Parenting through a Pandemic

We have had some really tough days. And while Jack is typically a pretty easy-going dude, he has been having temper tantrums over the last few weeks.

They are quite sporadic, but usually they are triggered by his online schooling. Each weekday, I break his classwork down into two or three sessions for him to complete throughout the day. Normally, it works out great… he gets his first part done in the morning and earns the chance to play video games. He completes the second part after lunch and if there is a third part, he does that in the afternoon.

Easy-peasy.

Unless there is something Jack decides is “too hard” in his classwork. Depending on the day, it could be a writing assignment or sitting and watching a boring video of his teacher explaining multiplication. Once he decides something is too hard, he goes from 0 to 100 with yelling and crying.

It’s a full-on temper tantrum like you’d expect from a 2-year-old.

It’s exhausting and frustrating.

I’ve tried to respond to it in a variety of ways. I’ve asked him to leave the room until he can get himself under control. I’ve told him that I understand that he’s frustrated. I’ve ignored him. I’ve reassured him that it’s not too hard and that he can do it because he’s awesome. I’ve asked if I can help him. In my less graceful moments, I’ve yelled at him. I’ve picked him up and put him in his room until he can get himself together. I’ve hugged him and told him that we will get through this.

Nothing works.

It’s like a teapot is slowly gaining steam and them BOOM, the whole dang thing explodes.

And then it passes. He calms himself down and returns to my office and completes the work. And he’s fine. It’s like he just needed to relieve that pressure and now it’s all okay again.

And I get it.

I understand that children going through this coronavirus pandemic are dealing with anxiety. This quarantine is hard! The coronavirus is scary! Jack is only 8 years old. He hasn’t been able to play with other kids for 12+ weeks and it’s hard. During the weekdays, when I’m the one home with him each day and I also have to juggle my full-time job, he’s not getting enough attention.

I get it.

But also, as a parent, I’m trying my best to raise a good human. And letting him having temper tantrums because he thinks his work is too hard isn’t teaching him how to deal with life.

I want to give him room to act out during this pandemic stuff, but I also am trying to raise him to be a good person.

I don’t really have any good way to end this blog post. If I had to guess, I’m thinking a lot of us are all going through the same thing. The weird balance of trying to get through this situation and also trying to raise a good kid. I guess all we can do is keep trying to do our best.

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Craft Review: Tie Dye with Toilet Cleaner

Source of toilet cleaner photo: Amazon.com

Earlier this month, I shared our experiences with a Tie Dye Kit (spoiler, we loved it and you can find the post here) and then I started thinking about other ways to personalize our clothing. Tie dye and bleach dyed clothes are super popular right now, so I figured I’d try my hand at bleach dying. The good news is that all you need is a dark colored shirt and bleach!

The bad news is that I didn’t have any bleach in my house… so I used the next best thing. Toilet cleaner.

Yup, I dyed my shirts with cleaner for our toilets. It was FREE, super easy and fun and you should try it too!

All you need is a shirt or two, some rubber bands, and toilet cleaner. You wet the shirt the same as you would for tie dying, wrap it up… once again the same as you would for tie dying. And then add some toilet cleaner!

Once I had the shirts saturated with the toilet cleaner, I’d set my watch for 15 minutes and check back. My orange shirt lightened up pretty quickly, but when I went to do it a second time with a black shirt I had to wait 30 minute or so for a real difference. I washed the shirts out as much as possible in my laundry sink and then threw them in the laundry for a wash and dry. I love how they turned out!

My orange shirt now has kind of a cloud, creamsicle look to it. It gave the shirt a little extra interest.

What was formerly a plain black shirt is now one of my favorite tops to wear. The black gave way to a pinkish-purplish color, so it’s like a more subtle tie dye pattern. It just looks so cool with a pair of jeans or shorts and it totally gave an unworn shirt new life!

Have you tried bleach dying at home? Did you use actual bleach or try toilet cleaner like I did?

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Book Love: the Bachelors of Buttermilk Falls Series

Source: Amazon.com

If you’ve been following me on Instagram, you’ll know that I’ve been reading a bunch of books over the last few weeks. I’ve been using my Kindle Unlimited subscription, borrowing online from the e-library, and also just grabbing books around the house I haven’t read in a while. One day while poking around Kindle Unlimited books, I saw “Batter Up” by Robyn Neeley, which turned out to be the first in a series and I was hooked!

There are 6 books in the Bachelors of Buttermilk Falls series and all the characters are connected. Even with the connections though, each book is really different… it’s not like the author is just following the same recipe again and again. Also, even though each book can totally be read as a stand-alone book, some storylines go a bit further for characters in later books, which is super fun!

If you have a Kindle Unlimited Subscription all the books are included for free. Otherwise, they are just $2.99 each to purchase. If you want to try Kindle Unlimited, it is $9.99 a month but you can get your first month for free here.

Here is each book of the series, in proper order:

Batter Up (Book 1): https://amzn.to/3e3F8Cl

Book overview: Bakeshop owner Emma Stevens has a secret. A delicious premonition she shares every Monday evening with the bachelors of Buttermilk Falls as they gather at the Sugar Spoon bakery for Batter Up night. Investigative reporter Jason Levine just found himself as the man candy for a bachelorette party in Las Vegas. Roped into attending the Vegas nuptials, was he hearing things when the groom shares that the only reason he’s getting married is because a small town baker conjured up the name of his soulmate in her cake batter? Sparks fly when Jason tries to expose Emma as a fraud, but reality and logic go out the window as he begins to fall under her spell.

My thoughts: This is one of my favorite books in the group and Emma and Jason keep popping up in each of the books in the series. One of the things I really like is that Emma finally gets closure on something in the last book, which is super nice!

Tangled Up (Book 2): https://amzn.to/2XiMV8L

Book overview: Abby Stevens doesn’t know what’s gotten into her, but getting tangled up nightly with the latest bachelor to Buttermilk Falls has to stop. Sure, Brandon Swift’s got rock hard abs and blue eyes to die for, but the Los Angles playboy is not the man for her. To end things between them once and for all, she might need some magical help. Brandon is settling into small-town life thanks to his new bartending gig and the cute redhead sharing his bed. He suspects she might be looking for more than a fling. After a bitter divorce and a few months of playing the field, he might finally be ready, too. But when Abby presents him with an enchanted cupcake that reverses his attraction to her, both discover strong feelings they didn’t realize they had. Is it too late to reverse the spell?

My thoughts: This book centers on the sister from the first book. I actually really liked the addition of more magic into this book and the growing relationship between Abby and Brandon.

Kiss and Make Up (Book 3): https://amzn.to/3g6DqSA

Book overview: Perfume chemist Josh Stevens has spent years making a life for himself in New York City and climbing up the corporate ladder of Kiss and Makeup, a global cosmetics company. Though his cousin, Emma, whips up soul mate predictions with their late grandmother’s pink enchanted mixing spoon each Monday during Batter Up night, he’d rather experiment with vanilla perfume oil than vanilla extract any day. Buttermilk Falls and magic are not for him. Caitlin Reynolds just needs a second chance. Sure, she’s done some questionable things in the past, but as the new owner of the Majestic Theater she is determined to turn her life around, contribute to the town’s livelihood, and prove to all of Buttermilk Falls that she’s more than the spoiled rich girl who got pregnant.

My thoughts: I actually thought I was going to hate this one, because the author did such a good job of making Caitlin the ‘bad guy’ in the first two books. I couldn’t imagine her being redeemed to the point I actually rooted for her, but somehow she did it! This one has an addition of some ghostly fun, which I thought was okay but didn’t totally love.

Holiday Hook Up (Book 4): https://amzn.to/2XdQfSC

Book overview: Buttermilk Falls bachelor Adam Reed never expected to assume the title of Supernatural Matchmaker, yet thanks to his ghostly distant cousin, Mary Reed, he’s now the recipient of one shimmering blue mixing spoon and a powerful spell that can conjure up the name of any woman’s soulmate–and just in time for the holidays! The only problem: the male names that appear are totally unexpected and causing chaos. Forget about apologies or explanations, these bachelorettes want his head on a Christmas platter. Bethany Wilson has had one wish since she was fourteen: That Adam Reed would one day be her boyfriend. Always on the sidelines, she watched the budding high school romance between her best friend and Adam bloom into something longer lasting. When the unthinkable happens and the two break up, Bethany can’t help but wonder a year later if she can finally reveal to him how she feels.

My thoughts: This book has a Christmas holiday setting, so it was a bit odd reading it in May. But other than that, it had another fun story with likeable characters and a supporting cast that we already know and love. In addition to the magic from the first few books, the ghost plays a part in this one too.

One Sweet Match Up (Book 5): https://amzn.to/2ZlMnl2

Book overview: For years, renown chef Donovan Foster made his life in Denver, way too busy with making a culinary name for himself to stop and pick up a wife and kids along the way. When he realizes that all of his friends in Buttermilk Falls are settling down, he begins to feel idle. Sure, business is good, but he’s tired of his life. Convinced he’s lost his spark, he decides to change directions straight back to Buttermilk Falls in search of it.  Being fired by Donovan Foster two days on the job had been one of the worst days of Zoe Mathews’s life. Humiliated, she’d hightailed it out of Denver, looking for a fresh start, opening up a frozen yogurt shop in Buttermilk Falls. Nearly a year later, she’s licked her wounds, running the Ice Heaven shop on Main Street. Little did she know that Donovan is the town’s golden boy who recently returned home to find his spark.

My thoughts: This was my least favorite in the book series, mainly because of the ghost. It just became really, really, ghosty in this book and I found it pretty annoying. However, by book 5 I was pretty committed to this series, so I had to get thorough it to move on…

All Dressed Up (Book 6): https://amzn.to/3bQGdfc

Book overview: Living in the town that loves love hasn’t always been easy for consummate bachelor Will Jenkins, but now that he’s hung up his mechanic rags and stepped in to run his mother’s bridal boutique, it’s unbearable. Forget about the brides circling him and constant wedding talk, it’s the beautiful blonde owner of Buttermilk Blooms that he can’t get out of his system after she ended things between them. With a little encouragement from his gal pal, Zoe Mathews, he’s ready to dive back into the dating pool.  When Rachel Foster hooked up with Will Jenkins months ago, she vowed it would never, ever happen again. Will was the ultimate playboy. He wasn’t capable of anything long – term and everyone in town knows it. Still, his trading in his dirty overalls for a suit and tie has caught her eye.

My thoughts: In the last book in the series, we finally get to the story of Rachel and Will, which has danced on the sidelines for a couple books now. All in all, I wasn’t totally into their love story after all the lead-up; however, this book tied up some loose ends from the very first book that had been flapping around throughout the series. I feel like it was a strong end to the series, even if I didn’t fall in love with the main couple.

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