Quarantine Bullet Points

  • Well. This is something, isn’t it?
  • I am really glad we moved before this all happened.
  • But I wish we’d moved a lot longer before this all happened. (We got into our new house about a week before everything shut down.) There are still boxes and work and organizing that needs to be done here and that makes me unsettled. I don’t need anything else unsettling.
  • I’ve been making masks for family and friends which means my neck and shoulders and back always hurt.
  • I’m pretty much out of fabric that’s big enough.
  • Ryan loves sheltering in place. He could do this forever.
  • Elizabeth needs to see some other people soon because she’s losing it.
  • Elizabeth is also not sleeping. She’s been up past midnight every night.
  • Alex is fine with all this, her life has barely changed.
  • Matt has to go to work sometimes but he’s doing all the calls and computer parts of his job from home.
  • I’m really enjoying the lazy mornings and not getting out of bed immediately parts of this.
  • I’m not enjoying the constant worry about everyone I know dying.
  • Will this be the first time I actually finish setting up a house, putting everything away, and hanging all the pictures before anyone sees it? (Not at the rate I am going, but we will see.)
  • I highly dislike the unknown. I like having a plan.

How are all of you? I have definitely been worrying about all of you.

Room Sharing

Alex suddenly stopped sucking her thumb a few months ago. She’s sucked her thumb since she was born but only when she was falling asleep or when she was upset about something. Her dentist said he couldn’t even tell she sucked her thumb by looking at her mouth so as far as I was concerned, she could continue forever.

Well, she got a cut on her thumb and then another a few weeks later and apparently that was it. She was done. Which would have been a great way to stop a habit, right? Except that she also stopped sleeping.

Suddenly she was taking two or three hours to fall asleep every night and she was waking up repeatedly during the night. She wasn’t usually just lying there quietly either. She was spending these hours screaming and crying.

Eventually I moved her to the tiny bed in my room and just let her sleep with me. This helped immensely except that my alarm in the morning woke her up. I started putting her to bed an hour earlier to compensate for the fact that she was getting up an hour earlier than she used to. All of this finally got her back to the base level of behavior that we were used to. (Squish is never particularly calm because she doesn’t have that kind of personality but at least she was only yelling at us some of the time again instead of all of them time like she was when she was over tired.)

So now she sleeps in my room. We’ve adapted to each other enough that it’s working. (She no longer wakes up yelling for me to turn the lights on in the middle of the night any more, for example.) She wakes up earlier than I do on the weekends and stays quiet enough for another hour or so.

She also really, really likes sleeping in my room. When she’s awake and I’m in the room with her, she just lies there and grins happily at me. Whenever I get out of bed, she runs around to my side of the bed and arranges my slippers for me. She also whispers “night night, Mama!” in her happiest little voice. It’s not the worst.

Little Good Things

It was a rough night here (children) so I’m going to share some good things.

  • Matt sent me sushi and stir fried udon from my favorite restaurant (he’s at work) because he felt that I needed a treat.
  • Ryan leaves me notes by my bed almost every night. They usually say “I Luv Mom Luv Ryan” and such things. Tonight I got five hearts that he cut out, colored, and stapled into a book.
  • The second heart in my book was colored with crayon, not marker, because “I had to make it blue and robin’s egg blue is the best blue.”
  • He used the scented markers for all the other hearts because obviously those are the best.
  • My baby nieces are coming to visit in two weeks.
  • I finally got the house cleaned up again after fighting it for five days after getting off schedule.
  • We got Christmas pictures taken of the kids already and in the sneak peeks I’ve seen so far, they look like they are going to be great.
  • I went to bed early tonight and 2/3rds of the children fell asleep without a fuss tonight.
Heart book by Ryan

Flu Shot Day

Today was Ryan’s well visit since his seventh birthday was about a week and a half ago. I always piggyback flu shots on to Ryan’s well visit because it falls at the right time of year and I can take the other two along without them getting suspicious. I know some kids do better with shots when they are prepared ahead of time but my kids are not those kids. It works best to have them find out they are getting a shot when the nurse is approaching their arm with the needle.

My best shots for kids technique is known as the Giant Candy Bar technique. It started working for Ryan at age five and hasn’t worked for Alex yet (age four). I get a giant version of their favorite candy bar and tell them they can eat it while they get their shot but only during the shot. So they have to shovel down as much as they can manage while the shot is happening. It works really well because they are so busy trying to get as much candy in as possible that they don’t have much attention to pay to their arms.

I also have a shotblocker (Amazon) and I bring iPads. It’s enough distractions that we manage to do this fairly easily. Alex still needed to be chased down, pulled out of a corner, carried to the table, seated on my lap, and held down by my legs, my arms, and a spare nurse. But we get there in the end.