BrookLynn’s Timeline

BrookLynn received an assignment last week on the 22nd. Her assignment was to create a timeline of her life. All 7 years (soon to be 8 years) of her life. She was soooooo excited to do this project. She remembered when Cason did this same project two years ago. When Cason did the project I went to work and printed off several pictures and Cason picked out 6 that he wanted to use for his timeline. I told BrookLynn that I would do the same for her.

When I got home from work on Wednesday she asked me but I, of course, had forgotten. “MOM!!” Thursday I had an all-day meeting and so it didn’t get done, but Friday, come hell or high water, I got 14 pictures from my Facebook timeline printed! As soon as I walked in the door Friday night BrookLynn asked and thank goodness I was able to deliver. She LOVED every single picture and she decided right then and there she would use every picture I brought home. I was thankful I hadn’t printed off more than 14 for her to choose from.

She took her time cutting out the pictures and I promised her a trip to Hobby Lobby Saturday. At 7 am Saturday morning, she came into my room asking me if it was time to go to Hobby Lobby. For the love of all things breathing BrookLynn, it is a Saturday and Hobby Lobby isn’t open yet!! I was able to hold her off until noon and then we were off to lunch. Momma was hungry. After lunch, we went to her beloved Hobby Lobby for all the things we needed for her timeline; project board with a header, glitter stickers for header board, fancy scissors, and construction paper. We had leftover stickers from an organizer, double-sided tape, and an old marker. All-in-all I think we spent about $22.00 at Hobby Lobby (this girl is a little extra with her glitter letters).

She spent a long time cutting out the construction paper to frame her pictures. She taped each picture to the construction paper frame. Then I helped her label each picture with a description and she traced it in black marker. She added her flare with extra stickers. Overall, she did an amazing job and bugged me every minute to help her until it was done. She completed her timeline TWELVE DAYS ahead of the deadline. TWELVE DAYS!! She would have been done sooner if her mother would have gotten off her ass and helped her sooner like she had wanted!!

Beauty and the Beast

For a Christmas present, I purchased tickets for myself, Mom and BrookLynn for the Tulsa Performing Arts Center to see Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. When BrookLynn opened her envelope she was so very excited but very disappointed that she had to wait a WHOLE MONTH until we could go. She couldn’t wait to get all dressed up and have a girl’s afternoon!

As luck would have it, it was our coldest winter weekend, so I insisted we wear pants. It was too cold to wear a dress even with tights on. Burrrr. Again, she wasn’t happy, but she understood and accepted that warmer was more important than cuteness.

We picked up Mom and off to Kilkenny’s Irish Pub where I had reservations for 12:00 pm. It is one of our favorite go-to girl’s day out destinations. Since I was on a new medication, I opted NOT to have one of their YUMMY brunch mamosas, but I insisted Mom have one. Mmmm….mamosa. I did sneak a tiny taste. After ordering the Brie to start, Mom ordered her usual Irish Benny, I got my usual Craigue Benny, and little miss ordered her usual Fettuccine O’Fredo. By the end of the meal we had to be rolled out, we were so full.

A very short drive later we arrived at the PAC and parked close to the entrance to the John H. Williams theatre. The best part of this theatre is that it is smaller than the Chapman Music Hall so you really feel like closer to the stage and all the action. BrookLynn LOVED IT. She only gave me the stinky face once when all the other little girls were dressed up and she was wearing pants. *Sigh* But she quickly got over it. She was antsy when we sat down and she just lit up when it began. She sang along to a few of the songs and only right before intermission did she get a little bit wiggly that indicated she needed a break.

My sweet ladies!
Before Pic!
We were this close to the stage!!

The musical itself was amazing from the acting (the French accents were hilarious), the over the top wardrobes, the singing and dance numbers, the funny and sometimes adult humor, it was all so very well done. We talked about it all the way home. It was definitely worth the wait and I will be on the lookout for more fun girl outings at the PAC in the John H. Williams theatre.

Sweet baby girl loving on her Momma.
Silly faces before the show.

Work it!

I’ve tried getting out of my funk by working out. Sweating out my blues. Stretching out the demons in my head. Cason has even joined me and we’ve made it a nightly thing. I had been working out a few nights, and one night I casually mentioned I needed to get off my toosh and get ready, and he asked if he could join me…of course, inwardly jumped for joy and said, “sure.”

Let me back up a bit. I’m a runner. Running is usually what gets me out of my head. But back in October, I had ankle surgery and that put an end to a lovely streak I had going. During that break, I had been on Instagram and this random woman friended me who was a Beachbody coach. I wasn’t interested but she was friendly enough. And when I say friendly enough I mean this woman chatted me up and learned I was having surgery, the night before my surgery hit me up to let me know she was sending me prayers, checked in with me every few days after my surgery and truly gave a shit in how I was doing with my progress. She never mentioned Beachbody during this time, in fact, she never mentioned Beachbody ever…I had figured it out just by following her feed. She just genuinely was a sweet woman who cared enough to engage in conversation with me and was heartfelt about my wellbeing.

Right before Christmas, I thought about Cason’s health, since it was his off-season and he wasn’t doing as much activity during soccer (no PE/recess since it was Christmas break) as well as mine since I wasn’t running and the rest of the family if they were interested. I reached out to my new friend and we worked out a plan. I signed up for Beachbody, received my sign-in for online workouts and then proceeded to get sick. Mother of pearl!!! Life is an A$$H@L*. Fast forward a few weeks later and I finally felt better to workout. I did a couple by myself and then Cason joined in on his own without me prodding or even asking. Overall we are having a heck of a time because these workouts are HARD. But sweating does feel really good!

I’ve now done 8 days in a row. I know it doesn’t sound much but right now some days it is the only thing that gets me out of bed. And Cason asks me if he can work out with me so I know he is feeling positive effects from it too. He’s made comments about his weight so I try to be positive and tell him things during the workouts like, “This will make you stronger for soccer,” or “This flexibility will help strengthen your legs”.

Mentally, I’m on the right track. I’m moving my body once a day. I’m eating somewhat better. The next step is going to my doctor to discuss my mental health because I’ve suffered long enough. I know I’ve mentioned it here, and I’m trying to only be positive on this page…positive but also real. Watch out world!! Momma is getting her Happy back!

Eating Healthy

Eating healthy is hard. Meal planning, shopping and communicating with the family (which that in itself if HARD) is needed to be successful in eating a healthier lifestyle. And I’m not on a crazy diet here, I’m talking moderation, better choices and cooking at home; something that we haven’t been doing in a long time. A lot of times it is so much easier to just grab something on the way home because 1. I’ve worked late again, 2. I’m tired, 3. dishes vs. take out containers, 4. everyone seems happier when they can choose what they want, 5. …(I’m sure I could think of so many more but my ADHD is kicking in)

I worked late a lot of times. I work with a consultant, that doesn’t have normal 8-5 people who wear pants in big tall building hours. He works from home and will spend hours on the phone with me at a time. Which is fantastic! I love working with him, but I have other responsibilities that I need to do as well, so often times I leave the office after 6 pm. Then, I have a stupid commute home, so by the time I get home and throw together a “healthy meal,” we are eating at 7:30-8 pm. GAH.

The last few weeks we’ve managed to cook almost every meal at home. #WINNING! But with cooking at home and utilizing all the pots and pans, there are always one or two pots/overly large bowls/cookie sheets that don’t fit into the dishwasher that needs to be washed by hand. And let’s be real, I’m tired and those dishes will sit two or three days. When they don’t get hand washed, those dishes really start to stack up (and stink). #NotWinning Eventually they will get washed by hand; possibly it is at the time I need to use it again, or on the weekend.

Cason and Greg are extremely picky eaters. I could go into great depths discussing this, but I’ll leave it vague and just say that it is frustrating at times. I try to be creative in my healthy meals, I’m not a terrible cook, but if it’s not fried, a burger, or pizza, chances are Cason won’t like it, and Greg will barely tolerate it. BrookLynn, thankfully, is my more adventurous eater. And you guys, I’m not fixing liver with fava beans here!!

Planning, shopping and eating healthy in my house is hard…but I’m trying. I still buy the ice cream sandwiches and cookies for the kids (and Greg). And I do a pretty good job of staying away from them. I may have a piece of chocolate every once in a while, but I don’t go crazy.

Depression is an A$$H*L@

I’ve suffered from depression a few times in my life. Most notably, twice after giving birth to my beautiful babies, which required medication to help me bounce back to my normal bubbly, happy self. But I’ve had depression before having babies and I’m pretty sure I’m going through a period now that is deeper than just feeling “blue”.

Shortly after graduating high school and turning 18, I moved away from my parents in Germany and across the world to Oklahoma. I lived in a small Army base community for 7 years and moved to the great big Oklahoma City was, believe it or not, a major culture shock. I went from having my parents very close by to not talking to them very often at all. The time difference made it difficult, and that long ago overseas calling was very expensive. When I did call, I called crying and begging to go home. That was my first bit of depression. There were days I didn’t get out of bed, attend class or eat. If it wasn’t for my roommate Rhonda, I don’t know if I would have even survived my Freshman year. She dragged me out of that tiny cell of a room more times than I wanted and forced fun upon me. She was my “happy pill”.

My second bout of depression was during my first marriage. I met him during my first year and I dropped out of college after my second year when I married him. After a few years, I went to see a therapist and he was AMAZING. After a few sessions of me talking about my dead-end job, not having any friends, feelings of worthlessness, and all the other issues in my life, he said, “I’ve heard enough.” He told me I needed to do something for me, and urged me to go back to school and finish my degree. I enrolled in the College of Liberal Studies through the University of Oklahoma. They had classes for working adults on Friday evenings and all day Saturdays. I was a nervous wreck, but I quickly found out that my classmates thought I was funny and I truly was a worthy person. I began to have a life outside of just being married to a man who essentially kept me inside of a bubble due to his own insecurities, and I felt so free for the first time since I met him. School was my “happy pill”.

After Cason was born I was in serious denial that I was depressed. I didn’t see it and didn’t recognize the signs. Even though I was crying all the time for no reason, I had erratic behaviors and mood swings, I couldn’t see how depressed I truly was. It took SEVERAL people, including co-workers, friends and family members, sitting me down and telling me how concerned they were for months before I finally went to my doctor for help. I thought I had failed as a new mother. I had all the feelings of being a terrible mother. Modern medicine is a wonder. After several dose changes…I became a new woman. Lexapro was my “happy pill”.

After BrookLynn was born it didn’t take very long to recognize the symptoms myself. I was out for a run and I had a very brief thought of “I can’t do this anymore.” The very next day I called my doctor. I continued running, eating healthy and taking Lexapro, and once again I began to feel my normal bubbly self. Lexapro again was my “happy pill”

Lately, I’ve been feeling off again. I don’t know if it’s because I had ankle surgery in October that was extremely painful and kept me from running (I’m feeling blah about myself). I don’t know if it’s because I didn’t get the much-anticipated bonus at work this Christmas that gives us a cushion around the holidays. I don’t know if it’s because the Oklahoma bipolar weather can’t decide if it going to be warm or cold. I don’t know if it is because OU’s football season is over. I don’t know if it’s because I had been sick since the Thursday before Christmas and I spend my last two vacation days in bed with the crud instead of at the movies with the babies and doing all the things I wanted to do and essentially not getting much of a holiday/vacation from work. My hope is now that I’m finally feeling like I can breathe again I can start working out, continue to eat healthier and get my happy self back. If not, I’m going to have to find another “happy pill.”

School Days

My children “hate” school. I hear this often on Sundays during bedtime, after long weekends, after Summer break, Spring break and last week after Winter break. I try to tell them right now they should be having the time of their lives in school. The work isn’t too terribly hard, they have good friends, fun activities and school is only going to get harder from here. Maybe I’m going about it all wrong. I’ve tried to figure out what the root cause of the hatred is…and I think I’ve figured it all out.

For Cason, the time spent in school is time spent away from his devices; Xbox, Nintendo Switch, Phone with various games. *Sigh* He is a technology junkie and I have a feeling it is only going to get worse. He is between soccer seasons right now and it is the only activity he looks forward to. Hopefully, soccer in the spring will help focus a little more than just playing in front of a screen.

For BrookLynn, her cousin now lives in our neighborhood and she practically spends the entire weekend either at her house, or her cousin comes to ours. They are inseparable. And while I love their connection, it hurts my heart that she doesn’t feel the same way about school that she used to in years past.

I will say that when asked, they both have great days at school. They are both doing well academically and socially; those aren’t concerns of mine. I just wish they didn’t have this early onset of “hate” for school…that should come much later in their high school years when there is drama with girl/boy friends and best friends stabbing you in the back and other what not bullshit goings on.

Kids, enjoy elementary school. I love you and you should be relishing your day when you have art, PE and two recesses a day.

4th Grade 2018-2019
2nd Grade 2018-2019

BrookLynn’s Cake Pops

For BrookLynn’s 6th birthday she received an EZ Bake oven. Every little girl’s dream!! Except, let’s be real, the little packages of food are crap! Well, on the 1st she rediscovered her oven that has been hiding in plain sight in her closet, and together we baked these simply terrible cake balls. Immediately she wanted to bake more; declaring that baking is her New Year’s promise (her version of resolution). I refused, instead, we went to the grocery store for real ingredients: boxed Pillsbury Cake Mix, and frosting out of a can! We also picked up sprinkles, white and milk chocolates to melt and sticks to make cake pops.

One thing about EZ Baking is that the process is fairly quick. Not so much in the real kitchen with real ingredients and a real oven. The longer wait times and duration that it was going to take was longer than an evening so I had to put off our little project for the weekend. This was frustrating for my little baker in the making.

So on Saturday, as soon as her little body was awake her first request was to begin the cake pops. She poured in the oil, water, broke the eggs, dumped them (I checked for shells) and added the mix to the bowl. She needed a little assistance with the hand mixer but together we mixed up one heck of a cake batter! We poured it into a glass pan and into the preheated oven! Siri set the timer for us and we waited. BrookLynn doesn’t care for waiting when she is excited.

The cake had to completely cool before we destroyed it and during the cooldown, I probably got asked if it was ready no less than 10 times. Once the cake was sufficiently cool she crumbled up the cake into a large bowl.

Before the next step of the pop process, I announced it was time to make lunch. She was bummed but was helpful in making our spaghetti lunch. During lunch I received a text asking if she wanted to play with her cousin, cake pops forgotten, she was already out the door. It was 11 pm before I saw her again.

Day 2, Sunday morning, once again as soon as I see BrookLynn the first thing she asks is to add frosting to the cake and make the pops. After putting her off until after breakfast we did just that. She opened the can of frosting and began to dump and mix. She did amazing! But I think we got a little ambitious with our frosting scooping because the cake mix was a bit soggy.

I made the balls, she placed the sticks and as the process took longer and longer we both were losing interest and the balls were getting bigger and bigger. But we completed the task and into the freezer the balls went for two hours!

Much later than two hours later and along with her cousin Kylie, we melted white chocolate into a bowl and silver sprinkles on a plate and we started dipping the pop in chocolate.

**I could cut this already long story short by showing you a picture of the finished product and calling this a success. But why would I do that to my loving subscribers!!**

BrookLynn dipped the first pop, added her sprinkles and it went fairly smoothly. Kylie struggled with hers a little because the pop just rolled around on the stick. I took a turn to see if I could find an easy way, but as the chocolate got cooler and thicker, the pops began to get heavy and just slide around even more on the stick. Some of the pops were already on the big side so this was positively an issue. After a handful of white chocolate pops, we melted some milk chocolate and the milk was runnier and somewhat easier to work with for a few mins longer but still having the same issues of having to constantly reheat the chocolate.

As you can imagine the girls wanted to eat their creations. I heard a lot of giggles about them being cold but never any positive taste feedback. Also, as you can imagine the girls got bored about halfway through so I was left to finish the pops myself.

Note to self: the EZ Bake oven crap, it’s fast and easy for a reason dumbass. Just go with it because you are no Betty freakin Crocker and your daughter has the attention span of a 7-year-old!! Or maybe together we can learn to bake with a simpler project like cookies.