School Is Coming

Yes, that title is a Game of Thrones reference, because I’m obsessed.

This is it — the week before school starts back.

Little Man’s reaction to this realization:

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I’m not even exaggerating. He is not happy about this back-to-school nonsense and will not stop going on about it. I pointed out that he won’t have almost a two-hour round-trip commute time this year. (Last year it was a 20ish minute drive to the bus, where he’d usually wait another 10-15 minutes, and then 25 minutes to school. Slightly shorter return trip though.) So that means sleeping in until 8:30 instead of getting up at 6:00. He will have two virtual days online (and that day will end earlier than a normal day) and the other days he’ll work on assignments that have been uploaded. Plus no uniforms! Plus he’s been able to fuck off for the better part of the past 5.5 months.

“Whyyyyyyyyyy? I can’t believe this! I’m not ready for school! This is the worst!”

After much bitching, I threatened to call his school and have him go in-person for two days. They wouldn’t have let me change it if I called, but the grumbling stopped for a little while at least. Mean old mom.

The plan for the girl is to do the two in-person days at this point. We’ve talked to the principal, reviewed their safety procedures, discussed class size, selected her teacher (I’m glad they let us pick, because as sweet as the older teacher is, I’m not sure she would’ve been the best fit for the girl), and we’ve gotten her therapies in order. She’ll leave before lunch on one of the days, so 1.5 days in person and two virtual. And if cases go up or they aren’t as gung-ho on the measures they’ve said they’re taking, then we’ll pull out.

She’s not really looking forward to school. BG doesn’t really care about the masks or the changes I told her about, but she said she doesn’t want to be away from me. I hope it will help that she is already familiar with her teacher, and hopefully someone she likes will be in her class. I know her best friend is doing all virtual, though.

I’ve been ordering the back-to-school stuff online, and I got her shoes in the mail today — a pair of pink Nikes. Pink because it was the only color had in her favorite style of shoes (BG would rather wear rainboots or Crocs every day, but they used to have PE days where they needed sneakers.) That style has been discontinued but I lucked out and found them on eBay. Her response to the shoes:

“Maybe it’s good that they’re pink so the other girls will like me.”

Gahhhhh. 😦

We got her kid’s messenger on my phone recently, so she’s been chatting with her best friend a little. They do video chat and some texting, and their messages are so stinking cute and formal.

BG: Good afternoon, [friend].

Friend: Good afternoon, [BG].

That sort of thing.

So, today the boy asked about 69. The naughty number.

It came up innocently. He was trying to create a Roblox account and stuck 69 on the end of his username, but Roblox wouldn’t let him because it was inappropriate.

“Why is this inappropriate? It’s a number! Thor used it as part of his username on Endgame!”

My husband’s response was “It just is,” (sigh) which led to LM googling what 69 meant.

“Oh my god! I know what 69 means now. What is wrong with the freaking world?!”

Lord help.

Also, everything.

Making Money and Having Fun

This title sounds like I’m gonna try to peddle some makeup and essential oils, doesn’t it?

Oops.

No pyramid schemes here. I promise.

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I was browsing Pinterest for blog topic ideas when I saw this:

Those are not the droids topics I was looking for. But let’s take a look anyway, shall we?

#2 – Video games

I could definitely write a post or two about playing video games. I could write about how I used to love playing on my Playstation and how excited I was to get my PS4, only for a child to basically take it over. That child hasn’t been disowned yet, but he is saving money to buy a PS5, and I plan to get revenge when he does.

#4 – Workout

Lmao. That is all.

#32 – Music

I have eyes, well ears, for one band mostly. Y’all know who it is by now, and I don’t think writing a bunch of posts on that band would go over too well, let alone make me any money. Here’s a very different song that you may enjoy if you give it a listen.

#34 – Blogging

Raise your hand if you want to take blogging advice from someone who posts inconsistently and hasn’t made enough to pay for so much as her domain. No? I guess I don’t have much advice to offer about blogging and making money, then, unless you want to know how to use WordPress in general. I’ll toot my own horn on that one — I’ve used the platform for writing jobs and to create websites, so I’m good with it. But there still isn’t enough to write about and make it rain because shame.

#42 – Weight loss

Again, lol.

Really, though, keto works fantastically well. If you can stick with it.

#43 – Weight gain

If you don’t stick with keto, then it’s easy to do this. I’m sure I could blog a food diary that demonstrates how to gain weight, but that’s not how I want to make a buck.

#81 – Bikes

Oh boy. I can definitely write about bikes, but not in a “this is my hobby, here are some awesome bikes to choose from, trails and water bottles” way. Here’s what I have to say about bikes — first, please wear a reflective vest when you’re riding on the road so I don’t run over you. (These curvy country roads are the worst, y’all.) Second, one of the great injuries of my adulthood came at the hands of a bike. I bought a bike for exercise, my husband said it was a bad idea, and then I had drinks with friends and rode the bike around and boom, injury. I could also write a lot about the curse words I said during that injury.

#100 – Movies

Let’s see. I love to rewatch all of the MCU, Star Wars, X-Men, and Lord of the Rings movies at any time. I could probably write endlessly about those movies, and it would bore people to death and drive them away from my blog, so I probably won’t do that.

#104 – Religion 

There is a lot I can say about religion. There are thoughts in general, fun and not-so-fun stories from growing up, making fun of certain things. It probably has the most potential out of the topics on that graphic. But, no, I don’t think I will.

No, I Don't Think I Will | Know Your Meme

My idea for a blog — conspiracy blog. People eat that shit up, and it’d be a lot of fun to make up stuff to screw with people. Plus creative writing. Maybe I could slip in some stuff that would be helpful, like “the deep state really doesn’t want you to wear masks,” so then they would. Oooh. Throw ads on there to monetize and double oooh.

What would you add to the list?

Where’d The Week Go?

Me: I’m gonna post, post, post even if it’s just using a random prompt.

Also me: A week between posts.

I didn’t realize I hadn’t posted all week until I logged on and saw the date of the last post. It was one of those weeks that went by very quickly. We didn’t go anywhere, but we’ve stayed busy inside and outside taking care of stuff. (Plus binge watched a show after the kids went to bed.) I did a little baking and worked with the kids on some school stuff. The last part was more time consuming than I planned.

Baby Girl was on her new medicine this week. We did a half dose instead of a full dose every day except Friday. It’s an ADHD medication, so obviously its main use is to help with focus, but we tried it with the girl because the doctor thought it would help with her meltdowns. There are some studies that show stimulant meds can help with “emotional lability” in kids with autism and help keep drastic behaviors in check, so it was worth trying.

Maybe it was the med or maybe it was just a coincidence, but BG had a fantastic week — only had a few rough moments. And even then, we were able to help her pull back very quickly. A meltdown that would’ve lasted for half an hour was reduced to her losing her cool for about 30 seconds and then settling down. And the losing her cool didn’t involve screaming at the top of her lungs or hitting anyone, either. Holy shit. If next week is anywhere close to that, then yay meds and damn me for not being open to it when the doctor brought it up last year.

LM’s tween mouthiness aside, it was a very peaceful and productive week.

Now for the focus aspect of the medication —

You just couldn't handle my undivided attention ! | Office humor ...

I laughed at this scene, but omg, it’s true. BG’s level of focus was intense. My husband called it kinda scary. This contributed to some of our activities taking much longer than I had planned.

Happy Baby Girl, happy family (but extra busy mom and dad lol).

We had some good family news this week — one of our relatives had a baby and two others announced that they were pregnant! ❤ There has been so much death and other difficulties with family and friends this year that getting those three pieces of news in the span of 24 hours was just wonderful and uplifting.

The kids will start school two weeks from tomorrow. We still have BG enrolled in the 2-days in-person option, but it’s looking like virtual for BG’s age could be a possibility through her school. (It would have been either 2 days in-person and packets from home, as the district was only doing the true virtual option for kids in grades two through twelve, but her small school has a bit more leeway than others.) Hopefully this will happen! We would switch for sure.

My husband and I are watching Game of Thrones. Finally. My brother has been after me to watch it for years. “You love Lord of the Rings, so I know you’ll love this. Just watch it!” I watched 20 minutes of the first episode a year or two ago and thought it was boring, but I decided to try it again. I don’t know why I was so bored before, but I absolutely loved it this time. I was going to watch it on my own since I like to stay up a little while after my husband goes to bed and have some time to myself. But after I told him about the first two episodes, he wanted to watch it, too.

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My husband after I told him everything that happened in the first two episodes.

We are going to the library again tomorrow, and I am hoping they’ll have the books.

How was your week?

Quarantine 3

Quarantine has been a time of learning. I could focus on the more serious stuff, but I’m going to go a bit lighter for this post.

When schools closed down due to the pandemic, we found ourselves with a lot of extra time. The three hours I spent daily transporting the kids to and from school/bus stop was gone. Homework in the evenings gone. No more taking the kids to sports, church, visiting, etc.

My husband came up with a list of things he wanted to work on around the house. And my list was wanting to write regularly and catch up on my reading. Almost five months into this, my husband has done everything on his list and then some, and I’ve accomplished nothing on my lengthy to-do list.

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I have, however, done a few other things that weren’t on my list.

To start, I’ve sorta learned how to cut hair. My husband has a pair of clippers that he never really used before. He and the boy were sorely in need of haircuts, so I decided to give it a go. Neither are fans of the buzzed look, so it wasn’t as simple as putting a 2-guard on and going all over. My husband’s haircut — short on the sides and a bit longer on top — looked fantastic. Not as good as the barber he saw pre-pandemic, of course, but better than some of the other places he got it cut.

My son’s hair turned out…less good. I guess one of the big things about cutting hair is being able to movie with the person whose hair you’re cutting. And my son moved every five seconds, called the dog up to jump in his lap, and more. I ended up having to buzz it all off with a 1-guard, which he was not happy about. “Buzzed haircuts look like someone who can’t decide if they want to be completely bald or have hair,” he said.

Several weeks later, it was time for another cut. My husband’s turned out pretty good again. And Little Man? Well, he didn’t squirm around as much and ended up with a very nice looking haircut. Unfortunately, the clippers slipped when I was cutting the front, and I shaved off part of his eyebrow.

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Oops. I offered to trim the other eyebrow to even it up, but he told me I had done enough damage.  (He was given some v-bucks on Fortnite, so it was quickly forgotten.) The haircut really does look good, though.

I also learned how to make some damn good cocktails. Patience has never been my strong suit, so whenever I wanted a drink, I’d dump shit in a cup and go. No measuring, no drinks with more than three ingredients, and hope for the best. As such, my drinks never tasted that great.

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After getting a few extra bottles of liquor for the pandemic, I decided that I wanted a drink I had on a cruise. It required seven ingredients. I groaned, but realized I had absolutely nowhere to go, so why the hell couldn’t I just take 10 minutes and make a proper drink?

I did, and it was heavenly.

I’ve built up my liquor cabinet over the pandemic, got a nice blender for Mother’s Day, and I’ve enjoyed learning how to make non-shitty drinks. I even perfected the pina colada.

I also learned how to make some decent bread. Again, much patience was required, but it is well worth it.

(By the way — if you needed to lose weight pre-pandemic, taking up hobbies like making high-calorie cocktails and baking bread aren’t the best idea. The quarantine 15 happened pretty damn fast.)

Last but not least, I learned how to play Fortnite with my son and not suck. I’ve played with him  for a while now, but I was always just terrible. He didn’t mind since he liked playing with me, but he had to revive me so often that we never won together. With a bit extra practice here and there, I’ve gotten good enough to win some games on my own. The look on the boy’s face when I won my first solo was priceless. He told me over and over how proud he was of me. My heart could’ve melted.

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Daily Writing Prompt: It Took So Long To Leave…

Today’s prompt:

It took so long to leave because…

of my dad.

You have to plan carefully when visiting my dad’s house if you have somewhere else to go. Especially at holidays. If he says “We’re carving the turkey at 1:00,” what that really means is “I’m probably going to stick it in the fryer at 1:30. It’ll be done by 2:30, but has to sit and cool a while, so we’ll probably eat at 3:00.” His turkey is amazing and worth it, but my MIL usually starts her dinner promptly at 5:00, and it that leaves us at eating and running. (Leaving an hour after eating the meal is absolutely “running” to my family. You’ve gotta sit and chat a while and then have dessert and chat some more.)

Back when we’d meet at his house to go out to a restaurant on the weekend on occasion, he’d tell us, “Meet here at 6:00. I’ll be ready.” Nah. He was (and I assume still is, but we haven’t been over there since early March) always messy from working on something outside, in torn jeans, a white t-shirt that was no longer white and should’ve been tossed years ago, and dad sneakers. So our choices would be “wait 45 minutes for Dad to get ready” (which isn’t so bad if you don’t have hangry kids) or “let’s go somewhere Dad can go dressed like this.” Not that the last part really matters anyway.

That’s better than when I was a kid. When I was young, we’d have to wait for him to come up from the pasture, and back then he cared more about his appearance, so we’d wait for the shower, too. And sometimes if he knew we had to leave somewhere at a certain time, he’d disappear about 10 minutes beforehand saying he had something to do that would take five minutes. Five minutes would quickly turn into an hour.

I’m a stickler for being punctual, and my dad’s lack of being aware of time often drives me nuts. My husband is the same way. My son is also the same way, hence racking up a record number of tardies in elementary school. BG is usually good about doing what she needs to get out the door at a certain time, thankfully.

It also took so long to leave because of the goodbyes.

One Does Not Simply Walk into Mordor | Know Your Meme

Basically this except, “One does not simply leave my father’s house.”

There’s no going, “Well, I’ve enjoyed the visit. Love you and talk to you later this week.” If you do that or hug everyone present any less than five times, then someone must be mad or sick. By the time you’ve said your goodbyes and given hugs multiple times, plus talked about the other random things that popped up, you’ve probably left 30-45 minutes later than planned.

I’ll tell you, I’ve had my problems with my dad over the years. Some major ones at times and some minor ones still. But I hope when my kids are adults that they say it took so long to leave because of good stuff like that. (That last paragraph, not the parts where leaving the house to go eat took forever lol.)

Daily Writing Prompt: The Last Text You Sent

In my efforts to write more, I’m going to start using random daily writing prompts. They may not make for fantastic posts, but at least I’ll be writing and writing about more than just life in quarantine.

Today’s prompt:

Use the last text message you sent as today’s writing prompt.

I send lots of memes and funny pictures, so technically the last message I sent was something I saw online.

In case you don’t watch The Office, that’s Kevin. From The Office. And he’s carrying his Kevin’s Famous Chili. All is well in Kevin’s world in that moment in the parking lot. He made some chili that his coworkers are fond of, so he’s thinking he will be the popular guy in the office for the day. And considering how his love life has been going, he needs the bump in positive attention and confidence.

Well.

In 2020 fashion, this doesn’t work out too well for Kevin.

Because there's nothing better than starting an episode with poor ...

And here’s the clip of the opening with Kevin’s Famous Chili.

If you didn’t watch it, he commented, “It’s probably the thing I do best.”

Oof.

I thought that meme was pretty funny, yet accurate. While I’m not the biggest fan of New Years Resolutions, nor do I subscribe to the idea that New Year is a fresh start, it kinda felt that way in 2020. It was a brand-new decade, after all, as well as an election year for those of us in the US! Many of us were all Kevin with his chili in the parking lot. Hopeful, eager, excited about what the future brings, etc. (And maybe others would be more like the unpictured Angela, who is a vegetarian and wouldn’t have cared too much about Kevin’s chili and just carrying on about her daily life.)

And by mid-March, the chili fell in the floor. At first glance, it’s bad, but maybe not that bad? Perhaps some of the chili could be salvaged. But now we’re in August and that chili is all over the floor, the carpets stink and need to be pulled up, and no one got any yummy chili.

I could totally go for some chili right now.

And if you want the last actual text I sent, it’s:

Get me the fresh ones.

This was in reference to cinnamon rolls (my husband was at the grocery store). You’ll be happy to know that he did, indeed, get me the fresh ones instead of the ones that expire soon. Unfortunately, they were 2020 cinnamon rolls and were too sweat to eat. Yes, there is such a thing!

Join me for the Daily Writing Prompt if you want! Share your last text in the comments below or create a post of your own if you’re struggling for writing ideas. Link back here so I can read it.

Dammit, Meredith

We didn’t end up having our visitor. Gotta say, I’m relieved. I want to help where I can, but I’m glad we didn’t have the exposure. I’m also glad we didn’t mention it to the kids, as they would’ve been crushed.

I’ve been busy today. I sewed 20 masks for my daughter’s school. Since masks are required, our district has been asking people to help out. I donated a bunch to the district office to distribute already, but since the girl may be going in-person, I wanted to make sure her class/school has plenty. I’ve also been getting a bottle of hand sanitizer here and there, so we can donate that to her class, too. The good stuff is finally in stock again. I never thought I’d be so happy to see Germ-X or Purell on the shelves. That watery garbage sanitizer practically took my breath away.

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The girl had an appointment with her neurologist yesterday. Last year she was diagnosed with neurofibromatosis, and she has to do yearly visits. She was supposed to go a few months ago, but ya know. She had to have a full body exam to look for cafe au lait spots and tumors, and my husband quickly discovered that BG chose to ditch her underwear before going.

DAMN IT MEREDITH WHERE ARE YOUR PANTIES? It's Casual Day | the ...

(The compression underwear is a new strategy to keep her from putting her hands in her pants all the time. They’re like bicycle shorts and tougher to get into. Sigh.)

My husband said her body was clear of any tumors and some of her spots had faded away. He said the doctor seems skeptical now of whether she has NF. My husband was diagnosed as a kid, so that factored into BG’s diagnosis. She had many of the classic clinical symptoms — large head, small stature, clumsy, freckling in odd spots, and a bunch of cafe au lait spots. Between that and my husband’s diagnosis, that was enough for a clinical diagnosis for her. I told my husband he should get genetic testing done, and if he’s clear, then she would be, too. That would be awesome, as that disease can be pretty awful. (Google if you want, I’m not going to post the pics of the severe cases here.)

My husband and the girl’s conversation yesterday:

BG: Why am I going to the doctor?

Husband: To get a check up for neurofibromatosis. [Details on what it is and the symptoms, including clumsiness.]

BG: Clumsiness? So Mommy has it, too?

Oof.

On other medical stuff, at the girl’s well visit last week, her doctor and I discussed medication to help with the extreme tantrums. They’ve been bad and tend to be more violent lately. (I’ve had my share of bruises over the past few months, and my husband and son have had a bunch of bites.) Her doctor is going to try her on an ADHD medicine and see if that helps. I hate, hate, hate the idea of this, but I’m willing to give it a trial to see if it helps there. It has been a year since we first talked about it, and we opted to wait to see if therapies and another year of development would help (and was also hopeful that the tonsillectomy would since she’d sleep better), but it hasn’t overall. Fingers crossed on that.

Three days of posts in a row. B-)

Changes Are A’ Coming

It has been quite some time since I played the blog name change game. I actually set up a new WordPress account, thinking I’ll just get a fresh start and maybe that would help with the writing. I don’t know how much sense that makes, but it did at the time.

And now I’m thinking maybe a blog makeover here, where I’ve been for six years, would be better. I wouldn’t have to refollow everyone and all that. Does it make sense that it would help with the writing? Still probably not. But hell, it’s worth trying.

Writing has been my outlet for a long time, and it is also one of the few social outlets I have. I have a couple of friends I talk to regularly, but those conversations have been getting shorter and shorter since there really isn’t much to talk about. And lord, Facebook is just awful and frankly contributes to some depression. (That might sound odd, but I’ll explain more about that later.) So much for social media being a great outlet for social interaction during a time of isolation. It’s important to be active on here, through posting, reading, and commenting to have that outlet.

I’m also going to go through my old posts and see what’s worth keeping up and what’s not. Not that anyone goes through old posts anyway, but whatever. It’ll be part of the process and might even spur some ideas for new posts.

So, yeah, some changes are coming. And hopefully it’ll be worth it.

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(I’m so optimistic!)