To School or Not?

The last eight weeks in quarantine have been magical and disastrous all at the same time.  It has been really hard.  The emotions are high and all over the place.  There are so many options and none at all.  There has been all the time in the world and not enough.  So many dishes to do and the never ending laundry.  As well as the end of school and the beginning of virtual classes.

I think for parents, working or not, the dismissal of school was a difficult thing to deal with.  No one had ever been through this type of thing before.  A pandemic, what is that?  Everyone to do virtual learning?  Pssshhhhhh…

My daughter took it pretty hard when she realized that she couldn’t go back to school.  Initially she thought of it similar to Christmas break.  But then the governor came on the media and said that she was closing the schools for the remainder of the year.  That is heart breaking to a child who is so attached to the routine and her teachers, all of her wonderful friends.  Her school district has been amazing about making the transition to online teaching, with Zoom meetings and activities that the students can do at home.  They have worked around the technology and the internet issues along with making sure that kids still have access to meals.  They really have done an excellent job under the circumstances.  I applaud them.

My question is what now?

We all know that schools are giant germ factories.  Between the colds, stomach bugs, flu, hand foot and mouth, head lice, (the list keeps going) it is a nightmare trying to get families through those months where kids spend more time inside transferring germs than they do outside playing.  It seems like as soon as a kid gets over one illness, they are getting something else.  And the poor teachers getting sick right along with them.  I always feel the struggle more because my daughter has virus induced asthma.  She gets sick, her asthma can run wild.  Not cool.  I also know littles that have juvenile diabetes, heart issues, or just super weak immune systems.  These sick months the kids encounter are extra hard for them and can lead to devastating consequences if the illness gets out of control.

Here is my problem…do I allow my daughter to go back to school if it reopens or keep her home and home school her?  I have asked teachers that I know along with my daughter’s teacher what they have heard about next year.  I get conflicting stories; some say there will be regular school (no changes) then others say that there may be a hybrid model where only half the kids go at a time and there are virtual classes for the others.

I think that if the school has any common sense, they will have a plan in place as soon as possible knowing that if there is a change to the schedule, parents need to make accommodations.  But that is not the only issue.  These are the smoking guns for me:

1-the cleaning of the school

2-parents that give no shits and send their kids to school sick anyway

1-The cleaning of the school is huge for me because I know they do not clean it very well.  How do I know this?  I worked there.  Yes, I worked in this school district for a few years and the same custodial staff that was there then is there now, and most of them do not clean well at all.  The custodial staff only tidy up common areas; they don’t sanitize anything except lunch tables and bathrooms.  But most times the bathrooms will be out of TP and hand soap so I don’t know what help that is.  Also, they do not clean/sanitize tables, chairs, or desks in the classrooms themselves, the teachers have to do that on their own.  Like they don’t have enough on their plate as it is.  I have never seen any of them clean a door knob or drawer handle.  I just don’t think with the limited staff they have they will not be able to adequately SANITIZE all the things necessary.

Also, just a little tid bit to this, my daughter is not allowed to wash her hands at the necessary times.  The only time she can wash her hands is if she uses the bathroom, well if there is soap. They do not allow her to wash her hands before she eats (breakfast and lunch), after she eats, or after recess.  She is only allowed hand sanitizer.  Now I know hand sanitizer is helpful in those situations when you are in a bind and don’t have access to wash your hands, but guess what, they have those things at school.  She should be able to wash her little fingers before she eats. Aaannnnddd, I have worked with my daughter for years on washing hands and how to properly do it.  She knows what to do and does it well, so I would like her to use soap and water. Ya feel me?

2-I have watched this time and time again where parents send their kids to school sick just to be called by the office 30 minutes later telling the parent to come get their kids.  Or a parent that was told to come get their sick child from school and they don’t show up for 2 hours.  Um, no.  Sorry.  School is not your babysitter, no matter how much you think it is.  School is not your daycare provider.  If your kid is sick and is contagious, they need to stay home.  Most schools, especially elementary schools have sick policies that parents should follow.  Now do some parents let their kids go to school sick and have no clue, sure.  It happens.  But as an educator, I have watched so many people send kids to school with them coughing all over the place and snot running down their face only to get multiple other kids (and families) sick.  Not cool.  So I am sure a kid that has COVID-19 symptoms will just be sent to school to give it to other kids because their parents found it to inconvenient to keep them home.

I so badly want my daughter to have her school experiences and see her friends, but I want it done SMART.  I want the school to follow through, and I don’t have enough faith in them that rules will be followed and proper sanitation will take place.  I want parents to be responsible and accountable for making sure that they are also following policies and procedures keeping their children home when sick.  Unfortunately, I just don’t know in a building with hundreds of kids, this is even possible.

I think that it comes down to every family doing what works best for them.  Whether it is regular school or switching to all online classes or home-school, you have to do what is right. You do you.  You have to have true peace of mind that you are making the right choice.  No parent should feel bad for making that choice when they feel it was the best.  And I am ok with their choice and respect that.  I just hope that they will respect mine.

It’s Scary Here

So I love all the talk of the spooky, whether it is ghost stories or aliens. Love it all. One of my favorite podcasts that I listen to weekly is the Scared to Death show with comedian Dan Cummins and his fabulous and funny wife, Lynze. I have not been able to listen to the new episode from this week but it got me thinking, maybe I should share my experiences with the spooky things and see if any of you have tales to share in return. So, here we go!

I bought a farm house in Michigan in 2010. The house was modest on 2 acres. It was build in 1899 and was at one point farm laborer housing for an apple orchard that was in the area. The man that I purchased the home from had given me all the tax records dating back to the early 1940s. So much history, so interesting.

And most of my experiences in the home were interesting too. My very first experience I had was a few weeks after we moved in. I was doing more organizing and cleaning in the downstairs living room which had a huge picture window facing east toward my driveway and barn. As I am standing in the middle of the living room facing my tv that was off, I see the reflection of a child, maybe 10 years old run past my window. I thought to myself, why is that kid in my yard? So I run to my door getting ready to yell at the kid, and there was no one there.

Second experience was that summer. I had gotten up in the night to go to the bathroom, and as I walked past the guest room, I could see a woman wearing all white standing in my driveway. And it appeared as though she were dancing. I went to the bathroom quickly, got back in bed, and pulled the covers over my head.

It was an old house. Things would bang or ping all the time. But I learned those noises and noises that were not normal. For instance one evening I was sitting downstairs, finishing a tv show so I could head to bed. I lived alone, and no one was over visiting. All of a sudden, from upstairs, I hear a crash. Like something heavy fell on the floor, most likely in the bathroom since it was one area not carpeted. I told myself, it must have been one of my two cats, they knocked something down. But then I look over on the couch and both of the cats were fast asleep next to me. So I go upstairs and check every room, only to find nothing out of place. Nothing fell down. Nothing at all.

A few months later I was down in the basement doing laundry. Hated that basement. It was super creepy. But as I was getting one load out of the washer and dryer, I heard what sounded like someone running from one end of my house to the other. Loud heavy running, maybe that of an older child. What the hell was going on? Did someone break into my house in the middle of the day? So I drop the clothes and run upstairs only to find…no one. All of the doors were locked and everything was where it needed to be.

Lastly, I was in bed one night having a hard time sleeping. Tossing and turning. Could not get comfortable. As I am laying there, I feel the blankets slowly being pulled straight down off of me, as though someone was standing at the end of the bed pulling them. I gave a hearty pull of the blankets back toward me and it stopped.

I finally decided that I was going to put my house up for sale, and I decided to do some digging on the property and who lived there. With the use of the internet and my local library I was able to piece together a pretty amazing story. So a family bought the house in the 1940s after the man of the house returned from war. They had two children. Apparently one of the children was killed just down the road from the house in a sledding accident in the 1950s. The family remained in the home until the mid 1980s when the lady of the house passed away in her nineties. That is when the house was put up for sale.

Makes me wonder, was that the lady and child I saw? Is the child the one running through the house, knocking things down?

I have since moved into a new house, which compared to my old home seems quiet. But I do happen to have the rare oddities that happen, and some that my young daughter notices. Maybe I have a wild imagination, maybe I have some medium abilities, maybe I am just plain crazy. Or maybe what I saw is real.

Maybe…

Do you have any stories to tell? I would love to hear!

Oh, and if you get a chance, go check out the podcast! Its fantastic!

Food

Sometimes it is really hard for me to find food that I can eat. I have been following a completely gluten free diet for more than 2 years now and strictly limit how I consume dairy and eggs. For health reasons that are beyond my understanding, I avoid these foods because the havoc that happens to my body after eating these items are horrible. With that being said, it can be rather difficult to find food that I like and that tastes great.

Now I have my staples that I eat that get me through, but sometimes I long for food of my past. Like doughnuts. Or cinnamon rolls. It can be challenging. So there are times where I go to the best place-Pinterest. Sometimes I need to find something new to eat and it is my go to. Now, I am sure many of you hop on there, find something you like and make it only to find that the recipe was completely messed up. Been there. Too many times. So I thought that I would periodically share some of my fav recipes from Pinterest that are legit and work well. Along with sharing any modifications to them.

Original link: https://pin.it/sqlvisxfk46jjw

I came across this recipe a while ago from kirbiecravings.com and it is so amazing. I have a hard time finding gluten free cookie recipes that don’t call for a bazillion eggs. This recipe only calls for one egg. I can handle that as long as I don’t eat the whole batch. And they are naturally gluten free since there is no flour in them and they take care of a sweet tooth. Now my husband likes to bake more than I do, so I let him try these out and they are amazing. He made them once with almond butter and once with peanut butter; both were very good. But I did find that peanut butter was a bit too sweet. And you could use any butter you wanted to and they would be great. We also did notice that the description for the size of the cookies yielded huge cookies so the second time around we made them smaller. They were just the right size.

Ingredients to make the cookies are:

1 egg

1 cup almond butter (or what ever you like)

1tsp baking soda

1 cup coconut sugar

3/4 cup chocolate chips

*mix cookie dough thoroughly

Preheat oven to 350. Please remember ovens will cook differently based on elevation where you live. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Place 1 tablespoon sized balls of dough on the lined baking sheet. Place cookies in oven and cook for 18-20 minutes. The recipe says to cook for 10 minutes but the cookies where no where done at that time. We also noticed that when the cookies were just done, they started to collapse a bit in the oven. Take them out. These cookies can be a little over done because they will have more chew to them the next day. Also it is so so so important to leave them on the baking sheet to completely cool to room temperature.

These cookies are easy and so tasty. Next time that sweet tooth strikes, give these a try.

Who Dis

Honestly, I have no idea. I am a person who had one life then decided to have a baby. Now I am that person living with a child but really don’t have a clue who I am. What do I even like anymore? What makes me tick? What makes me happy? I am having to relearn all of this. I am sure every mom has gone through this to some extent, but it’s like I had amnesia and now have to relearn who I am all over again.

So with that, I do remember my name. I am Heather. I live in Michigan. I am married and have a 6 year old daughter. Beyond that I am trying to figure it out. Sometimes I think I know, sometimes not so much. But what I do know is life is short, and I want to do as much as I can in my limited time. So I am gonna do what I like. And I am going to do things and fail. I am going to succeed. And laugh so hard I pee my pants.

I plan on sharing a little of everything. This blog is not a one size fits all. Not just fashion or my kid. Not just food recipes or new restaurants. I want it to be all the things because life is all the things. Life is the hectic, the good and bad, with some ugly. Sometimes it’s sad or upsetting. And sometimes it’s a blast. I want to share it all.

So stay tuned. We have a wild ride ahead.