Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Coasting along.

One month since my last update.

For the last week I've been on autopilot.

Just moving through the motions of every day life, not forgetting to breathe, blink, sleep, wake, because those are natural processes.

What's NOT natural?

Last Thursday, we took our tiny little cat to the vet to be spayed. Milli has been in heat like 3 times and she's maybe 10 months old?
Barely even 5 lbs. She's itty bitty.
Well, I'm thinking the anesthesia was a bit much because the past 6 days have been horrible.
Healing, trying to keep her from licking her incision, first 3 days nothing but puke. Unable to keep ANYTHING down. Another $200 trip BACK to the vet over the weekend. Trying to keep her from jumping up on things. Lethargic, miserable, hiding wherever she could get herself into.
She's finally playing, eating, drinking, getting back to normal only threw up once today.
I won't do this again. I don't know why it's weighed so much on me this week but it's taken SO much out of me.

Literally. All day, Erry day.

Wanted to go see my sweet momma on Mother's Day but I couldn't leave the cat alone because someone had to have eyes on her every minute when she was puking every hour. And this kitty has pretty much stuck herself to my side. If I'm in a room, she's practically underneath me.

How's quarantine going for you?

I know - the country is trying to get going again. Everyone is opening things up. Venturing out. Braving the masses in this huge world.
I'm over here just being content in my own little world. I even try to shower every other day. Sometimes I even brush my teeth and remember to take my medicine. I don't have to go out unless I have to go to the grocery store and even with that, Roger will swing to the store and get stuff on his way home if he's able.
Masks are so smothering. They give me panic attacks.
Then, I see people being interviewed on news reports with their noses uncovered and think, "You're not doing it right" because seriously?!?!? Not helping your situation or anyone else's.

The only other thing I've ever had a panic attack over is sleeping in a car with 4 other people when we were supposed to be camping but it rained. DOWN-POURED. It was hot, sweaty, humid, suffocating, I felt like I was breathing hot, other people's breath air. It got me good. I'm not a fan of camping.

If this is part of our "New Normal", this adjustment will be one I do not want to embrace.

Its crazy.
Conspiracy theories are running rampant.
Everyone has an opinion.
Everyone has their own set of moral standards as to how we're supposed to face this.
It's still here. I'm still working from home.
There's still not a solution.
I'm so tired of watching the news.
No one needs to hear any more panic inducing headlines.
Meat shortages. Where's the toilet paper?
What will school look like in the fall?
Are we going to work from home forever?

one day at a time.

But those days are running together and tumbling over one another like water flowing over rocks.
I have to write it down to know what day it is.

Hailee's school 5th grade year is winding down.
This 3rd Distance Learning packet is the easiest yet. And thank the LORD for that. I don't know how much more 5th grade math I can struggle through. Not the math itself - but the arguing with the 5th grader over why she's trying to make it harder than it actually is.... you get me/??
But fractions were never my strong point either.
I can honesty say I've only had to "help" her with 1 of the assignments.
She literally rolls out of bed, comes down stairs, grabs her packet, picks through the bingo squares of assignments (for each class) one she wants to do for the day, gets it done and goes back to her room.
Life with a PreTeen, man. It's a doozy.
This year. Homework = read for 20 minutes each night.
It was hard to know what she was learning and how to help her since it wasn't something we've been working on together all year. and I am NOT a teacher.

I'm a nurse.
Still talking to my "patients" (we call them members in our insurance world) every day.
Still Rolling with all the changes coming down the line. Charting what they want. Trying to get assessments done on time.
Still available for all the questions and needs that arise.
Still love it when they end the conversations with "I love you!" because you can never get tired of that.

It's not like being stuck at home is hard.
I'm good with that.
I think it's more of the "what's next" and trusting "the powers that be" to do what they think is best for us.
Government with a bit more control than I'm comfortable with?
Maybe. And I'm not a very political person.
This is very different.
This is almost as suffocating as wearing that damn mask.
Not that I want to get out there and be a social butterfly because I'm not.
But maybe a little interaction with someone that isn't a post-op kitten or an 11 year old.

Roger put a beautiful little pond in our back yard. He worked his butt off and I'm proud of how amazing it's turned out!!

My parents came over a few weeks ago to bring by Hailee's Easter Basket they put together for her. We stood in the garage, walked to the back yard, just hung out for a bit.
I cried. My emotions bubbled right over the edge when I thought about NOT hugging my mom and dad. but you best believe I hugged them. (I'm getting a huge lump in my throat just thinking about it)

I don't want to be scared to hug my parents since they don't live in my house.
I don't want them to be afraid to come into my house. (I know they're not because they're my parents)
I don't want to be afraid of getting close to people.
I'm ok with working from home but what is going back to the office going to look like?
Or going to my "member's house"?
I don't think we're ready for a vaccine.
I don't know what comes next.

I've never had emotional issues with depression or anything like that but recently, the feelings of UNmotivation, not wanting to do things, feeling like there is so much expected of you with no time to get everything you want to get done accomplished, not knowing what day it is, putting things off till the last minute possible... that's all there.
Bed times, bath times, meal times are all over the place.
Social media is SUCH a double edged sword!
Yeah, you want to stay connected to everyone BUT - there are so many people with pessimistic, condescending, negative, smart mouth comments, belittling, hypocritical attitudes... I just can't.
This is real y'all.
And maybe needing a bit more adult conversation and interaction than I'm currently getting.
We all do.
Does anyone else feel like this is totally drawing itself out to be such a long winded situation?
One you get exhausted just thinking about?
Or is it just me that's over it and it's only really been in our faces for 2 months?!?

Love y'all.
Mean it.

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Dear Diary,

What a fine mess we're in.

Who would have thought this is where we'd be a year ago.
It seemed like over the course of a weekend, everything started changing.
The wheels started spinning to set in motion events that would absolutely make 2020 a year none of us would EVER forget.
And all we could do was sit back and watch order after order go into place limiting this, suspending that, postponing events until further notice, ushering people out of jobs/income, telling us how far apart to stand, making us so aware of touch, coughs, sneezes....

For example, this weekend, I went to the meat market to pick up some steaks for our anniversary dinner (since all the restaurants are closed to diners so a date night was off the table LITERALLY). The new order from the governor of SC states: all retail business still operating must limit customer activity by only allowing 5 customers per 1000 square feet or 20% of their posted capacity - whatever is less.
So there we all were, standing in a line that snaked through the parking lot, 6 (give or take 10 feet) ft apart, utterly and completely silent.
No one spoke, no one smiled, no one was even looking around at everyone standing in line with them. Being that it's allergy season, toward the middle of the hour I was standing in that line, I got a tickle in my throat. Checked my purse, no water, but GUM!! Praise the Lord! I didn't want to cough!!! My eyes were watering and I was even considering leaving my place in line, getting in my car and driving off, but STEAKS!!! So I chewed that gum as fast as I could to get as much "liquid" as I could from it to prevent the cough.

This is changing the way we interact with others.

Another instance: I was at the grocery store and the meat section was sparse with a 2 pack of whatever meat you wanted Limit. Another lady said something about a Pork Tenderloin she just got from there recently because that's what I was looking for and I felt like I was being a rebel just having a small conversation with her. Were we standing 6 feet apart? I doubt it.

Commercials: coronavirus.
News: coronavirus.
Facebook (literally every social media platform): coronavirus.
Work: coronavirus.
When you have to go out in public for essential stuff: coronvirus.
Distance Learning (schools doors are closed): coronavirus.

It is all encompassing.
Everything has changed.
And we're slap in the middle of it (or still kinda toward the beginning but it feels like it has already been going on for quite some time).

When this all blows over, I'm gonna...
Hope still abounds.
Even though we are not at the point where we can put our finger on what is the best time to start relaxing limitations, separations, gatherings..

I miss my parents.
I miss being able to hug their necks and smell the comforting scent of their home.
Out of concern for their health and well being, all we have right now is Facetime, phone calls and text messages.
It's killing me not to be able to go see them.
My parents are precious to me. Roger's parents are precious to me. What am I even saying, ALL of my family is near and dear to my heart!! Just thinking of my Grandma Betty being all alone in her little house hurts my heart. Easter dinner was not served at her home for the first time in 40 years. THAT is not normal. I wonder if she decorated her little concrete goose statue that she always dresses up for whatever holiday it is?? I've been meaning to buy her some more outfits for her little goose because some of those close are looking a little worse for wear. Now is the perfect time to do it.

Hailee's been on Spring Break for the last week. I just picked up her Distance Learning packet today that will take us through the end of April.
If I'm being totally honest, I'm just waiting for the announcement saying they will be finishing the school year online. It breaks my heart knowing this is my baby's last year of elementary school and this is just - it. No more elementary school.

Next up - Middle school.
My heart also goes out to all the Seniors out there - the class of 2020, who are going through all of this and won't have that closure of graduation. No one even knows how things will start back up once school IS able to resume. People have a LOT of decisions to make right now. So many things to consider.

We (husband and I) are still both working full time so our house is NOT spotless since I don't have the time to pick a room every day and clean it from top to bottom like I'd LOVE to. (because it needs it)
I try to keep Hailee busy with "ideas" of things to do and keep her from hiding up in her room on her phone or video games. With "school" starting back tomorrow, she'll definitely have more to keep her busy.


Celery and Romaine Lettuce I started from some store bought stuff. Gardening is definitely not something I'm good at but when you have something that just WANTS to grow, it's not hard.

Milli played with a tangerine for hours the other day and I laughed and laughed at her. THEN, she found a paper bag I brought the meats home from the Ole Timey Meat Market in and that did not make me laugh when she was darting in and out of it. It was loud.

I'm not upset at all about all the grilling of stuff he's been doing. There's just something about food cooked over fire that I LOVE. He's pretty good at grilling too so totally winning there..

I ordered a case of Wines from Naked Wines. My dad found a voucher inside the box of a grill he just bought. I went online and got a case of mixed Red/ White and so far, it has not disappointed me in the least! I enjoy wine and the cool thing is you join this community where there are some super experienced people and you get to learn alllll kinds of things about wine. AND - you can talk back and forth with the specific winemakers! Pretty cool!!

And there's always this little Milli here. She is the sweetest little Toot. (that's what I call her so I'm sure she thinks that's her name instead of Milli.) Why do I do that??? I did it with Mo too. Her name was 'supposed' to be Ashe, but instead, I always just called her Mo or MoMo and it sorta stuck. I do actually call Milli by her name. Often when I'm yelling at her for trying to jump on the table. But I also call her Toot. Doesn't matter. She doesn't come to you unless she wants to attack your feet or you have food for her. She doesn't listen either but she's a sweet girl. Maybe a little slow, but still loving.

An onion and a buddy of it that just wanted to grow. I peeled off all the brown skin and stuck it down in the soil. They're both growing good now! I've done this with green onions too and I guess this time of year, they like to sprout bulbous things that look like they want to turn into flowers. Haven't quite figured out what's going on there yet lol.

Hailee's 11th birthday was on the 31st. Felt bad because she couldn't have a 'party' and finally broke down and got a Virtual Reality system since she's been asking about one for the last year. She's always walking into things with that massive headset on so we have to set up a barrier when she is playing. Roger can't resist it's pull either, as you can clearly see... (the game master)

Keeping it real with the Facetime. We even figured out how to do Zoom meetings to get all the other family members in on the action ;) We all do what we can when we can't be together.

Milli always follows me into the bathroom to see what these "baths" are all about. I heard her fall into the tub after I got out the other night. Curiosity got the cat all bubbly and clean ;)

wicked witch or green mask for beauties?? (I texted this pic to Hailee. Her response: Wow.)

Milli: Who ARE YOU?????

This is the only real "clothes" Hailee has worn in the last month. I even got to brush and braid her hair. You'd think she's a cave woman since her long hair stays a tangled mess. She didn't even put on a bra today. So scandalous living life on the edge without your training bra on and you have to get in the car to go through a drive through!! And y'all, she was paranoid someone would see her without a bra on. (she gets it from her mama lol)

In Office CoWorker of the week:

Wear a mask. It will keep you safe. Or make you have a panic attack because you're claustrophobic and feel like you're suffocating while you're breathing in your old air. I bet you'll brush your teeth before you put one of these bad boys on. Otherwise, that air will be stank.

Easter basket goodies: On a grocery store run, shove all the candy that looks like Easters into your buggy a few days before since you only go out of the house one time a week for safety. Found this basket above the washing machine on the shelf. It was a little dusty and lenty but it worked.

Making Hailee smile with the Kitty Memes. And by the way, her definition of a Meme and my definition of a Meme are totally different. I think she's already seen every single meme that is out there but I do my best to spice up this isolation. I think she's "mentally" doing okay since she talks to her best friend on the phone (for hours and hours) at least once a day so it's not super different for her. And they're old cat ladies so these cat memes are super fitting.

We have a new French Maid.
This was a birthday present that she asked for.
I have no idea why. She doesn't clean a single thing. We just keep her employed because she's cute.

Blackberries growing on our tiny blackberry bush. They're all green now but if the bunnies in the back yard don't get them, they're ours!!

11th Birthday Celebrated.
Cake, Balloons, presents, cards, decorations, we shebanged it good.

See what I did there? These are the good things I'm holding near and dear to my heart. Do not confuse that with the fact that this is also difficult. That I have an 11 year old all full up with hormones and at times, yes, we butt heads. We all are facing challenges through this.
It's good to step away from the news sometimes and enjoy the slower pace.
Technology keeps us connected. Reaffirm the connections we have with everyone we're not able to physically touch and hug right now.
It's scary too. I hate wearing masks. I don't wear them when I go out in public. I still wouldn't even dream of bringing something in my home that could hurt one of my precious home dwellers.
We are all living through this the best we can. Whether you think it's a political ploy, deadly virus, conspiracy theory, man made.... it's happening. Let's all just take care of ourselves and each other.
We get frustrated. We bump heads. It's only natural.
I don't enjoy living in fear of going to the store to get essential items when I absolutely have to, but right now, we can go out to get what we need.
Funny how a year ago, we thought nothing of running out real quick to grab something we needed and now, there is thought involved, and a plan of attack.

Stay safe Frens. Love you, mean it.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

And these are the (quarantine) days of our lives.

Right now, you could say I'm a...
stay-at-home Nurse, mom, 5th grade teacher, cook, dishwasher, laundry doer.
(I'm sure there are a few other titles I'd claim but you didn't hear it from me)

While I was in the shower earlier, I had this whole inner dialogue going through my mind of things I needed to process - but after the day I've had - my brain is as scrambled as the eggs I made for dinner.

You see, what had happened was...
I can't tell you what quarantine day this is without pulling out my calendar and counting back from today. Maybe day 8? but at this point, I'm just going to stop counting.

In the mornings, I try to get as much done as I can before Hailee wakes up and the learning begins.

I make my coffee, check my emails, have a daily Skype meeting with my co-workers to get the latest briefing on business processes that are ever changing as the coronavirus is swooping down upon our world, I wash a few dishes from the night before (because everyone else in this house must be allergic to dishwashing and I've built up immunity), actually drink some of my coffee, get at least one member called and charted on (two if I'm lucky), get all the papers ready for all the lessons Hailee needs to finish for the day.
And that's about all the time I get to me, myself and I.

THEN, Hailee bounces down the stairs and asks, "What's for breakfast?"
At this time, I know I can get in a few more calls but once Hailee starts her schoolwork, I sit her across the table from me because she needs constant direction, instruction and someone checking behind her.

See - this is where things get tricky.
While I'm trying to call and chart those calls, she's...
asking me questions
arguing with me over the assignments
asking me to look over something she just did and tell her if she's right or wrong
trying to argue her point if I DO tell her she's wrong
telling me about some story or character she just made up in her head
singing a song
playing with Milli
asking for a snack
asking what's for lunch
asking me if I'll show her how to play a certain song on the piano
asking if I remember this one scene in this show she likes to watch that I usually only half pay attention to because I'm in the middle of something else
asking how to spell the word "scene" or "antennae"
asking Siri questions (Siri answers her in an Australian accent)
asking where Milli is

At the very same time - other members are calling in to me, I'm checking emails and reports that are coming in, Milli is climbing up on the table after I've already yelled, "NO NO!!!" at least 5 times in the last hour, or Milli is shoving her water bowl across the kitchen floor, sloshing water from here to kingdom come. OR, Milli is running around corners ahead of me so she can boop at my feet when I walk by her (if she could talk, I'm positive she'd be saying "HAHA! GOT YA SUCKER!!" after she does it). OR Milli is playing with the absolute loudest thing on the floor that she can find while I'm trying to talk to a member on the phone or in the middle of a Skype meeting.

Today, I don't know how much Hailee actually got accomplished, but I do know she did the pages I had set out for her. I let her say when her schooling was done then I went to the couch and sat down with my computer, ready to calculate my plan of attack for the rest of the day.

I distanced myself from checking the stats of COVID-19 because there's such a thing as information overload. BUT... right before 4PM, we got THE CALL. (dunnn dunn dunnnnnnnnn)

School is to remain closed through the end of April.

I'm not ashamed to say that at that moment, (probably even before then) I hit the breaks as I hit that proverbial wall.
That went from 2 weeks to a month and a half of this new role I've taken on. We are only on Day 4 of our distance learning packets and it has been a CHALLENGE!!
When I heard the news, I didn't feel like working, reading, cleaning, doing dishes/laundry, writing or playing music, sitting and talking to Roger, working out with Hailee, I didn't want to look at social media to see people whining or making jokes about quarantine, COVID-19 or homeschooling inexperience.
I . was . D O N E.

It all just flashed before me, just like that, too.

Motivation was gone.
We have never experienced anything at this level.
This is hard.
And not just scary because this virus is something new that our bodies don't really know how to handle. We are having to adjust and adapt to new normals all over the place.
Spending more time either alone in this isolation or with our families that were not always cooped up under the same roof 24-7.

So after the realization sunk in of another month (at least) of isolation togetherness worklife, I argued with myself enough to get up and put on my work out clothes just to tell Hailee it was time for training and have her pitch a fit about having to get up and get dressed for her run. I wanted to walk out of the front door and be by myself, but instead, I let her have her way and just did our training sesh in our itty bitty home gym, sweating it out quietly and praying she didn't fall off the treadmill again like she did during our Friday work out.

Again, moving felt good.
It's just what my body needed.
Sweating through all of my clothes and turning up the music that pumped through the whole house was distance enough from the day full of distractions and interruptions.
And I know that alcohol is never the answer but dang if this Summer Shandy isn't refreshing right about now.

No cute pictures to accompany this because you'd just get the same thing over and over again.
Picture it in your head with me: Hailee doing school in her pajamas sans pants, Milli acting a fool doing something crazy, Me fixing my pony tail for the thousandth time because the elastics are so loose they don't hold very well, papers in piles through the downstairs rooms as I try to keep them organized in my own way. That's life right now and for the foreseeable future.
We do our best.
And we wash our hands a lot.

*cheers* to all the others out there navigating through this new normal.

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