Sunday, August 30, 2020

Sunday Funday

I had a rough night rounding out a 24 hour headache so I waived in person church with my family. Instead, I rested on the deck and listened to two sermons while Kate covered for me in pre-k. She had a great time with my small friends and I was restored enough to enjoy my family for the remainder of the day. It wasn't the Sunday we planned, but it was exactly what we needed. The weather as much a gift as the lack of rushing around. Fall was in the air today and with it, the promise of more cozy family days together.

Friday, August 28, 2020


I spent the better part of the week pretty frustrated with the person who grocery shops for my house. Plot twist: that lady is me. There wasn't a piece of chocolate (or any sugar, for that matter) to be had and I NEEDED it. Wednesday, I caved and made no bake cookies. Life improved immediately. 

Sunday afternoon we made short work of leftover pulled pork. This was a huge success. We will revisit the giant nachos again sometime.

After almost two weeks of Kate's asthma requiring daily breathing treatments, we decided to keep her home for virtual learning. Between the masking, the deep cleaning chemicals, and a ban on nebulizers in the health office, we felt it was simply the best choice for the time being. I am still feeling quite unsettled about her sitting at home on a computer all day so it wasn't a decision made without reservations. Significant reservations. 

Our grandson called requesting new shoes and specified they be Spiderman. He also asked for crocs. This Mimi thinks crocs are ugly so I purchased the Spiderman shoes. He was delighted. The fact I also sent Spiderman Gummi snacks sweetened the reaction. This Mimi gig is simply the best. 

He tried on hand-me-down clothes and his daddy shared photos. Seriously, he is one adorable kiddo.

Kate decided Layla needed a pedicure. Despite my concern she would chew her nails, the nail polish remained in place. Layla is spoiled. Now that I think about it, Kate is too.

Wednesday evening a small friend visited briefly and I caught myself repeatedly referring to myself as Miss Sherri. "Miss Sherri likes your ballet outfit". By the time I'd spoken in third person a handful of times, I worried I was losing my mind. Twenty two kindergarteners are apparently the tipping point, as I have teetered on the edge for quite some time.

Kate, who still struggles occasionally with short term memory loss had to write about a favorite gift for a class last week. She shared she remembered her favorite childhood toy. She went on to describe the train, the texture of the elephant's ears and how she felt when she opened the present. When we looked through scrapbooks to locate the gift in her memory,  I was pretty stunned she recalled so much detail from her second birthday. 

Friday while I was at work, Makenna and Kate cleaned the house for me around their classes. Thanks to their efforts, the weekend promises much needed rest. 

Friday, August 21, 2020


I spent part of the weekend in Dayton. My first stop was to see my friend Becky who has spent 2020 battling cancer. All of our phone calls have been optimistic and Becky's usual spunk has shined through each conversation. So I was taken by surprise when I actually got to see her. It is taking me a great deal of time to process the shell she has become. Please don't misunderstand me, Becky is still very much my spicy friend but seeing her down to one hundred pounds and so weak she couldn't push the remote buttons devestated me. She deserves so much more than what chemo and radiation are doing to her. 

I then met Kristil who was in Dayton setting her son up for his sophomore year at the University of Dayton. We had a grown up sleepover at Kristin's house. Resort Sanderson delivered pampering and delicious food. Chris poured wine while he cooked and the boys were attentive as well. I give them five stars and two thumbs up every visit. 

When I returned home Sunday, the big kids were gathering for a family night. Our original plan had been for backward night but when Tim and Noah also arrived, I waived starting with showers and pajamas and moved instead to pizza and no bake cookies. There were no complaints but Ty does want another opportunity for backward night so we can pack lunches, shower, have dessert before dinner and then play games until bedtime. The boy is so excited for the chance to eat dessert before  dinner that he called each of his siblings and insisted this was important and they needed to attend. Rumor has it, the family in Georgia disappointed him with their inability to comply. We loved his enthusiasm though. 

I spent the week repeating myself, walking in circles and wondering if the masks are making me easier to ignore in kindergarten. However, as usual, there were redeeming moments. Instead of asking children to wear their masks, I say, "I see your cute noses!" And they quickly cover up their mouths and noses. I am saying it less and less as time wears on because the kiddos are much better about them at this point. I still believe we are doing more harm than good with five year olds in masks but it is what it is. However, I dropped a mask into a puddle stepping out of my car and used a backup mask I hadn't tried prior to needing it. I fussed with that darn thing all day as it kept slipping off my nose. One ornery little guy who has needed significant reminders called me out. "Ms. Sherri, I see your cute little nose." He totally won me over.

Another cutie told me his grandma had a birthday this week. "She is really old. She might die soon. I think she is 31." He is not my favorite. 

Monday Kate was sent home with a pulse oxygen level of 92 and racing heart rate. She has been cleared to return to school once she no longer requires breathing treatments during school hours. She enjoyed the time she spent in the high school and is hopeful she will return next week. But having a virtual option for an asthma flare has been an awesome solution. 

Ty, feeling anxious about a situation at school on Wednesday, said he didn't feel well and was sent to the health office. He was sent home for allergies. We had to have a doctor's statement to send him back to school. We were able to see the doctor curbside for a hefty price to get the note. Lack of fever, vomit or diarrhea isn't enough to keep kids in class these days. I told the boy CPS will be called on me if he goes back to the health office this year. This mom is not playing.

Wednesday our school had it's first covid positive case. Friday we had our first planned district-wide virtual day to insure technology was ready for the challenge in the event we are shut down again.  The end of the day revealed teachers visibly relaxing. They were able to teach outside their comfort zone and realized their students still connected in meaningful ways. These people love deeply and simply want to do what is best for students. The weight on their shoulders has been enormous. That weight, I realized I also carried when sleep evaded off and on throughout the week. 

It's the year of "it will be what it will be" and most days I can roll with it. I announced to some complainers in my midst Thursday, the only thing we get to control these days is our response so at some point, the panic button needs disabled. 

It will be what it will be.

Friday, August 14, 2020


We have an artist in the neighborhood who has gifted different homes with hand painted rocks. This week, I discovered this sweet tree swing on our mailbox. It joined the little smile little neighbor girls left on the mailbox in March when "we were all in this together". I treasure both.
Our neighborhood has an artist who surprises different people with handpainted rocks. This week we received this sweet little tree swing. The smile was a gift also discovered on our mailbox back in March when we were all in quarantine. I treasure them both.

Lauren has been working with Austin on self control. She has taught him to take deep breaths when he is upset and calmly say, "relax". He has started using the word relax when he is wound up or upset. Sunday they called to video chat and after he said hello, Lauren reminded him to pick up his play room. He declined by saying, "I need to relax" and went into his room to lay down. He is two and thought he'd found a loop hole. His momma is pretty smart though. After he relaxed, she again pointed out the toy room and hung up the phone before a meltdown ensued. 

Ty was dehydrated Sunday and got sick after a hot shower that night. He was certain he had scored Monday out of school. Much to his dismay, he was fever free, able to hold down several cups of water and pizza afterward so he was sent to school. Thank God I know the principal and he was able to warn his teacher before Ty announced he was sick at school. Two things. One, I will now give parents the benefit of doubt when a kid says they were sick before school. Two, rumor has it the boy is researching how to make a vomit-like substance to fake out his mom and actually score a day off. Suddenly, there was a role reversal. Ty was using problem solving skills and I was reminding myself hands are not for hitting. I had a deep seeded urge to play whack a mole on the boy's head. It's going to be a long year...

Monday Kate started physical therapy for her knee and was a rock star. I was impressed with her determination. And then we attended Freshman night out and a parents meeting with the principal. It was a fairly encouraging discussion. Despite the success of the evening, Kate too, would have  liked to have called in sick this year and continued begging for the virtual school option. Anxiety was running high around here.

Erin and Tim haven't been able to spend time with us much due to repeated exposures in the medical field so we are grateful when they share hiking photos with us.

Erin was once again exposed to covid at work. This time, the exposure was so widespread they closed her clinic. So despite being screened just two weeks prior, Erin was once again tested. She is enduring another quarantine and has been set back another two weeks from returning to her second job. At some point, this "new normal" has to involve less panic at every positive test. But the closure meant an early wrap-up of her current position with the dental school. She starts her next chapter as soon as she is cleared to begin work again with another clinic through UofL. Her covid test was once again negative. All of her close contact co-workers were positive this round.

Tuesday night as we prepared for bed, Kate was invited to the wrong period google class by one teacher and then was invited to another class that was not on her schedule. As she investigated, she discovered the original schedule they sent her was no longer accurate.  She practiced walking to all of her classes several times the last few weeks and had been as confident as kid is walking into high school for the first time could be. A full-blown bedtime panic attack occurred thanks to the last minute changes. 

My infamous dad likes to say, "like a shot in the dark, we're off" and Wednesday Kate, Makenna and I all returned to school. Never before have I felt my dad's words quite so fully. I dropped a very nervous Kate at the door to navigate a completely different schedule and prayed she was met with grace by her teachers. And then I went to work. I am supporting a brand new kindergarten  teacher this year and the first days wiped me out. Kate; however, had a great week despite the schedule challenges. She loves her teachers and is anticipating a successful year regardless of all the misgivings she had entering the school Wednesday morning. 

Thursday, Kate was attending school virtually so that freed up part of my morning commute. Ty and I were able to talk for a bit in the morning where he declared he would be going virtual if his lunch order was messed up again. Prince Charming is reasonable. I have no words.

Friday. Oh, sweet Friday. It was a long week. We will find our footing soon enough but trekking back into school with all the twists and turns of doing so during a pandemic wore me out. The kids suggested milkshakes might help. I opted instead for an early bedtime but they were happy to celebrate the end of the week without me.