Getting back to normal

Yikes, it’s been a while since I posted, and a lot has happened. Well, for one, we came home. Wheee!

Let’s see, the last post was taken on a Saturday, and power came back on late Monday night, so we went home on Tuesday the 7th. All told, we were away from home for 11 days, and boy was our fridge gross. We’d thrown out all of the food the previous Friday when George and Miles and I went to check things out, so it could have been worse, for sure.

Gas was still hard to come by when we got home, as were groceries. Even now, two weeks after coming home, stores aren’t fully stocked. But it’s getting better.

We had to get a tree removed, and while we had a crew, we also had them prune some of our other trees. I was sad to see the tree go – though I’m hoping that the increased sunlight in the yard will mean my new plants from when we had the yard redone last spring will start thriving.

Just a stump.

It’s sad to look out of the upstairs bathroom window and not see the tree, though.

I’ve also been sewing a bit more. I made a new cardigan for myself and a skirt for Terry for her birthday.

I’ve also been baking a bunch. I found this no-knead recipe that is so easy, it seems silly not to make bread every day. Well, last night it was pizza. We also made flour tortillas the other night because, why not?

Ziggy is still cute.

Oliver has eaten avocados.

The boys still haven’t gone back to school in person yet – this week has been virtual. In theory they’ll go back to campus next week. (Mold issues, not COVID.) And soccer was supposed to start last week, but we’re waiting on that too. Hopefully soon!

So yeah. That’s about it for now. Yay for fall!

13.75 years old, Evacuation edition

I wonder how many monthly pics we’ve done while evacuated? It’s not the first monthly pic we’ve done away from home, but it’s usually because we’re on the fun kind of vacation.

Still don’t have power yet, but Miles and George and I went to the house the other day and everything looks fine. We cleaned out the fridge and the yard so now it’s just a waiting game. Some of our neighbhorhood has power, and they say Wednesday so we’ll see!

Is this Schitt’s Creek or is it life?

Because suddenly I find myself living indefinitely with my family in two hotel rooms, squabbling siblings included.

The 'Schitt's Creek' Motel Is For Sale: Photos of the Real Rosebud!

Okay, fine, we’re really staying in a Courtyard by Marriott on the outer edge of Houston and we’re probably heading back to Louisiana soon.

16 years ago I was blogging about our evacuation from Katrina, so I figured I should probably blog about this.

We booked hotel rooms on Thursday but for Sunday and Monday nights, reasoning that we could cancel them if we needed to. Well, we didn’t need to, but we did need to tack on Saturday night. Good thing, because if we hadn’t left Saturday we couldn’t have.

We packed up the car with a few changes of clothes (you’d think I’d have learned from Katrina?) and the boys and Ziggy. After 11 hours of winding back roads, torrential rain, horrific traffic, and a lot of snacks, we made it to our hotel. (Normally it would be 6 hours.)

Yesterday a friend went by our house and checked for any possible damage. The news was good! A few ridge caps from our roof are missing, the shed fell over, and the top half of a tree came down. We won’t know until we are able to get back in if we have any water damage or something else, but fingers crossed everything inside is okay.

We will stay at my mom’s for a while – we have no idea when power will be restored to the city. But Baton Rouge isn’t in great shape either, which is why we’re staying in Houston as long as we can afford to.

So yeah, that’s where we’re at. At least this time we don’t have to re-plan a wedding!

(More random evacuation photos.)

First day of 8th grade!

That is the sound of silence. Yes, it’s very quiet in the house now. Gloriously so, in fact. The boys went back to school today! I mean, who knows for how long. So I am going to enjoy the peace and quiet while it lasts.

And with masks, since that’s what they’ll actually look like for most of the day:

and waiting for the bus:

And just for funsies, the first day of school ever, ten years ago yesterday, and today.

They’re a little taller now.

Last day of summer

Tomorrow the boys go back to school! I am both sad (won’t get to sleep late anymore) and anxious (duh) and excited (I like our morning routines on school days even if it does mean waking up at 6am.) Also they’re going to be in eighth grade which, I mean, what.

(Next year, high school. Let’s not think about that.)

So this is the last day of summer break. It’s been a quiet one. We didn’t do too much aside from our trip to California. Went to a few Jesters games. Ate at some restaurants in that glorious month of June when we thought things were going back to normal.

And now we live in the worst place on earth for COVID, I know too many people who have gotten it (vaccinated and not) and I am disgusted with the state of humanity in general.

I was supposed to go to Las Vegas at the end of the month with friends to see Morrissey.

Obviously that’s not happening anymore.

Okay, this was supposed to be a happy post. YAY SUMMER. The good things about this summer? It rained nearly every day so I didn’t have to water my plants very often. I think I only had to pull the hose out once.

On the other hand, about a third of the plants we had put in are not at all thriving. That makes me sad. But I’m going to try not to stress about it.

We got to see old friends, that was fantastic.

What else did we do this summer? I cut my hair. Ziggy remained cute. Oliver and I put together a puzzle. We visited Grandee and Larry. I begrudgingly made more masks. Stocked up on COVID tests. Sewed shades for my office. Kept a houseplant alive.

So, that’s it, summer of 2021.

One hundred and sixty-four months

Well that’s not gonna happen.

It’s that time of year when I panic that their birthday is coming up. It’s okay, though. I can handle 14. It’s fine. It’s fine.

We went to California and here is a post about it

The boys and I went to California last week to visit my brother and sister-in-law and niece, and I will never be able to spell “niece” right the first time.

It was a tough decision to go, after we found out that Molly’s services were being held while we’d be away. She was never far from our mind during the trip, especially on Monday.

We arrived Wednesday evening, and were pretty exhausted, so we had some pizza and went to bed. I slept terribly that night, for some reason (oh right because I’m old and have insomnia) but fortunately, we didn’t have a ton planned for Thursday. Ellie and I went for a walk, where we did a little light celebrity stalking. Later, we went swimming in the neighbor’s pool and hit up Target for supplies because Friday we…

went to Disneyland! We got up super early and were on the road a bit after 6 so we could arrive around 7. In the cars on the way there (I was in the girl car with Jennifer and Ellie, and the boys rode with Uncle Evan) we all were on our phones at exactly 6:59:59 to get reservations (or whatever they call it) for the new Star Wars ride. I managed to get them for us, yay!

We spent the entire day at the park. This should really be its own post. We rode a bunch of rides (the Rise of the Resistance was completely worth the stress of getting on it, and we didn’t have to wait in any line at all, which was nice) and walked a zillion steps and had dinner at a Tiki restaurant (so good) and my feet are still disgustingly blistered, but it was worth it.

Oh, and Linus is now obsessed with Dole Whip. Hard to blame him, it was delicious!

Saturday we mostly rested, except we went and got some famous Italian sandwiches from a place down the road for lunch. In the evening, Evan and I took the boys to a LAFC (Los Angeles Football Club) game. It was fun. The food was good. I got a jacket which will come in handy during football season here (they have the same colors as the Saints) and the boys got jerseys and as usual when we go to pro soccer games, the score ended us 2-2.

(I guess we have a streak of draws too.) (When we got home, we watched Season 2, Episode 1 of Ted Lasso.)

Sunday, the kids and I went to visit my friend Robyn who used to work at Automattic, and I made a new best friend who is three years old. We had delicious ice cream after hanging out at her house and eating pizza.

Maybe my favorite picture from the entire trip. My heart was in a puddle here.

Monday was the day of Molly’s service, and I still needed to take the boys to the beach, so we stopped for some flowers on the way and made a little tribute to her at the beach. Now, she probably preferred a more tropical beach, but I like to think she would have appreciated it, even if it was cloudy and the temperature was hovering around 68 degrees.

The boys filled their bathing suits with sand and Miles swallowed half of the Pacific Ocean, so we left after a couple of hours before heading back to Evan and Jennifer’s to relax and pack. (Boo!) A few of us went to the Huntington for a sunset stroll, which was stunning, but also, my feet were still killing me. So kind of painful too.

We came home yesterday after a long day of travel to a heat index of 105 after a week of 70s, but Daddy and Ziggy were very happy to see us!

June so far

Not that there’s a lot to say. But I guess we’ve done some things, now that everyone is vaccinated and life seems to be returning somewhat to normal.

Plus I got a new iPhone so my pictures are better now. 😀

We’ve been to a couple of Jesters games…

We went out to eat! At a restaurant! Though now that I think about it, we sat outside so I guess it wasn’t that notable. But it was really nice. And we sat outside the pub after and played with a tiny puppy.

I donated blood and got a cool t-shirt. Ziggy remains adorable. It’s rained a lot.

I made beignets and we went to the pub for Father’s Day.

So yeah, it’s been a quiet month so far.

Next month will be more eventful. The boys and I are going to Los Angeles to visit my brother and his family and we’re going to an LAFC game and Disneyland and I’ll finally get to meet my friend Robyn’s daughter and see my brother’s new house. Very exciting.

Science: An Update

So you might remember that back in February, the boys began their participation in a vaccine trial for the Moderna COVID vaccine for 12-17 year olds.

And then, remember how last month, Pfizer beat Moderna to market for that age group? Meanwhile all of their friends were getting vaccinated, but we were being patient. We were told the study would be getting unblinded (which means we’d find out who got the vaccine and who got the placebo) at the end of May, at which time whoever wasn’t vaccinated the first time would get it.

But then the sponsors of the Moderna study decided, nah, they were going to wait until the fall to unblind the study, which meant the boys would be starting school possibly unvaccinated.

Well, we got a call last week from one of the lovely nurses working at the clinic giving us the option of unblinding, but whoever wasn’t vaccinated would have to leave the study. (And I’d march them right to CVS to get Pfizer.)

Not ideal (I mean, what about science, but also, what about a kid or two being mad that they weren’t going to make all the money that the other(s) would get? Because if they were vaccinated, they could stay in the study.

We got an appointment today for their unblinding. Our theory after the first shot was that Oliver and Linus got the vaccine, and Miles did not, because Oliver and Linus were fatigued and feverish afterwards and Miles was fine. But then that theory kind of blew up when, after the second shot, only Miles was fatigued. So I really had no idea going into it.

{In the study, 2/3 of participants got the vaccine, 1/3 got the placebo. So it was natural to assume our three would fall into those proportions.}

In the appointment today (boy I really am dragging this out, huh?) they had to have physicals and blood draws and COVID tests (the usual) and I had to fill out the consent forms since the study had changed (re: the unblinding) and blah blah blah finally after about an hour, the doctor was able to go get the results.

I was sitting in my usual chair in the exam room when I heard the doctor say as he walked down the hall towards us, “I can’t believe it. They all got it.”

He walked in the room and confirmed it. And then this was me:

The doctor was as shocked as any of us, he said he’s never seen anything like it.

So yeah, the boys have all been fully vaccinated since mid-April!

Bring on summer soccer! And yay science!!!