Stop, Amazon Time!

I have been doing way too much online shopping. My poor husband every time he checks the online banking stuff, which is multiple times per day because he’s obsessive about stuff like that:

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Look, my house is reasonably clean these days. Laundry mountain is gone. My kids have learned some shit and are fed regularly. I learned a new hobby as well as my patience allows (sewing). I wrote some stories, and that’s all I’m writing for now (since my best friend keeps asking), since there’s no deadline, which means I’m not functioning. Despite starting off the year strong with reading lots of books, I’m not getting into anything right now, so all that’s left is to window shop online. And that usually turns into “Add to cart.”

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Okay, I exaggerate a little — a lot of my purchases have been for stuff I’d have gone out for (or would’ve bought online anyway). LM needed some clothes and rain boots, BG needed some Crocs and rain boots, and we needed Easter basket stuff. I also got some educational stuff. I bought a few science books for BG, plus I found a lot of 15 Magic School Bus books on eBay. She is loving them. I also discovered these Pete the Kitty books.

How fucking cute is that?! I absolutely adore Pete the Cat and couldn’t resist getting that for myself BG when I saw it. I’d love to get a half-sleeve of tattoos with book characters, including Pete and Max from Where the Wild Things Are.

One thing that has driven my crazy since I bought my iPhone 8 a couple years ago is the lack of a headphone jack. They give you an adapter, but I lost that shit within weeks. And the replacement ones I got from Amazon don’t work right. And bluetooth headphones suck for me because I never remember to charge them. I was browsing Amazon last week and came across some headphones that have a lightning connector that plugs right in to the charger area, so I was thrilled!

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The sound is great! My husband liked them so much that he asked me to buy him a pair in black, except he wanted them to have BOTH the regular plug and the lightning connector. I was like why the hell would they have both? “Because I like having choices.” They don’t make those, not that I could find, so he got the “basic” ones with only the lightning connector. He said the microphone works great for his work calls, too.

I needed some new socks since several pairs of my fun socks have holes in them. Here’s one pair I picked out:

That’s Beast Boy, yo!

Teen Titans Go! has officially made my Top 10 list of funny shows. It has awful ratings (mainly people who were fans of the original — and serious — series not liking the comedic direction it took), but it’s fucking hilarious. The kids love it, my husband and I love it, so it’s nice to have something we all agree on. Beast Boy is awesome, so I couldn’t resist getting these socks.

Animated gif about gif in 👌🏻Teen Titans👌🏻 by Black Cat

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Yeah, it’s very juvenile (but not in a garbage Spongebob way), but it’s my favorite not-just-for-kids cartoon I’ve watched in years. My husband and I have started talking like Beast Boy to each other and the kids at times, which BG thinks is hilarious and which makes LM die inside.

“What is wrong with you, mama?” – My husband will ask in Beast Boy’s voice. (Also adds “mama” to everything.)

I just add “yo” or “bro” to my sentences.

I’m pretty excited about those socks.

I’ve made a few regrettable Amazon purchases, too. Here is one of them:

Look, I’m all about creativity and shit. Yay kids building blanket and pillow forts. BUT, it just so happens that the best blanket to build a fort with is the quilt I sleep with at night. And it just so happens that MY pillows make the best fort pillows. Guess who isn’t a fan of some dirty little kids taking her pillows and blanket?!

Yep.

So I was window shopping as one does online and came across this blow-up fort. For $50 plus a box fan, I was able to get the kids a fort that sets up in mere seconds and can be taken down and put away in mere seconds. Mere, mere, mere.

They were super excited the first day, but the excitement didn’t last too long. It turns out that kids prefer blankets, chairs, and pillows to something like this. Maybe it’ll go over better outside.

I thought y’all might get a chuckle out of this purchase. Since I couldn’t see my bestie for her birthday, I sent her a couple of things on Amazon. One was a pair of Blue Q socks that I desperately wanted for myself, but couldn’t because of the kids:

Maybe when BG is a little older. I did end up getting a couple pairs of the Blue Q socks for myself, since they’re so comfy and cute, but none of my pairs dropped the f-bomb.

This is the other thing I bought my friend — women insert it in their pants when they have to pee, and then they can pee like a man. No squatting necessary. I bought it was a joke, but it would really come in handy at some venues, such as tailgating at football games and only having port-a-johns to go in.

She definitely got a kick out of those gifts.

The most interesting of my purchases is probably the Mandolin I bought my husband. I saw a message he posted on FB talking to someone else about wanting to learn to play, so I was like “Okay, I’ll get one for him.” He’s not usually the type to buy himself anything. Music is his thing, and that’s how he has spent a lot of his free quarantine time — playing his guitar and writing music. I didn’t used to like his voice very much (I was the only one, as everyone else raved over it), but ever since he started adding a bit of a country twang to it, I’ve gotten really into his singing. (He sounds very much like Bradley Cooper in A Star is Born.)

I thought I was being sneaky and bought the mandolin on my credit card, but he saw the statement and asked. He knew I had talked about buying a new keyboard to teach the kids/learn myself and thought that’s what I purchased. I told him I didn’t get a keyboard, but not to nose around my purchases since I pay for things on my card for privacy. (It just so happens that he gets the bills, hehe.)

It’s a cheaper model, but will be good for him to learn on, and I hope he likes it. With any hope, all three of us can play guitars/mandolin together while BG beats on her drums. (I can play the guitar decently, and LM can play a couple of songs.) Add in the keyboard that I hope to get at some point, and maybe the Anxious Family Band will come your way soon!

Have you made any crazy or fun quarantine purchases? 

Also, does anyone have any book  recommendations for me? I don’t care for romance or James Patterson, but am pretty open-minded otherwise. I’d also like some recommendations for new bloggers to follow!

And I promise I’m working on that Blogger Girls Night Zoom thing. I’ll send out something on Sunday to start figuring out days/times.

Worms And More

This week did not go exactly as planned. Shocker!

I planned for the kids to do a whole unit on germs/bacteria/viruses this week. That got derailed on Wednesday when the kids got bit by worm fever. They are all about worms now, and want to spend a bunch of time researching worms, digging them up, finding better ways to lure them out, etc.

The kids: “We’re going to try to lure out the worms by banging some shit on the ground so they sense the vibrations and come up.” (Well, they used different phrasing, but what they said meant the same thing.)

Me: “No, don’t get your stuff muddy. Just make the sounds right above the ground. The worms will hear you and come up.”

The kids:

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They did not, because as I later learned, worms do not have ears. Like, I knew they didn’t have outside ears, but thought they had some sort of internal listening thing going on. Nope. The kids were 100 percent right, and I was wrong.

So, the bacteria cookies didn’t get made today. I guess I can give myself a pat on the back for self-guided learning and flexibility, eh? Maybe we can finish up my germ plans next week. The kids made a “worm habitat” as they called it. They’re trying to be all fancy and not call it a worm farm. The worm habit is set up in the corning of my living room covered by a blanket because worms like dark places.

LM also wanted the blanket because he’s worried that BG will see the worms procreate.

LM: “The worms might, YOU KNOW. You know, right? I don’t want BG to see that.”

Me: “Worms have both sex organs and reproduce with themselves. But even if they did have sex and BG saw it, it’s not a big deal. It’s just worms.”

LM: “I don’t think that’s right.”

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As it turns out, I really don’t know much about worms, and the kids taught me more than I taught them this week.

Even though my plans did get derailed, we did take a look at our bacteria swabs today. Stuff grew. Especially stuff from LM’s hands.

The bacteria all kinda look the same, so I wonder if we screwed that up. (Well, I wonder if I screwed that up.) Even if I did, I think it hit home with LM that he needs to do a better job of washing his hands. He tried to argue with me that he doesn’t really need to wash his hands more because the soap dispenser has germs, too, so it’s a waste. WTF, kid. Did he learn nothing during the rise of the pandemic?!

So, I decided I wanted to be artistic and do one of those paint and pour deals. I’ve always wanted to do one, but didn’t really want to go be around people (plus I don’t care for wine), but the art studio decided to sell kits to paint at home. I got one for the kids and myself. (No pouring for them.) BG lost patience and rushed through hers. LM did well on the first half, but lost patience and decided his painting didn’t need background colors. I lost patience shortly after doing the background. There were so many colors to mix, and I had it.

My husband said he was surprised I lasted that long. I do my little doodles, but it’s different because it’s on a tablet, and I can just hold down my stylus and automatically fill in the colors.

And speaking of my husband, guess who lost his phone again?

Mm-hmm.

This man has had so many burner phones that I’m surprised he hasn’t been investigated for being a drug dealer. (Yeah, I watched The Wire.) He used to get cheap flip phones that cost $25 and when he’d lose them, he’d just buy another and get a new number, since it was easier than calling customer service. And then I got sick of him always wanting to hold my phone to look stuff up and got him a fancy iPhone 6S for Father’s Day. (In 2019.) We got LM the same model, because I didn’t trust getting him a phone that cost more than $99, either.

He went a long time without losing that phone, but then he was digging a hole for a post to fix our porch and couldn’t find it later. (The battery died, too, so Find My Phone wasn’t available.) He looked all over the yard for it, and then it rained the next two days, so I ordered a SIM for his phone number for the backup phone. The day I ordered the SIM, my husband decided to try to dig up the area around the post and found the phone. It was caked in mud, of course, but after cleaning it up, it charged right up and works just fine.

I hope y’all found the story of the buried phone exciting. If not, you’ll love my trip out today. I went through the drive-through of Chick-Fil-A.

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I wanted an hour to myself. Enjoy the quiet or listen to my music. But BG said she wanted to have a Girl’s Day Out and ride to Chick-Fil-A together, so that’s what we did. Our GDO’s aren’t quite what they used to be, but the sandwich, ice cream, and FOUNTAIN COKE IN A STYROFOAM CUP WITH CRUSHED ICE were heavenly. (That’s the only way to drink a Coke, FYI. Canned on ice is great, but nothing beats my ALL CAPS way of drinking a Coke.)

So, that was my week. I’m sure I’ll have all sorts of exciting things to write about on Monday. We’ve got big plans this weekend — putting up a new storage shed, mopping, and cleaning out LM’s dresser drawers. He can still wear his athletic shorts from 3rd grade since they fit fine in the waist, but they are short as hell. Some of them are short like that:

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He doesn’t like getting rid of anything (he has a t-shirt from 2nd grade in his pajama drawer, sigh), but they’re getting ratty. I ordered new shorts from Target during my most recent midnight shopping spree, so I’ve gotta make room.

Exciting weekend ahead!

I hope y’all had a safe and healthy week.

Today Was Better

My sleep has been shitty lately (or shittier lately), so right now I’m waiting on an Ambien to kick in. If things get weird, then you’ll know why.

The girl had two screaming fits today. (Technically yesterday since I’m writing at almost 2 in the morning, but I haven’t gone to sleep yet, so it’s still today for me, dawg.)

That’s right — two.

And only one of them lasted for more than a couple of minutes. And neither of them involved biting herself or the couch. (Yeah, I forgot to mention that one, sigh.) And she didn’t tell me she hated me at all. The main fit was when she couldn’t find her Llama Llama stuffie to sleep with, and y’all know how little kids get when they can’t find their stuffie. That stuffie isn’t anything special, but she had it in her head that she wanted to sleep with it tonight, and it was nowhere to be found. Yikes. After some drama, she ended up settling for Spider-Man.

I have no idea why today was so different from all of the other days. I didn’t change up anything up, so there’s nothing I can really point to and say, “Hey, we did this differently and things were better, so let’s do it again and maybe we’ll have more good days!” And it wasn’t a free-for-all day where she got her way all day, either. She ate the same things food-wise (grits, PB&Js, fish sticks).

I almost had happy tears after getting BG to bed. I can’t tell you how grateful I am for her having such a good day.

And I’m happy on a personal level as well. I didn’t feel depressed, anxious, or on edge at all today.

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I feel so much lighter.

The kids are technically on Spring Break this week. I have sorted out the packets, so we have busy work if we need it, but I doubt that will happen. (Unless LM keeps mouthing off…in which case, I’m gonna get on his Fortnite account and play while he does packets. 😉 )

I really don’t have anything planned for the week. Our outside-the-house options are hanging out in our yard; taking a walk around the neighborhood; using my friend’s pond or my dad’s pond to go fishing. BG will probably go along with fishing for about 5 minutes before wanting to leave. My friend also has a bike trail we can use, but LM is the only one with a bike. (BG has a trike that she still struggles to pedal, so it’s not going on a trail.) The school near us has a nice big paved parking lot, so we might take the kids up there to ride their scooters if no one else is around.

It’s nice to have a few options. It isn’t Carowinds or the Great Wolf Lodge as the kids had hoped for Spring Break, but we have more options than others. My husband also ordered some stuff to fix our above ground pool, so maybe it will be open by the end of the month. We didn’t get to use it last year because of problems, so hopefully he can get it ready for this year. If not, then I hope he tears it down, because it takes up a lot of space in the backyard.

I am going to get my husband to look into some telehealth services. Since BG’s place isn’t doing them, maybe we can find someone who does. I think someone else talking to her about stuff would go over much better than with us.

I think we should get a golf cart.

I also think some of us blog ladies should have a Virtual Girls Night Out. We can use Zoom while we eat and drink (preferably rum drinks or margaritas)  and pretend like we’re out having fun. And if anyone hears screaming in the background, then we can just pretend that we’re having our Girls Night Out in a war zone.

Quarantine Week 5

Is it day 892 in quarantine? Because it sure feels like it.

I got out of the house last week. I had to drop off the kids’ completed homeschool packets and pick up new ones. At the first school, they had a drive-through type thing where you didn’t have to get out and be around anyone. The people who gave the new packets had on masks and gloves. At the second school, you had to get out, ring the doorbell, open the door, go in and hang out in the tiny lobby with four other people working, and no social distancing whatsoever was being practiced. No masks or gloves, either. Gah.

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Replace “Utica” with “the school” if I caught something from them.

I have finally accomplished something in the quarantine. I wrote three short stories over the past week. Hence my not being on WordPress much. Thirty pages written and edited multiple times. I’m very happy about that. The deadline to submit the stories to be considered for the anthology was today, and I submitted them at 1:30 in the morning. I hope one gets accepted. *Fingers crossed* One of the stories was a continuation of another story that I published, one was about a single mom finding out her kid as autism (I love the “capture the emotion of the moment” type stories, so that’s what I usually write), and one was a horror type store, which is new for me. I am close to having enough completed short stories to self-publish a book of stories of my own. #Goals

Any little bit of emotional regulation BG has improved on is long gone. I really don’t know what to do with her now, but we’re talking several severe meltdowns per day over just anything. (They make her old meltdowns pale in comparison.) It feels like she spends an hour per day shrieking. And to make it worse, she’s biting herself a lot and has several big bite mark bruises on her arms. I really wish her therapy place would have done the telehealth visits so her therapist could help work with her on this some. We have several strategies to help BG with regulation, but they aren’t helping at all. I am at a loss. This quarantine stuff is rough on everyone, but is really taking a toll on her.

Easter was good, shrieking aside. We got the kids stuff to keep them busy for their baskets — LEGOs and board games. We did an Easter egg hunt and then goofed out for the rest of the day, which isn’t all that different from most days. I had planned to make a chicken casserole for Easter lunch, but we had some electrical issues. My husband was trying to spray a wasp outside and sprayed one of the fixture and then we lost power for a while. Everything is good now, though. My dad came over to drop off a go-kart for LM today and helped fix things. It was weird to have someone else in the house for a bit.

What is social distancing? Hint: You can go outside. - UCHealth Today

I’m glad everything is working now.

If y’all are looking for a new show to watch in quarantine, check out Superstore. One of the producers from The Office created it. Much of the first season is rocky (much like The Office and Parks and Rec), but by the end of that season, it has me for real laughing out loud. It’s on Hulu.

How are y’all doing? I tried to catch up on some blog reading earlier — if I missed yours, drop a link in the comments.

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.

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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.