Day 31: Another last day

The last day of spring break coincides with the last day for slicing.  Both have been successful.  I got several things accomplished during spring break, but not everything on my list.  And, I’m ok with that.  There were a few instances when I chose to relax rather than check a few things off my list.  Definitely the right choice.

I found that slicing this year was easier than I anticipated.  I often have the concern about drawing a blank, having nothing to write about.  I found myself hyper focused on the activities during the day.  I was constantly jotting down thoughts and ideas.  When something sparked a memory from the past I made sure to add that to my ‘writing list’.
All of these things made slicing easier.  I was able to sit and just start writing about a topic and the words flowed…most of the time.

Now, life is getting back to ‘normal’.  Both of my daughters are back at college and will focus on their finals that will occur in early May.  My son’s spring break will be ending shortly and he will be back to his normal school and work schedule.  I had plenty of family time with a good balance of me time.  I am still recovering from the long day I had yesterday.  So, today’s last day of slicing and spring break will include much relaxing scattered with a few responsibilities that need to be accomplished before heading back to work tomorrow.  Here’s to hoping this day lasts a long time.

Happy slicing everyone…until next year.


Day 30: A really fun day

This past year has been a bit busy.  Lots of family activities have made for busy weekends.  Because of this I haven’t been able to visit my daughter at college as much as I would have liked.

Today I finally was able to make that happen.  It was an early start to the day because I wanted to make sure I had plenty of time with her.  My mom has not seen the campus yet, so she was very excited about a visit.  I encouraged my son to come along, and he was all for it.  My oldest daughter decided to drive out and join us as well.

The drive was easy, no traffic, no construction.  It took about 2 hours and then we arrived.  We headed to her room first.  My mom loved how it was set up and all of her decorations.  We then took a stroll around campus.  We enjoyed the scenery, took some pictures, and had many laughs.  Our last stop was the bookstore.  I can’t visit campus without making a stop to buy fun stuff from the bookstore.

We then headed for lunch.  I like trying new places, but the consensus was Buffalo Wild Wings.  So, that’s where we went.  The conversation was random and the food was good.  We decided that after lunch we would go bowling.  We made our way to 2 different bowling allies just to find out that each one was hosting a tournament and there was no open bowling.  Scratch that idea.  The next decision was to go to indoor golf.  But, there were no tee-times available.  Scratch that idea.  Our final decision was to go to the rec center.  This was THE best idea.  We played badminton, pickle ball, and some basketball.  It was such a treasure to see the kids enjoy this time together.

Today was the perfect day.


Day 29: New discoveries

My son is pretty awesome…I am biased.

I have posted about him before and his not having a love of school.  But, I no longer fight with him about this.  He is 17, a junior.  He knows what he needs to do and it’s just a matter of getting the work done.  When he gets his work done it’s great.  When he doesn’t there are consequences.  The consequence is typically no electronics.  Luckily that consequence has only happened once this year.  Because school is not his favorite thing (or even his third favorite thing)  I thought for sure he would go to a community college and work while taking a few classes.  I thought he would take this path to figure out what his career would be.  He surprised me when he said he wanted to go to a 4 year college.  He wants to go away and live in a dorm.  He wants the independence and to discover other interests and find the path to his career.  I talk with him about the importance of getting his work done.  College is different from high school, and much more expensive. It’s important he takes it seriously.  He tells me he will.

As I said, he faced a consequence once this year.  His electronics were taken away for over a week.  During that time he discovered the guitar.  We have an old guitar in our basement.  He found some youtube videos that would help teach him how to tune it.  Then, he found more videos that teach him how to play it.  He found a new way to fill his time.  And, I’ve found that I enjoy this new sound in the house.  I was concerned that once his electronics were back he would no longer pick up the guitar.  He was improving each time he played and I want to continue to hear it.

He did his time and his electronics were returned.  I came home from work to the familiar sound of the yells at the computer and the conversations with those friends on the other side of the microphone.  It was quiet for a short time after that (hopefully because he was completing homework).  Then, there was that newer sound.  The musical sound of the guitar.  He is still interested and still playing.  That put a smile on my face.  I’m excited to see the interests he continues to discover and those discoveries he will make in college.  But, I’m not rushing things.  He still has more than a year with me and my consequences.

Day 28: Lying Liar

A few days ago I wrote about an impromptu trip with my daughter.  Today I write about what was happening at home while I was away.  Because, life doesn’t stop when I’m away.  There is always something happening at home….

The drive was easy and I made it to The Dells in good time.  We had a fun first day and planned to do a little shopping the second day.  As we completed our shopping my phone began to ring.  It was my son.  He probably had a few questions about having to drive his grandma to her doctor appointment.  I answered the phone with simple curiosity.  Then I heard the real reason for his call, they were in a minor accident, he was rear-ended, what should he do?  My curiosity quickly sank to the pit of my stomach.

He gave me the details.  They made a stop to pick up grandma’s prescription.  My son was waiting at the stop sign until traffic was clear so he could pull out of the Jewel parking lot and onto the main road.  That’s when it happened.  For whatever reason, the other driver did not stop and my son was rear-ended.  He has not been in an accident before.  I’m too far away to run over and help him so I tell him he has to call the police.  He is still only 16 years old and he is with his elderly grandmother.  He needs help with this and the police is the only answer.  But, the other man does not want him to call the police.  He wants them to just handle it.  “Of course he doesn’t want you to call the police because he is at fault.  It’s a minor accident, but you have to call.” I tell him.  So, he calls and they come.  We were informed of a very interesting rule, the Jewel parking lot is private property so they will not fill out an accident report.  Yes, this is an accident, but it’s coming out of a parking lot so it’s not considered an accident.  Makes no sense.  They do fill out an incident report and everyone went on their way.

While still in The Dells I call the insurance company and give them the details.  And, the frustration begins.  The other driver turns out to be a huge LIAR!  He disputes the claim.  He says my son backed up into him.  He says my son’s truck already had a bunch of previous damage.  “You know these are all lies!” I say to the claims agent.  “We will review the case.” she tells me.  “I will help you review the case.”  My plan is to talk with the officer at the scene.  I call the police station only to find out that she will not be in for 5 days.  I am discouraged so I explain my situation to this officer to see if there is any way he can help me.  He was not interested.  His basic view was that people lie all the time, it just happens.  I tell him that if you don’t let them get away with it then maybe they won’t lie as much.  He was not amused.

I waited the 5 days and contacted the officer that came to the scene.  She recalled the incident…nobody said anything about ‘backing up’ or ‘previous damage’.  She called the insurance company and gave them her statement.  About 2 weeks later we got the final decision.  The lying liar did not get away with it!  The insurance company accepted the claim and paid for all of the damages.  “Yes!!”  The caring side of me (the very small side in this instance) forgave him.  The petty side of me (the very large side in this instance) hoped his insurance rate skyrocketed.

Day 27: Multiples

My family is full of multiples…they are everywhere.  My mom has a twin sister.  My mother-in-law has a twin sister.  I have a twin brother.  My brother-in-law has a twin sister.  That same brother-in-law and my sister have triplet girls.

The children are growing up.  My daughter is married.  One of the triplets got married in November, another in December.  The third will be married this November.  It’s been non-stop wedding planning, bachelorette parties, bridal showers.

We can’t help but wonder, will the ‘tradition’ continue?  My daughter is finishing graduate school.  She does not plan to have children anytime soon…some day, but not soon.  The first married triplet wants many children.  She loves her new city and her new home.  She now wants to fill it with many children.  The second married triplet wants one child.  She will be pregnant once and that is all.  The third, soon to be married triplet wants many children…after she is married.

In January we were told the exciting news.  The first married triplet is expecting.  She will have her first child in August.  There will be one baby.  She is thrilled.  In February we received more exciting news.  The second married triplet is also expecting.  She is due in September.  She will only be pregnant once, but she will be having 2 babies, identical twin boys.  The ‘tradition’ continues.

Day 26: Tip-toe

A memory popped in my head today.  It’s funny how that happens.  My oldest daughter used to always tip-toe.  She was an early walker.  By 10 months she was zooming around everywhere, not needing to hold on to things.  At some point, I can’t remember the exact moment, she began to tip-toe, and just would not stop.  “Flat feet” became the mantra in our house.  I would tell her, my husband would tell her, family, friends, neighbors, everyone would tell her, “flat feet”.  It didn’t work.  She continued to tip-toe.

When she was 3 years old I noticed that she had rock solid calf muscles.  But then I also noticed that she could not stand on her “flat feet”.  She would need to shift her weight to get one foot flat, then shift her weight in the opposite direction to get her other foot flat.  That was not good.  My mother-in-law was convinced she had autism.  She does not have autism.  But, kids with autism often tip-toe is what she would tell me.  Many kids tip-toe.  She does not have autism.  So, off to the doctor we went.

There were many tests.  All came out normal.  There was physical therapy.  There was walking around with weights around her ankles.  Nothing helped.  She had just started dance class, ballet.  The teacher commented how well she stays up on her toes.  That’s really not a good thing, we joked with her.

Finally we were told that casting would be the best thing.  Casting?  She would need a walking cast on each foot.  The doctor would flex her feet as much as possible and then put the casts on.  She would need to wear the first set of casts for 2 weeks, then have them removed, flex her feet more, and put on the second set of casts, then the same routine for a third set.  That’s a lot of casting.  Will she be able to get around ok?  Will she be able to continue in preschool?  What about dance class?  Well the answer was yes to everything.  She was your typical 3 year old, just with casts on her feet for 6 weeks.  She ran round the neighborhood, went up and down the slide, and had sleepovers with the cousins.  She had fun at preschool and continued in dance class.  The dance teacher was fantastic.  She even let Bayley participate in the spring recital.  Just picture it, an adorable group of 3 year old darlings taking their position on stage, one in navy blue casts on each leg (we chose navy blue to match the dress) with a huge smile on her face ready to dance.  You could hear the murmur in the crowd, all wondering how this child was going to dance.  Well, she did it and did it well.  A very memorable evening.

After 6 weeks the casts finally came off for good.  She was so excited.  She came running to me to show me she didn’t need them anymore and boy did we learn a quick lesson.  Having your feet casted for 6 weeks causes incredible weakness in your legs and feet.  She could not run.  She could barely walk.  And, she no longer had rock solid calf muscles.  Those muscles stretched out back to normal.  Her feet were so floppy.  It was an interesting experience.  After several weeks she was finally able to walk normally.  And we all watched her very closely.  Would she go back to her old ways?  Would we need to say “flat feet” anymore.  Nope and nope.  She’s 22 and walking normally.

Day 25: Completing a project

A while back my mom asked me to make her pillowcases.  She found some cute, soft material and really wanted to turn them into pillowcases.  I’m no seamstress, but I can follow a pattern.  And, pillowcases are just rectangle.  I won’t even need a pattern.  I told her of course I would.  I measured and cut the material, and got it pinned into place.  It was pretty easy and things were moving along quickly.  I plugged in the sewing machine and I was ready to complete the project.  But, then things stopped moving so quickly.  The stitches were not coming out right.  They were too loose.  I made some adjustments on the machine, to no avail.  I put things away for the night and would resume the following day.

The following day ended up being busier than planned.  So, it was actually the following week that I resumed.  I made a few more adjustments on the sewing machine.  But, it just did not matter.  The stitches remained loose.  Time to put things away again.  Some time passed and my daughter got an inexpensive sewing machine.  It worked pretty well for her fleece pants.  So, I tried using her machine for the pillowcases.  No luck for me.  The stitches were too loose for the pillowcase material.  Time to put things away again.

My mom asked about the progress of the pillowcases several times.  I told her that I was still figuring it out.  So, she came up with a brilliant idea.  For Christmas she bought me a brand new sewing machine…a nice one, with many features.  She would have pillowcases in no time, or so she thought.  You see, all of my sewing items are in the basement, and my basement is freezing.  There is really no other place in my house to accommodate the sewing machine and materials.  And, the only thing the basement has been good for is wrapping yourself up in a thick blanket until you can head back upstairs again.

Well now it’s spring break, not real warm, but not freezing either.  So I put on some warm pants, a thick sweatshirt and soft slippers and braved my way down to the basement.  I unsealed the box and got the sewing machine all set up.  I’m happy to say…3 years after asking, my mom finally has her pillowcases.