Food, Quarantine, School, Uncategorized

What Jack Misses Most

Wow, Friday already. Time flies when you have nowhere to go and many rooms to clean, eh? We’re tackling things room by room, sort of. We started by clearing out Jack’s old “baby” bedroom, and got rid of many books that weren’t so special. Don’t worry, we saved about a THOUSAND BOOKS!

Here are some of the best books you could ever read to your child (if that child is Jack of course) 🙂 I cherish so many of these books for the illustrations (wish I could’ve used my Illustration degree to illustrate children’s books!). These books make me actually sigh when I see them and hold them. If you have children aged 0-6-ish, I would run out and get these!

Andrew Henry’s Meadow – Doris Burn
Goodnight Gorilla – Peggy Rathmann
Goodnight Cape Cod – Adam Gamble/John Andert
One Morning in Maine & Blueberries for Sal – Robert McCloskey
Close Your Eyes – Kate Banks
And if the Moon Could Talk – Kate Banks
Old Bear – Jane Hissey
The Dandelion Seed – Joseph Anthony
Owl Moon – Jane Yolen
Zin! Zin! Zin! A Violin! – Lloyd Moss

As you can see, I could go on and on. We kept about 3 shelves full of Jack’s and my favorites. How can we give those away! Someday he may want to read these to his kids. (!!)

Today Jack is doing school work and also taking an SAT type practice quiz. Geez what a crab he is (Stop typing Mom, I’m taking a test, Go Go!)

Oy!

So now I’m over here.

I asked Jack what he thinks about all “this” and if he’s ok.

Jack: I’m fine. I don’t mind being home. I can do my school work when I want to.

me: Yeah, I know but what do you miss? Teachers, friends, classes? Anything?

Jack: Not really. Though I do miss pasta Wednesday! (he sniffs dramatically). It was taken from me too soon!!!

(much fake crying)

Really? Ha ha.

Then I started looking up school pasta lunches so I could include a photo of what a typical pasta meal would look like.

THEN I started researching school lunches in other countries compared to the U.S.A. As you can imaging, we’re disgusting. Jack takes lunch to school 4 days a week, mostly due to his nut allergies (though the schools are supposedly nut free), but mostly because the food is gross.

Jack (in 9th grade): Mom, the burger meat has suckers on it.

Nuff said.

Here is a pic of what school lunches look like around the world, with US for comparison…then I will show the US lunch with pasta (though this is not our school and I highly doubt we serve meatballs). I remember back in 1984 for pete’s sake, we had great school lunches with a salad bar and a “grinder” bar (It was MA, so we called them grinders. Get over it LOL!)

schoollunches

Jack: I would totally eat that lunch from Italy, or Spain! OMG, the US lunch looks gross. Sugar, sugar, carb, carb, frozen peas.

me: And that’s why you bring lunch.

And here’s the good old USA pasta lunch:

Spaghetti & meatballs

Gross right? Well the pasta is probably acceptable, and the carrots and banana. Oy.

And, by comparison, here’s what I made Jack for lunch today. Croissant with Swiss cheese and ham, roasted kale chips, cherry tomatoes and pineapple. Of course he picked out the little wrinkly tomato. Geez so picky!

IMG_0405

For breakfast, Jack made himself some cereal and then when I made my avocado toast with lemon and an egg on top he eyed it greedily.

me: Sheesh, do you want a bite? I asked you if you wanted one and you said no.

Jack: No you didn’t.

me: I certainly did! Like last night when I asked you if you wanted sour cream for your potatoes and you said yes, then had a fit when I handed it to you. Pay attention.

Jack: Yeah, I wasn’t listening.

me: Great.

He grabs my toast and takes a giant bite out of it.

me: Do you want me to make you one?

Jack: I said no. Geez Mom!

 

math, School

Practicing the Maths

Jack has been getting some extra math help for honors Algebra II at a place in town, a few days a week. So far so good and he’s starting to feel more confident and less stressed after each visit.

I don’t recall being that worried about math when I was in 10th grade! Maybe I was but who can remember that far back. I mean, what with the slide rules and all, there really wasn’t much to it. 😂 Right?

Jack: Oh, Mom, today at math there was this kid asking really good questions and I got to learn some more stuff from him.

me: Good! Was he in a higher grade doing more advanced math?

Jack: I don’t really know. He looked like he was 8 but had a full mustache…

me: 🤨🤨🤨

Sooo we are heading into mid-term season and Jack has been cramming, not just for math. He has Science notes that we practice and quiz on each night (man am I glad when we get to the end of those note cards), Spanish, Global Insights (which is all revolutions and coups and “Mom do you really know the difference between these??” No I do not.) And English. And Health. Sigh.

Jack just completed a cool poster project for Spanish on a cinematographer, Gabriel Figueroa. It looked amazing and he did a successful presentation. Looking for a high grade on that one!

All this studying has given me a headache each night but I’m really learning so much more about DNA and King Edward I than I ever cared to know!

Soon Jack will have his 15th birthday with some of the boys and midterms will be over and he can celebrate with another amazing cake. Rowing themed! I promise I will share.

Conversations, MocaMadness, Pets, School, Uncategorized

Way too much talking. Way too early.

Today was an “advisory” day at Jack’s high school. All that means to me is that Jack goes in at 9am rather than 7am. Sooo, I get to sleep just a wee bit longer in the morning. Not bad. But what do I do? Snooze. Just twice, but enough to put me in a little panic as I was trying to get everything done and get myself and Jack out the door on time.

You know, that easy stuff like walk the dog, feed the cats, feed the dog, scoop the kitty litter, pack Jack’s lunch, make sure he has his homework, make breakfast, make my lunch, helloooo get READY like shower and dressed omg, and then actually leave at 8:30 to drive to Jack’s school for 9am. It really takes that long even thought the school is 2 miles from here.

I woke up at 7:40. Gasp.

me: (hopping on one foot in the laundry room, putting on my boots) Hey, are you eating? What did you make?

Jack: Cereal.

me: Can you please fill the dog’s water bowl and put away your lunch from yesterday? How can we make your lunch with the lunch bag full of old stuff?

Jack: Grunt.

me: (shrugging on the giant winter jacket and putting on Moca’s harness). I’m going to take Moca out, probably be gone 15-20 minutes. Okay? Can you pull out everything for your lunch please?

Jack: Grunt.

me: Okay?

Jack: Okay. Sigh.

me: Oh, and make sure to set your reminders to bring your sax home and turn in your form. You’re gonna forget.

(Moca is doing a bit of a dance as she waits to go outside)

Jack: Okay Mom.

me: (halfway out the door) Make sure you recycle that box, and do NOT leave a plastic bag on the counter with cereal crumbs in it. What do you think the kitties will do? Suffocate, that’s what.

Jack: I thought you were taking Moca out? (he goes back to crunching on his cereal)

me: (almost made it out but I pop my head back in for ONE more thing) If you could just get Moca’s food out too, that would be a BIG help… and – – – –

Jack: Mom, waaaaayyyyy too much talking for this early in the morning.

me: Gahhh! (Moca dragged me down the stairs to the garage in one big lunge. I think she agrees with Jack)

Conversations, School, Uncategorized

Quiz me the way I tell you to quiz me…

"Shouldn't you be studying?

me: How am I supposed to help you study if I can’t read your notes?

Jack: I can read them just fine.

me: The printing is so tiny and all the words run together, plus I’m not able to see writing that smudgy and dark…

Jack: Well, I’ll type up my notes and then it will help me review them, and then you can use that to quiz me.

me: Deal.

Jack: (later) Ok, here are the notes… just quiz me on this stuff.

me: Okay, what is it called when something passes through a membrane.

Jack: Don’t quiz me like that. I don’t know what I wrote.

me: Huh? Well, then what are the two kinds of transport?

Jack: Just read them like questions and don’t assume I know what’s under each bullet!

me: Ummm… Well then… What are the 5 bullet points under Active Transport?

Jack: Aarrrghhh! I don’t know. I didn’t memorize what’s under each thing!

me: How exactly am I quizzing you then? Sheesh.

Jack: It’s easy, just read what I wrote and phrase it in the form of a question. Don’t use “blank”, just use “what”.

me: Okayyyy… WHAT are the two kinds of transport?

Jack: Active and Passive.

me: Dude, it’s the exact same question from two minutes ago.

Jack: Well when you ask me the way I say to ask me, then I know what you’re talking about.

me: Sigh.

kissclipart-teen-reading-png-clipart-reading-clip-art-8a172602e9b7e09c

Conversations, School

Law of atracción

Jack and I were talking about the Law of Attraction and how if you put your mind on something and think about it positively, it will eventually come your way.

I tried it recently and was focusing on more leisure time. I got a promotion this year which meant longer hours and more work, and I started to feel as if the days were just too short. For a few weeks I focused on me having enough leisure time to go for a run in the morning, get some chores done, and maybe have some time to do things with Jack.

Enter Jury Duty.

I didn’t see this as a “more free time” type of commitment, however that’s exactly what it provided to me. The start time was approximately one hour later than my work time so I have been going for a run in the morning (and thank goodness the sun decided to finally show itself this week!). The case called for lots of lawyer meetings which meant that us jurors had many breaks. I got to READ A BOOK DURING THE DAY! Also, we had a few days with very long lunch hours. I got to GO HOME AND WALK THE DIG AND EAT LUNCH AND SIT ON THE DECK IN THE SUN.

And… I was home maybe a half hour early which allowed us to take a bike ride and go to the mall DURING THE WEEK.

Then I realized… leisure time .Ahhhh.

Now back to Jack. And the car ride.

me: See? It really does work. You should try it today seriously.

Jack: But what should I focus on.

me: How about your Spanish test? Picture getting a 100 on it. Actually picture it coming back to you with that grade written on it. Wouldn’t that make you happy.

Jack: Worth a shot.

Later that day… 👍👍👍👍👍

So there you have it ladies and gentlemen. Give it a try. Start small, stay positive, and really believe it. Trust me, it works.

Conversations, Digital Technology, School, Uncategorized

Help me but don’t help me

How many of you have gone through this exact scenario? This is a typical Jack-ism. Help me but what ever you do don’t help me! Why aren’t you helping me!? Stop helping me! Fine…don’t help me!

Lord give me strength.

Jack: I can’t find my mouse.

me: Mhmmm. Did you look for it?

Jack: I’m trying but you’re not helping!

me: I’m trying to finish the last 30 minutes of this movie, Jack.

Jack: Help meeeee! (much stomping and opening and closing of things)

me: Did you think of where you last used it?

Jack: Dad’s.

me: Well then call your Dad?

Jack: It’s not there!

me: Did you look in the kitchen?

Jack: It’s not there.

me: How about in my room? You used it there before doing homework.

Jack; I already looked, it’s not there! You’re not helping!

me: I’m trying to narrow down where—

Jack: AAaarrrgh! I can’t do my homework without my mouse!

me: Can I go look in your room? You might have just overlooked it?

Jack: No.

me: Why not? I’m thinking you might have–

Jack: I said I already looked there!

me: No you didn’t, I can just—

Jack: No! Help me!

me: I can’t help if you’re not allowing me to help.

Jack: I need to order a new mouse on Amazon right now.

me: Um, no, and you need to be more responsible with your current mouse. It didn’t just walk away. I bet it’s in your room in a bin or something.

Jack: It didn’t just randomly fall into a bin!

me: Accidentally, Jack. There’s a lot of stuff on your desk. Are you sure you don’t want me to look there?

Jack: Not happening.

me: Well then we are out of options. Why do you need the mouse anyway?

Jack; The track pad is broken.

me: Use my laptop.

Jack: I don’t WANT to use a track pad.

me: Use my desktop computer.

Jack: That’s old and slow.

me: Well what do you propose?

Jack: That you help me!!!

me: Go look in your room, I’m finishing this movie now.

Jack: (much stomping again). Yeeeeeeee!

me: What?

Jack: It was under my bed. Like how did it get there? It was just sitting there.

me: Oy.

loser

Anyhoo, this is just a “sort of” typical part of the teen brain developing. It forgets things. The forgetful part I can forgive. The rest is all Jack :O. I’ll always try to help him, but ultimately he’s responsible for his own stuff. Jack: Where’s my phone charger Mom? me: I have no idea, where did you leave it last? Jack: Did you see my Fitbit charger? (Always with the chargers!) me: Nope, I have no idea, check your suitcase, or call your dad? Jack: Hey, my mini speaker is not on my desk! me: And, I have no clue where that is either. Check the shower.

I always strongly suggest that Jack put his things in exactly the same place each night, or morning, so he can find them. He has an organizer on his desk to hold all the chargers, cables, the MOUSE, and the devices that need to be plugged in. I think it’s filled with candy wrappers.

I only have one kid, but I’m preparing this kid for life in the real world. He only has about 3 more years until he’s potentially (hopefully?) off on his own! Jack has to do his own laundry. We’re on maybe year two or three of that by now, at least. Jack: MOMMMM, I don’t have any SHORTTTTSSSS! me: Did you do your laundry? Jack: Aarrrgghhhhh!

Jack has to also do the following, weekly: All of his laundry (wash, dry, fold, put away, hang, etc), put away the dishes from the dishwasher (it used to be just the silverware, but I hate putting dishes away so now it’s his job), clean his room and make his bed, clean his bathroom, including the Mt. Everest pile of clothes that hide behind the door, walk Moca EVERY DAY after school, mow the lawn, help me with other yard work (currently cleaning out the mulch beds and laying in the new mulch, which he somehow actually enjoys!), let’s see. what else… does that sound like a lot? Oh yeah, sweep out the garage, vacuum the basement (which is something I’m adding to his list this week actually… watch out Jack… all of your black sock fuzz has really been collecting on the rug down there…) Jack has to help me with the cats nails and teeth (he’s the holder of the beasts, though they like getting their nails clipped now because they get Treeeaattttssss! They are such little piggies.) Moca I can handle on my own now (except when I bludgeon her poor back toenail by accident) 😦 Sorry Moca.

Moca just raised her head from a deep sleep to look at me after I wrote that. Weird!

As you can see, there are plenty of chores for Jack. I’m also working on his cooking skills, but we have to step up that game. Sometimes though, with all that, plus going to the gym, and oh yeah… HOMEWORK… Jack has a kinda full schedule. Like right now, he’s currently sleeping. 🙂

This little article popped up for me a few minutes ago when I was looking at teen brain articles, and it reinforces what I was writing above. Take a read! Then go put your feet up and have your teenager make you a snack.

 

Bedtime, School, Uncategorized

Things said while I type this blog

Just in case you are considering blogging or writing of any kind, use this handy flow chart to help you choose a platform. I’m obviously on WordPress, but started on Blogger/Blogspot. I prefer WordPress now because I can customize the blog look (which I try to do at least once a year when I also update Jack’s age), and because it has many more features which I love! I’m kind of a control freak and I like to have things just the way I want them. WordPress gives me just enough customization with the right amount of built-in standard features to make blogging fun and easy. Love it! But hey, you might just want to belt out a few words a day, in which case you can spout it out on Twitter (for instance).

blogservice

Jack and I were working on homework together. I was reading material for work, and he was reading a book for English. Or, rather, trying to read a book for English. He kept interrupting himself and then telling me to stop interrupting HIM. You know how that goes, eh?

………………………………

Jack: You should write a book.

me: About what? I’ve already sort of started one a few times.

Jack: A real book? Write about anything. Stop talking I’m trying to read.

me: Heyyy, you started the conversation!

………………………………

me: (whispering to myself) Maybe I should write another blog post…

Jack: Stop whispering! I’m trying to read!

………………………………

me: I’m visualizing $50,000 in my bank account by the end of the year. If you believe it, it will happen.

Jack: You should put your money in a retirement account.

me: I do. It’s a 401K.

Jack: Explain how that works…

(we talk for awhile about my accounts and how they get set up by your employers, etc, and how it’s best to pay yourself first, and anyone can live off of 10% less than their current salary and should put aside 10% for retirement or investments.)

Jack: I have to finish my English homework!

me: Hey you asked mister.

………………………………

me: Does that piece of paper say “Big brother is watching you?” What is that?

Jack: I found it in the book, so I’m keeping it as my bookmark. It’s staying with me.

me: Creepy. The face looks like Grandpa.

………………………………

Jack: (eyeballing me type this while he reads)

me: Mind your business, I’m writing a blog post. You can read it later. Sheesh.

………………………………

And there you have it. A typical night of me blogging and Jack doing homework. :()

 

 

 

Conversations, School, Uncategorized

High School Highlights – Part 1

Here are a few stories from this week. It’s been quite a transition from middle school, to high school. (for me anyway!) 🙂

Jack: I have gym class now everyday. Whoof…I really need to get in shape.

me: We can get you back in shape in no time… we’ll go a few days a week to my gym… and you’ll be back in shape in a few weeks. Gym class every day will actually be so good for you. They should do that all year long, I don’t know why they only do it part of the year. So weird.

Jack: I think we’re playing basketball tomorrow.

me: Oh, cool. What did you do in gym today?

Jack: We watched a powerpoint.

me: Um… ok…

Jack: Oh and I need a lock for gym so my stuff doesn’t get stolen.

me: Ok, we can go get one after we go to the gym tonight. Wait, we have a lock in the drawer in the kitchen. Just use that one.

Jack: I don’t remember the combination though.

me: I think there’s a 7 in it and maybe a 9. Just try it and I think you’ll have muscle memory because you always remembered that combination before.

Jack: That was like 5 years ago. It’s not working. I’ve tried every combo… I need to get a new one.

me: Ok, we can go later.

(Later, after eating dinner out…)

Jack: Let’s just go to Stop and Shop instead of Walgreens, they’ll have more of a selection.

me: Ok, I need a few things there anyway so that works.

(In the store)

Jack: Well, I guess there are no locks.

me: Wait, here’s one. It’s the last one! Let’s grab it.

Jack: It’s green! I don’t want a stupid green lock. Besides I want the speed dial kind that you just push and not have to spend an hour twirling the numbers.

me: How do you even know that’s green? (he’s color blind) Jack, the dial takes 2 seconds. We’re getting this one just in case so you don’t have to go another day without a lock.

Jack: But this one’s tiny! Let’s go to Walgreens.

me: Sorry, I’m freezing and tired and it’s late and we’re going home.

Jack: (extended grumblings all the way home … not using this lock… not taking gym class… need a real lock… etc…)

(Later at home, Jack rips open the new lock to show me how tiny it is and how awful the color is and how hard it is to dial, etc.)

Jack; This one is terrible!

me: What’s the combination, I’ll do it. (Jack stares at me). What… what is the combo? (more staring… I turn the lock over and the combo sticker is still on there back). Sheesh Jack you coulda just told me. This one’s easy to open, you just go past zero and…

Jack: Oh! I’m going to look at the old lock again. (he fiddles with the old combination lock). I just had to go past zero, that’s what I was doing wrong…now I remember the old combination! 7, 23, 9!!! (or whatever he said)

me: Really Jack?!

Jack: Now I don’t need the stupid green lock after all. Hah.

(I look at the counter where the packaging looks as if wolves ripped it apart with their teeth.)

me: I need to return that one now Jack…Grrrrrr….


And in other school news…


Jack: Oh, Our science teacher got into a car accident.

me: What?? Is he ok?

Jack: Yeah he’s ok. He had a doctor’s appointment today so we had a sub.

me: Oh, was it a he or a she?

Jack: A he, and he made random weird comments through the entire class, especially when a plane went by overhead and he told us about how he has an army of squirrels.

me: What?!

Jack: Then he ran out of the room and never came back.

me: What???

Jack: Well he eventually came back. But by then class was over.

me: Um… Ok….??

 

I’ve also heard stories about how Jack’s band teacher has them show up to class but doesn’t do anything. So they sit around for a half hour until class is over. But hey, Jack is getting good grades, so I can’t really complain! 🙂

Music, School

Band Concert Blues

Jack had a surprise band concert this week. I say it’s a surprise because I only heard about it on Monday and the concert was On Tuesday. Talk about giving a little notice eh?

Me: Jack, how come you didn’t tell me about this concert! If we had some notice I would have invited some people! Now we’re rushing around and our schedule is all messed up 😦

Jack: I told you about it last year remember?

Me: sigh.

🎷🎷🎷🎷🎷🎷🎷

Later that night…

Me: you guys were so awesome at your concert… You looked like you were having fun…

Jack: Well, that 2nd song was impossible to play I kept getting confused.

Me: I thought you guys practiced? You should have practiced more?

Jack: You don’t understand…that song has confusing parts and the timing signatures are all messed up and 4/4 goes down to 2/4 and then the rests are only half as long in those parts but you don’t know that so it was very confusing to play.

Me: Um. Oh.

🎷🎷🎷🎷🎷🎷🎷🎷

Lol! I didn’t even know what he was saying it was so funny and I’m sure I messed up exactly what he said. But he ranted for like a full minute with all these words about timing and rests and fourths LOL. I so do not know how to read music that it is hysterical.

But yay! Jack was right in front for the first time in five years!!!!

Conversations, Food, School

Less face-to-face these days

Remember the good old days where I used to post very long and in-depth commentary from Jack? Well, these days we don’t spend a lot of Face-time together. Jack usually has his headphones on, is doing homework, or is otherwise occupied… (Three hours of bathroom time anyone?)… Just saying!

That alone leads to a blog that doesn’t have as much shit in it as it used to :-). When we are together, and Jack unleashes a spectacular one liner, or he has a rambling monologue about something, and I want to blog about it… I generally get vetoed.

He has editorial approval now that he is older and more sensitive to embarrassing moments that would be for ever caught on the inter-webs.

The one or two shining moments that I get with him each day have a lot of content in them… That would make great blog posts… But, by the time I get around to blogging, I’ve generally forgotten the gist of the conversation :-). I would hate to say that Jack’s blog is winding down… Because I still love to write about him… But this may be a natural progression! I don’t know of too many other blogs that have tracked their child since age 5 tight into the teenage years. If you know of any, please comment and let me know 🙂

me: Do you want me to make your lunch today?

Jack: —-

me: Helloooooo.

Jack: (big show of slowly removing headphones) What?

me: Oy, take your headphones off.

Jack: (grunt)

me: Do you want school lunch today?

Jack: No, the food is disgusting and unrecognizable. However… the pasta is awesome!

me: School pasta is awesome huh?

Jack: —-

me: Helloooo!

Jack: (slowly removing headphones) Whaaaasatttt…

me: Nevermind.

And there you have it. Monday through Friday people! Actually I now have the “no headphones at breakfast rule” so we can actually say a few words before he runs out the door at (gasp) 6:45. Ungodly hour!!