Self Quarantine Day 16: Daydreaming of Life After COVID-19

If I have to write another post about my day I may poke my eyes out. We went outside. Chores were done. Fits were thrown. Work was done. Etc. Today I’d rather day dream about life after COVID-19. When this mess is over here’s some of what I’m going to do.

1) Go to a bookstore and wander. I wanted to do this before the virus but I’d love to have a chance to peruse the shelves of Barnes and Noble for an hour or two. Buying a book online but I love the immediacy of having it in my hand right there. Also, I’m so weird about books that online shopping for them usually just frustrates me and I give up.

2) Throw a party. I miss my friends so much! Phone calls and texts are great but they just aren’t cutting it. I have friends that I usually see almost every day and I haven’t seen them in over two weeks at this point. Other friends I haven’t seen in even longer. When this is all over everyone is getting hugs and we’re inviting them over to our no longer crappy back yard.

3) Take my babies out to play. My little ones miss the park. The parks around here are all covered in caution tape. I, of course, understand and respect the reasoning but it’s a sobering sight. I miss watching them climb and slide and giggle and chase each other around a big playground.

4) Celebrate with my work team. I miss my staff so much. They’re all wonderful people and have become like family over the years that we’ve been together. I’m so happy that when the time comes for us to open again I’ll be able to plan a couple of training days where everyone can be together.

5) Eat at a sit down restaurant! Good grief! I’m so tired of cooking and serving other people food. We don’t eat out often but I’m not used to cooking breakfast, lunch, and dinner for 4-6 people every day. I want someone to bring me a salty margarita and a plate full of tacos. I’m literally drooling thinking about it. I can’t even imagine other food because Mexican food is the best. Or maybe brunch?! Bottomless mimosas followed by a nap! That sounds heavenly!

What are you guys day dreaming about?

Self Quarantine Day 15: Our Perfect Day

We had all four kiddos home again today and somehow it all worked out smoothly. It was a perfect day.

I was able to get work done. I even got some cleaning done between work and dinner. We spent most of the day outside. The kids played, The Hubs tore up more of the yard, and I worked. Crazy Eyes and I walked for an hour while I pushed the stroller. We all stopped for an ice cream break in the afternoon.

For dinner we sat around the table and ate hotdogs with chili, macaroni and cheese, and grilled corn on the cob. Uncle Poo even called to participate in Best Part of The Day. By some miracle The Twins went to bed without a fight.

It’s nearly 10:00pm and I’m soaking in the tub while Crazy Eyes draws and The Boy reads his new book. The Hubs is digging in the yard some more.

I feel sleepy and content and blessed beyond imagining. I pray that each and every one of you is experiencing your own version of peace and happiness tonight.

Self Quarantine Day 14: Keep Going

It’s wildly tempting to give in to the melancholy of all of this and take a day off from writing. It’s funny though, my Lenten promise was to write every day. I’d done a crappy job of it up till this all started. It feels wrong not to write now when I have more time to think. Beyond that, I always feel better after I write about my day. It helps me to see the light through the darkness.

I’ve been separated from my work team for two weeks. At least when I was home on maternity leave some of them were able to visit and I was home on happier terms. I’m fortunate to work with a very diverse and fun crew of people. I’ve worked with some of them for almost three years and together we’ve helped make our museum the amazing place that it is. As a people person and a manager who loves the people part of what I do most, this has been a struggle. My boss has done an awesome job of thinking of new ways to keep our team involved until we reopen. I’m learning a lot from her and it’s a great experience from that perspective.

The Hubs stayed home later this morning to help me with the kids. I had a conference call for work and needed some quiet time to participate. He’s trying to be supportive through all of this. Maybe he sees me cracking up a little bit. Whatever it is, I appreciate it. I’m enjoying having him home more. Truth be told I’m enjoying the kids being home more too even though during work hours they make me crazy.

Today we spent a lot of time outside. They napped because I drove around the neighborhood while I took another conference call. When I clocked out we snuggled and watched Mulan. Then we cooked dinner together and they completely destroyed their servings. They’re bouncing around the bathtub with fat bellies right now happy as pigs.

I can do this. We can all keep doing this. We just have to keep going for one more day. Every day we just keep going for one more day. Keep your heads up out there and your hands clean. This too shall pass.

Self Quarantine Day 13: The Kids Are Alright?

We like to think that our big kids are unfazed by this pandemic but the reality is showing up in their behavior. My son, a normally anxious kid to begin with had a moment today.

We were all outside and he’d just gotten fussed at twice for talking back and then had a run in with Crazy Eyes. None of these things are unusual. They happen all the time. This was different though. He rushed to the back corner of the yard underneath the shade of the tree there. I gave him a minute thinking that it was just frustration. I stepped in when I started to see his shoulders shake and he let out a big ugly sob.

I hugged my big boy until he calmed down. It’s easy to forget sometimes that he’s only a couple days shy of 8. The kid looks to be about 10 and is well spoken. We talked about how everything was kinda weird right now and how he’s having to spend a lot more time than normal with his sisters, especially Crazy Eyes. I reminded him that she’s still little even though she looks older too. I told him that things were going to be okay. I hugged him again and sent him inside to wash his face.

It’s so easy to get wrapped up in our own feelings and thoughts and imagine that our kids are unaffected by all of this. It’s our job as parents to slow down and give them a little extra love and encouragement right now. That’s not to say we let them off easy when they act up, but maybe we give an extra hug before bed. Maybe we make our kids have some play time separate from one another instead of just waiting until they’re ready to kill each other. Maybe tonight we let him stay up just a little longer and play with his LEGOs. In the end, its better for us all.

Self Quarantine Day 12: Escape

The Hubs and I ventured out today. We’re trying to do as little of this as possible but his project to fix the drainage in the yard has gotten out of hand and we needed groceries.

His Mom watched the kids for us so that we wouldn’t expose them to anyone else. Between The Boy and Crazy Eyes being willing to talk to pretty much anyone and The Twins being the everyday equivalent of a side show, people rarely leave us alone for long when we travel as a pack.

We left Lowe’s with the supplies to finish fixing the drainage problem, finally plant the garden I’ve been asking for since we moved in almost four years ago, re-seed the areas that The Hubs is digging up, start composting, and spray paint the top of an old table that we are repurposing as yard art. We both figure that if we’re trapped at home we may as well make the most of it.

It’s fun seeing The Hubs get creative. He claims not to like the hard work but we both know that when he does projects like this it’s the only time he’s guaranteed to fall asleep easily. As a bonus, our snake friend from a couple of days ago appeared again and has been lovingly chased out of the yard. Hopefully he finds peace elsewhere and not in the side of my house ever again.

I went to the grocery store solo. No toilet paper on the shelves still. I was able to get more of our usual faire though so that was exciting. I nearly cried when I saw Bunny bread back on the shelves. It’s my favorite sandwich bread and I’m very particular about sandwich bread. I know it’s a stupid thing to get excited about but it was just one more level of normal that I’ve been missing.

It’s easy to forget what’s going on when I have projects to do. Over and over again during the day it hits me that there is a pandemic going on. I try not to let myself dwell on it because other than staying home there isn’t much to do. It’s a strange feeling of helplessness. Down here we are used to hurricanes. When those happen you get out and help others rebuild. You open your doors and hearts to people without. What do you do though when isolation is the way to keep others and yourself safe?

The constant state of trying to keep my life as normal as possible is straining my already overwhelmed nerves. So today I’ll take solace in my Bunny bread and revel in the anticipation of my long awaited garden. I’ll read a little of a book instead of Facebook in the bath tub. I’ll let my daughters have a fashion show instead of a bath before bed. I’ll do what I can to escape the fear and stress and anxiety that’s eating us all up inside.

Self Quarantine Day 11: Quarantine Food

I definitely saw the food situation going differently when the topic of social distancing and self quarantining first started getting tossed around here. I had visions of home cooked meals every night and tasty, healthy lunches every day. The reality has been vastly different.

For starters, The Hubs has been working late a lot so with the exception of when he cooked last Sunday for date night, I’ve only cooked a real dinner once this week. I was lucky enough to have my Mom feed me one night so that was nice. (Thanks Mom!) Often when my husband works late his Mom feeds him dinner because he knows that after a certain hour I’m not cooking anything. I guess that’s one of the perks of working with your parents.

Since I’m not cooking dinner, there are no leftovers for lunch. The girls eat hotdogs, cheese, fruit, crackers, pasta, and a smorgasbord of other foods for lunch. By the time I’m done getting them to eat I’m so over it that I’ve fallen into eating pretty much the same thing every day. I was smart enough to buy some pimento cheese, chicken salad, and crackers the other day and it’s keeping me alive. Sometimes for lunch and dinner. On the upside, working from home with the girls here has me eating lunch before 2 which was practically unheard of when I was working in the office. Also, I love pimento cheese so it’s hard to go wrong there. Should I eat healthier? Probably. Is it damn tasty? Yep!

The only meal I’ve been rocking is breakfast. We’ve had smoothies, yogurt with berries, eggs, egg sandwiches, toast and fruit, grits, and pancakes. The pancakes were, admittedly, a bit of a disastrous mistake but the girls and I loved them. Most important meal of the day right? Right! Winning!

Maybe by the time this is all over I’ll have my crap together meal wise but I’m not putting too much pressure on myself. There’s a pandemic on and I’ve got work to do and kids to raise. Perfect meals can wait. Until then we’ll just try to spend more time outside taking walks and playing on their swing set. Maybe it will help me work off all those cheese calories.

Self Quarantine Day 10: Best Part of the Day

Back when I was in high school my Mom decided that we were going to try and eat dinner as a family. Not long after we realized that dinner conversation tended towards the negative. At some point she decided that she’d had enough and “best part of the day” was born. We do it at every family dinner and everyone must participate, even visiting friends/family. Back when I traveled for work I’d call in for it. Sometimes my brother FaceTimes and participates from wherever he is in the world. Somehow, talking about the best part of our day while sharing a tasty meal with people that I love makes even the crappiest of days seem better.

I started this blog post writing about the crappy parts of my day and realized that I was being negative and dramatic in a world that’s already doing enough of that on its own. Overall, it was a great day and it’s important that I take the time to appreciate that. I want the best parts of my day to win, not the garbage.

I actually had a couple of best parts of my day so here they are, in no particular order.

1) While on a conference call, I got to plant some wildflower seeds in the yard with The Conqueror and The Hun. Now, plant is a rather loose term here. We basically sprinkled the seeds then threw some dirt on top and then watered it. Still fun and hopefully we’ll see some flowers eventually.

2) I unintentionally taught the girls to say “YASS QUEEN!” It’s stupid, I know, but I say it all the time and it’s super adorable coming out of their grinning faces.

3) I got to flex some creative muscles at work. When you can’t let visitors into the building so that children can learn through play, you have to find new ways to share the play. My supervisor tasked my assistant and I with coming up with some ideas for kits that we could sell while we’re closed. We’ll see how our ideas go over. Regardless, it was really fun to be able to do something creative again.

4) I spent time looking back at my notes from the early days of the museum and was blown away by what I found. It’s easy sometimes when you work for a start up to forget the obstacles that you’ve overcome. Today I read through my notes and remembered past workers, past ideas, and some of the fire I had when we first started.

So that’s my day. How was yours? What was the best part of your day?

Self Quarantine Day 9: Crazy Choices After Midnight

I think I’m going a little loopy. I’m chalking it up to lack of social interaction. I’m an extreme extrovert apparently. Not talking to humans in the flesh is crappy. All phone and no face to face makes Diana a dreary girl. (Don’t worry, I don’t think we have an axe and there’s definitely no hedge maze here.)

Let me give you an example of my crazy. Last night at midnight I decided to try out a free sample Beach Body workout. Midnight. I couldn’t sleep. It felt like a good idea at the time. My lovely friend who is a Beach Body coach is amazing and so encouraging. We’ve known each other forever and I trust her judgement so I had to try it and see what it was all about.

For context, I haven’t worked out in months. MONTHS. And even when I did work out it was a 15 minute workout at most. I’m in awful shape. Like get winded going up the stairs out of shape. Thus, I should have read the description of the workout I chose before doing it. But it was midnight so screw it. YOLO! (Or whatever it is the kids say nowadays. I wouldn’t know because the only people I see now are my family.)

Let me tell you, this workout video wasn’t screwing around. I was trying to follow along with the chick they had showing the modified (aka “for those who aren’t in great shape”) workout and I still nearly died. I didn’t know I could sweat that much in 20 minutes. On top of that because it wasn’t well thought out I tried to workout braless and nearly gave myself black eyes. Women like me should not be hopping around with no bra. It’s a dangerous game. I nearly passed out on my floor.

My after workout picture to prove to The Hubs that I did it.

It feels like even less of a good idea now. My legs are a big giant ball of ouch as is my abdomen. I will say this, it DID feel nice to do something physical last night. Next time I’ll be sure to stretch, wear a bra, and not try to push so hard. I made sure to stay in comfy clothes today and drink lots of water.

On the plus side, my chairs dried and turned out great. So now I have a pretty place to park my sore ass. Live and learn. *shrugs* I think tonight I’ll make some banana bread if I’m still awake at midnight. That’s better suited to my skill set.

Self Quarantine Day 8: Woooh Buddy!

Alright so today is a big anniversary date in our family. It’s a bitter sweet and emotional day for me. Today makes two years since we brought The Conqueror home from the NICU but it also makes two years since my Pop left this world behind. Pop was a great man and we all miss him so much. I wrote about his advice last year and still do my best to live by his words of wisdom. Beyond that, it was an emotional roller coaster.

Almost as soon as I woke up I got a message from my friend Irene in Ecuador. I thought we had it bad here but she let me know about how things were going there. People in her city are ignoring the government’s order to self quarantine and social distance and the virus is spreading fast. Neighbors are still playing soccer in the streets and having parties. There are 700 people in her city alone with the virus and now they’ve run out of tests, gloves, and surgical masks. It was a rude awakening. I’m over here fussing about my kids but at least we’re all healthy. She and her family are all quarantining themselves in an effort to stay healthy. It made me appreciate how good we have it here and how sheltered I am from the world.

Things chilled out a little after that thankfully. My cousin came over to help with the Twins so I could actually get some work done. She was a huge help and even helped the girls to finger paint. They actually napped today and everything!

Being able to focus on my work was great because it took my mind off of everything. It was hard not to miss my team though as I dug through my files and worked on my projects. I work with such wonderful people, especially the team who works for me. Being shut down has put them out of work temporarily and I have zero control of the situation. The best I can do for them at this point is to make sure that when our doors open again we’re all ready to hit the ground running. We’ve done our best to keep the lines of communication open and make sure everyone knows that we care about them. I try to stay positive but it can be taxing.

In the midst of all the work, I had a distraction of scarier sort. The Hubs came inside from digging a drainage trench in the backyard (that’s a story for another day) and told me to come outside to see something. When I got out there he pointed to the side of our house and told me that a four foot snake had just gone behind the siding under our carport. Talk about freaky! I don’t like snakes and I sure as hell don’t want them IN MY WALLS! After much googling and asking around we decided that there wasn’t anything we could really do. It looked to be a very large garden snake and was in the wall closest to my husbands tool storage room. Our hope is that it leaves peacefully and doesn’t end up in the actual house. With all the yard work The Hubs has been doing we figure we may have unintentionally destroyed his hiding place or dug up some tasty treats for him. He was subbing himself when my husband walked up and scared him so he went into the walls. I’m doing my best not to think about it.

After that craziness I quickly shot to the opposite end of the spectrum when I found out that my cousin’s tumor was benign. Since it was found I’d been doing my best to stay calm but when I heard the good news all that suppressed fear melted away and I had a good cry. It was the best news I’ve heard in weeks and I’m so thankful for it.

Soon after I found myself in uncharted territory. The Twins were asleep. I was done with work for the day. I was in an awesome mood and miraculously had some energy. Did I do chores? No! Did I clock back in and do some more work so I wouldn’t have to work longer later in the week? No! (I definitely thought about it though.) I decided to treat myself to a creative project and a completed task. I spray painted my three metal chairs that live in the back yard. If you don’t look too closely they look incredible. Haha! Spray painting is not my strong suit for sure. My hands, feet, face, and hair were a sickly speckled blue when I was finished. The good news is it turns out you can take spray paint over spray off of your skin with Clinique make up remover and a rough washcloth. It’s definitely becoming a highly valued member of my bathroom cabinet. Especially after the sharpie incident the other day.

It felt so amazing to accomplish something with such a visible result. By the time I finished I was tired and even managed to get a little nap in before The Twins woke up. Now they’re up past their bedtime but we’re snuggling and watching Frozen II in our big living room chair.

All in all, the day turned out to be a great one. We made art, celebrated good health amidst a sea of illness, and had snuggle time. I hope that you guys had things to celebrate today too.

Self Quarantine Day 7: Takin Care of Business

I managed to get an uninterrupted day of work in today and it was glorious. My mother-in-law watched the Twins so I could get some work done. I even got to go up to work and rescue my desk plants before they died of neglect. The girls got to play all day. The Hubs worked on the yard some more. It felt amazing to get something done and I know The Hubs feels the same way.

I realized today when I brought more files home that working at the kitchen table just wasn’t going to cut it. We have an office type space in the house but we don’t use it. I feel isolated in there and it’s become a landing space for all of the things we need for our various hobbies. A bunch of acoustic guitars, tons of markers and crayons and paint, fabric, and instruction book, and pretty much anything else you could think of lives there. It’s a total mess. Today I took it on and cleaned it up and made it into an area where I can work while the girls play without wrecking the rest of the house. Another win for the day.

Despite enjoying the kids being gone for a little bit we were all happy to see each other when I picked them up. Yes, I need breaks sometimes, but I also love my snuggles every night and it is pretty great to get to spend more of them now. Of course, as soon as they got home they wanted to go in the backyard and swing. So we sat outside and watched the sky turn pink and the sun go down.

Today, all was right with the world. These are the days that keep me going.

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