Friday, April 30, 2021

Juggling Act

I finally recovered from a twelve day flare in time for Ty's asthma to rear it's colorful head. He was suddenly having back-to-back severe attacks. Greg handled picking him up Monday and I navigated getting him to the doctor Wednesday. I have been assisting with state testing at school in multiple classes and Greg was putting out fires at work. Still feeling pretty run down from my own health issues left me asking if I needed to work next year. It's been ridiculous keeping all the balls in the air this year and I'm exhausted. However, the truth is, I think I'd be bored ten minutes into the new school year and would absolutely miss my small friends and their teachers. We may be making some changes in the future but what exactly that looks like has not yet been fully revealed.

Greg and I attended a wedding out of town. He served as a groomsman while I was the lonely date feeling out of place until the reception. I considered smuggling in a book but thought better of it in the end. I'm no Emily Post but I'm assuming reading at someone's wedding is frowned upon. But while we were out, the kids spent time with friends where Ty ended up with twenty dollars for allowing his sister to put make-up on his beautiful eyes. He immediately purchased a game card for Fortnite to reclaim his masculinity. He had been repeatedly denied funds for that game so he was delighted to earn the money, even if it was in a strange manner. I asked if there was a photo. There is but using it has a fee associated with it. The boy is finally understanding how to manage life with all these sisters.

Kristin wrote a book! I had to miss her first book signing event on Saturday so we held a second mini version on Sunday. I am beyond proud of her and excited for her.

Sunday marked the first time this group of girlfriends were able to get together in two years. Three of us pulled it off a year ago, as the world was shutting down but Anne was unable to make it that day. We laughed and talked and sipped tea for hours. I was unable to keep up with our traditional shopping, so tea sipping took priority. My people are gracious.

Kate's little friend says all things spikey are "porcupiny". She adores him and his momma, so she invited them over during her lunch break on Tuesday to meet Pip. His mom is Kate's youth leader and she loves on Kate so well. I am grateful for her and the sweet photos she sent from their time together.
Lord help me if Oliver ever figures out how to get to Piper.

Totally unprompted, a small friend announced to the class her parents want to live longer so they have to eat healthy. And I laughed. Of course I did but choosing to eliminate sugar during state testing was just plain dumb. I miss sugar. A lot. 

Austin called when Erin was visiting and asked her to go to the fair with him. She asked him if he had a plane ticket for her and followed up by questioning his credit score. Without hesitation he declared it, "good", as if he understood the question. She grinned and informed him hers is, "technically great" and without missing a beat, Austin countered, "mine is technically good."

Ty brought home his workbook today and decided it would make a perfect BB gun target. We all spend gorgeous evenings our own way. But we met friends after school so the kids could have a treat and then stopped at our favorite thrift store before serving nachos for dinner and holding down the porch swing. The weekend has officially been kicked off and I hope it involves a good book, sunshine and some memory making. 

Friday, April 23, 2021

Spring Snow and other Unwelcome Arrivals

She says she's an adult. 

I have had what I believe may be a minor flare for the last nine days. In the beginning, I was beyond exhausted, sleeping endless hours and so very tired when I wasn't resting. My body ached from head to toe and everything was heavy. Lifting my arms or walking around took an incredible amount of effort. The rest of the week was achy and the fatigue is still difficult.  I'm disappointed by the possibility. It's been a good run. I am grateful it is mild and hope it is an isolated incident because revisiting a rheumatologist and the prospect of medication is not something I want to entertain again. Pushing through to keep working and running our home may have helped curtail the impact but I have been wiped out.

I have started reading bedtime stories with my grandson over video chat. I love this bedtime routine. He picks a book from my house for me to read and then he selects one from his house to read to me. I love hearing his sweet little voice and imagination at work. I miss him.

So it snowed this week. As surprised as everyone was, it really was beautiful. As the sun rose Wednesday morning, I was a bit disappointed I needed to clock-in at work because my desire was to instead grab my camera for some shots of snow blanketing tree blossoms and baby leaves. I hope nothing was damaged as this rare snow struck spring plants but it was pretty. Snow on typically bare branches has a different appearance. Since we have no control over the weather, I may as well embrace the scenes created.

Kate wore her dad's high school jacket to her first high school event on Saturday. She had a blast at the dance marathon raising money for the kids at Riley Children's Hospital. She is hopeful next year will be normal and she can be more involved. We hope so too.

Friday, April 16, 2021

Rainbows, Firemen and Gyms for Muscles

Saturday morning,  Greg started his first brisket of the season despite the rainy forecast. Noah brought the firetruck by to see the set up. We assumed the crew's questions about when we could expect it to be finished was indicative of hopes for an invitation. We sent samples to the firehouse, much to their delight. But while he monitored the progress, he and Kate assembled the latest piece of equipment for what the girls are calling, "Greg's Gym for Muscles." I just hope Greg's gym doesn't ultimately evict my car from it's spot in the garage.

I text Erin simply, "brisket for dinner today. Giant brisket nachos for lunch tomorrow" and then set an extra place at the table. I am not above this kind of bribery. But we needed to decompress after a health scare with her last week. She avoided the ER in favor of seeing her GYN twice instead. The dust has once again settled but goodness, she needs a break. Her mom does too.

Kate and I ran errands together Saturday afternoon and treated ourselves to milkshakes after sprinting in and out of the rain a dozen times. We both ended up with some new wardrobe pieces too. All in all, it was a delightful afternoon. I love this kid who stands taller than me.

Saturday evening, Ben called and wanted to come over for the night. He was visiting a family member near by so it was easy to say yes. Within minutes of arrival, he was comfortable and silly. He said he will be the first one of his brothers who gets married. I laughed and pointed out he has two older brothers so he can't be sure. He looked me dead in the eye and said, "yeah, but they are ugly." Our sweet Benjamin. 

While I was picking up Ben, Greg was on a walk and captured this awesome rainbow. With the seemingly endless rain all weekend, it was a beautiful reprieve. 

And Sunday night, the sky was pink as the rain ceased. I love this view. In honor of spring, I added hanging baskets and the flowering ground cover bloomed. 

Monday Austin called to chat while I was en route to Aldi. I hung up with him as I arrived and he immediately begged his mommy to take him to Aldi to see his Mimi. It took everything in me to not start driving to Augusta'a Aldi. I miss that boy. 

Monday evening,  the fire department stopped by to shake Greg's hand. They loved the brisket. Rumor has it he is smoking them a log of bologna next.

Erin had a date Monday evening at our favorite local Cuban restaurant. Live music was playing on the patio and the cutest little five year old was dancing his heart out. Erin found him to be quite adorable and apparently the little guy figured that out because the next thing she knew, he was tapping on her shoulder asking her to dance. And so she did. Her date was left sitting at the table, amused.

When my nephew, Brennen was little, my sister swore she could write a book about all the risks involved in taking a shower because Brennen was a fairly destructive little guy in that season. There was a baby powder baptism episode,  an entire birthday cake down a register vent, clothes flushed down the toilet (sort of) and several toilet papering occasions. The list goes on. 

It appears she is once again not safe to shower......

And I am reminded why Layla will be our last dog. 

Tuesday Ty woke emotional and not ready for another day of practice testing. He decided he was dropping out of school. He is anything but reasonable when anxious but I supervised practice testing in my school and realized how over the top the process legally has to be. The test had five questions and because of the lengthy script the teacher was required to read, it took over an hour. This was just practice. There are three practice tests and then seven official tests. It's no wonder our kids are stressed. 

Kate was able to spend a day with her best friend during school hours and assisted with dance marathon decorating. We are grateful for the social opportunities and praying her next school year can be more normal. 
A virtual kindergarten friend asked another about her absence the prior day. When the friend explained where she'd been, the original friend smacked her own forehead and sighed, "you already told me that and I forgot. My brain doesn't work the same since covid." Me too, sister. Me too.

Friday, April 9, 2021

Spring is in the Air

Monday evening, we made s'mores with Reese's eggs. We cannot recommend this enough. Layla was of course heartbroken to be excluded from the treat. She always is. Poor girl. 

I gave Greg some pointers when he picked up my camera and was pleasantly surprised by the result. Those gray hairs I have fully earned are standing out proudly though.

Thursday evening I insisted the children go outside and play together. Kate elected to fish in the front yard and yell at her brother for scaring the fish with his basketball. 

As she casted, she mentioned something about how many fish are in the sea but she can't get a nibble. I questioned her, "I thought you weren't interested in any fish"? And she laughed. "Why do you think I am fishing in the yard. I don't want to catch anyone." Touche

The week was long and I am grateful for a weekend to recharge. Kindergarten was full of crazy energy and we of course had some unexpected curve balls. We always do so one has to wonder, are they unexpected or just unwelcome?

A third grade friend known for outrageous behavior has become a buddy this year. He craves attention and I am able to spend a lot of time with him during lunch. We usually talk about whatever is on his mind but this week he has mastered a strange sound he insists I need to learn. I have;  of course, refused to entertain his latest antic. Then he pulled out the big card, "but Miss Sherri! You have too! It's God's calling for your life"! I roared with laughter. There is never a dull moment with that one. I think he may suspect I like him.

Friday some virtual students visited kindergarten and I was permitted to assist them throughout the day. As we waited on one little girl to be picked up, I asked her about her favorite part of the day. Without hesitation, she answered simply, "the hugs". 

A friend picked up her preschooler this week after the mask mandate lifted and commented on the mask-less smiles. I cannot wait until all the smiles are finally free. And I can give more hugs.