A family's story

Fresh Start

In case anyone out there was wondering, I did not get swallowed up by the Polar Vortex…rest assured, I was mostly loafing around and enjoying time at home with my family. Until Sunday. When they were supposed to be getting ready for school, and instead, we got “the call” from the district that it was too cold to send our children outside, so we were stuck with them for another day…or two.

To recap December:

-Tate’s teacher missed the last 2 weeks of school. She had medical emergencies and what-not. (I’m thinking she’s struggling with fertility/pregnancy, and that kind of breaks my heart.) Anyway, despite the chaos of the end of the year and her absence, he did pretty well. Oh, and he had a nasty cold, poor kid.

-Jake’s resource teacher missed the last 3 weeks of school before break. Thankfully, the substitute was consistent through those weeks, and with his arsenal of tools in his toolbox, he coped pretty well. He was totally “over” school by December 1st. His grades showed this..but we are approaching the end of the 2nd trimester with renewed zest and excitement. (And a new tutor!!)

-On the Thursday prior to break, Jake’s class did a poetry slam. Nothing beats a 4th grade poetry slam, with some musical entertainment by the 4th grade orchestra. Jake enjoyed playing “Jingle Bells” and “Dreidel” for the parents on his viola. He was at the end of the line of his class for reading poetry. First, it wasn’t as bad as I thought it might be. Some of those kids are really talented! Secondly, Jake was quite nervous to read his poems. He hated the poetry unit. Hated being an understatement. He abhored it with all his might. Once it was his turn, he sat on the chair and looked like he was either going to bolt or throw up…possibly both. He looked at me. I gave him a nod of encouragement. He looked to his teacher. She gave him a thumbs up and mouthed, “You’ve got this!”. He took a deep breath. He looked up. He took another deep breath. And then he read his poems for the group–with just the right amount of speed. When he was finished, he was BEAMING! His teacher and I were both doing victory dances for him. And we both gave him congratulatory hugs. It was a HUGE accomplishment for him…and he DID IT!

– Cole was very excited about Christmas. His list ended up being about 3 times as long as he is tall. He loves preschool. He was sad that there was a 2-week break.

-Christmas was wonderful. We all enjoyed our gifts, nothing was overly done, and we had to return very little.  Jake loved his Angry Birds Go! set, Tate was over-the-moon about his Doc McStuffins playset, and Cole was entranced with his Legos and Kreo Transformers. Oh! And my dad got the boys a WiiU. They love it. And thankfully, Hubz is patient and played the games with them…because games make me dizzy, nauseated, and frustrated…and that’s before I have to help any of the kids with their characters!

-New Year’s Eve was laid back and quiet. It started to snow by noon…and continued the rest of the day. I had bought crab legs and scallops for Hubz and me. The kids had pizza. We really enjoyed our last day and night of 2013. And, in typical fashion, I couldn’t make it until midnight. I was out by 11:15!

Our first week of 2014 was fairly laid back. Due to weather (continuous snow for 40-some hours), extreme cold, and the like, we were hermits for most of it. We ventured out occasionally, and Hubz and I even had a date night on Saturday prior to the real frigid weather…but during a nice snow-storm that almost derailed our plans. We got to go to dinner at a steakhouse (which is ironic, since I don’t eat red meat), enjoy conversation with other adults (we went with 2 other couples), and then came home to enjoy a few glasses of wine and hang out. It was great!!

Sunday morning I ventured out in the winter wonderland to get our boys. Oh.My.God. It was awful!! They didn’t plow many of the roads, and the mini-van slipped and slid all over the place. I barely broke 35 mph, and my knuckles were white the entire drive there and back. (And it was really hard to drive back with Cole’s constant chatter, Tate’s vocal stims, and Jake’s need for reiterating our schedule for the rest of the day.) Once we were home, I planted myself on the couch, pulled my Packer fleece blanket over my legs, and pretty much refused to move unless absolutely necessary. (Of course, my team fell apart during their playoff game and lost…again. Blargh.)

By 1:00 pm on Sunday, we knew that the boys were not going to school due to the arrival of the Polar Vortex. (You need the deep-voiced movie guy to say it, for full effect.) It was cold. Silly cold. Our “high” on Monday was -12. Wind chill was -35. I was glad that I didn’t have to venture out in the frigid air. I opened the door for Tate’s therapist, and quite literally, the cold air took my breath away. I was hopeful that temps would rebound enough on Tuesday for the boys to go to school. I pulled out all of my tricks…we colored, we read, we played games, I had them pretend to go to the jungle and be animal rescuers (which really ticked of Jake because they weren’t ACTUALLY transported to the jungle…oy! literal thinkers!!!), and we played Legos, Jake practiced viola, we made a fort, and the list goes on…During Tate’s therapy, the phone rang. It was the district number. I went numb…but yes, it was “the call”…no school on Tuesday, either.

Tuesday did us all in. We were all tired of each other. No one wanted to play any more. No one wanted to watch TV. No one wanted to be near another member of our family. Hubz was the lucky one. He was able to escape to the office. Lucky man. Tate got to escape downstairs for therapy, so he at least had a break. The rest of us had to tolerate each other for the next few hours. It pretty much broke us all.

When Hubz got home, he noted our harried looks and frazzled interactions with each other. I told him we were all DONE. We put the kids to bed early last night. No one objected, so I think that was a sign…

And this morning, all was right with the world as they headed off to school for the first time in 2014…and I headed over to Target to buy a few items that we decimated during our hibernation…and got a Caramel Flan Latte from Starbucks. Mmmmmm….a good treat to celebrate the first peace of no kids in the house in 2014.




Comments on: "Fresh Start" (5)

  1. Glad that you’ve survived the cold and snow, and that you had a good end to 2013.

  2. I read this on my phone 2 days ago and tried to comment but my phone was acting up (as usual). Anyhoo … I just waned to say that reading that made me tired for you … You guys sure do have a busy life. But I think you’re amazing and you do an amazing job of keeping it together. Here’s to a very happy and healthy and low stress/anxiety/drama 2014!

  3. I am so glad you are back to blogging. I really missed reading!! I was hoping you were all okay. Reading your recap it sounds busy. I am also a Packers fan and the game was a total bummer. Let’s hope next year is more injury free…it could be our year!! And, we had the Polar Vortex as well. I hope 2014 is great for you and your family. I read your blog as total inspiration. I have one son with ADHD, anxiety and Asperger’s and I find the days to be exhausting…..but YOU are raising three boys…..and you are very inspiring to those of us reading! Cheers to a Happy New Year!

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