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How Sending my Teens to School in a Pandemic is Destroying their Mental Health, Middle Class Mom Private School Kid CoVid Problems.

My girls have been home sick for almost 2 weeks. We’ve consistently tested negative for CoVid. If we’re being honest, we’ve been sick a lot since the kids have been back in school. We’ve been tested so many times that I’m actually embarrassed to go to our local CVS because they know us by name now. Currently, our school is overrun with Omicron. There are no masks required, no social distancing and they are about to take away the mode 3 learning option for those who are actively sick or quarantined. In essence, they are trying to force everyone to be in person. What am I supposed to do when I know sending my teens to school in a pandemic is destroying their mental health?

Here’s some more truth. I am diabetic. Last year, I kept the girls home, to their detriment. It’s resulted in my efforts to protect our health negatively impacting their mental health and quality of life. For that, I will feel guilt for the rest of my life. Every time they were exposed, I adhered to the testing and quarantine guidelines laid out…while others, from shame, ignored symptoms and even concealed positive results and still attended school. Being of a rational mind, all of this has weighed heavily on me and added to my anxiety. It’s added to our already huge feeling of being unsafe.

Last week, the girls were out for a stomach virus (2 negative tests last week say no CoVid). The principal called to suggest we pull the girls out of their school (the private school I’ve been paying for 3 years/ almost 2 of which my girls were virtual). I won’t lie, I was insulted and I was hurt. They suggested an online academy not associated with the school itself.

I know kids need to be in school. I’ve seen the damage not being there can cause… firsthand. But what about their safety and well-being? “What are you doing to keep them safe?” I asked.

He, literally, changed the subject and asked me if the girls were wearing their masks at school? Switching the onus to them. They do wear their masks but they are in the minority in a school of 1000. They are also a part of the vaccinated and boostered club minority. He did make a point to let me know that soon, he was planning to remove the asynchronous learning option for kids altogether because it is too taxing on the teachers. That was last Friday.

Monday, my girls were still sick. I called the school in tears because my children were obviously still unwell, vomiting, nauseous and having terrible diarrhea but now, I have the threat of expulsion looming. These are good, smart kids who are being threatened with removal because they’ve been heavily sick after almost 2 years of being completely isolated. They catch every virus that comes along now.

I was on the phone in tears asking for permission to let my children stay home from a school overrun with coronavirus. I couldn’t reach the principal so I spoke to the Vice-principal. She said to keep the girls home. She also told me that she had 80 positive cases that morning and was in the process of sending more kids home after she ended our call. Also, the principal that I had spoken with on the previous Friday was now home quarantining because he and his children had been exposed at school and tested positive. As the week has gone on, more and more children and staff have been sent home to isolate themselves after either being exposed or testing positive. My daughters go back today.

Sending my Teens to School in a Pandemic is Destroying their Mental Health

Tomorrow, they are hosting an all-school mass with the Bishop. An all-school mass (for those not in Catholic school) is mass with all 1000 kids together, complete with the Eucharist and the sign of peace (both contact). I think it’s insane for obvious reasons but this is what’s happening. Nothing makes sense to me anymore. I’m going to tell them that my girls are not allowed to attend. The last time I did this, they ignored my email and sent them anyway.

This time, I’m going to call and speak with the vice principal. If need be, I will come to pick them up until the mass is over. Who has an all-school mass during a pandemic surge? Does this make sense to anyone? Am I overreacting? I feel like I’m asking to do an insane thing in a pandemic surge. I’m conflicted because science tells me to be cautious and the school is making me feel like I’m the crazy one.

This morning I woke up and (with my little brother and sister both sick and testing positive for Omicron) thought to myself, is online school really such a bad option? Is my pride worth putting my girl’s health in danger? But can their mental health handle the isolation when everyone else they know is going about their business? I’m watching it happen, Coronavirus is destroying our teens and tweens. It’s too much for their hearts and heads to handle. What do you do when sending your teens to school in a pandemic is destroying their mental health?

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This morning on our drive to preschool, Gabi began asking me her daily quota of questions about death, heaven and God and/or Jesus.  I’m not joking this kid is suddenly obsessed with death and what happens in the after life. Or rather, what happens to people who die. She’s four and shouldn’t be asking these questions, or maybe she should. I just wish she didn’t even have death on her radar yet. I never thought I’d be contemplating how to explain death to children at this age.

It’s my own fault. In July, my estranged Grandmother died. But in the weeks before she died, my presence was requested by her. I hadn’t seen her in about 20 years in any real capacity, save for the 5 minutes she had stopped by baby shower and disappeared just as quickly six years ago. I hadn’t really known her and she had never met either of my girls but I hated to deny a dying woman her last wish.

I decided that I needed to tell the girls about this woman if they were going to meet her. I told them that my grandmother was sick and very old. I was trying to prep them for meeting a woman on her death bed. Of course, my Gabs would ask daily if we were going to see the “sick oldie.” You know how four-year-olds are, they tend to get stuck on repeat.

We never made it to Ohio to say goodbye. After she died, my girls were still asking what happened to the sick oldie. I told them that she had went to God and Abbi has been preoccupied with people dying and what happens to them once they die ever since.


God, Jesus,Care Bears, grandma

Gabi: Mommy, is Jesus dead?

Me: Well, Abbi his body died but his soul went to heaven to be with God.

Gabi: Who’s God? Is that him Daddy?

Me: Yes, that is his father.

Gabs: Mom, is Jesus with the sick oldie?

Me: Yes, Abbi. My grandma is in heaven with Jesus.

Gabi: Mommy, how is Jesus in heaven if he is dead?

Me: His body is dead, his soul is in heaven.

Gabs: Mommy, what’s a soul?

Me: It’s what’s inside all of us. It’s what makes us special.

Gabi: Mommy?

Me:Yes, honey.

*Seriously, how long is this ride between schools. This was the longest mile and a half of my life.

God Help me explain death in a way a little brain can digest it.

Gabi: Mommy, do you think God and Jesus are playing with the Care Bears and making the sick oldie feel better?

Me: The Care Bears?

Gabs: Yes, Mommy because  you know what ? The Care Bears live in the clouds just like God and Jesus.

Me: Maybe, honey.

Gabi: Mommy, you know what? Th sick oldie is happy because she is with Jesus, God and the Care Bears. Me know it! Okay, Mommy?

I didn’t get to say goodbye but I’d like to think she is in heaven with God, Jesus and the Care Bears having a good time frolicking above us all and keeping an eye on us.

God, Jesus and the Care Bears this is how you explain death to children.

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The Secret Life of the American Teenager, Anxiety, Chronic illness, teenage girls, Anxiety attack, anxiety symptoms, teenage girls

Raising a teen is hard. Being a teen is hard. I know a lot of us parents complain about our teens and how inconvenient their ever-changing moods are. We wonder where our sweet little children have gone and why in his/her place a grouchy, nonverbal awkward almost adult has arrived. Maybe we need to look a little deeper and exercise a little more patience.

Sometimes, I can be overbearing and dismissive. I’m tired and my life is pretty monotonous. I know after 14 years, sometimes I run on autopilot. We get so caught up in our own inner dialogue that we forget that everything our children do is not always just to make our lives harder, even though it may feel like it at times. For example, my girls bicker almost constantly and it’s become something that I’ve begun to take personally because I feel like they do it in spite of my requests for them to stop. It almost feels like a collateral act of defiance. I’m trying to step back and see the whole picture, take into consideration that maybe they’re going through something that I’m missing.

Which brings me to the entire point of this post. Children of all ages who are experiencing anxiety and how they express those feelings. My daughter has been suffering from chronic sinus issues for the last couple of years. This year, it has been particularly bad. She’s already had 5 sinus infections since the beginning of the school year. Per our pediatrician, she is on meds to control her allergies and prevent the subsequent sinus infections that follow any sort of congestion, but that no longer seems to be helping.

READ ALSO: Parents Guide to Teen Slang Words

It’s gotten so bad that she is getting migraines which, if you’ve ever had chronic sinus issues, you know, is debilitating. She’s starting to feel like she’s sick and she’s not getting better. She doesn’t understand and neither do I. We do what we’re supposed to. We go to the doctor. We follow her instructions and still my child is sick. Today, we are seeing a specialist, an allergist, because we have to get to the bottom of this.

We love our pediatrician and I trust doctors. I have close friends and family members who are doctors, so I have no problem with doctors. But when your child isn’t getting better, you have to advocate no matter who it is or whose feelings it might hurt. This is where I am today.

The thing is we’re at a point now where my daughters is in such pain that the thought of being at school with no one to help her sends her into a panic. Her anxiety kicks in and she is practically immobilized. I’m talking, gets to the office at school and goes into flight mode. The other day her sinus infection was so bad and she couldn’t be medicated because of tests, she cried for 3 hours in the nurse’s office before they called me to bring her home.

How can I send her to school when she is so obviously in pain and, on top of that, terrified of not knowing why it won’t go away. Which, I won’t lie, I am getting concerned myself. I’m thinking if this appointment with the specialist doesn’t give us answers, maybe we need an MRI. I won’t say that to my daughter and I can’t lead on that I’m more worried than she thinks I am. As her mom, it’s my job to keep my shit together while handling business on the backend.

READ ALSO: When You Just Need a Moment for Yourself

I’m trying to stay cool but I get why she is having this anxiety of the unknown. I try to keep her comfortable. I have chronic sinus and allergy issues too. I get migraines. I know how painful all of this is but when I’m sick, I have the luxury of burying myself in bed. When she’s sick, she still has to show up but lately, even when she’s showing up, she’s not really because she’s so preoccupied by the pain.

I guess what I’m saying is that sometimes kids and teens are not jerks just for the sake of being a pain in the butt. Most times, there is something behind it. Whether it be anger, worry, fear or embarrassment. Sometimes even teenagers can’t use their words to tell us how they’re feeling. They are like toddlers in that way.

They say things like, “I’m tired”, “My head hurts”, “My stomach hurts” all very non-specifically and for a parent that can be frustrating because you feel like maybe they are trying to get something over on you. A long time ago, I started going deeper on my questioning (once we rule out that it’s not an actual physical ailment) I ask, “has anything happened at school?”, “Did a friend say something that hurt your feelings?”, “Did a boy say something that made you feel weird?”, “Did a teacher get too close?” “Did anyone make you feel uncomfortable or compromised in any way?” Sometimes, the answers will come out without them having to find the words.

READ ALSO: Parents who Send Sick Kids to School are the Worst

But in this situation, my daughter is actually sick. I’ve been to the pediatrician so many times this year that I feel like I should get frequent flyer miles. I’m also not too sure they don’t have me on some weird mom Munchausen by proxy watch list. It’s embarrassing but every time I take her in, there is actually something wrong with her. So it’s not in either one of our heads. I know how to advocate for my children and I’ll do whatever I need to get them healthy but how do I help them deal with their anxiety?

As a mom, how do you differentiate between your child being legit run of the mill fear of something and having brain chemistry induced anxiety attack about it? One might only need a hug but the other might need a professional. What would you do if your teenage girl was experiencing anxiety while suffering a physical illness?

Update: Allergy tests showed that she is allergic to every Midwestern allergen except cats. We have a dog. The allergens are triggering sinus infections. If your kid keeps getting sinus infections, it might be worth a trip to the allergist. Also, I will write some posts next week to help your kids deal with sinus issues, give you the low down on allergy tests on kids and teens and the symptoms of anxiety in teenagers. Basically, I’ll help you understand the secret life of the American teenager. We’ll all get through this together.

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Cry, miscarriage, loss

I swore that I wouldn’t be this person. The woman who lost a child and then feels like she gets kicked in the gut every single time someone she knows announces their pregnancy. Fuck. I don’t want to be that person. I don’t want to suck all of the joy out of the room. I want to be happy and excited. I really do. I tell myself that I am and then it hits me like a sledgehammer, right in the heart. A painful reminder of what I can’t have, of what I’m too afraid to ever let myself want again, of what I will never get to experience again because I won’t. I can’t. I am too afraid to go through that pain again. Once almost killed me. It changed me. I don’t know if I can handle another shift like that. I might become unrecognizable, even to myself.

I remember that morning at the hospital, seeing a small child, not even a year old, sitting with her parents in the waiting room; waiting to be called back for her surgery. I remember sitting there, with my silent womb, not a stirring, thinking to myself, I am glad I am not those parents because there is nothing worse than having a sick baby and feeling helpless. I know that doesn’t make a lot of sense. Maybe it does to someone who has been through it or maybe the pain was just too much and I had to detach myself from what was really happening to me.

I saw that same little girl in the back when they were prepping us for surgery and I was again overwhelmed with gratitude that I was not sitting there as the parent of a child who was sick. I looked at my husband and I said (out loud), “It could be worse, we could be here with one of our girls who was sick.” He looked at me sort of bewildered. I guess he thought I was crazy because our baby was as sick as a baby could get, our baby no longer had a heartbeat. I was grateful that I could not hold my baby, see its eyes looking to me to save it, it’s cry begging me for relief; it was not tangible. My hurt was underlying. My baby was a promise that had been broken before I ever had the chance to fully appreciate it. In the first days, I wanted nothing more than to have had the chance to hold my baby but now, I know that if I had, the pain of the loss might have killed me on the spot.

Now that broken promise haunts me. I can’t stop it from infiltrating my thoughts. I can’t stop being this fucking person who feels empty and a little bitter. I’m pissed. Pissed at the situation. Pissed at myself for still feeling so vulnerable. Pissed at myself for still getting so pissed. I fucking want to punch somebody. I’m envious of other people’s happiness and I don’t want to be that person. I want to be able to genuinely feel happy without the happiness carrying with it a tinge of pain; the reminder of my loss. I’m afraid to be around my friends who are pregnant because I’m afraid I will spontaneously burst into tears and ruin their happiness. Every first of the month, I mark the day that my baby died. It coincides with my period just to remind me that my womb is in fact empty.

I know this sounds morbid and maybe a little crazy. I am so sick of pretending that everything is normal. I’m sick of pretending that I am all right. I’m not. All. Right. I am all wrong and I am afraid that I will not find my way back to my normal and that’s all that I want. Is normal so much to ask for? I am slowly beginning to live again but there is this damn underlying anger that I can’t shake. How does one shake the anger caused by a promise that can never be fulfilled? How do you fix a problem with no solution?

Linking up this morning with Just Write because sometimes you just need to write it out to move through it.

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gratitude, thank you, sponsored post, king's hawaiian, mahalo

thank you, gratitude, mahalo, sponsored post, king's hawaiianYesterday, I was very sick and feeling kind of sorry for myself. You know how when you are so sick that you feel like you might cry and you begin fancy yourself a martyr. Yes, I do. I normally just try to carry on but there is a point where I am so sick and worn out that every breath I take, every moment that I am still folding clothes and cooking dinner, becomes a debt the world owes to me.

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moving, motherhood, being sick, new home. relocating

moving, motherhood, being sick, new home. relocating

I’ve been moving and trying not to die. I’ve disappeared off the face of the earth once again. Seems like I’ve been doing that a lot lately. I told you all awhile back that our house sold and that we were closing on a house. It’s all been a cluster, as everything we ever do always is. Long story short, there were foundation issues. So on to the next house. We found another house, made an offer and closed last Friday. We are ecstatic, except for the fact that I have a tradition that I’d love to quit.

This is so sad but true. Just one more verse to what seems like the longest summer and saddest country song ever. I thought  “and my dog died” was the end. I mean, isn’t that the punch line? But no, there is more. We do everything the hard way around here, apparently.  On the day of closing, I woke up so sick that I, quite seriously, thought I would cry. Mind you, this was after a week of a raging case of the stomach flu.

It felt like I had swallowed razor blades. I had gotten no sleep and the pressure and pain in my head was only second to the unrelenting snot that was blocking every possible air passage that I have. I couldn’t breathe people. Just to add an element of surprise, I began randomly vomiting pure foaming snot. Yes, beautiful visual. Think morning sickness with quadruplets and a tequila hangover. It was not pretty folks.
This is not conducive to moving weekend. Did I mention that the last time we moved, I had to do it in the rain, by myself (my husband was out of town) and in the rain? I did.

Moving is hazardous to my health

This time, thank God, I hired long distance movers that will provide professional moving services on Friday, but we didn’t close until 6 pm on Friday night and by the time we got the truck (because it was the last truck available in the history of the universe) it was almost 8 pm and pouring rain. The truck had to be back by 9 am. You can guess what happened next? Yes, we moved in the rain (again) into the wee hours of the night.

By this point, I couldn’t breathe and I look like a drowned rat. My eyes were sore; my head was aching. I was sure that I had west Nile, the Ebola virus or the freaking bubonic plague. You all know that I seem to catch the most outrageous diseases; whooping cough, herpangina and scarlet fever…all kids diseases, and I have caught them all as an adult since having children. So, it would be perfectly normal for me to assume that I had caught the plague from one of my carrier children via the elementary school aka cootie central. Damn it.

I just knew I was going to die. There was one point Saturday where I was so dizzy and my fever was so high that I swore I saw Jesus, right there in my living room. I’d assumed he’d come to take me and put me out of my misery. No such luck, it was just the appliance deliveryman. Too bad there was nowhere to deliver the appliances, as the kitchen has to be redone. But they are beautiful and shiny, stainless steel. I just wanted to lie against the appliances to cool down before I had a febrile seizure. But I couldn’t because on Saturday, I had to unload two pallets of wood flooring into the house. Never mind, that I was so sick that I could pass out at any moment and my eyes were rolling back into my head. Who cares if I were hacking and yakking on everything in sight? The house has no flooring right now so that took priority.

Just let me say it, moving is hard

I received no sympathy from anyone while moving, until Sunday when I could barely get mobile. Then I was told to stay home (because home is still my in laws because we couldn’t move into a house with no functioning kitchen or floors with small children) but it was said with the definite look of  “you should stay home if you are too much of a pussy to work. No problem, we will all work at YOUR house while you sleep in a plague-induced coma”. So, I did what any self –respecting woman would do, I got up, rubbed some dirt on it and took my daughter to the Nutcracker auditions, then picked up lunch for everyone helping with the moving and worked until I literally couldn’t breathe anymore. So for those who’s thinking of moving to a new house or thinking of an office relocation (kontorflytting Oslo), you should leave the tedious workload of packing and moving to the professionals, if you are having trouble storing your stuff in your new home, learn more about One Stop Self Storage.

Monday, I woke up determined to go to the doctor, the emergency room, anywhere that could prevent my untimely demise. My plan was to go get meds and then sleep until pick up. No such luck. The Big Guy woke up and said he too was sick. I made him go to the doctor. We’re both sick. He has Strep throat (but you’d think he was dying) and I have acute sinusitis with a side of ear infections because I am special. His comment to me on our half-dead ride home, “Man, you really were sick. I don’t feel like moving, just sleeping.”

“Yeah, me too asshole. All three days that I had to move in the rain while trying not to vomit on myself from the snot in my belly and the excruciating pain in my head.”

Next time we move, he’s paying professional movers or doing it himself. It’s too hard on my health. But as soon as these antibiotics kick in, I’m moving into my new old house and finally, after 3 years, we will be a normal family again. The kids are ecstatic.

What’s your worst moving story?

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mommy sex and the man cold, man cold, feminine hygiene, U.T.I, motherhood, dad cold

Mommy sex and the man cold don’t mix. If you thought pregnancy and crabs was the worst things you could catch from unprotected sex, you’ve never caught the man cold. And when I say protected, I’m not just talking about wearing a condom, I’m talking about sporting some sexy hazmat suit from head to toe. I learned the hard way that mommy sex and the man cold are a bad combination.

I woke up this morning feeling like I had been run over, backed up and run over again by a mac truck full of cattle. That’s almost how bad I felt, but actually…I feel worse than that. I blame myself, really. Apparently, there are no “poor girls not gotten laid in awhile” pass clause when it comes to your husband being sick. Girl, if you back that truck up and let him cough on you…hey, sex at your own risk; proceed with caution.

See, normally I’m all, “Don’t kiss me on the mouth” all hooker style when he’s sick. But being with the way things are lately ( the whole living situation, limited time together) once we hit the conjagulorium all bets were off. In the heat of the moment, I didn’t care where he kissed me I was more focused on the fact that he was home to kiss me at all. Desperate times, desperate measures.

Now, I’m sneezing so much that I’ve already had to change my panties twice this morning and its only 1 pm. I’m coughing non-stop. My throat hurts like I swallowed razor blades and then took a shot of Drano and my voice is crackling. I have a runny nose that keeps producing the most unladylike green substance that I have ever seen in the entire of my whole life.

That’s not even mentioning my chapped red nose, my chapped lips, my deafness and lack of smell. Plus I pretty much feel like I am walking around in a big giant bubble of sickness.

Guess what? A 3 and 5-year-old, don’t care. They don’t give even one fuck that I caught daddy’s man cold. One’s yelling at me because I won’t take them to Healthworks science museum, the other one is pissed off because she wants me to bring up her winter clothes from the basement and all I really want to do is curl up and try not to die. Why won’t these tiny people let me be sick in peace?

So, you can just imagine what happened when I saw the dirty dishes in the sink this morning. You know, the dirty dishes that I asked the Big Guy to do before he left back out of town. I believe my exact words were,

“Please do the dishes before you leave. I’ve done them for three months straight and I think I might blow my head off if I have to do them again!”

Really, does he want me to blow my head off?  Because sure as I am standing here with a red nose and a pocket full of green riddled used Kleenex, he left those damn dishes for ME! It wasn’t too big of a deal until I was on my way to pick up Bella from school and realized on top of everything else…I have to NOW do those damn dishes.

I texted him.Something to the effect,  “I am dying over here. Are you fucking kidding me!!!!Thanks a LOT!!!”

His response….”I shouldn’t have taken that nap you FORCED me to take” ( yeah, he was sick so I was being nice but it wasn’t like I put a gun to his head and FORCED him into bed).

Next, as if he wanted me to murder him, he said: “Leave them until next weekend. I’ll do them then!”

Really, seriously, as if I am going to leave dirty nasty dishes in the sink until the weekend. I’m NOT and I’m pretty sure he knows that.

But I am really sick and don’t feel like doing the dishes. In fact, it’s probably the last thing that I want to do right now. I may, however, throw them all in the garbage.

Anybody else have these kinds of days? Just me then? So, to recap, thanks honey for the literal kiss of death you shared with me and the dirty dishes that you left me, as well. Anything else that you want to give me? Maybe a hefty case of gonorrhea? lice? The Bubonic plague? Dysentery? 5 loads of laundry? Throw up in the bathrooms? See you this weekend, the dishes may or may not be waiting too.I guess it depends whether or not they sprout legs and walk away on their own.

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Catherine Schaible, Herberty Schaible,Pneumonia. faith healing, murder

Throat Punch Thursday,fcatherine schaible, herbert schaible, faith healing, fundamentalist christian,PhiladelphiaIt’s Thursday and do I have a throat punch for you; a Philadelphia fundamentalist Christian couple, Herbert and Catherine Schaible, are being charged with third degree murder for refusing to seek medical attention for their baby who had pneumonia and died.

Catherine and Herbert Schaible are being charged in the faith-healing death of their 8-month-old son, Brandon, who died in April of pneumonia after his parents refused to take him to the doctor opting instead to pray over him. Leaving their sick child, helpless and resigned to his fate. This is unacceptable!

Catherine Schaible, Herberty Schaible,Pneumonia. faith healing, murder

Maybe you think the judges are being too hard on the Schaibles. I mean, after all, they are Christian fundamentalist and they have a strong faith in God and they made a mistake. Aren’t they being punished enough by losing their baby?

The answer would be NO! In fact, it would be HELL NO!! Because, you see, this is not the first time that the Schaibles have let one of their children die before seeking medical attention. Four years ago, they let their 2 and a half year old son, Kent, die of pneumonia because they refused to take him to the doctor and decided to pray over him and leave his fate in God’s hands. He died and they were put on probation for 20 years. The judge stipulating that if any of their children were to ever become sick again, they were to seek immediate medical attention. In April, they ignored that court order and now little baby Brandon lies in a small-unmarked grave next to his brother who died four years ago. Apparently, these assholes think their children are disposable.

The Schaibles’ defense lawyer, Bobby Hoof, argued that Brandon died within 3 days of becoming ill and there was no evidence of malice, which is required for a third-degree murder charge. The judge disagreed and the murder charges still stand.

Catherine Schaible was released into the care of her parents, Herbert Schaible is still incarcerated and their remaining, living, 7 children have been taken into protective state custody.

Look, I get it. I believe in God too. I was raised believing that God can do anything; make the blind see, heal the sick, etc. I was also raised knowing that God helps those who help themselves. People, he gave us the intelligence to develop the medicine to cure the sickness, to keep our children alive. Choosing to ignore that was a willful act of malice. They had the option to treat their child or let them die. The Schaibles have let not one but two of their children die. I am not a judge, but as a parent, I think they are guilty. Guilty of being really shitty parents.

I would do anything and everything necessary to help my children get well if they were sick. Sure, I would pray because I have a faith in God and I believe he can do anything but damn, people, maybe he’s busy saving someone else. Help yourself. Help your children. These people are a menace to society and dangerous to their children. They need to be locked up so their children can survive childhood. They face the possibility of 20-40 years in prison if found guilty. I say, good; Great! Don’t let them out until their youngest is at least 18-years-old.

Catherine Schaible, Herberty Schaible,Pneumonia. faith healing, murder

What do you think? Should the Schaibles be held accountable for the death of their son or are they just victims of their own naïveté? You know my answer. I want to hear yours.

What would you have done if you were Catherine and Herbert Schaible?

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Pret a manger, grilled ham and cheese recipe, copycat recipe, Pret copycat recipe, lunch recipe

Last week, we were eating our way through Boston and falling in love with a grilled ham and cheese sandwich like no other. We love Boston. I love the rich history and the big city vibe. I love the friendly people and the smell of salt air and food trucks. In fact, there is nothing that I don’t love about Boston.  The girls love to eat and shop their way through Boston and the Big Guy, well, when his girls are happy; he’s happy.

Unfortunately, for the first three days of this year’s annual Boston trip, I was sick sick. Like running a fever, eat a bite of your dinner, cry sick. Thank God and the Boston Hyatt Regency for a comfortable bed and a beautiful view or none of us would have survived the ordeal.

But by day 3, come hell or high water, I’d promised the girls I’d make the 3-minute walk through the Hyatt Lobby that was connected to Macy’s, out the door and across the street to Primark. My girls are legit crazy for that place. Hey, I can’t blame them. I love a good bargain on cute clothes too.

However, in the time it took me to walk to Primark, I had gone sheet white and was covered in cold sweats. I was seriously going to pass out. Did I mention that Primark is 4 stories tall? The girls were in heaven. It really is a tween/ teen girls shopping mecca. I tried to last as long as they needed me to be upright but once I started to hear the blood rushing around my head, I knew it was time to get out and find some food.  At that point, I had consumed a total of maybe 1 bite of aforementioned sandwich, a granola bar and 3 cheez-its in 72 hours.

READ ALSO: The Ultimate Monte Cristo Recipe

We headed to Pret a Manger. It was our first time but hey, “ready to eat” to a woman about to pass out in public sounds like the best place to be. The girls could see that I was fading fast so we headed to the selection and made our choices; chicken noodle soup for me, a grilled ham and cheese for each girl, a couple of iced chai lattes for the girls and some fruit because mama was in desperate need of some vitamin C.

We paid, got the heck out of dodge before mama went timber and returned to our hotel room. No sooner had I relinquished 2/3 of my soup to the girls before I heard “oohs” and “ahhhs” explode from the other side of the room, like fireworks. I couldn’t imagine what basic option I had just purchased in my haste that was making my children lose their minds. It was the grilled ham and cheese, btw.

It’s hard for me to understand as ham generally turns my stomach inside out. In fact, the very thought of the smell of it makes me want to heave. They begged me to try a bite but seeing as this 1/3 of a cup of chicken noodle soup was the first thing I’d been able to keep down in 3 days, I graciously declined their offer.

READ ALSO: Red, White, and Blueberry Trifle

But they couldn’t stop talking about this Pret a Manger magically delicious grilled ham and cheese sandwich. In fact, they insisted on having it again that night for dinner. As we have no Pret a Manger anywhere near us, I made it might mission to figure out how to make this magical sandwich. I mean, dang, I want them to rave about my cooking like that.

I scoured the Internet and did some sleuthing and found the recipe for the Pret a Manger grilled ham and cheese sandwich. Well, everything except the secret sauce that is. But you know me, I figured that out too! So guess what my girls have been having for lunch every single day since we got home from vacation? Mommy’s Pret a Manger copycat grilled ham and cheese sandwich recipe. Made with love, by yours truly.  It’s so good that all the “oooohs” and “aaahhhhs” at my own kitchen counter convinced me to take a bite and guess what? It truly is magically delicious.

So if you are sick of your kids asking what’s for lunch and then replying that they don’t want “that” again or you’re just plain chicken nuggeted out, I’ve got the super-secret recipe for you. My gift from me to every mom on the planet.


2 slices of sourdough bread

1 slice of Vermont white cheddar cheese

1-2 slices of your favorite thick sliced ham (my girls love wildflower honey ham)


*shhhh secret sauce ingredients

1 tablespoon of mayonnaise

1-2 teaspoons of whole ground Dijon mustard (depending on your personal preference)



Mix secret sauce ingredients together in a small bowl.

Pret a manger, grilled ham and cheese recipe, copycat recipe, Pret copycat recipe, lunch recipe

Heat small frying pan to medium heat

Assemble sandwich

Slather one piece of bread with the secret sauce

Pret a manger, grilled ham and cheese recipe, copycat recipe, Pret copycat recipe, lunch recipe

Top with ham and then cheddar.

Pret a manger, grilled ham and cheese recipe, copycat recipe, Pret copycat recipe, lunch recipe

Pret a manger, grilled ham and cheese recipe, copycat recipe, Pret copycat recipe, lunch recipe

Add top piece of sourdough.

Pret a manger, grilled ham and cheese recipe, copycat recipe, Pret copycat recipe, lunch recipe

Butter both sides of the sandwich.

Pret a manger, grilled ham and cheese recipe, copycat recipe, Pret copycat recipe, lunch recipe

When the pan is hot, place the sandwich in the pan.

Lower heat.

Cover sandwich with lid (to help melt cheese).

Pret a manger, grilled ham and cheese recipe, copycat recipe, Pret copycat recipe, lunch recipe

Toast to your liking.



When cheese is melted, remove from heat.

Cut in half and serve warm.

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Middle Class Mom Private School Kid CoVid Problems.

Estimated reading time: 8 minutes

Not saying CoVid and this pandemic are issues especially hard for middle class moms with private school kids but not saying it isn’t either. I’ve noticed that, at least from my viewpoint, public schools are doing more to stop the spread. Public schools are funded by the government and are more likely to follow government guidelines and recommendations because they are cognizant that not doing so can end in losing funding. Private schools on the other hand are funded by donors, usually wealthy alumni who gift large sums of money, often with “suggestions.” What I’m saying is that if you think super-rich kids are terrible, well, you’ve never experienced their entitled parents firsthand.

They don’t like to be told what to do. It infringes upon “their freedom” so they will scream white at the top of their lungs while staring directly at a black wall. If you disagree, you are not right, you are obviously blind because you chose to believe your own eyes over what they tell you. This is the situation.

Middle Class Mom Private School Kid CoVid Problems.

Science and research show that vaccines, masks and social distancing are the way to end the pandemic. Some people at private schools say none of it exists and refuse to allow their children to follow guidelines for a “political pandemic” created by the liberals to make us all sheeple. After all, this is MURICA! Caught right in the middle of it all, the faculty and administration just trying to do the right thing by humankind without alienating the very people who pay their salaries.

Omicron is here and making my life more difficult than ever. I hate pandemic parenting because I’m terrified to send my kids to school. Let me start by saying that this whole pandemic has been a lesson in versatility, patience and pushing past fear. It’s enough already. I give. I’ve learned my lesson. I wash my hands religiously, I prioritize people and I live like every day could be my last, because it could be but my breaking point seems to be when I live in a world where others are pretending that none of this is real. People are dying and where I live, people are pretending that nothing is wrong. People are dying and nothing is wrong? Is this logical to anyone reading this? If so, please help it make sense because I can’t and it’s literally making me feel insane.

At this point, my family has been vaccinated and boostered, except Gabi who will get hers this week as soon as I can get her an appointment. We rarely go anywhere. With Omicron we are actually reverting to our March 2020 hermit lives. We wear masks in public and we social distance when possible. We wash our hands and change our outside clothes. We disinfect everything. In our state, we are in the minority.

At our daughters’ school, there are no preventative CoVid safety measures in place this year other than CDC guideline quarantining for the minimum 5 days if exposed and showing symptoms. But there is no social distancing or mask policy in place. There is no vaccination requirement. So every day, my rational and intelligent girls who have common sense go to school knowing they are 100% exposed. This is not okay.

Middle Class Mom Private School Kid CoVid Problems.

They are under so much stress (as any rational/ thinking person would be) that they have now both developed severe stress and anxiety due to the mishandling of the pandemic. They are kids who should be doing kid things but instead they are worried they are going to die or kill someone else because the adults are dropping the ball. The adults in charge are neither caring or protecting our children from Coronavirus, Delta or Omicron. They’re just seeing how this all plays out and that’s just not working for me anymore.

The other day I was driving to pick my daughters up from school and the truck ahead of me had a bumper sticker that read, “Unmask Our Kids Now.” In my head I heard, “unhand my mother” or “Free Nelson Mandela” only it wasn’t about saving anyone. In fact, quite the opposite. It basically read, “Societal rules don’t apply to me because I’m a selfish toddler who doesn’t care about anyone else but me and it’s my right to do whatever I want.”

You see, all over the country, friends of mine are taking their 5-11-year-olds to get their vaccination. In fact, they went on the very first day of eligibility, some of them drove to neighboring cities and even states, just to do their part to help end this pandemic. I’m elated. We took our girls as soon as they were eligible. Now, we’re getting them boostered because that is what all of us should be doing to end this pandemic. Was I nervous about giving my daughters a brand new vaccination? Yes. But I’m more afraid of CoVid and the long-term effects of Coronavirus.

There are still adults who haven’t gotten 1 shot yet. Y’all should be ashamed. You’d probably jump in the lifeboats ahead of the women and children too, am I right? Come on, this is embarrassing, America. Be a grown-up and do your part. Yes, I know, you don’t believe in CoVid but he believes in you and if you’re just going to live your life like you’re pursuing happiness, Consequences be damned, YOU WILL GET COVID. Regardless if you believe or not.

Middle Class Mom Private School Kid CoVid Problems.

So here we are. My daughter has missed 30 days of in-person school. I’d say at least 20 of those days were mandatory quarantines from exposure or from having “symptoms” like coughing or sore throat. I did it because even though they were vaccinated, the rules are in place to protect all of us. Also, the girls have caught a few viruses this year (as expected when reentering public places after 17 months of isolation) and pre-CoVid if my children were sick, I kept them home to protect others from catching it and to let my girls rest and recuperate. But suddenly, CoVid is the only acceptable reason for an absence.

Here’s where the real frustration comes into play, aside from kids at school chastising those who are vaccinated and/or wearing masks now the administration is questioning whether or not my daughters are “really sick” or just “don’t want to be there” when I call my daughters in sick. This began after we made them aware of the mental health struggles our girls are dealing with (as are most intelligent adults and teens). Talk about minimizing mental health. What else did I expect from a place that literally had a speaker come in and tell the kids that depression is evil and they need to pray away their mental health issues? Look, I’m all for leaning on God for strength when you feel helpless but to make it a character flaw to seek mental health help is something entirely different altogether.

Honestly, I didn’t write this post to complain about my kids’ school, I’m simply frustrated and exhausted from all of this. My daughter’s been vomiting and nauseous for the past 36 hours. Obviously, I can’t send her into a school like that nor would I send a child who is feeling that terrible into school. I called the attendance office and explained and braced myself for the inevitable call from the school nurse telling us we’d need a negative CoVid test to return, even with being vaccinated and boostered. Can I just mention that we’ve had to get so many CoVid tests in the past 2 years that the pharmacy techs at our local CVS know us by name now? It’s embarrassing. All that aside, I did get the call for the nurse but not before I got the call from the Vice Principal telling me that we “need to have a meeting to discuss her attendance”. It’s the first day of the new semester, what is there to talk about? She.Is. SICK. End of the story.   

Middle Class Mom Private School Kid CoVid Problems.

I’m not sure what I’m supposed to do. My first priority is to keep my girls healthy, happy and alive. ALIVE. At this point, I’m getting as afraid of their depression and anxiety as I am of CoVid. No child should have to feel so hopeless and helpless. I spend many nights a week reassuring my daughters that we can get through this. Holding them while they cry about what they’ve lost and the normal teen experience that they simply cannot have right now. They are missing normal human connection and being able to attend school safely. Every day they feel under threat and I don’t blame them. So I advocate for them, reassure them, hold them and love them as much and as unconditionally as I can but it’s hard when I’m just as stressed, anxious and depressed as they are.

Update: Day 2 of vomiting and nausea, they are requiring a doctor’s note or fax saying the doctor doesn’t need to see her in order to excuse the absences. Even the pediatrician is like, it hasn’t even been 48 hours, she’s not dehydrated and she’s not running a fever coming in would be more dangerous than waiting it out. They can’t even do anything for a stomach bug. FML.

What would you do in my situation? What are you doing to not only protect your family from CoVid Omicron but all the long-term side effects of surviving a pandemic in a world where conspiracy theorists and CoVid deniers pretend nothing is wrong and none of this is real?

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