Family Friday (vol. 118): Ho, Ho, Home

I never come up with clever post titles for these Family Friday posts – go, me! I so appreciate (yet, am baffled) that these posts remain the most popular on my blog. Do you people even like food? 🙂 I feel guilt, shame, and embarrassment over my Family Friday posts of boring life updates, parenting missteps, and generalized whining at…fill in the blank. You guys are the best. You GET me.

Life updates include: the kindergartener’s school being deemed an outbreak school. She will be out of school from December 3rd until January 4th, at a minimum. Cue working parent FREAK OUT. And here I was beginning to research what the heck our options are for summer coverage. One step at a time here, mom. My awesome in-laws took Shea to Illinois for remote learning Monday through Thursday of this week. All went well and that was a HUGE help to us. I had an intern in our department this week, so not being there was a non-option, in addition to patients, meetings, WORK. As for next week, our afterschool nanny is picking up some hours and I’ll be heading into work in the afternoons after overseeing remote learning in the mornings, which is where the bulk of the learning happens. The afternoons are a bit more fluffy and end by 2ish. Part of me is freaking out about all of this, but the rational brain has fully kicked in. Some families have been doing this since MARCH…plus, there is absolutely, positively nothing I can do about it. So, just let it go, Nicole. It is…what it is. 

Meanwhile, Piper kind of loved being the only child for a few days. The absence of “Mama Shea” was felt, however. Piper, dear child, is a total wild woman. I woke up one morning, thinking she was still in bed, only to find her jumping on the couch with the TV playing Christmas music. The child cannot follow simple directions to save her life and needs a regulator…Shea! 🙂 Truly, though, Piper listens to Shea really, really well. Both fully embrace the big sister/little sister roles through and through. Lucky us! That said, we did take this week as an opportunity to teach Piper about when she can and cannot get out of bed. She has a digital clock in her room and the hours digit(s) are closest to the door of her room, so she has been informed that when there’s a ‘7’ closest to her door, she can get up. So far, it has worked most mornings! But sometimes, she likes to go jump on the couch and make a stab at technology usage. We’ll keep working on it.

Piper has also deepened in her fondness for Gabe, a cute little guy in her class at Montessori. After WEEKS of hearing about Gabe and Piper prancing around in her “marry dress” (wedding dress, i.e. a lacy while dress), I finally asked Piper’s teacher if Gabe is as fond of Piper as she is of him. The answer was a resounding YES! One morning when Piper was up before 7am (sigh), she found the clutch I carried on my wedding day. She hasn’t stopped asking about it. My child who was once upon a time a total bruiser, is not any longer! She’s obsessed with weddings and I do believe she’ll be that bride with the 6 digit wedding!

Gina and I recorded our second annual holiday beer & cookie taste test this week. The beers were a bit of a flop, but this Ginger Cranberry Whiskey Cocktail was SO good, and I was a big fan of Gina’s cocktail: 1 part tequila to 3-4 parts kombucha. I used a Pumpkin-Chai kombucha and man, it was soooo tasty! You know, in case you’re looking for something fun to drink over the holidays!

Gina and I are also interviewing a sex therapist on the podcast – recording this weekend and airing in January. Lots of good content here lately, it has been fun. Thanks for listening along and dropping those iTunes reviews! Hard to believe we’re coming up on 2 years of recording! And to think it took us 6 months just to figure out how to record from separate locations…we’ve come so far! 🙂 

And the blog, 11 1/2 years old. Old lady.

I’ve ramped up my workouts — hockey slots have gone from 60 minutes to 90, and I’ve challenged myself with 2 bike bootcamp workouts on the Peloton each week. I need to squeeze one in this weekend so I don’t fall behind, but the deadlifts from Tuesday have my calves in a state of disarray. They’re a bit better today, but MAN. I didn’t realize how much deadlifts can get’cha after a stretch without. I’m also challenging myself with a friend to complete the following workout this weekend: 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 rep rounds of burpees, pushups, and sit-ups. Just trying to spice up the workouts!

I’ve committed to playing in an outdoor pond hockey tournament over Valentine’s Day weekend. Between the outdoor nature of the event, coupled with a vaccine roll-out, I’m feeling hopeful. The event is in the upper peninsula of Michigan and I’m seriously starting to plan how to stay warm enough.

Speaking of a vaccine, my health system is one of the 5 in the state of Michigan to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. It sounds like inoculation will begin the week after next, perhaps. Is the end of this nightmare in sight?! If you’re curious, the vaccine will not currently be mandatory in our large health system, however I am very much in line to receive it. Word on the credible health care street is that vaccination will be available to the general public by spring.

Perhaps, maybe, a 3rd vacation will not be canceled. Not holding my breath just yet, but hoping for a week+ in April.

Winter here in Michigan has not totally sucked just yet. In fact, yesterday was in the 50’s and sunny as could be! It was a pretty day to take a drive to go pick-up Sheabug. We’ll see what the rest of winter bring, but nothing truly frigid in sight. Kind of weird.

However, quite thankful for that. We’re trying to figure out what the holidays look like this year. We’ve declined the larger extended family get-together, an annual tradition. I’ve put the plug in to hold our family gathering in the summer instead. That said, I am hoping to at least SEE my parents, brother, girlfriend, and niece who live about 90 minutes away in Chicago. I believe the tentative plan is to set up socially distanced card tables and chairs in our garage, door open, and plug in space heaters while bundled up so that we can enjoy homemade cinnamon rolls (tradition) and gift opening in a safe-ish way. It will be a drive-by visit, but hey, it’s better than nothing! Oh, 2020…

Need a break from holiday jams? Check out Kygo Radio on Pandora. Loving it.

Want a book rec? Evvie Drake Starts Over – easy read, palate cleanser. The Hate U Give – a thought-provoking read. I’m currently reading The Alice Network and like most historical fiction, I’m enjoying it, even if it’s a bit less mindless.

On deck this weekend? Haha. Nothing, of course. No, I take that back. Gift wrapping and holiday baking!

Be well,

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