Enjoy Your Plague-Cation

We went from thinking, “Maybe we should try to snag a spring break cruise for the family” a couple weeks ago to “We ain’t going nowhere…and it’s a plauge-cation, not a stay-cation” super fast.

The coronavirus has hit my county, and we have several cases right now. We were told on Friday that the schools would be closed for two weeks, and then today the governor announced that all schools across the state would close for two weeks. Most of our schools aren’t able to do e-learning properly yet, but the teachers are supposed to be putting together packets for the kids to work on at home. So I guess we’ll finally get a taste of homeschooling, which I’d thought about doing with the kids in the past. My husband’s boss had his group working from home full-time again starting a couple weeks ago, so we’ll have plenty of togetherness.

I found out that one of the coronavirus patients in my county is a relative, and that she had visited my in-laws a few days before we did. They aren’t showing any symptoms yet, thankfully. My FIL has had such a rough time with his health that I’m not sure how he’d fare with that. He’s in his upper 70s, as well. The kids and I, on the other hand, all started running fevers yesterday. The boy hasn’t been coughing, just a fever, and the girl and I have been hacking our heads off. I’m hoping it’s just a cold, because our house is certainly not a stranger to getting the crud! We decided on Friday afternoon after we found out about my relative having the virus that we wouldn’t go anywhere just in case. We had already bought groceries (including a pack of toilet paper that we actually needed, which I’m sad to report that I learned today is single-play garbage, RIP my butt), so we didn’t have to worry about that.

We’ve been coming up with ideas for what we’ll do with all of this extra quality time we’re getting. So far, most of it involves movies. The boy wants to watch all of the Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, and Marvel movies. I’m too lazy to do the math, but that may very well get us through this whole thing. After I feel less yucky, I plan to catch up on some projects I’ve been meaning to get to around the house. I already caught up on my laundry, which is nice. The girl’s plan is for me to let her use my phone to play games whenever she wants.

The one single good thing about this virus stuff has been the memes. I know a lot of folks don’t like people joking around about it, but humor has always been my way of dealing with tough crap, so I’m enjoying the memes. Here are a few of my favorites:

Image may contain: one or more people, possible text that says 'When your friend starts coughing Just look at the flowers. scenesofamodead'

Image may contain: 1 person, possible text that says 'James Breakwell, Exploding Unic... @XplodingUnicorn Me: Everything in the world is canceled. I can finally get some writing done. Narrator: He did not get any writing done.'

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Image may contain: 1 person, standing and outdoor, possible text that says 'Currently at the border in WV.'

Are you social distancing yet?

Anyone Find My Lung?

So, I ended up with bronchitis, and it has been kicking my ass. I’m talking coughing-spasms-till-you-pee-yourself. TMI? Probably, but thank god for pads. I think the worst is over now, but knowing my history with bronchitis and my lovely asthmatic lungs, I probably won’t be at 100 percent for a while. (But is anyone really at 100 percent from January to March/April when the flu and colds and stomach bugs are going around? I’ll have plenty of company, I’m sure.)

Wanna hear what my sympathetic child said to me not once, but twice while I was at my sickest?

“Could you stop breathing, please? I don’t like the sound you make when you breathe now.”

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Tonight the girl suggested putting on her noise-canceling headphones while I listened to her so she wouldn’t have to hear my funny breathing. I told her to just take the book to her dad.

We were supposed to be on a cruise ship a week from Thursday, but that isn’t happening. I can’t remember if I already posted about this or not, but we had to cancel due to some health issues with my FIL. I’m really down about that because a break would be so damn nice and welcomed, but it is what it is. Silver lining, I won’t have to worry about hacking up a lung on a cruise ship (because I doubt I’ll be back to normal by then), nor will I have to worry about BG, who is becoming the Anxious Kid to my Anxious Mom.

And before I sound like some asshole worrying about a vacation when someone else is having health issues, let me say that he’s doing well right now. And he and MIL insisted it would be fine for us to go. It’s just that if a health issue comes up, it’s not like we can get back easily to get the kids. If we were in the U.S. and could easily catch a flight, it would be a little different. And we may do something like that next month, since MIL is insisting we need to get away, though I’m not sure how much of that is about us vs. about her getting some extra time with the grands lol.

You’d probably think with all the sick time I’ve had that I would be blogging or catching up on reading, but nah. I have been reading some books, though. I read a John Grisham book to start off the year. And then I binge-watched Unbelievable and the two seasons of You on Netflix over the past sick week. Unbelievable was incredible, and I see why everyone is obsessing over You. I wasn’t expecting to like it, but it hit me right in my guilty pleasure feels. I spent the two days after that reading the two books the show is based on. It is so not the kind of thing I would typically watch or read, but it hooked me.

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I need something else to read now, preferably something that isn’t making me cheer on a nutso serial killer.

What up, people?

Brain Dump: Week of 1/6

It looks like the lice have been eradicated from our household. (KNOCK ON WOOD.) The girl is the only who got them, and hopefully the rest of us won’t either since I treated all of our heads to be on the safe side. BG got treated twice and will again tonight. The men-folk are none too please about having their hair checked every day and getting treated, but oh well. Better to be inconvenienced than pass anything around.

School started back yesterday, only LM couldn’t go because he got sick on Sunday. Great timing, kid! My husband took him to the doctor yesterday morning and the doc things he has an upper respiratory thing going on. I started hacking my head off yesterday afternoon, so I guess it’ll make its way through the house. Boo.

We didn’t do anything for New Year’s Eve but did hit up the zoo on New Year’s Day. It was BG’s first time going, and she loved it for the most part. (Until she got burned out and had a meltdown in the penguin area, which is my favorite.) We spent a lot of time looking at the lions, but despite her little lion obsession, I think her favorite thing was the King Cobra, which she called adorable. That fucker was huge! She sat there for 20 minutes staring at the thing. LM and my husband made their way around the rest of the reptile exhibits while she stared, and I tried to avoid looking at the creepy thing.

(BTW, she said if the King Cobra got out of his aquarium type setup, whatever it’s called, he would totally be best friends with her and want to hug her. We had to have another talk about not touching things like that if we were to come across a snake or whatever outside.)

We spent the rest of the week cleaning out shit. The living room, game closet, books, and LM’s room. LM cannot stay on top of keeping his room remotely tidy at all, so my husband and I were both fed up since he made zero progress over the break. My husband bought 10 huge totes and took them in. LM was upset, of course, but we let him pick out a few of each things he enjoys, like his Transformers and Nerf guns, with the promise that if he can keep his room clean then he could earn stuff back eventually. We filled up 7 of the totes, which is crazy. We plan to do the same with the girl’s room this weekend. LM told me today that he likes his room better without so much stuff in it, so that’s good.

Do y’all remember me commenting on the Pac Praying poster my husband bought LM for Christmas, how I thought the label was for Pac-Man Praying and was super confused? I’m sure most of y’all figured out that it referred to Tupac. While we were helping LM with his room, he opened the poster to hang it. The look on his face was priceless when he saw this:

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“Oh wow,” he said. Wow, indeed. That’s an odd choice for an 11-year-old boy. I tried to suppress my snickers.

“I just had to get it for you,” my husband told him. “Where do you want to hang it?”

LM hemmed and hawed long enough that my husband realized he didn’t want to hang it. “You don’t want to hang it? You don’t like it?” he asked.

“I do like it,” LM said. “But it’s so weird.”

My husband looked offended. “Why is it weird?”

I started laughing. “Look at it!” I said. “He isn’t wearing a shirt and has his eyes closed, praying. That’s a bizarre poster choice.”

“Well, I thought it was cool,” my husband said, somewhat offended. “I guess I’ll just throw it away.”

“No, don’t throw it away!” LM exclaimed. “I’m grateful for it and all. I’ll just keep it in my closet it for now and hang it when I don’t have friends anymore.” He was dead serious, too, which made me laugh even harder.

How has the start of 2020 gone for you so far?

That’s Sick, Yo

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. (Don’t hate me for starting Christmas music already.) It’s also the sickest, and not in the good sense that the word “sick” is being used in these days.

The night before, the girl woke me up around 3AM. Not by kissing my cheek, shoving her knees in my back, or rubbing her feet on my pajamas (something she loves to do, which is so darn odd), but by puking on my back. That poor girl threw up for the following nine hours. We were worried that her reflux was flaring up again, but the vomiting shifted to diarrhea and then back to vomit later in the evening, so we felt like it was safe to assume that she had a stomach bug.

I truly learned what Clothes Mountain is when we went through most of our towels and linens. We had a trash can and vomit bag, but somehow vomit still got everywhere.

She woke up at 4:00 last night and refused to try to go back to sleep. Super cranky. We kept her home today and hopefully she’ll feel all better by tomorrow. Tomorrow will mark her tenth absence this year, so she’s missed 20 percent of the school days at this point. Plus she gets the half day for therapy every week. Ten days is the most they’re supposed to miss, so hopefully we won’t run into any issues if she misses more.

While my husband and LM were out last night, she wanted to lie down on my bed because she was tired. I laid down with her, and she didn’t go to sleep but became Chatty Cathy instead. That is one interesting child. She started talking about Teen Titans and how she noticed that each of the characters has a different way of talking. She told me facts about lions and the planets. (She seemed disappointed when I didn’t know which planets are gas giants.)

And then she abruptly shifted gears and told me she had to start liking Barbie dolls. I asked why and she said it’s what girls are supposed to like and if she likes them too, maybe people will stop staring at her all the time.

“Who’s staring at you?” I asked.

“Everybody. Everywhere I go, people stare at me. I hate it when people look at me. They all think I’m different,” she said and scowled.

I told her that I doubted anyone was staring at her because she didn’t like Barbies and it’s probably because she’s so cute.

“I know I’m cute,” she agreed. “But I have short hair like a boy and wear boy clothes and that’s why people stare at me.” (For the record, while her hair is shorter, it looks nothing like a boyish haircut, and she probably only wears her shirts from the boy’s section half of the time.)

I talked to her for a while about how everyone is different and can like whatever they want to like, as I’ve done in the past. I told BG that I’d be happy to get her a couple of Barbies for Christmas, but that she should want them because she actually wants to play with them, not because of other people.

She shifted gears again. “Sometimes the girls at school cry,” she said. I asked why, and she told me it’s when they fall down or have an accident.

“Do you ever cry?” I asked.

“Only once. On Halloween, in PE, we were playing Duck, Duck, Goose. I cried then.”

“What happened during Duck, Duck, Goose?”

“It was loud. It’s always loud in there. I had to sit in the middle and didn’t know why. Everyone was looking at me, and I started crying.”

“Poor girl. What did the teacher say?”

“She fussed and said stop, so I stopped, but I wanted to cry more. My friend Zoey patted me on the back and tried to make me feel better.” Zoey is the child who told my husband on the field trip that it was her job to protect Baby Girl.

I told BG that I was sorry that happened and that I would talk to her PE teacher about it. I’ll get a pair of noise canceling headphones for her to use in there when it gets too loud for her and let the teacher know to give BG a sensory break when she gets overwhelmed. She retired a few years ago and decided to work again part-time, so hopefully she isn’t one of those teachers who is difficult over this sort of thing. It really bothers me that she couldn’t take a few seconds to ask why she was crying.

I asked BG if any other enrichment classes were too loud for her, and she said music is, so I’ll get some headphones for that class, too. I could just ask her teacher to send around the pair she already has, but I imagine they’d get lost eventually.

“I hate when things are loud. It hurts and makes me sad and mad!” She sounded upset, so I asked BG if she wanted a hug. She hadn’t wanted to be held or cuddled all day. “No. Why do people want to hug all the time?”

“It’s a display of affection, to show someone they care about them.”

“My friends hug me a lot.” I asked if she was okay with that, and she said sometimes it makes her skin feel itchy. I told her she could ask them to give her a high five instead. I decided to take the opportunity to delve into her brain and ask about some of her other autistic traits, like why she doesn’t make eye contact sometimes. This is because it hurts her eyes and makes her feel sad. Rubbing soft things makes her feel happy, but she said she doesn’t do it at school because people will stare. She has a lot of meltdowns because she’s always cranky — everything is too loud. I knew sensory overload was the cause of that. I’m going to look into some less bulky noise canceling headphones for her to wear more frequently.

I hate the kiddo is sick, but I’m glad it gave us the opportunity to lay down and talk like that. I doubt she would’ve been still long enough to talk for so long about things like that otherwise. Hopefully she’ll bounce back today and be back to her normal wound up self.

Home Alone

Y’all remember how busy my June was? Well, it was riddled with stomach bugs, too. I guess that’s the price you pay when the kids a) go to camps and b) constantly have their hands in their mouths. They pick up everything.

The last bug didn’t involve puke or diarrhea, so that was nice at least. It involved fevers, headaches, earaches, muscle cramps, and a sore throat and lasted a few days. And now that I’ve written that out, I realize it sounds a lot like the flu. Do people get the flu in the summer? I’ve never heard of it, but if anyone would get that, it’d be my two.

The girl won a free stay at a themed hotel/water park near us, so that was planned for Sunday. Unfortunately for me, a migraine hit on Saturday, and then I woke up in the middle of the night with a fever and the absolute worst headache I’ve had in my life. The rational part of my brain knew it had to be a double whammy of the migraine and their bug, but the non-rational part (which tends to be a big part at times) was convinced I was gonna die. When I had that cochlear implant surgery, they told me there is an increased risk of meningitis, so I was freaking out a bit. WebMD suggested a brain hemorrhage, by the way. I don’t know why I even bother with that site.

I woke my husband up after I took my temperature and told him I might be dying. He said “Sorry” and went back to sleep. So in between groaning over my head throbbing, I silently fumed at him.

I stayed home from the trip. Hearing the girl scream at the top of her lungs in the other room made my head hurt worse, and there was no way in hell I was gonna try to be in the car with her for an hour. Plus I knew I’d just be in the hotel room, so no point in going. I’m 35, and that was the first time I have ever stayed alone at night. I don’t necessarily want to be around people, but I don’t like being alone either, because I’m a fraidy cat. On the rare occasion I was supposed to be alone in the past, my baby brother would stay with me. He works weekends now, though, since he’s a cop.

Y’all would’ve laughed at my paranoid self. I had the house all set up so I would hopefully hear any intruders. I put stuff at all the exterior doors that would crash over if anyone broke in, had the lights and TV on, and I stuck a door stop thingy under the bedroom door. And then it occurred to me that if I super felt like I was dying in the night and had to call 911 that they wouldn’t be able to get to me. Paranoid/anxious person problems.

No one got me. And the possible meningitis obvious was just a migraine and bug. Whoo hoo, I made it!

Hopefully with July being slower, and staying inside more because of the heat wave, we can avoid more bugs. 🤞🏻