Warrior Dresses

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I’m not trying to be a fashion blog. You’d think I was with all these pictures of dresses lately. It’s just that we were supposed to go to a wedding in New York this past March but it got rescheduled to this summer (hopefully) due to COVID 19 and the girls have been itching to wear their fancy dresses. So when we decided to finally go visit my parents in the desert this last Wednesday, I offered to let them wear their dresses in exchange for a fun photoshoot. I thought they would pass, in favor of endless days of Minecraft but they actually jumped at the idea. I was so happy.

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No, I didn’t let them wear their dresses all day while we hung out with my parents. That would be silly. They wore proper attire of cut-offs and doc martins of course. It was just a quick little trip to the nearby hills in their fancy dresses. They did get their tulle petticoats full of foxtails. It was a bear to pull them all out one by one but to me, it was worth it. I love playing dress-up with little girls and taking photos. It’s my favorite thing to do!

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For kicks, the girls borrowed Payam’s new bow and arrow because there are not sissies in fussy dresses. They are warriors in fancy dresses with combat boots on under all that tulle!

Why does Payam have a bow and arrow you might wonder? It’s a product of our apocalyptic end-of-the-world thinking…We both have been guilty of crazy late-night amazon purchases to while away this quarantine madness (mental illness alert) and while I end up with bags of dirt and gardening pots showing up in boxes… he ends up with a bow and arrow. To each their own. It’s funny what GIANT AIR QUOTE these uncertain times END GIANT AIR QUOTE have done to each of us. You never know, you might have to learn how to grow your own food or shoot it with an arrow! I jest. But I’m sure everyone is going through something similar.

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It was such a breath of fresh air to go out to the desert to visit my parents. It felt like a vacation. Not only were all the wildflowers popping, but it was also just so nice to see people again! I’m still feeling really uncertain and scared every time we add someone new to the mix though. I don’t even know where I draw the line anymore. The girls have asked one friend over so I do the math on that…Do I still wipe the groceries down before I put them away? Not all the time. I’ve been really lax. We wear masks but our conservative friends make fun of us. It’s just a lot of uncertainty and worrying. And Payam is having surgery on his neck next week so I’m really wound up right now. Wound up to do a lot of nothing.

I didn’t realize it was getting to me until I saw my psychiatrist this week and she asked me how I’m doing and I burst into tears. I’m actually not doing as well as I thought I was. (I prematurely decided to lower my meds when the weather turned spring-ish) and now I’m paying the piper. It’s been days of feeling like a pressing impending doom is weighing on my chest and I have no motivation to do any of my usual creative outlets. So not me. And then I start giving myself guilt trips for suffering a priviledged white girl disease and it just gets worse and worse until I’m laying down in the middle of the day trying to sleep the day away.

So it’s a good thing I saw my doctor. But enough about me. I will get better. I always do. I am kick-ass at getting better.

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The girls are great. We have two teenagers in the house now that June turned 13. I was so worried it would be a bummer birthday because she refused to make plans and turned down all of my ideas. I got a big no on the birthday parade idea. :(

In the end, Joon was the wise one because we had Payam’s mom and uncle over and she requested sushi (such a treat!) and it was the perfect way to spend a birthday. Then the girls made a giant snickerdoodle cookie and Payam scooped a mountain of ice cream on top of it, stuck a candle in it and we sang like it was a proper birthday cake. I put out zero effort. Who knew! Birthday parties can actually happen where I don’t do anything?!!! Cah-Razy.

Obviously it’s the end of the world.

Just kidding.

Each Covid-ing in Their Own Way

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Here we are at forty-something days into social distancing and doing pretty much the same. (I am better from my stupid cold from hell though!) I feel bad posting photos of us doing well and enjoying the nice spring weather when so many others are cooped up indoors and doing badly.  Things could be so so so much worse. But I thought I should check in anyway with a catch-up for my own documenting posterity.

The weather has been extremely nice. Spring is here with a flourish. Flowers are exploding and birds are going bananas. I’m just waiting for the other foot to fall and the bugs start coming out. So far, so good.

I’ve taken to walking the dogs in the early morning and chatting with my dad through our earbuds. We both have been remarking at how much we notice the bird sounds that we can hear from each other’s ambient sound. Earbuds are amazing. That’s one thing that this pandemic has really helped. We are all learning new ways to stay in touch with new technology and it is awesome.

My dad has discovered Zoom and is the new self-designated AV guy for his church, bringing God’s word to all the shut-ins (of which there are many, naturally). It’s just as awesome as it sounds. I think he’s found his calling.

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The girls are managing through long-distance learning with ease. Again, we are stupidly lucky compared to so many and I feel guilty. (Is this a thing? That I constantly feel like I should be suffering more? I should just shut up and enjoy it but I do constantly feel guilty.) The girls are both self-motivated and get good grades without much antagonization from us.  It’s great. They are not taking advantage of all the links to extended learning that their uncles are sending them neither are they visiting virtual museums. They are not helping around the house or sewing masks for the homeless. They are becoming really good at gaming, binge-watching Netflix and occasionally baking.

To each their own.

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We are getting used to masks. I need to step up my sewing game but I am severely side-tracked because I started sewing some wide-legged trousers out of some old sheets. The project is going very slowly and I am hating it. I have never followed a pattern before (outside of that one dress in home-ec in 7th grade) so I thought I’d take this time to teach myself. It’s taken a few facetime calls to my mom and I’m stuck at the bias tape stage. I should finish soon but I don’t let myself work on them during work hours so it’s slow-going.

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I’m getting really good at snail mail though. I’ve added it to my daily routine with my daily coffee.  I need more routines like a hole in my head. I spend probably half of my day doing little routines and rituals and never really getting down to work. I doodle and glue and tape and send off little messages of love to whoever wants one. I’m not sure if it brings me more joy or the recipients. Right now I’m focusing on creating art with recycled cardboard and bits. I never look at a cereal or pasta box or cardboard from a pack of sparkling seltzer water without thinking about how many postcards I can cut out of it. It’s kind of silly but fun. I mean, why not, right? Who needs to be buying chip board right now when our recycling bins are over-flowing?

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We have fallen off the Die-t wagon pretty bad. There may have been a few nights where pizza was ordered and chips and salsa were devoured. I am feeling pretty crappy about it. But I’m vowing to get back to it. It’s a marathon, right? Not a sprint. Slip-ups happen and we have to not give-up. I love making up meals ahead of time. I make big batches of lentils and coleslaw and pack them away in individual serving containers. It definitely helps with lunches and dinners when the kids just want mac and cheese or worse, take-out.

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The other night we actually barbequed outside and it felt like a field trip. I miss traveling and planning camping trips. It’s terrible that my Little Hoo Goes Camping book is coming out soon and I can’t even promote it because it just doesn’t make sense right now. But when this is over I am throwing the most fun camping-themed book party EVER!

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How long will this be the new normal? One year, two years? I miss the old normal.