Surviving Stay Home Orders

Honestly?  I don't take orders well.  I balk at the word "mandated."  Because NO ONE gonna tell Kristen Shanna what to do.  🙄🤷‍♀️

But seriously, I kind of feel like I'm in this bizarro twilight zone where everyone suddenly decides they want to live like I did circa 2001-2015.  And I feel right at home back in this, I-have-to-stay-home business.  Only this time round, I have a few more responsibilities (and a lot less toddlers to keep me from doing it).  And I have to admit, after a brief but rocky adjustment phase, I am kind of TOTALLY in my element and thriving.

I mean...now that I am working from home (and not driving all over Kingdom Come), I actually have time to set out my tomato starts and bring them in when it is too cold.  So, my tomato starts are doing WAY better than they ever did before.  And I also now have time to walk out and check my coop twice a day, which means I am regularly gathering ALL the eggs the chickens are laying.  They are getting more treats.  I am getting all the eggs.  We are mutually happy.

Today, I took some time to make my own cat treats from a fish that Xander and Eden caught with my dad, because no one was eating it, and we do not waste life around here.  The jury is still out on whether or not Princess Oswald actually likes the treats I slaved over.  But...the fun was in the experimenting, as usual for me, and I ALWAYS have my birds if Oswald disappoints.

Speaking of my birds...did you know the bluejay can mimic a hawk?  I did.  Because I now have more time to stop and pay attention to the world that is around me (not that I didn't pay any attention before, but...).  It all adds up now.  I have heard this hawk sound when I wasn't able to identify any hawks around.  Today, my bluejay friend...who likes to come and yell at me to bring out bread scraps...yelled at me in a new language while I was checking on the chickens.  And I thought, "Oh my goodness, you are mimicking a hawk."  Is that a thing?!!  Yep.  It's a thing.  I checked and verified with Cornell.  Birds are amazing...I don't care who makes fun of me...Birds of Prey is still the only REAL thing worth watching on any streaming service.  But hearing it in person tops them all.

I love nature.  I love gardening.  I love being home with my kids.  (Although I have to admit, I was super grateful when Matt got home from his 2nd 12 of 3 in a row and just "magically" knew I needed him to invite them all 4 out of my room so I could be alone!)  I love getting to be with the boys during their learning day.  And I am making the best of it while trying to get some actual work done.  It helps that they are older and can actually respond appropriately to the command, "Ok.  SHHHHHH!  I have to make a phone call."

And speaking of phone calls.  It has been interesting trying to serve students virtually.  My favorite is that I actually get to talk with some parents, I might never have contacted otherwise.  It has made for some lovely and encouraging conversations.  And the ones where I get to talk to the student directly...well, that is just icing on the cake.  It's not hard to tell where you've made an impact, and that is the only real payday I will ever need.  That said...in case anyone happens to be hiring for a permanent work-from-home, virtual teaching position...as long as it's flexible...I'll be sure to get my resume back up on LinkedIn.  😉

We are doing a lot to ensure the mental health of everyone in the house.  I am hyper-aware of their mental states.  (Oh, the joy of being a counselor's kid.)  Dillon is like me.  I have to keep him active.  Evan is pretty simple.  Lots of cuddles, love and reassurance.  Xander and Eden are pretty independent now.  I just try to support when needed.  And Xander is getting a little restless.  She has my intensity, but lacks my outward active expression.  So, keeping her sane can be tricky.  I am leaving her to a high level of independence.  She asks for help when she really needs it.

Me...what do I require?  I like to get out of the house, which usually means getting in the car and getting AWAY...but I have found that, as long I move enough and get outside, I am fine.  My weekly trips to the grocery store and a 3 mile a day walking goal have kept me, so far.  Not that I haven't had some difficult days.  I was weepy and mopey and needy to start the week...but...nothing more than typical, however intense, fluctuations.  I get sunshine when I can.  I get the kids out when it is nice.  I throw in new treats and surprises...like the time I went to Target and saw Star Wars episode 9 had released...or the time I drove to Walgreens for chalk and bubbles, because it was the first nice day in forever...or the time I saw DiGiorno's Pan Pizza at Sam's.  I love bringing home new treats and surprises I know they will love.  And when you time them just right...that is a Mom-moment success you just can't beat.

Also, I use my resources.  Social distancing is a thing.  I have allowed my parents to watch my boys.  Because...there are some days...when you are trying to work from home, and your husband is a health care worker...that childcare becomes essential for you.  (No judging!!  You are NOT me.)  So, when I am really desperate for relief (and to get something actually done), I will ship them off for a couple of hours.  And...since the two families are exchanging exposure (though as cautiously and sanitized as possible)...when I was beat tired and my daughter was desperate for her 18yo senior right of passage to catch and keep...and I was jealous because I wanted to go, but I was just too dog-beaten-down-tired...I sent my dad.  And, after all, he IS the expert.  And they came home with 2 keepers.  So...

We are surviving.  Perhaps thriving, I could even say, in the midst of things.  Hope and pray the same for you!

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