An Exponential Life
Kids are loud, crazy, messy, adorable little monsters. But something happens when you have more than one. Everything grows at an exponential rate. I have four little boys – oldest almost 7, a 5-year-old, a 22-month-old, and an 8-month-old – and nothing is just 4x [fill in the blank]. It’s more like 40x. Everything is bigger.
And that includes…
Take a journey with me to a time not so long ago. Last week.
It actually started the previous week I came down with what I thought was just a severe sore throat. I didn’t go to the doctor because, well, #momlife and who has the time or money for that anyway?
So, I’m kicking butt, as we moms do, and was diligent in not kissing the boys – which was really hard because I’m that mom that smothers her kids in hugs and kisses.
Anyway! I’m doing great, on the mend, things are looking up. Until Friday night, when… I accidentally kissed my oldest on the lips.
I then sealed my fate with, “Oh, I’m sure it’ll be fine!”
I KNOW!! What was I thinking?! Murphy and his law immediately knocked on my door.
And so the tale of Exponential Sickness begins.
Oldest wakes up congested, but I figure it’s just allergies. We go to the first soccer game of the season and he’s a little sluggish, but he’s moved up an age level – we figured it was just the larger fields. Buuuut then we get home and he’s on fire. 104 degree temp. Commence cold shower, meds, and rest. Fever comes down. Ok, cool. We got this.
Still sick with fever, though not nearly as high. No church.
Doctor’s appointment reveals oldest has strep. YAY! Start antibiotics. Doc says he can return to school on Wednesday.
Second oldest comes home from school and sleeps for 3 hours. Has a low grade fever. Go to doctor for strep swab. It comes back negative. “It’s just allergies with a severe cold on top,” says Doc, “but we’ll send off the culture to be sure. I’m sure he’s fine!”
Meanwhile I’m over here like:
At this point I see the writing on the wall. There’s no sense in denying it anymore. We’ve been infested and it’s only a matter of time before more of my tiny comrades fall.
Everyone to school on meds.
Mommy goes off to a meeting and two youngest stay with sitter. I text her and she hits me back with “Sorry, I was changing #3’s blowout.” Another one down.
Naptime. Sweet silence. Until the phone rings. “Hi Rachael. Calling because #2 has a 103 temperature.”[Heavy sigh] “Okay. I’ll be there in a bit. I have to wake up the babies.”
Change disgusting diaper and off to get Bubba. And then I hear it.
My poor little toddler has thrown up all over himself and the kitchen floor. Mom Mode activated! I turn to get the paper towels and Lysol wipes and I hear it again.
And then, my sweet little angel, starts walking through it toward me. Panic Mom Mode activated! “STOP! Do. Not. MOVE!” I lift him up and over, run to the backyard, strip him down, wipe him down, cover him in hand sanitizer, and start cleaning up. I call the school to let them know I’ll be longer than expected when I look into the living room.
Y’all. The world slowed down. My heart stopped.
With his chubby little hands, the toddler grabbed the baby’s cheeks and gave him a big, sloppy, toddler-style kiss. Directly. On. The. Lips.
I scream “NNNOOOOOOOO!!!” as I hang up the phone and leap, yes LEAP, toward them. Now, I’m neither small nor spry so for my big booty to move so quickly, well it was something.
I finally get to the school where they won’t even let me enter the building. They essentially open the door just wide enough for my son to pass, quickly close it, and wave at me safely behind the glass.
He throws up on the living room floor that evening.
Three youngest stay home. Toddler throws up all over the couch. I call the doctor for the toddler to be swabbed. “I was just about to call you. The culture came back positive.” Me:
We all load up, go to the doctor for the toddler’s swab. It comes back negative. Obviously, I was skeptical.
Saturday and Sunday we took it easy and everyone seemed to be on the mend.
So now we’re halfway through this week and doing great. Number 1 is almost done with his antibiotics, #2 is back to his normal self with the help of good ol’ amoxicillin, #3 just had a 48-hour bug, and miraculously, the baby never caught anything.
Like I said. Life with more than one kid is exponentially bigger. But no matter how hard last week was I would NEVER trade it if that meant I couldn’t experience the exponential love and joy and craziness of my little crew.
But dear sweet, baby Jesus PLEASE don’t let the hellscape of multiple illnesses befall this house again!
This post was written by Plano Mom, Rachael Armstrong. This insight into her thoughts and journey of life as a Mom is written in her own words.
Don’t wait a minute longer. Enjoy this once-a-year opportunity to celebrate the Holidays now.
The main attraction is the Ice! At Gaylord Texan exhibit, 2 million pounds of hand-carved ice sculptures as you walk through a 14,000 square foot attraction kept constant at 9 degrees!!
Grab those parkas, your mittens, scarves and sweaters and slide down the slides, and marvel at the exhibits!
In addition, you can enjoy the:
And for Adults, you can get tickets to upgrade your experience to VIP status with the On the Blocks Ice Bar!
Get your discount here:
This year’s Ice! at the Gaylord Texan features “Twas the Night Before Christmas” along with a Lone Star Christmas. You can get 50% Off General Admission Tickets using the promo code PLANOMOMS at GaylordTexanTickets.com (Restrictions Apply)
*Offer valid 11/10 – 11/22, excluding Saturdays after 5 PM. Tickets can be purchased online. Limit of 10 tickets per purchaser. Not retroactive. Not valid with any other discounts or offers. Other restrictions may apply. Please check the coupon small print.
What are you waiting for? Book your slot and enjoy it for yourself with our 50% off discount code!
Thank you to the Gaylord Texan Hotel for hosting our family for the day to enjoy it!
Have you ever had to say no to Social Plans or couldn’t get to work on time because you couldn’t find a Babysitter when you needed one?
I think at some point most Moms have had this exact problem, asked their friends or ventured to Nextdoor App or Facebook to get names and numbers.
Then they spent time making calls, sending texts and waiting to get responses. Does that sound like something you’ve done before?
It’s frustrating, right?
If you are lucky, you find someone great and then end up looking again if they are already booked, or happened to leave the area or go to College.
Wouldn’t it be great if you could have a list of Babysitters ready to receive your request when you need them, knowing they are reviewed by other local parents, live locally to you and you know that your friends or local neighbors have used them too?
What if you had a choice of Sitters, of different ages and stages for different needs? Need someone to play in the Backyard and throw a ball with your 2nd grader, or a Mature Sitter, a Grandma who can offer that sense of security for your newborn and can handle diapers and meals with no problem at all?
I have great news for you.
A Dad from Pacific Palisades, California, Sean Greene, had this exact problem and took it upon himself to create the Bambino App. Bambino solves all these problems and provides so much more!
What about at the end of the night when you realize you don’t have the cash to pay the Babysitter & you have to drive-round to find the nearest ATM? Ugh!
Not with Bambino. Once you’ve connected your credit card, payment is made automatically.
And if you need to change the length of the sit, the messaging system within the app allows quick and easy communication with your sitter and you control the length of the Sit in a couple of easy taps.
Local Mom, Kelli said:
I was so excited to be introduced to the Bambino app! It was so easy to use. I love that I can connect with sitters in our neighborhood that my friends recommend!
Our sitter, Emily was great with our boys! She was awesome at communicating with me throughout the evening. We will definitely request her again!
If you have an Android or iPhone, you can download via the Google Play store or the iTunes App Store. Then use your Facebook profile to login. This identifies you, connects you to your friends and allows you to see their recommendations as well as place your own.
Try it once and you’ll be hooked! It’s the easiest way to secure a sitter when you need one.
And we have an exclusive code for you to get $10 discount on your very first sit with Bambino.
Just use code PLANOMOMS when you check out!
Starts Nov 2nd – Nov 10th.
Do you like this idea?
Bounce Over to Sheer Smiles Pediatric Dentistry to trade in your Halloween Candy for some FUN!
You will receive $1 per pound of unopened candy a dental goodie bag and a ticket entry to win a family fun night at Urban Air Frisco!
Restrictions apply: Limit 1 prize entry per child. All Children must be present to receive passes and must be accompanied by an adult. Candy must be unopened, maximum 5 pounds per child.
Bring in your unopened candy and Sheer Smiles Pediatric Dentistry will give you $1 per pound of candy, a dental goody bag to wash those sugars away. This Goody bag is filled with some dental goodies as well as some fun activities. Also you will get to enter in a drawing to win a family night at Urban Air Frisco for a fun filled time with your family or friends.
You Do not need to a patient of Sheer Smiles Pediatric Dentistry to participate. All children ages 18 and under and their parents can participate.
You can stop by anytime Starting November 2nd through November through Nov 10th.
Drawing will be live on Facebook at 4 PM on Nov 10th and winner will be notified through their provided contact information.
The Dosh App continues to line our pocketbooks!
We need this right now as the Holidays are quickly approaching…
Sometimes it’s so easy, that it seems too good to be true. A couple of months back I was introduced to an App, which for Moms everywhere offers the chance for automatic cashback whenever you use your normal payment cards to pay for everyday items.
I’ve been testing it out and excited that they keep adding new options. The lowest cashback % seems to be 2% but in some cases it is as high as 8-10%!
Recently they added the following:
Forever 21 – 5% cashback in store
Sams Club (yes, Moms – Sams Club!) – 2% in store with a valid membership (not including tyres or gas)
Denny’s – eat breakfast and get 10% back (in-store)
Cost Plus Market 2% in store and 4% online
Within moments, your transaction is tracked back to your Dosh account and the money is added to your wallet. You can connect your Bank Account, Paypal or even choose to donate your wallet funds to a Charity of your choice.
This month, they added a new way of boosting your Wallet, by using the power of chance and social sharing.
You’ll be notified straight away that you can try the Cashback Multiplier if you choose to share your earnings with a friend via Facebook and Twitter. Once you do, you can take a spin!
Then see what the Multiplier gives you!
At this time of the year we are also looking ahead and planning our Thanksgiving trips. Travel is a great way to boost your Dosh.
Dosh has a large number of hotels listed. You can easily see the offers they have and compare pricing against leading Travel providers. Not only that, but you should take into account the cashback to get a real price!
When you combine your hotel with local restaurants who are also listed in the App the money really starts to add up.
So, what are you waiting for?
Download it, connect your cards and watch the Cashback and the Savings add up all at the same time!
I’ve been to Basic Training twice (as both enlisted and officer). I ran special ops warriors through obstacle courses as a professional military training instructor. I’m in the 9G Club, having pulled 9 times the force of gravity in both the centrifuge and in the F-16. I’ve been in numerous military campaigns around the world in very hostile territory. But the hardest thing I’ve ever done is drop my son off at daycare the first time.
As I sat in my car crying, after about 45 minutes of stalking him stealthily through a two-way mirror, I looked up and saw a 125-pound mother of twin toddlers, calmly carrying one on each hip as she entered the Mother’s Day Out program. When she returned, she looked peaceful and ready to trot off to a yoga class or to have coffee with a friend. In that moment, she became my new image of toughness and I wanted to be like her.
My son is now 16 and drove himself to his first day of school for the first time. My husband I had to forgo our ritual of taking his first day of school off and going out to breakfast afterwards. Those early years it was for consolation but as time went on it was a chance to celebrate and measure how we were doing as parents. We’d vision a little bit about the upcoming year and set goals for our family. Now, I (somewhat) confidently watched him drive off knowing he would be ok and could handle anything that comes his way. Although the whole motherhood mission isn’t yet fully accomplished, I feel good about the job I’ve done so far.
My son Ryan recently proved he’s way smarter than I am by creating a free morning prayer app for my church, available for Android phone users. You can download it for free from the Google Play store by searching for Resurrection Plano Morning Prayer.
Before becoming a mom, I had a long career in the United States Air Force. I began my military career as an enlisted member in Air Force Special Operations. I was selected for a commissioning program and graduated with honors from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach in 1999 with a BS in Human Factors Engineering and was commissioned as an officer.
As an Aerospace Physiologist I completed Physiology Officer Flight Training. I trained fighter pilots and aircrew at the Euro-NATO Jet Pilot Training Program at Sheppard AFB in Wichita Falls, TX.
When my son, Ryan, was born, I transferred to an F-16 unit at the Joint Reserve Base in Fort Worth. While serving there, I became sure of my call to ministry. I left the Air Force after over 15 years of service to our country.
We moved to Plano because of the excellent schools for Ryan. I enrolled in SMU’s Perkins School of Theology. I graduated in 2014, with a Masters of Divinity and Certificates in Pastoral Care and Anglican Studies. I was ordained as an Episcopal priest in 2014.
I’m still breaking barriers. I’m the Episcopal Diocese of Dallas’ first female church planter! I accepted a call to plant Resurrection Episcopal Church in West Plano in June 2016. I was also their first female priest to serve as Chaplain for the Diocese in the history of the Diocese. I served in that capacity when we elected our new Bishop.
I still take care of pilots too. I’m the official Chaplain to the pilots for the Plano Balloon Fest.
I also am a Col in the Commemorative Air Force that has their big airshow, Wings Over Dallas.
Resurrection Episcopal Church is now thriving and growing. We meet in the Betty Haun Elementary School at 4500 Quincy Ln. in Plano. Our service is at 10:30 a.m. Sundays and we have room for you!
Find out more about us at www.resurrectionplano.org
This post was written and submitted by Leslie Stewart. The images are credited to Leslie.
It is time for our Mommy “Speed Dating” event – the Mommy Mixer!
Please join us on Saturday November 4th from 3-6pm at Cambria Hotel & Suites Plano-Frisco for a fun early evening of mingling & making new friends!
New to the area? Been here a while and still haven’t found your BFF?
Need a new crafting/coffee/shopping/etc. buddy? Just like to hang out with fun moms? Then THIS IS THE EVENT FOR YOU!
Our first two events were a huge success, one of our moms said:
“I thought the Mommy Mixer was a blast! I so enjoyed meeting other mommas in the area and have contacted some since so it definitely served it’s purpose”
Please RSVP below, the event link is in the comments! See you soon! (This event is for up to 100 moms and includes Food, Soft Drinks & House Wine).
All this for a small fee $10+$1.80 for processing & fees. This is a not for profit event!
A highlight of our year in Downtown Plano Arts District, is the annual Steinfest Festival at Haggard Park
The fun starts Friday, October 20 from 5pm-11pm and continues Saturday, October 21 from 10am – 10pm at Haggard Park in Downtown Plano Arts District.
Home Depot are offering a Grill as first prize for the winner of the Brat Eating contest, which starts Friday, October 20 at 7pm. Come hungry and see how many Bratwursts you can eat in 5 minutes! Thank you Ye Olde Butcher Shop for supplying the Brat Eating Contest Brats.
Get your Furry Friend involved on the Saturday, in the Weiner Dog Fashion Show, brought to you by Dogtopia at 11am.
Deck them out in their best dress or costume and let the judges award them prizes and treats.
For all of us who are 21+, we can compete in Stein Racing with the chance to win VIP Packages and a big cash prize on Saturday, October 21 at 3pm. (Must register with a $10 fee). Make it your mission to cross the finish line with the least amount of spilled beer!
Why not flex your muscles for the Masskrugstemmen on Saturday at 7.30 and see how long you can hold a fully filled stein out at a 90 degree angle without giving in? All participants get a souvenir stein and one beer.
Don’t forget the Kids!!!! This year, bring them to enjoy the fun dancing and polka music and the Raising Cane’s Kiddie Play Patch. They will have face painting, fall harvest photo-ops, bean bag toss, outdoor games and more!
One of our highlights of this Festival are the choices of Food and Drink available. The Karbach Brewing Company is the official sponsor and encourage you to enjoy a pint to wash down the great food choices
This year, enjoy food prepared by Downtown Plano Arts District chefs from The Fillmore, (which celebrates it’s 10th year of opening), Urban Crust, Angela’s Crosswalk, Urban Rio, Jorgs Cafe Vienna and Ye Olde Butchers Shop
New for 2017, we have a treat in store: we can enjoy traditional Kolaches of all types right here in Downtown Plano, all the way from the Czech Stop, in West, Texas.
At Steinfest, you can peruse the booths of more than 30 market vendors in the Marktplatz!
The Event itself is free to attend and enjoy the entertainment. If you would like to try the German-inspired cuisine or drinks, you can buy coupons at the ticket booths at the entrance.
Why not make the event really special?
You can get a VIP package for $50 each, which includes twenty food and beverage coupons, a commemorative stein, a Steinfest t-shirt and access to the Whole Foods Market VIP Bier Garden with a private bar.
See you there!
Photo credits: Downtown Plano Arts District, Steinfest.org and Facebook
The answer “We homeschool” is almost always met with, “I could never do that!” The response always makes me pause a second because there is really no good reply. I could mumble something like, “Oh okay.” I can ignore it and just move on in the conversation. Or, what I really want to do sometimes is answer with, “Not with that attitude!”
It seems that people who aren’t in the homeschooling world truly don’t understand how we “put up” with our children 24/7. I have friends who homeschool and friends who do not homeschool. I do know that the ones who do not homeschool do look forward to school starting again. It’s their routine, it’s what they’re used to, it orders their life. For homeschoolers, we feel the same about keeping our children home to learn. Having them home all the time is our routine. We have found ways to make it ordered. Ways that make us look forward to August for different reasons….
Homeschooling moms aren’t super women. We don’t always have the patience of Job. Honestly, I think a lot of my public school mom friends have way more patience than I do! We are just used to doing things on our terms and at our family’s speed. That is truly the beauty and saving grace of homeschooling. Not answering to a school bell, not having to know the 12’s tables by Friday when your child is stuck on 12×6. Being able to say forget the Romans when your child want to skip ahead and devour books on WW2. Homeschooling doesn’t have the same stress and feel as not homeschooling does.
We do have our own stresses though! For one, our children are home 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Or at least they could be. I think most of us do put our children in activities whether it be academic or for fun. We are the primary person guiding and directing the education of a person or persons.
It’s a huge responsibility. Sometimes we notice issues like dyslexia a little bit late and then feel all the guilt for not catching it earlier. Sometimes we may be a bit jealous of the 7-8 hours other parents get with a child free home. But the pros have definitely outweighed the cons.
So how do we make it work? How are we able to homeschool when we are just ordinary people? Sheer determination. It’s the daily belief that how we have chosen to educate our child(ren) is the best way for our family. We don’t do it to snub others. We don’t do it to make public school moms feel guilty. We don’t do it so that we can give some sort of snobby response to the “I could never homeschool!” question. We do it for so many reasons that have nothing to do with anyone else.
I still don’t really have a good answer to “I could never homeschool my children!” I don’t know if I should respond, “I could never send my children to public school!” Or if I should answer, “Not with that attitude!” Or if I should just smile and ask them a question about their life instead. Is there a good answer? Maybe. Maybe not.
I don’t think there needs to be a perfect, one size fits all answer because we all have picked how our children are educated for different reasons. How have you responded when met with, “I could never homeschool!” ??
This post is written by Kristina Roegner, a homeschool mom of 3. She enjoys sharing about homeschooling with others and is always happy to help local homeschoolers connect. Visit her website at www.dfwhomeschoolresource.com to see all DFW has to offer for homeschoolers.
Photo credits: from Kristina’s Facebook page
I feel like if you tell someone in North Texas “My child attends private school at…” people will look at you as if you have spoken a foreign language.
The schools in North Texas are superior for the most part so why on earth would anyone consider anything else? Needless to say I was not interested but my husband felt that we should consider it for various reasons. I can be very stubborn so I got the opinions from those I value most and together we decided to book some school tours.
I remember saying “This is the dumbest most obnoxious thing we’ve ever done. It’s a complete waste of our time.” When I walked in the school we immediately noticed the security features in place and we were greeted by the most lovely front desk person you could meet.
As we toured the school I began to fall in love, it was how I remembered school and what I wanted for my children. It was warm, friendly, colorful and the kids were excited to learn, very polite and best of all shamelessly loving God.
The very last thing the admissions rep said to us was “I hope you see that our school is diverse, we have a director of diversity here and we work very hard to include all backgrounds.”
This was a big deal for us because because it showed she wasn’t afraid to address the concerns minorities may have. It was a long quiet walk back to the car but when Carl (my husband) asked me how I felt and what my thoughts were I gave him a defeated look and said “I love it”. I cannot believe I had been so naive and so wrong which means others could be too.
Going into this we wanted strong academics, a school that was competitive within TAPPS, PreK – 12th, diversity, not too far from home, parent involvement, a good lunch menu (I have a picky eater) and a school that could help increase our child’s faith.
As we toured other schools I learned that the DFW area has several school options to offer such as parochial, university models, single-sexed, Montessori, private with online options and special needs schools.
Our daughter (centered) and two schoolmates
Once we applied and were accepted I did what most moms do these days, I went to Facebook. Only I couldn’t locate a FB group that included DFW families enrolled in private school or seeking info on it, I mostly found school specific groups. I needed to learn more so I created a group called DFW Private School Families for those in private school or considering it. We have managed to build an online community where we can discuss thoughts, concerns, misconceptions and remain supportive of one another as well.
The things things group members often want others to know are not everyone who sends their kid to private school is rich or anti-public school.
Most parents in the group are working two or single parent homes and all are making a sacrifices of some sort daily.
If you were to ask me what to look for here’s what I’d tell you;
If you’re truly interested in a school you should attend the schools open house and ALWAYS tour during the school year. This wasn’t the original plan but we like where it’s headed.
This post is written by Dara K. Tilghman, a Mom of 2. She has spent hours researching Private Schools around DFW and has some unique insight to share with Plano Moms. Her Facebook group is DFW Private School Families. Follow Dara on Twitter
For more another guest post about Home Schooling, click here