While I’ve posted random misc stuff the last couple of years, it looks like I haven’t done any life updates since the summer of 2020. I would start an update and then stop because I found it too depressing. There was, of course, COVID-19 but the biggest challenge for me was our move from Washington to California. So, I’m giving up on the past, it’s not a healthy place for me to remember.
Here’s a scattering of more recent updates:
We’ve lived in our most recent house for about nine months. I’m hoping this is our last house for a couple of decades. I’m so tired of moving. We are still settling in. Every house is different and I’ve been scouring Craigslist looking for furniture that fits this house. Unfortunately, Jaeger and I together have very specific and narrow tastes so it takes a while to find furniture we both like. This house will take as much money as we’re willing to give it so I’m trying to keep my furniture budget relatively restrained.
The kids have been going to in-person school since the start of this school year. Calvin got a B in PE with a note that he talks too much with other classmates. Personally, we’re delighted to hear he talks to classmates. Overall, he seems to be much happier this year than last. Julian really likes first grade and loves math. He keeps creating math worksheets for everyone to do and doesn’t understand why we don’t find this as exciting as he does.
Julian got vaccinated for COVID-19 in December and Calvin got his booster in January so everyone is our household is currently up-to-date on all vaccinations. We also switched from cloth masks to KF-94 masks at the beginning of January. The kids had a lot of potential school exposures in January and February1 but the school was doing weekly, and sometimes twice weekly, testing and the kids never got a positive result. Starting March 12, CA will no longer require children to be masked in school but it’s still “highly recommended”. For now, we’re planning to require Julian wear a mask and strongly encourage Calvin to wear a mask at school.
We are inviting Julian’s classmates to an in-person birthday party this year at a local playground. Julian just handed out the invitations today and I have no idea if other families are ready to go to birthday parties again. Hopefully having it outside will make them a bit more comfortable with it. If not, we’ll still have pizza and cake so Julian will still probably be happy.
I think the pandemic played to my strengths more than many other people. The hardest bit was having other people constantly in the same house as me. We went to the Monterey Bay Acquarium this weekend and it had more people than I could deal with so I spent most of the time either on the outside decks or with my back pressed against the wall watching the kelp forest. It’s tempting to blame my lack of social endurance on COVID-19. However, then I think of the work party Jaeger took me to once which was so overwhelming I eventually just left and hid in a stairwell for a while. COVID-19 created an environment where I didn’t have to deal with people and while I don’t think it affected my level of social anxiety, it did allow my pretend-I’m-not-panicking skills to get very rusty.
On a completely different note, I’ve put Calvin in charge of his own clothes shopping. We’re giving him an allowance that includes enough for clothes and I set him up with a checking account and as an authorized user on a low-limit credit card. Ideally, I’d like him to have a savings account too but the interest rates are so pathetic I don’t think I could teach any real life lessons about the power of interest that way. However, I am teaching him the basic concepts of double entry bookkeeping and making him keep track of his expenses in GnuCash. We’re also having monthly money meetings together where we do things like reconcile his bank statements and make sure he’s tracking all his expenses.
My job is going well. While I miss being a public librarian, the work culture at my current place is much more family friendly than Seattle was. I’ve also been hired as a permanent remote worker so I never have to go “back” to the office.
My reading life is still sporadic. I’m still reading a lot of fluff and am very, very thankful that fluff reads exist. Sometimes that’s all the energy I have. However, I’m start to read a bit more than just fluff.
We no longer have an au pair. Now that Julian has started in-person school, and I’m working from home, I thought we could get by without additional childcare. Julian misses having someone available to play board games with him constantly but other than that it’s been going fairly well. Jaeger is enjoying working in a room that isn’t our bedroom. I’m enjoying having the second floor to myself most of the day.
Most evenings Jaeger and I watch an hour of TV with Calvin. I suppose at some point we’re going to need to start including Julian but we haven’t yet. Friday nights are movie night, usually just with Calvin but sometimes we try to start early and have a “family” movie night so we can include Julian. Most Saturdays nights we play a boardgame with Calvin. Those go way too late for Julian so sometimes we try playing slightly easier games during the day. Julian can play Catan but it’s a little long for his attention span. However, he does pretty decent at Splendor, even beating Jaeger once.
- Several weeks in a row Calvin had 4 exposure notifications. Julian’s school had so many exposures for a while that they gave up keeping track of the classrooms and just said everyone was exposed. ↩