Quarantine Brain Dump

We’re on Day 25 of Quarantine. I haven’t left the house once. My husband has taken care of our essential runs so far and will probably continue to do so, as I don’t want to take risks having asthma. The girl has gone to the doctor a few times, and the boy went with his dad to Aldi once. We have been able to get the majority of our groceries at Walmart Pickup (which shows zero slots during the day, but all the slots open up just past midnight, so we lucked out figuring that out). He’s able to find the other odd things (mainly meat) at Aldi or Dollar General.

BG’s COVID test came back negative. The first one got bungled by the lab, so she had to get it done a second time, plus a chest x-ray and more blood work since she is STILL running a fever. (She’s on Day 25 of a fever.) Outside of tiring out easily, being crankier than normal, and having headaches, she seems okay. She rips through the house acting like her normal self at times, and you wouldn’t know anything was wrong then. (Five minutes after the dancing or running, however, then you’d know.)

The doctor did a test for mono and what my husband referred to as a broad spectrum virus test. The test for mono was negative, and we haven’t gotten results on the latter. The doc said if she’s still running a fever this week, then they’ll have to do a blood draw with an actual needed in her arm. She’s already having severe anxiety about that, so I am hoping and praying this fever just disappears so that won’t be necessary.

And speaking of anxiety…that shit has been real. I was pretty calm about all of this initially. “Wash your hands and stay at home. Easy-peasy.” But then anxiety hit like a load of bricks, and panic attacks over this mess have been frequent. “What if I get it? I take forever to get over bronchitis, so this would be hell. And how would I keep my kids from being all over me? And, wow, it looks like I do have it because I can’t half breathe now. Oh no, must have it. And what if the economy completely fails and people fight over basic supplies (more so than now) and try to rob us to steal what we have?”

It goes downhill from there. LM’s one trip to Aldi (sigh, which won’t happen again) aside, we are doing all the right things and taking all precautions. I made masks for our family, plus a bunch of extra for my husband to drop off on the porches of higher risk relatives. I’m new at sewing and they look shitty, but they are effective, which is all that matters. I don’t know how necessary it is, but we’re sterilizing the groceries and anything else that comes inside. So we are doing everything within our control on this one, hopefully it’ll be enough. And I wish that were enough for my anxiety. Depression has been real, too. I stopped taking Wellbutrin at my doc’s advice a month or two ago, and it has been really rough. Really bad timing on your part, depression. Couldn’t you wait until we were out of quarantine? I’m taking the medicine again and hopefully it’ll take effect soon. Irritable me > depressed and irritable me.

I’ve had to resist my MIL’s attempts to get the kids. I understand she wants to see him, but we’re not seeing anyone right now. They’re high risk, but they go about freely without much care for their health (or anyone else’s health), gah. Their mentality has always been “When it’s our time, it’s our time.” (Even in hurricane and tornado warnings.) One of her other grandchildren visited from out-of-state last week, and she was NOT happy that I wouldn’t bring BG — who she knew was still running a fever and didn’t have her COVID results — down to visit. “It’s just family, so it will be okay.” Gah again, because that’s not how this virus works!

I miss people. I was trying to be more social, getting out and attempting (but failing because I’m awful at such things) to make friends before this. Being mostly cooped up at home when the kids were at school with hardly anyone to talk to wasn’t fun, so I was pushing myself. Oh well. I’ll push harder when we’re out. I think I might even become a hugger after all of this is over, so watch out, world.

Thank goodness for Facebook and memes. I never thought that’s a sentence I would write, but there it is. I desperately need that humor right now, and these COVID memes do not disappoint. And then there’s the whole Tiger King thing, which has some brilliant memes, too. That was quite a show, one that is very difficult to look away from, no matter how much you think you’d never watch such a thing.

Image may contain: meme, possible text that says 'People watching Tiger King "I can't believe people like this exist." People from South Carolina:'

FYI, my house has been pretty darn tidy throughout all of this, and I’m staying on top of keeping clothes folded. It’s easier to not have a laundry mountain when certain individuals don’t want to change clothes on a daily basis. I have not been on top of my writing, and I have a deadline in a week. Unless I can quickly pull something out of my ass, I don’t see making it.

I hope y’all are doing well and staying safe.

Home Sweet Home

We had some concerns about coronavirus since a relative has it, but it looks like we and mainly Baby Girl, who has had a fever for days, is most likely in the clear. My husband took her to the doctor yesterday, and she has the flu and hand-foot-mouth disease. She’s on day 7 of having a fever. The doctor said she doesn’t think she has coronavirus, but sent a test off to be sure. I’m surprised at how long this fever is lasting. She’s never had one last more than 2-3 days before, but I guess those two things together are making it last so long.

We are supposed to be on day 4 of homeschool, but I decided to give the kids the day off. (For the record, Baby Girl has enjoyed homeschool, so it’s not like I have been a mean mom making her do it while sick lol! She has actually asked to do extra math on Khan Academy.) My anxiety had me up half the night, so I’m beat today, and they seemed like they could use a little break as well. Little Man is ahead in his packet anyway, plus we’ll read plenty.

I haven’t left the house since Friday other than stepping outside for a while. Cabin fever is settling in. I can only imagine how folks over in China and other countries must feel after staying in so long! I don’t know how other states are managing things, but in addition to shutting down schools, our state has ordered restaurants to be drive-through or curbside only and to keep social gatherings less than 50 people. I imagine that will be stricter in the days to come.

One funny thing about this quarantine is that the boy hasn’t played a single video game. Not one. Last week, he complained endlessly on school days because I didn’t let him play after school. He had been slacking off on homework, so I cracked down. And then when school canceled on Friday and we are pretty much confined to our houses, he loses interest in playing. Go figure!

So, not much new to report here. I hope y’all are doing well and staying safe.

Facing The Blank Page

So, I got an email about a group that published a couple of my short stories in 2018 and 2019 being open for submissions again.

Ugh.

Writing has been a struggle for me. Blog writing, aside from mostly boring life recaps, has been difficult. Attempts at coming up with anything creative to post — or even finishing some of the creative ideas I had in the past — have been fruitless. Ditto with my fiction efforts.

Rarely do I sit down to write fiction and have a concrete idea in mind. That isn’t usually how my brain works. My ideas start off as bits of conversation. Some faceless character will say a sentence or two and another faceless character will respond. I’ll sit down and work on it, and before I know it, I’ll have a couple pages worth of dialogue, an idea of who my characters are, and I’ll know where I want to go. Now, just because I know where I want to go doesn’t mean I’ll finish it, but still, that’s how I work.

I don’t think I’ve sat down and outlined a book from start to finish more than a couple of times. My husband, son, and best friend half want to beat me now because I won’t work on an outline I showed them last year. I wrote 30 pages and stopped. They know how it’s supposed to end and want the rest of it, but it hasn’t happened. I’m just not built for writing anything longer than that fiction-wise (at least at this point in my life), regardless of knowing how it will end.

I don’t suppose I’ll ever teach a writing class.

The dialogue hasn’t been coming to me as much these days. My brain has been in a slump, which is so frustrating. Most of y’all reading this know how it is, because it gets that way for you, too. (And if it doesn’t, don’t tell me.) Whenever I get writer’s block like this, I always wonder how much of it’s me (and the normal ups and downs in writing) and how much of it is the mood meds holding me back. There’s absolutely no doubt that there is a huge drop-off in creativity with meds. So that, on top of the unpleasantness I wrote about in my last post, has been sucky. I talked about this with my psychiatrist last week, and he mentioned there being drug trials with LSD and the such. He joked that if he got to prescribe that, I’d have an abundance of creativity.

So, you’re suggesting I obtain illegal drugs to fix this? (Just kidding, of course.)

I took my laptop to my daughter’s occupational and speech therapy appointments yesterday. I’m pretty sure I looked like a crazy lady, because I was doing some hardcore staring at a blank page on my laptop. One of the therapists asked if I was okay, and I gruffly said yes, somewhat annoyed by her intruding on the thoughts I wasn’t having. Ha.

(I’m tempted to rename my blog using the title of this post.)

I came up with nothing yesterday afternoon. I tried again last night and came up with a few lines that I hated. More trying this morning. I came up with some dialogue I liked and wrote a few pages, but had no idea where I wanted to take it. (It was some funny shit, though, about some old ladies at a senior circle, and it made my husband literally LOL. So yay for that.)

After lunch, I sat down yet again. And then a thought turned into almost 4,000 words and 10 pages, beginning and end. (It’s a suspense-horror deal, a genre I’ve never touched, and certainly a far cry from funny shit at a senior circle.) I’m not terribly pleased with it, because I don’t think it would be accepted after cleaning it up, but it’s progress. (And hopefully that idea will lead to another, ideally a genre I’m more comfortable with.) I’ll sure as shit take that right now. And I didn’t even need LSD!

I relate to this so hard.

Image result for the office i'll start talking gif

I guess the non-pharmaceutical solution to writer’s block is simply writing, as silly as it sounds. One thing leads to another and hopefully you’ll get something you don’t totally hate.

Now, watch me jinx myself with that and go back to the blank page later night and not be able to come up with anything.

Hospital

Last Monday night, my MIL called to say that her husband was having chest pains and needed to go to the hospital. The next call we got was from my SIL who said he had coded twice and that we needed to get there ASAP. After dropping off the kids at my dad’s house, we went to the ER and found that he had coded a third time. My SIL, a nurse, said she didn’t expect he’d make it after all of that. Thankfully, she was wrong.

FIL is doing okay a week later. He coded another time over the past week, but he’s doing amazingly well all things considered. (Before we left the ER on Monday, he was joking around in the bed.) The doctors thought he had a heart attack at first, but later decided it was a heart rhythm issue that they’ll need to give him a pacemaker for. He should have surgery for that this week, so hopefully things go well.

My FIL is my daughter’s favorite person, hands down. She has told MIL before that she doesn’t need to be there when she visits since BG only wants to see him. She doesn’t say it with malice, but it still hits hard just the same. When BG found out about FIL going to the hospital, her response was, “Well, I’m not visiting Grandma anymore until he comes home.” Lawd. I can’t imagine how hard that would be on her if something did happen. Hopefully we won’t have to worry about that for a long time.

I’ll do another update post later. Between visiting the hospital and stuff with the kids, it has been kinda hectic. I’m going to host Thanksgiving on Thursday, so I’m sure I’ll find time to write a post freaking out on Wednesday.

Hope all is well with y’all!

90s Children, What’s Up?!

Little Man discovered a new-to-us show on Hulu called Fresh Off the Boat. It’s about a Chinese family that relocates from DC to Orlando, FL and has to adjust to suburban type living. It’s also set in 1995, so I have been loving seeing some reminders of my childhood. I was 11 years old in 1995, just like Little Man is now, so that somehow adds to the neatness factor a little.

The boy loves the show. In fact, the little Benedict Arnold bastard has been watching the show behind my back, leaving me to catch up on my own. That might sound harsh, but he did the same thing to his dad, who wanted to watch Green Arrow and Flash with him. We’re both on the verge of disowning him.

The main character Eddie is quite the slacker and loves the rap/hip-hop stuff that was all the rage in the 90s. Think Biggie, Tupac, etc. I never listened to them because I’m vanilla as fuck and have zero interest. The CD I had on repeat then was the soundtrack for The Baby-Sitters Club Movie. It was replaced a couple years later when Hanson released their Middle of Nowhere album with MMMBop on it. Did I say “vanilla” already?

The funny little brother.

The boy has been listening to a lot of music on his phone lately. He has entered the earbuds stage of adolescence — you know, the one where they listen to music nonstop and don’t want to speak to you as much. It’s a double-edged sword because you like talking to them, but they also tend to be smartasses, so it’s nice to skip out on that. I’ll admit, I haven’t really paid attention to what he listens to, because he builds his playlists out of the stuff we have on iTunes. The most kid non-friendly thing we have on iTunes that I can think of is a Weezer song called Can’t Stop Partying that talks about partying and drugs.

I can’t stop partying, partying
I can’t stop partying, partying
I gotta have Patrón, I gotta have the beat
I gotta have a lot of pretty girls around me

It has some explicit stuff when Lil Wayne comes out and raps. It was the song that made me realize I should pay more attention to the music I play. That happened when the then 4-year-old LM started very clearly singing about mixing alcohol with pharmaceuticals in line at Chick-Fil-A. It’s not a good defense, but since I struggle making out the lyrics to a lot of songs (unless I read them a bunch of times), I didn’t take notice of the lyrics. I started trying to play closer attention after that. (But still failed at least once when Baby Girl sang No Scrubs.) But, like I said, as far as LM is concerned, I don’t pay much attention these days because there isn’t much of anything in our library that LM shouldn’t listen to.

You see, what I didn’t know was LM’s dad put Amazon Music on his phone. And there’s a shit ton of stuff to listen to on that.

What I also didn’t know was just how much LM has taken a liking to the kid Eddie from the show, namely his love for hip hop. So he started listening to all sorts of hip hop and rap, including Tupac, Biggie, and Eminem. (For the record, I did actually like Eminem in my later teen years.) I discovered this when my best friend who has my Amazon info asked me about why I was listening to so much rap all of a sudden. I wasn’t, of course, so I asked my husband, and he told us about LM’s new musical interests.

Oh boy.

I realize now that I wrote three paragraphs on LM’s new music, and that’s really not where I was going with this, so back to the 90s stuff.

Fresh Off the Boat has been fun to watch. When I was watching with LM, it was cool to point out some of the stuff that he’d otherwise have no clue about, like the damn Internet modems that hog your phone line. Who remembers this sound?

I had a love-hate relationship with that sound. I absolutely loved the sound of connecting to the Internet and doing all of the things that made me feel so mature, even if I did accidentally make myself a target for being kidnapped in Yahoo chat rooms by divulging my age and too much personal info. (Every 90s kid with Internet access did that, though.) But those of you who had dial-up modems know how long that shit could take, and eventually the love of hearing the dial-up noise went away as the rage took over.

How dare you take 5 minutes and 42 seconds to connect me?! 

And damn it all to hell when someone would pick up the phone or you’d randomly get disconnected.

Oh and the times when I left it connected all night while I downloaded music from Napster and then Limewire and then Kazaa. (Granted, we’re in 2000 by that point, but it’s still childhood/young adulthood stuff.) Anything short of picking up the phone to call 911 for a heart attack and disrupting my downloads was deserving of a beat down. I tried to download movies as well, but they mostly ended up being porn videos, so I stopped that. (If y’all wanna talk about some scarring shit, try being the most vanilla and naive 15-year-old in the world and opening a very rough porn.)

The show talk about Zimas, which I had never heard of until a few years ago when my husband took a trip down memory lane. He appreciated the reference. The kids have Sunny D’s and Lunchables. Sunny D is the best, and I still buy it from time to time. I could never understand the appeal of Lunchables. Some of the kids are clearly in their Nirvana/grunge phase. The slang.

Releasing anything remotely related to the 90s is a surefire way to make money. I’m looking at you, manufacturer of the Oregon Trail game I spent $30 on. Everyone in my class loved using that old computer with the big ass floppy disk to play that came.

Watch it if you’re looking for something new and funny. It’s not as funny as The Office, but it has a lot of great moments.

What’s something from your childhood you’ve seen make a comeback or would like to see make a comeback?

Back To School

After a week at home following the tonsillectomy, the girl is back at school this morning. I was worried she’d need to be out longer, because even on Saturday, she was cranky, complained of headaches, wasn’t eating or drinking much, and was tired enough to be napping. She did a 180 yesterday, though, and aside from a bit of crankiness, she went through the day just fine. She actually ate more regularly and drink a bunch of water, so I know that helped!

BG had her tonsils removed because of sleep apnea, and her doctor thought that it might help with ADHD symptoms in addition to snoring. I definitely haven’t noticed as much snoring over the past few days. I’m guessing it may take some time to see the ADHD symptoms decrease if we do at all. Oddly enough, we’ve seen more of the odd sensory behaviors (she is rubbing everything and sat in the bathtub running water over her hands for half an hour three times, for example), which we were hoping would decrease.

I was working with her on some makeup work for school when she felt up to it, and lord, it was like pulling teeth to keep her on track. I see why she brings home so much incomplete work. Part of the makeup work was working on handwriting. From what I’ve seen of the other students’ work on display, she has the worst handwriting in the class. She has developmental coordination disorder, so the poor handwriting goes along with it. She also has a summer birthday, which doesn’t help.

I feel bad for BG watching her try to write, because it’s such a struggle for her. A lot of her practice is tracing letters, but she is rarely able to keep her pencil on the dotted line. It blows my mind how I can show her the right way to form a letter and guide her hand over how to make it multiple times, and she does the opposite or something completely different directly after. You wouldn’t think that she had three years of preschool, almost a year of OT, and her mom helping her every day by looking at it, poor kiddo.

The girl’s teacher kept in contact with me over the week, checking in on her. I thought that was really sweet. It means a lot to know you’re leaving your kid in the care of someone that cares about her during the day!

Things are about to get busy again. My husband and Little Man are both doing the Christmas play with our local community theater group, so they’ll be practicing three nights per week. LM wasn’t going to do it at first because his free time is reduced since his school day ends later and he has to go to bed earlier, but the director messaged us and asked and he agreed to do it. He really enjoys acting, so even though it cuts down on his time after school, at least he’ll be having fun.

The girl wanted to sign up for Cub Scouts. She went to the first meeting and decided she hated it for some reason she wouldn’t give us, so that’s out. Her grandmother is relieved, because it gave her a small heart attack that her granddaughter wanted to join something that is supposed to be for boys (even though that group is co-ed).

I did so much of that during our text exchange over Cub Scouts.

We tried to get BG to try another meeting, but she had a meltdown and was sobbing, so we let it go. It would’ve been nice for her to have the opportunity to socialize outside of school, but whatever. The Cub Scout leader gave my husband a form for a popcorn fundraiser at the very first meeting and said we needed to sell $300 worth of stuff, so my husband wasn’t inclined to fight BG over it too much.

Here’s to a good week. Happy Monday 🙂

Saturday Randomness

Yay, it’s the weekend!

And, yay, both sets of grandparents invited the kids over for Friday and Saturday! That means double weekend date night, a first in the history of Baby Girl. My husband and I went out last night to our favorite Italian restaurant and I had my usual chicken parm. (Obviously the 30-day keto challenge got postponed dammit.) It was so damn good. I had leftovers and threatened my husband’s life if he dared touch them like he did last time.

He also ordered a slice of chocolate cake, which ended up being enough for four people.

Yum.

I texted LM during the meal and taunted him with the cake, which didn’t amuse him very much.

Not shown is the other half of the cake, which we did bring home for the boy.

I doubt we’ll go anywhere tonight, so it’ll be a stay-at-home date night. He has whiskey and I’ll have rum and vodka, so we’ll do Hulu and for-real chill.

It looks like we’ll have guests in a few weeks. My in-laws are moving their mobile home and asked to stay with us for a few days. I love them to death, but am not looking forward to it, mostly because my father-in-law is the loudest person in the world. And as someone who a) takes out her hearing devices around him and b) is mostly deaf in one ear and has a severe loss in the “good” ear, that’s saying something. He and BG get going and it’s so loud that you literally can’t converse with anyone else in the room. Hello, headache town. They’ve always been good to us, though, so we could never say no to helping them out. I will be buying a new bottle of Excedrin migraine reliever, though.

This past school week ended up being good for BG for the most part. We had minimal crying in the mornings. On Thursday night, though, she had a meltdown of epic proportions because she didn’t want to go to school. She was in the bathtub of all place, and when it was time to wash up and get out, she refused because getting cleaned meant she had to go to bed soon and going to bed soon meant she had school in the morning. Oh my god, y’all. I came in to find her in the corner of the tub out of my husband’s reach (it’s a large garden tub) throwing water toys at him. I couldn’t get her to come to me, either, so I was like “fuck it” and got in.

Imagine this:

Except for it’s a 33-pound kid who is wet and somewhat sudsy from the bubble bath. And there’s also legs kicking, fingers clawing, and teeth attempting to bite. Plus screaming. Holy fucking hell. That’s the worst meltdown I’ve seen in a while. Lawdamercy Jesus, as my grandmother would say. We needed a truck load of Xanax after that.

We’ve been getting our Halloween costume plans together. Looks like we’ll do another family thing this year, and this time it’ll be Marvel Cinematic Universe inspired. BG is planning to be either Groot or Rocket or Loki, with a lean towards Groot because she wants to play “Mr. Blue Sky” on the phone and dance to it while trick-or-treating. I’m going as 90s grungy Carol Danvers, my husband is planning to be Bruce Banner mid Hulk-out, and the boy wants to be either Hawkeye or Black Panther. I love doing the family costumes! Last year we did the Incredibles and a year or two before that, we did DC. Now if our hell-on-earth state could just shift over to fall-like weather…

I’ve been thinking about a blog makeover. Maybe come up with a new name for it. Hmm.

What randomness would you like to share from your week?

Wednesday Funnies

It’s time for a few funny — or at least mildly amusing — things the kids have said over the past week.

Little Man and I have been playing Words With Friends with each other. (If you wanna play, you can find me at “supmynerds.”) I know we could play Scrabble, but this is much more convenient since we can just play it as we go. We were playing last night when the boy started giggling like crazy.

“Wait till you see what I put,” he said, still snickering. “It’s so inappropriate!”

I opened up the app wondering if “fart” or “poop” had made an appearance yet again. Nope. He spelled:

SEX

I chuckled. Here we go with the dirty middle schooler brain. (Or what he thinks is being dirty, anyway.) I imagine it won’t be long before “That’s what she said” clicks for him. Right now, he’s mostly chiming in with “That’s what she said” for perfectly innocent comments like, “I’m running to Wal-Mart now” or “Let’s watch something on TV.”


Over the weekend, the kids were tasked with picking up their toys in the living room and their bedrooms. BG was dragging ass, as usual, since cleaning is “the most yucky thing EVER.” (She usually changes her tune a bit when I bring out a trash bag to bag up her yucky toys to take to storage.) LM picked up something of hers in the living room and tossed it in the floor of her bedroom, which she took issue with.

“Hey! You’re not supposed to throw toys in the floor, LM. Pick it up and put it where it goes!”

“You’re a good one to talk,” LM said. “You’ve got toys all over your floor.”

BG huffed. “Well, you shouldn’t try to be like me.”

Cue LM getting the giggles.


This one started out rather annoying. LM had open house at school last week. He led us around to meet his teachers and got pissy when we wanted to meet all of the teachers on one hall before going to another.

“We need to go in order,” he insisted. “We have to go in the order the classes on my schedule is in.”

Walking all over the building from one end to the other multiple times in the crowded as fuck hallways? Uh-uh. Plus, we needed to hurry along and pick up BG so we could do dinner and baths and get in bed on time. We explained this, which put him in a hell of a mood. He walked to a couple of classes and glumly pointed out what they were and would try to take off before we could even speak to the teacher. By the time we were 2/3 of the way through the schedule, we were getting irritated.

And then we went to the gym.

The kid who wasn’t very happy about being pulled from a computer class (they put him in the same one twice) and moved to PE completely lit up.

“And this is where we have PE!” he said excitedly. “Come on, I want to show you something cool.”

He practically drug us to…

*drumroll*

The boys’ locker room. And it smelled like ass. I wasn’t sure what “cool” thing I was going to look at in the gym, but a gross locker room wasn’t on the list of possibilities.

“Come on, let’s check out everything. I can show you where I change and my locker and the football equipment.”

The PE teacher came in just then and totally cracked up. He said that was the first time a kid wanted to show off the locker room. We didn’t hang around in there long, because it seriously stunk. At least he got excited about something, though.

On another note, the teachers we got to talk to seemed to like LM. His English teacher especially. She mentioned how well-behaved and respectful he was and commented on how if she hadn’t seen his 504 Plan that she wouldn’t have known he had ADHD. That’s probably due to a combination of his meds and how much he enjoys their class. They switch up classes this week, so she’ll have in in the afternoon instead of the morning, so we’ll see if the meds are still working their magic by then.

Happy Wednesday!