Life On The B Side

Taking all that life throws at us one moment at a time

Sometimes it’s hard but this is the good stuff March 9, 2018

It’s been a bit of a week.  I’m. So. Tired.


It all started last weekend when we left home at 9:15am on Saturday and didn’t return until almost 8pm on Sunday.


It was a weekend of tennis lessons for the kids and shopping for groom & grooms entourage suits and a fun game night at the besties house that lasted until the wee hours of the morning and more games and a long ass drive home due to a huge sign falling over on the highway.


Then it was Monday.

The work week meant, early morning wake ups and more tennis and my birthday celebrations and track and field activities for the big boy which required a last minute trip to the doctors office and coffee spilled all over the car and tests to study for and – I don’t even know what else.   Now that I’m writing, it honestly doesn’t seem that out of the ordinary or bad, so I really don’t know why I’m so exhausted.


By Thursday evening I wasn’t sure how I would make it to work on Friday- but I knew I had to.  Can we say depleted?

Ace was happy to have a little alone time with me so we could read his newest comic book together.

Jay came home really excited to tell me that he’d be having pancakes and pizza the next day.  Much more nonchalantly he was like, “Oh, yeah, I was named student of the month for being overall, very respectful.  What???  There is no way to be down, annoyed or overwhelmed when your kid gets rewarded for being respectful.  Especially when it’s THIS kid.  I cannot say it enough – We have come so far and he has accomplished so much.  It’s truly mind blowing.

Ace too had gotten a note from his teacher saying that he’d done a good deed and helped out a classmate who was sick.  *high five kiddo*

We took it easy on ourselves and threw some beef patties in the oven for dinner.  Jay was a little concerned about how many would be left after we all ate because they are his fave and he doesn’t really relish sharing them with the rest of us.

We teased each other about our feet and teeth and fat bellies.  (Don’t ask, just go with it).

It also turns out that some of us – ok I – have “thick thighs but dainty ankles“.  That thigh/ankle one was supposed to be a compliment – I think.

We laughed and hugged and did the things we do every night – take out clothes for the next day and brush teeth and sign school paperwork and answer questions about topics discussed in health class and then this morning everyone woke up healthy after a good nights sleep.

This is the normal, regular, every day stuff. This is the GOOD STUFF!


It’s Friday now.  Ace has more track and field activities this evening.  There’s tennis again tomorrow.  Shaunie and I are going to a show.  We lose an hour.  Laundry from 2 weeks ago needs to be folded and put away and we definitely need to go grocery shopping.  Looking ahead to next week; work will continue to be busy since my department is down one worker, there are dentist/doctor appointments that either need to be attended or rescheduled and Jay & I have a “Shake Your Shamrock” party to attend at his school.

The truth is though, I’m ready and looking forward to it all.  I recognize how fortunate I am to have this life I have.  Being tired just comes with the territory.

(Don’t call me on Sunday afternoon however, I’m gonna try to sneak in a nap.)


The Very Foody NJ Trip May 2, 2016

We went back to New Jersey this past weekend.  It was our first visit since the official move a month ago.  The traffic heading north on Friday evening was very heavy so that part was not fun, but the weekend itself was great.  It was a whirlwind, but it was great.


On Saturday morning we, along with the help of CC, did a final cleaning and clearing out of the old apartment.  The kids were happy to spend time with him and I was happy that we could all be in the same place, working together with no tension or negative vibes.  We shared a late pizza lunch before Shawnie and I left to go see her Grandma and CC and the kids went their own way.  Grandma had us laughing and feeling special and Shawnie stole some fruit snacks from her house.  Yup, I saw her.

Later on Saturday we attended a 30th birthday party for a friend.  I shot her a quick message informing her that we were sorry but we were running late.  She replied that it was totally fine, she was just glad that we were going to make it and that she’d make sure to save some food for us.

She did.  We ate and then hit the dance floor.  She was happy and had a great time so that was awesome.

On Sunday we went to brunch with one of my dearest friends and one of the few people that I miss back in New Jersey.  We chose a local diner.  By the way, here’s a bit of trivia, New Jerseyans LOVE diners.  New Jersey has the most diners of any state.  Another bit of food info?  There’s a thing there called Pork Roll which isn’t available in any other state (I don’t think) and I’m not sure what it is exactly but it’s awesome on a kaiser roll with eggs, cheese and mustard.

Following brunch we surprised another friend with a visit.  I told her that we really wanted to see her and all that but the truth is that I really wanted to see her sweet little 3 month old baby.  He was so cute and cuddly and smelled new still.  Her and her hubby are from the Philippines but we always joke that they were really meant to be Jamaican and wouldn’t you know it, hubby was wearing a “Jamaica” shirt when we got there – unannounced.  Baby was wearing a kimono onesie thing (very Asian 🙂 ) which was cute as ever but I promised to get him his own Jamaican t-shirt soon.  As we were leaving she made us some Thai iced tea and then gave us some instant packets so we could make it at home.  So good.

Next we made our way to the mall.  Another good thing about New Jersey (besides the diners and the pork roll and that attendants pump your gas for you at every gas station and gas is cheaper than most other states) is that there is no sales tax on clothes or shoes.  Shawnie had wanted to get a new pair of shoes and we figured it was a good central place to meet up with CC.  Shawnie did get new shoes.  I also got new shoes.  Or maybe I got 2 new pairs.  It’s hard to remember.  😉

We met up with CC and his wife Emma around 5:00pm and after a little chit chat and hugs and CC giving me a hard dough bread that I love but don’t have any access to in Virginia but can be found on every street corner in New York, the kids loaded into our vehicle and we hit the turnpike to go home.

The thing is though, we made a last minute decision to pit stop in Philly.

Hey why not?  One of my really dearest and longest time friends lives there and I hadn’t seen her in a while and she’d never met Shawnie.  We talked and laughed and I raided her pantry while she cooked us dinner and even packed up left overs for lunch the next day.

OK so now we were really headed home.  Except we made another stop.  This time in Maryland.  Since it was now so much later than we had planned to get to that area we didn’t get to hang out with anybody but my friend – You know her; the kids amazing Aunty Juddles – had set aside a box of Jamaican beef patties for us which her sweetheart of a husband delivered right to the car.


The take away from this post is that I am loved and spoiled and I have amazing friends and people in my life and I am now TIRED and was not at all happy with the alarm when it went off at 5:00 am.  But my belly and fridge and heart are full!


Moms Back To School Burn Out September 22, 2015

The kids have handled going back to school like champs.

Me?  I’m already burnt out.


Every day I have big plans for the evening and every night I lay in bed wondering where it all went wrong.

The main issues – I think – Are that the kids bed times have moved up a little earlier so there’s less time to get things done and there’s more to do.  It all leaves me frazzled and stressed out.  I’m yelling too much and not smiling enough.


I hate it.


Maybe I need to put less pressure on myself and lower my expectations.  But how?  There are things that need to be done.

Granted, some days are worse than others but often, I feel very ill-equipped to manage everything.

Every day there are (lots of) things left undone.  I feel badly about all of them but the worst is when I realize after the kids are already in bed that their homework was not in fact completed.  The problem with that is 2 fold.  First of all, homework is important and it helps with learning and it’s a valuable component in the kids education.  Second of all, it shows teachers that you, the parent, are not on top of things.  That’s not a good look.  Especially this early in the year.


No-one can see that I’ve had the pieces of a bookshelf leaned up on the wall in my bedroom for months with the intention of putting it together.

No-one can see the bags of un-put-away laundry in my hallway.

No-one can see that we haven’t been able to find the TV remote for over a week.

No-one knows that the giant plastic container in my living room is full of supplies from when we went camping – In early August – That still need to be put away.

But the undone homework or un-signed papers … That, people can see.


I try to catch up on sleep on the weekends.  I think that would help both my productivity and my mood, but that’s only partially successful.  There’s not a lot of time for sleeping in.


It’s not all bad.

We didn’t get home until after 8pm so that killed the entire evening BUT, I did make it to both kids back to school nights – In 2 different schools – On the same night – And they went well.  The teachers are all happy with the start the kids are off to.  That was welcome news.  From what I hear, Ace is doing a decent job of staying focused and behaving appropriately.  Jay also is coping well with being in a mainstream class.

I managed to go through the kids clothes and take out all the size 5’s and 6’s to give away.  I even went through and put away a tub of clothes that had been handed down to us that were too big at the time.  They now will be perfect for the upcoming winter.

Oh and this week I cleaned out the cat’s litter box once already – while I listened to Jay read about Dinosaurs.

Every day the kids get to school on time, with their lunch boxes carefully packed and (thanks to some help) their uniforms clean and pressed.

I feel good about those things.


There is still a sink full of dishes and the bathtub that should have been cleaned over the weekend still needs scrubbing.

But I’m not worrying about it.  I JUST CAN’T.


I recognize that I need to make some changes though.  The way things have been going is not OK.


Each day I will set myself just 1 or 2 achievable goals; in addition to focusing properly on homework.  No more planning to get it all done.  That just leaves me feeling defeated instead of accomplished.


Todays task is to look for the remote which I’m sure is stuck in the crease of the couch.  I will also wash dishes and clean the bathtub.  I know that’s 3 things, but think it’s do-able.

Another day, I will tackle the bookshelf or the sticky kitchen floor.  It is what it is.

I don’t like putting the kids to bed when I am angry which is what’s been happening.  Time to shift my attitude.

Going forward things will be different.  This is my pledge to myself – and to my boys who deserve better from me.


Just Plain Tired December 23, 2013

I’m totally exhausted.

Just when I can’t take anymore of anything at work, it’s time to go home and … well … yeah.

Fridays don’t bring any relief because weekends at home require me to be “on”.  The boys are high energy and they need me.  And I want to be there for them.  I love having happy times with them.

Just when the weekend has me wiped out (sometimes from lots of fun and sometimes because it was extra hard), it’s Sunday night and I need to prepare for the paying job the next day.

There is never any letting up.

Relentless is the word that comes to mind.  But that’s an awful word to use when talking about your life.


Last week was a rough one.  This week won’t be much better.  Work is busy at this time of the year for me.  Throw in the fact that Ace was sick for a few days and I wasn’t feeling my best either.  We are all feeling better now but we’re still congested.  Jay really hates having a runny nose but he can’t blow strong enough to get it out and he refuses to take any medicine.  He’s miserable and I feel sorry for the poor little guy.  I do sneak some decongestant into his milk but I can’t put a full dose because he will taste it and then refuse to drink the milk.

The boys had birthday parties to attend on both Saturday and Sunday.  They were fun but tiring for me.

Then there are always groceries to buy and clothes to wash and food to cook and games to play and floors to vacuum and toys to fix and Christmas gifts to buy/wrap and scripts to indulge and bills to pay and phone calls to return.  There are out-grown clothes to give away and kitty-litter to clean and homework to check and hats to find and socks to match up and hugs and kisses to give and teeth to brush and TV shows to sit and watch because my son asked me to.  There are appointments to make and child care to organize and bags to pack and bags to unpack and my sweet boys to love up on and fights to break up and new umbrellas to buy.


These are the times when it most sucks that I don’t have the help of nearby family or friends.  It’s such a juggling act trying to be at work (physically and mentally) and also be available for my boys either because they are sick or simply because they have no school.   As hard as it is, I do feel like I’m managing – and that’s something – but I want to do better at it all.  Just managing doesn’t feel like enough.  And yet, it’s all I can do.  It’s all I have the time or energy for.  I’m only one person.




(This post was not at all the plan for today.  But, alas, it’s what came out.  Happens sometimes.  I guess I needed to say it “out loud”.  Tomorrow or later, I’ll write about the birthday parties we attended.  That’ll be better. )