TOLT #85 A Summer of ?

Today was supposed to be my kids’ last day of school. In two hours from now I was supposed to be picking them up and headed to the park for our annual picnic and popsicles end of year celebration. There should be water balloons and bubbles and the chaos of a bunch of kids running wild in an open space. There should be parents standing around trying to manage, talking about summer plans….vacations, camps, etc. There should be kids running up and asking for one more popsicle, searching for more bubbles and water balloons, begging for sleepovers tonight because….there’s no school tomorrow.

Instead my kids are downstairs playing LIFE. They didn’t have any school work this week. My oldest did his bridging ceremony (very unceremoniously) on Monday. And tomorrow morning we go by the school to pick-up what was left behind almost three months ago….while staying in our car and wearing masks.

Summer break feels different.

I have been tentative this whole time about who we were exposed to. My kids have only been in one building other than our home in the last three months….it was to pick out birthday donuts at Wake N Bake and they wore masks and we were the only customers in the shop. We haven’t done a lot with friends. We haven’t been to the beach once in 2020.

Next week we are going to try the beach….early in the morning (7-9am)…..and see how it feels. This summer won’t be as full of play dates as usual. We won’t be at the pool as much, the beach as much, the parks as much. We probably won’t be inviting people over every week for dinner. There won’t be trivia nites and concert nights and ice cream stops as often as possible. We won’t be at the library or the museums. We will be home, for the most part, as we have been for the past three months.

In August we will face the challenge of returning to school….maybe.

I wonder what we will be like then.

What are your plans for the summer?

How have you handled the end of the school year?

 

Race Report – My First Virtual Run

I never did post anything last fall about the 15k that I struggled through and finished. It was uneventful and disappointing in so many ways that I guess it’s why I never posted. Then, I moved straight into training for my half marathon that was going to happen in April…..but Coronavirus happened instead. So, I shifted gears again…..I started training with my 9yo for his 1 mile run for his school. This is the race that I have been on the race committee for for the past 3 years and helped with over all 4 years we’ve been at the school. It too was supposed to be in April…. Continue reading “Race Report – My First Virtual Run”

I love reading Ilana’s book lists. I have found some of my kids’ favorite books from her lists. This one in particular made me think that maybe my kids don’t read enough different authors or types of books. They sometimes have difficulty connecting to stories about kids that are different from them. This is probably a fault of my own doing. I tend to look for books featuring boys (except for our most recent books: Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy and The Secret Garden). I want to expand our list of titles on our next library trip!

 

The stories on the news right now are horrifying and make racism in this country seem insurmountable. But we must consider that by not acknowledging the existence of racism with our kids, including all the smaller examples that do not make the news, we are contributing to the problem. This week, Harlow and I read…

via Fill Your Kids’ Shelves with Books About Black Experiences — Mommy Shorts

Fave Reads Friday #20 – Fill Your Kids’ Shelves with Books About Black Experiences — Mommy Shorts

TOLT #84 and Throwback Thursday: Headed Toward 40

Six years ago I wrote a post called First Steps in which I was musing about waiting for my baby to start walking and about how hard it was for me to get started back to exercise:

First, I am no longer 23 or 29 or even 32. Last year when I started back running after a cool winter break I was able to just jump right into it and take off with a rather nice 9:30/mile pace. That dropped off as I got pregnant, but I was still happily walking almost 5 miles a day at about 13:30-14:00 mile paces until E got here. Today I ran 1.07 miles at a pace of 10:56/mile. Age has a lot to do with the slowing down. It effects your metabolism as well as your muscle building capacity. Getting old kind of stinks, but I’m not “old” yet, because my kids aren’t old enough to tell me I am. So, for the time being, I will just remember that getting back into shape takes time.

In 3 months and 23 days I will be turning 40. Age has always been a random and not concrete feeling to me. I don’t regularly feel like I am “my age”. However, my oldest (who is 9) has started telling me that I will officially be old this year when I turn 40. I am curious as to how that will feel.

What age did you think was old when you were a kid?

What age do you think is old now?

How as turning 40 for you?

Missing the Mom I Used to Be

This morning I did my yoga again and a 5 minute meditation. Yesterday’s meditation wasn’t for me, so I tried a new one today. I can tell that my heart chakra is very much in need of repair right now. My yoga practice keeps telling me to open my chest (closed poses are hard) and in my meditation today….I cried.

It was a simple instruction…..

Think back to one moment in your life that really brought you lots of joy

I flashed back to this moment that I have recorded. I was pregnant with my second and my husband is blowing bubbles in the dining room of our old house for my oldest to catch. He is two years old. He is adorably excited and telling me how he caught 2 bubbles or a Mama Bubble or a Baby Alligator bubble (that’s what we called the little one until we knew his name). He is smiling, my husband is smiling, I was smiling.

I felt joy and happiness and growth inside of me. I felt complete; as if this was the life I was going to have and it was perfect. What could be more perfect than watching your child’s joy amplified by bubbles?

I cried because that little boy is no longer so happy and joyful and easily entertained. That’s our fault. WE have taken away a lot of the joy and simplicity from his life.

I am not the same mom I used to be then. Then, I was less busy with work and more into designing my life around these two little lives. I was so joyful and content every day to take them places and watch them grow. Now I want to take them places and watch them learn new things and experience all of the highs and lows of their life, but I don’t feel I have the freedom to do that. I feel restricted because I tried to follow someone else’s rules about parenting and that made me strict toward my kids…..

I admit that I’ve always been a plan maker and a rule follower when it comes to my kids. I try to feed them well and raise them to be good people, but now I feel pressured to make sure that they are allowed to be “normal” kids and get to watch tv a ton and play video games and drink soda every day. I have been told how to talk to them and when I can and cannot talk to them. I have been told not to yell, but that I am not authoritative enough. I have been called names for limiting time on electronics, but then asked, what are they supposed to do? Read a book? As if education is a bad thing….

My way I parent has changed and caused me to be bitter toward parenting…..so I cried at what I have given up. Now I feel tense as I parent, as if I’m being watched and my choices judged or overruled at every turn.

I cried because I am angry in a way I don’t want to be. I cried because there are days I don’t want to parent because I know it can’t be what I used to have. I want more for them and more for myself as a parent who truly loves to spend time with her children; to watch them grow……

 

And Then March Happened

Sixteen days ago I was Thinking Out Loud about how excited I was to be on Spring Break and getting time to recover from bronchitis and get back to life as usual. But, we all know how that has turned out. So, now I am sitting here on a Saturday evening prepping for my first week of teaching online and my second week of homeschooling. We are all healthy and somewhat happy at our house, but mostly just thankful.

Choosing Peace Instead of Panic

I saw an interview the other day with a minister in Italy who is American. She and her husband and their two children are in the lock down there. She said something really profound, that they’re “…choosing peace over panic…”. I loved that saying so much that I have been using it as a personal mantra this week. I have not panicked when:

  • I learned that I would be teaching online for the WHOLE rest of the semester
  • I realized that my kids may not go back to school this school year
  • I gave up on the hope of completing my half marathon this spring
  • Technology fails have happened
  • We made a beautiful dinner and then the kids only ate half of it
  • All of the toilet paper disappeared from stores
  • The school science experiment called for heavy whipping cream and all I could find was half and half
  • I heard my neighbor outside on the phone which seemed like she’s talking to a doctor…..

Adjusting to Temporary Normal

I am thankful that my kids and I are adjusting to this temporary normal quite well. We have talked about what is going on, why it’s not time to panic, why we are staying home and how we don’t know what comes next. We’ve talked about what everyone needs and created a way to communicate that is factual but not scary. Emphasizing the reality and severity of the situation, but not over dramatizing it.

Our temporary normal means that right now we can go out in our backyard and play, we can video chat with our family, we can watch a little more tv, we can cook more food and bake more things because we’re home more. Our temporary normal means that the kids don’t have to go to the grocery store any more and that we have more time in our day because we’re not traveling around town. Our temporary normal means no play dates and no baseball practices and no trivia nites out. Our temporary normal is just that….temporary.

Maintaining a Schedule

One of the things I’ve learned over the years is that schedule is key. It’s key for me completing my work, maintaining my fitness, and when I keep a blog writing schedule, it’s key to that success as well. So, even though it’s only been a week so far, we’re maintaining bed time and get up time. We start homeschooling at 815am and take snack and lunch and recess and finish school around 3pm. We’re making up “specials” work. And this coming week, when my students “come back to class”, I will be holding a Zoom meeting for each course section at regular class time to start to create some kind of consistency for them.

A tiny Bit of Anger

I have to admit that things aren’t all unicorns and rainbows over here. Life is real and I have a little bit of anger about this situation. The things I’m angriest about are those who are judging others. I have written about this topic before (see here). I just can’t stand people who can’t respect other people’s choices.

Two areas that have irked me are people who are upset with others who are wearing masks. While I believe that the masks should be reserved for those who need it and especially medical personnel, I can’t stop you from wearing your mask. I don’t know who you are or what your situation is. I am not judging you and I won’t; but I am sure as hell judging those who “can’t stand you wearing your mask”. UGH!

The second area that has rubbed me the wrong way is people demanding free things. Look, it is WONDERFUL (in my opinion) that the utility companies have canceled disconnections and that internet providers are offering connections for students who need it to maintain school, but people…..these people need to get paid sometime too. I get it. We’re all under a lot of stress right now. Some of you may not have income at this time, some of you are suffering from anxiety of all sorts. I hear you, I see you, I feel you. However, that’s no reason to deserve something for nothing.

I guess this area hits hard for me because my brother works for a utility company. He is still out there doing his job with the mask, gloves, and hand sanitizer that his company gave him to protect himself. Does he not deserve a pay check too? So, when your disconnection happens in a few more months when all of this lifts and you can’t pay your bill because you didn’t work, I AM SORRY and I hope that there is a way for you to find the assistance that you need to get back on your feet. However, I don’t think that the utility companies shouldn’t charge during this time. They need to pay their employees who went in to work and came into your homes and provided you with the service that you needed to make it through this time…..however long it may be.

YOGA

In all of this YOGA keeps floating into my mind…..

Yoga means to yoke, join, or unite. It’s what we all need right now; to come together while staying apart.

Check out this Coping Calendar from Action for Happiness:

Colorful calendar from Action for Happiness with daily tips for how to cope with this public health crisis

One of the first things it suggests is to make a plan for how to stay calm and connected. So, here’s my plan:

  • Keep going as I am while following all of the guidance and rules out there right now
  • Keep active and start retraining for my half marathon which may not happen in 2020 depending on how things turn out
  • Keep in contact with my friends and family via text and video chats and phone calls at least once a week
  • Try to get back to this blog because someday it will serve as a record for how we all came through this…..together

I sincerely hope that you and all of yours are safe and well during this time of uncertainty. Keep checking back in as I hope to have more videos of yoga practice, fitness in the home, and ideas for keeping ourselves together throughout all of this!

Namaste

TOLT #80 – Starting Anew

I couldn’t be more excited to announce that Amanda at Running With Spoons magically appeared back in the blogosphere about 10 days ago! I am hoping that means that she will bring back her Think Out Loud Thursday groups because I truly enjoyed reading everyone’s posts and the community that it brought. TOLT groups was her last post before disappearing….so in honor of her return and the start of a new semester, here’s my random thoughts of late:

  1. This is a photo I snapped myself to show my husband what I was looking like.

    I tried branching out recently. I went to a girls’ nite in party a couple of weeks ago that was make-over themed. I am not the type of person who usually spends a lot of effort on my looks. I don’t do make-up much any more, don’t style my hair, don’t really go outside of the box for my clothes. So, a make-over party is not up my alley, but I’m also open to new things and meeting new people. This party was hosted by The Busy Budgeter  who was also my make-over artist for the evening. I tried new food, new drinks, a face mask, had my make-up done, and took pics with a fancy halo light. You can see those photos on her website as well as many tips for a great girls’ nite in!

  2. The semester is off to a great start! This semester I am teaching solely at one place and it has helped in so many ways. While I am now teaching 4 days/week, being on campus so often helps me to be more in touch with the campus community and leads me to the rec center more. Today I taught 2 classes, biked, and swam. The semester has also presented me with a new vision of success that I hope to achieve. Here’s the visual I made for my class as an example to show just three of the many areas I plan to work on this semester to keep the ball rolling!
  3. I’ve got new GEAR! Unfortunately Agnes has seen better days. She has started to shred and so I’m replacing her with two new bras that I got off of Amazon Prime Wardrobe. They’re Champion brand, which is a brand I used to wear a million years ago when I was still in college, but thought I would give them a go again. They’re certainly more cost effective than the Under Armour bras I’ve been buying the last few years. The Under Armour ones have been amazing to me, except something has started to go awry with the front zip closure. One time I was teaching yoga and the bra unzipped itself and I had to figure out how to redo it while still having 20 students doing sun salutations. And most recently I was running on the track and had it unzip when I took a deep breath. The new bras are back closure, so hoping that that helps. They’re also very adjustable and are supposed to be able to cross in the back. However, I find it hard enough to do back hook sports bras that I’m not sure I want to mess with a criss-cross at this time.
  4. My oldest is turning 9!
    We look a little different now, but the love is the same!

    Yep, I’m that mom who cannot believe she’s been a mom for 9 years now. I still remember a lot of what it was like to push that child out of my body, discussions we had when I was trying to get him to tell me if he was a he or a she in the womb, and the moment I found out I was pregnant. I remember the sweet noises he used to make when he was little and what it felt like to hold his little hand. I love going back to seeing the videos I’ve made of him over the years to watch his personality develop. I don’t write a whole lot (anymore) about my kids on the blog, but Happy Birthday Tank Monkey! Mama loves you!

  5. And finally, because all I have energy for today is 5, I need your advice. I need to come up with some music for my classes this semester and I need to find a new streaming service. I was seriously still using cds until recently! I used to have a subscription to Yes Go! music when I worked for NETA, but that was only a one year deal and at the time I wasn’t financially able to maintain a subscription based service. And before you go throwing ideas out…..I don’t have an iPhone or Apple Music. Ideally I’d love something I can pull up on the computers at work instead of using my phone so that it doesn’t die or get interrupted every time I get a notification. So, thoughts are welcomed!

What’s on your mind today?

Fave Reads Friday #16 – Summer Reading in Full Swing

Today is the first day of the Summer Reading Program at our local library. They’re doing a big kickoff party tomorrow that we’re going to, but today is the “OFFICIAL” start date. My kids got out of school last week though, so we’ve already been reading. They’re working on the Mensa for Kids’ Excellence in Reading List for K-3rd grade as it encompasses their current reading levels and ages. I’m working my way through the list of books I’ve “saved for later” at the library.

So far I’ve finished three books since I finished teaching for the semester…..

Continue reading “Fave Reads Friday #16 – Summer Reading in Full Swing”

TOLT #76 – Modeling

Well, it’s Thursday and I still haven’t finished How We Live Our Yoga, but I did start to find some anecdotes that spoke to me. Maybe the back portion of the book is meant to be the best so that if you actually stick with it it will be worth the time?

There was one passage by Judith Hanson Lasater in which she talks about how her yoga changes over the years and about being a “Swami Mommy” As my youngest is starting Kindergarten on Monday and I move into the next phase of my own life, I realize why my kids need me to do my yoga just as much as I need it. They need me to be patient and ever evolving along with them. My life is changing and so is theirs. They also need a mom who is flexible both mentally, emotionally, and physically. I need to grow and change and listen and able to keep up. Continue reading “TOLT #76 – Modeling”