Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Coupon Calamity - An Inside Look at Serious Social Anxiety

Ohh dear...

Let me preface this by saying that I have suffered from some pretty serious social anxiety in the past and still battle with it today.

I get super uncomfortable in social situations...I analyze every aspect of the situation...I feel my every move and action is being judged...and I walk away from every social interaction, replaying it in my mind wondering what others were thinking of me and wondering if I could have managed an interaction better.  The phone is a takes hours of pacing and rehearsing before I actually get the courage to call someone and anytime anyone I dont know calls, it always goes to voicemail.  I am totally serious!  It has effected my life in so many ways.  I have always had a tiny group of friends and have been referred to as a homebody, recluse, and even a snob because of my anxiety. My wedding day was one of the most terrifying of my life...not quite sure how I made it through that one! Things are a bit better now.  Having a Coastie husband, I am constantly meeting new people and attending functions with groups of people and that has helped to take the edge off but I still battle everyday. I have learned to put on a very good, brave face though I am terrified and conflicted with every interaction.  I find that consistency and routine really help so I literally do the same things all the time because I am comfortable.

Dont get me wrong...I love people!  I love to be out among people...I love to people watch...I love seeing what people do and create...just from a safe

I also have serious issues with conflict.  I avoid it at all costs and when I cant I do everything I possibly can to remedy it as quickly and easily as possible...many times to my own detriment.

Fast forward to today...

I am a couponer...I love to coupon!  I love the rush I get when I get an awesome deal or find things for free. I love that I can help my family financially and still be with my kids.

Because of my anxiety issues, couponing can be a challenge.  I spend tons of time checking and cross checking deals making sure everything is aligned, all rules and policies are followed and everything is organized and in order so I can get in the store, get what I need, rush through check out and be on my way with as little interaction as possible.  I tend to get anxious and get the sweats just from carrying my coupons with me as I can feel the eyes and know the stigma that is associated with couponers.  I also avoid aisles with large concentrations of people.

I went out couponing today at a new store I had never been to before.  I snuck through the store trying to conceal my couponing habit.  I even walked away from the Coastie and the Dude #1 so they wouldnt see my crazy new methods.  I spend alot of time afraid that the things I do will also cause them to be judged and they may face embarrassment or ridicule because of the things I do.  I know this is not true and I give the Coastie mad props because he is always cool as a cucumber and nothing I do ever really bothers him.

I finally get to the check out line, feeling the eyes of others burning through my flesh because I'll be the one holding up the line with my silly coupons.  I get up to the my things on the counter, hand over my coupons and it happens...

The associates start questioning me, telling me my coupons were not valid, that I can only use certain ones, the everything I am trying to do is against their policy.  I know they are in fact wrong thanks to the tons of research and fact checking I have done.  They honestly had no idea what they were talking about, but instead of communicating this like a sane adult I panic.  I get the shakes, my cheeks turn bright red, I get the sweats, and I start to feel the tears welling up. Luckily for me, the associates were super nice, caring, and spent way too much time trying to figure out their own policies and determine that I was right.

Ohh how I wish I could have been casual and shrugged off the whole situation instead of having a major panic attack in the middle of the Kmart but I didnt and that just makes the problem even worse.

I did get complimented on how awesome my dudes were through the entire ordeal and my knight in shining armor the Coastie was there to swoop in to help calm me and communticate what I was trying to convey in normal non-crazy human English...he really is fantastic.

Lessons learned:

  • When couponing, always have a copy of the stores coupon policy for instances when the associates have no clue whats going took 4 to get throught this one
  • Just always go to is a happy place...and they understand coupons...and theres
  • I have awesome kids and a great husband
  • Couponing still rocks!  Thanks to double coupon week, I got all this for $8!

Any tips or tricks for dealing with serious social anxiety and confrontation issues welcomed!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Sticker Art

Since little dude #2 came onto the scene...I have to admit that I have been lacking on the mommying front and dude #1 has been watching waaay to much Mickey Mouse Clubhouse....and Jake...and Doc McStuffins...and of course the new Miles from Tomorrowland.  Ohh and when my husband is home...Ninja Turtles and Kung Fu Panda.

I have really struggled to find a balance between caring for the tiny one while nurturing the not so tiny one.  The sleep deprivation hasnt helped.

But...little dude #2 has finally eased into a bit of a better sleep schedule...we have a 6 hour stretch now!! So...I am now working on weaning the t.v. time for much more enriching activities.

I have tried to have dude #2 color in the past and he has always seemed to be bored 5 minutes in so I wanted to add another element to his color time.

Insert stickers.

He has received a few stickers from various places...doctors offices...ect...and has always been super excited about them so I thought I'd give them a try.

Michael's has some super cute and inexpensive Easter stickers right now by the way.

They were a big hit with the dude.

I took some art paper...the kind on the roll...and taped it to the table.  Then I brought out the colors. He did much better coloring this time and seemed more intersted but I decided it was time for stickers when he started trying to tear the paper off the table.

I knew this would be great for fine motor skills development so to start I wanted to test where he was at with his motor skills.  I handed him the sticker sheet to see if he could get the stickers off the page. This was a no go...but thats good because I can see that we have some room for improvement! I started taking the stickers off and handing them to him.  This was still working on his motor skills as he had to handle the sticky sticker and manuver it onto the paper. The smaller the sticker...the more work he had to do.  We also talked about the colors of the stickers and what was on, easter eggs, ect.

The dude really enjoyed this activity.  I think he enjoed it so much partially because it was fun for him and but also because we were able to work together and interact.  He ws getting some quality mommy time which I am sad to say has been lacking lately. 

I was even able to nurse dude #2 while we worked though he spent most of the time just like this...

We will definitely be working this activity into our routine more!  Overall I think we spent close to an hour working and I think our piece turned out really well!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Here We Come

Here We Coooooooooooome!

This song has seriously been in my head for the last couple weeks and I often find myself busting out with a line or two randomly throughout the day.

If you dont know what song I'm talking about here ya go!

Why the sudden California Love?  Lol...see what I did there?!  

We finally received our orders and will be leaving the frozen tundra...also known as New England... this summer for sunny beaches...warmer weather...and NO SNOW!!  Thats right...we are California Bound!

I must admit when we first got the news I was less than thrilled.  We had had it in our minds that we were heading home and that life was going to be a little bit easier for a while.  Learning that we would again be 24 hours from home was a hard pill to swallow.

Now that I have had a bit of time to pout and attitude about the situation has much improved.  I have secretly always wanted to live in California.  Live my real life version of The Hills though the California we are moving to is less like this:

and more like this:

It's not "the hills" but I am still looking forward to a change of pace and embracing NorCal life.  I must say it is perfect for of which apply to

I am really hoping to fully emerse myself in the experience and enjoy all that California has to offer. I feel like I really missed some opportunities up here in New England because I couldnt get passed the negative things but I am going in with a new mindset and I will remain positive...I mean come on...its California!

Now to get it in gear and get the million things done that we need to do before a 3800+ mile cross country move with an infant...toddler...and two dogs!  I have added a countdown and to-do list on the blog so ya'll can help me get all this crap done so we can get outta here! Stay tuned for updates...maybe... Only 68 days left till we head out and until then its California Dreamin! annoyed would my husband be if I made a roadtrip mix with nothing but songs about California.  I'm totes gonna do it!  See...I'm already turning into a Californian!


Thursday, December 25, 2014

"Little Monster" Smash Cake

For one of the dude's little friends!  His mom calls him "Little Monster" so I thought I would name the cake accordingly.  This little guy was definitely a fun way to get back into baking as I have been out of it for a while!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Fall Deco Mesh Garland

As the saying goes..."Everything is Bigger in Texas"!

Well that saying most certainly applies to holiday decor and ever since I first say a Deco Mesh Garland on  fabulous home back in Texas, I have wanted one for myself! 

I looked a up a few Deco Mesh Wreath tutorials and sort of morphed what I saw there into the garland pictured above.

What I used:
  • 3 Rolls of Deco Mesh (p.s. Fall Deco Mesh in on sale at Joann's for $3.99 a roll right now!  this deal was too good to pass up because it is usually $12-15 a roll!)
  • 2 Green Christmas Garlands (again bought on sale...90% post Christmas Hobby Lobby find!)
  • Twist Ties (I used this brand from Joanns and it was super handy!)
To make:
  • Unroll your mesh, gather the mesh about 1/2 a foot to a foot from the end of the roll, pinch the edges together and secure with a twist tie. 
  • Take the excess ends of your twist tie and secure the mesh to the Christmas garland covering as much of the garland as you can. I was not worried too much about coverage at this point because I was using 2 more rolls of mesh.

  • Repeat the above process moving up the mesh about a foot at a time (you can move further if you want a bigger poof).  Where you tie it to the garland will determine how big your poofs are.  

  • To add more volume, repeat the process with subsequent rolls of mesh, I used 3 in 3 different colors.  As you tie to the garland, just work to cover all of the exposed green garland.

  • I used 9 cup hooks like this around the door to hook it on and keep it secure in the wind.  I used more twist ties on the top hooks for extra security.

Your front door will, for sure, be the talk of the block!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Wisdom from The Word - Proverbs 9

As part of our bible study (online through Proverbs 31...go check it out at we were instructed to read Proverbs 9.  I had never read this particular chapter of Proverbs so I had no idea what to expect but I find it amazing how God always finds a way to communicate with me even when I am not looking for or expecting it.

In this chapter, there is reference to scoffers or those who mock.  I recently had an experience with said scoffers and wish I had had this gem of wisdom when faced with that experience.

I am quoting The Message here because many times that is the version it takes for me to finally understand what is being spoken:

"If you reason with an arrogant cynic, you’ll get slapped in the face;
confront bad behavior and get a kick in the shins.
So don’t waste your time on a scoffer;
all you’ll get for your pains is abuse.
But if you correct those who care about life,
that’s different—they’ll love you for it!
Save your breath for the wise—they’ll be wiser for it;
tell good people what you know—they’ll profit from it."
-Proverbs 9:7-9

There is the back to my story about scoffers.

I recently had some girlfriends over for a girly crafting day and a recent post I had made on social media about a pledge drive our Christian Radio station as having was brought up in the conversation. The girls seemed to think it was hilarious to poke fun at me about my choice to join the drive and fund "Jesus Music".  In fact, the entire idea of a Christian Radio station existing with its "Jesus Music" was hilarious to them.

I spent a few minutes trying to explain myself and why it was more than just a pledge drive to fund Christian Music (they were also giving away winter coats to children in need with pledges).  The more I tried to reason and explain the more I found my feelings being hurt.  Who wants to sit and watch something they hold highly important be made a mockery of.  They were not only insulting my choice of radio station but my beliefs and choices, the making of who I am and what I believe, in my own home!

It finally came to me that I was getting no where but hurt and that no explanation would convince these two of the truth so I simply stated, "I would appreciate it if you would respect me and my choices in my home".  That's all it took. The mockery ended and we were able to go about our business in peace.

Now that I have read Proverbs 9, I see that this situation could have been much easier for me. Though I felt it was important to stand up for my choices and beliefs in this moment I now see that it did me no good and only caused me pain just as the verse suggested it would.

I feel that as Christians, many times we feel as though we are led to try and convince everyone of everything we believe no matter how resistant they are to hearing it.   I think that in this instance, I had already done what I needed to do, post about the pledge drive...clearly it had caught their attention, but then I went to far by trying to defend when they did not agree.

In the future I will continue to plant seeds but will not try and combat scoffers as I learned it only brings unneeded pain and abuse.  If only this was last weeks reading instead of this weeks.  This is why I feel bible study is so important and I am so happy for the opportunity to participate in the study through Proverbs 31!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Mommy Affirmations

Photo via Flickr

So...I am a mom.  I do "mom things". Some "mom things" that people agree with a some mom things that people don't.  I've never really thought much about the choices I make and actions I take as a mom.  I just do what comes naturally to me and what feels like the right thing for my kids.

I generally try to surround myself with people that agree with my choices and have similar beliefs about parenting and how children should be cared for.  That has been hard recently, however, because we have moved away from our home and now live in a place that is very different and foreign to us.  I am not saying that the things people here believe are wrong, just different.

I met this head on the other night at one of my husband softball games.

I don't often socialize with the other women as I spend most of my time chasing my crazy toddler, making sure he's not chucking softballs at people or swinging bats at them (the kid loves baseball and is pretty good at it for a 16 month old).  On this particular night though, I was able to sit and chat with the while the dude was scarfing his dinner.

The conversation started off normal enough.  One was expecting so we discussed sickness and fatigue, food cravings and crazy dreams.  Then it happened.  I refer to it as my Kallie starting to show.  We were talking about the hospital experience and I mentioned the support we received from the lactation consultant and our initial complication with nursing.  My comments were met with silence and "the look".  You know the one.  Then finally the comment.  "I don't know how anyone can breastfeed".  To which I replied, "well I did...for 15 months".  Again silence and "the look".

Quickly changing the subject we began talking about raising kids in today's society and how hard and scary it can be sending them to school.  I apparently went all Kallie again and dropped another bomb.  Before I even realized it the words flew out of my mouth "home school".  Again met with "the look" and silence.  At that point I started to feel like maybe I should stop talking.  I tried to focus all my attention on my son and my husband's game while catching "the look" here and there from these women.

A friend I just met posted a blog post, not too long ago about "Sucky Moms".  As I read through I realized that I possessed  the majority of the "Sucky Mom" traits, such as feeding my son organic foods

In several different conversations with another friend, I had the gall to bring up the bible studies I was participating in, only because they aligned perfectly with what we were discussing.  This was generally met with either an eye roll or a smirk and brush off.  I was even likened to a villainous and extremely hypocritical women on dance moms who the other moms refer to as Christ-y.  At this point I began feeling as though I should just keep to myself and no longer speak as it seems that who I am and what I believe only gets me in trouble.

I am writing tonight because I have finally found my affirmations.

Tonight I watched the movie Moms' Night Out which was awesome.  I am so excited to see and steady stream of believer friendly movies coming out.  With so much negativity in movies today, these are a great relief!

Anyway, the girl in the movie is basically my twin, just with red hair and more kids.  I not going to get into the details of the movie but will just say that you should see it if you haven't.

What I took from it, however,I will mention.

I for the first time since becoming a mom, feel affirmed in not only how I parent, but about who I am as a person and I should be proud of who I am so here it is:

  • I am a proud and loud Christ follower.  I attend church regularly, participate in bible study, and even teach children's church on occasion.  That being said, I am not afraid to voice my beliefs may come up in a conversation we have from time to time.
  • I am a breastfeeding momma.  I nursed my first son and plan on nursing the next when he arrives.  I feel that this is the best choice for myself and my son.  I also believe that they should be able to nurse for as long as they need.  With the dude, it was 15 months and my milk dwindled because of my pregnancy.  With the next one who knows!
  • I try and provide the best nutrition possible for my active toddler including organic foods, an emphasis on whole foods, a balanced diet, the least amount of processed food possible, and a lack of excessive sugar and sodium. 
  • I believe that raising a child in today society is tough.  I feel like there are so many things that they can be exposed to at an early age that they shouldn't because there are no longer filters on what is right and wrong.  I will do all that I can to prevent excess exposure to things I feel my kids should not be exposed to until they are ready.  That being said, I am considering homeschooling my children because I feel that I am able, and I also feel like I will have better control over what they are exposed to and when they are exposed to it.
  • I have firm beliefs about over exposure to technology and will limit screen time and the amount of technology in my home.  My kindergartner will not be getting a cell phone or ipad...etc.
  • I will try my hardest to let my kids be kids for as long as they possibly can.  I don't feel like there is any reason to try and grow them up as quick as I can.  Yes, they will have obligations and responsibilities, but they will also have the opportunity to just be kids.
  • I will teach my kids responsibility and RESPECT!  They will not have the sense of entitlement that so many have today.
I am sure there are so many more beliefs that I have that would get me "the look", but I am leaving it at these for now (its getting late late).  

Call me crazy, call me old fashioned, I am unwavered. I am just happy that I am coming to a place in my life where I know that I am following the plan God has set for me and that I am doing what he has designed me to do.  Such peace! I will not allow those that believe differently to defer me from the path that I am on.  I feel that it is right and what I am supposed to be doing for my family and for myself so I am sticking to it.

Ohh and if you haven't seen the movie, I highly recommend it!