So Close & Feeling So Far

The exciting moment is coming close, six months from having my last seizure. February 7th. Every time I’ve had an episode (as I call my seizures), I keep that moment in my brain. I mainly do it to help keep my memory stable. The unfortunate part, I don’t feel excited about the six month mark.

I don’t feel like it’s been six months because I still have the dreaded feeling, the feeling that I’m worn out and exhausted. The feeling of my body not being able to move. I don’t know what it’s like when I actually have an episode. I don’t have a warning sign when I’m going to have one, it just happens. I’ve been lucky that every time I’ve had one, someone close to me has been around or near to help me. But when I come back from the episode, I don’t even know what happened.

When I was diagnosed, the neurologist gave me a list of triggers that could help me from having an episode. As a mom, I looked at the list and chuckled. Oh less stress and more sleep? Probably not. No alcohol or strobes of lights? Welp, how will I adult without alcohol and an occasional movie? Not enough hydration. Check, check, check. I literally was a walking list of triggers. I did everything I was not supposed to do. And it caught up to me.

Now, they couldn’t give me a reason as to how I became an epileptic. But here’s a list and I can’t do these things I’ve been doing most of my adult life. As I started making changes, I started feeling so much better. I was losing weight, taking my meds, checking out hobbies and I was finally feeling like things were going to be “normal” again. But it’s been short lived. Luckily, I haven’t had an episode, but the lagging feeling of stress and overhaul always comes back.

There has to be a balance. This can’t be how life is forever. There has to be a better way. I just have to find it.

Xoxo,

Sunset

What Makes A Mop Different?

I know I can’t be the only one that dreads cleaning the floors? I mean, I know I have to clean them, but between three young boys and two wild dogs my floors stay clean for maybe an hour. And that’s as long as the dogs don’t go outside to play in dirt and no one spills their cup on the floor. Let’s be honest, that’s happening in that hour anyways 🤦🏽‍♀️

So last year I NEEDED a Shark Steam Mop (https://www.target.com/p/shark-professional-steam-pocket-mop-s3601/-/A-13330454) because my Swiffer was just not cutting it anymore. I was going through a box of the wipes in a month and I was trying to cut costs. At least that’s how I convinced my husband I needed it! And it has treated me great. I order the washable pads every six months since I get a pack of two at a time. I makes sure to soak and wash them to ensure they last me the three months.

Well, this year I managed to talk my husband into an iRobot Braava jet (https://store.irobot.com/default/floor-mopping-braava-robot-mop-irobot-braava-jet/B240020.html) that was on sale and I definitely like always needed to ensure I wasn’t wasting time on cleaning the floors 😂

Major Fail!

The first time I used the iRobot jet it did nothing for my floors. They were still sticky and it only was cleaning my kitchen. I figured I would try it in a smaller area as a “tester” and boy am I glad I did that. But then it occurred maybe I was giving it too much dirtiness at one time. So I changed the pad out (which they are reusable but I wouldn’t as they aren’t very sturdy) and took the iRobot jet to my smaller boys bathroom. Thirty minutes later when I heard the sound of the iRobot turn off I went in to find that it decently had been cleaned but it wasn’t giving me a fresh clean vibe. Yes blame my OCD for that.

A few weeks later I tried it again in the bathroom and I still wasn’t fond of it. Since I didn’t feel that sending it back and complaining was the thing to do, I told my single sister who lives in a one bedroom wood floor apartment that she could try it out.

I went back to my Shark Steam Mop and even though I know have to actually Mop my house, it feels a ton better knowing my floors are fresh and clean!

Basically, the iRobot jet should be used with people that don’t make messes and don’t have kids! When you have a bigger home with animals and kids, get your Shark Steam Mop on!!

 

I have attached the the links above for the products I was using. I do not work for either company and DO NOT get paid for the advertising. I’m a regular mom trying to help your cleaning routine go a little bit better.

 

Three boys. Three experiences.

When I first started this whole motherhood life, there were a thousand and one things I had no idea I was doing. But one thing I wanted was to ensure I wasn’t having a leaking diaper when I was out and about. With my first son, I used Pampers and was solid on them. They always worked for him. Then when it was time to potty train I was more than excited because Pampers were getting expensive! Two and a half years later when we had Owen, I was stocked and ready for Pampers all over again. They worked just as well for him as well. The only downside was how pricey they were becoming. Luckily I was able to get plenty of coupons and rewards. My miracle baby came in November 2016 and I was no where near prepared. I was sick throughout the whole pregnancy and didn’t know how to handle a third boy coming into our world. Within the first year I could tell he was the firecracker of our clan. He had become the slickest one. So it was fitting that the regular Pampers brand wasn’t going to fit him best. They quickly became a bigger expense due to needing a specific brand and size. Pampers Cruisers Size 6 by the time he was two and boy those lasted about a week and a half. Target was our best friend, along with coupons, cartwheel & RedCard advantages. Luckily when little bit decided he wasn’t ready to potty train and the size 6 was no longer making it through the night we were able to find an amazing new brand and size that matched his growing boy body! Earth & Eden (found on Amazon) had a size SEVEN! As I read more about how eco friendly, along with a great price per diaper ratio, I knew I needed to try them. First box with subscribe and save was under $30! Score! To this day, the UPS guy brings us a haul of four boxes for one month and with subscribe and save through Amazon we are killing the diaper game. If you have a little one I highly recommend trying them. Littlest Romo has had way less bed wetting incidents and they last longer when he’s jumping around outside.

8.25.18

Wow. The fact that I hadn’t blogged in a year is mind blowing. Maybe it was being able to land my dream job. Maybe it was taking care of three rambunctious boys. It was a mix of life getting in the way & me just not pushing myself hard enough.

Let’s try this again, third time is sometimes the charm right?

2018 was a year I don’t think I want to ever remember but it’s embedded in my brain. My not so normal brain, eh?

I could go back, back to four years ago when I got a little too happy & ended up in the hospital for having a seizure. I’d never had one & then boom, I was rushed to the hospital & told it was just dehydration. Cool, I’ll drink more water.

So in August when I had another seizure, no one knew what in the heck was going on. On top of it, the ambulance took me to the one hospital where they intentionally try to kill you! Lovely. So, they run a few tests, give me no answers & I leave because it’s my anniversary weekend and my boys are about to start school. Like what mom has time for this!? Two weeks later, between the two jobs, three kids & Eric’s work schedule I go to see a neurologist. Now, I hate doctors and I hate wasting time, this was only my second seizure in four years, I’m sure I’m fine. But when your mama says you’re going to the doctor, you don’t argue. You do it. So I did. And after the neuro looked at my test results, she simply said… “oh you have epilepsy, didn’t you know?” No crazy lady, I didn’t know, that’s why I’m here! But instead I sit in silence as she explains what type I have and how I would go forward with my chaotic schedule and daily life. As she’s going down the list of things, including a medicine I’d be taking for oh I don’t know forever, she states that per law I couldn’t drive until I was six months seizure free. Yeahhhh okay, tell that to someone else because I have to take the boys to school and grocery shop and go to work, like you can’t stop me.

Except, it did. Because I didn’t listen & kept on moving in the fast lane. Get the kids to school, work, pick the kids up, dinner & nightly routines. I kept up with it all. Until I had another seizure. This one, it knocked me out of both jobs for a week. & this time, mama stepped in and said, you have to slow down. I had been doing everything and aiming to please everyone for so long I didn’t know what “slow down” was.

After my week of being home bound, I felt back to normal & was ready to start my not as busy “slow down” life. Yeah, if you know me you’d know, I don’t slow down. When I’ve got something in my head, you don’t stop me.

Unfortunately, when my now third seizure of the year happened in less than a month apart, I had to step back and let it sink in that yes, things had to change. Even though I’d been killing it for years, getting everything together & working my butt off to give and have everything my family needed or wanted, I had to stop.

I stopped driving. I stopped drinking adult bevs. I began trying out different stress relief. I did every bit of research I could to ensure I’d never have to endure the pain I kept feeling. After that day, 11.25.18, I became a whole new person, a person that tried to be less in control, more understanding and less demanding. Even today it’s still difficult. But I’ve managed to make the best out of it. & the silver lining, is realizing who’s willing to stick around when the times get tough. Tougher than giving birth. Tougher than kidney stones.

Today, I live with a condition and don’t use it as a disability but learn from it to become a better me. Life will always throw curveballs, it’s how you hit it that’ll make or break you.

XOXO,

-SMR

So Long Soy.

Soy. It’s the most irritating three letter word. When I was told my oldest son was allergic I thought no big deal. Little did I know, our family was going to have to start making changes.

It started out with no longer buying fruit snacks (because he has an allergy to apples, apple juice, etc.). Then it was standing in the juice aisle to find one without apple.

But for some reason Dominick continued breaking out. So I turned to our list with taking out smaller items, no more granola bars (they carry soy lecithin), no more pop tarts for on the go breakfast. Things started to look up. I was really moving with everything going soy free. My husband was making lunches in the morning so we could ensure he was eating soy free, or so we thought.

Today as I stood in the bread aisle of Sam’s trying to figure out how many loaves of bread I needed… it hit me that he was still getting the rash on his face and the only food he constantly ate….bread for his sandwiches. Boom. Lightbulb. We couldn’t give him his favorite lunch, no more peanut butter and jelly.

The worst part wasn’t knowing I’d have to make an entire lunch menu to cater to him; it was telling my 7 year old that he couldn’t have the sandwiches anymore. They’re his favorite and he even learned how to make them on his own. It was a proud moment for him!

I couldn’t take the loss, I started researching homemade breads and bread makers. Luckily between his Nana and I we were able to find some not overly complicated bread recipes and the bread maker will be in soon. I cannot wait to test this out and (fingers crossed) be able to let him go back to his semi normal lunch.

Do you or someone you love (semi care about) have a soy allergy? I’d love some recipes or food ideas! We are constantly on the run so the simpler the better!

Happy Thanksgiving 🦃🦃

As we are all prepping to spend the day with our loved ones (or at least put up with them for the day)  I can’t help but be ever so thankful for today. 

It isn’t because I got to spend the day going to EVERY grandma’s or in laws, it’s because today for the first time since Dominick was born we stayed home. It felt so good to not have to buy the nice outfits, coordinate who’s house we were going to first and what we needed to bring. Don’t get me wrong, it’s nice being around family, but thanks to Bad Moms, this year I was doing things my way. 

Last week I went to Kroger picked up all the groceries I would need for Thanksgiving minus a couple of the last minute items. And this week I went and got the rest, of course I had to pick up a pumpkin pie, because my kids have never had any I know super weird! Then thanks to my lovely husband I was able to ensure that we had everything so we could stay home and not go out in the weather. 

This morning Alexa woke up Eric and he began prepping the turkey. He always does a great job so of course I wasn’t worried about it and I don’t know how to prep a turkey at all. About 30 minutes later when the baby woke up we begin our morning. I made mashed potatoes, I started prepping to make macaroni and corn; the stuff that we enjoy not what everyone else enjoys or the fact that I would be judged because I let my kid have one too many Hawaiian bread rolls. 

The kids were still in their clothes that they went to sleep in which was completely fine because that meant they were cozy and comfy. They did their usual cereal breakfast routine and then went and played in their room while we kept cooking and making sure everything was ready. 

Come 11:30 everything was pretty much ready and Lucas was an hour past his nap, which is never a good thing for him. Luckily I was able to do the last minute stuffing and gravy so we could all sit and eat before noon and we’d all be around the table together. 


I’m not knocking the traditional going to your parents or your grandparents and spending time with your family. I just felt a lot more comfortable and less stressed when we were at home and my kids were happy. Dominick ate plenty of turkey and even tried mashed potatoes even though he hates the texture. Owen tried a different kind of macaroni which he semi liked and 3 Hawaiian rolls! Who lets their kid do that? Well it’s Thanksgiving and I did. Lucas… lets jist say he had a little bit of everything but he mainly threw his food because he was tired and he was done with us but he sat at the table until we were all done and he lived.

We had the boys take quick baths because later we would go to my grandparents, but just to visit not worry about food or being late or on time.

And then everyone laid down to take a nap because that’s what you do after you eat amazing Thanksgiving food! 

So we would  like to wish you a Happy Thanksgiving no matter where you are or who you’re with just enjoy it!

Pleasing Three- Simply Snacktime Fruity Style 

Wow oh wow, I haven’t blogged in over a year! It’s definitely time to get back in the swing of things. Let’s start with adding another boy into our home. Yes, a boy mom of three!

With that being said, it’s hard keeping healthy and delicious food stocked up in our home. So away I started looking for some run out the door breakfasts or even an after school snack! 

How about Fruity Pebbles? They are a kids classic breakfast that seemingly have always stayed the same. I figured it was time to change it up. You may even have most of the ingredients in your pantry! 

Now, being I enjoy freezing things for future quick snacks I doubled my recipe to make 4 loaves 🙂 

  • 2.5 cups Sugar 
  • 2 cups Greek Plain Yogurt
  • 1 cup of Vegetable Oil
  • 6 Eggs, I used large 
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract 
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 4 tsp Baking Powder, don’t mistake it for soda
  • 3 cups Flour
  • 4 cups Post Fruity Pebbles

First, mix together the sugar, yogurt and oil. Then carefully add in the eggs, vanilla, salt and baking powder. It will be quite liquid like. But no worries, you mix in the flour cup by cup. Lastly, fold in the Fruity Pebbles. 

Once your mixture is ready, ensure you’ve preheated the oven to 350 degrees and sprayed your baking tins. I used the loaf pans, 4 of them to evenly distribute the mix. 

Bake the loaves, I was able to fit all 4 on one oven rack, score! They’ll bake for 44-50 minutes or until the edges are golden brown. Don’t forget the rule of thumb to stick a toothpick right through the middle. 

Ta-Da! You’ve got morning to go meals or an after school snack! Enjoy! (Oh, did I mention the hubby enjoyed his late night snack!?)

Texas. Oh Texas.

Living in the great big state of Texas has it’s share of beauty. I will be the first one to say “What is life without Whataburger?” Yes, that would be the ONE thing I’d miss the most about living here! But today I’m not going to thrill everyone about why it is Texas is a pretty awesome place to live. I’m trying to figure out how in the world Texas has the highest number of children’s deaths by being left in a hot vehicle!?

I’ve read and watched stories about how there have been 20+ heat related deaths in 2016 alone. That to me is scary. The thought of my kid’s being left in an air conditioned car is terrifying now a days, so how can any parent forget their kid in a shut off vehicle? What’s worse is that now people are coming up with inventions and apps that will help you remember to get your child out of the vehicle. We were supposed to have flying cars by now, yet we can’t even get enough common sense to make sure everyone is out of the car safely. Good job America.

I can’t knock every single incident, I know that things can happen. But everytime I see it happening and the media talks so highly of these parents.. “Oh they would never do this, they’d give you the shirt off their back” speech is such crap. No, no you can’t say that. For example, last week a set of twins were left in a hot car (let me remind you summers in Texas are 99 degrees+ daily!) and when neighbors saw the dad by the pool pouring water on the twins they went to see what happened, but it was too late. Hey, how about you call 911 and try to get a medical staff to try to save your kids? But he didn’t. The twins unfortunately didn’t make it. The kicker here, the dad was on drugs. Drugs? Seriously. I feel for the mother in the situation of course. And even Tyler Perry reached out to her to help with expenses. But the pain of this mother losing her twins will forever be there all because someone chose drugs over their kids.

Texas can be known for many things, from cow tippin to having the best bar b que around, but to hear of senseless acts like this, no, it’s not okay.

So before you go and buy all the new tech saavy car seats that will alert you that you left your child in a car, or pay $5.99/month on an app to remind you you have a child with you-be sure to have the common sense to look back. I check on my kids constantly (and I get to hear the fighting over toys in the back anyways). Open your eyes and stop worrying about your cell phone or running ten minutes late. Every life matters, including the ones in the back seat. Don’t let everything going on around you distract you from your biggest resposibility.

Have You Click Listed Today?

 

Good Monday to you all!

About a month ago, I started noticing signs being put everywhere in our local Kroger Marketplace. Then the brochures came out talking about this “Click List” option when buying groceries. Since most of my work is done from home and I go out mainly to shop or for appointments I thought it was a total waste of money…

Well here I am to prove even myself WRONG! Kroger Click List (if it’s available in your area) is a new and improved way of grocery shopping. Hate the long lines? Tired of your stinky kids adding stuff to the basket you didn’t have on your list? Yes and yes! Click List allows you to create an entire shopping cart online, reserve your pick up time and pick up the following day. Easy breezy right? The best part, you call to let them know you have arrived in the parking area and they come to you AND place the groceries in your car for you! So there must be a catch right? Of course, not everything in life is this easy. So here it is…the fine print. After your three FREE shopping trips there is a $4.95 service charge for the Click List service. Hey, at first I was skeptical. I could be saving that money and just shopping myself for free. Yes, very true anyone can do that. But what I have noticed in myself is that once I make my list, I order online and then pickup (with coupons and Kroger savings) I always stay in budget! Now, some weeks we may need paper towels or dish soap and that adds to our weekly amount spent, but for the most part I’m able to spend under $55/week on groceries. I’ll be letting my blog followers in on those secrets soon too 😉

Owen has gotten used to the idea of picking up groceries and now he just greets the carriers and we are on our way in less than fifteen minutes. It saves me so much time and energy. I actually meal prep better and I don’t feel so overwhelmed by the grocery shopping, loading and unloading with the kids and worrying if we will get a nap in before the grumpiness sets in! I’m sure everyone knows it’s no fun shopping with a sleepy 3 1/2 year old.

Have you tried it yet? What are your thoughts? Likes and dislikes? Also, if it isn’t available in your area, watch out. I hear it is coming soon to more locations AND when the holidays come, oh baby watch out! I know you don’t want to be stuck in the maniac stores the night before Thanksgiving!

Tater Tot Casserole

The best dinners are the easy, but yummy ones. It’s hard to please everyone so I’ve decided against that. However today I made the best casserole to date. Yes, tater tots + meat = happy family ❤ 

Because there are 4 of us, I like to make enough to fit in a 9×13 pan and have enough leftovers for Eric to take to work. 

Ingredients are as follows: 2 lbs of ground beef, 1-2 cans Cream of Chicken, 1 can corn (or green beans) and of course tater tots (I used frozen Ora-Ida brand) **shredded cheese is optional** 

I start by browning the meat and draining out the grease. Simple enough? Then I keep the stove top on a medium heat while adding Cream of Chicken and the corn. I ensure everything is mixed well and the pan comes to a brief boil. Once everything is heated up, transfer into a 9×13 pan. I use a glass Pyrex to make sure everything is evenly distributed. (Now is the time you can add cheese). Ahh an even layer of yummy is all set and ready to go. Lastly, add the frozen tater tots to the top, covering evenly and overlapping only a few. Too many tater tots will keep the bottom layer from cooking evenly. 

Make sure your oven is set at 450 degrees and ready to go. After it has been preheated, place the casserole in the oven and set the timer for 25 minutes. 

Ding. Ding. Ding. Your 25 minutes is up and out comes a beautiful looking casserole. How exciting! We are big ketchup lovers so once your tater tot casserole is cooled and ready to serve if you’d like add a side of ketchup and TA-DA your easy dinner is ready to go! 

I love this dish especially because it’s something that everyone can enjoy. Friends coming over? Dinner is done. Potluck at the in laws? Take it to go! 

I hope you give it a try and let me know of any changes or favorites to add in 😉