Conversations

Social Media Advice from Jack

me: Wow Jack you got over 69 likes on your birthday post already.

Jack: Nice!

me: I get about 10-15 if I’m lucky.

Jack: That’s because you post 50 pictures of a tree.

me: I like my trees.

Jack: And you post every day and spam everyone’s feed.

me: Spam? They can unfollow me. I post what I like so I can go back and look at it. How often should I post in your opinion?

Jack: Like once a month.

me: Gasp!! I post at least once a day.

Jack: Well get it down to once a week maybe or just do one post with all the photos you would have posted each day.

me: But then I can’t see them unless I swipe.

Jack: But then you’re not annoying people who don’t want to see your posts all over their feed. You’ll lose followers.

me: I don’t care about followers.

Jack: Clearly.

Sigh.

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Conversations, Uncategorized

11 Years of Blogging

How Jack sometimes shows up for remote learning.

Wow, I was just thinking back over the many, many years of blogging that I’ve done, and how I should be in sort of a rhythm with this… yet I almost forgot to update the title to Sh*t My 16 Year Old Says! I’ve done this every year right after Jack’s birthday but for some reason almost forgot. So, yes, Jack is 16. Sixteen!!! How many of you can even believe you’ve been reading this for so long. It’s all been a blur on my end. Ha!

It has been a long time omg. I know URL says “6 year old”, but trust me I started on Blogspot with “5 year old” and then changed the URL when I moved to WordPress. I still regret that 11 years later, but ah well, I don’t have a time machine and can’t go back to change that.

Jack had two friends over to celebrate his birthday, which was last week, and it was nice to have noise in the house. I mean, the animals are noisy, don’t get me wrong, but this was good to hear after the many months of COVID-related semi-isolation. It’s really getting to us!

We went to a store yesterday and we had to think back to the last time Jack was in a store… I swear it was like 6+ months ago at least! All those things we used to take for granted and now it’s like a HUGE deal to walk around shopping with a mask on and following arrows and keeping 6 feet away from everyone.

I’m happy to report that the GIANT cake we had last week is finally gone. The boys at the last of it along with many other carb-loaded food items.

I have to say, listening to these guys talk while they ate dinner, and then breakfast, and again when I drove them home, made me realize just how different their conversations are compared to the conversations I had when I was 16. I mean really, cultural appropriation? I don’t think so.

Jack: Is this Despocito?

me: Absolutely. Don’t hate on this song.

Friend 1: Totally cultural appropriation but I’m not gonna hate.

me: Cultural appropriation because they’re singing in Spanish?

Friend 2: But Bieber didn’t know Spanish before this song and he had to learn it.

me: Well, he learned it to give the right flavor to his song. That’s awesome. Madonna did it back in the 80’s with La Isla Bonita.

Jack: Yeah but cultural appropriation wasn’t a thing back then.

Friend 1: Hello, the Native Americans!

me: We’re just singing a song here that combines two languages, so we can take it down a notch. What about Run DMC and Aerosmith mixing rock and rap? That was the best!

Jack: (switches the conversation) Something something Mandalorian…

They all jump on board and talk Star Wars.

me: That should be your new podcast since your gaming podcast kinda dried up.

Jack: Guys, we should totally do a Star Wars podcast.

Friend 2: I don’t know as much about it as you.

Jack: Oh yeah, get this, my mom roasted me in the bank the other day. I was getting my debit card and they were giving me $1.00 to put in my savings so I could use the app and do the transfer, and my mom goes “Hey, that’s more than you earned on your podcast.”

Friend 1: That’s cold yo.

I honestly could listen to these guys all day. They want on about annotating something for some class and again it was just so different from what I talked about at that age. I still can’t believe I have a giant 16 year old in my house. He’s upstairs on XBox right now, being quite loud, laughing with whomever he’s playing with. Good times. 🙂

Another class extra credit assignment from October. Jack was the first to submit it of course!

Sometimes I quickly sketch Jack when he’s not looking. Shhhhhh.
Jack literally showing me what he wanted for Christmas or his birthday. Yeah, I forgot. So he bought it for himself with the shiny new debit card. :O
Health, School, Sports, Uncategorized

Happy New Year; Soon Jack Will Turn 16!

At the park working on an extra credit assignment for school. They had to solve a riddle and then go find the location and send in a selfie of them near the location. Jack was the first to turn in the assignment just like the last time!!

We’re so happy to put 2020 behind us and look forward to new beginnings in 2021. Nothing immediate has changed, and we’re still working and schooling remotely and still facing the stress of this pandemic, but we have a chance to make this year as good as we can.

Last year ended with us all doing things in ways that we would never have predicted… school fully online, no winter indoor sports or gym training, no big family parties, and no staples like going to the movies, or waiting in a crowded line to get into a popular restaurant for a crowded and noisy dinner. Everything we did was quieter, more home-based and with smaller gatherings, etc.

We still had a great Christmas, and stayed up to ring in the New Year (albeit with the slightly creepy and mildly deserted New York Times Square broadcast…). We’ve un-Christmassed the house and it’s been back to “normal” for a few weeks.

Until…

Jack’s birthday.!! 🥳🥳🥳

Oh, and this year is the first of the BIG ONEs. 16.

😱😱🥳🥳

The 16th birthday is more important, I think, for girls, because it’s their ‘sweet’ 16 (I wouldn’t dare call this Jack’s sweet 16 birthday haha), but it is symbolic just the same because now Jack will be old enough to get his driver’s permit. And, in the US and Canada, we think this is a cause for celebration! Yikes! I’ve seen my share of teen-related accidents in my town and even in my neighborhood. Not fun! But, there’s no stopping it.

And, Jack’s girlfriend turned 16 in November AND is driving, so Jack has some catching up to do.

In a few months Jack will take his driver’s permit test. The next available opening is in April, so we have some time to prepare ourselves and Jack has time to study. Those pesky questions about how many feet you need to park away from a fire hydrant (10 I believe?) and how many seconds you need to wait after passing someone before you can pull back in front of them (No seconds actually, you have to wait until you can see both headlights first…) are waiting to trip him up.

But, Jack is determined and has been studying already and also quizzing his friends that have already taken, and passed, their permit tests. He should do fine.

Getting a car will be the other fun task this year. Some things have me wishing it would stay 2020 a bit longer.

One of the things Jack got for Christmas was a shoulder bag (cough, man purse). I wasn’t sure he would like it so naturally I bought two! One for me! And it turns out he did like it. On the way to. Ew York last weekend he came downstairs with it sling around his shoulder cross-body style with the “purse” bag part in the front.

Jack: This is so convenient! Look, I have my phone and my air pods and… I don’t have to dig around in my pockets.

me: And that’s why even carry purses.

Jack: I totally get it now! Everything is literally right here!

Hahahaha, how funny. And Jack also got a rowing machine for Christmas, which sits right in the middle of the living room. So very convenient. Right?

Tomorrow I’ll make Jack’s yearly physical exam which always makes us laugh as we remember the horrors of past appointments and worrying about the dreaded “shots”. There is literally nothing on this earth that Jack was more afraid of than getting a shot. Nothing. The day after an appointment in which he did get a shot in his arm, Jack would start crying about the next year and possibility of another shot. I had to calm him down time and time again. This year we drive last his doctor’s office.

me: (pointing) It’s time.

Jack: (looks over and sees the office building) Noooo.

me: Teo, you have to get your physical soon.

Jack: I am not getting any shots!!!

me: I don’t know about that. It might be time.

Jack: Well I’m not getting the finger prick!

(Umm, you know…The tiny one they give you to take a tiny drop of blood?)

me: Geez Jack, that doesn’t hurt.

Jack: Yes it does. I’m not giving any blood. They can just use my blood from last year.

And, there you have it. Though he’s 6-foot 2, he’s still my little boy.

And it will soon be time for me to change the blog header haha. 11 years! Wow.

Thanks for reading.

🙂

Jack fighting Darth Vader at age 2
Jack and his girlfriend on New Years Eve, ready to go-kart!

Holidays, Nature, Sports

Weird Thanksgiving 2020

Of course it’s weird, it’s 2020!

Did you all have a happy, albeit slightly different, Thanksgiving? We did!

For the first time ever it was Jack and his dad plus me and my dad! (Jack’s grandfather.) Weird right? Sort of like the island of misfit toys but we made it work. 🙂

We had a turkey fiasco, a mild cranberry sauce issue that turned into a last minute dash to the store, and more food and pies than 4 people would need in a month, let alone one day.

I did most of the cooking (ok all of the cooking) and it took the better part of two days. I didn’t mind though! And naturally, we finished off the meal in under 30 minutes. We are notoriously fast eaters in my family so I wasn’t surprised. We could not even think about having seconds, so in the hopes that we could stay at the table just a little bit longer, I sent Jack up to his room to find an old Madlibs book, where you fill in the blanks with nouns and adjectives to create a wacky story.

Jack ran back down the stairs with a Star Wars Madlibs book and we had some fun with that for awhile. Yes the grosser nouns and weird body parts always make for an interesting story at the end.

We had just finished a story and hadn’t even cleared the dozens of dishes off the dining table when Jack made his announcement.

Jack: Pie.

me: What?

Jack: It’s time.

me: Sure, after we clear this up. (I waved my hand over the table and Jack groaned.)

Jack: That will take forever!

me: Well let’s get moving.

So, we all cleared and carried, washed and dried, divvied up food into containers for the dads to take home, and realized just how small our fridge really is.

Jack looked at me. I raised my eyebrow.

Jack: Pie.

me: OK! Who wants pie??

Apparently it was only me and Jack who would be shoveling pie into our pie holes.

Apple and pumpkin pies, both baked the day before, both with their own issues due to poor planning. Sort of like the turkey and cranberry sauce.

I thought I had canned pumpkin but only had canned pumpkin pie mix. Ew?? I thought I had evaporated milk but only had sweetened condensed! Double Ewww. I thought I had Macintosh apples but only had Cortland… where is my attention to detail this holiday season? Gone!! So I improvised and doctored and made it work. They were both really good and there will be only crumbs left I’m sure.

Today we packed up both our dads and sent them home and forgot to give them pies to go with their many containers of stuffing, mashed potatoes, green beans, sourdough stuffing, corn soufflé, turkey, squash, rolls and cranberry sauce. No pie!!!

When we walked back in the door today, Jack looked at me. I raised my eyebrow.

Jack: Pie?

me: Yep.

We had it for lunch and then decided to kayak in the Saugatuck River, just because. It was that kind of day.

We hope you all had a great Thanksgiving and now get to enjoy the nice long weekend!

And here’s a hint, if you eat all the pie in one day, you won’t have it calling to you for three more days! 🥳😂😇

Conversations, Pets

Playing with the pets

Jack: OMG look at Luna, she just did the stanky leg up the stairs!

me: I’m trying to relax before bed…play with them out there.

Jack: I’m bringing the fun in here!

(He drags a long string into my bedroom and both cats come galloping in)

me: Noooo.

Jack: Watch! PoBo is standing on two legs!

me: I play with them every day. I get it.

Jack: But this is ME playing with them. Look.

me: Gah!!! (Jack drags the string on my bed and Luna comes flying up)

Jack: Look, she looks like she’s conducting an orchestra! (PoBo is batting in the air at the string)

Suddenly PoBo grabs the string in her mouth and walks away. She’s done haha.

Where’s Luna? Under my bed looking cranky lol.

Typical night at my house. And in other news../

Jack: Oh so can I stay up and play the new Call of Duty Cold War?

me: Wha? Why can’t you play tomorrow after school?

Jack: Because there’s something magical about playing a game right when it comes out.

me: But it’s going to be late on a school night.

Jack: I have straight A’s.

me: Sigh. Ok.

Now the cats are all wound up, Jack’s all wound up and I’m all wound up! 🙄😂

School, Uncategorized

How to raise that grade

I came home from work the other day and was finishing up a phone call in the car. I could hear faint music coming from somewhere. I checked my car radio. Wasn’t on. I checked my work phone and personal phone in case Spotify was running… nope. Was my neighbor playing classical music while he worked outside? I opened the car door and could hear the distinct strains of… an alto sax. Jack’s alto sax. He was playing up in his room and the window was open allowing me to hear his band class in progress. Virtually of course.

Jack opted, with permission, to attend school 100% remotely, which was a change from the 2 days a week that he was going into school. There was a documented case of COVID-19 at his school, and we just didn’t want to play the odds. If his grades started to suffer, we would opt back into school at the next trimester. So far, he’s holding it together.

Jack: (via text to me while I was at work and he was at home) LET’S GOOOOOOOOOOO

me: Huh?

I looked above that text and saw a screenshot of an email from his band teacher saying that his “zeroes” for participation for forgetting his sax (when he made the choice to stay home and left his sax at school), would be changed to 80’s after Jack made a convincing argument via email to his teacher. Probably saying it wasn’t his fault, etc. etc.

me: Hey, not bad Jack. I’m glad you stood up for yourself and got the grades changed. I almost thought the letter was going to be a bad one.

Jack: You can get the teachers to do anything these days if you mention a hardship or COVID.

me: Sigh.

So, back to the car. I got out and walked into the garage. Hmmm, the door was open. That meant that Jack…actually walked Moca?

The laundry was running… he did his wash and put the clothes in the dryer??

I was feeling a bit faint.

I looked in the kitchen. The dishes were put away. The dishwasher was EMPTY.

Jack came downstairs.

me: Are you in between classes?

Jack: Yeah. For… about 3 more minutes.

me: What happened today? Everything was done?? Are you trying to give me a heart attack?

Jack: No, I just knew you would tell me to do it all anyway so I just figured I would get it done.

me: Wow thanks.

Jack: Soooo, since I’m not going rowing today can I play X Box for awhile after school?

me: Ahhh there it is…

Conversations, School

German Pitbull (It’s not what you think)

Jack is still practicing German on the Duo Lingo app and I’m getting pretty far along with French on the same app. (#2 in the Sapphire League yoooo!) I think Jack is also doing Spanish… Ambitious kid…

He was practicing his German in the kitchen while I made dinner. I had just come home from work, and in the car I was listening to our old Tae Kwon Do CD’s for fun. I heard all the classic up-tempo music which brought me right back to my martial arts class, when we used to have fitness days and were allowed to rock out to “Western” music. LOL!

Katy Perry, Firework… Justin Timberlake, Bringing Sexy Back… etc.

I was in the kitchen singing Ke$ha and Pitbull’s song “Timber” and heard Jack practicing his German. I started singing Pitbull in a German accent … “Sving your padner rownd and rownd”, I was really not realizing I was doing it hahaha.

Jack: Can you please not sing Pitbull in German?! I’m trying to practice here!

me: Sving your padner rownd and rownd, In dem Zahn Zvischenraum! (adding a little German dental speak in there from when I was in Cologne haha)

Jack: Ugh!!!

me: Okay sorry, geez.

Jack; I really need you to not be doing that right now.

And, my fun time was cut short by the tall boy. I bet he went up to his room later and started humming my version of the song. LOL!

Camp, Conversations, Uncategorized

At least it’s not MY name!

Jack and I were in the car driving to camp.

Yes camp! They had some that were actually going on tin person this summer! The kids would arrive, mask on, get their temp taken at the curb, get hosed with hand sanitizer and then get ushered (at a safe distance from the other kids) into the building.

So, we were on our way to art camp! Yes ART camp! Jack took portrait drawing and ink illustration and finally spray paint/graffiti classes. I was so excited for him. And he actually loved them.

Ok…soooo we were almost there and it was getting really bright and sunny all of a sudden, so I reached for my sunglasses.

Jack: Ohhhh, you have THE sunglasses.

me: THEE?

Jack: Yeah.

me: Thee what?

Jack: THE sunglasses, you know…?

me: No I don’t. What glasses do I have?

Jack: Haha, THE ones…

me: You mean lesbian sunglasses?

Jack: (almost spitting out the water he was drinking.) NOOO! Uggghhh hahaha, the other kind.

me: Ummm. Gay? Because I’m not, you know…

Jack: (ignores that) But you don’t have the hair to go with it.

me: To go with WHAT? Geez, we’re pulling in here so you have about 5 seconds.

Jack: Karen sunglasses. THE sunglasses that Karens wear.

me: Ha! Oh really? These are considered Karen sunglasses?

Jack: Yeah they’re not lesbian sunglasses.

me: Well good because I already have a Subaru. And I do know a few Karens that are lesbians!

Jack: On that note…

He hopped out and took his dose of hand sanitizer like a pro. They looked quizzically at the thermometer for a minute and I thought he might have registered on the infected scale, but he was good to go.

I hardly think my sunglasses are Karen style but I’m going to have to pay closer attention when I hear an outburst from someone in public.

😉

(I think that’s actually Kate from Kate plus 8?)

 

Conversations, Weather

Quote of the day – In German

Herr Jack: Hör auf zu reden, du bringst mich zum Niesen

😂

Or…

Jack: Stop talking, you’re making me sneeze.

He’s practicing German on the Duo Lingo app and I kept trying to repeat everything he was saying in my most serious German accent.

Jack wasn’t laughing. But for some reason he was sneezing!

And ironically I just started sneezing as I typed this.

Must be the messed up barometric pressure from the incoming storm and tornado warning!!! Gotta go!

😳

Conversations, Digital Technology, Phone Calls, Uncategorized

Grandpa’s introduction to tech

Specifically the iPhone 7.

phonecartoon

Jack’s Grandpa, my dad, is not computer literate and up until about 2 weeks ago had a push-button flip phone. His idea of technology is the ATM machine which he still uses with the help of the bank manager at his local TD branch. He knows the manager by name, naturally, and all the tellers know him.

I got my dad a cell phone a few years back for the simple reason of safety and updates, since I live in CT and he lives in MA. I found a very cheap and very reliable service through Net10, and literally paid $16 per month for him to have cell service. Boy did he struggle with that cell phone. He didn’t know the difference between the green send button and the red hang up button (mostly because he’s red/green colorblind LOL), because he wouldn’t ever put his glasses on and was guessing at which button to push.

Over the months he learned to successfully send and receive calls, but still preferred to talk to people via the wall-mounted kitchen phone, which thankfully had been updated at one point from the original yellow rotary phone. And that was probably the first and only upgrade it got.

We (ok “I”) recently decided that it was time for him to have an iPhone for the simple fact that he could Facetime with all the grand kids and even with the very first GREAT grand kid. If I had known the trauma I would have to endure to simply get him to make a call on this phone (which now he will only do via Siri), I would have opted to upgrade him to a newer push-button phone, albeit with bigger buttons. Sigh. I was trying to help.

Jack: Grandpa Face-timed me today.

me: What?? Really? OMG, how!

Jack: He figured it out I guess. But when I answered, he asked ME why I was calling HIM!

me: He dialed you by mistake?

Jack: I don’t know… he had no clue what was happening or why I could even see him.

me: Well he must have butt dialed you, but that’s so weird! I had showed him how to Facetime before so he knows what that is.

Jack: He was walking to the store and was very confused.

me: Sigh.

TWO WEEKS EARLIER:

me: Dad, so you have to turn the phone ON before you use it and enter your passcode.

Dad: This button?

me: Call that the “Home” button from now on so we are saying the same thing.

Dad: Now what? I just push the numbers in?

me: Yes, the ones we set up for you. Push them now.

Dad: Okay, now what?

me: Now you’re on the HOME screen. See the little phone at the bottom?

Dad: The bottom of what? I’m holding the phone.

me: No, the little green (sigh) I mean the phone receiver icon at the bottom.

Dad: What’s an icon?

me: Seriously? The picture! Of the phone! At the bottom…

Dad: Ok, so what do I do?

me: Just touch the phone icon and then you can start to make calls.

Dad: Do I have to enter my secret code again here?

me: No, that’s the keypad like on a phone. I mean it IS a phone key pad, sigh, you now can dial someone’s number. When the numbers are dark, you enter your passcode, when they are white, you’re in the phone keypad. Try to dial my cell phone and I’ll test it with you right now.

Dad: (presses one number for like 5 seconds). It’s not working. I got an “edit” message.

me: Sigh… no it’s a TOUCH screen so just gently touch it. (I wait). No a little harder than that but not more than a split second.

(He punches in my phone number, supposedly.)

Dad: Now what?

me: After you punch in the numbers, hit the green phone icon.

Dad: Again? How many times do I need to hit that button before I can make a call?? On the old phone you just pick up and dial. I thought technology was supposed to make things easier. I hit that button already three times!

me: Just. Hit. The, Button.

Dad: I have to dial the area code?

me: Yes. Always.

Dad: Even for local calls?

me: Yes, because you’re not…  Ugh, just yes. Always.

Dad: Ok, hold on. Is it ringing? (I just stare at him) It’s not working.

me: Gimme, let me see.

Dad: Maybe Jack should help me. He would start with the basics, you’re all over the place.

me: I’m teaching you to dial a simple phone call. This IS the basics.

Dad: Well you’re not very good at it.

me: Oh, look, you made a typo in my phone number. (I pause). Do NOT ask me what a typo is. Technology doesn’t remove the English language from your brain.

Dad: Well I don’t have my glasses on!

me: Well… get your glasses on!

(I wait… and wait.)

me: Where’d you go??

(I wait….)

Dad: Ok, I couldn’t see the glasses…it took me a minute…now I can see. What do I push again? The screen went back to black.

me: Sigh. Enter your passcode.

Dad: Didn’t I already do that?

me: SOB…

TWO WEEKS LATER, AFTER THE RANDOM FACETIME CALL TO JACK

me: That was so funny how Grandpa called you. I was dying! He has no clue still after 7 hours of me teaching him and writing stuff down for him to follow.

Jack: Mom, you should let me teach him. I would start with the basics.

(OMG Jack sounds just like my dad!!!)

And, I’m exhausted just typing a portion of this story for you to read. If you repeat the top back and forth, oh about 25 more times, throw in some F-bombs from me (and I don’t swear in front of my dad), you’ll sort of be where I am right now.

TWO DAYS AGO:

me: (grabbing my cell) Hello?

Dad: Hey I made a call!

me: Wow, so you figured out the difference between a keypad and the passcode?

Dad: No, I just use Siri and it calls you.

me: Sigh.

Dad: Hey, so if I ask it a question do I always have to say Hey Siri, or can I just keep asking questions?

me: It’s not a companion, it’s a computer. Sigh.

Dad: So… that’s a yes??

LOLLLLL!

Please send wine.

toon662