SoBo Mama's Tips & Tricks

{April 12, 2015}   Spring Broken

So Caddo Schools and Bossier Schools decided to mess with my schedule this year.  The monkeys were on spring break the last of March while I was out the first week of April.

Not that the monkeys minded.  They spent Monday through Thursday, while I worked, hanging out with PawPaw and MawMaw.  Thursday they slept over with Nana after church and did a walk for church Good Friday.  The weekend was hectic with Easter and all. Then Monday, monkey 1 went back to the grandparents for the day – probably due to my housecleaning plans.

Since the monkeys are not really self-starters, I was up early every day of my “break.”

Tuesday, Granny@thefarm took me for a birthday breakfast and a very indulgent shopping trip.  It was nice to be spoiled!  Then Best Teacher Friend harassed me into going walking.  It was a great day.

Most of the break, I just did stuff around the house.  I had lunch one day with Monkey 2, washed lots of laundry, weeded the flower bed.

I did nothing school related.


And I felt no guilt.

I still have some projects to work on.  I need to Frankenstein my pantry.  I have plans for my back deck.  But I did enough for the week.  I relaxed, recharged, and did what I wanted.

Lots of my friends went out of town, but really, I prefer my “break.”. Peaceful.  I’m kind of sad to go back to school tomorrow!

Do you do anything special for spring break?

~ Katie

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Rubber mulch seen with playground equipment in...

Rubber mulch seen with playground equipment in the background. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Part of the point of a stay-cation is saving money.  This week I need to keep the monkeys entertained and happy without spending loads of cash.  Saturday they went to church with Nana, stayed the night with PaPaw and Grandma, and had an overall good time.  Sunday, Monkey #1 went to a sleepover with some of his buddies and Monkey #2 camped out in the living room.  2 down, 8 to go….

Luckily for me, Real Chick is doing a Stay-cation, too.  She was quick to agree to a play date at the park.  Friday, checking the weather forecast, Monday seemed a safe bet.  The Field of Dreams Park, in the northern part of town, is close to her neighborhood, and although I would have had to cross the railroad tracks, it was my first suggestion.  Real Chick doesn’t have the same qualms about driving distances I do, and liked the idea of East Kings Highway Park, locally known as “The Duck Pond,” even better.

The Duck Pond is located on East Kings Highway in Shreveport, near Shreveport-Barksdale Highway.  The park includes a walking trail, a picnic area, several play areas, and a pond that is home to a bunch of really fat well-fed ducks.  I really like this park because they have playground equipment for all ages.  I went there with my friends as a teen and came back when my monkeys were toddlers.  The equipment and grounds have been revamped in the last twenty years, but are even more family-friendly now.  Instead of sand or gravel, like you might see at other parks, the playground equipment at the Duck Pond is surrounded by a loose-fill rubber mulch, which makes for cleaner monkeys with fewer “bobos.”  Also, each play area has a theme, and my monkeys love love love the pirate ship.

Duck pond park, Shreveport

Duck pond park, Shreveport (Photo credit: trudeau)

Due to the freaking FREEZE WARNING we received last night, as well as busy schedules, we set up our play date for 2 this afternoon.  I was afraid I’d run behind with 12 year old drama.  Real Chick was afraid she’d run behind because of errands on base.  Neither of us was particularly late, and Pioneer Woman was able to join us, which was an added bonus.

I’ve decided playdates were invented by mamas, for mamas.  It keeps kids out of our hair so we can grown-up talk.  And, funny thing, all we had to do was say “grown-up talk” to get any one of the monkeys to turn around and head back to play.  Nice!

The weather had the potential to be fabulous.  It was so pretty and sunny out!  Unfortunately, the temperature rose

maybe into the fifties and the wind today was brutal.  I remembered to bring bread for the fowl, but Pioneer Woman and Real Chick are total playdate rock stars – they came prepared with kites!  The kids spent a lot of time trying to fly, getting tangled, getting untangled, getting water, and then playing on the playground. I think the monkeys have anti-freeze in their veins.  The mamas absolutely do not.

The restroom consisted of what is affectionately known as a “one-holer” with limited privacy, made of metal, only to be used upon threat of bladder explosion.  Please note, the Men’s Room at the Full Moon was cleaner and more chick-friendly.  Not that I would have touched skin to any metal commode today, even if it was completely germ-free.  Just sayin’.

Overall, I think this particular stop on our stay-cation was a huge success.  I’m not sure about Real Chick’s girls, but the Monkey’s were asleep before 8:30 – and we skipped karate because Monkey #1 was worn out.

Now I just need to figure out tomorrow.

So if you’re looking for something inexpensive to do for a few hours on a pretty day in Shreveport-Bossier, the Duck Pond is a good bet.  There is ample parking and plenty to do.  If nothing else, you can burn off a bunch of excess energy in your kids!

Do you have any great parks in your town?  Are they worth visiting on stay-cation?

~ Katie

Spring Break has arrived!  Woo hoo!  Back to basics – and the binder.


The next section focuses on health and fitness.  In my management binder, this section is a hodge-podge of all health, diet, and fitness related junk.

English: Road rash first aid kit.

English: Road rash first aid kit. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


One of the first things I keep in this section is a first aid checklist.  I feel like every home should have at least one first aid kit!  I know Jeepnmom, with her house full of Y-chromosomes, has many.  Right now, I have a drawer in the kitchen.  While it was a placement of opportunity, it’s worked out really well.  Most of Monkey #2’s “bo-bo’s” happen out in front  of the house and since we come in through the garage all the time, the kitchen drawer is a great place for the band aids and such.  The next step is to build kits for the vehicles and garage.


After this, I have a medicine cabinet checklist.  Just like the pantry, there are certain staples that have to be in my medicine cabinet.  For example, I have to have adult and kid strength pain meds.  Thankfully, we’ve pretty much moved past the syrup stage, using meltaways and sprinkles for many of our cough, cold, and achey baby remedies.


I keep a medical information sheet on each family member, including the four-legged beastie.  I include their basic statistics, allergies, doctor  and hospital info, etc.  Any I also have medical authorization forms, which is a good thing if a grandparent happens to have to deal with a monkey medical emergency. Every time we add an activity to our schedules, see a new doctor, or start a school year, I’m bombarded with medical information requests – who remembers what year the monkeys had their adenoids out?  It’s a good idea to keep a list, I’ve discovered.


A prescription drug record is helpful.  We don’t have a lot of maintenance medications in the House of Cheaptitude, but we do have some.  This way, we know who has what meds at what pharmacy.  I do include the prescription numbers, pharmacy name, and phone number to the pharmacy.  Dosing schedule (aka Medication Administration Record) could be kept here if necessary.  Another good thing to have here would be a list of what/when/how to dispose of unused, outdated meds.  Your pharmacist is a fabulous resource for this.



Every year, when our health insurance undergoes a change, the company sends out a book of stuff.  I guess they call it a directory.  I call it the “sorry, your poop isn’t covered” book.  I hole punch it and put it in this section for easy reference – to see what doctor I can’t visit this time.  I also photocopy our insurance cards so that we have all of the pertinent information if we need to call for any reason.


Pet Health Records:  Our fuzzy family members have health care, too.  I keep the monkey buddy’s shot schedule, vet info, and prescription info on a sheet in the Health & Fitness section.  I also keep contact info and hours for the emergency vet (yes, we’ve had that drama with previous pets) on hand.


For the fitness part of this equation, I have some different exercise schedules and magazine clippings of exercises I might try sometime.  I’d like to get a pedometer and track my walking, since that is the only real exercise I actually get around to.


Other things to include in this section might be:


  • diet trackers: Every once in a while, my sweet doctor tries to put the Grizzly on a diet.
  • gym membership:  This section is a great place to keep membership info, class schedules, gym hours, etc.
  • blood pressure record
  • sugar tracker for those with diabetes
  • emergency directory


What do you think?  Is this a helpful section or not so much?


~ Katie



This has been an exhausting week!  With the first phase of state testing (why did I ever move to a high stakes grade level??), wrapping up a unit and a marking period, and Teacher Appreciation Week, I’ve been busier than I don’t know what!

There are so many options for Spring Break.  We have family in Texas, Arkansas, and Florida right now, all nice vacation spots.  I know Jeepnmom would not have hurt feelings if we headed to the mitten for a few days.  There is a Great Wolf Lodge close by, and plenty to do in south Louisiana – where we also have fabulous, welcoming friends.  Monkey #2 has requested that we go to a hotel with a swimming pool and elevator.  Monkey #1 wants to hang out with his friends and practice his form 2 moves (????)

At heart, I’m a homebody.  I want to cut my yard (again), work on school stuff, test prep Monkey #1, and do around the house.  But I also want the kids to enjoy staying home with me.  I’ve come up with a list of things to do without leaving my comfort zone.

  • Work in the yard:  The monkeys like to dig in the dirt.  I noticed Ellis Pottery has flats of flowers out already and my front flower bed needs some attention.
  • Go to the park:  The Realest Chick I Know has two little girls around Monkey #2’s age.  Monkey #2 wants a picnic, and although I would have to cross into the dreaded NoBo, there is a park with a duck pond nearby, so I’ve set up a play date.
  • Go to the Bookstore: Always at the top of the monkeys’ lists…..
  • Go to the Farm: Granny‘s social calendar is pretty full, but the monkeys don’t get to visit often enough, and I really need to make a point to get out there this week.

I also have a ton of hoarder junk crafting items that could be put to good use.  I do have two very creative monkeys at my house.

It’s been a long week and I’m not super-inspired tonight.  What are your Spring Break plans?

~ Katie

et cetera
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