Sunday, July 12, 2020

Please Scream Inside Your Hearts

I laughed on the outside, cried on the inside, and felt very seen by this post:

It's the phrase of 2020. And speaking of the internet seeing directly into my heart, this took all the endlessly rotating thoughts inside my head regarding the return to school and put them in a rainbow colored graphic. Like the thoughts in my head, it doesn't go anywhere, but unlike the inside of my head, it's pretty to look at.

Thank you for your thoughts on the last post. As of now, we are getting ourselves mentally, emotionally, and situationally set up for virtual learning in the fall. Even if in-person remains an option when school starts in 5 weeks, I don't know that we'd choose it for this first semester anyway. There are so many students in our school who truly need to be in school and I feel like since we're in a position to stay home, maybe we should- for our teachers, our staff, our school resources, the increased chance the remaining students could be distanced within the classroom... Not to mention the fact that schools have been told to institute 5-day rolling closures anytime someone in the school tests positive, so no mater what we choose we'll be home off and on throughout the semester anyway.

Speaking of being home - and also screaming inside your heart - I cleaned out the girls closet and drawers yesterday. Claire has finally changed sizes and Cora is right on her heels, so we switched around some clothes from Claire's side of the closet to Cora's, re-tried on all the things, and generally got set for the rest of summer and start of fall. It's a hot mess in the middle of the process, but it always feels good to be done.

There are no longer tiny kid-sized hangers in my house. A milestone I never thought about before.

While I organized, James spent the day executing on my vision of a teal accent wall in our bedroom.

The full and final product is still in progress but I LOVE IT. I basically live in that room now, so I've spent a lot of time imagining various changes. I love the rug we got 2 years ago and loved the watercolor photos we framed on the back wall. Our decade-old furniture is fine, I switched out the silver knobs for gold bars 2 years ago and still love that change. The bench I bought at that time is still great and we use it all the time.

I spray painted the black frames a copper rose gold and they really pop on my new accent wall. We (James) will paint the other two walls and ceiling a soft, warm white, add a set of shelves near my dresser for special little things I've never had a spot to display before, add an art print I found on etsy above his dresser, and switch to neutral bedding. There might even be an accent pillow which James hates but I may finally give in to my urge to buy. It's really just phase 3 of the master bedroom decorating that began when we first bought the house, ripped out the built-ins and changed everything in the bathroom. I'm really, really excited about it.

The baskets were an impulse but I love them. Our fluffy blankets and family set of yoga mats have a home! My reward for cleaning every other closet in our house this weekend. As if the beauty now lurking behind each door wasn't enough.

Actually, maybe the baskets were needed. This was my reward/other impulse buy. It also makes me happy.

The other big event of the past week- besides picking a really bold paint color (Benjamin Moore's "Pacific Ocean Blue," which will be relevant to the rest of this post) and hoping it would look as good on the wall as it did on the tiny paint card- updating our plans for our Bora Bora trip. I mentioned a while ago that James and I started planning a trip to French Polynesia for our 15th anniversary two years ago. We made our flight and hotel reservations last fall. My parents had generously offered to watch the kids for the whole trip - this first real vacation all alone just the two of us EVER - and we were so so excited. The countdown on my phone started at like 600 days. And then Covid hit and we assumed our August trip was canceled.

A month ago our travel agent reached out to say the islands were going to reopen July 15th but we'd need to change our hotel reservation because the one we were at closed permanently during the shutdown. Still not really believing we'd be able to go, we made the switch and were reconfirmed. Then last Monday I discovered our flight home had been canceled because they've reduced the number of days the flights go out. So that was a mess and required changing all four flights, jumping back a few days in timing, and rebooking the hotels, inter-island transfers, excursions, etc. But everything is back on board. It seems insane to think we'd go. There's a pandemic! We don't let the kids go anywhere, I teach all my classes by Zoom, and we're probably not going to school! But the island needs tourists and has instituted strict testing, masking, and social distancing procedures and the whole point is to basically hang out alone in our bungalow all day. We have to take a Covid PCR test within 72 hours of departure and show proof of the negative results before boarding the plane. We plan to re-quarantine 2 weeks before departure to make sure our tests will be negative and that we aren't bringing anything with us to this island that currently has zero cases. You get another Covid test upon landing to take on Day 4 of your trip to ensure you don't need to be quarantined there. So I don't know... maybe we can do this without causing harm, but it all seems very tenuous and selfish and surreal. But man, if we can go- if we can do it safely for them and for us, I truly can't IMAGINE a time we'd ever need that getaway more. It would literally be worth having never been able to take a trip alone for the first 13 years of parenting to get this trip now. But like literally everything right now except the future decor of my master bedroom, I don't know. I'm both quietly planning what we'll need while also trying not to count on it too much. Flights resume in 3 days so I guess we'll watch and see how it goes...

Back in reality, here's our food for the week:
Sun: Creamy Vegetable Soup, bread. (Delicious new recipe, I used skim milk and skipped the heavy cream entirely.)
Mon: Greek night with TJ's gyro meat, tzatziki, cucumber, tomato, bell pepper, feta, Kalamata olives, and naan. Everyone's fave and super easy.
Tues: Roasted Vegetable Enchiladas with the homemade sauce, Mexican rice from a box.
Wed: Landon's Birthday Dinner!. The soon-to-be 13-year-old has chosen blue box homestyle mac & cheese, smoked turkey sausage, orange bell pepper (raw), watermelon, and ice cream for dessert.
Thurs: Breakfast Tacos with bacon, egg, potato, cheese, and refried beans. So maybe more like breakfast burritos? Fruit on the side.
Fri: Out! Or rather, eating at home, but not ours. We're headed to my parents' house- we'll finally get to see my mom post-surgery and redo our aborted 4th of July weekend. We can't wait.