The Key to Less Stress

Listen guys. I will never pretend that I am one of those mythical full-time working moms who has their sh*t together. I’m not. And I never will be.

And that’s OK.

I have two jobs, a husband, three kids, three pets, and a household. I absolutely love my life, but I often feel very stressed out that I am always working in one way or another.

But life is work, isn’t it? Our bodies are always working, even while we are sleeping. Our cells never take a break. If they did, we’d be dead.

So maybe the key to less stress is changing my perspective on what I have going on in life. Maybe the key is hitting the lottery and running away to some Caribbean island. Maybe the key is some minute detail that is staring me in the face, plain as day.

I honestly don’t know what The Answer is. I do know that something in my life has to change before I get job burnout on life itself. The best way I know how is to chip away at it, a little at a time.

Photo by from Pexels

I have been working on minor ways to lessen the stress of everyday life . So, here are 3 things I have found thus far that make my life seem a little easier:

1.Stay Organized. Everyone organizes differently. For me, I like lists. I make lists for EVERYTHING. And I like things to have their own places. Train tracks in one box, hot wheels cars in another. Bills in the bill pile, junk mail in the trash, wallet and keys by the door.

No matter how you organize things, if you know what you need and when you need it, and where something is when you need it, you will find yourself just a smidgen less stressed.

2. Don’t avoid tasks. Do a little bit everyday.

I am the worst when it comes to laundry. I will avoid it and avoid it, until I am drowning in a mountain of clothes and the family is out of clean undies. I am finally figuring out that if I do one load a day (or every other day), I feel SO MUCH BETTER. I haven’t cried over a pile of smelly laundry in a couple weeks!

3. Take time for yourself. We all know it’s hard, but even if it locking yourself in the bathroom and plugging your ears for a minute, it’s important.

Close your eyes, take a few solid, deep breaths, and count to 10. Put your headphones on and watch something on Netflix. Take a whole day and go to the spa. Whatever you can make work in your life!

What ways do you stay sane in the big balance of work and life? Let me know in the comments section!

Valentine’s Fail

Guys. I am the epitome of a Pinterest fail. I had this awesome post all planned out. I found the most adorable valentine’s craft idea on Pinterest. It was going to be the cutsiest, most mom-tastic post ever. A beautiful tale of a mother and son creating beautiful artwork in a picturesque scene.

This is adorable, right?

Reality check: I have a rambunctious, paint loving, tornado style kid.

Man oh man, does the Big Guy upstairs ever love to give me a dose of reality every once in a while. The tender, movie-style scene I had imagined quickly turned into a life lesson on going with the flow and being able to laugh when things don’t go as planned.

So, here it is: My Pinterest Fail. The directions are below, in case you want to try it for yourself.

Please note my hand pun. I was really proud of it when I wrote the first draft.

Okay, first of all, we ended up using card stock paper because that’s what I had on hand. Looking back, canvas would have been the ideal option because the paper tore as I removed the tape.

I quickly found myself getting a little short tempered because my kid wanted to do everything but sit still while I traced and cut out the letters. He wanted me to get him a snack. He wanted me to build a Hot Wheels track. At one point I snapped at him, “I can’t do everything. Don’t you want me to get this project started for you or not?”

His response? He shrugged and said, “Not really”.

That’s when it hit me. I was getting short tempered and grumpy with my kid over a project that he never even asked me to do. It was my idea. MY project for MY blog. That cooled my temper pretty fast.

We took a short break to play Hot Wheels, and then I got back to the project. He helped place the letters on the paper, and picked out which colors of paint he wanted to use. I showed him how to dip his finger in the paint, and then make fingerprints on his paper. He did it a few times, and then started making stripes and other designs with his fingers. I reminded myself that this was now his project, and he was happy doing what he was doing. I couldn’t begrudge him that.

Why, yes, that is medical tape! It’s the only kind of tape we have in our house.
Here he is, happily painting away. Little did I know…

This is where I made a classic mistake: I turned my back for two minutes. He was so content. I thought, ‘I’ll just run upstairs and grab a load of laundry.”

Danny decided he wanted yellow paint too. And, being his independent, 3 year old self, he decided to get it himself. Now, I have to stop and brag on my kid for just a minute. He did an excellent job pouring out the paint. Not a drop went off the cardboard. but he did pour out about half the container…

When I came back downstairs and saw his creation, I had to laugh. It was a mess. A big, brown, blobby mess. But he was so incredibly proud of himself. And I’m proud of him, too.

The Masterpiece

Lesson Learned: Things aren’t always going to go as planned. But they will go along much smoother if you just roll with the punches. What started as a disaster (because of the expectations I had set), became a fond memory and a fun time I hope my son remembers for a long time to come.

The Nightmare of Bedtime

I’m going to use a word that I teach my children not to say. I HATE bedtime. It is the toughest, most trying time of my day. It sits right up there with the other ‘B’ word: bathtime. After a day full of work, running errands, cooking dinner, and normal household chores, my already short temper is running even shorter. And, I swear, I think the little one senses it.

Does anyone else’s kid seem to suddenly turn into a Tasmanian Devil on crack cocaine when the word ‘bed’ is mentioned? Because, really, I need some affirmation that my kid is somewhat normal and that I don’t need a pediatrician’s intervention…or an exorcist.

This nightmare has been an issue since–well, for a very long time. He has always been such a night owl. I’ll admit, when he first started being a late night dude, we let it slide. Even worse, I let him get in the habit of just staying up and coming to bed with me when I went. It finally dawned on me that it was not okay for my husband to be sleeping on the couch while I slept with what felt like an enraged octopus.

So, we stopped allowing him to sleep in our bed. Of course there are exceptions, but this has been largely successful. He refuses to sleep in his fancy new bunk bed he helped pick out and build. He is, for the time being, adamant on sleeping on the futon in his sister’s room when she is not staying with us. Honestly, I adopted the I Don’t Care Where You Sleep, As Long As It Isn’t With Me policy, and I am much happier for it.

For the past two-ish years, we have been slowly trying to shift his bedtime back to what is “normal”. We’ve been stuck at 9PM for a while now. I think this might be as good as it’s going to get, but it’s still better than what it was.

This is our current routine:

7:00PM–Shower/Bath. I’ll be real with you- this doesn’t happen every night.

7:30-8:30PM–“Quiet” Play (Who am I kidding? This is actually when my kid ignores every command, chases the cat, and runs laps around the house)

8:30PM–I begin asking him to go pick out our books to read that evening.

8:45PM–I remind him that he needs to go pick out books.

9:00PM–This is where I know how the night is going to play out. He either A) has actually picked out his books and we go upstairs to read, or B) has ignored my requests, and has to be tricked upstairs by offering to race to the bedroom.

9:15–Books have been read, lights go out. I sing/hum until he tells me to stop bothering him while he’s trying to sleep.

9:45–This is the average time he actually falls asleep and stays asleep long enough for me to sneak out.

As much as the bedtime routine tests my patience, when all is said and done, that sleeping bundle of joy always brings a smile to my face.

Trendy Cooking

Admittedly, I am a chronic Pinterester for all things food related. Anytime I’m looking for something new to add to our weekly menu, I hit up Pinterest. I like to try a lot of the newer, “trendy” recipes out there, like Sweet Potato and Quinoa Bowls or Cauliflower Grilled Cheese. Some are hits, some are misses, but I love giving my family the opportunity to try new and different things.

When Instant Pots and Air Fryers became mainstream, I always thought the recipes looked amazing. It never seemed like a good enough reason to budget in buying new appliances, though. Last month, my husband went over to visit his dad. He came home with a barely used AirFryer that his stepmom, Kimmy, said she didn’t use enough to need. And then for Christmas, she bought us a QuickPot.

Best. Gifts. Ever.

Seriously, I have used the QuickPot so many times, including tonight. And, while the AirFryer is slightly less used, it is so handy! I just used thisĀ recipeĀ from Sweet Peas and Saffron for Ultra Crispy Air Fryer Chickpeas.

My youngest LOVED these. He ate so many! And considering he is in the midst of picky toddlerhood, I’m taking it as a win!

As for tonight’s dinner? I actually found the recipe in a Family Circle magazine! If you like seafood, check out this recipe for Instant Pot Quick Shrimp Risotto. Not so much a hit with the kiddos, but my husband and I both had seconds.

The takeaway? If you have considered buying either an Instant Pot or an Air Fryer, and can budget it in, take the leap! You won’t regret it! And if you already have one, and have some awesome recipes you love, please share in the comments!!

And So It Begins…

Thanks for joining me on this new and wild journey!

I am a bit of an odd bird. The blog name and this picture alone should tell you that much. I am odd, but I am okay with that.

Hello! My name is Katie. I am a nurse, a wife, a mom, and a little crazy. Ok, maybe a lot. I have tried to write blogs before and they always just trail off into nothingness. But you know what they say:

Try, try, and try again!

I’m not sure what the theme of this blog is going to be yet. I’m hoping to figure that out along the way. The things I’ll most likely touch on are family, nursing/health, food, and crafts. If there is anything you want to hear me address, leave a comment below and let me know!

Let’s have a more formal introduction, shall we? My name is Katie. I was born and raised in West ByGod Virginia, and that is where I remain today. I have been a nurse for over 7 years. I am currently a school nurse at a local high school, and I love it! I have a husband and three kids, ages 34, 13,10, and 3.

Why am I doing this (again), you may ask? Well. To be honest, I don’t know. I turn the big 3-0 this year and I think I’m feeling the pressure to be “accomplished”, whatever that means. I don’t know, I’ll find out.

Regardless of who I am or my reasons for doing this, I appreciate you for taking the time to read this blog. I hope you stick it out for future posts, because it’s probably going to be a wild ride.

The plan is to post again in 2 weeks, but check back–maybe I will post sooner!