Schools and Fools

Our school district has been sending out surveys to get parent input on how the school year goes. We have about a month to go before when school is supposed to start. A month. We’ve been home for four months now, so this back-to-school date has kind of sneaked up on us.

I just don’t know about the kids going back to school. We’ve heard some mixed things about it. We were told by the state superintendent of education that schools starting would likely be delayed until September. But our governor, a guy who would eat his own feces if Trump told him to, is saying, “Nah, we’ll start on time.” And ultimately the districts have to do what he says.

We are thinking about doing the virtual charter school for LM. The bus he takes to school got canceled since it was for an arts program he is in, so getting him to school and then getting BG to her school would require a lot of driving and time. LM told us this week that he was torn on going back to the school anyway because he didn’t feel he got a lot out of the program. He got to do two or three 45-minute classes per week, and he was spending more more than twice as much time per week on the bus ride than he did in the classroom for the program.

I told him what his options are if he doesn’t want to go back to his current school (virtual or going to the school in our area, a school that isn’t nearly as nice as the current school) and to think about it. Virtual would be best right now, of course, but I don’t think he’ll have the option to go back to his current school later if he doesn’t like virtual or the other school.

As for the girl, she goes to a small charter school, and if we opted to hold her out for the virtual charter school (it’s a different charter school), then she wouldn’t get to go back. It’s tough, because after this pandemic is over, this is the school she 100% needs to be at. Smaller class sizes, supportive staff, plus we get to take her out early for therapies every week. As the principal said once, they can do things a bit differently since they’re a charter school, and there’s a lot that they can do there that wouldn’t happen at a large school. (Letting her switch schools temporarily wouldn’t be one of those options, though, because they can’t go without the funding they get for her.)

Assuming the state doesn’t smarten up and our district doesn’t get to go with the plans they want to enact, then we’ve got to decided between coronavirus exposure and her long-term education. Ugh.

On a different note, some of my family members got the virus, including my dad. Back in February, he was sounding the alarm over the virus and telling us to stockpile masks and other stuff. Once Trump started saying it was overblown and stuff, my dad quickly decided that the virus was a hoax created by China and the Deep State to control us. We thought things might change a bit when he got the virus, but he didn’t get that sick, so he decided that it’s still a hoax and other people are lying about how bad it is. He also thinks we’re going to be forced to be chipped.

You Are A Dumbass GIFs | Tenor

That’s what is going through my head when he starts his messaging.

The ABCs of Me

So today is equal parts new post and old post. I found a post from a few years ago and thought it would be fun to see what changed and what has remained the same. My original answers and commentary will be in regular font, and I’ll bold my new answers. Y’all should participate, too, because I know some of y’all are bored.

A: Age | 32 / 36

One more year and I’ll be in my mid-thirties, pretty much. Excuse me while I go buy another pair of Converse sneakers and add some more blue to my hair to make myself feel younger. / I guess I’m a year or two from my late 30s now. I have more Converse sneakers than ever, but no blue hair.

B: BIGGEST FEAR | Something bad happening to the kids or my husband. / Something happening to my family…nothing changed there.

As a bonus and more lighthearted “biggest fear,” I’ll say that I’m also afraid someone will try to force feed me something nasty, like zucchini or grits. / For a lighter fear, there’s my dad sending me a shit ton of links on the amazing Trump. I dread getting pings from him.

C: CURRENT TIME | 10:13 p.m. / 1:19 PM

The kids are in bed. Hallelujah! / The kids are watching TV again. Oops.

D: DRINK I LAST HAD | Tea sweetened with Splenda. / I’m ashamed to say that it’s a can of Coke. Much like I’ve promised for the last few months, it’s my last one, I swear!

Ugh, diets. But at least I sorta get my sweet tea fix. And, hey, I’ve lost 6 pounds from the first of the year, so that helps. / I gained 13 pounds in the first three months of quarantine (testing out lots of food and drink recipes was not a good thing) but have dropped a few since slowing down on that. Dropping Cokes would go a long way.

E: EASIEST PERSON TO TALK TO | The therapist. / My best friend. Stopped seeing the therapist 2-3 years ago, and I miss those sessions.

F: FAVORITE SONG | Put Me Back Together by Weezer / I posted something other than Hanson?! Wth. Um…my current favorite song is Hanson’s Lost Without Each Other. It gives me a nice energy boost.

G: GROSSEST MEMORY | Baby Girl pooping in the tub. And eating her poop. / It’s still BG eating her poop. That situation eventually turned into a book, though, so I guess thanks, BG?

H: HOMETOWN | Somewhere Rural As Fuck, South Carolina / Same. My husband still will not entertain the idea of moving somewhere less hot.

I: IN LOVE WITH | My husband / Same.

J: JEALOUS OF | People who have their shit together. / Dammit, same again. Some days are great, others you’d think that I haven’t been doing the adult thing for very long. Starting to realize that’s pretty typical, though.

K: KILLED SOMEONE? | Nope. / No…and wth kind of question is this?

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L: LONGEST RELATIONSHIP | The husband. / Still him. And also my relationship with Coke. It’s been on and off again, though.

We’re coming up on 12 years together and 10 years  married. / Make that 16 and 14 now. (I can math!)

M: MIDDLE NAME | Something everyone mispronounces. / Gee, that didn’t change, either. Maybe I should’ve read through all of these ABCs before redoing it.

Not that I’m bitter. I’m not bitter about relatives misspelling my first name, either. / And now everyone misspells BG’s name. They just leave off an H at the end, but still.

N: NUMBER OF SIBLINGS | 5 / Still 5, although I only really talk to two of them.

Here’s how it goes: there’s my full sister, my half brother, my other half brother that I haven’t seen since he was a baby (but we did connect on Facebook), and my two stepsiblings. I don’t like doing family trees.

O: ONE WISH | That Baby Girl would stop throwing shit on the floor. / That people would pick up after themselves. 

No, not actual shit, lest you assume that from the earlier comment. But all her food. Namely bananas. Sometimes I miss picking up a piece of banana, which gets dark and slimy super quick, and stepping on those makes me die a little inside. / Everyone in this house has the ability, but chooses not to most of the time. Clutter/mess makes my anxiety increase, so this drives me nuts.

P: LAST PERSON YOU CALLED | My husband. / Still my husband.

As someone who rarely talks on the phone because of sucky hearing, I pretty much only talk to two people on the phone: my husband and my mother-in-law. I wouldn’t talk to my MIL on the phone if she could text without putting a period after every single word. Most other calls get screened and texted back. My best friends are awesome and never call me. / Some things never change. *Cue Anna from Frozen 2 singing*

Q: QUESTION YOU’RE ALWAYS ASKED | When are you going back to teaching? / What are you doing now that both kids are in school?

I. Am. Not. Asking me this repeatedly is not going to change that. First, I have my children. Second, I’d never, ever teach English again (save for extenuating circumstances, and even then, my license has lapsed). It took years to get comfortable saying “ain’t,” and I’m not giving that up. / Chauffeuring. When you live rural and the kids go to schools that are 25ish minutes in the opposite direction of your house, do sports, and one has weekly therapies, driving consumes a lot of your time.

R: REASON TO SMILE | We might be getting snow this weekend. / I’m getting my haircut this week and am trying a new style. I got it cut back in January or February, and it is a mess now. Roots everywhere, too. I know, I know, pandemic and all, but the lady who cuts my hair wears a mask, I wear a mask, she makes people stay in the car until it’s their appointment time and no tagalongs, and I’m getting the first appointment of the day. 

S: SONG YOU LAST SANG | Pork And Beans by Weezer / A parody of I Just Can’t Wait to be King from Lion King. I was trying to make the girl laugh and succeeded.

What a Great Year for the Dundies We Got to See Ping and We Heard ...

T: TIME YOU WOKE UP | 7 a.m. / 8:30

U: UNDERWEAR COLOR | I don’t know. / orange

V: VACATION DESTINATION | On a boat. / I’m still stuck on cruises being the best vacation ever. I don’t care where it goes.

I don’t care if it’s somewhere tropical or not. I like to go on cruises, so put me on a boat and I’ll be a happy woman. Plus, I love to randomly yell out, “Look at me, ’cause I’m sailing on a boat!” People think it’s cuter when Little Man does it, though. / Still all of this.

W: WORST HABIT | Overthinking things. / Still this and also picking at the skin around my nails. Yikes.

X: X-RAYS YOU’VE HAD | Not an easy question for someone who is clumsy. / Here we go again.

I think I’ve only had a few foot x-rays, an arm x-ray, an ankle x-ray (yep, I’m separating that from “foot x-ray”), a knee x-ray, and a couple hand x-rays. / In the past four years, I’ve had another ankle x-ray, foot x-ray, and leg x-ray. I broke my damn leg on a cruise a couple years ago. Still love them, though.

Y: YOUR FAVORITE FOOD | Chicken parm. And Steak. And chocolate. / I’m still all about those foods.

Now I’m thinking “fuck this weight loss thing, I’m gonna go buy food.”

Z: ZODIAC SIGN | Sagitarius. / Obviously that wouldn’t change.

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Eh. Some of that’s true. Some isn’t.

If you’re reading this, congrats, you made it through to the end! And unless you suck with alphabets, you knew that when you hit the zodiac part. Whoo-hoo!

Adios, June

Today is Day 30 of my June Writing Challenge. This marks the 15th day that I have posted, so I only posted half the time. That’s better than previous months, at least!

My husband took the kids camping yesterday in a nearby state park. It was Baby Girl’s first camping trip. I opted not to go, because I hate everything there is about camping. I don’t like the close proximity to people, how uncomfortable it is, the bugs, the lack of a nice, private bathroom, and the heat. Oof, the heat. My last camping trip was sometime before my husband and I got married. It was fall and we were in the Grandfather Mountain area in NC, so it was nice (and the only issues were being uncomfortable and lack of a nice bathroom).

For whatever reason, my husband decided that the end of June in South Carolina heat was a good time to introduce BG to camping. And not even in the mountains, where it probably would’ve been cool enough to sleep last night.

They came home around 11:30 to sleep.

My husband said BG wasn’t having any of sleeping in the tent. First, he forgot pillows and her sheet. She can’t sleep without those. Then she complained about being cold despite being soaked with sweat from the heat. She also complained about being hot, but this didn’t stop her legs from being cold because of the forgotten sheet. The air mattress was “yucky and horrible.” (I agree.) And then she didn’t want to sleep next to my husband and her brother, so she moved to sleep at their feet. And then she didn’t like them moving around, and when LM bumped her with his foot, she started hitting him and yelling.

I can only imagine what the campers nearby thought of all of this.

My husband said they tried to sleep in the car and gave BG the whole backseat to herself, but she didn’t have her sheet, so that didn’t work. When they came home around 11:30, they all crashed.

My husband did say the rest of the day was fun — fishing, hiking, roasting marshmallows, etc., so I guess next time just spending a day at the park will be the plan next time.

I had the evening to myself. I was going to go for a swim, but the ladder on the pool was messed up (my husband had to replace a bracket or something and forgot to put it on), so I just took a long bath. I had a nice rum drink to go with the bath and ate pizza, plus a Lily’s chocolate bar for dessert. Mmm. After playing a couple rounds of Fortnite, I watched a movie called Clemency, which was a pretty good movie. Having a few hours to myself was very nice! And now my husband will need the same after camping with the girl.

2020 Strikes Again

I’m so over 2020. I know y’all are, too. Today brings yet another 2020 type thing (admittedly not remotely as serious as other 2020 things, but still).

Back in February, my doctor was concerned about a spot on my forehead. I asked my previous provider about it a couple of times (so it’s been around since 2017, maybe earlier than that, but that’s when I first noticed it), but she didn’t really check it out. My new doctor was concerned about it and froze it off and referred me to a dermatologist to get checked up. That got put off for a little while because of the pandemic, but I had the biopsy last week — and the dang thing had grown back — and got the results today — basal cell carcinoma.

This is the most minor type of skin cancer and should be easily removed with no problems. (KNOCK ON WOOD, 2020.) The nurse who called said it was in a “weird area” (not sure why, because it’s just the forehead, should’ve thought to ask) and that they would refer me to someone else to have it removed since I’d need to be sedated for it. Fuuun. I hit up Dr. Google, of course, and read that it rarely spreads, especially when it’s caught early.

Being a very white person who has had so many sunburns, I’m not at all surprised by this. And I’m not really worried either (no worries, I’m still Anxious Mom, because I’ve got the anxiety over everything else lol). It comes at a bad time, though. Things have been so rough lately, like “time to see the psych to adjust my meds” rough. So while this skin thing isn’t serious, an extra stressor is not welcome right now.

2020 is like this since I said it wasn’t serious–

Man in yellow suit hiding behind a tree (Anthony "Spice" Adams ...

Fuck off, 2020.

We’ve been playing a game called Organ Attack that BG got for her birthday. It’s meant for ages 10 and up, but BG’s aunt said she knew BG would love it and didn’t think she’d have any trouble playing it. She was right, and it’s really fun. Everyone gets a bunch of body organs, and you take turn playing cards trying to wipe out everyone’s organs. For example, you can play necrosis on any organ to wipe it out or play conjunctivitis on the eyes. BG loves it and it has cause a shit ton of fights because BG is very protective of her organs and doesn’t want anyone to play cards on them.

Upon hearing my husband and I discuss the phone call about the skin stuff, BG commented that I could play an Immunity Boost card. This card removes an attack (or affliction), which I thought was very sweet. ❤

 

The Silent Ha-Has

Day 23 out of the 30-day posting challenge. I’ve done…maybe half of that. Crap. Maybe I can pull it off in July.

New thing with the kids: after banning “ha-haing” at each other, they’ve cut down on it a little bit, but are now resorting to the silent ha-has.

Baby Girl: “Mommy! Little Man silently ha-haed me!”

LM: “Mom! Tell BG to stop silently ha-haing me!”

For the love of god, y’all.


I had an appointment with my audiologist on Thursday and an appointment with a dermatologist tomorrow. Look who’s out and about! The appointment last week was more time than I’ve spent with anyone outside of this house aside from my MIL and best friend (who needed me to ride with her for an appointment). It was rather awkward being in such a confined space with someone else.

The audiologist adjusted my cochlear settings and is hopeful that within the year that I’ll see some improvement. (It’s not like a regular hearing aid, as the brain has to relearn how to process those signals.) She is also looking into something to add to my device to utilize some residual hearing in that ear. That all depends on insurance, of course, so we’ll see. I’m desperate for improvement there, because career prospects seem so limited. Fingers crossed.


Today is the girl’s birthday. She’s the big 6! It’s different this year with the pandemic and all, and with two sets of grandparents quarantining (more on that later) and one set out of town, we won’t be doing a cookout as hoped. We picked up ice cream this afternoon from BG’s favorite ice cream place, are picking up her favorite pizza tonight, and will get in a swim after supper if it doesn’t rain. My husband took her for a hair trim, and I know that salons are getting a lot of flack, but we felt like one-on-one with everyone wearing masks for that short period of time was safe. She wanted it short again, and it’s super cute! She hasn’t complained any about it being so different this year, aside from not being able to open all of her presents, which started at 5:57 AM.

“I can’t resist these presents! I’m going crazy, Moomie! I’m just going to lose my mind if I don’t open these presents soon!”

I’ve heard that so many times that I may very well lose my mind if she doesn’t let up haha.

Lose My Mind GIFs | Tenor

What Is Your Star Wars Personality Type?

I love doing personality tests once in a while and especially like to see what changes — if anything — over the years. One test I go back to at times is the MBTI. When my husband and I were doing some counseling with our pastor before we got married, he had us both do the test. My husband was an INTJ and I was an INFJ, slightly different. The Palpatine to my Obi-Wan Kenobi. Fast forward 14 years, and he’s still an INTJ while I am an INFP. Not much improvement on that match-up!

You can take the long quiz here and match it up to the chart below or take the short quiz here that matches you up to your Star Wars personality type.

The Dreamer: INFP (Luke Skywalker)

Defining Attributes: Creative, Private, Introspective, Highly Idealistic

Driven by your values, as an INFP you are interested in helping people and serving humanity as a whole. An easy going individual, you are unusually adaptable and laid-back unless a strongly-held value of yours is threatened. “Idealists” are characterized by their ability to be present with another individual on a deep level, and are usually Imaginative and often talented in language and writing.

via GeekInHeels.com

I think my family would disagree on the laid-back part. As my husband says, “You are the most uptight laid-back person I know. You can be laid-back until you get uptight about something, and then it’s on.”

So, which Star Wars personality are you? Or, if you’re not a quiz-taking person, which one do you most identify with?

[Repost] Mommy Started the Fire!

I originally posted this in early June of 2016. Baby Girl was almost 2 and LM was 8. I have not attempted to make doughnuts since originally posting this.


Yesterday evening, I decided to make my family a sweet treat. After looking around online, I found what was supposed to be a super easy doughnut recipe — no need for yeast and all that waiting around. I checked to make sure I had the ingredients I needed (and I did except for one, but I had a substitute), so I announced to the family over supper than I planned to make them doughnuts.

Don’t they look good?

There was much excitement.

“Nonuts!” Baby Girl said and looked around, no doubt curious where I was hiding them.

“You’re the best mommy ever!” Little Man exclaimed. “I can’t wait!”

“You know how to make doughnuts?” my husband asked. Maybe there was more skepticism than excitement on his part.

After we finished eating, I pulled out all the ingredients, put a pot full of oil on to heat up, and started mixing everything up. I had to substitute butter for shortening, and noticed that it more clumped together with the sugar than creamed, but didn’t think much of it. I sifted the flour and mixed the ingredients (very carefully, I’ll add, so that I wouldn’t beat my finger this time) and realized that the recipe wasn’t going to work exactly right, as the consistency was more that of a thick pancake batter than a dough that I could roll out, cut, etc.

“Y’all, we’re having doughnut balls instead!” I called out. I figured I could just drop spoonfuls of the dough, shake some powdered sugar over them and no one would care too much that they weren’t O-shaped.

As I was finishing up, my husband came back into the kitchen and asked whether the oil was supposed to be smoking. A bit of time had passed by then, since it had taken me a while to find measuring cups and spoons. “I think it’s just steaming. That means it’s ready for the dough,” I informed him. I turned on the overhead fan.

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I dropped a spoonful of dough in the oil. It instantly turned dark and started smoking quickly. This is where that thing certain people have said to me that annoys the hell out of me came into play — “you might be smart, but you don’t have much common sense.” Instead of taking the damn doughnut out of the grease and taking the pot off the burner, I started fumbling around with the window to open it and air out the kitchen. By then Baby Girl started coughing in her high chair and yelled “Mommy!” at me and gave me a nasty look. So I took her out and handed her to Sam and told him to take the kids in another room and ran back into the kitchen.

Finally it dawned on me to turn off the stove and remove the pot, so I did. The grease was popping everywhere and was hot as hell (duh), so I went to the backdoor to take it outside. My eyes could have been deceiving me, but just as I walked out on the back porch, it looked like the doughnut sparked out of the corner of my eye. I sat the pot down and looked around, trying to figure out what to do. (Clearly jobs where one has to make split-second decisions, no matter how obvious the decisions are, are out for me.) Since the pot was still smoking, I decided to dump the contents over the back porch onto the thankfully very wet ground and watched as the smoke finally slacked off.

Upon realizing that my doughnut looked like a really dark turd, I went back in for my camera and took a picture of it.

Darth Vader’s helmet? A nasty mushroom? Poop? Nope, a burned doughnut.

Back in the house, things were pretty smoky. Little Man came running in with a bag over his head, which he called his breathing mask.

“Mommy, what did you do?! Are you trying to kill us all?”

“We’re going to drive down to my Mom’s for a while,” my husband said.

I stayed behind and opened up the rest of the windows and poured water on the doughnut turd just in case. When my sweet little family came home, they made a big deal about being able to breathe again and gave me a lot of shit about the whole thing. (Well, not Baby Girl, but if she could talk more, she’d probably be the ring leader.)

“She’s Fire Girl!” Little Man told Sam.

“Mommy started the fire! It was always burning since the world’s been turning,” Sam sang. If you’re a fan of The Office, you probably know what they’re referencing. If not, it’s a song one of the characters sings when another guy starts a fire with his cheesy pita.

ryan-started-the-fire-gif

After telling me that his mom thought my doughnut attempt was hilarious, my husband commented that he should’ve known better when I told him that the oil was supposed to steam.

“What’d you put the burner on?” he asked.

“High.”

“High?! Why would you ever put it on high? That probably should have been on medium heat.”

“I always put it on high, but then turn it down after I put the food in.” In my defense, I rarely fry foods, as I don’t like the smell of the oil.

“That’s now how you do it,” he said.

Apparently.

I still have the rest of the batter left, and it smells heavenly. My husband has offered to try making the doughnut balls with it tomorrow, so we’ll see how his attempt goes.

(We have two fire extinguishers, in case you’re wondering.)

Any big cooking screw ups for any of y’all lately? 

Days Whatever Through 15

“Post once per day. Even if it’s just a quote or a quiz or some shit. Easy enough.”

Gah.

It should be, especially when a) no school; b) not going much of anywhere; c) no nothing. (Damned double negative, but it is what it is.)

Do I hit 50% for the month of June? Any takers?

The last few days have been pretty good. Our pool is open now, and we’ve had some fun in it. It has shockingly been too cold for me, though. I swear, I must be one of those people who can never be happy, as I am someone who always complains about the heat, yet I’m too cold in the pool. The temp dropped a little, and I tend to get in the pool in the late afternoon/early evening, so it got me chilled. The boy stole my good warm towel tonight and then only got me a thread-bare towel from inside, which didn’t help at all. When things return to normal in a few days (read: lower 90s, real-feel closer to 100), the pool won’t be close to chilly in the evenings.

I finished the JHU course on COVID-19. It was very interesting, albeit frustrating to complete with the children around. (Note to self: don’t sign up for any classes you have to pay for before the pandemic ends and they go back to school.) I’m adding Masters in Public Health to my list of degree programs to consider.

The whole pandemic thing has created a lot of anxiety, especially as of late, and I’m prone to obsessing over everything that comes out on it. My poor husband is so over it, since he’s My Person, which means he’s the one I show every chart, graph, news article, etc. I tend to get myself worked up over it big time. He has been trying to get me to stay away from anything COVID related for a few days and focus on cheerful stuff when I get online, but…”anxious brain gonna do its own thing” or something. (Thank the good lord for Xanax right now, it has been rough for reals.)

I’m getting really dismayed at how many of my Facebook friends think it’s a joke. Even the ones in healthcare. When the subject of masks came up, my closest friend told me that she’s a home health nurse, so she knows how to stay safe. Just wash her hands and try not to get up in anyone’s face. Isn’t that what people typically do anyway? Yet here we are.

Nothing to see here.

I’ve been taking screenshots each day and tracking the data released into my own spreadsheet after noticing that the state changed their stats days later. Our state is so damn sketchy with this. Maybe all states or countries are, I dunno. It only adds to the whole “driving me nuts” thing. And to me driving my husband nuts.

Obsessed, yeah.

I need a new hobby.

For another thing that drives me nuts —

That’s so much my husband. He claims that he can hear where the stud is in a wall, and then proceeds to hammer in a nail where there is most certainly not a stud. And then he moves half an inch over, where he hears the new stud, but there’s not one there, either. We hung some floating shelves last weekend, and FUCK. How can someone just not give a shit and hammer nails all over the place?!

Hanging those four shelves showed just how different we are.

Him: “They don’t have to line up perfectly.”
Me: “What?? Yes they do.”
Him: “As long as it’s close, it’ll be fine.”
Me: “No.”

We ordered four shelves from Ikea to hang in the living room — 2 x 2. Even if they were off just 1/16 of an inch, it’d be obvious. After much measuring and stud-finding, we got them up. Perfectly. My whole “measure 10 times, cut (well, hammer) once” approach is so the opposite from him. He’s all “let’s not bother measuring or using a level; it’ll work out, and if it doesn’t, we’ll hammer as many holes as needed to make it look decent.”

(By the way, not to shit on my husband, but he’s as good at hearing studs in the walls as he is picking out watermelons. He swears that he has a foolproof approach to getting watermelons, which involves him holding the melons next to his ear and knocking on them for what feels like a full minute. Or eternity. He claims he can tell from the sound how ripe the melon is. Rarely are the watermelons perfectly ripe the way he likes them, which works out well for me since I like mine a bit less ripe. Coronavirus silver lining: I don’t have to be embarrassed by him banging on melons at head level in the grocery store anymore since we aren’t shopping normally.)

Okay, that’s enough words for now. Hope y’all have a nice week.