Back to School: Parent Edition

Are you excitedly awaiting for back to school? Your kids have eaten you out of house and home? A couple of them you’re not sure what to do? I get it! Rejoice! It’s back to school time! So I’ve written a blog for how you can your kids ready for back to school. It was filled with all great and helpful suggestions. I am quite proud of that piece, but now it’s time to shift gears for the parents. Yes the parents.

I told you how you can get the kids successful but it’s the parents turn! You are the one in charge of you and helping you get ready for back to school first helps the kids get aligned!

Plan Early

Listen I’ve had some years where I’ve gotten supplies last-minute. It happens for various reasons but plan and do as much as you can early enough to cut down on anxiety. I for one will bargain hunt for supplies. So for me aligning sales is important to me. It’s important to know that I’m saving money. Let’s keep it real, having 3 kids means that back to school expenses expensive. I’ve never understood my parent’s life until recent years. I as a child just thought parents just went to the store, paid and rolled. I had no clue until I had my own that there is work to be able to do it all!! Shout out to parents who are trying to do their best.

Make a list and come up with a plan to attack school uniforms, supplies, tuition and back packs. It’s imperative to figure out as early as possible your game plan of attack!

Look over previous report cards

Although it would seem that this is exclusively for your child to do, learning to see trends will assist you as the parent to outsource help. It’s not ashamed to not know something it’s a shame to not do all you can to identify ways to make your child as successful as they can be. This may mean helping to fine tune their skill sets. We noticed a few lacks in concentration and so we started taking it back with practice work to help our children get better in that area. There are several sites that offer free printouts. Also you should have been tuning in often times the previous teacher is a great place to start. We had the kids start their Summer assignments early. We also increased reading and I looked online for other books to add to the reading list.

Get the Kids on their early back to school 3 weeks or more

We used to wait until the week before school and then send them to bed early and wake them up like a test run. This year outside of a few movie nights we have kept them on the same schedule. We didn’t even implement our normal Summer schedules. They are in camp all day and it’s easier for them and in reality for us. So far with us doing that and making them keep after camp studying at least 2 days a week it’s been helpful. My son is zooming through his sight words and our daughter is arising to the occasion in her work. It sounds harsh but some kids can’t really break too much and for the parents the house can have that well deserved rest time!!

Reorganize

It’s important for you to either place a station or two aside for the kids ahead of time for paperwork. One of the worst things is getting a slew of papers and have no clear direction of where it is. Our kids school don’t play and will give you an eye roll if you request another copy. I used to get so mad if they gave me an attitude. I soon stepped back and realized the lesson is helping the kids understand that you don’t always get the chance to fix things. I also started making copies or scanning forms. This way I didn’t have to bother with things. We never let on to our kids that we had the back up. We would depending on what it was give a consequence like delayed electronic use for having us assist in obtaining or using the back up.

Attitude Check

We all know back to school is coming. There is zero no reason to be upset, frustrated and upset that money is going to have to be spent. Even if your child is public school there will be money to be spent. You can attend a free back to school event in your town if you need it. However adjusting your attitude will help your child to adjust as well. They are relying on you to show them the ropes. Having a good attitude in general is helpful! Trust me going from this:

Versus this:

You decide!! So may your wallet be blessed, your nerves settled as we all push onward and upward towards our children education. Also may your wine glasses be bountiful as the time draws near!!

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Teach the Babies-You’re Not Everyone’s Cup of Tea

So this week the recurring theme has been forgiveness.  This is a tough lesson for many adults let alone my own son. This week for both of my older kids the trying to teach them to understand that its okay to have a disagreement with a person, work things out or decide to work things out but be cordial and not be friends.

My son who is 6 is having the hardest time which is to be expected.  I do not expect him to understand adult like themes and to me forgiveness will come to him as he grows and matures.  So the issue is allowing my kids to find out whom feels safe to them.  I even teach my kids even those closest to them can give bad vibes, you have the right to retreat.  I do not make them give hugs or be around ANYONE who makes them uncomfortable.  This means that if you come to my child and my child rejects you for whatever reason, there’s no make them give into your insecurity of showing you love they don’t feel is genuine to give. We stress to kids to be aware but then judge them for feeling ill feelings.  My husband and I don’t.  We try to help them work through these feelings.

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For my daughter she has been going to the same school for years and most of the kids she has known since Kindergarten.  At this point she is well aware of certain people’s triggers, how they act, and what they do when the teachers and principals aren’t watching.  I am not one  of those parents that push my kids into certain friendships.  If there are mean girls in her school and she identifies that is who they are, I trust that I have raised her well to this point to know who they are and if she chooses not to embrace them outside of a school setting that is fine. We really can’t push the all the kids are angels routine.  I am all for her or my son working it out but its one thing to work it out and it’s another thing to have a blind eye to a problematic child and act as if that child isn’t an issue.

So this week my son has been having an issue with one child in particular.  He has tried being nice.  He has tried having meetings with the kid etc. However to no avail.  This kid is problematic.  My advice to my son was be cordial.  Work together when you have to in the classroom because in life you can’t always disengage with someone just because you don’t care for them.  However at recess is your time to play.  You shouldn’t have to spend your time in recess trying to push back negativity from one child.  Some days he gets the message other days he doesn’t.  The days he doesn’t its a hard conversation to have.

Yes we are all for kids getting along.  Yes we are well aware that at this age kids go back and forth and are learning how to socialize. The same rules that apply to me with other adults do NOT work for kids.  However let’s also keep it real and stop acting like some of these kids already come in the door with whatever they have at home and spew the most hate, the most vile words on other kids and in the name of letting kids be kids we give these kids many chances in hopes they will fare better.  They don’t always fair well.  So we can’t just act like it’s not the case.  As a parent I would love to tell my kids that the world is awesome all the time and that they won’t have issues with other kids or other people but that is not the case.

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My conversation with my son is about helping him weed out those he thinks are bad news for him and show him how to make healthy relationships with those who want the same in return.  He needs to be cordial meaning just because there is friction, school work still needs to be done.  If his teacher assigns him to the student that he is having issues with then he needs to buckle down and get things done.

Parenting is hard and I am sure there will be someone who disagrees with my conversation but the beautiful thing about parenting is that it is an individual pathway per parent and its a collective pathways for the parents involved.  My only hope is that my kids get to the point where they don’t waste energy on those who don’t mean them well.  They learn to keep their peace with them and not get entangled with those kids who have ill intentions.  That’s my hope for adults too.  Stop giving your energy to the bad person in your life regardless of relationship.  If it doesn’t serve you, leaves you feeling less about yourself, etc then the point is moot, leave them alone and allow the right folks to come in your life. These are life lessons.  They should be taught early.  I want my kids to grow into confident human beings that know what they want, who they want, and to go where they are celebrated not where they are tolerated.  These lessons aren’t to wait to be learned.  These lessons are taught early on.

Protect your Spirit

Happy Monday to you.  Happy I am just making it Monday.  Happy I am alive Monday. Whatever your Monday looks like to you, make it that and rise above it.  Yes the weekend has left some of us dry.  If it wasn’t the news that is constantly being pushed in our faces, to relationships, situationships, kids, jobs, etc you may be at wit’s end.

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So we all know that we need to protect our spirit.  Your spirit is your essence.  It’s your wits.  It’s you in a nut shell. I know there are many times when I have to take a time out. I give my kids one and have no shame in taking one.  You need to protect your essence. All of life’s drama can take the beauty out of you if you let it.  Today I am even more guarded to keep being informed but to filter some of the junk to avoid getting too overly emotional or let things take me out of my element.

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Life is hard but cover yourself today and everyday.  Cover your children who don’t fully understand but are in the presence of the same junk you are touched with.  Never underestimate that they are able to pick up on negative vibes just as much as you do. Protect what they see and hear.  Protect who they are around.  Who you allow your kids to be around speaks volumes as they take on what on who is around them.  Protect what words you say around them as well.  Words have life and death in them and you have to be careful that the tearing down isn’t occurring in-house.  We are worried about the outsiders but truth be told you can cause more damage in house than you will ever know if you aren’t careful.

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Filter what you take on when it comes to social media. I love social media but the down size is that it doesn’t always allow you to be social.  It can become battle grounds.  It can become warfare. It can zap your energy.  It can take up so much of your time.  It can allow you to not be able to disengage with those around you.  It is a choice and you must make good choices on what you entertain on social media.  Everything isn’t worth a response. Everything doesn’t need a clap back.  You have to clean your social media act up. Delete some accounts you don’t need.  Take a few folks off that you allow to get you all up in arms.  Learn to take a step back with who you call friends on your social media accounts.  Never post anything you don’t stand by 100% and be prepared to live with any backlash.  Learn that some things that inspire you may just be for you.  Learn that you can choose to spread hate or love.  Love on yourself.  Practice self-love everyday.  Mental illness is real and it can be elevated by social media because when the mind is weak it allows the defenses of everything to be low.  Be careful.  Speak life today.  Speak life into your situations and find ways to make your bottom line better.  Reach out to help others when your able.  It’s no different from when you’re on a plane, they tell you to put the oxygen mask on you first.  Same rule applies in life, stop handing out all of your resources to others and leave yourself depleted.  Help you than you can help someone else.  Have a great Monday and practice self love and love on others around you.

Mid Week Recap: June 7, 2017

Since the days have been a little crazy and I haven’t blogged in a few days I figured why not today?  So if you read my last recap than you know that I am preparing my house and myself for my hysterectomy.  I figured since I have now had my gall bladder and appendix removed and outside of child-birth would be done with surgeries, but I am not. As I handle the logistics like meal prepping, laundry and cleaning (as if that will ever be done) my mind is all over the place.

Another issue that has come up is that I had to get a mammogram.  I have never done it before until yesterday’s appointment.  Let me dispel all of the horror stories and say that it isn’t life changing in the fact that you hurt so bad you can’t think.  It is uncomfortable. It feels what ladies feel at the first few days of your menstrual when you are sore.  It was painless and didn’t take long.  I was pretty optimistic that things would go well until I got the results 30 or so minutes later and now I have to go back next week and have the procedure redone.  Now before I allowed my mind to take me there with a grandmother and mother who have had their dance with breast cancer, the technician warned me since it was my first time I most likely would be called back.  The reason is simple, there are no images to compare if there really is something wrong.  So next week I will be back.  Until there is a reason to worry I won’t.

One of the things I can’t stress enough is for ladies, please do monthly self breast exams. They are yours-touch them and make sure all is well.  Breast cancer is devastating but what’s more devastating is having a line of defense to feel when something isn’t right but not use it.  Be vigilant about your reproductive health as well.  There aren’t a lot of do overs in the reproductive world.  You need to care about yourself enough to check yourself.

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So in the next week things are going to get crazy.  My kids will be starting camp and finishing their last week of school.  I will have had the surgery and my husband will be the one that the kids run to the most until I heal.  I am okay with it.  I have talked to many women that have all suggested a few things and one of the top things that all of them have stated was to be good to myself during this process.  It’s a bit nerve-racking when I think and wonder if I will have to do hormone therapy and how that will affect me and my family mostly.  I will be talking to the doctor about that in-depth.

Emotionally one of the things that I have felt was like wait I really can’t have anymore kids.  It went away but it was a bit overwhelming.  It wasn’t something I felt when I got my tubes tied after my 3rd child.  I had no sadness in me until I found out about this hysterectomy.  I can’t explain it but I know that other women have gone through it. It was like I was at a funeral.  You know me and funerals never get along.  So after about 15 minutes of this semi despair feeling I was okay. I got myself together.  I was able to move on.

On a happier and lighter note, my son, my bubs graduates from preschool today. If you know me know nothing else I make all celebrations big.  Now don’t get me twisted I am not inviting the masses or throwing a party.  I do things like decorate his room, and just make him feel overall special.  He has picked where he wants to go out to eat, just a day of showing him how super proud of him we are.  He moved from one school to this amazing school and since he has been super happy.  Seeing how unhappy he was before and now is such a relief.  Listen let me say on a side note when you have good kids and they start getting into trouble, do your research.  Find out what is going on.  I noticed with my son he would tell us things and we would ask things and it wasn’t adding up. However what I should have done months ago was moved him.  I felt it inside of me and didn’t act.  I was more concerned with having all 3 kids in different schools.  It’s a lot trust me but his happiness is worth it.  He is smiling everyday at drop off and pick up. He has friends who parents are more geared to how we raise our kids.  That matters trust me.

My job as a parent is to correct him when he needs it and celebrate him always.  We are going to do that.  He is super ready for kindergarten but I am not sure if kindergarten is ready for him!! This beam of light is going to be something amazing and not just because he is my child, but because he is determined to be great! Super congrats MJ!!

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Weekly Recap: May 26, 2017

Happy Friday to you all! Who is ready for the weekend?  I surely am.  Let me just make a world-wide declaration to my beautiful daughter, Naila-happy 8th birthday.  My daughter and I am rightfully biased is one of the sweetest, amazing little girls to date. She loves everyone and is such a jewel to be around.  We plan to celebrate her all weekend long.  I pray continued love, strength and peace to her life always.

It’s also Memorial Day weekend.  So this means that there are going to be a few activities that will be taking place in a city near you.  If you live in or around Philadelphia there are a lot of FREE events taking place.  We ALL can afford free right?  The point is to get out and enjoy yourself.  Don’t go back to work on Tuesday with the boring didn’t do anything unless that is what you wanted to actually do-NOTHING.  Rest, relax, organize, plan for the rest of the Summer time.  Memorial Day is the unofficial start to Summer so get out and get busy.

Personal Highs

This has been a really interesting week for me. I am still coming down on my weight.  I am about to shift from just losing weight to maintaining for the month of June.  I am looking to get to my goal so I can purchase this Boho style swimsuit.  I haven’t bought a swimsuit in 5 years.  Also I was in a lot of control when it came to dealing with the things that life through just this week.  I almost had a little mental break down but some encouragement came and helped me along the way.  I had such an amazing time with my husband this past weekend and some much-needed me time as well.

News

  1. Prayers to those in Manchester.  A bomber decided to bomb the Ariana Grande concert that was being attended by mostly teenager and young children.  My heart goes out to those who lost their lives as well as those injured from the deadly blast. I can’t understand why there is so much evil in this world but there is.
  2. Trump’s administration is supposedly under the microscope.  Even with getting into all of the politics of it all I do believe that Trump believes that he has the power to do as he pleases.  I do not believe he under the concepts of checks or balances.  So we shall keep watching to see what comes of all of this.
  3. Greg Gianfonte is out here body slamming reporters-allegedly.  It’s sad when offices used to be respected therefore they carried themselves to a higher standard.  Pretty soon they going to be pulling even more stunts but what do I know.
  4. Chris Cornell died of an apparent suicide.  His wife is saying medication he was on is what led to his death and he would have not killed himself otherwise. I pray peace during this difficult time.

Personal Lows

  1. I spoke last week about awaiting for test results well I got them back. It doesn’t look good.  I have to be seen this week for some blood related issues and so when I have a treatment plan in place than I will blog openly about what is going on.  I have no problems sharing anything in my life and especially about health due to the fact there is always going to be someonelse who will go through it too.  I will inform you all of any changes especially any changes that distributes the blog.  If you aren’t already following me on Facebook please do as many of the changes will be announced there, https://www.facebook.com/toitimeladies/

Blogs

  1. Ask Toi-about family or friends who come over uninvited and especially as parents who have small kids and have a sitter.  It’s always good to call first.  You don’t know what is going on with people and it shows a respect for other people’s time. If you come over unannounced than don’t expect to have access to someone’s home no matter how close you are if who you are visiting has a sitter.  If that sitter isn’t aware of you stopping by its going to be a closed-door that greets you.
  2. Ask Toi-taking a sex break while married.  You have a right and a choice to engage or disengage but I would suggest that you work out the issue that is causing you to want to take a sex break than to go to you mate and not have a clear definition of what that means.  Do NOT expect your mate to be okay with it but you have the right to your body and to be vocal in what your intentions are.
  3. Annoying co-workers anyone?  Yes we ALL have them. Simple things to keep in mind as you go through the work day.
  4. Mirage screens-we put too much stock in what others are doing, what they are portraying, what they show us, etc.  Worry more on your own life and less on celebrities or couples or individuals you admire.

As we end this week and dive into the long weekend a few reminders:

  1. Sunscreen should be worn all year round not just in the Summer months.  However since pools and beaches will be swarmed this weekend and beyond, don’t forget it. I use a SPF in my makeup as well.
  2. Keep your kids close.  Do NOT get comfortable and get caught up in celebrating that you forget about them.  There are sick people everywhere and the last thing you need is a child to be unaccounted for.
  3. Drink but be safe.  I like a beverage or two but if you think DUI check points aren’t real you are sadly mistaken.  Be careful.  If you are tipsy call a Uber, etc.
  4. Violence unfortunately especially in some cities that are already plagued with violence more will break out.  Watch the company you keep and be vigilant in having peaceful get togethers.  If you are having a fault with someone and can’t be mature than don’t even attempt to resolve it at that time.  I pray that all innocent bystanders will be protected as well.  You can be at the right place at the wrong time, do nothing and still end up hurt or dead.  Prayers to all my ToiTime readers and followers.

Continue reading Weekly Recap: May 26, 2017

Weekly Recap: April 14, 2017

Happy Friday ToiTime readers!! Can you hear the joy in my voice?  That is what happens when you have been working 12 hour days all week and you finally get over 9 hours of sleep.  I am refreshed and will need it for the Easter weekend.  Anyway.  There has been a lot going on this week so let’s recap.

News

  1. United Airlines out here handing out ass whippings for not giving up seats.  The company is in a full-blown mess these days.  I expect a large payout and for the company’s bottom line to suffer behind the mess.  Little tid bit, do not ever release statements that victim blame.
  2. Second week of bombs from the United States.  Trump’s administration has dropped the largest non nuclear bomb on Afghanistan.  The only issues with all of this bombing is that I fear retaliation against the United States.  For the sake of the world I pray I am wrong.
  3. Woman stabbed to death by Palestinian man on a train in Jerusalem.
  4. 2 Georgia police officers were fired after a video surfaced of them punching a handcuffed man.

Personal Highs

I had a great weekend this past weekend.  I was able to get some me time which was not planned for a full day but definitely turned into a beautiful full day.  I enjoyed the quiet, some adult music and just some down time.  I have been working 12 hour days almost everyday for the past 2 weeks so it felt good to recharge.  I also enjoyed some family time with own family.  We enjoyed some time at Comic Con in Philadelphia where I took some amazing pictures and met some amazing people.  This week has been a little crazy with the mandatory overtime.  However I was able to get some rest last night and I swear it felt like I slept for an entire week in one night.  I expect to have a good weekend this weekend with my kidlets.  They love holidays like me so we will have a blast celebrating. I wish you all who celebrate Easter to remember what it’s all about and have a great one!

 

Blogs

  1. Stress awareness-phyiscal stress.  We talk about what makes us stress out and what that looks like in our physical body.  How we can grab the stress and turn it around in our lives.
  2. Let’s get physical-not everyone enjoys going to the gym even if its good for us.  It’s like veggies but not liking all of the veggies that there are.  You can find physical enjoyment in getting up and finding activities that you enjoy.
  3. Humble my ass, we talk about Lamar Kendrick’s newest hit Humble.  It’s a great record except for all of the men who think this is the song of all songs but don’t truly apply to the words they spit.  It takes more than a dope song to apply it.  We also talk about Tyrese and his ability in his own mind to tell women what they should or shouldn’t be doing while flaunting his 46% Black wife.  Love is love it doesn’t matter what color or race she is but he felt the need to tell the world and down women while uplifting us too as if that can be done at the same time.
  4. TI-Marriage is a distraction: This sounds horrible and it is.  It is horrible if he didn’t have this conversation with Tameka “Tiny” his wife prior to the interview and even worst if he didn’t have this conversation with her before he began acting single. Truth in marriage is hard and it’s not always beautiful.  However honesty should never take a back seat to feelings because in the end no one wins.

Personal Lows

This week I would say pushing myself more and not listening to my body.  I have had a series of headaches and stomach ache this week due to my change of schedule.  And this is the very thing that stress even if it’s not bad stress can do.  I should have slowed it down a bit.  Although the overtime was mandatory this week, little things like going to bed when I got home instead of watching an hour of television and being on my phone could have helped.  Instead of rushing slowed it down and ate at the times I needed and took my medication at the time I needed to would have helped greatly.  These are all things we need to do to make our life even with change run a little more smoothly.

 

I do hope that you all have a good weekend and can say that even if you have a lot of events that you have to be at or have a lot of things to do that you slow it down and get something out of this weekend for yourself.  You have to fill your own cup before you can do anything else for others.

Weekly Wrap Up: March 24, 2017

So I want to start doing a weekly wrap up with my readers.  I first want to say thank you for rocking out with me.  Some of you have been loyal since day one 2 years ago and some are brand new.  Even if you came to see what I am doing and have something to say about that, either way you are here.

With this new weekly wrap up I will attempt to wrap a few news stories as well as personal highs and lows that went down this week.

News

  1. Missing black girls in the DC area.  I have a 7-year-old and to know that these young girls are missing and not much coverage is being done to bring them or any lost child home is most disturbing.  I need our men to step up and assist our single mothers in DC and all over the world.  Men make such a vital part of our community especially in homes where no male is present.  So let’s say a prayer that these young ladies make it home safe and sound.
  2. Violence breaks out outside the UK Parliament-it is the sad day that we live in where these senseless acts of violence and terrorism takes place.  My prayers to those who were injured or lost their lives.
  3. The United States government as a whole.  It’s no secret that Trump is in office. There are a lot of laws and a lot of back and forth taking place that affects and will affect of the everyday life.  My suggestion is that we need to all start pulling resources together.  We need to look out for one another.  I have been saying this since I started this blog, we need to take it back to the old land mark where we would watch over our elderly, feed the kids, and help the single moms and dads where we can.  A little can go a long way and not just around the holiday times either.  Step it up all year-long

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Personal Highs

  1. Lost 2 more pounds this week.  Even managed to almost loss my clothes on the treadmill.  Contemplating if I should buy smaller size clothes as I have gone down one and a half but I am attempting to wait it out.
  2. Made some time for myself and I have a few things for myself this weekend. I am on a mission to attempt to balance my life as much as possible to not give more than I need to in any one area and pour back into my own life like I pour out into others.
  3. Daughter’s report came home and we are loving her new confidence.  We are working with her on not just hearing what we say but applying.  We want her to be strong and confident and speak up for herself respectively.
  4. Concurred the water demon aka drinking water more.  I do not like water however its one of the best components to losing weight is increasing water.  I can actually drink it whether its flavored or not and that’s major progress.
  5. Keeping up with my new natural hair style.  I thought it would be harder especially with the fact that I work out at least 3 days a week but so far so good.  See my blog on my natural hair, Natural is not a phase

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Blogs for this week:

If you missed anything and you I hope you haven’t but if you did this is what we were talking about this week:

  1. Marriage and medical deal breakers.  We helped a married couple navigate should they leave their marriage over a medical problem.  You have to read my answer.  It’s not always a flat-out no.  Yes we have vows but sometimes……
  2. Rapper Future is not on my top list of greatest rappers.  I do not like this just learned how to read, cookie cutter, make money off of stupidity rap.
  3. Open marriage in the communication lane and taking trips without your mate
  4. Whether or not you should leave a significant other who refuses to wash.  The short answer is going to a yes…..
  5. We highlighted KJM a blogger that keeps it straight no chaser.  Let me say she gets the nitty and gritty of where I leave off.  I blog light but my mouth is just as sharp.  Don’t know who KJM is, catch up
  6. Spring must do

Personal Lows

So this has been a trying week for me in that I am still dealing with the aftermath of my kid’s school.  I really am trying to find the appropriate way to start communicating and liking it my kids teachers.  I believe in keeping decorum but the struggle is in having to save face after I am clear that personalities no longer mash well.  Parenting is not an easy road.  I as always taught to handle my business but I find that I am on a hi and bye level and I am not sure if that will be enough to salvage the broken relationship.  I do not play when it comes to my kids.  Once I see someone lie, discriminate, or even not give them the basic education they deserve my first step is to get through the year and think ahead on new schooling.  I know that sounds like running but it’s not.  I believe every child needs to have a good education. I believe they should be safe, and be in a welcoming environment. My kids do not go to school for free.  So once I start shelling out rent payments and car notes I expect a high level of expectation to be met period.  So I am still figuring things out and weighing out all options.  The trick is putting my issues to the side for the better of my children but not taking no junk from anyone regardless of title or position.

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This past weekend wasn’t a very good one for me.  I had a hard time coming out of a funk. No I am not super positive every moment.  I can go left real quick.  It is something that I am aware of and try to stay away from others and retreat if I need to.  My patience can become quick and the only ones I am not short with for the most part are the 3 that call me mom.  I am working on getting better on working through my triggers.  But hey I am human and I bounced back fine.