Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Currently...

I keep meaning to write a quick post.  Somehow it seems like there's less to do, but I'm busier than ever.  A couple weeks ago we had the best week and I was all "we've FINALLY got this quarantine situation figured out!".  And then the following Monday and Tuesday were a complete disaster and I realized that the previous week was a fluke.  Ha!  Really, though, this will never feel normal.  Some days are wonderful and others are terrible.  I've come to realize that W especially needs my undivided attention.  He just does.  And days in which I can do school lessons and focus on just him are usually good days.  S continues to amaze me with how much he's learned in the past couple months.  He writes, he spells several words, he recognizes several words.  None of that was intentional.  It was simply the result of him expressing interest and needing to find activities to keep him busy while W worked on school.  I'm praying he can start Kindergarten on time because this boy is so ready.

Mother's Day was... interesting.  A went out to grab Starbucks for us and the boys were just awful.  I was in tears when he arrived home and felt pretty foolish.  I think I was just frustrated and so tired of quarantine life.  I had high expectations that the day would automatically be great given that it was Mother's Day.  Sadly, the weather was terrible and we even saw snow flurries.  Ugh.  Thankfully, things improved after breakfast and the guys treated me to a few goodies and lunch from a local restaurant.  All's well that ends well - though I am hoping to leave the house next year. :)




Have I mentioned that I'm getting an intern at work??  ME of all people.  No idea what to do with her or how to provide meaningful work virtually, but I've got an intern, y'all!

I finished my class and got an A.  I'm proud of myself.  It was my first grad class in several years and I did it while working full time, completing eLearning lessons, mothering, and volunteering. 

I know there was more I meant to share, but I'm drawing a blank.  Until next time...

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Weekend Recap

How is everyone holding up?

I thought we finally had things figured out as last week got off to a great start.  And then Thursday and Friday happened.  Ha.  One child gave the cat a hair cut and the other threw a broom at me.  They both trashed their rooms and broke a curtain rod.  I won't tell you who did what, but I lost it.  And then I started thinking about how I knew I'd be a terrible stay at home mom and moments like these only prove it.  I miss going to work, I miss routine, I miss leaving the house!  I was feeling pretty low.  Except this current situation is not even close to what being a stay at home mom would look like and everyone is struggling in some way... So I know I need to cut myself some slack.

Thankfully, the weekend came and we decorated cookies, played games, took walks, and ordered lunch.  The baker who makes the boys' birthday cakes offers contactless delivery of baked goodies.  So far I've ordered cupcakes, brownies, cookies, and a cookie decorating kit.  Obviously the quarantine diet is going really well.  But I've also realized we need little things to look forward to and I love treats.






I just completed my graduate class.  I submitted my two final assignments early for feedback from my professor.  I was really nervous and asked both A and a colleague to review my work before I submitted.  Then I changed my mind and decided they already had enough work to do so I needed to suck it up and accept whatever feedback came my way.  Well, my professor told me I nailed it.  I'm proud of myself and I'm halfway through the program!  One less thing to worry about! Woohoo!

I started reading Harry Potter with the boys last night.  I've never read the series and after W was born, I knew I wanted to read it with him some day.  These aren't the types of books the boys would typically choose and S is definitely young for it, but we're going to give it a try anyway.  We've been reading a ton since the stay at home order and I love it!

Oh!  I gave the boys haircuts.  I watched one whole YouTube video and decided I could do it.  And guess what!  They turned out really well!




I think that sums up life lately.  Really, we just take each day as it comes and hope for the best. :)

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Weekend Recap / Easter


I’m a bit late in posting an update/recap/whatever you want to call it, but as I mentioned previously, not much is happening and every day feels pretty much the same.

I spent the majority of Easter just feeling sad and trying to repeatedly give myself a pep talk about how our situation could be so much worse.  We still had Easter baskets, an egg hunt, and an amazing dinner.  By the way, A and I can apparently cook a really great grown up meal – who knew?!?  We had ham, roasted potatoes, mac and cheese, green beans, deviled eggs, and cupcakes.  Yum!  But I couldn’t help feeling disappointed that we weren’t able to attend church or celebrate with our extended families like we’ve done in years past.








We’re just taking things day by day.  Admittedly, some days are really challenging and just plain hard.  These are they days in which A and I have work meetings and the boys don’t cooperate.  The boys come into the bedroom where I work about 8057 time or they're fed up with the current situation, which results in yelling and throwing things.  There are meltdowns and arguments and A and I end up completely exhausted.  But luckily, the challenging days are usually followed by better days.  Days that include chalk drawings, dance parties, long walks, scavenger hunts, science experiments, and reading books.

I get overwhelmed easily.  I’ve noticed it ever since my brother passed away.  Things that would typically bother me just feel heavier and bother me so much more and I feel a tremendous sense of dread.  So you can imagine that working full time with kids home full time, home school, graduate class, and weekly preschool board meetings are weighing on me.  In a totally ironic twist, I talked to my doctor about this and he prescribed a medication to only be taken when I needed it most.  You know, like now.  Except I didn’t fill said prescription before we went on lock down and now I’m too afraid to visit the pharmacy for a non essential medication.  Ha.  Go figure.

Last night, after my board meeting, we put the boys to bed quickly and hopped on a virtual trivia tournament.  Yes, I now realize I sound like an uber nerd.  You should know that I hardly knew any of the answers.  But it was the first time in a long time that I felt a little more “normal”.  We had so much fun and I’m so glad our friends invited us.  We ended up in third place and our friends came in second out of 25ish teams.  Again, can’t take any credit, but I love trivia contests with A.

Other positive takeaways from the past couple weeks: We’re still trying to get walks in when possible and I feel SO much better when I get a little fresh air and exercise.  It has snowed a few times, though.   We joined our neighbors in donating funds to our mail carrier, UPS delivery man, Fed Ex delivery man, and sanitation workers.  Tomorrow we’re presenting them all with the money collected and also making thank you signs for our yards.  I love that our neighbors organized this!  S and I have started doing kids YouTube dance videos.  If I needed confirmation that I’m the world’s worst dancer, this was it!  But S told me I’m his favorite person to dance with so there.

Stay well!



Friday, April 3, 2020

Weekend Recap

I don't really have much of a weekend recap because every day feels more or less the same.  I think everyone is in the same boat.

We've been going for walks everyday - thankful we live in a pretty big neighborhood and have been able to discover new routes and places.





We visited my mom as well as Nani and Papa from the driveway.  S even made a sign to hold up.  I think it was so good for the boys to see their grandparents.  They had a really really challenging Monday.  The entire day felt like one giant meltdown, but since then, things have gone well.  There are scuffles and arguments, but I'm grateful the boys have each other during this time.



My mom came over yesterday for a "social distance" walk - she stayed outside and walked 6 feet behind us, but it was great to catch up while getting some fresh air.  We ended up walking for over an hour.  On the downside, Charlie still smells like a swamp after our walk - so gross!

We've done quite well with meal planning and I'm proud of us.  W has surprised me with some of the things he's liked - mostaccioli, chicken tacos, and greek chicken with rice.  I've made it a point to let him know that I'm trying new recipes and if he doesn't like what I make, we'll find something else for him.  I think this has taken the pressure off in a way and he's discovered that he really does like different foods.  A major win!

Work is challenging because I don't have the office conveniences and the boys do interrupt often.  I'm just doing the best I can.


Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Weekend Recap

I think my next few weekend recaps are all going to sound the same.  And honestly, I can't really differentiate between the weekends and weekdays.  I know I work during the week, but I forget what activities we do when.

I do know that we've been going on walks every day.  I like the fresh air and exercise and it's nice to see so many neighbors out walking (though we keep our distance).  Many people in our neighborhood have written chalk messages on driveways and sidewalks.  We did the same.  The messages are so uplifting and give me hope.






On Saturday, the boys and I wrote down clues and then we all piled in the car for a scavenger hunt.  A had to locate the destination according to our hints.  It was nice to get out of the house and we had fun coming up with clues.  I think we'll do the same this weekend, only A will come up with the clues and we'll have to figure out the destination and direct him.

We've actually done really well with meal planning.  We're limiting our grocery shopping to once per week and dare I say I'm actually enjoying coming up with a plan for dinners in advance.  It takes the last minute guesswork out of dinner preparation and with no commute, we have plenty of time to make dinner.

This week has started off much more challenging than the last.  It's officially our spring break so W doesn't have daily assignments.  I think the novelty of all of us at home all the time has worn off.  The lack of routine is also resulting in some restlessness for the boys.  We're getting them outside when we can and just trying our best to keep life as normal as possible.




Friday, March 20, 2020

Life During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Is anyone still blogging these days?  It seems pretty quiet out there.  If you're still reading, I'd love your input.

This quarantine has been really tough.  I've been trying to focus on some of the positives, but it's hard not to think about the negative impacts.  I'll admit there are a few negative impacts that most would find trivial, but they're getting to me.

I'll share my thoughts, but I'd love to hear from you too.  No judgement.

Let's get the trivial negative impacts out of the way:

  • Hair.  Ok, I realize this is minor and maybe it makes me shallow or vain.  So be it.  I was supposed to get my hair cut and highlighted this weekend and the appointment was cancelled.  The thought of going two-ish months without a hair cut and highlights is more daunting than it should be.  This is causing me way more anxiety than it should.
  • A and I often don't get home from work until 5 at the earliest.  The boys are hangry and as a result we often eat out or pick up food 3-4 times per week.  It's a lot, but it just works with our busy schedules.  We also have picky kids so it allows some variety in our meal selections.  We're not used to meal planning.  Trying to get all of the groceries ahead of time and plan meals that all of us will eat well in advance has been challenging.
  • Related, we're going through food fast!!  Again, we're not used to everyone home and not used to stocking up in advance.  At least we have toilet paper.

Not so trivial:

  • Lack of interaction with parents.  My mom and I are very close (especially since my brother and dad passed away).  We're used to seeing each other at least 4 times per week.  My mom nearly cried on the phone when we discussed staying away.  The boys are also very close to all of their grandparents.  They were asking when Nani would be coming over and I had to tell them I really wasn't sure.  This one is breaking my heart.
Positives:

  • All things considered, the boys have been getting along really, really well.  They have moments in which they argue and yell, but they also have plenty of moments in which they work together on puzzles, play games, read together, look at flash cards together, ride scooters, build Lego houses, etc.
  • Home schooling is going pretty well.  We don't have a great routine, but we are working through homework packets and incorporating other fun activities like science experiments, neighborhood scavenger hunts, and book madness (each family member chooses 2 books, we read and vote for our favorites).  I even discovered S can write several numbers and letters... I seriously had no idea!
  • Working from home.  Ok, so this has been challenging with multiple interruptions, distractions, and lack of computer monitors.  BUT.  I don't take for granted the ability to work from home.  It's been such a blessing during this trying time.
  • Related, having a webcam has allowed me to have face to face meetings with colleagues.  I even had coffee with a colleague via virtual meeting.
  • Family time.  I appreciate that we've gotten to spend so much time together.  Happy we have each other and like each other most of the time. :)
  • Sleeping in and watching tv shows.  Not having a commute means I've been sleeping in until 6am, which is amazing.  It also means that A and I have been able to watch tv after the boys go to bed, which we hardly ever do.  We've caught up on This is Us and started watching Schitt's Creek, which is both terrible and hilarious.
I'm sure there are more, but that's what I've got so far.  

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

COVID-19



How is everyone coping as we practice social distancing?  We’re on day 3 of home schooling and it kind of feels like month 3.  We’re lucky because I’m able to work from home and A’s school is closed so he is caring for the boys while attempting to home school a first grader and a preschooler.  We are making the most of it, but I already miss our routines and our “normal” days.  In some ways it’s comforting to know that everyone is affected by COVID-19.  We’re all trying to figure things out and working collaboratively to stop the spread of this virus.  But it’s also hard.  I definitely struggle with change and self-quarantining is the ultimate change.  I’m worried that W won’t be returning to school this year.  We love his teacher and he was thriving in first grade.  This is S’s final year of preschool.  It breaks my heart that there is a possibility he won’t return.  He’s a social kid and being away from friends and teachers is going to be difficult for him.  I didn’t even get to say a proper goodbye to my boss because our office is closed.  We had to cancel our spring vacation that we were so much looking forward to.  My heart hurts.  Hoping and praying this virus goes away soon.


I've had quite a few work meetings while working from home and each one ends with someone saying "stay safe and healthy".  Wishing you all the same.