Well, we made it.
This was the one year that my fingers itched to write a blog post outside of the month of November. But I held fast to tradition – and waited – so here you have it: 30 posts in 30 days.
This sh*tshow known as 2020 has taken its toll on everyone. As I share our ‘pandemic life’ and what the last 8 months have been like, please know that I am very thankful that our lives have more or less stayed pretty close to “normal”. I know others have not been as lucky, as the economy took a nose dive and essential workers had no choice but to leave the house every day, possibly risking their lives (and their family’s lives). I share my stories (and complaining!) with the understanding that we have been very fortunate. But come on, you can’t make this sh*t up!
Let’s kick of the month like we always do with a recap of the year thus far:
January. Did January even happen? If I could go back and talk to January KK, I likely would say something like this: “I know it’s cold, girlfriend, but get your ass out and DO something. GO somewhere. Take your time walking the aisles at Target. Remember how good you felt the day after your hair appointment. Savor that restaurant meal. Find extra time to be alone…TRUST ME.”
February. In what can only be described as pure luck, Mr. KK and I flew down to Charleston for a long weekend getaway with friends. It was a last-minute trip with expiring air miles, but so, so much fun. Great food, great drinks and great weather. And THANK GOD we went. (I seem to remember purchasing anit-bacterial wipes in the airport to wipe down the seats and tray tables on the plane because maybe I had heard inklings about something going on in China?)
March. The beginning of the madness. We started the month with our Little Mister having his first stomach bug. (Want to know an easy way to clean vomit out of every crevasse in your backseat of your car, carseat and floor mats? Yeah, me too.) The end of the second week was the beginning of the end (as we knew it).
Suddenly we found ourselves all home, all day. I have always worked from home, but now Mr. KK was a remote worker, so we set up a make shift desk for him in the kitchen. While the Little Mister’s daycare didn’t close, we chose to not send him. We quarantined away from our parents (and in doing so, our babysitters!). Those first weeks were filled with uncertainty: How long will this last? Will our family get sick? Is 2pm too early to start drinking?
I had always said that March was the longest month, but 2020 gave new meaning to that phrase.
April. If March was the longest month, April felt like an eternity. We were deep in isolation, not leaving the house for anything. The weather was getting better, but it still wasn’t warm enough to really spend time outside. I hadn’t gone to the grocery store since mid March (a favorite activity of mine), and was relying on grocery delivery services. There was a paper towel and toilet paper shortage. It was hard to find the usual items we liked from the stores. Grocery store shelves were bare. It felt like Armageddon. I celebrated my birthday in quarantine, on a family video call, with a cake delivered to our garage by my mother-in-law.
May. I had to cancel our trip to Mexico at an adults only resort, celebrating our 15 year anniversary. I mean, COME ON, 2020. (But we did get all of our money back, thankfully.)
June. I lost my grandmother early in the month. She was 99, and had lived alone until February of this year, when she moved into a nursing home. Her health started to decline and she slept a lot. Some days she’d have moments when she would wake up feisty as ever, and others she was talking to people in her room who had been dead for decades. When the pandemic hit in March, visitors were no longer allowed to see her. Thankfully my aunt – my grandmother’s daughter – worked at the facility so she was able to visit with her and give us reports. On days when my grandmother was lucid, did she wonder where we were? And why we stopped visiting her? It was heartbreaking to think about, and deep down I knew that I would never see her alive again. Then, in June, she passed away. While her health had been failing, she did have to go on oxygen. And her posthumous COVID test was positive.
July. Oh, July was fun. I got Lyme from a tick bite. I couldn’t go in the sun for weeks with the antibiotics I was taking. So on top of not being able to go anywhere or do anything because of the pandemic, I couldn’t even do the only thing we were able to do in isolation: be outside at our parents’ pools.
In better news, we added to our family! When things are crazy, why not get a pandemic puppy! Meet Bruno! He is slowly finding his place in our family, and Rocco is (even more slowly) starting to accept that he’s not going anywhere. Our “doxie mix” puppy is 24 pounds at 6 months! He’s like a small horse.
August. Happy 15th Anniversary to Mr. KK! We didn’t get to go to Mexico, but we did get to enjoy lobster rolls outside in the rain (even if we were wearing masks and I was nervous the whole time). Also? We cancelled our big family vacation to Maine with our parents. Hey, that just means more time at home! Awesome.
September. Oh hooray, school. Let’s add some more difficult decisions into this year. In school. Remote. Hybrid. I was exhausted from the school year before it even started. What a way to start kindergarten. This was supposed to be a year of making friends, learning to share, and getting your feet wet with what this whole school thing was about. We chose to do remote learning with our Little Mister, because we had the ability to do so. We set up a little classroom at his grandmother’s house and we alternate sitting with him each day. Having this remote learning opportunity has taught me two things: 1. I could never, ever be a teacher. Ever. 2. It is amazing to witness your child learning. Not just having them come home and tell you what they did (though getting that info is like pulling teeth), but instead, watching their faces as the teacher is talking and actually seeing it “click”. Pretty amazing.
October. When this pandemic started, I didn’t think Little Mister would be celebrating his birthday in isolation. But here we were in October, trying to make the most of it! No kids, no blowing out candles, no bounce house. But we made it as fun as possible with a jungle theme and animal masks. These kids are troopers.
November. I’m not quite sure what the rest of the year holds, especially as COVID cases continue to rise. One thing I can promise for November is 30 days of posts!
I have been extra vigilant throughout this entire year, so much so that Mr. KK thinks I’m a little crazy. But, every choice was made for a reason. Remote school so Little Mister can spend time with his grandparents (and have someone watch him after school so Mom and Dad could get some work done). The hope of celebrating Thanksgiving together (admittedly, it’s going to be a little too cold to force the family to each turkey on the patio…)
This year forced us to spend a LOT of quality family time together. We spent time with Little Mister (and each other) that we would normally not have gotten. We appreciated the simplicity of weekends where we had nothing to do, weren’t rushing around or on a timetable. We picked one thing to do each day and enjoy, instead of cramming 5 things in and not having as much fun as we thought we would.
I will say, the hardest part of the pandemic was not explaining to Little Mister what was going on and why we needed to stay home, but instead, was trying to get our elder generation to STAY HOME.
We are all looking forward to when this “yucky virus” (as Little Mister calls it) goes away. But until then, we’ll enjoy the family time and appreciating the little things that might normally go unnoticed.