Thursday, August 11, 2016

Kids Vacation: Day 2

Well, now you'd think they're having so much fun that they're forgetting to call their ol' mom.


After trying to keep myself busy and my mind occupied, I ended up calling them at around 9:30 pm to check on them and make sure they were home safe.

I can't help it: I'm an incessant worrier, folks!!

As I suspected, they were just getting home and showering after their awesome day at the....


Both Christian and Mahri (despite Christian's horrible fear of heights) went down the biggest, hugest and tallest water slide that the park had!!

And, as promised, Grandpa went down with them, if they were brave enough to go down, too.

Poor Grandpa.


Before water park:

After water park...much more exhausted:

Then she teases me with pictures of all of the delicious pizza they got to eat once they got back home. Meanie!!

I wish I had more details to give you all...but that's all I could squeeze out of anyone!

Like I said before, they're barely calling me anymore...and when they do, it's just "hi, mom! We're having fun! Gotta go! Bye!" hahahaha....::sob::

Stay tuned for more pictures of their adventure-filled vacation!!!


PS...I miss my babies!!! They need to come SOON!!

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Kids Vacation: Day 1

Day 1 (Monday) without my big kids wasn't quite as bad as I thought it would be.

I got some cleaning down around the house, including my back patio and refrigerator, and just tried to keep myself busy.

Mahri and Christian called me via Google Hangouts in the morning just to check in and then called me for a regular ol' phone conversation at night to tell me about their day.

They are having SO MUCH FUN!!

(those of you who missed my little announcement in yesterday's blog post: my two oldest kids went to stay a week with my parents in Ohio. We met them this past Sunday in Kentucky (halfway point between Ohio and Georgia) to hand the kids off to them...and we'll be meeting them this coming weekend to get them back!)

First, they went to tour a candy factory. I took them to it when they were younger, but they don't remember it, so they were able to watch everything yesterday with "fresh" eyes. Mahri was so excited because she could wave to the workers through the overhead windows and they would happily wave back to her.

Christian was thrilled with the fact that he could buy 10 freshly made candy bars for $10 in the gift shop.

Photo courtesy: Have Sippy Will Travel

It's all about perspective, people.


Free samples were a hit...duh. ::wink::

They also bought what they claim are the best gelato cones in the world.

Considering that none of us have ever had gelato before, I will have to take their word for it.

Mahri got strawberry and Christian got vanilla.

Later in the day, they went on a SIX mile canoe trip!

Photo courtesy: Wonderopolis

In her attempt to avoid a low-hanging spider web (with huge resident spider) that was in their direct path, Mahri ended up flipping the canoe and knocking herself and my mom into the water!

My dad had to get out and help the upright their canoe and get them back in.

They saw leeches, enormous catfish, huge oysters (they have freshwater oysters in Ohio?!!) and all sorts of other cool water-dwelling creatures!

Mahri was supposed to email me pictures of their adventures....I wanted to put them in this post, but she hasn't sent them you may just have to wait a little longer for them, okey-dokey?

Oh, and guess what Antonio saw just outside of our fence Monday night when we were letting the dog out before bedtime?

A deer!

Living in Atlanta, you don't see too much wildlife like that on a daily basis, especially practically in your own backyard, so we were quite excited!

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

First Time Fishing!!

Those of you who follow me on Instagram might remember my posting pics of this a few weeks ago...but we didn't have internet connection at the house yet, so it's been waaaaiting to be posted for you all!!


After MUCH begging on the boys' part, they finally got to go fishing!!

Christian immediately, upon arriving at the lake, picked up his chair, put on his shades and moved down the shoreline further, to pretend that he didn't know us.

Because he's 12.


Not really...he still yelled to us every once in awhile...but for the most part, he was a lone fisherman.

Levi was a master caster.


I totally said "master caster".

We got him one of those little weighted plastic fish and fake hooks that are supposed to teach kids how to cast...and secretly I mocked the selling ploy....but it totally worked!!

Within a couple of hours, he was casting better than Antonio and all the rest of the kids!

Austin soon realized that fishing was not quite as exciting as he had anticipated and began complaining about hot and sweaty he was.

All in all, the only thing we caught was a sunburn but it was still a ton of fun!!

We can't wait to go back again!!!!!

Monday, August 8, 2016

My Life With Severe Anxiety

So, I've been wrestling with if I should post this or not.

I don't want to look like I'm whining.

Or complaining, hypochondriacking (sp?), etc...

But I realize that I never updated you on a bunch of things that were going on before...

Okay, so remember when I was talking about that weird dizziness/fuzzy-headedness I was having?

It was so bad that I couldn't even drive.

It went away for awhile....but now it's back and I majorly hesitate before going anywhere (where I would have to drive)...and even then, it's really just on an almost-emergency basis.

I blamed a multitude of other things: black mold, electronic meters...remember that?

My inner ears and jaw were beginning to ache.

I began thinking that I had a brain tumor or something.

I know, it sounds hilarious and super dramatic. But I'm totally serious. I mean, what would YOU think if you started being so dizzy and lightheaded that you couldn't drive and then it was combined with pain in your ear and whatnot?

Well, months ago, I ended up getting an email from a wonderful friend, Danielle, from my Sunday School class. She had been reading my blog and something about my posts resonated with her.

She delicately explained how she had been through strikingly similar things....right down to the fuzzy-head and thinking she was dying...her doctor even sent her in for some serious testing...but it turns out it was severe anxieties.

I don't know if Danielle will ever know how much she changed my world for the better.

One morning, I woke up and went to the bathroom, (sorry TMI...but you probably have gone to the bathroom a time or two, also) and realized that I was unconsciously clenching my jaw. Tightly. That had to explain why my head, jaw and ears were aching so much: I had been clenching my teeth in my sleep without realizing it!

I went and bought some Hylands Nerve Tonic from Walmart (of all places) and began taking it.

Within a few days, I noticed that the dizziness was subsiding partially.

That had to mean something, right???

I began taking it regularly and trying to relax. Not think that something was terminally wrong with me, that it was just stress playing tricks on my mind.

And things got a whole lot better!

The dizziness/weird feeling all but disappeared!

My jaw/ears/head stopped aching!!

I stopped thinking that I was dying every 10 minutes. Seriously. I know that sounds funny and borderline crazy...but that's the level I was at. Monthly breast exams? Nah, dude, I was giving myself a breast exam 2-3 times...a day. 

I have never had this bad of an issue with anxieties before. This was horrific. Many times, my kids or Antonio found me huddled on the floor, sobbing.

I mean, to put it into perspective: imagine that you knew you were dying. 100% knew it. You were leaving your kids, your husband, your entire life behind. Imagine the grief. The worry. The fear. THAT is exactly how I felt.

But when I began feeling relief and could actually see that it was all in my head (in a manner of speaking), I was able to relax more. Which helped. I mean, it sounds soooo simplistic, but it's the truth.

Now, with all of the moving-to-a-new house stuff going on and the kids fighting non-stop because they are hot and were tired of being cooped up in the trailer and aren't occupied with school stuff, it's starting to come back. All of the drama, sadness, cruelty on Facebook was bogging me down, too. That's one reason I left. I don't have time for petty crap.

I am trying to refrain from freaking out about health issues.

I've been clenching my teeth at night again.

Like I mentioned earlier, my head has begun the spinny/lightheaded thing again.

My throat closes on me when I'm eating.

I bought some more Nerve Tonic (this is not a sponsored post, yo...the stuff just works for me)...and I take it when I remember. (GAH! My memory SUCKS!!) But I don't remember to take it regularly. I thought that moving into the new house would help alleviate the stress...but it really didn't because things just aren't letting up.

My dearly beloved husband thought that it would be the best possible choice to wait until THE VERY LAST DAY of July to move out. The locks would be changed in the morning. The kids and I had been making mini-hauls with our van while Antonio was working...but he didn't rent the U-Haul until the last day.

Can you say STRESSFUL?!!

I cried. A lot.

I ended up going home around 11 pm with the littlest two kiddos to put them to bed...but Antonio and the big kids didn't finish until almost 4 am.

So that DEFINITELY didn't help with my anxiety.

Then I had to get my two oldest kids ready for an out-of-state trip to stay with my parents for a week. And most of our stuff was still packed up!!

Given that I've never been away from my kiddos for that long....let alone have been in a different state than's really got me down. My mom commented a few times (when we met them in KY to give them the big kids) how I wasn't looking good. I explained to her that my head was spinning, I felt weak and just plain out-of-it. Anxiety attacks that just won't stop.

Every day is a battle to conquer anxiety...usually, though, I'm just barely making it through the day in one piece and mostly tear-free.

I take deep breaths and purposely tell myself that I am okay.

This is just a game my brain is playing.

Don't fall for it.

Why am I putting all of this "out there"??

Because maybe it will help somebody.

The way that Danielle helped me.
(thank you, thank you, THANK YOU, Danielle!!!)

Maybe someone will read it and know that they aren't alone.

To know that there is hope out there. That there's light at the end of the tunnel. That they're not crazy. That life will get a whole lot sunnier...the clouds just need to clear. It's okay to ask for help!! It's not a sign of weakness.

I love you.

You hear me??


Monday, July 25, 2016

A New Chapter


Animal Abuse.

Child Abuse.





Keep on scrolling if you hate Jesus.

Ahhh...the good ol' world of Facebook.

Pretty much everyone I know is entwined in the little world of FB and all of it's stories, pokes, emojis and memes.

I have been a part of it for such a long time.

But I have recently opted to walk away from that world.

I'm hoping it's permanent.

It wasn't a sudden and rash decision. It took me a week or so, tying up loose ends and just getting things ready to shut down my account. I didn't really warn people because I don't want to look like I am just trying to draw attention to myself "oooh, look at me! I'm leaving! That's it! I've had enough! Good bye FB world!"

You know what I mean.

I also don't want anyone to convince me to stay.

A clean break and try to move on with my life.

Why delete my page? Why not just not visit FB?

I can't. It keeps sucking me in. I have to get rid of the page to get rid of the temptation.

My kids deserve a mom who isn't constantly popping onto her phone/computer just to see what's goind on. Or if anybody commented on my post. Or messaged me.

They are growing up.

So fast.

I hate that I'm missing moments and even hours of their lives because my nose is shoved into a make-believe world of drama and senselessness.

To my readers that were also on my personal page: I love you all.

But I love my kids infinitely more.

And I will continue to blog and maybe vlog (oh, geez, vlogs are so much harder for me than blogs! hahaha...probably because my house looks like a nuclear bomb went off in it most days) and keep all the fun going on Naptime's FB page, I promise!

I wonder what life without Facebook in 2016 is like....

Do you ever wonder that?? I haven't seen a FB-less world since....2008?

It's time to move on!


Monday, July 18, 2016

New House Updates: 7/10-7/16

Sunday July 10

Nothing new to report.

*  * *  *  *
Monday July 11

Antonio called landlord to check up on a move-in date. The landlord said that they took the day off to work on another job but they will be done with the house this week.

I have my doubts.

*  *  *  *  *

Tuesday July 12

I went over to water the flowers this evening and to check on the progress of the house.

It doesn't look like anything's been done.

I really hope the house will be done this week.

Our current rental office wants to come next week to check out our trailer. I'm hoping to be out by then just because I hate dealing with them. I'd rather the house be almost empty and they can just see what there is to see without having to interact with me.

I'm not a people person, currently.


LATER THAT it is 10 pm and Antonio just called the painter/worker guy. He said how it didn't look like they've been at the house today, were they going to be working tomorrow?

A big fat NO.

They should be back to working on the house on Thursday.


It is supposed to be done by Sunday!

Apparently, their boss/the landlord, sent them to work on another job for a few days.


They still need to put in new woodwork in some of the rooms, prime the rooms, paint the rooms, seal up some of the wood flooring in closets, put back the doors, put the kitchen cabinet doors back in, put the blinds back in, hoist up the carport another 18" (no clue knows why the landlord is doing that), have the termite guy out to check the house to make sure that the termites in the shed (not the storage building) didn't spread to the house, check the roof because now they think maybe there's a leak, fix some problem areas in some of the other rooms (patch holes, etc), tear down the shed that was destroyed by termites, replace the roof on the storage building and then paint the building, clean the gutters....the list goes on. How is that all going to get done by Sunday?! It's taken a month just to get the floors done and one room painted.

I am so beyond frustrated. Every single week we are told "oh, another 2 weeks".

We are going to be homeless if it doesn't get done soon.

I told Antonio that I'm ready to pull the plug. Just tell them that we're not interested in the house anymore. Then just use our money to get an apartment since I am not about to sign another year's lease here.

In my heart, I don't want to do that. But I'm just at the end of my rope.

We are literally bursting at the seams here.

I can't even pack boxes and put them anywhere because we literally use just about everything here.

And I can't move anything into the house because the walls aren't even painted yet.

So I am having myself a nice ice cold Mike's Hard Mango Punch and going to bed and calling it a night. I am beyond stressed and depressed.

I want to clarify: the painter guys are extremely nice and sweet, as are their family members that I've met. But this is business. And I don't even think it's their fault...their boss keeps sending them to other jobs. I have homeschool starting up soon, trying to run our business, figure out where to have our supplies sent when I order them because we're not sure if we'll be in the new house in a week or here...we don't want to send the things to the wrong house, I'm trying to move a household of six people, a dog, a cat and a bird...all of this on my shoulders...and stress is just taking me down.

But at the end of the conversation, the painter promised Antonio that we could move in on Monday!

Now, not everything will be finished, but we can move in!

We won't be homeless!



*  *  *  *  *

Wednesday, July 13

While Antonio and I were working together, he called the landlord.

The landlord said that, yes, absolutely we can move in Monday!

In face, let's meet at the house and sign the lease!!

So...cha-ching, baddabing, baby!!

We're one huuuuge step closer!!

We've also become one of "those people" who hire people to do things.

Like, someone to cut our grass.

I hate to say "landscaper" because, seriously, it's just cutting the grass and weedwhacking a bit. Just enough so that children don't get lost in the weeds. "Landscaper" sounds so fancy.

Anyway, the price they want to cut the grass is astronomical!

We've been quoted anywhere from $50-200!!

So we're checking out buying a fancy-schmancy zero-turn lawnmower.

We can also add "lawn mowing" to our list of featured services to our business and it will be paying for itself in no time at all!

Plus, who wants to spend 2,195 hours a week cutting grass?

Not me.

*  *  *  *  *

Thursday, July 14

(does anyone even know how proud I am of myself for keeping track of my days like this? Seriously. I want to give myself a brownie as a reward.)

So, ya'll will find this humorous.

Remember how I said that the painter guys leave at 4 or 5 pm?

Well, I took my time getting ready and showering all that stuff that makes a human presentable to the world...even though I had no intentions of making contact with any other must still maintain a decent amount of deodorant cleanliness, regardless.

So, anyway, I timed it so that I would pull into the driveway neatly at a few minutes after 5.

Except that when I drove up to the house at 5:02 pm, they were still there!

And I totally freaked out.

(refer back to my intentions of not making contact with any other humans)

I didn't even slow down...I kept driving!

Mahri was, like, "dude...where are you going? What are you going to do?"

And I gasped "I don't know!!! Where is there to go to sit around here?!!"

And then I found a church a little bit up the road and I pulled into their parking lot and sat there for a minute. I called Antonio to tell him of my dilemma.

To which he said, "Umm...go back to the house and say 'hello'?"

To which I scoffed. I mean, really? Just mosey up to my house and say "hello"? To...people?!!

(hello, major social anxiety!!!)

At that very moment, do you know what happened?

It was like in slow comes the painter guy driving up the road, right towards me!!

I ducked my head down...because I'm an idiot.

Now, see, the church parking lot isn't exactly on my is off of a side road.

And here comes painter guy down the side road. Right towards ME!!


And I glanced up, just as he passed, and he had a sort-of Mona Lisa smile on his face.

Crap! Did he see me? Is he smiling because I am an idiot and he knows it?!!

I waited until he drove down the road as far as I could see and then I pulled out of the parking lot and drove back to the now-empty house.

And that is the end of that story. hahaha

Now...back to the I walked into the house with very low expectations.

That way I wouldn't be sad if I saw that there had been no progress made.

Turns out, I was thrilled beyond belief. I may have jumped up and down and screamed with joy!

The dining room is painted!!
(it needs a second coat and the trim needs painted...but it's mostly all the way painted!!)

The living room is mostly painted!!

The boys' room is mostly painted!!

Antonio's and my bedroom is mostly painted!!

These rooms just need the accent walls painted and possibly a second coat.


This is happening!!!!

We're moving in on Monday!!
(which is, ironically, the day I am posting this)

PS....did I tell you that they opted to paint the house by hand and not with a sprayer? ::swoon::

Top pic is the living room

Bottom pic is the dining room

Paint color in both rooms is the same: "Tea Light" from Sherwin Williams with Duration Home Paint.

*  *  *  *  *

Saturday, July 16




Now, the hallway and hallway bathroom still need a second coat and most of the trim in the house needs painted...but they are pretty much D.O.N.E!!!


The blue accent walls in both the boys' room and Mahri's room look AWESOME!

But, being the bad blogger that I am, I completely forgot to take pictures.

I'm sorry!!

I promise to post them soon!!

*  *  *  *  *

Sunday, July 17

We only went to the house today to check on progress.

There were guys there raising up the carport.

And I have to say: it looks GOOD!!

Our landlord had told me that they were good...but I had my doubts, mainly because I didn't want the carport raised up any.

But it looks really good.

They took down the metal and wood support columns and put up ones that match the columns from my patio. The ones that looks like wrought iron.

I love it!!!

It's gorgeous!!

Unfortunately, I don't think we'll be able to move in tomorrow morning.

POSSIBLY tomorrow night.

But that's a major "possibly".

But I think I'm okay with that.

With the prospect of suddenly--and forever--leaving our current home, I am starting to freak out a little bit. Isn't that weird?? I mean, for years, all I wanted was out...and now that it's about to happen, I want to cry.

It feels like the end of an era.

And really, it is.

Austin was just 3 months old when we came here to live.

We conceived Levi here 3 months later.....and we brought him home {here} from the hospital.

I've never lived somewhere this long since my childhood home.

My littlest two boys are sharing a twin bed in my and Antonio's bedroom because our trailer is too small to put them anywhere else.

For the first time in almost 6 years, it will be just the two of us (Antonio and I) in the bedroom.

Which, let's not beat around the bush, he is ecstatic about...but it has me half-near-hyperventilating.

Please tell me that I'm not incredibly psycho and weird for knowing that I'm going to miss them....

Well, that's all for now, guys.....

I'm sure by the next update, we'll be moved in!!!

We're supposed to meet the landlord tomorrow to sign the lease!!


Stay tuned for pictures!!!