Category Archives: Homemaking

How I sick

How I sick

We’re all getting over being sick.  And by “all” I mean Andrew and myself, although both kids have been cranky and coughing for the past few weeks, so maybe them too.

It’s hard to tell with them.  If they don’t have fevers, I watch their behaviors.  Words are no help – Isaac doesn’t have the skills to say how he’s doing, and Kai has so many words but not quite enough experience to pick the right one.  “My throat hurts,” he’ll say which sounds promising, but then he follows with, “which is why I have EXTRA energy today!” and then it’s all meaningless.

A first, with this bout of illness.  I was laying on the couch, eyes closed, trying to cat nap while Sponge Bob blared on the TV, Kai talked loudly to his new imaginary friend, San Fawango, and Isaac stimmed while pacing in an oval in front of the couch.  Isaac bent over my face, and said, “Mommy’s sick.” He was just repeating what I’d been telling him all day, and I expected him to then ask for sausage or Cheerios or anything as long as I got up and started acting like Mommy again…but instead he leaned in close, and kissed my forehead.  Then he went back to his oval.

This means my autistic tween has officially been the nicest to me when I’m sick than anyone in my household.

Okay, this is not entirely fair to Andrew.  The problem is that Andrew and I “sick” differently.  Andrew keeps going until he truly cannot without passing out, and then he holes up in our room, in the dark, and sleeps until he is well enough to keep going again.  He does not want tea, or soup, or sympathy.  He wants to keep going, and then sleep in a dark hole, and then keep going some more.

I want to rest.  I want to put my feet up with tea and a book or TV.  If I have to be sick, I at least want to enjoy “not working”.  I want people when they walk by to say “how are you doing, sweetheart?” and me to say “a little better” or “the same” and then they should offer to bring me tea or soup.  I want to keep my days and my nights separate – awake but resting during the day, sleeping at night for my usual sleeping time.

I’m not saying my way is better.  It’s just what I want to do when I”m sick.

The problem is, Kai certainly and Andrew subconsciously feel that if I am awake during the day, then I am well enough to keep going.  In order to get the rest I need, I feel like I have to hole up in our room, in the dark, alone, and I don’t want to do that…but if I”m on the couch, awake, I’m signaling to half my family that I’m available.  I should be capable of emptying the dishwasher, or making snacks.

But my Isaac.  He gets it.  Mommy’s sick = kiss on forehead, and leave alone.  At least I have one on my side.

Fly-by – hellloooooooo!

Fly-by – hellloooooooo!

Hi!  We survived August!

And jumped right into a busy, mostly joyful, September.  The boys are thrilled to be back in school, and everything seems to be going swimmingly with that.  The cost of all the back-to-school shenanigans has, once again, taken me by surprise ($22 for the cheapest school photo package! $25 for PTA! $15 for back-to-school picnic!) and I’m a little grumbly, but really, I should just go ahead and adjust that cash envelope already and write Future Erika a note not to adjust it back down in the winter when She thinks “we can’t really need this much for back-to-school shenanigans.  It must’ve just been a strange year.”, as She does every year.

Andrew and I have been finishing up a long-desired outside project – we’ve cleaned up the “junk” corner of the yard (where previous owners have been throwing yard and construction waste, Christmas Trees, and rotting firewood, for YEARS), framed and mulched it, and moved the trampoline over there.  In the new spot vacated by the trampoline, we are putting up a swingset for the kids.  We got it for free off of freecycle, and have been cleaning, staining, replacing some stuff, getting it ready…all summer.  We got half of it up last weekend, and (fingers crossed!) will finish up this weekend.

Stage one - pretty corner, shifted trampoline.

Stage one – pretty corner, shifted trampoline.

Both our jobs got CRAZY this September.  My work house increased, and the growing pains of shifting everything else I do around that haven’t quite settled yet.  Andrew has an AWESOME new not-ready-for-public-sharing project at work, which involves rather more travel than we’re used to. We’re both thrilled at the new creative opportunities at our jobs…but it’s a lot of crazy too.  Waiting for the dust to settle.

Before I got my new work hours, I’d planned to spend those hours working on my new creative project: my Eating Liturgically blog.  It’s all planned and worked out, with the first month or so of blogs and recipes planned…IN MY HEAD.  I have got to start getting some stuff in 1s and 0s, you know?  I’m hoping not to have to go all JK Rowling on this and get up at 4am and work before my kids get up…but maybe?  Ugh.  Creative Muses are so mean sometimes. (Also, I’m really excited for this! I want to do it! Just at, you know, 10am.)

Anyway, that’s my flyby update – mwah!

Silver Linings. Very thin ones.

Silver Linings. Very thin ones.

August is, as always, August.  Both kids are rough without school structures and therapies, Andrew and my work schedules remain full, childcare is costly and logistically complicated, it’s stupid hot, etc, etc, etc…but there are a few good things.  Kind of good.  You can note their goodness as you sink into the bog of August soul-sucking angst.

  1. Family rallies.  We have a steady stream of family coming in to adjust the adult to child ratio, to watch the kids so we can squeeze work in, to facilitate the Camp Hagan schedule I set up to try to give the kids some sense of order.  Aunt Kyla is here this week, Cousin Lena is coming for a long weekend, then Grandma Kathy comes on her heels…and then it will very nearly be the first day of school.  It is wonderful not only to see family, but to feel their love and support in their sacrifice of time.
  2. Be in the now.  The only way to get through August, I find, is to shut down the long-term thinking.  It’s too much.  It’s impossible.  It’s an unreasonable time frame of hard.  When you look at it, you get completely overwhelmed and kinda bitchy (I mean, I do anyway).  So – you only look at today, and maybe a peek at tomorrow to be sure you have childcare.  And you find that today, this hour, this minute, this breath, you are, in fact, doing it.  You are okay.  And the next breath.  And the next.  It’s – good? – to be reminded of that.  It does take some mental discipline.
  3. Setting expectations.  We’re not new to this August thang.  So, when you say year after year to your job, your church, your friends, your facebook feed “August Hard.  We can’t do August.  No, it’s August.”…well, people eventually get it, and stop asking you to do things in August.  My daily log in my BuJo has way less items on it, and that’s essential because I can’t do anything, it’s August…but it’s kind of nice to have a few less plates going in general.
  4. First Day of School Joy.  I’ve heard other families talk about their kids (and even sometimes the parents, which I do not understand, but whatever) mourning the end of summer.  Resisting the new school year.  Whining about getting up in the morning.  Not my family!  We all eagerly see the day count get shorter and shorter, and on that First Day of School, there is so much rejoicing in our house.  That much joy has to be a good thing.

This August is additionally hard as it’s our first in Trumplandia.  The internal stress from the home combined with the external stress of poking the bear of North Korea/nuclear war and Nazi’s marching about in Virginia  (good Lord, who’dve ever thought I’d type that sentence in freaking 2017…?) is at times simply too much.  But we do have these small silver linings as well.