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Archive for the category “kids”

Day 108 of Isolation: Yet Another Birthday

I have officially been a mother for twenty years now. My first little baby is all grown up with her own family. It’s hard to believe.

Happy Birthday, Meagan!

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I have no idea who took this picture. I stole it off her facebook because it’s gorgeous.

Day 94 of Isolation: Another Graduation

Today my youngest daughter “graduates” 8th grade. Normally, they have a ceremony at the high school with a dance after (in which case the rest of the family goes to Cold Stone Creamery to celebrate… it’s tradition!), but since the pandemic shut the schools in March and social distancing is a must, they did a drive-thru parade/graduation thing.

A lot of the schools in the area are doing them. The high school had a big parade through town last week and the elementary schools are doing them throughout the week (my 4th grader’s is on Thursday).

But today is about Nora who is officially a high schooler now!

 

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Seems like just last week she was starting kindergarten. Won’t be long before she’s an adult. I just can’t even anymore with these kids growing up.

Here she is on the first day of school back in August already looking too grown up:

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And bonus first day of kindergarten:

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They grow so fast.

No, I’m not crying… that’s just dust in my eyes.

Day 86 of Isolation: Happy First Birthday!

Wishing my grandson a very happy first birthday.

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I can’t believe an entire year has gone by already. And what a year.

Too bad, with everything going on and because this is the Pacific Northwest so it decided to rain the entire week, we weren’t able to actually do anything. It was just another lazy day around the house.

He was at his dad’s house in the morning, and when he got home, he was sleeping in his carseat (he’s been in a growth spurt, we think, because all he does is sleep).

My daughter posted these side-by-side comparisons of him the day he was born and his first birthday:

Hasn’t changed.

I didn’t get any pictures of him opening his gifts (I was frosting cupcakes). One of the other kids did, though, but hasn’t sent me any or posted them online. I’ll add some later when I see them.

We got him some chunky wood puzzles of jungle and forest animals, some letter magnets for the fridge, and a couple outfits. His mama got him some bath toys (that aren’t for the bath!) and I can’t remember what else. He really likes the bath animals.

It was a pretty typical birthday for our family–we don’t have the money for parties, decorations or lots of presents. It’s just a normal day with a couple small presents if you’re lucky followed by cake and ice cream.

He’s now entered my favorite stage of childhood–the toddler years (although he’s technically been toddling for months now). I can’t wait to see how his little personality develops this next year.

It’s obvious he’s going to be a total goofball. I mean look at him hamming it up already:

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Day 85 of Isolation: Graduation

It’s official… I’m the mother of a high school graduate!

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Okay, it’s not super impressive, but he’s the first of my kids to graduate (my oldest dropped out junior year). And I’m just so very proud of him. The Class of 2020 had their entire lives and futures turned upside down in the matter of weeks but took it like champs. I know my son’s girlfriend was particularly upset that their senior play had to be canceled and that they missed prom (my son was less upset about that–he hates dances).

I actually tuned into the live stream of their virtual gradation. I’m not sure why because I dread all of the speeches–it’s just tedious when you’re sitting in a hot gym and uncomfortable bleachers–but I think I needed some kind of closure on this part of my life, especially since I could see or congratulate my son in person because of isolation.

Their class had four valedictorians. I’m not sure if that’s normal at their school or just because the pandemic messed grades up and this was the only fair way to do it, but each senior made a beautiful speech about surviving in the face of adversity which this class had to really learn on the fly back in March.

It’s a devastating blow to have all of your hopes and plans for the near and far future fall apart or suddenly be uncertain. As I listened to their speeches and those of the principal, superintendent, and teachers, it made me think of what all of this has really meant for them. It’s not just the loss of prom and a graduation ceremony. It’s so much more.

No one knows what the fall will bring. Will the college-bound be moving into their dorms come August like they’d planned? Or will they be settling down at home as adults, waiting to do another year of school–of college–online? Those, like my son, that had planned to find jobs after graduation to save money for whatever their future might bring are suddenly looking at nearly 20% unemployment because everything is closed. And when things do open back up, there will be thousands of people clamoring for the same jobs because they have families to support and are desperate.

My son is 18 and has been living at a friend’s house with his family during isolation. They’ve been kind enough to let him stay for the last three months rent-free because they were in school, but now that they’ve graduated he’ll be moving back home instead of into his own place until he can find a job. Except finding a job when you’re high risk (asthma) is, well, high risk. I’m terrified for his future, but like the rest of the Class of 2020, he’s determined to make the best of a bad situation.

All I can do is hope things work out and support him best I can through these uncertain times he’s found himself in. I tried to teach him how to adult the best I could, but I never thought he’d be adulting in the middle of a pandemic and nation-wide civil unrest the likes of we haven’t seen since my father’s generation.

So here’s to the Class of 2020… may they find the brightness in their futures that their present is currently lacking. They’ve faced this bit of adversity so I know they can take anything this crazy life throws at them.

Day 73 of Isolation: Happy Memorial Day

It’s the unofficial start of summer and we’re still in lockdown. I actually pretty much forgot it was Memorial Day after I reminded my 9yo that he didn’t have school this morning. With everything going on, it’s hard to tell which day is which, let alone if one is a holiday. Plus, I’m depressed enough without thinking about soldiers that didn’t make it home from war.

I miss the days we lived in Coraopolis, PA. They had a huge Memorial Day parade that was the highlight of the summer really. We lived there for two years on the street the parade went down so we got a bird’s eye view without leaving our living room. Of course, we did go down to the street because what’s the point of a parade if you aren’t sitting on the curb.

Here’s some pictures from 2007.

They were so little and cute. I miss being able to get them dressed up and take pictures. I used put them in red, white and blue for Memorial Day and 4th of July; green for St. Patrick’s Day; orange and black for Halloween and red/pink for Valentine’s. They looked forward to their new shirts each year, but money dwindled and the shirts were less frequent. They outgrew the old ones and then just got too old to dress up if I was lucky enough to even have them around for a holiday. Sigh.

It’s hard to believe they’re all grown up now and one has a child of her own. This was just thirteen years ago. Seems like yesterday. Things were simpler back then.

I think the lockdown is finally getting to me.

Day 67 of Isolation: A Visit

My oldest son is eighteen and has severe asthma thanks to our cats. Since this makes him high risk with regards to COVID-19, he decided to go stay with catless friend once school closed in March. He’s been there ever since and hasn’t had to use his inhaler or meds at all the entire time (which is amazing because he used his inhaler once or twice a day at home).

Anyway, I’ve seen him once for like two minutes in the last two months until today.

He stopped by on his way back from the high school to show me his cap and gown he picked up. I made him put it all on because I don’t know if we’ll actually get a graduation or not.

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He’s the first of my kids to graduate high school. My oldest dropped out her junior year at 16 (even though that’s illegal in our state). I’m not sure what the medal is for, but the ropes are for his ASL class.

Apparently, they’re going to have an online ceremony on the official graduation day of June 6, but he doesn’t want to do it. They’re also prepping for a live event in August if we’re allowed to gather in groups by then. I’m thinking it might just be the graduates and not family because I don’t see us being in that phase of opening by then.

It was nice seeing him after all these months. The girls think he’s gotten taller (he’s 6’3″) and commented on his hair which desperately needs to be cut. I thought it looked nice. We chatted for a few minutes and then he had to go.

He did leave this in the yard, though, as a reminder that he exists (one of his sisters said she forgot about him, lol).

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It’s really weird to think about because he was planning on moving in with this friend after graduation, preferably after finding a job so he could pay them rent (they’re letting him stay free since he’s high risk and can’t work right now). He was saving up for a program to work on ships at sea. Now he says he might do that to start but then go to some maritime college later to become an engineer. At least he has goals which is more than my other kids have (except maybe the 14yo who wants to be an interior decorator).

Pretty soon, he’ll be living on the other side of the country or out at sea for months at a time (a friend of his is doing the program he wants to do and was gone for most of the last year). Not seeing him is going to be the norm now. He’s all grown up. Okay, I’m gonna cry now.

I’m so proud of him and hope things work out with his schooling if this apocalypse doesn’t take us all first.

Day 65 of Isolation: Poor Baby

arroweaster_041220My grandson is sick. He’s just 11 months old. I guess he was up all night with a sudden, high fever that just would not go away even with Ibuprofen so my daughter called her ex’s mom to take them to urgent care (my husband was already at work with our only car so I couldn’t help even if I was awake).

His symptoms were sudden, high fever, rash, and peeling palms. Very bad signs. But my daughter refused the COVID test for some reason.

Now it’s a waiting game to see if he develops any new symptoms of those get worse. He’s currently staying with his other gramma while my daughter at work because she’s better equipped to deal with a sick baby. I don’t have the energy and my husband is still at work.

She said he seems to be feeling better already now that the Tylenol they gave him has finally kicked in. Hopefully, it’s nothing serious and just one of those things kids pick up randomly. It’s concerning that those symptoms happen to be the main ones for this Kawasaki disease kids are getting related to COVID-19.

My heart does not need this extra anxiety.

Day 37 of Isolation: School Stress

When this first began over a month ago, school was canceled until April 24. It was decided kids wouldn’t be graded and they’d only do review work to keep the kids busy during the weeks off (one of those weeks being spring break). Then the stay home order was extended until May 1. And then the governor canceled school for the rest of the term.

With the kids no going back to physical classrooms, the schools have changed directions on learning. They have gone to pass/fail system and have moved into continued learning, starting from where they left off back in March.

The house went from pretty laid back to full-on tension in a matter of the weekend. Now my 17yo and 14yo are constantly fighting because the 14yo has daily Zoom meetings and nowhere to do them since the 17yo won’t let her do them in their room.

There are seven people living in a three-bedroom house. It’s cramped and loud and chaotic everywhere. She can’t really do the meetings downstairs because her brother is on the computer/doing his schoolwork and/or my husband is yelling at his video games or watching TV and my grandson is screeching and banging on things because that’s what babies do. Then the 19yo comes in and starts fighting with someone over something.

Now the 14yo has anxiety through the roof because she can’t do her meetings and is falling behind in her classes. The 17yo isn’t doing any of her schoolwork (she normally does online school so nothing has changed for her except there are more people around during the day to distract her).

The 9yo will do his basic work but zero extra. He’s refusing to do his reading work because that teacher wants him to record himself reading. He hasn’t done any music, art or library stuff. He blows through his English, math and social studies in an hour and wants to watch YouTube or play Minecraft the rest of the day.

I literally don’t have the energy to fight them. Now I’m stressed out and anxious all of the time as well because no one is getting anything done and I can’t really do anything about it, but I’m going to get blamed all the same.

On top of that, I have no idea if my 18yo is doing any of his work. He’s staying with friends and is an adult so I’m not going to nag him. I believe he had passing grades when school closed originally, and they said grades won’t drop any lower than that so he’ll graduate no matter what, but he was missing assignments and could bring his grades up. But I haven’t seen or heard from him in weeks. Of course, I still worry about him, especially when I get emails from his teachers about work not being done.

It’s all too much for me. I can’t wait for the school year to be over.

Day 25 of Isolation: Walking Soon

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This little guy is ten months old today and ready to start walking. He’s been cruising the furniture for a couple months now and is now walking while pushing his “wagon.” He can go from sitting to squatting to standing without holding on to anything.

He looks like his mama, but is on track to be just like his uncle Owen who walked at 10 1/2 months. Things are going to get interesting here.

Day 24 of Isolation: First Day of School

Well, it’s been over three weeks since the kids have been in school. I’ve treated it like an extended spring break (which was technically last week), but that ends today. Today is the first day of digital school and also the day we learned the kids won’t be going back to school at all this year. That means digital learning the next two-and-a-half months and no prom or graduation for my senior (or graduation for my 8th grader). It’s going to be an interesting year, and I feel I should be encouraging the kids to keep journals about it for future generations.

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Anyway, things went okay for my fourth grader. We had to improvise a little since we don’t have a printer so he had to do his work on paper then just type the answers into a blank document. Then he had to watch a video about the coronavirus and take a quiz.

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The school is hoping to send the kids’ iPads home sometime next week which should make things a little easier as my 17yo also needs to computer to do her schoolwork (she goes to an online school to begin with).

My 8th grader’s first day was less stellar. She spent an hour doing some assignment in Google classroom only to have her school iPad crash before she could turn it in and for some reason nothing was saved. So she tried again and it crashed again. She was nearly in tears. The schools, though, aren’t grading any of the work so I told her to email her teacher and let it go for now. Not sure if she did or not.

Like I said… it’s going to be interesting.

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