Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Our Week - The One with the First Week of School

The kids’ first week back at school was a tough one this year.  I’m struggling to find the words for this intro, so instead I’m just going to go ahead and jump into the recap.  I write the entries day-by-day, journal style, so most of this was written before Jacob’s classmate passed away this weekend.  When something tragic like that happens, it really puts into perspective just how trivial some of our “problems” are in everyday life (like a slow school pickup line).  Here’s the recap.

Monday, August 9

Monday was the kids’ first day of school, so we were up at the crack of dawn AKA 6 AM.  I have to say, I sure didn’t miss waking up that early during the summer.  Both kids got ready quickly and we were out the door on time even though we took a few minutes to take back-to-school pictures by the front door like we always do.

Jacob had mostly recovered from his Sunday evening back-to-school jitters, but he was still a bit nervous on the way to school.  I kept the conversation rolling to distract him from his nerves, and I even let him read some facts about roaches to me out of his new 5,000 Awesome Facts book.  Friends, I’m telling you, that is true love.  I DESPISE roaches, and the last way I wanted to start my Monday was learning that albino roaches exist.  Oh my word.  Haha.

Drop off went perfectly smoothly, and after I kissed the kids goodbye, I headed straight to the dentist for my semi-annual bite guard checkup.  The next stop was Publix, and then I headed home and put away all of the groceries. 

The rest of the morning was spent starting laundry and implementing my new Instagram stories routine.  Since the kids are back at school, I’m going to be posting my daily to do lists in stories again, and I’m also going to start promoting blog posts in my stories as well.  I used to do a static post for a lot of my blog posts, but I fell off that wagon a long time ago. 

B worked from home on Monday, so he and I decided to go to a local appliance store on Monday morning to order a new washer and dryer.  Our set is 12 years old, and we’ve been having some issues with the washer as well as the dryer.  The buttons on the washer stopped working properly so when I do a load of clothes, I never know if I’m actually getting cold water or hot water or low spin or high spin, and the dryer has started (literally) eating our clothes. 

Yep, there’s something BAD wrong with the dryer – every time it’s running, clothes get stuck in some spot, and when you pull them out, the items are getting stained with some kind of black grease and many of them are getting badly stretched and even ripped.  I’ve had to toss so many different items that were beyond repair these past two months and it’s killing me.  Definitely time for something new!

I asked for washer and dryer recommendations from the Instagram community Sunday, and the overwhelming majority said Speed Queen is, hands down, the best on the market.  I did some research, and apparently the internet agrees with that statement.  Sure enough, we asked the salesperson at the appliance store, and she said Speed Queen without hesitation. 

They had three different models of Speed Queens, and we got the middle set.  The low-end set didn’t have a “delicates” option on the washer, and the high-end set had way too many fancy things that we’d never use, but the middle set was just right.  And it came with two extra years on the warranty.  Unfortunately, the saleslady told us that they’re all backordered right now, and they don’t even have an ETA, so there’s no telling how long it will be before we receive them.  I’m likely going to be air-drying most of our clothes from this point going forward, so hopefully they’ll be worth the wait!

After making our purchase, we decided to swing by Aldi because it was right next door and we’d never been.  I know a lot of people rave about it, but other than the good prices for produce, I wasn’t the least bit impressed.  It’s no Trader Joe’s, that’s for sure!

On the way home, B and I swung by Chipotle to pick up lunch, and then we took it home to eat.  The rest of the afternoon was spent working in my office and counting down the minutes until I could pick up the kids.  I’m always so eager to get them on their first day.  I did get this picture from someone at the school to hold me over, though.  ;o)

Our school has started using a new electronic system for car line pickup, and Monday was the first day they used it.  Apparently, there were some major glitches the first day, because I arrived at the school at 2:50 like I always do, and the traffic was backed up all the way down the main road one block over from the school.  I ended up sitting for nearly 30 minutes without moving (and the kids were supposed to start dismissing at 2:50 and then 3 as it’s staggered), and I had no clue what was going on.  By the time I got to the actual school sidewalk, it was nearly 4 PM, and that was when one of the teachers told me that they’d had technical difficulties with the new system.

Anyway, both kids burst into the car all a chatter about their days, and the whole way home they both talked my ear off.  Both of them LOVED their first day.  Jacob is in class with one of his best friends and Olivia has her two closest friends in her class, too.  Both of them love their new teachers, and they did so many fun things, and my heart was just bursting at listening to the two of them talk about how good their days were.  I was especially relieved for Jacob since he’d been so nervous.

We headed straight home, and we arrived almost an hour later than we normally do since the car line had taken so long.  Thankfully, Olivia’s dance class didn’t start the first week of school like it normally does, because if it had, we would have been so late!

Neither of the kids had homework, so the afternoon was laid-back.  I started dinner, and we got prepped for the next day, and then after dinner, the kids got showered and we let them watch an episode of Walk the Prank.  We don’t typically watch TV during the week, but since there wasn’t anything going on, we decided to let them wind down with a show.

Jacob broke out in full-on hives Monday evening – all over his torso, his face, and the tops of his feet – AGAIN, and we thought at the time that we may had found the culprit – one of the dyes in Ring Pops.  My momma said that my brother was allergic to purple dye when he was little and he used to break out in hives when he had it, too.  We gave Jacob some more Benadryl and it kicked in and cleared the hives by bedtime. 

We got them both in the bed at 8 on the dot because we were all so exhausted and then B and I finished the worst season of The Bachelorette ever.  I literally didn’t care who she picked because I barely paid attention all season long anyway.  Haha.

Tuesday, August 10

Tuesday morning, I got the kids to school and then swung by UPS Store, Target (where I saw signs of fall!!), and Fresh Market before heading home.  B was working in the office Tuesday, so I was home alone, and it was just really odd having the whole house to myself all day. 

I spent the afternoon working on blog stuff and catching up on blog reading, and right as I was walking out the door to pick up the kids, it started pouring.  My drive to the school ended up being one of the scariest drives ever.  My route is pretty much all highway, so the speed limit is 70, but it was pouring so hard that everyone was going 35 the whole way because it was impossible to see. 

There ended up being a horrible wreck about halfway there, so all four lanes of highway came to a complete standstill for quite some time, and the whole time it continued to pour and lightning like crazy.  The storm was close, too – the lightning was right on top of us the whole time because the lightning and thunder were happening simultaneously.  Traffic eventually funneled down to one lane, and the one lane started moving, and then when I came out on the other side, I ended up hydroplaning because there was so much water on the highway.  It only lasted a couple of seconds, but man, it was terrifying. 

I passed two more wrecks on the other side of the highway before I finally reached the main road that’s one block away from the kids’ school.  The school had already sent a text saying that they were delaying the car line for safety reasons, so the car line was a whole block away and down the main street.  Lots of lanes were being blocked and there were people honking and people driving up on the sidewalks, and all kinds of other craziness and it was super stressful since it was all happening in this crazy storm.

The car line finally started moving 30 minutes after it was supposed to, and we finally got out of there at 4 PM… a whole hour after we normally do.  The whole highway was still at a standstill on our route home, so we had to take the backroads, which meant the drive took twice as long.  Since we had to go the long way, we stopped by Olivia’s dance school to pick up her new leotard, and then we finally made it home at 4:30.  Whew. 

I was a hot mess of anxiety by the time we got home, so I poured a glass of wine before starting dinner.  The rest of the evening went fairly smoothly, and I even squeezed in a stair stepper workout.  We watched a Walk the Prank with the kids and then got them in bed.  B watched an episode of Sweet Tooth while I caught up on social media stuff, and then we called it a day.

Wednesday, August 11

Wednesday morning, Jacob woke up with hugely swollen bags under eyes… another allergic reaction!  What on earth?!  Tuesday, he didn’t have a Ring Pop or either of the other things we’d thought might be the culprit, so I knew then that it must’ve been related to his back-to-school jitters.  He was just way more nervous this year than ever for some reason, and I think it sent his body into a tailspin.    

We gave him some Claritin and then I got them to school.  I didn’t have anything on the calendar Wednesday, so I spent the whole day working, paying some bills, and catching up on emails.  I tend to stay on top of my emails, but every now and then I let them slip, and this was one of those times where they were out of control! 

Wednesday, I left even earlier for the car line, and traffic was still backed up out to the main road a block away from the school.  Goodness gracious!  Thankfully, the line started on time and moved much more quickly that Monday and Tuesday, so we were outta there by 3:25.  Still later than usual, but definitely some progress in the right direction. 

I surprised the kids with Blizzards from Dairy Queen after we got out of the car line, and we picked one up for B and brought it back home to him, too.  The rest of the afternoon and evening were spent prepping for the next day, cooking, and then watching Lego Masters that we’d DVRed from the previous day.   

Thursday, August 12

Thursday morning, I got some work done, returned some stuff at Bed, Bath, and Beyond, and met with my therapist… in-person again, but I think those days are numbered with these Covid cases rising so drastically.  Sigh.  The last few times we met, she and I both felt comfortable not wearing masks since we’re both vaccinated, but this time we both stayed masked up.

The rest of the day was spent working in my office, and then I grabbed the kids from school.  We had a quick, early dinner when B got home from work, and then they all headed outside to play while I went to the kids’ school for Parent Information Night. 

The school had two 30-minute segments, so I sat in Jacob’s class for the first one, and then sat in Olivia’s class for the second.  Both of their teachers seem really great this year, and I’m praying that both kids have an amazing year. 

I got back home just before 8, and we let the kids watch a few minutes of America’s Got Talent that we’d recorded from earlier in the week.  After that, the kiddos got into bed, and then B and I started watching Girls5Eva on Peacock.  One of my friends has been talking about how funny it is, so we decided to give it a try.  It’s about a girl group (similar to Spice Girls) from the 90’s that are now washed-up has-beens, and they decided to try to make a comeback in present day.  The premise sounds kind of cheezy like it wouldn’t be that great, but Tina Fey and Stephen Colbert are directing, and there are some cameos by Saturday Night Live alumni, so it’s supposed to be really funny.  Brian and I laughed out loud several times during the first episode, so I think we’re going to like it!  

Friday, August 13

Friday morning, I dropped the kids and then headed home to work all morning.  I chugged tons of water because I had an appointment to donate blood Friday afternoon.  The appointment was painless and easy, and since I hydrated better than ever this time, it was the fastest appointment I’ve ever had.  The needle was only in my arm for five minutes and that was it!  In the past it’s taken 10-20 minutes each time, but the nurse told me that the more hydrated you are, the faster the blood flows, and also, the easier you recover.  So, if you ever do plan to donate blood, be sure to hydrate!  I had about 70 oz of water before my appointment and everything went smoothly.  There is currently a severe shortage of blood, so if you’ve ever wanted to donate, now is the perfect time to start!

After donating blood, I headed back home and treated myself to some dark chocolate peanut M&Ms before heading to school to pick up the kiddos in the car line.  I left the house even earlier on Friday, and we ended up getting home just before 3:30.  More progress!  And both kids had another great day to finish off their first week back.

When we got home, I was beat.  Between back-to-school/waking up early and donating blood, I was exhausted, so I spent the rest of the afternoon laying on the couch reading.  I also indulged in a little cat nap, too.

My father-in-law’s birthday was Wednesday, and even though we’d already celebrated a couple of weeks prior, we invited him over for another birthday dinner at our house Friday evening.  He requested takeout from our favorite little pub down the street from our church and school, and the kids filled him in on their first week back at school.  They also played Twister.  :o)

After he left, we caught up on the first night of America’s Got Talent that we’d missed, and then the kids got into bed.  B and I watched a couple more episodes of Girls 5Eva, and after the third episode, Peacock told us that we’d have to start paying for it!!!!  We were so mad!!  So, I guess we won’t be watching the rest of that as we are now boycotting Peacock for doing such shady business.  They should tell you up front that you only have limited access.  I mean, maybe they did, and we somehow missed it, but we’ve used all kinds of streaming services and this hasn’t ever happened with any of the others.

Saturday, August 14

Saturday morning, we woke up to the news that a little girl in Jacob’s class had been in an accident at home Friday night, and that she’d been flown to Atlanta where she has remained on a ventilator in ICU.  Her parents were asking for as many prayers as they could get, so our church and school family prayed and prayed and prayed.

We broke the news to Jacob at breakfast, and he asked a lot of questions about her throughout the day.  We gave him new information as it was released (although there wasn’t much) and he seemed to handle it okay.  This is something we’ve never had to navigate before (thank goodness), and as a parent, it’s always so hard to know exactly what to say and how to handle things like this. 

We had no plans Saturday, so we took the kids swimming at my parents’ pool.  We stayed from mid-morning until early afternoon, and then swung by my parents’ house on the way home to drop the pool key back off.

We decided to grab Zaxby’s on the way home for lunch, and while we were eating (at home, of course), Olivia casually mentioned that she couldn’t taste her food.  My heart sank since that’s one of the Covid indicators, and then I asked Olivia a few questions afterward to get some more information.  She said she’d been able to taste her waffles at breakfast, so whatever was happening had settled in sometime between breakfast and lunch.

After lunch, I waved some lavender oil straight from the bottle under her nose, which she couldn’t smell either.  I asked her how she was feeling, and she said that her nose was stuffy, but that was the first we’d heard of that as she seemed to have zero symptoms.  If we’d known she had a stuffy nose, we surely wouldn’t have taken her to my parents’ house.

Positive cases are through the roof here in our area, and hundreds of students in our area are already quarantining after one week of school (although, none from our school that we know of), so we thought it would be best to go get her tested as we didn’t feel comfortable sending her to school Monday knowing that she had something going on.  Obviously, if she wasn’t in school right now, we wouldn’t have been nearly as concerned.  She gets these little colds several times per year and they’re always so mild, we’ve never even given them second thought.  Everything is different during these Covid times, though.

B and I spent the next 45 minutes googling places, calling around town, trying to make appointments online with no luck whatsoever.  There are so many people needing to get tested in our area right now that it’s impossible to get in anywhere.  Most places wouldn’t even answer the phone because they were so swamped, and places like Walgreens and CVS were booked out at least 2-3 full days just to get tested.  It is an absolute nightmare, y’all.

Brian ended up driving Olivia all over town trying to find a place, and they got turned away from four different places because all of them were booked solid for the rest of the day.  All the while, I was at home googling and calling around trying to find any place at all, and just when we were about to give up for the day, I found a pediatric acute care place that was still accepting walk-ins.  She told us that the wait was three hours and the test was going to cost $100, but we decided to go for it anyway because there was literally no other choice.

We were hoping that the girl who told us it was a three-hour wait was just exaggerating to dissuade people from staying, but Brian and Olivia did, indeed, end up having to wait three hours.  Fortunately, they were able to wait in the car, so they weren’t exposed to other potentially sick people, and thankfully, Olivia’s test came back NEGATIVE.  Thank you, Lord.

While they were at acute care, Jacob and I watched 5:30 mass live virtually.  An email had been sent earlier in the day encouraging all of the fifth grade students and their families to attend Mass at 5:30 in support of Jacob’s classmate, but since we had a stuffy-nosed child, we didn’t want to risk exposing others at church since we hadn’t yet gotten her test results. 

Mass was very heavy, and our pastor called all of the fifth graders to sit up front and have a special prayer service for their classmate.  It was heartbreaking to watch and I’m just so sad for her family.

Just as Mass was ending, we got the call from Brian that Olivia was negative, and he asked us to order some Mexican food that he and Olivia could pick up on the way home.  They brought home tacos and we made margs in hopes to have a bright spot in an otherwise heavy and chaotic day, but things just continued to go downhill.

I think Olivia must’ve felt overwhelmed from everything that had transpired throughout the day because she was very weepy and clingy all through dinner.  She ended up sitting in my lap for most of dinner and she was just so sad.  It is always so tough seeing her that way because she’s always, always so joyful.

After dinner, we let the kids play video games for a bit to try to get their mind off of the heavy stuff for a while, and then we got them ready for bed.  At bedtime, Olivia had some pool water trapped in one of her ears and putting in the Swim Ear drops ended up being a nightmare and she got upset all over again.  Jacob then got upset seeing her so upset and it was just a big ol’ mess.  Brian and I went back-and-forth between the kids’ rooms until they were both asleep, and then he and I crashed on the couch and started Ted Lasso in an attempt to cheer ourselves up.    

Sunday, August 15

Sunday morning, both kids woke up chipper and ready to tackle the day.  Olivia was as good as new – no more stuffy nose, still no other symptoms, and she could taste and smell!  Between the fact that she had a negative Covid test and the fact that her taste and smell were already back and that she never took on more symptoms, that gave us peace in knowing that it was just a little cold like we thought.  She gets these little colds pretty often and they always take this same pattern.  It’s never been a big deal before, but now with Covid, every little sniffle makes you go hmmmm…   

Unfortunately, just before lunch, we got the news that Jacob’s classmate had passed away.  Brian and I sat down with Jacob and Olivia to talk it all out and answer their questions, and they asked a lot of them.  Telling your child that one of their classmates has passed away is not something that you ever think you’d have to do as a parent, especially when they are only 10 years old, and it was tough trying to keep my composure and choose the right words.   

Sunday evening, our church and school had already planned to hold a prayer vigil for her healing, but after she passed, it ended up being a memorial instead.  We stopped attending church in person a few weeks ago when the Covid cases started spiking again, but this was something that we just couldn’t miss.  They asked everyone to wear pink, which was her favorite color, and our church was full of pink.  It was a beautiful thing.  <3 

All of us with fifth grade students sat together with her extended family in the front, and it was just heartbreaking to see so many of those sweet kiddos so distraught.  Towards the end of the service, our pastor called all of the kids in the class to sit on the floor in front so he could speak to them directly, and there were just so many tears, but also so many uplifting words and reassurances.  It’s times like these when I’m extra thankful for this precious, God-centered school family of ours… having that extra layer of worship together means everything.

After the service, we picked up pizza on the way home, and by the time we had finished eating, it was time to get the kids in bed. 

Please continue to keep Jacob’s classmate, her family, her friends, and her school family in your prayers.  And hug your babies tight.  Everything can change in the blink of an eye.


  1. What a week! Parenting is not for the weak, right? I can remember how difficult it was to try to comfort my kids at that age when I didn’t have the words myself. Praying for peace and a smoother week.

    1. It is definitely not for the weak. Thank you for your prayers.

  2. That sucks about your dryer and having to air dry for awhile! I agree with you on Aldis. Dave goes there, I don't. That's a long wait in the car line! I think our school needs to fix their car line process too. Glad Olivia didn't have covid. It definitely seems to be going around again...sigh. And as to Jacob's classmate, that must have been heartbreaking to go through and see the kids try to understand and cope with. It is much too young for that.

  3. I'm glad the kids had a good first week! Getting back into a routine can wreak havoc on our bodies for sure.
    So sorry to hear about Jacob's classmate.

  4. My goodness, what a crazy week! We had a similar situation with my youngest having a stuffy nose this past week. I was so stressed out, but luckily it wasn't COVID. Although our kids wear masks they aren't mandated in our suburb of Dallas which is super frustrating. I pray for the healing of all of hearts at your parish. What a tough way to start an already unpredictable year.

    1. I'm so sorry you had to go through the same thing. I hope your baby is feeling much better! And thank you for your prayers. We truly appreciate them.

  5. When you write your entries journal style, do you mean you hand write them out and then type them? So curious how you organize your blog posts!

    1. I type all of my blog posts in a Word document first and then copy and paste them to my blog. When I said that I do them "journal style" I just meant that I type what happened each day the following day instead of typing things up all at once at the end of each week. If I wait until the end of the week to type everything, I forget a lot of what happens, so I find that if I type up each day's happenings at the end of each day (or the next morning), I remember the details better!

  6. What a week - there are just no words for the loss of Jacob's classmate. So, so very sad.

  7. Oh my goodness; what a week! I find that loss of any kind is so hard to talk to young kids about... when my boys were in preschool and kindergarten we lost a very close family member and I tried to turn to children's storybooks to help. There are a lot of them out there.

    1. You are so right. It is always tough no matter who it is. And yes, my momma told me about a couple of children's books that I'm going to look into getting. Thank you.


Thank you for taking the time to comment... I read and respond to each and every one! However, if you are a no-reply blogger (meaning that your email address is not connected to your Blogger account), I will not be able to reply to you directly via email... you will have to check back on the blog post for a response!