Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Life in the time of Corona, part 8

 Well.  Not a lot has been accomplished.  We are sort-of on a schedule. We are sort-of getting used to it. We are sort-of doing better about eating real food.  We are sort-of getting the house cleaned up.  We are sort-of trying to get back into a happier place....but it is slow going and still feels extremely monotonous.  

I took the kids shoe shopping this morning, at a local boutique.  They now have closed-toe shoes for the fall/winter season.  It feels like a success.  A very, teeny, tiny, itsy little success. 

The girls are no longer enrolled in virtual school.  We'll be a homeschool family this year -- so along with my making my own clothes and cooking from scratch (sometimes)....I'm feeling very stereotypical.  

In good news, Miss Middle is starting to speak some Spanish with me.  Some of her schoolwork is in Spanish, so that is helping.  Peanut has always known more Spanish that Miss Middle; we did a much better job of speaking it consistently when Peanut was small, and then when Miss Middle was a toddler the Spanish sort of disappeared from our family vocabulary when Sweet Hubby was away for a series of summer trips. We're still working to get it back, but it is so hard to break the bad habit of speaking English in our house. 

"The Baby" loves the new schedule -- he gets one-on-one time with his grandparents every school morning, and his grandad keeps taking him on adventures to different parks around town.  This morning, they even went to the car wash!  For a nearly three year old, it is very exciting, indeed. 

I'm wondering how much longer the all-virtual schedule my husband is enjoying will last.  A neighboring district is changing from a "hybrid" schedule -- 2 days face to face, 3 days virtual for all students to 4 days face to face in about a week.  So far, sweet hubby's district is all virtual....but their next phase is scheduled to be the hybrid model.  As a related arts teacher, he will be expected to go into all of the different classrooms over the course of a week.  I'm not happy about that level of potential coronavirus exposure; he's not happy about it.  Depending on how soon that move happens, he may be resigning.   Won't that be a fun transition to navigate? (Ha! It would be just one more difficult thing in this entirely difficult year.)

I wish this was more upbeat....but....Coronanxiety, Covidepression....whatever you'd like to call it....

No making has happened....but I've recently updated my "to do" project list, and I've got my eyes on a long sleeve tee for me, and I've set the goal of cutting it out by the end of this week.  I'm hopeful that getting started will get me moving again, and that I'll be able to keep some forward momentum. 

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Life in the time of Corona, part 7

 Well, I've probably joined the statistic of how many extra people are experiencing anxiety and depression.  The truth is that most of my days look basically the same, and there are very few stand-out events to look forward to, especially considering that my family is not ready to re-join the world of restaurant goers and birthday party attendees and in person grocery shoppers quite yet.  It feels extra lonely these days, as I've done an extra poor job of staying in touch with some of my dearest friends and lack so much contact with more casual, but still apparently important to my mental well-being, acquaintances. 

I've started making an effort to get back in touch with some of the people who help keep me grounded, and I've started the process of finding a counselor to talk to about some of the recent goings-on, and "school" starts next Monday for my kids (virtual, but it will put us back on a schedule), and I'm hopeful that we are going to turn a corner soon. 

My summer "making" wasn't very much, even though I had had high hopes at one point. I managed another jon-jon for "the baby" and a dress/nightgown for Miss Middle, and a few more face masks.  I'm trying to clean up and clean out various areas of my house, including the project room, and the progress is painfully slow.  But progress is progress, and each little bit does actually build up over time.  Hopefully a "school area" will materialize before Monday, but probably not. 

Monday, July 20, 2020

Life in the time of Corona, part 6

Well, the sewing/creating inspiration has been low and slow.  After the last good bit of making, I retreated into a "the mess is overwhelming so I won't do anything at all" sort of funk....and I'm only barely beginning to try to get myself out of it.

I *did* make some bathing suit bottoms, hacking the Avery leggings pattern.  They are wonderful to wear -- a little longer than the "boy short" bathing suit bottoms I have recently bought from Target, and very comfortable.  They require less of two things I don't love -- less sunscreen and less shaving. They match the swim shirt I made, using the Jade pattern.  I also made two bathing suit tops, beginning with the Hyacinth free bralette by OhhhLulu, and a pair of traditionally shaped bathing suit bottoms using the Stevie Knickers pattern.  Combined with a top or two from Old Navy and a swim shirt from Lands End, I have quite the mix-and-match set of bathing suits to meet all my different swimming/beach preferences.

Somewhere along the way, we spur of the moment planned a beach photo session with our favorite family photographer.  I managed to stitch up a jon-jon for "the baby" out of an old shirt of sweet hubby's, and cut out the pieces for a pair of coordinating geranium dresses for the girls.  The dresses were assembled at the beach house in the week leading up to the photo shoot (which got rescheduled, in the end, after the effort to make sure I finished the dresses in time....)

Then I ordered more fabric ( it an addiction?  a terrible use of free time to search different sites for fabric?  an alternate reality where I think I will actually keep up with using everything I purchase?).  Some of it coordinated nicely with previous purchases, and was cut up and made into a pair of kitty-cat dresses for the girls.  "The baby" got a new kitty-cat t-shirt.  A couple of ruffle-tees and another jon-jon were started.  And then, we left for the beach house again.  Our scheduled "long week" (a week and two weekends) turned into almost two full weeks away, and almost no motivation to sew.  I've only *just* managed to convince myself to pull the in-progress pieces back out from being packed up for travel; I've pinned them, and at some point either this afternoon or evening, I intend to sit down at the sewing machine and get a little more done....The only thing left on the ruffle tees is to attach the ruffle.  The jon jon does have a few more steps left to complete, but overall shouldn't sit there waiting and waiting, either....or it will suddenly no longer be summer weather, and "the baby" will have grown out of it, and that would truly be a shame. I'm hopeful that some small victories in the project room will motivate me to begin some of the many other projects waiting in lists and stacks of fabric.

In non-sewing endeavors, I've been trying to get my yard back under control.  Even though it's way too hot for yard work, while the kids play in our backyard, I've been trying to pull weeds and vines and keep the space in as good condition as I can for when we are back in town full time in the fall.  Except I'm secretly (ok, not so secretly) hoping that in the fall, and also for a few more really large chunks of time this summer, that we'll be at the beach again.  My parents and husband agree that our children will stay home with me in the fall, as school "starts back" in whatever form that takes this year.  I'm still waiting for information from the girls' school about whether their special immersion program will be available in virtual format or not; if not, I will be homeschooling them using whatever I (we? mostly I) decide are the best schedule and materials.  It is daunting to research, but I am comforted by some friends who either were homeschooled or are homeschooling their children.  The real question is becoming, "will sweet hubby go back to school in the fall?"  Because as a music teacher, he, under normal circumstances, sees every single child in the school (700+ students) each week.  That is WAY TOO MANY for me to feel comfortable sending him into a school building, given the current spread of Covid-19 in our region.  I think the uncertainty of the fall/school situation is leading to some of my inability/lack of desire to get projects going in the sewing room or to get the cleaning/sorting/putting away going everywhere in the house.

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Life in the time of Corona, part 5

Sweet hubby is home and finished with his quarantine and we are REUNITED at last.  And all of the things I was fairly certain would happen have already started to happen -- tantrums and testing and re-educating him about how our family works and how the children have grown and changed in the nearly three months he was away....

Since last time I wrote, I've finished two extremely wearable pairs of Rose shorts and two lovely, lightweight, breezy-but-polished-looking Gemma tops, and one swim shirt using the Jade pattern. 

I've acquired a huge stack of extra fabrics to make more things, both for myself and for my children, and also lost a lot of time to being away from home while sweet hubby did his two weeks of quarantine at our house. We'll soon spend time on family vacation, too, so not much time in the sewing room for me....but I'm trying to make smart use of the time I do have (when I'm not procrastinating, of course).

I'm hopeful that some bathing suit bottoms will come together out of the Avery Leggings pattern and that another lined Gemma might happen before this family trip; but what I really should be prioritizing is sewing underwear for "the baby" since he is working on potty training and the pants he has right now are a wee bit snug. Also, miss middle has requested a "long" dress (meaning, twirly and below knee length); fabric has been acquired for this as well. So many ideas, so little time, and so much alternative time-use temptation....I'm hopeful that sweet hubby will give me a little bit of day-time sewing time over the next couple of days, so that I can get crafty and creative before our family vacation away from all of my sewing tools.

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Life in the time of Corona, part 4

My mother in law went to heaven on May 6.

Sweet hubby *might* make it home on May 23, just in time to start two weeks of self-isolation while the kids and I vacate the house.

#MeMadeMay has spurred my making back into action, though it still ebbs and flows. Just today I finally sewed the buttons on the Beatrix top mentioned in my last post.  That floral knit did, indeed, become the skirt of a dress.  The sleeveless Jade top earned me an instagram shout-out by Rae Hoekstra, herself.  I wore a new Cleo skirt today.  And I sewed up a muslin for Rose shorts, and then I made a pattern alteration and sewed up a new muslin. 

And I also stress-ordered some more fabric, and I printed the Gemma pattern, and in my brain it makes total sense for me to be making so many things, but in reality it probably is a misplaced coping mechanism.  Certainly it would be better for me to be doing things like mopping the kitchen floor or cleaning the toilets during naptime, but often I go into my work-room and close the door and do a little bit of puttering and a little bit of prep-work and then a little bit of going down the internet black hole and sometimes closing my eyes and often wishing that the quiet could last just a little bit longer when the natives awake and get restless again.

I'm glad that sweet hubby is finally planning to return.  I'm nervous about how much more work it will be for me to help him re-integrate himself into family life after nearly three months away.  I'm nervous about all the outbursts and tantrums and testing that the kids will do when he finally arrives.  I'm nervous about perceived judgment for all of the "systems" I've been putting into place and "rules" that have grown through my time with just the kids in the house.  I'm nervous about the adjustments that will need to be made to food-procurement to feed another grown-up, with a new-to-me set of food restrictions.  I'm looking forward to having him back, but also feeling very emotional about it, too, in ways I wasn't expecting.

Oh, Corona, you have brought SO MUCH that was unexpected into our lives. Could you please just go away now?

Saturday, May 2, 2020

Life in the time of Corona, part 3

Sweet hubby is still away.
His mom is still alive, but also still declining.  There is no way to gauge how much longer she will be alive.  There is no real way to understand whether her prognosis is different because of Covid-19 closing all of the clinics or whether her cancer was so advanced by the time they found it that it is a small mercy she is not also trying to undergo invasive treatment for a losing battle.
I miss him.

The kids miss him.

His CAT misses him.

The chickens probably miss him, too.  I'm sure they would at least appreciate having a clean coop again, but that is something that is just a little bit too far out of my wheelhouse right now.

Nearly two weeks ago, my parents and I decided it was time to join each other's "social distancing" bubbles.  IT WAS THE BEST CHOICE.  It is so, so, so nice to be able to spend time with them in person.  It is SO NICE to let them watch the kids play outside while I cook supper. It is WINNING to have my dad along for bike rides (during which I jog).  IT IS LIFE ALTERING in all the best ways.

No lie, it is still a struggle to try to keep up with "eLearning" and three small children all at once.  But it is so, so, so nice to have a tiny bit of extra help.

Sometimes I'm still sewing, but mostly I'm not.  The girls have decided that bedtime is the best time to get silly and giggle and then get loud....and while I want them to have this beautiful, close relationship, I want them to SLEEP at bedtime.  So Peanut has been moving into my work-room, almost every night, and by the time I'm certain that Miss Middle and Peanut will both be asleep to move the Peanut back into her own bed, it's almost always too late for me to want to start working. 

I don't think I've had a single "finish" since the last time I wrote, but I did tackle most of the mending pile, including this pair of girls' leggings:

Other items mended were more leggings, adding new snaps to a bubble for "the baby," sewing up the corner of a fitted sheet, and repairing some small holes in a shirt of mine.  One repair that will definitely have to wait until later: fixing the overstretched elastic in a fitted sheet.  1/4" elastic is nearly impossible to find, at the moment, and I can live without that set of sheets for a little while longer. 

Nearly finished are a "Beatrix" top (waiting for buttons to arrive and buttonholes to be added) and a sleeveless "Jade" top, both by Rae Hoekstra.  Coming soon, I will decided whether a black-with-pink-floral becomes a top or a skirt and get that done.  I'm hopeful that I will start work on a couple of pairs of "Rose" shorts, too.  

Do you know of another pattern designer that I should be following?  I love the ease of following the instructions and tutorials that Rae has put on her blog, and over the many years that I've been reading and following along, my skills and confidence as a maker have both grown.  

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Life in the time of Corona, part 2

It's April 15. 

The airline sweet hubby will fly home on is not offering international flights until May.

He left home on March 13.

That's a pretty long time to be apart.

It will be followed by a two week quarantine, almost certainly, unless he's (or we've?) already had the Covid-19 before he returns.

I miss my parents and my brother and sister.
I miss my friends.
I miss having my kids at school most days.
I miss being able to take five minutes to regroup when my kids are driving me nuts.
I miss sharing the cooking and cleaning with another adult.
I miss walking through the grocery store and target and all the other stores, too.
I miss so many things.

My circle group through church met on Zoom tonight and we talked about what we've lost, what we've kept, and what we've gained. 

I've gained trust in my kids' abilities.
I've gained confidence in my own abilities.
I've gained deeper relationships with my kids.

It's still hard, though.

Sometimes, in the evenings, I am still creating....but not a lot. Mostly just working on increasing the number of made-by-rae Isla dresses I have in my closet.  Because maybe I need one for every day of the week? (So far I'm up to four, one of which was from the fall, and debating whether the fabric I had designated for shirts for me and the girls would be better used as another Isla dress...)

Also, I made masks for the four of us in the house....but we mostly don't go anywhere, except for walks/bike rides in our neighborhood, so have no real reason to wear them.