A Very COVID Thanksgiving

Source: Photo by Preslie Hirsch on Unsplash

With the pandemic still ranging, Thanksgiving is going to look a little different this year.

In years past, we would have the family over to our house. We would drag an extra table into the kitchen and bring in basically every chair that we owned to seat everyone. It’s not a super big group, but 11 or 12 people really fills our home. After a huge traditional meal of turkey, and sides and various kinds of potatoes, and hard cider and all the pumpkin pie, we would then retire to the living room to watch a movie, yell over each other, or play TV games like Jackbox.

This year, we are planning to have an outside Thanksgiving around my parent’s bonfire pit. Rather than having big bowls of side items, I’m planning to make my fruit salad in individually packaged bowls. Instead of dressing down in short sleeves as I try not to melt making a bunch of different dishes, we will be bundled up in layers depending on the weather. Of course, in Maryland we could have anything from a mild day in the 60’s to snow… so who knows what to expect.

Of course, we aren’t in charge of weather so we have a ‘rain date’ of Friday if Thursday turns out to have nasty weather. All in all, I’m pretty excited about having an outdoor picnic around a roaring campfire. An outdoor picnic with PUMPKIN PIE!

Speaking of bonfire, we also have plans for a Thanksgiving weekend bonfire with the other side of our family. I’m trying to keep it as ‘easy’ as possible by providing s’mores makings and having it be BYOB for drinks. We will put some chairs and benches around our fire pit for a visit with Travis’ sisters and their spouses. To keep things as safe as possible, I plan to separate s’mores makings into baggies for each family group to grab. And I’m also planning to bleach the heck out of our downstairs bathroom once everyone leaves.

I know that everyone’s Thanksgiving is looking a little different this year — whether you are having it just with those who live in your house, getting together with your small COVID pod, or having a small get together socially distanced and outdoors like us. However you plan to celebrate, please be as safe as possible. Wear your mask, don’t double-dip and wash your hands!

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Turning a Robe into a Keepsake

If you’ve been following along with my blog or Instagram account at all over the past couple years, you may know that Jack is pretty much obsessed with his robe. It was a Christmas present in 2018 and Jack took to the robe like a little Hugh Hefner.

This was from about a year ago and I can’t delete it off my phone because it’s so dang cute!

All winter, spring, summer, and fall, if Jack was at home… it was pretty likely that he was wearing his robe. Sometimes over clothes. Most of the time with just a pair of little boxer briefs. On nights that it was a bit too warm, he’d put the robe next to him in bed so that he could enjoy the fuzzy fleece without melting.

I was pleasantly surprised that after almost 2 years of daily wear, the robe was still super soft and never pilled up at all. However, Jack grew like a weed… so the robe that once went down to his knees suddenly only covered his butt.

I ordered him a new robe and luckily was able to order the exact same one that he had (yay Amazon!). However, like anyone who has a kid with a ‘lovie’ may know… just because we replaced his favorite robe didn’t mean we could donate the old one.

Which brings us to the easiest project ever: turning the robe into a pillow!

All I did was chop off the arms and the belt, cut the robe fabric into two big squares and sew it into a big square. I threw the extra fleece bits inside the pillow and topped it off with the insides of a pillow that was in our donate pile. That was it. It probably took me 5 minutes and Jack was THRILLED with his new repurposed robe.

Now, it lives on his desk chair so that he can enjoy his fluffy robe in a virtual school appropriate kinda way!

Oh and if you are looking for a fantastic kid’s robe, I do highly recommend this one!

Disclaimer: This post contains an Amazon affiliate link. This means that clicking on a link may help me earn a small commission at no cost to you.

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Life Update: I’m not Okay

In September when I gave my latest Life Update my last sentence was “So, while we are doing well with our current routine right now, it might all be blown back apart in a few weeks…”

Consider my life blown back apart.

I really wish that fear would not have come true, but here we are. I was asked to return to the office two days a week at the beginning of this month. However, Jack’s school also went to a hybrid model in mid-October. Easy-peasy, right?

Nope.

After much discussion, we decided NOT to send Jack to school for the hybrid model, which would have had him in school on Monday’s and Tuesday’s. Instead, due to a large variety of reasons we decided to keep him on the 100% virtual schooling model. Which means that on the two days a week I go into the Baltimore office… we needed to do something with Jack.

We decided that Travis would take off work on Tuesdays to stay home and oversee virtual learning. Then, on Thursdays I’d drop Jack at my parent’s house so my mom could serve as home-base for the day while Jack is in his online classes.

I knew this would be hard. But I hadn’t anticipated how much extra stress this would put on me.

Extra Stress #1: After my second day in the office I was exposed to someone whose daughter had just tested positive for COVID. STRESS SPIKE. I returned back home and my coworker quarantined at home and tested (the first one came back as negative and the second one should be coming in soon). This just opens my eyes yet again HOW EASY it is to be exposed to someone who may be sick. So, every single meeting I have, I’m worried. Especially when meeting with someone who pulls down their mask to their chin and keeps talking. Add that to the fact that COVID numbers are spiking again and yup… there goes my stress.

Extra Stress #2: SO MUCH MORE PLANNING. In order for me to leave Jack in the hands of someone else, there is a billion more moving parts to deal with. Everything from planning to cook double-dinners on Mondays and Wednesday so we can have an easy dinner on night’s that I get home late. To laying out every possible notebook or item that Jack may need to put his hands on throughout the day (oh wait, you need that art project from 3 weeks ago… yup, that’s RIGHT here!). To making sure Jack’s backpack has every possible thing in it he may need at my parent’s house. To my own prep and packing to go back and forth to the office when I had everything perfectly set up in my home office. It is a forever changing list of stuff I have to remember that lives in my head.

Extra Stress #3: Jack is not doing well working with other grownups in my absence. We have our routine down for getting classwork done and it just simply is not working when daddy or Mimi is in charge. This causes me even more stress with a fun guilt + stress + frustration combo. This also means that at the end of the day after driving an hour to work, working all day, driving an hour home… we still have the majority of the classwork to review and complete in the evening when we are both exhausted.

Extra Stress #4: Money. Since I’m not taking the metro, I’m paying to park in the building garage two days a week. Add onto that the fact that Travis is taking off work on Tuesdays and losing an entire day of work (he’s a self-employed truck driver and gets paid by the job he completes), it’s making a financial dent. Which gives me something else fun to worry about.

I’m a problem solver though. And I know that the way to solve this problem is to tell my boss that I can’t do it. I can not work full time + oversee virtual schooling full time + come back into the office 2 days a week + deal with the constant stress of getting COVID when both me and my son are high risk + EVERYTHING ELSE.

And I know that he will understand. And I hope that the other partners would also understand.

But here’s the thing – I’m an overachiever. I love my job. I love being a working mom. I love ‘doing it all’ and I feel like if I say I CAN’T DO IT ALL then I’m failing.

So, I’m holding off. And the stress bubble is just growing larger and larger. And I know this is not sustainable. And I KNOW that I will have a sense of relief if I just say I can’t do it anymore.

But dang it, it is also so hard to give up.

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