3May

Breathing Is For Other People

The activity here is at no-time-to-oxygenate levels. Let’s dive right in, shall we?

There was a week where Andrew was out of town and, even with the ample help of Gran and Pops, I ’bout lost my mind. Note to self: it is NEVER a good time to do the clothing swap, but doing achievement testing across town, keeping up with school, clothes swapping, AND solo parenting?  Hot. Mess. I’d like to take this moment to apologize to everybody for existing that week.

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But then Andrew came home. And we did cool stuff like go on a date with my sister and her fiancee. I quizzed him brutally, as a big sister should, but mostly just to hear him talk with that British accent. It makes me grin.

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I also got a fun date with Sam and Adam. Our family LOVES the Pentatonix. Andrew and I watched them on the Sing-Off when I was on bed rest with Finn and glued to the television all the time. Now the kids are huge fans and we spend a lot of time in the van rocking out to a capella beats. We gave the kids the option of attending the concert, but Sam and Adam were the only ones willing to cough up the cash. So I took the two of them.

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Unfortunately, we took so long to make up our mind to go that we got the nosebleed seats. As in – we could go no higher up. We had binoculars, but for my kid who is scared of heights and a little overwhelmed by loud nosies, it was perhaps a bit much at first. He relaxed when his favorite song came on and I even did a little happy dolphin clapping of my own when the voices blended particularly well on a chord. *insert choir nerd fist bump*

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This was the view after we came halfway down from our seats.

This joyful moment was followed by an even better one the next day. My own little choir nerds sang in church. Guess who was on the front row, bobbing her head, dancing, and singing Fierce? That’s right – Mira Jane. She finally achieved her bucket list goal of singing in “kids’ wire.” She loved it, y’all.

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And I was fine, just fine, until Sheryl turned around to look at me with tears streaming down her face and then I erupted into that giggle-sob thing that mamas do. Our little section of the pew was a ridiculous, cheering mess by the time that little number was done and our proud singers walked off stage. Thank you to all of you who were there and celebrated that sweet moment with us.

Somewhere in all of this, I planned a shower for the other sister who is getting married. (Pray for our family. So much happy. So much bridal.) Handy tip for showers: A Waffle Bar is the way to go, people. Easy food, good fun, and SO. MUCH. YUM.

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This launched us right into another week, don’t press pause, where we did our usual rollicking good times but also squeezed in a visit with sweet Virginia friends (we are seriously too old for 1 am, y’all)…

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… and then I took my precious 6th grade class to see a play. All year long, we’ve studied and memorized passages from a Midsummer Night’s Dream (a la Ken Ludwig’s book.) So it was such fun to let them see the whole play and watch them understand, laugh, and even ENJOY the Bard – in living color.

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Plus, I love those munchkins and I cannot believe they are leaving me after May. Nobody warned me about this part of teaching other people’s kids. Wait, you mean I don’t get to KEEP them????

Because the calendar thinks it’s funny, we seem to have another jam-packed week ahead of us. I hardly know how we’ll survive. But if this is surviving, I don’t mind it a single bit. Who needs oxygen when I’ve got this?

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What’s In Your Bag

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THE BLACK HOLE

I got an email from a reader today asking me what I carry around in my purse/bag now that we’re diaper free. (Hi, Jenny Z.!) I had to think for a minute because it’s hard for me to remember that I ever needed a diaper bag.

More accurately, I quit carrying diapers around with me long before Finn was potty trained. Matter of fact, I was often that mama caught in public without diapers, wipes, or kleenex.

I know.

But, seriously, y’all – eleven years of diapers. Ain’t nobody got time to lug around a diaper bag for that long.

Anyway, a few years ago, I stashed some diapers and wipes in the van and graduated myself to a big girl purse. And then I had to learn how to be a big girl with a real purse and no diaper bag for extras.

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Fortunately, at around the same, I added a few jobs to my resume that required me to travel with my laptop more often.  I bought a snappy little laptop bag that sometimes doubled as my purse and sometimes I ended up carrying both – or I jammed my purse down into my laptop bag…

What I’m trying to say is I’m a hot mess on any given day. I’m a jammer, a stuffer, a stick-your-whole-head-in-the-bag to find something kind of girl.

Trial and error have taught me to manage my gear a bit better now. Here’s the key: put all your little things in bigger bags inside the biggest bag. This makes for easy switching between bags and means you always know where your lipstick is. (No girl should be without it.)

So here’s what’s in my bag. Show me yours next, ok?

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My mini-ipad. It doesn’t always travel with me, but it’s handy. It has just enough games that it can entertain both Finn and me in a pinch.

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My Sewgrown oil case. I love this thing. Lots of elastic bands to hold all my roller balls and oil bottles upright. That cute little wood tag doubles as a diffuser to make my purse smell less like peanut butter crackers. Win win.

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This is a make-up bag given to me by my grandmother, who is the only person on the planet I know who still gets every makeup counter freebie and saves it all. I’ll never have to buy mascara again. Thanks, Nana! In here, I hide my headache meds and Altoids.

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This little bag holds my money and my lipstick. Two things I never wish to be parted from. Putting all the tiny doo-dads in small bags makes it easier to find stuff in my purse (which is forever a black hole, amen) and also means I can grab those three bags, stuff them into any bigger bag, and I’m good to go. I like flexible organization.

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Random stuff: glasses, sunglasses, homemade hand sanitizer (melaleuca, immune boosting oil, witch hazel, and water). And a moleskine journal, because, like I tell my students, no writer is ever without one.

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Finally, I had to show you this little jewel because it currently sits in my purse while I hunker down in the church lobby and type. Finn has a bit of the separation anxiety. We don’t typically use the childcare at church and the few times we’ve tried… drama. He prefers to be surrounded by his posse… always. Anyway, tonight, I decided to give it another try. He’s older now and is really excited about being old enough for co-op next year so…

He wasn’t sure about it, but I reassured him he could call me on my phone and I was just down the hall. The sweet young lady who welcomed him to class was just pretty enough that he got shy and flirty. He turned on the charm and let out a giggle. “Oh, alright. I’ll stay for a widdle while.”

Andrew says this little summary of the contents of my purse isn’t complete without an honorable mention of the tiny bits of kleenex, receipts, and crumbs that also reside in the bottom of my bag. I just assumed that was a given and you could accurately picture the decimation down at the bottom of the black hole. I feel like you all know me well enough to know the truth. 😉

So. Anybody want to share their greatest purse operating secrets? Or the weirdest thing they’re toting around these days? Show me What’s In Your Bag!

 

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