Bubble or Nothing

Yes, I’m still here. The COVID hasn’t gotten me, nor has the latest 16 or so hurricanes we’ve had around here. Can I just get an “amen” when I say this year has got to f’ing go?

The school thing…At least for us, it’s been impossible to get any kind of equilibrium – to feel like our feet are under us. Just when we adjusted to 100% virtual (which was no treat), hybrid started. I thought hybrid might be better. Just when we adjusted to hybrid (which was really no treat), 100% face to face started….For 4 whole days. Then we got a day of 100% virtual (thanks to Hurricane Delta) followed by a 4 day weekend for Fall Break. Fall Break is when we normally meet my dad at the beach, which wouldn’t have been happening for a multitude of reasons anyway, but it still pretty damn depressing. Regardless, I just want – no, need – my kids to go to school 5 days a week for just a few weeks. Please? We just need some routine here. My ADHDers don’t deal with this shit well. And I can’t stomach distance learning with them. By the end, I was having imagery of crocs/gators in death rolls in the water. I’m not sure who was the reptile or the prey in those visions.

(Please note that the bitching above was on behalf of ALL of us – kids, parents, and teachers.)

It’s Halloween time, and y’all know that’s my favorite. I just can’t get into it this year. I’m not even 100% sure we’ll be allowed to trick or treat in my city. Our parade has been cancelled, and what festivals they are having have been adjusted to “accommodate the virus.” And I get it. I do. But some of those precautions also suck the soul out of stuff. I’m so sad about Halloween. Stella’s getting older and I feel like the damn virus is stealing her last “little girl” year from me.

I had to finally bite the bullet and pull my kids from jiu jitsu. I had held on cancelling our membership, as it was such a great experience and so good for my kids. Stella, especially, was really starting to “get it.” She was starting to kick some ass. I had thought we would maybe going back once the kids were back in school, because why not at that point, right? But at school they’re masking. Even Felix is in a mask all day, and apparently they’re masking at recess as well (although I understand they can’t actually have/use playground equipment). We took Stella out of town for her birthday, since parties are out. We ended up in Biloxi, and despite the establishment’s regulations that all guests should be masked, we ended up in the elevators every time with a crowd of anti-maskers. I was so uncomfortable. I was so PISSED – that people would get in an elevator with children like that without a mask. Would wearing a mask for 3 whole minutes kill them? Anyway, that showed me right there that I’m not comfortable being close and cozy with folks not in my bubble who aren’t masked, so obviously full-contact sports are out for now. But it was awful. I actually teared up when the professor sent me a screenshot showing me he had cancelled our membership, and again when I hung their gis in the back of their closets. A victim of the COVID.

My work is heating up. I had a few pretty big inspections that got cancelled when we shut down, and now it’s pretty urgent that they get done. They’re all out in the Lake Charles area – those poor folks who have just been beaten up twice by weather. I went over there for another inspection a few weeks ago, and it was what you’d expect. There were huge piles of debris. Everything had that post-hurricane palette of tarp blue and dead vegetation brown. I’m sure it’s only worse now. For those of y’all far and wide, consider even a small donation to a charity in the Lake Charles area. Those folks have endured the unimaginable.

I thought the summer was bad – those endless days, with each day blending into another. My kids and I had a good little routine, though. We’d get up pretty early and eat, then sneak out to a park for a quick walk. We’d all settle in for some work. I’d try my theme week stuff when I was inspired. We’d get in the pool in mid-afternoon. We’d watch movies. It was boring and some days sucked, but it got to be comfortable. I think I’d take that kind of comfort back again. Even though they’re back in school, nothing feels right. It’s certainly not comfortable. I want to be able to go and eat lunch with my kids every once in a while. I want to talk to their teachers in person. I want to volunteer. I miss my Girl Scout troop. We’re trying the virtual thing, but it’s just not even close to being normal.

I don’t even know how to wrap this up, other than to say I hope y’all are coping better than I am at this exact moment in time. I’ll be better tomorrow, or even in an hour. No guarantees I stay that way, or this way. I just want someone to guarantee me that things won’t be this way forever.

Felix quite frequently shakes his fist and snarls, “COVID.” I think we can all relate.

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Themes Like Old Times

So things continue along, and things continue to be strange.

This has been Christmas in July Week at my house, as I love a good theme week. It has been the most successful theme week so far, although Japan Week kicked some serious ass. There is a small tree in the living room. We’ve made air-dry clay ornaments. We’ve watched A Christmas Story, the Grinch (original), and Charlie Brown. There may or may not be gifts later. They weren’t nearly as excited about Chef week, which bummed me out.

We’ll have at least one more theme week, but I may just continue these throughout the duration of the COVID. Next will certainly have to be Duct Tape Week. Felix has discovered Mythbusters and Mythbusters Jr, and of course duct tape is featured in about 90% of their episodes. He wants to make flip flops out of the stuff, and I think Stella would get into some of those videos on duct tape prom dresses. We’ll keep watching Mythbusters, too, of course. Felix and I were watching an episode of that the other day and he looked at me and said quite emphatically, “I learn WAY more watching this than I do in school.” Indeed, that may be sometimes true.

We have one more full week of “summer” before 100% virtual school starts. We have to do that through at least Labor Day, when hopefully they can go to school twice a week. I’m not 100% happy with that, but the other option- 100% at home – isn’t palatable either. I think my kids just need to see other people, especially little people. It’s just shitty for us all, teachers included. There’s no good answer.

We briefly had an African dwarf frog that Felix named Leech, but he’s no longer with us. To be fair, we didn’t have an ideal habitat for him, and tried to make do. We didn’t. My dad has since ordered us one on Amazon, and once we have it set up properly, we can try again. Fingers crossed, Leech Junior will soon be with us.

I think often about our last trip to the beach in November. That was an exceptionally great trip. I think it was truly the last time I felt great – happy and at peace with the world. I can remember sitting in a beach chair in the sand. It should have been chilly, but the sun was so warm, we were comfortable. I watched my kids for hours on that trip, collecting shells and wading in the ocean. I was able to actually relax and watch them enjoy it all, without feeling the need to hover, convinced one of them would run away or drown. I was finally comfortable that they could play and be safe. I really want to go back to that time.

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A Little Pickle In Your Throat

I’ve been wanting to write.  Truly.  But what in the world can I say?

2020 has been beyond surreal.  It’s already/only July.  I’ve got nothing major to report, which I suppose is a very good thing.  If I did have something major to report, it would likely not be good.  Everyone in my little corner of the world is alive, physically healthy, and bored to tears.  It’s hard to even talk to people anymore.  I think all of our worlds have gotten so much smaller these past few month of isolating.  I have a handful of folks I talk to most days, and while I/we crave the contact, we rarely have anything to discuss.  I go to the office once a week and to the store or Costco once a week.  That’s it.  I try to get the kids out for walks early in the morning when I can (and before it reaches triple digits), but otherwise, we’re shut-ins.

I suppose we did have some landmark moments this week.   I finally finished some intensive therapy I was doing with Felix.  There were 40 one hour sessions, and this pandemic was the best/worst time to do it.  It was best, as this was the only time I’d have the time and energy to actually work with him like that.  It was the worst, as he’s lacking a lot of the structure that might actually provide clues as to whether or not it worked/is working.  As it stands now, I’m pretty down about it, as I think I just sunk a lot of time and money (out of pocket) on something that might not have done any good.  On the positive side, Stella FINALLY got her braces yesterday.  She’s handling it like a champ so far.

This is one of those times when I need to rally, but that’s getting harder and harder.  At the beginning, I had a whole list in my head of things to do, make, explore.  My list has been all crossed off now, and I can’t seem to channel any creativity to make a new one.  We have our pop-up pool in the back, but that’s already wearing a little thin; unless it’s raining, they’re in it every single day.   They can’t seem to agree on any games to play, so unless I’m in there with them to referee, they fight and immediately run back in the house dripping wet.  We finally set limits on their tablets, which was a great step.  I’d rather them watch a movie together than stare at a tablet alone.  Speaking of, any movies suggestions?  That’s another list that I can’t seem to make.  We’ve done all the new family releases via streaming, such as My Spy, Trolls, Artemis Fowl.  I also made them watch Beetlejuice.  We did Greatest Showman the other day.  I just need ideas.  Please, please give me ideas.

Felix has already read his 2 required summer reading books, and Stella has finished one and is halfway through the other.  There was constant bitching, mind you, but it’s done.  I need to start working with them on some other things – flash cards, writing prompts, etc.  They’ve launched some kind of summer distance learning program here, but I. Just. Can’t. I cannot deal with Zoom/Teams meetings in July – not after 2 months of distance learning, and likely with some distance learning coming up in the fall.  With the way our cases here are spiking, it seems highly unlikely my kids will be going back 5 days a week – at least not at first.

One thing that hasn’t been suffering is my Doomsday Garden.  I’ve been blanching and freezing tomatoes, and have an insane amount of lemon cucumbers.  My new fascination?  Making pickles.  Rachel Ray has a fantastic quick pickle recipe, and we’ve eaten bowls of them already.  Who knew?  And I suppose eating pickles is better than the other crap we’ve all been eating, amiright?

I don’t know, y’all.  Some days I really feel like I’ve got it all under control – that my kids won’t really remember what they’ve missed, only the time spent snuggled at home or out at the parks feeding geese.  But sometimes, we are all just sad.  Stella is able to articulate it.  Felix not so much, but I can tell he’s off as well.  He, in particular, gets really anxious on the days I have to go to the office.  When we’re out walking, both of them insist on having physical contact with me.  It’s sweet, but I also think it shows that they’re aware that things aren’t right.  We talk about the COVID.  We’ve had some good talks about the protests and why they’re happening.  They need to know this stuff, but I also want them to know the world can still be a beautiful place.  Some days you just have to look a bit harder to find it.


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Look Who’s Stalking Now

And so the pandemic continues.  I’ve quit counting how many weeks at this point.  Really.  I’m not sure if there’s a point.  I have had anxiety unlike any I’ve ever experienced in my life, or at least for this duration.  You know that feeling where you have to stop and just take a deep breath because your chest feels like it’s frozen up and your ribs don’t want to expand?  And no, it’s not pain.  It’s just that sense of urgency.  I’ve had that a lot. 
It’s  the uncertainty of it all.  I know I’m not alone.  But the lack of knowing what’s going to happen with my kids has tipped me over an edge. 

I’ve had zero guidance from work – only rumors, one of which was that we were supposed to ramp up to 50% occupancy starting next week.  My sphincter tightened quite a bit at that, as we’ll be cobbling together childcare this summer and it would be nice to have some kind of time to make arrangements.  I finally got kind of angry about it at the office today.  While, sure, the powers that be cannot predict what this virus is going to do, they COULD be a bit more communicative.  That wouldn’t hurt.  Anyway, I finally walked into the office of a bigwig and basically threw myself on his mercy, wanting some kind of guidance or reassurance that folks such as myself with young kids would be accommodated to some degree.  He’s a nice man and was very kind.  I actually left his office feeling better than I have in 3 weeks.  I haven’t been gasping for breath as much.

Right before I went rogue and jumped 3 links up the chain of command. Oh, and Etsy has some fantastic masks!

In other news, I think I have cell-phone elbow.  I guess I’ve been watching stuff on my phone and playing silly games too much.  My right elbow hurts.  That’s dumb.  I’m going to call it COVID elbow, as that sounds less pathetic.  I did look it up, however, and it’s a thing.  I need to become more phone ambidextrous.  

I have started reading more, which feels really good (and gives my COVID elbow a break).  I finished Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson, and she may be the best thing that’s happened to me in quite some time.  I had heard of her, but hadn’t had the chance to really read much of her stuff.  I’ve since ordered her other 2 books.  Y’all should read this book, if you haven’t already.  I’m late to the party on so many things.

And in the realm of creative COVID problem-solving, I’m pleased to share that thanks to a bit of social media stalking, I have found the man who cuts my son’s hair, as well as the hair of my bonus child. His mom, my good friend M, and I have been lamenting that our boys can’t see anymore.  Will made me cut his hair (and I did so for years), but his head is basically one giant cowlick, so if things are a bit wonky, it doesn’t matter all that much.  The Dude has good hair – hair that I would massacre if I tried to deal with it.  So, it was either learn to make wee little man buns on my son’s cranium, or figure something out.  Hence the stalking.  I, of course, didn’t have the nerve to contact him, fearing he’d think I was a psycho and never cut the Dude’s hair again.  Thank glob for M, as she had no hesitation.  Yada, yada, yada, this fantastic barber is making a house call tomorrow evening; he will be cutting both boys’ hair in the wide open air of my driveway.  We (M and I) are quite proud of ourselves.  Someone should give us a real challenge next time. 

I was kind of on the cusp of taking the kids out and about a wee bit more.  Last week, I did take them to a bakery so I could pick up our “We Survived Distance Learning” cake (oh yes I did).  It was the first public building they’ve been in since March 16th.  They did great, and actually followed instructions to the letter. They wore their masks.  They touched nothing.  They stayed close to my side.  I was thinking maybe a bit of freedom was in order, maybe we could start to loosen the bonds. Then I read about the MIS-C, and our state has 13 current known cases with one dead.  That’s a big fucking NOPE.  Just nope.

Hang in there, y’all.  Any creative COVID problem-solving stories?

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DAR and Wide

All of this ultra-strength togetherness is making me notice things I might otherwise never see. As examples:

1) Why does my kids’ bathroom always look like a ticker tape parade passed through? What is it that they’re doing with the toilet paper? I’m tempted to put a hidden camera up in there, but that would be incredibly gross and inappropriate.

Crossing the “elegant bridge.”

2) Why does my daughter’s dresser constantly look like it’s throwing up? You go into her room and pretty much every drawer is out, clothes spilling out on to the floor. How hard is it to push a drawer back in? I really want to know.

3) I wonder if some university or child psychologist could loan me a word counter to put on my son to see how many words pass his lips each day. It’s gotta be record-setting. I just need the data to submit to Guinness.

4) I still refuse to pick up my husband’s socks, meaning they’re pretty much permanent residents of UnderCouchLand. We do have a vacuum robot however, that occasionally chokes on them or drags them out into the middle of the floor. I may just start putting them back in his drawer as is. I can still sort of hold on to my sock boundary that way and protect the robot.

5) My son may well go back to school with a whole lot of new knowledge, not all of it necessarily relevant to a 7 yo boy’s life or appropriate. I had to take the kids with me to the pharmacy to get my crazy pills (Wellbutrin and birth control, as we can’t have me going full nuts right now, amiright?). Fortunately it was a pre-pay and they hand you your meds through the door scenario. The ladies accidentally forgot the hormones, so I had to ask where the birth control prescription was. While they went in to get it, Stella looked horrified and wondered why I needed birth control. I replied that I didn’t, that it was to level out my hormones. She was content at that point, but the Dude had a whole new topic to discuss: hormones. What are they? What do they do? Did he have them? Were his the same as mine? Which one was “more sensitive?” How do you pronounce testosterone again? I fully expected a Felix Talk about it all night last night, but he got distracted by Minecraft. That being said, I know my kid. Testosterone will be back, possibly on the first day of 2nd grade.

Felix now has a fabulous new photo pose…

6) How much Minecraft can one mom take? They’re addicted. All of them. If I hear one more thing about villagers or diamond swords, I may start living in my car.

7) Not really an observation, but a development: I may join the Daughters of the American Revolution. My stepdad has gotten really into genealogy, and it seems I’m a 5th generation DAR. My 5x great grandfather was some dude named William Colson Porter, who fought in the Battle of Kings Mountain in NC. I’ve never heard of it, but that still makes my Gilmore Girls-loving self happy. I can be a DAR like Rory. Oh, and my ancestor died being struck by lightning, which is also interesting.

Are y’all seeing anything new? Any familial epiphanies going down?

It’s a SensitivePlant, dontcha know…

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It’s Better to Mask for Forgiveness…

So like all of us, I’m trying to get used to this “new normal.” It’s strange, frustrating, and anxiety-inducing. One thing that really hit me yesterday when I was at the office was the mask thing. Before y’all get all judgy on me, this is NOT a commentary on masks. We have a requirement in the office to wear them when we are moving around the building (i.e. unless in our own private areas) at all times. Most of the stores I frequent have either outright requirements that all customers be covered or “strong suggestions.”

I’m not a medical professional, and I do realize that the standard masks we all have access to aren’t enough to block out something as small as actual virus particles, but I also buy into the “pee analogy” that’s been going around: if you and a random guy are standing around without pants on (don’t ask my why you would be, it’s just part of the thing) and he pees, you’re both gonna get wet. If you have on pants, you’ll still get wet, but less so. If you’re both wearing pants, you’re likely gonna stay pretty dry. I suppose it’s strange times when one of the most important and common preventative health measures can be summed up by a weird pee story, but there you go.

With no vacation this year, my “Quarantine and Tiger King” shirt will have to be my souvenir #dontbeacarole

Anyway, the mask thing is hard to get used to. Right now, all I have is the tie-on variety that I’ve made. I’ve ordered some cute ones with elastic that are MUCH quicker to get on and off, but you have to make do with what you have. Putting mine on is a bit of a hassle, especially with hair. I have to get my ponytail/sloppy bun height just right so that the top string can go above, yet the bottom string won’t catch on the stringy bits. I’m really looking forward to my new masks, suffice it to say. As it is now, I have to stratigically plan everything to be done out of my own office/cube. I have to do batch printing and mailing. I have to stage all the documents to go to my supervisor’s office. It’s just a hassle. And NO. Again, not a mask commentary. It’s just adjusting.

No mask would have prevented this asshole duck from “biting” Felix. He still won’t go back to this park.

The masks are hot, and our weather isn’t helping. I tend to feel claustrophobic when I don’t feel free air flow, so that’s going to be a struggle for me. I also found initially (and it still feels true sometimes) that I “can’t talk” with my mask on. It’s like my brain thinks it’s a gag of some sort, and I have to be mute when it’s on. Of course that’s irrational. I also don’t know what to do with my face. I’m used to silent half-smiles/nods when walking past people, but that’s negated by the masks.

Hey, on the upside, you don’t have to worry about having spinach in your teeth or if the bottom half of your makeup is smudged, and I guess we’re all saving a ton on lipstick (unless you’re doing that weird/creepy tiny face Instagram thing, in which case you need your lipstick for your nose).

In other pandemic-related Bomb Factory news, I’m on pins and needles about the summer. We’re waiting to get some kind of guidance – any kind of guidance – from my employer. Will’s people are being somewhat more transparent and forthcoming. I’ve heard that “probably” people with younger kids/daycare issues will be given consideration going forward as far as extending telecommuting. Our summer camp is a no-go, so I’m pretty anxious to get some kind of definitive statement. My MIL, Oui Oui, will be able to help with the kids, but I don’t want to burden her too much.

Speaking of burden, this hair…

I keep telling myself we can limp along some kind of way for a few months until school starts, but…I also have to admit I’m terrified about the fall. There are already all kinds of ominous statements about things not being normal next year. I wonder how long my current situation is sustainable. I feel I’ve proven I can telecommute quite well for the most part, but I can’t do everything from home (field work comes to mind). And how long will my employer be understanding? It remains to be seen. If y’all haven’t guessed, I’m kind of high-strung and don’t do well without at least 3 plans.

On the plus side, we’re wrapping up distance learning after next week. I’ve recently caught my student body whispering while cutting eyes at me, so that will come none too soon. Things here are about to start opening again in phases and we’ll be faced with what we’re prepared to do. What are/have y’all been doing?

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Smells Like Quarantine Spirit

You know how some days start amazing then turn to absolute crap and vice versa?  Yeah, I hate that.  It’s discombobulating.  Yesterday and today have both been that way.  Yesterday was pretty awesome until evening, when it tanked and tanked hard.  Today, I stepped in cat pee first thing on the way to the coffee pot, but it’s been trending up since then.  I guess it’s kind of hard to trend down from stepping in cat pee.

Our “official” distance learning doesn’t start until next week.  Up until now, it’s been “enrichment.”  Don’t ask me why it took so long to become official, particularly with only about 3 full weeks of “school” left.  I was pretty panicked about it, but now both kids are caught up or ahead on all “enrichment,” so I’m hoping it won’t be too much different.  I’m a bit unnerved about some work being graded, as I’m no teacher and my kids should not suffer my shortcomings, but there you go. 

In the meantime, I still want us to learn what we wanna learn.    We just had a very impromptu weather lesson due to a hail storm that moved through.  We’ve been binge-watching some NatGeo documentaries, doing some really cool chemistry stuff, and later today, we’ll be back on polymer clay and perhaps build a Mars Rover.  I’ll take that over social studies any day. 

Stella is begging for calamari, and other than PF Chang’s, it seems as if all Chinese restaurants are closed.  It seems we’re supposed to hear more next week about the gradual reopening of some things, but it’s always followed with the caveat that things won’t be the same for a long, long while. 

I’ve made each of us a mask, with a backup for Will and I (we’re the only one ever leaving the house), but maybe I need to make more.

Lord, y’all.  I’m over this.

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You Put the Time In the Coconut and Drink Them Both Up

One thing I think we can all agree on, this lockdown or quarantine – whatever you want to call it- is doing strange, strange things to time.  I actually  have to get my calendar out each week to remember how many weeks it’s been.  This is #6.  While it feels like the days drag, I also find myself looking up and wondering where the day has gone.  It’s weird.  I don’t like it.  I’m usually ruled by my watch and calendar, and this is uncomfortable.

I also find my mind wandering a lot.  How can most people hate Carole Baskin more than Joe Exotic?  Sure, she may have killed her husband and fed him to tigers, but she did so in a classier way.  I guess?  When will the toilet paper be truly replenished, where we can get our regular brand.  What about yeast?  Sure, I don’t bake a lot, but knowing I can’t have it makes me feel compelled to do so.  I remembered this time I was out and about with my brother.  I guess it’s noteworthy, in that he and I didn’t get to spend much time together when we were young.  What am I saying?  We don’t get to spend much time together now.  But I guess it was the summer he graduated high school.  It was in Decatur, Illinois.  I got super-cagey – sick of just sitting around the house.  Decatur isn’t really a tourist town, with loads to see and do. He drove us out to some really cool park.  I couldn’t tell you the name of the park.  I just remember the park being beautiful, with some Asian design elements – Buddhas and such.  We talked about all kinds of stuff.  Religion, mostly.  We had pretty opposing views at that point.  I got a horrendous blister out walking around.  It was a good day.  

The weekend was pretty rough.  The kids had too much screen time.  There was friction.  It was just a complete waste of time.  

Minecraft Mania, dammit

Time.  That word again.

I went to bed super early last night – Sunday – because I just wanted the day, the weekend, to be done.  Today was a bit better.  I got some of my work work done.  I got some house work done.  I did laundry.  I got the kids through their school stuff, such as it is.  I did therapy with Felix.  Everyone will be going to bed presently with a full stomach.  Sure, too much screen time again late this afternoon and evening.  Tomorrow we’ll do better.  Or not. 

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I Don’t Even Have a Clever Title

So how is everyone? Crazy? Content? Stressed? Depressed? How about all of the above?

This is week 5 for us (I think). I can’t and won’t bitch about it, as we’re all in this together alone. Some days are really ok. Some days are very much not ok. I have certainly had to adjust my expectations about all of the things. I can’t be the best mom, wife, teacher, housekeeper, employee, cook, friend, and whatever else I’m missing all the time. Hell, I can’t do that under ideal circumstances. I have let go of the notion of coming out of this thing with 6 pack abs, a spotless, organized house, all loose ends tied, all hobbies completed and new ones begun.
I’m trying to do my best for my kids. I guess that’s really the nuts and bolts.

I was so stressed about “homeschooling,” particularly while trying to do my own job. I read a blog from a long-time educator who’s done it all – classroom, co-op teaching, and homeschooling. She pointed out we all were NOT, in fact, homeschooling. We are/were crisis schooling; those that choose to homeschool do so carefully and deliberately, with ample time to plan and get organized. She then advocated “unschooling,” in which you just let learning occur naturally, letting your kids’ curiosity kind of lead the way. That made me feel ever so much better.

I do want to keep their brains moving and off their tablets 24/7. We got Felix back into the magnet program next year (and I cannot even tell you how excited I am about that) and I want him caught up and sharp. I’ve also started him on some pretty intense therapy that I have high hopes for, as far as improving his focus and attention; it’s going to require a lot of time and energy, but this is really the best possible opportunity to do this. The 45-60 minutes a day I’ll be spending with him working is basically what I’d be spending in carpool or watching jiu jitsu practice.

So some days I feel like we do a good job, others…meh. This is spring break. We were supposed to go see my dad in Virginia. We were gonna go to Busch Gardens, and venture down into North Carolina, headed to Kitty Hawk and the Lost Colony. I feel guilty for saying so when so many have lost jobs/income or even loved ones, but I feel sad about that missed trip – the lost memories and fun. I don’t know when I’ll get to see my dad again. Or my mom. Or even Will’s parents who are practically down the street. But I’m trying to make shit fun.

This is theme week. Yesterday we took a walk and gathered a bunch of flowers, learning about their parts, purpose, and how they can send messages. Today was Nailed It day, and we watched a new episode, agreeing that we would all make whatever the contestants had to make. It was chickens hatching out of eggs. Ours were awful, but we had fun. Tomorrow will be geode day. We’ll open some geodes and attempt to bake a geode cake.

The Easter Bunny managed to come, but he brought some strange shit this year – especially the candy. Swedish Fish? Licorice? Nary a jelly bean or chocolate bunny was seen. The kids seemed happy enough.

At the end of this, I just hope we’re all ok. I think my little clan will be. We’re following the rules, staying in as much as we can. I also hope my kids come out of this with some good/interesting stories and memories. This is historic, after all. Hopefully this is the last pandemic they ever experience.

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En Garden

As with any disastrous event, people think of food.  I’ve never been an emotional eater, but I now am aware I’m a bored eater.  Not cool.  Working on that.  

For some reason, when this thing really cranked up and people started hoarding (and I still do NOT get the toilet paper and bottled water thing), I had this overwhelming urge to grow edibles.  This year, I have planted a doomsday garden.  Granted, I try every year to grow at least some, and some years I’ve actually done pretty damn well.  Usually, however, my initial good intentions become choked with weeds, when I realize I have zero time to maintain a garden.  

Did you know if you stick the end of a bok choy plant in water, it grows? One is becoming 5. I may never need to actually purchase vegetables again.

Felix, as you might imagine, is in love with this, being a fan of anything plant-related.  Yes, he still has aspirations of being a botanist in addition to about 4-5 other things.  Botanist is always # 1, however.  Stella is somewhat less-amused here in the beginning stages, but tough shit, she’s along for the ride, anyway.  Where else is she going to go, amiright?  (She is desperate to raise chickens, but until she can learn to consistently throw away her gummy bear wrappers and brush her own hair, no f’ing way.)  Anyway, I’ve found the criteria for a couple of Girl Scout badges, and 2 of them directly relate to my doomsday garden. 

Hey.  Wouldn’t a Doomsday Garden patch be amazing?

Back to Felix.  He pulled a fast one on me months ago, and it’s just now coming to light – literally.  He snuck some pumpkin seeds into the flower bed, and now I have about 6 rogue pumpkin plants starting to rise up and be free.  He’s proud as punch of his handiwork, and is on the cusp of naming them.  He’s leaning toward “Needlepoint Leaf” and “Needlepoint Leaf Jr” for two of them but the others need to get a bit older first. 

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