School started this week. My kids’ school is now 100% online, and it was…interesting.

Raines, who just started 7th grade, was fine. I don’t know if he’s just that much older or if it’s his easygoing temperament, but other than missing his friends…he was fine. He had a 5 min break after every 40 min of online instruction, and an hour off for lunch. Whenever he popped out of his homeschool zone (he has a study nook in the playroom), he was his normal happy, go-lucky self: dancing around, kissing my cheek, singing to himself. And after school? Same. Happy. Fine. This kid is such an introvert…I think schooling at home doesn’t take the same toll as in-person school. Pre-COVID, in-person school exhausted Raines, and his favorite after-school activity was — and I’m just throwing something out here — relaxing in a dark corner. Other favorite after-school activities included “sitting alone facing wall” or “fetal position on playground, hiding under coat”.   

So…yeah. Online instruction seems to be going OK.

Granted, it’s been a slow start. The first day was Wednesday, and Friday was a half day.  But some of the issues from last spring seem to have been resolved. There’s one daily schedule with all of the Zoom links needed, and the teachers are there to help the kids navigate through their day. 

Granted, that first day was still a gong show — broken Zoom links, not being able to log in, flurries of texts from parents as we all tried to help — but the next two days were relatively quiet.

And then there’s Pax. 

Pax took on his first day of online 4th grade like a general marshaling troops. We’re talking an advanced state of readiness: pencils sharpened, school supplies gathered and stacked, Google hangouts pre-loaded and visible on various devices so he could best help his friends navigate to the right class. I caught Pax trying to check in on Raines from time-to-time, making sure his brother didn’t need help.

That was Wednesday.

On Thursday, between the hours of 9 and 11AM, the kid took eight breaks. EIGHT. There was a water break, a pencil break, two bathroom breaks, and, when he ran out of good reasons, hug breaks. Apparently — just based on the data — my involvement was required for each one of these breaks. By the time Mike strolled down to grab lunch and asked how my day was going, I was all I AM NO LONGER A WORKING MOM — JOB? WHAT JOB? I EXIST ONLY FOR THE ASSISTANCE OF YOUR SON.

Mike — wisely — didn’t bother pointing out that Pax is our son (heroic effort — Mike likes precision) and simply made me more coffee. He then attempted to hover around the kids a bit more that afternoon…which is cute…but we both know not a lasting solution. 

I HAVE NO LASTING SOLUTION.

Despite Mike’s attempt to hover, that afternoon continued in the same vein. Pax didn’t like his chair, his desk was too small — HUG BREAK! The pencil wasn’t sharp enough, something happened to his Zoom call part 1, something happened to his Zoom call part 2 — HUG BREAK! Then there was silence for a while — which fooled me at first — until I found Pax lying on his bed, reading. Apparently he “forgot” school was still going. 

I’m could go on and on — Friday was much the same — but I’m not sure that’s a solid path to sanity. 

I AM DESPERATELY LOOKING FOR A SOLID PATH TO SANITY.

In the meantime…anyone wanna buy a blog? I hear the owner can’t work anymore.

Kidding

I’m kidding, guys. I kid. 

Ha, ha….ha.


Back-To-School & My Personal Labor Day Sales Picks (From Businesses Big & Small)

Call it what it is. I just bought Pax this bouncy ball chair AND this one-legged stool, to see if one of these help him focus for longer on the computer. Or both! He can have both!  Clearly these are just desperation purchases and do I care? No. No I do not. #both

The 5 Best Labor Day Sales? All of our Labor Day Sales coverage can be found here (including a comprehensive list of all sales plus our top picks from each retailer)….but there were actually four sales that really impressed/surprised me and are worth a shout out:

1. Bloomingdale’s has some seriously insane deals right now (cue these gorgeously minimalist Weitzman sandals — extra 50% off clearance or this this quirky cashmere sweater — a consolation prize for cancelled trips).

2. Vince has an additional 40% off their Vault Sale section, which means that this striped tee is $20, this gorg dress is $82 (look at the back — would make a perfect house dress), this chunky turtleneck is around $100 and — oooo!! — these beautiful boots are under $150. (I now want the oxblood boots and the pinky-peach sweater to wear together.) Use code SEPTEMBER40 for that extra 40% off.

3. Social Threads is doing some sort of secret sale here. Take 40% off with code FINAL40 (final sale, tho). I can personally attest to these Free People shorts (not as short as they look — see ’em here, fit is TTS), and am tempted to cut the hem off of this sweatshirt to make it cropped-ish. I also wouldn’t say no to this comfy, matching leopard-print short set  or what I’m calling blogging sweatpants because they’re just perfectly crazy enough.

4. Speaking of crazy, J.Crew has lost their mind and is offering an extra 70% off their already marked-down sale section (plus 40% off a bunch of regular priced stuff, too). I highly recommend J.Crew’s full-length flare jeans (70% off!), I had mine on last night with flats — the vibe is very early 2000s meets 1977, or these sunny yellow cord shorts (wear with tan sandals, white tee, straw bag) or any of J.Crew’s linen tees or tanks — they look more expensive than they are. (See the tee on me, here…the tank on Scotti, here.)

Shop Small? The Voloshin X TME Collab is on sale – If you’d rather shop small this Labor Day, our 2020 collection with Voloshin is currently 25% off! Obviously I love all of the pieces, but I’ve found myself getting the most use out of the Bliss Bow-Shoulder Top and the Gigi Wrap Skirt.

Shop Black-Owned Businesses? I’m smitten with this pretty blue necklace to wear with t-shirts (seems perfect for end-of-summer) and anything from Etsy Shop Art by Dina Dwhoa. Her stuff is insanely good. A bunch of pieces are on sale for Labor Day — I especially love this black-and-white one. So freaking cool.

What I’m actually buying in the Labor Day Sales? So far I have four things I’ve already added to cart: ONE — I always stock up on Colleen Rothchild’s oil-based cleanser (been using it for years, will never stop), TWO – J.Crew’s corduroy baseball hat (40% off), THREE – Nikwax Tech Wash for washing our waterproof gear (it works, but you need to use a ton of it), and FOUR — these dark wash Levi’s 501s (extra 50% off!!) to replace my uber-destroyed version when the weather gets colder. This dark pair is softer and stretchier than most 501s, so only size up one size. (You can see them on me in our IG stories.) 

For back-to-it breakfast on Tuesday. These crispy hashbrown haystacks look like just the thing for a (relatively) easy breakfast…but one that can double as a quick snack during those 5 min between-class breaks. I’m going to swap out the corn for spinach, but you could add all kinds of things to these.

Street style, but old school. I just found the IG account @oldschoolmoms and I’m hooked. The caption game is pretty strong, too.

But she is a legend. I loved this piece in the NYT about ‘Grandma Shirley’, an 84-year-old gamer who has become such a well-known figure in the Skyrim gaming world that she’s being added to the sequel as a character. Her 910K YouTube followers are thrilled. (Thanks, A!)

Enjoy the long weekend!

xo,

S

 

 

 

 

9 COMMENTS

  1. Back to school went fairly well for us this week. My kids are all virtual, too. Here’s hoping that it winds up better than last school year with one son in summer school. 🙄The J Crew roll sleeve linen tee is sooo good. I got it in green and loved it so much that I got two white ones during a sale. Perfect shape! And finally…oldschoolmoms really is awesome!!

  2. Here in solidarity with you, S! You’ve captured the window into our working/schooling from home perfectly. We’ve just completed week 3 of fully online school and we are all wiped out. After week 2 was up, our 4th grader peaked around the corner of the kitchen wall and burst into giant tears because, though we had been checking on her frequently, she admitted she had been lying for the last 2 weeks and hadn’t yet completed 1 “independent work” assignment yet. So spent last weekend catching up on 2 weeks of school work and in puddles of lots more tears. Also went on the hunt for BOTH a ball and stool immediately after the first week. And our jobs? Ha! Both hubby and I run large teams that are also working remotely. And have no long term solution to this “work-life balance” challenge. Should have spent yesterday figuring out a new plan but just couldn’t think anymore and spent the whole day in family movie marathon mode. Also, it is 112 degrees here. Melting. Retail therapy time, thanks for the links!

  3. Your paragraph beginning “Despite Mike’s attempt to hover…” made me laugh aloud for a full 45 seconds. The diabolical strateg-ery of the “hug break” in full force. And then the kid on the bed who “forgot school was still going.” I feel like I’m looking into a crystal ball of what my 11 year old is going to look like when we start virtual school next week. I’ll remember I’m not alone, and try to remember that 45 second laugh.

  4. We decided to full-on homeschool our four girls this year, and I’m seeing some of the same dynamics here too. My oldest (8th grade) is a self-motivated introverted eighth grader, and she’s living her best life with all this. My extroverted fourth grader, who loves physical touch and closeness and is still growing in her staying-on-task skills, is taking lots of these hug breaks too. I wonder if they’re so used to learning with friends scratching that extroverted itch, that they’re trying to fill that void by connecting with the real people around them in tangible ways? Challenging times for sure!

  5. Homeschooling our elementary ones this year; oldest starts online this week. As a shift workin’ nurse it’s just 3 days of school. And it’s okay. Can we brainstorm some sayings to get us all through? “It’s a weird year for everyone; the kids are fine.”

    Please, help me be kind about the “hug breaks”! They drive Type A me insane.

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