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! 🥳😂😇

Games, Sports

Super Bowl 52 and why we are sad

Jack and I wanted the Patriots to win. I’m from MA and the Patriots are my team. Even though I rooted for the Raiders my entire life because they had “cool” black and silver uniforms.

Also my first Super Bowl (well, the first I paid attention to) was XV, Raiders vs. Eagles. The Raiders killed the Eagles 27-10 and I was always so happy about the Eagles losing. And Jim Plunkett.

So this year, I’m kinda going back to my roots as a Masshole, and a hater of Philly. Hater for no other reason than me remembering what it felt like to be 13 and rooting for a winning team.

We were sad to see the Patriots lose. It was another good game and we were hoping for the same ending as last year. Woulda been great Tom!

me: Jack, what are you doing up there… bedtime!

Jack: Drowning my sorrows…

He was upset that the Patriots lost, and apparently there are a lot of rude Philly fans in 8th grade.

Jack: They’re all gonna be so obnoxious tomorrow. Sigh.

me: Ignore then.

Jack: You’ve obviously never been in 8th grade.

Obviously. Haha.

Play, School, Sports, Tae Kwon Do, Uncategorized

Sunday Funday & a stressful week.


It’s been a busy week. Ok it’s been a busy month! So many activities and sports and parties and stuffffff!

Jack: I never have a free night!!! I have soccer practice Tuesday and Friday, then taekwondo Tuesday and Thursday, then games on Saturday and then your classes and homework!!!

me: You were free Wednesday remember? I skipped my class.

Jack: But all I did was worry about all the stuff I was going to HAVE to do the rest of the week! I’m too stressed!

me: Sigh.

Sports, Uncategorized

And the circus music plays

Did you ever have one of those mornings where when you finally get in the car, you wonder what the hell just happened? I’m sure you have. It’s like it all happened so fast and so many things all in the span of about 45 minutes? Is that it? I mean it felt like I don’t know, 3 hours or something, but when I look back it was really just 45 minutes.

So, if there was ever a question of whether or not women should be allowed to fight in real wars, I think we’ve proven that we do that every damn day! Not that I condone wars of course.
The list of what really happened:

1. We overslept. I know my alarm was set, and I know this is a school vacation week, but we did have to get to camp by a certain time and we were just running a bit late today.

Jack: Aaaarrrgghhh! You never set the alarm and now we’re going to be late oh my God it’s the worst day ever I have no time for anything!

2. I had a very intense personal call that I HAD to take. 

Jack: Oh and by the way, I know who you were talking to, and I heard the entire thing, so if you’re trying for privacy you might want to go somewhere else!

3. I was trying to get ready as fast as I could, and asked Jack to make himself some cereal to make the morning go a bit faster, but he insisted that we had to only communicate via walkie-talkie.

Jack: Mom, push the button! I can’t hear you!

me: Gah! I said (remembering to push the little button!) that you have to get a water bottle and your soccer ball as soon as you’re done eating!

Jack: Oh my volume was turned down so I didn’t hear any of that. What?????

me: Sigh.

4. I went in the kitchen and made Jack some egg whites to go with his cereal and then we heard the yowling coming from the living room.

Jack: Mom! Bella is going to barf! All over the rug!

I grabbed some paper towels and ran to chase her around the house until she finally yakked her guts up … Thankfully quite nicely into the paper towel! Yay! As I turned away I could hear her start again but yes I caught that one too. A nice warm blob of barf in paper towel all for me. How appetizing.

(Mind you my hair is still in a towel, I have no makeup on, and I’m still wearing my pajamas, at this point)

5. Next I got ready as fast as I could remembering to give Jack his allergy spray, two inhalers and to have him brush and fix his hair. So many details!

Jack: I’m not doing this inhaler because I feel better.

me: You feel better because you’re using that inhaler. Do it please.

Jack: if I needed it I would do it.

me: This is why we’re late… All the arguing. 

Jack: Mom you forgot to push the button! (Yes we’re still only talking via walkie talkie) 

6. I asked Jack to try on my old indoor soccer shoes since this was a turf field we were going to.

Jack: They fit perfectly!

me: Ah sweet bliss something is going right. (I mistakenly walk out of the room to brush my teeth)

Jack: AAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHGGGG! THERE’S A STUPID THING IN THIS SHOE THAT FEELS WEIRD! 

me: Oh geez Jack just push it down it’s fine.

Jack: NOOOOO IT WONT GO DOWN I’M NOT WEARING THESE AND I CANT GET THEM OFF!!!

me:They’re all knotted now sheesh!

7. Jack puts on his old rotten sneakers. I race around trying to get two items boxed up that I sold on poshmark. Gotta keep that 1 day shipping average going! I grab a protein drink from the fridge as Jack gets in the car. I hear the other worldly shriek of someone who just got stabbed.

Jack: AAAAAAARRRRGGGHHH I THINK I CUT MY FINGER OFF!!!!!! Wwwwaaaahhhhhhhhhh!!!!!

(He comes running into the house from the garage with part of his thumb hanging off.) I’ll spare you the details of me trying to wash and put band aids on a cut of that magnitude. Everything I did was wrong or too slow or hurt or etc etc etc. “sob”. I glanced at the clock. We were late for camp and I was late for work).

8. Yes it goes on! We get to the field with Jack trying to control the pain and his tears. 

Jack: I can’t go out there looking like this! 

me: Wipe your face. Get your coat and your goggles.

Jack: I’M NOT WEARING A COAT OR GOGGLES ITS JUST CAMP!

me: Not debatable.

(Jack hops out of the car with no coat. After I sign him in and the wind rips through his body he runs back to the car for his coat.)

Now I get to drive away and go to work for a break. Wait, I have to leave work in 2.5 hours to pick him up! I start to cry….Wahhhhhh!

I picked Jack up at noon. His team was wining the scrimmage, he had made new friends and it had warmed up outside. He was happy and talkative and tired. Whew. It all worked out.

Jack: You forgot to pack a snack. Everyone had one except for me.

me: Sigh.

Sports

Soccer Saturday

I finally became a soccer mom this year! I always wanted to be a soccer mom. Ever since the Halloween that I dressed in a soccer uniform (my actual college uniform) and strapped on a fake pregnancy belly, and thought I was so clever as everyone asked what I was dressed as. Oh I’m clever alright. Ha.

Considering I’ve been playing soccer since I was probably 10… Or younger… I could not wait to have a son or daughter that wanted to play MY sport. Oh I could teach them everything I learned over the years!!! I could practice with them! Sigh…

Two years ago I saw a summer soccer clinic hosted at my actual college which was probably managed by actual people that actually were there when I played at that school… And I signed Jack up without hesitation.

When I told Jack how very lucky he was, he flung himself on the ground in a tantrum the likes of which I had never seen. And, as you know, I’ve seen some doozies at my house. 

So, I let him calm down and waited a few weeks hoping he might come around. I emailed the camp to make sure he was registered and confirmed the start time. 

On the day of the camp I asked Jack if he wanted to play soccer, and he said yes! Until… He found out it wasn’t in the driveway with a nerf ball. He again flung himself on the floor and screamed that I was ruining his life! He was 7. Or 8. Did he even have a life to ruin yet? Geez.

I called the camp, defeated, and asked for a refund. 😦

So this year when all of Jack’s friends fell in love with soccer, so did he. And I became cautiously hopeful. Again. I wish I was still playing soccer. Really. And I guess I could, but the injuries and the lack of time, what with my martial arts classes like 4 times a week, make it kind of hard. Ugh. And it’s not easy to bounce back (when you’re above the age of 20) from a dislocated jaw (I was behind a guy as he flung his arms out to kick the ball in front of us), or a sprained ankle, (they put me against a guy with no arms, true story, and I was afraid to knock him down, so he knocked me down, having not been very afraid at all of my two working arms — and ovaries… Helloooo!), or the bloody swollen tops of my feet (from trying to get the ball away from 20-year-old Brazilian boys who clearly in their minds were in the World Cup at this very moment)… I could go on. But luckily for you I won’t.

I found myself at 7:30 am out on a chilly and wet, but beautiful, soccer field watching the boys on Jack’s team arrive, waiting for their 20-something coaches to show up. I organized the boys into a line and I jumped into the goal to let them take shots on me, and warm up. My sneakers got wet and dirty, and my hair frizzed out but I loved it!

We lost the game 8-5 or something very close to a football score. I yelled encouragement and pointers from the sidelines and I paced back and forth while the other parents huddled in their camp chairs. It was great!

me: Jack! You can move up a little but stay on that guy! That was a nice kick! 

Jack: Quiet wannabee coach!!!!! 

me: Sigh…

    
 

Conversations, Sports, Workout

Glass half empty? Or full of…

Jack and I took a 4-mile bike ride again this morning to get an egg sandwich and a donut (both him). I drank water. Too early for all that food!

We timed ourselves. 15 minutes there, 18 minutes back (lots of hills). Today we beat our arrival time and got it down to 13 minutes. Were we optimistic about the ride home?!!

Jack: Let’s just say we left here a minute earlier than we did and then we’ll get home quicker!

me: Uh…

Jack: Because I know we can beat the last time!

me: Oh so you’re optimistic, eh?

Jack: What does optimistic mean?

me: You don’t know? It’s like being positive about a situation rather than negative. (My little pessimist…) I thought you knew that?

Jack: I didn’t know. It’s not really that and I just want to say we left earlier because I don’t think we’ll beat the time, I’m just saying that.

me: Nooo, let’s be optimistic Jack! Think good thoughts and we can do it!

Jack: Well we’re not, so don’t pester me about all that…

me: Aaand now we’re pessimistic…

Jack starts riding home and along the way I sneak up behind him and pretend to bump his tire. He sees how close I am and squeals as he speeds up to get away from me. I do this a few more times because I like to hear him squeal with faux fright. 🙂

Jack: Okay we’re home. Time check. 

me: 7:42. 

Jack: 12 minutes! We beat our time! I’m getting so strong from the bike rides and taekwondo and sports camp!

me: Told you! You just had to be optimistic (plus my tire bumping helped.)

Jack: Yeah yeah but I’m tired now and there’s no way I’m walking this bike ALL the way up the hill…ugh I’m soooo tired and I’ll just do it later and I’m NOT going in the water at camp no matter what …

…And my glass-is-half-empty boy is back!  

 

Sports, Travel

Sk8tr Boy

20130918-202718.jpg

Jack: (to a bunch of girls) Hey I only have one minute left to show you what I’m gonna show you.

Small Girl: (whispers to an older girl) I think he likes her…

Jack shows the oldest girl a skateboard ramp trick. He waits for praise. The girl just looks at him and then does the same trick, but she goes higher on the ramp.

Jack: (nonplussed) Good job on your first try!

Girl: Actually I’ve done this before.

Jack: Oh then good job on your not-so-first try! Heh heh!

Girl: Hee hee. I live here all year so I practice a lot. Do you live here?

Jack: I’m only here one week a year, soooo…

Girl: Wow then you are really good!

Jack nods.

(He’s so smooth with the ladies).

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