April 10, 2020

Positives of the at home situation

Longer workouts - my health club is closed, but I have been managing to create workout routines at home and occasionally at Coach's work -after hours.  

**yikes, that 'workout routines' 'after hours' at Coach's works sounds naughty.  Rest assured, that is not the case.

Paid leave- For the moment anyway, all three families I sit for are still paying me even though their kids are not coming.  I cannot tell you how much I appreciate this.  They are all still working and receiving paychecks.  For two of the families, this was an automatic.  They assured me that would still pay me.  The 3rd family is the family that never gave me a card or a candle or a plate of cookies - nada, at Christmas.  I texted her and reminded her of my 2 week non-attendance day policy.  In other words, I give them two weeks of discretionary days to use as needed without paying me (sick, vacation, grandma visits) and after those are used they pay me regardless.  For this family that uses me 3 days a week, they get 6 days when they don't need to pay me.  The week before the pandemic, they used their last remaining day.  After asking me for clarification on my 'discretionary days' policy, she paid me.  Not sure how long this will last, but I know they intend to send their baby here again next year so I don't think they want me to give away the spot.  

Kids learning to cook dinner - on the nights when the kids have cooked dinner we eat CRAZY ASS late, but I have been eating all of my meals later than normal, so I am able to shrug it off without gnawing off my own arm.  This adventure took on a life of its own and deserves its own post.  Get excited - or hungry.  

Time to write (well, sorta) - I have been stressed out about organizing the stories from one section of my hopefully-someday-publishable book, and I made myself buckle down the last few days and work on it.  They I printed part of it off at Coach's work (cuz Hello 37 pages).  I find it easier to edit sometimes when I can hold a paper in my hand and mark the hell out of it.  I flip back and forth between moments when I am like:  'No one will ever care about this.  Why am I bothering?' to more lofty moments when I am like:  'This shit if funny.  Not sure of how my book is going to end, but I think people will find this entertaining.'  

**I always joke that my book is like Marley and Me but no one dies in the end - um and I don't own a dog - but he tells his life story through his dog, and I tell mine through my adventures with my kids or Irish dancing or my middle child shit as a kid, etc.

Time to get closets cleaned out (girl scout cookies are still alluding me - but I have not given up.  Not that I can eat them, but heck I bought them and Mini is struggling with strong withdrawal symptoms) . . . I did the girls' closet the very first few days we were stuck in our home.  You remember Mini, the girl who didn't unpack a suitcase from her Ireland trip in August for like a month, yeah - so her closet/room is no picnic.  Ed did his stuff, but Lad's stuff is now EVERYWHERE.  Tank and Reg are on the docket.  Their least favorite activity- like I think they would rather see me take a sledge hammer to the Xbox.

Possibly getting photo albums put together - I was happy to discover that I ordered a bunch of photos back whenever I last did albums, like in 2012- so I have boxes of photos that just need to go in albums.  Still, I need to organize it - figure out where I left off.  I ordered more albums which might not be here for a while because of 'everything'.  I also need to get the dining room to stop serving as a sewing mask station.  

No racing around to activities
 - namely Irish dancing.  I have even asked Curly if she is going to want to go back to dancing after realizing how relaxing the evenings can be to just be home.  She didn't bite.  ** that sound you hear is me silently sobbing  

Many hands to help clean stuff up **please see:  my future list of negative issues that have cropped up with this pandemic, because the downside to having many people here to mess the joint up cancels this one out COMPLETELY. 

Time to read - well, I have yet to curl up on the couch and read - only reading when I am on the exercise bike at Coach's work, or sometimes when I go to bed but in theory this SHOULD/COULD happen- but with other stuff to do it never ends up being a priority.

Teaching the girls to sew -  We picked up bags of fabric from Joann's and I showed the girls how to use my sewing machine to make masks for health care workers.  Nothing like a little life lesson.  I was fearful when Curly asked me if the needle ever went through one of my fingers (No!) that I might eat those words and end up regretting this project.  (see Curly in attached video:  again wanky?  I zoomed in a bit on her hair because I still need to describe her last haircut)

 Have you played Apples to Apples?  I was less invested in this than in Chinese Checkers last week, but this choice was undeniably funny.  Not sure if you can read it.  Which pink card best matches the definition:  AWFUL on the green card?  I am not at all interested in politics but um - THE PRESIDENT.  The kids thought I would go with sharp knives - which I will explain later.    
Plus - this one cropped up.  Pillow fights -
 I JUST posted something about pillow fights,
so I had to share that.  Timely. 
Coach tried to claim that pillow fights
matched well with PEACEFUL - how soon
he forgets how wiggy pillows make him. 
Anything but peaceful.  

Game night - aside from the Chinese Checkers 'incident' we have had some rousing games of charades, pictionary, and one of our favorites:  Balderdash.  Players create new definitions for a word and try to convince other players to vote for their word as the actual definition.  Tank cannot participate in this game without using some reference to bowels, Pandas, excrement of some kind, and foul smells or on a good night:  all of the above - so yeah, lots of laughs.  Just as in Chinese Checkers, Tank cares little about winning.  He would rather score a laugh.  The word piloerection came up during our last game, it refers to hairs standing on end when someone is frightened, but super proud of my family members for their creativity.  I will just leave it at that.

Hair - Curly's hair has been in need of some alone time to, well . . . grow.  Long story to follow at some point.  All scissors point to me, so I have to swallow some pride here.  Also, I am still taking those 4 horse pills a day to strengthen my hair and hopefully encourage new growth.  I envision me emerging after the pandemic with this gorgeous mane of hair.  OK, I don't really think that, but that would be super exciting, right?  Never hurts to dream a little.  

Refund - the girls and I were supposed to leave for World Championships March 31st.  The dancing competition was cancelled which is of course a negative because of all of the hard work, BUT I was totally excited when Aer Lingus agreed to refund our full ticket prices.  It was supposed to be a credit, but they changed the flight times so I was eligible for a refund.  The hotel that we were only staying in a few nights because we were staying with friends, also full refund.  So, happy about that.  
The table has been moved from Curly's stage
 to in between the TV and the sectional couch
 in order for Curly to use the dance stage to
participate in Zoom dancing sessions.  So, yeah -
 the basement is a bit of a maze at the moment
 but thankfully that has not stopped them from
 their tournaments.  I only ask that they close the
 basement door so I enjoy some peace and quiet.

Ping Pong - Praise the Lord above that Santa had the foresight to pull this out of his ass at the last possible minute.  It has been such a source of entertainment for 7 members of my family that I could weep.  

**translation:  Why 7 and not 8?  I enjoy some 'me' time because it just so happens I don't pong, but they cannot get enough of it.  

Stay positive, my dear readers.  It's the only way 

**please note:  a negative list might follow.

** Below is bonus footage of the kids' music attempt.  It didn't work initially in my previous post, so I am being obnoxious and re-posting it here.


Suzanne said...

I love Apples to Apples! I can't wait until my kid is old enough to enjoy it!

Kara said...

The way those mirrors are positioned, it looks like you have a full on Pong Club going on. I wish we had a basement.

The kids are on my nerves. The oldest escaped yesterday, under the guise of picking up a prescription, and was gone for 2 hours. She says she was just driving around to get out of the house, but who knows? I don't blame her, being stuck is a lot.

My mind is turning to mush. I am still working, but the underlying stress is just killing me.

Ernie said...

Suzanne - It is fun, but this last time we played some people took it so seriously. They were offended when their 'this-is-the-best-answer' option was not chosen. I was just glad I was in a more relaxed mood vs. the night we played Chinese Checkers and I feared that I would end up lodging a checker up Tank's nose. I swear, he was behaving like an ass.

Kara - Ha - yes the mirrors. So funny. The table has been moved in order for Curly to use her dance stage for her zoom classes. She typically doesn't dance as much down there because she is at the studio so much. Until now. So Coach and the boys moved it in between the TV and the sectional couch. The TV is high enough that the kids can still see the TV, because God forbid, but it is not a long term solution. We look like hillbillies or something. No visitors, so no one really cares. Oh no - an escape artist. Tank did go meet kids in a parking lot. Everyone sat in their trunks/hatchback things and spoke from a distance. I cannot image having to work while this is happening. Good luck.

Anonymous said...

Strange times indeed! Everyone in my house, including my husband, now knows how to sew as I'm helping a group make a ton of masks.

Busy Bee Suz said...

LOVE the music!
Love the sewing! I have a sewing machine, but I'm not great at it; well, it's the threading that I'm not great at. Once I can thread the damn thing, I'm good. Lolo loves sewing and has several machines. My Mom, MIL and Grandma have all told me that a needle went through their nail before. Ughhh.

So happy about the ping pong table; I remember how hellish it was to get it in there. Bravo!

I love Apples to Apples and I recall playing balderdash many years ago.

Cleaning closets and writing are great things to do with this time.

You've got me thinking that I should get back into my scrapbooking/album making. I might have paused it in 2012?

I'm envious of your workouts. I just can't get myself motivated.

Happy Saturday!

Ernie said...

anonymous - last night was a rough one. My sewing machine decided to go on the fritz. A place agreed to look at it Monday. If it is a quick fix, then they might bump me ahed of people since I am doing masks and donating them but the woman feels very conflicted about bumping me ahead of people. I can also borrow my sister's machine. Tank was like, can't you sew them by hand. Oh, mama. I hope it doesn't come to that.

Suz - I think you covered all the bases, ha. Thanks - I love the music too. Reg is saying he is quitting once he gets to high school. It is such a unique thing to do and put on a college application. I am hoping he sticks with it. The family music sessions are a hoot, so I keep hoping that will hold his interest.

The THREADING - yes, the worst part of the entire ordeal. Must be an easier way by now, right? My machine started acting up towards the end of the mask making with the girls. I dropped it at the shop yesterday and hope it will come back soon as I just cut out 20 more masks. I don't use it as much anymore - but back in the day . . . costumes, curtains, etc. I once sewed a maternity dress for myself because I was ticked that I couldn't wear the outfit I wanted to wear to the wedding. I was over 8 mos pregnant. I wanted to wear a specific pair of brown shoes and could not find a brown maternity dress. It turned out great. Dear God, how did I have the time? Oh - we probably weren't into Irish dancing yet.

The closets and the writing aren't happening as much as I would like, but since I am working out between 2 and 3 hours a day I am cutting myself some slack.

Just cleraed the dining room table of the sewing stuff and spread out the albums and photos I have. Need to figure out what I still need to order. Ugh - such a chore but I know I will feel so accomplished when it is done. And I am no longer hosting tomorrow so the dining table was like, go for it, use me!

What are the mathematical chances of 'awful' and 'president' in the same Apples to Apples hand? Riddle me that one.

Between ping pong and volleyball - thank heavens we have enough for a few teams. I wonder if people walking by think we are breaking the law (singing Beavis and Butthead here) when we are just lots of bodies in the same nutty family.

Happy Saturday back at you.

Kari said...

I can't believe this post escaped me! I am seeing this on Easter morning, so it is definitely an Easter basket for me. :)

We loved Balderdash when I was in my early twenties. We would play with my parents, my brother, friends, boyfriends etc. and laugh hysterically. Of course, there was alcohol involved so that might be why.....OH and Scattergories is another game we love to play, to this day.

It sounds like you all are doing pretty good under the circumstances. That is all we can pretty much ask for at this point. Making lists like this post is what is saving me. :)

Happy Easter!

Ernie said...

Kari- Happy Easter to you. Today is also Mini's 16th bday. Her friends secretly decorated our front porch last night with posters and notes, etc. She was so touched to find that.

Our family Balderdash games are legendary. Once a few people realize they are not going to win- they take one for the team and it becomes a laugh till you cry fest.

If you like lists, check back soon . . . I am compiling a list to top pandemic quotes.

Enjoy your day. Hoping the rain holds off.