29 June 2017

7 Quick Takes Thursday?

1. Long story short, Cat figured out how to slip outside from the screen room and is now obsessed with going outside. She is a 17-year-old cat who has spent her entire life indoors, so we are not going to just set her free. I found a cat leash I borrowed from my parents and sort of never returned and now we take Cat outside...almost every time we go. The kids love it. I think they are leaning on Cat a lot now that Roxy is gone.

2. When Abigail is not doing her summer homeschool inside, she's self summer homeschooling outside. Eleanor was drawing pictures of cupcakes and fish and Abigail was doing addition.

Her handwriting is way better with chalk. This is purely independent.

3. Ever since she first saw Goldie and Bear, Eleanor is obsessed with becoming the purple version of Little Red Riding Hood. I made her this (top-of-my-head, no-pattern, not-my-best-work) awhile and she wears it quite often while carrying an old purple Easter basket around.

We've used our imagination and play food cupcakes as muffins, but today, we made real muffins for her to carry around.

She was in heaven (as was Theodore) for as long as they lasted. At which point she cried because she is an emotional threenager (Matt called it, "You're going to be making these every morning for the rest of your life"). It was fun while it lasted.

4. Equine therapy started back up! Abigail was pretty excited to be back on a horse, having asked me regularly since last summer if she could ride Cera (Sir-ah).

Basically every single facet of Abigail improves during the summer, her strength, balance, coordination, impulse control, making it totally worth it.

Bearing weight on her arms while riding.

5. The "totally worth it" part comes from preparing all three kids. Plus I shoot for the first appointment she has available so that we're outside during the coolest possible time, which makes my life even tougher.

Eleanor can help dress herself, but otherwise, I have the get all three kids up, pottied or changed, dressed, sunscreened, fed, and loaded in the car. I bring water for Abigail and emergency snacks and juice boxes for the other two in the event of a complete meltdown. Since we just started, Eleanor and Theodore are a bit nervous around new people and big horses and willing to listen to me, but soon will come the day when they lose that fear and I'll need to be ready for an hour-long wrestling match in the hot July sun.

I anticipated a sudden and intense demand for horses following our first lesson of the summer, so I readied as large a supply as I could find in the house.

The other - harder - half of the "worth it" coin is transitioning from horseback to being at home. Eleanor and Theodore put up a bit of a protest, but it's manageable. Abigail, on the other hand, comes home totally wired. Sometimes she gets really oppositional. Sometimes she just speed walks back and forth across the house with her noisy shopping cart, running over siblings, and crashing it into walls.

6. During the summer, I always get overwhelmed with the number of toys the kids have. It seems like they get bored and just want to dump and scatter and throw. After a week or so of cleaning up the exact same thrown toys several times a day, I get the urge to purge. I have actually pulled all the toys out of basement, now. I think it's pretty ironic that I couldn't wait to buy a house with a finished basement so the kids could have space to go crazy, then was driven crazy by them being crazy, and took them out of the basement. They have an extra bedroom, bigger bedrooms, a bigger living room, and a fenced backyard, so we don't use the basement very much, actually. 

Last fall, I scored a train table for like, $15 or something crazy at a garage sale that I thought the kids would love. But Abigail just threw all the pieces everywhere every. single. time I set it up, so it's kind of just been in pieces in the basement. Then Theodore discovered that he loved trains and has been trying to reassemble it down there. I brought it upstairs and put it in his and Eleanor's room. I don't think I've ever seen him so happy.

He played at it alone for 30 minutes straight, which is insane because he normally can't be alone...ever. After 30 minutes, he gathered up as many as he could carry and pushed them around in the shopping cart, stopping constantly to show them to me and tell me he had choos choos in his room.

So far Abigail has left it alone, she hasn't rampaged his room since she got her own room. Hopefully we can keep it that way because so far he panics every time the tracks need to be fixed.

7. About the time I was considering becoming a Zumba instructor, I flirted really hard-core flirting with becoming a consultant for a multi-level marketing (MLM) company. I wanted the extra cash and I wanted something else to do with my energy outside of "mom." There were several that I had in mind.

A. Scentsy - I use Scentsy all the time and I usually end up buying a $5 brick when I run across booths. But when I talked seriously, I found out they have regular sales quotas you have to meet or face a penalty. I need something I can drop when kid stuff comes up, so Scentsy bit the dust.

B. Jamberry Nails - I love to paint my nails and Jamberry wraps usually last me about 11 days before chipping, so I was pretty smitten. But after a few uses, I found that they left my natural nails damaged. No thanks, Jamberry.

C. Young Living Oils. A friend of mine is really into Young Living Oils, so I tried one for headache relief and was pretty impressed. It eliminated minor headaches, reduced major headaches and migraines enough to make them manageable until the pain meds kicked in, and almost eliminated migraine (silent and painful) fog. My friend asked me to invite 60 of my friends to an informational meeting she was having. If any of them signed up, I could sign up too, and get credit for them. Well, not one of the 60 people I invited showed up and I found out that several of them were already consultants! Since no one was biting my leads nor the leads of those already in my circle, plus the sign up fee was a bit hefty for me, I nix Young Living.

D. It Works/That crazy wrap thing. Who isn't intrigued by their before and after pictures? I recently met a few people who are also distributors (their word for "consultant") and It Works is nailing the integrated social media marketing technique. I mean, seriously, start following a consultant and within a week you'll find yourself believing this stuff is a money-making miracle. Well, both my friends started hitting me up to becoming a distributor before I'd even tried a product, which is a HUGE red flag for pyramid schemes. I did end up buying and trying a single wrap, but the results were negligible and disappeared within 24 hours despite my following the "cleaning eating, water-drinking" rules. I was told I need to try four wraps, but that's $100 (or $60 if you promise to buy something every month for three months in a row). I read online that the wraps are as effective as if you smeared quality lotion on yourself and wrapped yourself in Saran Wrap. So I tried it. And I got the same results! It Works was so not gonna happen either.

You all know what happened with Zumba. So I'm wondering to myself, "What would I want to do if I could do anything? If I didn't have kids and could do anything in the world?" I'd want to be a writer, guys. I want to be a writer. Since I was a little kid, I wanted to be was a writer.

Good thing for me, I already wrote a book. I emailed a local bookstore to see if they'd be interested in carrying it. Despite working in marketing, I'm not really sure how to market my own book, so I'm looking into that. I'm also working on a new book, a new idea I recently had. I'm shooting for 1,000 works per day until I figure out if it's worth writing.

Lastly, I want to get a short story that I wrote published, so I'm typing it up and editing it now. It's pretty much just fiction, but it flirts with fantasy and horror. Those are totally not my genres, but I use Rory's story cubes when I want to just stretch my writing muscles, have writer's block or want to challenge myself. Enchanted and Clues are two of the "mix ins" that I have (Mix ins are actually really hard to find unless you buy them online directly from the website. The ones I have are the affordable ones on Amazon and the ones they sell in bookstores near me). The story I'm editing now is the best one I've written using the cubes. I think it's got a lot going for it. I'm nervous and excited to get rejected.

Sorry no proofreading today, the natives are restless. If I get a chance, I'll log back on this evening and edit and update. Until then, I apologize.

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