is on my sidebar on the right.)

          1. Amazon Elements Baby Wipes, Sensitive, 720 Count, Resealable Packs with Tub– These are my favorite baby wipes. I have used many different brands and these are the best in my opinion. When I subscribe and save, I get a better deal and I don’t even have to think about it. Win-Win!
          2. nutpods Dairy-Free Creamer Unsweetened (French Vanilla, 4-pack) – Whole30 Approved – When I was on Whole 30 in May I had to end my relationship with my sweetened coffee creamers. That was when I was introduced to these wonderful things. Nutpods saved my coffee game for that month. I still use them (sparingly since they are considerably more pricey than their sugar-laden counterparts) and love the creamy flavor they add to my coffee. They are not sweet but that’s the point right? Avoiding sugar! See the next item on my list for how to sweeten your coffee without using sugar. #you’rewelcome
          3. Health Garden Kosher Monk Fruit Sweetener, 16 oz, Classic – I have tried many, many natural sweeteners in my coffee (Pyure, erythritol, xylitol, stevia) and they all left a nasty aftertaste that made me enjoy my coffee less. This is not acceptable as my coffee is a very sacred part of my daily ritual. It cannot be tampered with and made to taste less than perfect! #coffeeislife #coffeeisessential This Monk Fruit sweetener by Health Garden has really improved my hot coffee experience since eliminating sugar from my diet. You should try it.
          4. LIFT Certified BPA-Free Reusable Microwavable Meal Prep Containers with Lids, 28-Ounce, 7 Pack (Includes Ebook) – These are awesome, reusable meal prep containers. I use them any time I’m making food in bulk and want to prep out several grab & go meals for myself. This is especially helpful as I’m tracking my macros and I can actually measure everything out in one fell swoop and then just copy that meal into MFP. They are sturdy and can be microwaved and frozen and the seal is great on them.
          5. AmazonBasics AA Performance Alkaline Batteries (48-Pack) – Packaging May Vary – Batteries are not sexy and exciting things to buy. But when you need them and you don’t have them, it’s a pain in the rear. So we never run out of them because we subscribe and save with this awesome deal on Amazon. The nice thing is that I can put my subscription on hold whenever I want. Some months we still have half a box left, so I’ll skip it until the following month. The important part is that I don’t have to try to remember to buy batteries when I go to the store. They just come each month, or every other month and I always have them. We do buy some of the odd sizes whenever we run out (like AAA or 9 volt) but most of our remotes use AA so that’s not as common.
          6. Last but not least, one of my favorite items of all times that I have ordered through Amazon: my Instant Pot. This thing is what cooking dreams are made of. I have to believe that this was thought of by another inept mom like myself who could never get her act together quick enough to get things into a crock pot in time for dinner to be ready. I always think of dinner about 20 minutes before we should be eating. My crock pot was useless to me at that point. When I read or hear people talking about how much they love their crock pots, my first thought is “Why? How? When?” because it has always been entirely too difficult for me to think of putting dinner together at breakfast time. Shoot. #aintnobodygottimeforthat So this IP really saved me. At 5:30, I can put two pounds of chicken breast, FROZEN SOLID, a good splash of water, some seasonings and maybe some veggies, set it for 16 minutes and microwave a bag of instant rice or quinoa and we’re in business for a full blown dinner in 30 minutes or less. Ok, ok…I see I have talked a lot about this item so I’ll stop. But seriously ya’ll, get yourself one of these. Best investment EVER for your kitchen, if you’re not into spending hours in the kitchen cooking and cleaning up after yourself. You’re welcome. #youwillthankmelater

So there you have it. My most ordered items from Amazon currently. I stopped subscribing to their diapers because I thought we were going to potty train Charity. That didn’t happen and I never reactivated my subscription. But they do have great deals on the diapers (Luvs Ultra Leakguards Diapers Size 4, 160 Count). We are now going to start actually potty training her because she starts preschool next month. #commenceprayingandfasting

So what about you? What are your favorite Amazon necessities? I could spend hours browsing Amazon. It’s like a black hole…one item leads me to another. #helpme #itneverends #Ineedanintervention But seriously, I would love to hear what you get on Amazon so I can stalk those items and add them to my wish list!

Keepin it real,

Steph

mom life, Motherhood, SAHM, Stay at home mom, WAHM, work at home mom

The Urgent Stuff

Do you ever feel like you are constantly putting out urgent fires and never get a chance to just “get ahead” in life? If you don’t, congratulations! You are special! Stop reading and move right along. No need to read this open letter to us peasants down here, struggling to just do the basics in life, like breathe and go to the bathroom. We have to stick together, and honestly, the “got it together” people kinda bring the vibe down a bit. #wedon’tneedthatkindofnegativityinourlives

Oh hi, you’re still reading?…then you must be like me, the epitome of the chicken without a head, running around, expending a lot of energy, moving a lot, sweating, but not really getting anything done. Some days I feel like I’m living the book of Ecclesiastes…”all is vanity and grasping for the wind.” (Eccl. 1:14a) #nooffenseEcclesiastes

I wish I could say that I’m writing this to share a big insight I had on how to avoid that! #thatwouldbegreat #Iwouldbeamillionare

But alas, I do not have answers. #shakesfistatlaundrypile

What I do have, are words to encourage you and hopefully help you not feel so bad about yourself in this area. If you’re like me, maybe you are raising tiny humans that demand a lot of attention and a lot of energy from you. These tiny humans are YOUR responsibility, given to you by the Almighty God, entrusted to you for safe-keeping on this earth. #nopressure Some days I look at my tiny humans and wonder how have I kept them alive so long? How have I not lost one of them? (Ok, we technically HAVE lost one of our children in a souvenir shop in Florida for about 7 million hours – jk, 7 minutes – and it was the scariest time of my life.) #stephgetsseriousforaminute

But back to the fact that I still have all three children, living, breathing, under my roof….that’s pretty amazing right? I feel like a trophy should be handed out to all parents when their child reaches 5 years old since the years leading up to that, they are basically just finding ways to almost die or get kidnapped and you are constantly saving their lives. #sostressful

So we have established that the tiny humans suck all the energy and life out of you (in a *good* way of course…#Ilovemychildren)…but there’s more. Of course, there is always more for the discombobulated humans like myself.

I am a SAHM so I have a different set of challenges than someone else who works outside the home. Side note question: what is the appropriate way to ask a woman whether she has a job or is a SAHM? I mean, I AM a SAHM and I have caught myself asking “So do you work or do you *just* stay at home with your kids?” I shudder at the thought of how that sounds. As if staying home isn’t working or is something that the word “just” should go in front of. Forgive me all moms who I have ever said that to!! I’m working on it! I feel your pain. I hate to think that someone looks at me as *just* a SAHM. I never get to clock out of this job. It’s all hours of all the days for all of eternity…or, um, until I die. #letsnotgetcarriedaway #somebodyisoverlydramatic

I love to make lists. When I make lists, I feel the sense of urgency slowly leaving my body and leaving me slightly more relaxed about everything I have toshould be, could be doing to keep things running smoothly in my home. The problem arises when I start writing this to do list and it becomes a full-length novel. There are just not enough hours in a day to do everything we are supposed to be doing, am I right? On any given day, I have a sink full of dishes, dry, crusted food on the counters, crumbs and sundry other pieces of trash on the floor, a bar covered in junk, 5 loads worth of laundry to wash, dry and put away, and bathrooms that need deep cleaning. (does anyone really deep clean their bathrooms every week? If so, go away. You are a unicorn and unicorns are fake and belong on rainbows in the sky. Fly away unicorn! FLY AWAY!!) How does any one human being do all this over and over again, day after day, and not lose their sanity? I don’t understand! Help me! #helpmehelpyouhelpme 

I think the part about being a SAHM that stresses me out the most is the feeling that I *just* cleaned that, or *just* swept up those crumbs, or *just* washed those same exact dishes. Some days it feels like I’m living Groundhog Day (Thanks to my friend Gloria for that analogy that fit perfectly). And those daily tasks seem to take up all my time in between giving my kids their 100th snack for the day, giving them drinks because they might die in 5 seconds, answering their litany of important questions: When is daddy coming home?
What day is it?
How many days until my birthday?
Why does my bottom hurt when I poop?
Can I draw on this?
If I stick this up my nose will it hurt or get stuck?
Who farted?
Can I give my cookie to Sadie? (the dog)
Do mommies decide how many babies they want?
How does the baby get in your belly?
Can I have a baby now?
Why are you crying in the closet with the light off? Are you eating chips in there?

There is just no way to stay on task when my kids are home with me. And so I’m constantly moving from one urgent task to another, trying to just get the most basic things done during the day. It is not urgent that my children put a fresh set of clean clothes on each day, nor is it important that they wear actual pajamas to bed. #whodoesthatanymore? What IS important is that my kids ate food (don’t worry yourself about whether it was healthy food, they ate OK?), they are alive, the house is still standing, and we all have clean underwear just in case (like 30 pairs for each person in our home).

One day I will get caught up with laundry. (I actually folded and put away about 5 loads total today.) #notbragging  #genuinelyshocked  #ifIdonttellanyonediditreallyhappen?One day I will have time to organize my pantry. One day my socks and underwear will be neatly put into a drawer. One day, my bathroom will get cleaned more than once a month. #noteventhatrightnow One day a unicorn will show up and spread unicorn glitter everywhere and things will start floating in the air and going to the places they are supposed to. #aplaceforeverythingandeverythinginitsplace #thatsabunchofbull 

Until “one day” rolls around. I will continue surviving in the tyranny of the urgent. There must be a better way, I’m just too brain-fried to figure it out right now. And I have some food burning on the stove, and my toddler is drawing on her feet with the permanent marker again while the older two are looking at me with the sad eyes of a child who hasn’t had a real meal in months. I better go take care of all that right now. Or maybe I’ll just go to my closet and cry um, pray. #helpmeJesus 

Keepin’ it real, #andabusingthehashtagsagain

Steph

Uncategorized

Living in Domestic Delirium

As a very non-domestic house wife, I struggle heavily with keeping my home clean and tidy. I find myself drawn to the couch, my bed, the fridge and my phone much more often than to folding and putting away laundry, cleaning the kitchen or cleaning bathrooms. It’s just not there. Oh, I thought I was going to be THE best house wife when I tried it the first time, six years ago. I was having my second child and teaching high school Spanish full time.

I remember walking hobbling out of my classroom for the last time, and feeling this overwhelming sense of exhilaration and joy that I would now be staying home to raise my two daughters. This was what I had wanted since having my first daughter two years prior. We were finally in a place financially where we could afford me not working. Sure, we would be scrimping and saving and I would undoubtedly be a couponing master. My house would smell of fresh pine at all times, my kids would be on a perfect routine of sleeping through the night and taking two hour naps every day. I would be exercising and cooking healthy meals that would be ready upon my husband’s arrival home from work each day. Life was going to be amaaaaaazing…

Why are you laughing? #Iwillwaitforyoutostop #seriously #youcanstopnow

I had this idea that since I had always been an outstanding employee, organized, efficient and going above and beyond what my jobs had asked of me, that this would translate to being an awesome house wife.

Obviously, I was very naive. I would soon learn that the mundane, daily tasks required to “keep house” were akin to reading through the book of Leviticus. #nooffenseLeviticus

I would also learn that the life of a stay at home mom (aka SAHM) could be a very lonely, stinky (showers? What are those?), and exhausting life. (4-5 hour stretches of sleep were unheard of) Overall, being a SAHM was not the exciting or satisfying life I was expecting at all. I ended up going back to work part-time after 9 months of staying home.

That was 6 years ago. 5 years later, in May of 2016 I would once again embark on this journey of being a SAHM. God really wanted me to get the hang of this I guess. We now had three children and lived in a smaller space. I went into it with trepidation and a healthy dose of “what in the world are you thinking, God?”

Despite all my feelings of apprehension, I still had lofty goals to accomplish. The loftiest one was home schooling my children. I bought the books and got them all set up in Abeka Academy and we started with gusto over the summer. That was June.

By August, my children were enrolled in a new charter school in our area. Let’s just say that homeschooling was NOT working for us. Thankfully, God gave me peace about letting go of that and moving on to the charter school. He relieved me of any guilt or shame I might have felt for not being able to do this thing I thought was holier and better for my children. I have nothing against homeschooling; it was simply not our time for that adventure. And I’m totally OK with that! I’m not even ruling it out for the future when my kids are older.  Maybe when I no longer have toddlers needing my attention…

So I got my first failure as a SAHM out of the way…PHEW! I have had many more failures as a house wife over the past year. BUT, I have also grown closer in my walk with the Lord and have found my identity in Him, rather than how instagram-photo-worthy my home is.

The Lord understands that it’s basically pointless to try to clean house while a 2 year old follows you around. Toddler hands are naturally dirty and sticky at all times and they have a penchant for touching anything that was just cleaned. In my home, that’s probably because things don’t look clean and shiny very often, so when they do, it’s a big deal and the kids want to touch it.  #touchallthecleanthings

I’m not a crafty mom. I’m not an OCD cleaning mom. I’m not a get-on-the-floor-and-play-with-toys mom. I’m not a spontaneous, get up and go mom. I’m not an outdoorsy person. I’m terrified of my kids drowning so we don’t do a lot of swimming, and only if daddy can come with us. I don’t feed my kids organic food. My kids eat lunchables as a well-rounded meal. #thecrackersareround

So…what kind of mom am I exactly? Doesn’t sound like I’m a whole lotta fun. #mypoorkids I will play video games with them, watch movies with them, play games like “I spy” and “20 questions”, I’ll take them pretty much anywhere indoors that has a play area (AC is required), and I will go to friend’s houses (or have friends over) for play dates. I will go to all school parties and functions and drag the toddler with me. I will teach them piano and sing with them. I will take lots of selfies with them and I will occasionally let them make slime. #bestmomever That’s the kind of mom I am.

I have learned to be comfortable in who I am as a mom/wife/person/Christian, while also striving to grow and improve on myself. I don’t fall into any specific “type” of SAHM. (Is rando-mom a type?) I love to laugh and I love to tell stories and make others laugh. I guess I’m the sarcastic, funny mom who loves her kids but also makes fun of them sometimes. #notashamed #theymightneedtherapyoneday #ohwell

I’m also a mom trying to lose weight and get healthier. I run and go to Body Pump classes. I feel like my workouts should be getting easier, but I guess as you approach 40, there is an opposite effect which causes each workout to become more difficult than the last. I take my Plexus pink drink and vitamins and supplements to give me more energy and make me feel better. And they help. And I feel better. But I don’t LOVE exercising. It is a #necessaryevil in my life. I recently started back to tracking my macros. As in, yesterday. #amIskinnyyet #nope #thisisntworking #Ineedinstantresults

I have said a lot today and I have much more to share. This is small snippet of my life. And I plan to share it here on this little corner of the inter-webs. I hope you will visit frequently, get some laughs, relax, learn a little about what it’s like to be domestically challenged and maybe feel better about yourself in the process. At least here you don’t have to worry about getting crumbs stuck to your butt from sitting on my couch, or stepping in a mystery liquid on the floor. #isitpee? #maybeitsjustjuice #we’llneverknow

Keepin’ it real,

Steph
#thiswasaloooongpost #theywon’tallbethislong #bearwithme