Bunnies!!!

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Our little man LOVES animals.  I mean just LOVES them.  His favorite animal by far are rabbits.  It makes sense, his favorite holiday is Easter. He loves everything about the holiday and when he was younger we would have egg hunts in our apartment pretty much year round.  We would have to hide the eggs and hope he would get interested in something else.

Well, fast forward a few years, the egg hunts have come to a stop, but his love of rabbits is as strong as ever.  Now that we find ourselves in the age of covid 19 and quarantine, we go for a walk as a family every night.  Anywhere from 1.25-2.4 miles every night.  We live in an area that is full of the furry little critters and he gets excited every time we come across one: “MOM! DAD! There’s a RABBIT up there, give me your phone!”  This request is to take a picture of the white tailed balls of cuteness.

Each of these pictures were on a different walk.

It really does my heart good to see he has a caring heart for all creatures, big and small.  It makes me realize that newmom and I are doing a pretty good job.  I hope that the kindness in his heart stays intact.  I know that he will go through many changes, that he will grow into his own man but I want to hold onto the sweet, animal loving, caring little guy who wants to take a picture of every rabbit he sees as long as we possibly can.

Here are a couple more to close out with.

A stunning, ugly side effect of quarantine life

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So newmom, the little guy and I go for an evening walk. We go after I wrap up for the day. We get out and walk our neighborhood, getting anywhere between 1.4-2.25 miles. The other night we did not go immediately after work, we went after we ate dinner.

So as twilight was approaching it was getting darker and darker. We were walking and saw a dark mass ahead of us on the sidewalk. At first I thought it was yet another irresponsible dog owner not picking up after their animal (which happens wayyyy too often in our neighborhood. Pick up after your animals you lazy $&##s).

Because twilight had occurred and we knew it would be dark by the time the walk was over we took little mini flashlights with us. When we shined the light on the dark mass, I saw a discarded pair of purple latex gloves. It was very disheartening to see. At that point in the walk, we were near a park and there was a trash can less the 15 meters from where this even more irresponsible individual was too lazy and selfish individual had callously discarded what had the potential to be biohazardous waste just in the middle of the sidewalk.

This makes me just shake my head in disgust. Since then I have seen other instances of discarded masks and gloves. We don’t live in a project, this is supposed to be one of the safest cities in America, yet these lazy bastards are treating it like a garbage dump.

I am not the only one who has noticed this. I saw a post on social media where someone was pointing out this same thing in their neighboring city. I see adds everyday on television or hear them on the radio, see posts on various social media platforms that ‘we are all in this together’. Well obviously it means go ahead and break the law by discarding your protective gear wherever the hell you want, the street, sidewalks, in parks, just anywhere you feel like it.

Please take a minute to think about it. Why are these people wearing these items to begin with? And they feel it ok to drop them for someone else to have to pick up, putting them at risk? I really hope I don’t see someone doing this, cause I am afraid I will lose it on them. I mean not get physical, but just lay into them verbally (deservedly).

If you see it, call that person out. And if you are the one who did it, please stop and be part of the solution. This is a very ugly side effect of the times, and not the only one, but one that I am seeing more and more everyday.

Another message on a walk

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Patience with shelter in place is starting to wear thin. Everyday there are more public protests are happening across the country. People are getting tired. And antsy.

Everyday after I wrap up for the day I come up front and newmom, the little guy and I put our shoes on and go for a walk around the neighborhood. It gets us all outside and we do it as a family. I really enjoy the time together and the fresh air.

On today’s walk I saw another message written in sidewalk chalk.

It was another reminder from a stranger on why we are all doing this. I have to admit, I’m really ready for this to be done. But there’s a reason for all of this, and there it was, written in chalk, another reminder from a random person I probably don’t know or ever will.

Distance learning…*UCKS

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Towards the end of the week I saw a post on social media that a friend of the family that lives in Texas saying that the official announcement that schools would be closed for the remainder of the 2020 school year.  I spoke to another friend over the weekend in Illinois who said they were also out of schools for the remainder of the year.

Here in California, that announcement was made some time ago, leaving parents and students to enter the hell that is “Distance learning”.   Our school district (IUSD) closed schools the week of March 16th.  The staff had to scramble to get online  materials available to the families that week. we started our adventure into Distance Learning that Wednesday.  The good news for us is that Spring Break started the following Monday and it was for two full, glorious weeks.

We started back up on 4/6, right after our spring break came to an end.  To say it has been all rainbows and puppy dog tails would be an outright LIE!!!  We have had to deal with links that don’t work, missing instructions, incorrect instructions and loads of frustrations.  On top of that, our little guy can be the not most receptive student.  Most of the parents we have had conversations with have shared similar stories, not too many positive experiences and the same struggles we have experienced.

There are a million distractions at home that he is just drawn to like a moth to a toy shaped flame.  It is very hard to keep his focus when all of the creature comforts of home are just feet away.  Tell me about it kiddo, I have been working from home for about the same time, and it is hard to keep heads down for the entire day.  He has gotten better and newmom has done a GREAT job giving him breaks and timing them well.

Newmom has patience when it comes to many things.  I mean waayyyyyyy more patience than I do. Technology however, is not one of those things.  When there is a link, she expects it to work as expected. We all expect the same.  But when your job revolves around troubleshooting technology issues, you tend to understand that it’s not always going to work.  Honestly I think there times where this experience was harder on her than it was for him.

The little guy can be STUBBORN!(he gets it from his mom (that’s my story and I’m sticking to it!)) Which doesn’t make it easy when he runs into adversity and decides he is DONE.  I have heard him arguing with Newmom from my workspace.  NO fun for either of them.   Now, I am a firm believer that there are different types of authority in the eyes of a child.  A child may feel like they can say or do things different to parent than they would a teacher and vice versa.  I have heard and seen things with the little guy that he BETTER NOT be saying or doing to his teachers or he’s gonna get it!!

I do know it has been getting better.  The Teacher is doing a better job with instructions for the parents and students.  I Know it has been just as much a learning experience for the teachers as it has been for the students and parents.  New mom even mentioned today that the past couple of days have been MUCH better, much more organized and less confusion.

So as we move along, each day getting us closer to the end of the school year I hope this experience will continue to get easier and easier.  I REALLY feel for the class of 2020 and all of the experiences they have lost due to this situation.  No Prom, No Graduation, no grad nights.  All of the experiences many of us can look back on with fond (or not so find) memories.  I feel for the student athletes who lost their season.

Unfortunately even after we send our little ones back to school for the 2020-2021 school year, we will collectively hold our breaths hoping we did a good enough job to prepare them for the next school year.  Hoping that our distance learning experience was enough for them to be ready to perform at the next level.  I am sure this is another aspect of our lives that will be changed forever as a result of the year of Corona Virus.

I fell in a Prince shaped hole

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I don’t keep in touch with many people from my hometown.  I just don’t have the fondest memories of school. With the exception of three people, all my friends I met post high school.  Last week I was chatting with one of those few people and she mentioned it was snowing in Ohio.  She mentioned that normally shoe would be upset to get snow in April, but it was just kind of soothing under the circumstances we are in.   That made me immediately think of the Prince song, “Sometimes it snows in April” which is the closing track on the album Parade (Music from the film “Under the Cherry Moon”).   I was telling this friend that I immediately thought of that song and explained that it was a sad song about a lost friend.

Of course immediately after the chat I had to listen to the song.  So I pulled up the track and listened to it.  Then I remembered how much I enjoyed the entire album and found myself, you guessed it, in a prince shaped hole.  After I finished that album I went to what is personally my favorite prince album, Sign O the times and listened to it completely through, beginning to end.  After that was the Symbol album (His name is still Prince and he is still quite funky, in case you were wondering).

Today when I looked at my memories page on Facebook I saw that today is the 4th anniversary of his Purple majesties passing.  Such a talent to be lost to opioids.   It was quite the coincidence that this occurred (remember, there are no coincidence, but rather God’s providence).   I think of my fandom of Prince.  I was a pretty big fan for a while, I have at various times owned a number of his albums. I went to see the concert film for Sign o the times.

I remember quite a few occasions back in the day, living in Ohio where we had snow in April. I can even recall snow in may one year.  I remember thinking back then “I can’t believe it’s snowing in APRIL.  Of course now I can only think of Prince whenever I hear about snow in the fourth month of the year.

Have you gone back and revisited an artist that you haven’t listened to for a while?  Been reminded of something that has caused you to “fall into a hole”? If so please feel free to comment.

A blast from the past makes me smile

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Last week we reorganized and cleaned the garage.   As a part of it, we brought a couple of items back up to the apartment.  One of those items was the little guys Art easel. On the Easel were two bottles of Bubbles.  Yup, just Bubbles.

And they got some good use this week.   It has been really rainy these past few days so going outside has been even more limited.   Monday after I finished up with work I came up to the front of the apartment and the little guy was on the patio blowing bubbles.  I decided to join him.

There is something super soothing about watching the soapy spheres drifting across the air.  holding the wand in front of you and blowing as many bubbles as you can.  To see how many are blown into the world before the wand runs out of soap.

So why is this a blast from the past?  Because our little man has ALWAYS LOVED bubbles.  Blowing them, catching and popping them, the whole thing.  I have so many memories of blowing bubbles with him.  Using little wands or the big wands that can blow huge bubbles with the sweep of your arm.  We have gone to Bubblefest at the local science center (the discovery Cube, a fun place to visit).  His second birthday was bubble themed.  So bubbles have been a part of our lives and blowing them with him just brought back all those memories and with that, JOY.

This had inspired me in the past to start working on a children’s book about bubbles that unfortunately didn’t go anywhere, but after blowing bubbles with him again. makes me wonder about trying again.  I’ll let you all know in future posts.

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Until then, especially in these stressful times, I recommend you go out and find a bottle of bubbles, sit on your porch, deck, patio and just blow some bubbles together, or even by yourself.  I promise watching them drift across the air will reduce that stress. It feels like the stress is floating away with the bubbles. It is so very therapeutic.

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So let it be written…

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…So let it be done.

Famous words in a famous movie.  One of my all time favorites.  The Ten Commandments.  Charlton Heston, Yul Brynner, Edward G Robinson all directed by Cecil B DeMille.  The story of Moses and the trials and tribulations of the slaves of Egypt.

Watching this movie every Easter has become a tradition. I remember watching it when I was young with my Mom.  I remember loving the movie even as a child.   Newmom and I watch it every year. This year was especially memorable, because the little guy really took notice of it and was captivated.  Asking questions about the story and the effects.  He was just recently learning about the plagues of Egypt in his Sunday school class at church so it was even more fitting.

Its definitely overacted often and over the top, but I still get filled with joy every time I watch it.  No matter when I pick it up I am usually riveted to the television until it is over. I watch in wonder as the staff becomes a serpent.  As the Nile river turns to blood.  When the red sea is parted and when the commandments are cut into the stone.  All cutting edge for their time, technology has far surpassed these effects but I still love them.

I also love the campy-ness of the over the top acting. while I was watching I made sure to stop on a particular scene that has ALWAYS made me giggle.  When Moses is parting the red sea, the people of Israel are as in awe as the Egyptians, who have them cornered. DeMille decided to shoot this scene of three women being awestruck by the power of the lord.

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Seriously over the top and one of the things I always remember about the film.  and I still laugh every time it comes on.

As I mentioned before, the little guy was very interested in the movie this year, and I loved that. for a couple of different reasons.  I want him to be strong in his faith, knowing the stories of both the Old and New testaments and know how the lessons in them relate to his life today.  I hope that his faith will mean something to him, and not just be words and rituals he has to do because his parents tell him to do them.  I also loved that he was enjoying something that I enjoy as much as I do.

Well, until next year, SO LET IT BE WRITTEN, SO LET IT BE DONE…

The sign

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Our local school district, following everyone else has closed schools through the end of the school year.  It will be distance learning for the remainder of the school year.

It SUCKS.

So much is being lost.  I really feel for the seniors.  The class of 2020.  No Prom, no graduation ceremonies.  No parties. No Senior ditch day.

From all the educators I know this is just as hard for them as well.  Even if there is a bad apple in the bunch from time to time, they do genuinely care about their students and miss them as much as we miss our little students being with them.  I see it my social media feeds, I am related to a number of teachers.  They miss the kids.

Our elementary school decided to do a car parade with all of the teachers.  They laid out a nice long route that went through all of the neighborhoods so the kids come and wave to their teacher and the teachers could see the kids who came out.  It was a great idea to let the kids know their teachers were still there for them.

Newmom saw a GREAT opportunity.  She recommended we get a poster board and make a sign.   A Sign that says that we miss our teachers and the way things were before everything in the world shut completely down.  So we went and bought a poster at the store and got our craft on.

We worked out the design and got to work . We used stencils we already had for the lettering.  The little guy made the editorial decision that the message should just read “Miss our Teachers” and they we would go with a rainbow color scheme  In the center of the poster, we would use our schools mascot, the Mighty Mustang, and an avatar of our teacher.

We then got to work

 

As you can see, the poster came together quite nicely.

The next morning was the day of the Teachers’ car parade.  We made our way outside and there were many kids and parents outside to catch a glimpse of their teacher.  Looks like they miss the teachers as much as the parents did!

As you can see, there was a little horseplay as well.

Well, it took a little longer than we thought at first, but the teachers caravan finally arrived.  It was wonderful, the teachers were appeared to be super excited to see the kids, and it was great to know that they did this DURING THEIR SPRING BREAK!!!  There were MANY compliments on our sign and his teacher LOVED IT!!!!

Many of the cars had clever signs. This was one of my favorites:

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From the Librarians…

Finally, we got to see our little guys’ teacher, Ms. Marchese who LOVED the sign.

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After the caravan passed, we made our way to the exit of our community and waved goodbye to the teacher one last time.

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Once again, Newmom nailed it with the idea of a sign, it was a lot of fun to make, and it really got his creative juices going, the next day he painted a picture and was all about drawing.

We entered distance learning this week, and we will have ZOOM sessions with the teacher and class twice a week, but it was really nice to stand in the sunshine for a few minutes and wave.

We continue to pray for this to be over sooner rather than later. But until then, we will conitnue to make memories like these that we will look back on hopefully with a smile.