A Case of Summer-itis

It’s true: Summer-itis is a thing.

I know it is because my husband & I decided that I have contracted it yesterday.

Though it can’t be found on WebMD (I site I frequent often when I feel like self-diagnosing), you can learn about it on exclusively on GoMamaO.com.

Summer-itis Symptoms include:

  • Dehydration
  • Motion Sickness
  • Nausea
  • Lack of Appetite
  • Exhaustion
  • Headache

After going out on Friday night to see a friend’s band, I was feeling tired and dehydrated when my kids woke up on Saturday morning. I may have had a few drinks that contributed to my pre-summer-itis symptoms, but I just drank a lot of coffee (probably a mistake) and got our day started. We had a busy day with a lot of time outside at a picnic and biking on a trail that proved difficult to find, hence the motion sickness from being in the car & reading the map. That night I was plain old worn out and feeling the effects of Summer-itis.

Fortunately the cure I found to help was relatively easy…or at least I am starting to feel better after a lot of sleep (8:30 pm – 6:30 am last night, followed by a 3 hour nap), and drinking lots of water with easy to digest foods at first (crackers, toast, applesauce, banana, cereal). Just sticking close to home, relaxing, and re-hydrating was what I needed to recover. I’m hoping I feel 100% tomorrow morning because another fun-filled week of summer is ahead!

Let me know if you’ve had a case of summer-itis too! Rest up & take care if so!

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Life Lessons from Coffee: You Get What you Pay For

After nine years of trusty service, my coffee maker broke. Its inevitable demise was so anti-climatic. I filled it up with water, lined the basket with a paper filter, scooped in the grounds, pressed the button, and waited…and waited. Nothing. I tried unplugging and replugging it in another outlet, pressed the button, and more nothing. Since I’m kind of addicted to my morning fix and frugal, I both wanted my coffee and didn’t want to let good, locally roasted ground coffee (not freshly ground that morning) to go to waste. Being an avid tea drinker as well, I decided to let my coffee steep like so.

mama O making coffee when her coffee maker broke.

Boiling water over coffee filter that’s chip-clipped to a measuring cup. Genius, right?!

This was effective, but not the same experience as my regular old coffee maker. One friend suggested the “pour over” method. I was once served coffee this way in a nice, local coffee shop, though they used specific equipment for this method, instead of my plastic funnel. This video from America’s Test Kitchen breaks it down:

The results: amazing! It takes some time, but the quality and taste was excellent. I compared this with a cup of coffee from the grocery store that I bought on an early A.M. run to the store for a few things. The results were telling, in more ways that one. Here’s what I found in the bottom of the cup:

Grounds in my grocery store coffee

Not “clouds in my coffee” but grounds. Yuck.

It’s no surprise that grocery store coffee is lacking in quality and taste compared to the carefully brewed at home pour-over method, Starbucks, or any local coffee shop. This was a great reminder that you truly do get what you pay for. Be it money, time, convenience, or the overall experience, there is a definite price / value relationship.

Lesson Learned – don’t buy cheap coffee! I also just replaced my defunct coffee maker with a beautiful new Cuisinart one. My first cup this morning was delicious! I’ll stick with my new machine and from time to time the “pour-over” method in my house.

The Random Comment that Strangers have made that I WISH were True!!

My husband and I have heard a random comment from strangers twice now that I WISH were true.  Any guesses on what it is?

Still thinking? Anything?

Okay, I’ll just write it out:

Wow, you look like one of those cute couples you’d see on HGTV…like those couples searching for / renovating a house.

Oh my – wouldn’t that be awesome?! Property Brothers, Love it or List It, or Rehab Addict come my way!! We ARE cute, and we COULD use your brilliant home knowledge and renovation skills!

Before I go all HGTV crazy, I’ll give a little more background on how we were told this on two separate occasions. The first time was in immediate care at a clinic.  I had somehow managed to injure myself watching fireworks on the 4th of July.  It was a breezy night, so there was some dust and debris blowing around during the fireworks.  I managed to somehow get ash in my eye, which irritated my contacts, and ultimately made me scratch my cornea.  We went to immediate care to get it checked out.

The doctor walked into my exam room, and his first comment after introductions was the HGTV one! He said he could picture us being introduced on the show and everything.  Pretty random, huh?!

Me & Daddy O. in 2007 - the summer after the "ash" incident. Don't we look HGTV read? We're just in a bar here.

Me & Daddy O. in 2007 – the summer after the “ash” incident. Don’t we look HGTV ready? We’re just in a bar here.

Fast forward to 2015 when Daddy O. and I were out at a traditional Wisconsin supper club, enjoying a drink at the bar while we waited for a table.  The man next to us started up a conversation, saying that we looked like a couple from reality tv, like HGTV!  At least I think he meant HGTV and not some other crazy reality show.  Anyway, we just laughed and enjoyed chatting with him and his wife (who happened to be wearing a fanny pack – love it!).

Me & Daddy O. Christmas 2014. I look a little flushed here, but I can tone it down for the camera. C'mon, we still look cute for HGTV, right?

Me & Daddy O. Christmas 2014. I look a little flushed here, but I can tone it down for the camera. C’mon, we still look cute for HGTV, right?

Now I realize a doctor and a fellow diner at a supper club (who I believe was an accountant), are FAR from Hollywood scouts, but if I hear from another person that we should be on HGTV, I’m going to start lobbying for our cause with Scripps Network!  I think I’d start by trying to lure those cute Property Brothers to Wisconsin…hmmm…

What HGTV show would you like to be on most? What random things have strangers said to you that you’d wish would be true?

Forget Spring Cleaning – Winter Organizing 101

Winter has us cooped up inside for most days, though Wisconsin weather HAS been quite kind to us as of late, so we’ve been able to enjoy playing in the snow. Still with all the indoor time it is a prime opportunity to get organized!!

A visit from one of my dearest friends, who has know me since 5th grade, was exactly what I needed to get inspired and start organizing.  Here’s how she helped me attack at least one room – our living room:

  1. Dump out one bin or focus on one area at a time. We have a lot of wicker and cloth bins, so we just dumped out their contents to see what toys were where.
  2. Start sorting like items. By doing this, we identified “themes” of play-things. We planned out bins for cars / trains, pretend-play, games, books, technology / music, dolls, blocks and one miscellaneous.
  3. Ask yourself – does this item need to be in this room? We had this conversation about my daughter’s hair-things. They were stored in a bag in the living room. “Why are they in the living room?” my friend asked. “Because I often do her hair in the living room,” I explained. “Why can’t they go in the bathroom?” she inquired. I thought about this, and realized, oh yeah, they CAN go in the bathroom closet instead. Good call, my friend!  You should also ask yourself, “Should this item be kept, sold or donated?” Build a pile each for keep, sell, and donate.
  4. Decide what fits where. Once we took some items out of the room to be placed elsewhere in our house, we started filling up my existing bins.  Before doing so, my friend (who is also a neat-freak) vacuumed out the cloth bins. We filled up bins and she found spots to place them that I didn’t think of before.  It was genius!
  5. Find “homes” for the remaining items. This meant I had a list of bins and plastic tubs to buy. I searched my own home first, so I could make the most of what I already had. Just shifting toys around a bit helped me find similar patterned cloth bins.
  6. Buy said bins / organizers & finalize the room.  It’s amazing what you can fit into bins that are more accessible for kids than a toy’s original packaging! Now I am ready to rotate my kids’ toys more often to keep them entertained this winter. Already, I feel like everything has its place, and we’re picking up before getting something new out.  Clean, organized house = one happy mama!

Here is my new & improved tv stand converted into toy storage:

organized toy storage

With a little help from my friend – the final result of my organization!

At my going rate, I hope to keep on organizing this winter, so come springtime I can be outside with my family!

How do you keep your home organized? Let me know if you have any tips that work well for you!

Fly on the Wall: Is it Kiddie Cocktail Time?

Welcome to a Fly on the Wall group post. Today 14 bloggers are inviting you to catch a glimpse of what you’d see if you were a fly on the wall in our homes. Come on in and buzz around my house.

Fly on the Wall Post

I’ll take you back to Christmas for a few favorite phrases we heard over the holidays.

My FAVORITE came from big sister on Christmas morning (now 5 years old): We were good! Santa did come!

So precious!

Here were some picture highlights from our Christmas:

Mama O.'s Christmas with family - Elsa WAS under the tree for big sister!

Mama O.’s Christmas with family – Elsa WAS under the tree for big sister, as a doll and beautiful quilt from Grandma! I’m posing with my fun food processor – it’s AWESOME!

Big sister & Little brother (3 years old) would alternately say, “You’re going to be on the naughty list.” I believe this started up again the DAY AFTER Christmas! They are really understanding this Santa thing!

Daddy O. (who had a lot of time off during the holidays – yay) commented one day, “There is glitter everywhere.” My response, “I think it was Twilight Sparkle (a My Little Pony), but welcome to having a daughter.”  This also reminds me of the viral post about sending your enemies glitter – this probably wouldn’t phase our house!

As I mentioned in this post, I buy my own Santa presents and actually saw Daddy O. come home with the food processor that I suggested as a gift idea. It’s fine…I’m just more of the shopper in our house.  I DID have a little snafu with my own Santa system this year. On December 30th, while Daddy O. and I were watching a movie, I suddenly realized, “Wait, I think I have a Christmas present I didn’t open in my stocking.”  I was right!

Don't forget about small boxes you buy for yourself! This one was jewelry!

Don’t forget about small boxes you buy for yourself! This one was jewelry!

While putting together a Lego-like Barbie Dream House with big sister, she needed to take a break, explaining, “Mom, I have to go blow up the Death Star (her brother’s toy).” My my, she will be one well-rounded girl!

Fun with Star Wars

Daddy O. is a big Star Wars fan, so we’ve been watching some of the movies together and reading Star Wars books as a family.  As I mentioned earlier, my son received a “blow up the Death Star” car / race track toy that both kids enjoy. Some Star Wars related chatter in our home:

Big sister: I called my brother a wookie.

A lot of questions:

  • Little brother: Why did Anakin turn to the dark side?
  • Big sister: Is Darth Sidious the Emperor? Why did he turn to the dark side?

Both kids: Baby Ewoks are cute!

Daddy O.’s Birthday

To celebrate, I pulled out all the stops: I bought him bacon, telling him, “Because nothing says happy birthday like bacon.” Besides bacon, we enjoyed some time at an indoor water park, went out for sushi as a family, and watched another Star Wars movie as a family that night. It was a good time!

Polar Vortex – Best Quote from Daddy O.

“There’s no such thing as bad weather – only inappropriate clothing.”  This was so true during the polar vortex that dropped temps down to -25 with the wind chill. I dressed like this when bringing big sister to school:

#winning! Screw you polar vortex - we're still going out of the house!

#winning! Screw you polar vortex – we’re still going out of the house!

Little Brother’s Highlights

A lot of a three year old’s comments fall under a random category, so it is with his words that I will leave you.

Mom, I want one of those cheese-curdy things.

It was a cauliflower. And he ATE it! YES!

Last Friday at 10:00 am he says:

Mom, I want a kiddie cocktail!”

My reply:

No honey, I will not make you a kiddie cocktail. Maybe tonight.

Little brother was saying “governor” in place of “co-worker,” as in, “Daddy, do you need to take that Lego movie back to your governor?”

At the end of a long, busy day with the kids, I was tired and just sitting down to read a magazine.  My son scooted up on my lap, saying, “Can I come up?” I’m sure I grumbled something, but then he said one of the sweetest phrases that I have ever heard:

I love you more than anything!

I hope you hear a lot of sweet words like that in your home too! Have a lovely Friday and be sure to click on these links for a peek into some other homes too:

http://www.BakingInATornado.com                          Baking In A Tornado

http://spatulasonparade.blogspot.com/                          Spatulas on Parade

http://followmehome.shellybean.com                          Follow me home

http://www.menopausalmom.com/                          Menopausal Mother

http://stacysewsandschools.blogspot.com/                        Stacy Sews and Schools

http://dinoheromommy.com/                                   Dinosaur Superhero Mommy

http://www.JuiceboxConfession.com                    Juicebox Confession

http://batteredhope.blogspot.com                              Battered Hope

http://eileensperpetuallybusy.blogspot.com/          Eileen’s Perpetually Busy

http://www.someoneelsesgenius.com                       Someone Else’s Genius

http://thesadderbutwisergirl.com                            The Sadder But Wiser Girl

http://www.justalittlenutty.com/                             Just A Little Nutty

http://themomisodes.com                                       The Momisodes