Unsettled

I’ve talked about this a bit amongst my friends and family. But I’m just going to put it out there officially: I DON’T LIKE IT HERE. Everyone I come across seems to have moved here from somewhere else in the country, or every from other countries. And everyone tells me “oh, you’re going to love it here!” Ok, why? Why does everyone love it here? Traffic is absolutely atrocious, day and night. If you such as need to run to the store for 1 or 2 forgotten items, it takes at least 45 minutes. It’s urban, but things are spaced so far apart, with a thick strip of trees between everything to make it appear more rural. All the roads are twisty, making it also take longer to get from one place to another. There’s no direct route for anything. People are nice most of the time in public, but no one seems to want to create a real friendship. (I know some of the is the pandemic, I don’t need reminded).

I used to think living in a bigger town/city would be more convenient. With more things to do and a bigger variety of people to meet and befriend. More career opportunities and a better overall environment. I was completely wrong. It’s simply not for me. I want a smaller town. Where businesses are all within a couple miles of each other, and you can go for pleasant walks in your own neighborhood without cars flying past at 60mph. I want familiar faces instead of a constantly changing sea of strangers. I want a bank and doctors office that greets you, knowing who you are instead of treating you like “just another person.”

I never in my life thought I’d say it, but I miss Newton. Maybe not Newton specifically, but the culture. The small town, familiar faces, some people know your name, safe, comfortable culture of a smaller town. It’s the kind of place I want to raise Felix. Not the city.

I can’t say I regret coming here to the Raleigh area. I have learned a lot, mostly about myself. It’s something I should have learned earlier in life. But now that I know, I want to find a smaller town to go plant roots. Maybe Iowa, maybe not. Wherever the wind blows Jarrod and me. I love exploring, but I look forward to finding a place that we don’t want to move away from.

Beach Day

This happened on May 24, 2020.

North Carolina has many things to do that Iowa does not.  One of those things (and likely my favorite), is BEACHES!!  I adore trips to the ocean.  Since we had been through weeks, or even months of planning, and a long, stressful move, Jarrod and I decided to treat ourselves and the family to a trip to the beach for some fun before resuming normal life.  It just so happened to be Memorial Day weekend, which we weren’t trying to celebrate necessarily.  But we went anyway (except Evan, who decided not to join us).

It is a 2-hour drive from our home to get to the closest beaches.  We drove straight there and found a decent parking spot after a bit of driving around looking. We spent about 3 hours in the water. The beach flag was red, so the water was pretty rough. But we all had a blast! It was exactly what we needed.

Also, this was Felix’s first trip to the ocean. Lots of pictures, but I’ll share only a couple here.

Quarantine

I feel like its been forever since I’ve published a blog post.  So much has happened in the last couple weeks since I wrote about Felix’s amazing progress.  Not so much just in our home, but in the world.  And since this is a blog written mostly for me and my family to look back on, I’m going to state facts and opinions that most everyone has already either said, read, or heard otherwise.  So sorry if I seem like a broken record with this one…

The world is sick. A new strain of corona virus, called COVID-19, has made the jump from animals to human, and over the course of the last several months it has spread to over a million confirmed human cases so far. I say confirmed, because testing is strictly limited, and unless it’s an extreme illness or a high risk situation, you can’t get tested. The first case was in Wuhan, China. It spread across Asia and Europe, Australia and the United States. It’s almost everywhere now. Italy, Spain, and China have been the hardest hit so far, but USA is closely rising to the top of that list. USA has the most confirmed cases, but not as many deaths yet.  COVID-19 attacks the lungs. Most people that end up hospitalized need to be on a ventilator to recover. It typically attacks those who immunocompromised, have a heart or pre-existing lung condition, or are older than 60.

People have been given orders across the states to stay in their homes, and only go out to get essentials for survival like groceries. Social distancing has been a requirement, where everyone is supposed to stay at least 6 feet away from each other in public. All private gatherings are supposed to be limited to 10 people or less. All church services, concerts, festivals, and even many businesses have been closed, cancelled and/or postponed. Restaurants, theaters, playgrounds, bars, salons, gyms and casinos are all closed. Restaurants are allowed only to do delivery and carry out. Schools were closed until April 13th, and now that’s been extended until April 30th, though it is expected school will not resume until fall.  just yesterday the CDC announced that everyone should wear masks in public, to prevent the spread of the disease even from the asymptomatic.

Early on, before it got real bad here, people went out and bought all the cleaning supplies and toilet paper. It has been difficult, even weeks later, to find toilet paper and diapers.

Over a normal 2-week period in the United States there are about half a million unemployment claims. In the last 2 weeks there have been over 10 million claims. The stock market is crashing. The government is attempting to help the American workers and small businesses by sending out relief checks for $1200 per individual and $500 per child, also stimulus for small businesses. But the future is looking very grim right now. Medical supplies are running critically short and the cases are just now ramping up. The country’s top infectious disease specialist says he expects around 240,000 US deaths by the time we’re done. This is where we are today (3 APRIL 2020):

At first I thought people were being ridiculous with all the closures and whatnot. Now I take it a lot more seriously. My mom is diabetic and has a heart condition, Jarrod’s mom has a heart condition, my best friend has a lung condition…. this virus has the potential to really rock our lives. So I’m doing everything I can to be as safe as possible. Perhaps I’ve even gone a bit overboard… time will tell.

Jarrod is frustrated because he’d rather stay home and be safe, but his employer (a restaurant) refuses to close despite their restrictions and slow business. I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before our state closes everything down and has us Shelter In Place like many other states already have.

Having to stay home and not be able to go anywhere or do anything at all (except grocery runs and walks in the neighborhood) has definitely been hard to adjust to. I think most people expected this to pass quickly, but the fact is, it will go on for many more months. All we can all do is take this one day at a time, and do all our best to stay safe and make the best of our quarantine.

Amazing Progress

In the last four weeks a lot has happened with Felix. Just four weeks ago, he wasn’t even trying to get himself around. He would scoot a little bit, maybe roll here and there, but that’s it. Then, he started doing the army crawl, where he was pulling himself around by his forearms. For the past couple weeks he’s been full-on crawling on his hands and knees!

For the past 3-4 days he has been pulling himself up into a stand both in his crib in the mornings and during play times in the playroom. Also at that time he started babbling at last! He’s become very focused on the exersaucer and all the things he can do with the different toys. He’s working hard on making his hands work.

And today he took a couple of self-assisted steps! This boy is taking off in development all at once. Jarrod and I are so very proud of him!

SAHM Life

The life of [this] SAHM: take care of baby. Clean. Attempt (and fail) to maintain order with the teens, clean some more, take care of baby, cook, clean, take care of baby, pass out before cleaning is done (because baby doesn’t nap), repeat, daily.

Do I want to spend time with my husband? Sure… we sleep next to each other. Does that count?

Do I want to watch a TV show or movie? Sure… I read captions when I’m able to look up at the TV, and half listen to the rest through crying, talking, loud toys, gaming, and YouTube videos on cell phones.

Do I want to have a relaxing shower? Yeah… I get 5 minutes while the baby plays on the floor or while my husband is getting ready for work in the morning. Or in the middle of the night if I want to sacrifice sleep.

Do I want to eat a meal? Well yeah… I quickly shovel in whatever is baby safe for sharing while the baby is also eating, or while he’s playing or asleep for the night.

Do I want to have a date night? Hell yes…. perhaps when the baby is old enough to have a sleepover with a school friend (in years).

This is my station in life.

Some days I wonder where I am in all of this. When do I get to fulfill some dreams or do what I want? But… I adore my family. I love my husband. I love my kids. And I wouldn’t trade them for the world.