Day 31: Realizations

I realized that if I put my mind to it, I can get it done . . whatever “it” is.

I realized that when you have to do the right thing for others, some will and some won’t.

I realized that our administrators truly appreciate all our staff has done for our students during this difficult time.

I realized that many days I read so many slices, each one affecting me one way or another.

I realized that perhaps I should have commented on each slice I read, but sometimes I just wanted to read.

I realized that even when I am not doing anything “special”, something “special” enough happens that I can write about.

I realized that I looked forward to my writing time this year.

I realized that through my writing, people I don’t know have been allowed into my home and heart.

I realized that things happen for a reason and I realized that sometimes you don’t realize it until much later in life.

Stay Safe! Stay Healthy! Stay Home!

Day 30: Acceptance

I have not gotten a new coupon for Dick’s Sporting Goods. I know because I check my email throughout the day. I know because even though I may have just checked my email, I check each of the dozen times John asks me to check my email for a coupon.

John is my boy that can’t “let things go”. His sister is 4 years younger than him, and he couldn’t let it go that he had to put the toys away, even the baby’s, and she didn’t help. At that time, she was not even walking yet.

He couldn’t let it go that he had to go to school all day (1st grade) and his brother only had to go half day (Kindergarten). He also wanted the baby to come with him to Yiayia Nancy’s house (even though he was at school all day) because it wasn’t fair that Andrew had the baby with him at the other Yiayia’s house. He couldn’t let it go until my mother-in-law took her twice a week. But when she was there, he didn’t even pay any attention to her.

John is the kid that couldn’t let it go that when he was in 1st grade he started the year reading at F&P level C (on grade level), but his brother started 1st grade at level H. He asked him questions nonstop. “Did you just pick a book by yourself? The teacher is supposed to tell you where to get the book from. Who did you read for? Was it a mom who maybe gave you the wrong test? Did you read for the teacher? Did she give you the wrong box? You are supposed to start at level C, why are you at H?”

John is the kid that has asked me for the ping pong table. He is the kid that continues to ask for the ping pong table. Andrew is the kid that looks at him and says, “Dude, are you stupid? Just shut up!”

But John can’t let it go! So today he announced loudly, “Well since mom didn’t get online to order the table on Wednesday, you know before the coupon expired, and we are waiting for a new coupon – which did you check your email in case you got one? We can play like this. See mom, I have a book in my hand!”

Andrew looks at him, rolls his eyes, and tells him, “Dude, let it f^&%$n go!”

John can’t let it go! We don’t have a ping pong table . . . YET!
John using my library book for a paddle.
Andrew and John playing ping pong!

Day 29: Focused Checklist

After decades of making checklists, and rarely getting much completed and crossed off, I decided to create a focused checklist!

The checklist only includes one to two things maximum. Today’s checklist included virtual church service and clean the master bathroom.

I was awake at 6 this morning because the wind knocked one of my windows out (thankfully it didn’t break), but the quiet house and the stress of the high winds made me tired by 9:30 when church service started. So I had Facebook Live on my computer and listened as I drifted in and out of sleep.

After making lunch for the kids and myself, I wanted to get back to my magazine but the second item on my checklist nagged at me. Upstairs to tackle the bathroom! As I opened the closet and saw all the stuff shoved on the shelves from over the years, I wanted to close it and go lay on my bed. Instead, I got to work, one shelf at a time, then moved to the cabinet under the sink, the mirror, the lights, the doors, and the baseboards. DONE!

Monday and Tuesday – my closet and my bedroom!

Day 28: Dad vs. Mom

Listening to my husband talk about his childhood, I think What a spoiled brat! even though I know he isn’t. They didn’t come from money, so it wasn’t like he had the best of everything. I do know my father-in-law and my mother-in-law both worked and Pete, being the oldest, pretty much raised his brothers (age difference of 3 yrs, 8 yrs, and 10 yrs). He had the gaming system that everyone wanted, he had all the Hot Wheels he wanted, and any other gadget/toy that caught his eye.

I was raised with “I don’t have money for that, so you will have to wait. If I have money left over you can get it. But the bills come first.” I knew that I could never ask for something last minute because I would be disappointed. If I needed money for a field trip I would have to ask by Monday so I could hopefully get it by Friday. My sisters and I did my dad’s paperwork (even though we were only in elementary school) and there were many times we would write a check for his weekly pay and he would leave it on the counter for weeks because he would have to pay his workers first so he can guarantee they wold come back to finish their work so he could continue the construction of the job.

Fast forward to us having kids, ages 1 and 2:

Pete comes home from work and brings each boy a toy. Not expensive, but a toy EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. I put a stop to it, telling him “I don’t want them spoiled. I want them to look forward to you coming home, not what you are bringing for them.” Pete couldn’t understand my mentality because it was only $1 at the Jewel checkout line and he planned on getting the kids whatever they wanted anyway.

Fast Forward to us having Tessie, age 8:

“Daddy is better than you because when we go shopping he tells me I can get whatever I want. You always tell me, ‘It doesn’t fit right. we aren’t going to waste our money on things that don’t fit right’, but daddy says, ‘Tessie, get whatever you want.’ And that’s why daddy is better. You always say we have to wait for my birthday or Christmas, but I don’t want to wait.” I then walk into a sun room that is set up like her private crafting office with paints, canvases, brushes, glue, washi tape, glitter, slime supplies, and everything else that causes my blood pressure to rise.

Fast forward to this past week John (16), Andrew (15), and Tessie (12):

Monday: “Mom, when you go to Jewel can you see if they have ping pong balls.” I find some, I bring them home, but I wonder how they are going to use them. They grab a plastic solo cup and try to make trick shots from upstairs, across the kitchen, from the family room into the sunroom, etc.

Tuesday: “Hey dad! Can we get a ping pong table?”

Dad: “Sure! Find one online and let mom know so she can order it.”

Me: “Um, you don’t need a ping pong table because those are probably expensive.”

Kids: Look ping pong tables up, create a Google Slides presentation on the different ones, the ratings, and the pricing.

Wednesday: “Did you order the table yet? Dad said yes.”

Me: “Get out of my face! Just because you want it doesn’t mean you are going to get it!”

Thursday: I know I got an email for Dick’s Sporting Goods for 20% off, I will surprise them with the table. WHAT?? The coupon expired Wednesday night? UGH!

Friday: Dad: “Did you order the table? I am ordering it.”

Me: “You are not! I had a coupon for 20% off, but it’s expired.”

Dad: “I have the money. Buy the table. You don’t have the coupon now, do you?”

Me: “No, but I am not paying full price for the table if I could’ve gotten it for 20% off. I refuse.”

Saturday: Ding Dong Who is at the door?

Dad: “Boys! Tessie! Come to the garage! Mom didn’t say we couldn’t get something else . . . TABLE HOCKEY!”

Two different childhoods, trying to raise three kids. I am still holding out on the ping pong table, but dad won this round with table hockey!

Day 27: Spring Break

Normally the start of spring break starts Friday at 3:30 pm. This year we are staying at home because that is what is safest for everyone. But, today at 3:30 pm I still felt relief. Relief that I don’t have to be glued to my computer. Relief that I don’t have to look at the clock and be on Zoom from 11:00-1:00. Relief that I don’t have to “work”.

Like always, spring break is going to be the week that I am going to get so much finished. Even though I haven’t done ONE thing the last two weeks, this week will be the week. I will deep clean the entire house and declutter as I go, I will catch up on all the laundry, I will clean out closets and drawers, I will organize all the kitchen cabinets, and the list goes on and on.

So although this spring break is different than previous years, it’s also just the same as every year! I will be “back at work” on Monday, April 6th and will still wonder how did the week fly by and barely anything got done.

Day 26: Social Distancing – Not Followed By All

Every spring, we have visitors that come over, unannounced. We don’t want them, but they really don’t ask us. They just show up.

Well, this spring time is no different! They don’t ring the bell, they just walk right in, like they own the place. They aren’t following the social distancing rule. They aren’t keeping 6 feet apart. They aren’t even sticking to groups of 10 or less.

Spring is here and so are the little bitty uninvited and unwelcome ants!

Day 25: The Great Outdoors

It’s warm outside today.

Today would be a great day to go for a walk.

The day was busy with Zoom meetings with grade level colleagues and with students, so i didn’t make it outside until 5:00 pm. It was not warm at that time. Seeing as how I have not gone outside with the exception of 2 grocery store runs and 4 visits to the mailbox, I decided to go for a walk and Tessie joined me.

This would have been a great time to talk just us girls, without the boys. But we didn’t have much conversation. Tessie talked. “You got this Mama!”, “Next time it will be easier”, “I ma going to record us so you can see your improvement”, “Oh, we should have weighed ourselves. Well, it doesn’t really matter for me, but for you.”

“I did weigh myself, Tessie. But I can’t talk right now because I can’t catch my breath.”

“OK! Sorry. How long does the app say we have to walk and jog for?”

“Thirty minutes. a minute of jogging and a minute and a half of walking. This is just the warm up. I am going to die!”

“We can do it, Mama. Otherwise we can call daddy to come pick us up.”

Day 24: Aha!

I had NO IDEA what to write about today/tonight, which is probably why I am posting this after midnight!

While talking with my friends via Zoom tonight, they were all complaining about how this “Safer at Home” quarantine is getting to them. I, on the other hand, have been fine with it. I haven’t cried about it. I have been nervous for my mom and my kids, but not full-blown anxiety attack. I haven’t gotten antsy from being home day after day.

And then it hit me . . .

They are used to being home alone and coming and going throughout the day – grocery shopping, working out, talking on the phone, going to grab lunch or a coffee. So their freedom, their everyday life was interrupted. My days are usually at school teaching. I can’t come and go, make phone calls throughout the day, meet friends for lunch, run some errands because I am “stuck” at school. So now I am just “stuck” at home. I am constantly checking my emails to offer help to a student or answer a parent’s question, I am on Zoom awaiting children to join, I am looking and planning for anything “fun” to send to my students.

I miss my students, but I am enjoying my time with my kids. I miss my teaching partner. I miss my coworkers. I miss planning face-to-face as opposed through texts or Zoom. Just as I miss my kids and being home with them when I am at work everyday, I miss my kids and being at school with them everyday now that I am home!

Day 23: Spring Break

Day 1 of Spring Break for my kids came and went today. Usually they would be so depressed as each day passed because it was one day closer to going back to school. Today, there wasn’t any particular feeling.

John said, “It’s basically the same as last week, just no homework to do.”

Andrew said, “Yeah, that’s ok. We have all of next week too!”

Tessie said, “We got to spend so many days together already and we still have at least 2 weeks.”

Another positive of staying home is not dreading the days of spring break passing by quickly!

Day 22: Girls’ Night In

Thank goodness for technology! Every Tuesday, and sometimes another day during the week, my girlfriends and I meet for coffee. Once we started social distancing, we have missed out on our coffee nights and getting to see each other. We have kept in touch through texting and we even tried FaceTime, but with 9 of us, I was getting dizzy because every time someone speaks it moves their box to the forefront, then moves to the background when someone else spoke.

So the last few nights we tried Zoom. I had used Zoom an online class and with my students this past week, so we tried it! It was so fun! I got to see my longtime friends, after not seeing each other for a few weeks.

I LOVE TECHNOLOGY because it lets me see those that I love and miss!