Where the heck did she go?

Hello my long lost readers!

I’m back, and yes, I’m still chubby!

So summer hit and this year it knocked me for a loop! Everything sort of fell apart, exercise became intermittent, couponing became so slack that cashiers at the stores started posting missing signs for me, and anarchy ruled in the Berry house. We did some travel, which included taking an 18 month old wild man to Holland for my brother’s wedding. “How was your trip?” you ask, well, let’s just say that Europe wasn’t quite ready for Jack. (More on that trip later.)

Then again, most zoos wouldn’t be ready for Jack, either. His nickname is Taz as in the Tazmanian Devil. If you’ve ever seen the old cartoon, and the aftermath of Taz’s path of destruction, then you know what my house looks like for most of the day.

I have picked up a new “sport” and have raced in 3, yes THREE triathlons since my last post. I like triathlons because they are races that don’t exclusively involve running!  YAY! Love to race, still hate to run.

Nothing quite like standing around in a parking lot in a bathing suit and swim cap at 6:30 am on a Sunday!!!

So, as the summer went on and schedules became more and more slack, things started to slip. The kids, particularly Anthony, struggled with wicked tantrums each night brought on by exhaustion and lack of structure. Curtis and I found ourselves yelling more and losing patience really quickly and Jack picked up on all of this and started yelling more than babbling. None of it was good! My weight was steadily creeping back up the scale and the couponing stockpile was rapidly diminishing.

Things felt out of control.

So after one particularly draining night, when I found out that no, you can’t just call the Super Nanny and have her appear at your house… I decided that was enough. We needed a plan. “With out a plan, there’s no attack, without attack, there’s no victory!” (Bonus points if you can name that movie! Comment if you know it!)

The first order of business was to get Anthony back on track. But how?!? Anthony is a very smart (like his dad) kid who also has a raging Italian temper (my contribution). He also has AWFUL time management skills (me again). He is, however, receptive to new ideas and gets excited about them. So I created a schedule for him on a wipe off board. Basically I took a sharpie and wrote down all of the regular events of the day: morning chores, breakfast, homework, lunch, clean up toys, bedtime routine, etc. and drew a line for starting time and a line for ending time. Then I drew a box next to each ending time. When it’s time to start one of these chores, we write the start time and the goal end time. If he finished by that ending time, he gets a check in the box! if not, an X. All checks  means extra treats, like bonus time playing rockband, or an extra story at bedtime. An X wipes out privileges.

Guess what… it worked. I don’t know if it was the excitement of racing the clock and checking off the boxes, or the lure of the extra prizes, but it worked!

We also implemented an across the board rule: NO YELLING. This goes for all of us. I had a hard time with this, no surprise there. As did Curtis (slightly more surprising!) But it really makes a difference. Once everyone is talking instead of yelling, it just seems to make things more smooth. We also tried implementing a “time in” instead of a time out when the behavior issue was obviously stemming from total exhaustion. A time in is basically where you sit and hold the child in a hug until they calm down. Now I don’t know how well this would work with most kids, but with Anthony, when he is having one of these tired fits, it’s MUCH more effective than trying to get him to go to time out.  So while things are certainly not perfect (this is life with kids, it never will be PERFECTLY easy) they are definitely better.

While this was going on, I knew that I wanted/needed to get myself back in line. So I looked back on this blog to see what I did to get started so many months ago and read my own posts about taking part in a 21 day exercise challenge. Many of you saw this on facebook. Well, I threw the idea out there and people came clamoring out of the woodwork to join in! Turns out many of us can use accountability and encouragement! It went great! I worked out for 4 weeks, every day, and started reigning in the eating. Lost 6 pounds! Unfortunately, my b-day weekend hit (this past Friday) and threw it all off, but today, I did eat better and got a short workout in. Tomorrow, we start another 21 day challenge.

It REALLY does help keep you on track! I encourage you to contact me if you want to join us!

The last piece of the puzzle… finances/couponing. We have made all kinds of decisions over the past few months, some great ideas, others, maybe a little irresponsible, but boy are we enjoying them… I am talking about the Jeep Wrangler we purchased when I walked into the house one day in June, having a mid-life crisis. I threw the door opened, and proclaimed “I WANT A JEEP!” Curtis, (possibly drinking at the time) agreed and 3 days later, we were the owners of a 1994 RED Jeep Wrangler (with 2 car seats in the back). PS I LOVE the Jeep, it’s so much fun and I have ALWAYS wanted one, so I certainly don’t regret it for even a second!

Even Jack loves the Jeep!

But, with me staying home with the boys, our travels and camps, sports, etc., etc., I really felt that it was necessary to get back to the couponing. Especially with school supply lists looming! This post is getting really long, so I will talk about the couponing in the next one. BUT just so you all know, I’m back at it.

So there’s a quick (and yet somehow still long) update on our summer. Many of you fabulous readers have contacted me asking for more posts, so I am going to try my very best to get back to writing as well. There have been LOTS of ridiculous, hilarious, and outrageous moments that I have missed sharing with you all, but I will try to remember them and get them out.

I have missed doing this and am SUPER happy to be getting back to all of the things that make me feel like I am in control (sort of) of where I want to be. So until tomorrow (or so) thank you all for being patient. I hope there are still readers seeing this and please send me questions, comments, things you want to know about,  hate mail, whatever… I’m happy to read it all!!!





PS Here’s one of our favorite pics from the Holland trip on the beach in Scheveningen. (Who knew they’d have a beach?!? OK, Geography isn’t my strong suit)


Tara is a stay at home mom to two sons. She is a lover of family, friends, food and laughter. Her life is a roller coaster ride full of hilarity, diapers, exercise and fun.

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14 Responses

  1. Theresa says:

    Love this blog!!!!! This was a great read. Looking forward to the next.

  2. Jennifer Tracy says:

    Love this, and you! xoxo

  3. Cherilyn says:

    Tera! I’ll be back next August and would LOVE to run with you. It’s a love hate thing – well, mostly hate, but it does do major calorie burn! (you remember me I hope – it has been 2 years).

  4. Gerri Kassel says:

    Glad you are back girl!!! Was excited to see you updated your blog, I had noticed you were MIA but figured it was because of summer, just like the rest of us, it does get crazy! And I’m glad to see that I’m not the only one who let things slip – you aren’t alone sister!

    • Tara says:

      Thanks Gerri! It’s fun to be back, I just have to keep at it! We slip, then we climb back up… then football season starts and the cheese fries come out… TROUBLE!! Miss seeing you girl!

  5. Jen Thompson says:

    I love your post!! Very fun and witty. I will go back and read all your old ones, as I am just discovering this blog. It was a great distraction for me as I contemplate getting out of bed to start my day. Xo

  6. Laury Cote says:

    Tara, I love, love your new post!

  7. Heather Pillow says:

    Love the new post! And it was from One Crazy Summer! 😉

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