It has been five years since I tackled a daily or weekly personal photography project! I had been trying to keep up with Flickr’s Macro Mondays weekly challenges but I got lazy or was just uninspired. The COVID-19 pandemic totally shut down my already flagging creative juices and I’ve been spending way too much time playing games on my iPad instead of feeding my soul. Dominic needed a photo and a story from his childhood for a school project in the fall and went back to one of my earlier Project 365 posts. He was so happy that I had documented so much of his childhood! Then someone else pinged me on Facebook asking about a trip I had taken to California, driving up the coast to Washington. Looking back through those images brought back so many memories. Guess what happened? I got inspired to do another P365. Granted, I’m waaaaaay far away from creating art again, but picking up my camera every day will help push me to get more creative. Posting daily was always my downfall and it’s worked best for me to post just once a week so here we go, 2021-style!
Day One, January 1st, 2021
Loads of Laundry
We stayed in for New Year’s Eve because of the pandemic but Dominic joined us at 11:45 p.m. in the living room to watch the proverbial ball drop (I think we saw a New Orleans live feed with a fleur-de-lis drop, ha!) and I woke up Anna to join us as well. So we celebrated the New Year together, just missing mom and Jenny. My big excitement for New Year’s Day was that my dryer got fixed by our new neighborhood handyman, Jack Henderson (This Old Man Handyman Services for anyone in River Chase). The dryer had started making a horrific screeching noise, so I posted on our neighborhood Facebook page for help because all of the appliance repair places were closed. Another neighbor diagnosed the issue and one Amazon order and two days later, Jack fixed the dryer. (Thanks Jack!!!) But that meant I had loads and loads of laundry to catch up on… seven to be exact. Folding the clothes on our pool table has been a brilliant move. I can sort each family member into their own column. Dominic, Anna, Curtis in the middle, then me, then mom. I put heavy stuff at the top of each column because I typically wash darks first, then shirts in the middle, then socks and undies near the bottom. I have plenty of space and then can load each member’s clothes into their own baskets for putting away. Dominic and Anna started helping with the laundry over the summer and they are both pretty good at it now. But I’m a weirdo and actually love to do laundry. I was actually happy to do 7 loads! I know, right?
Day Two, January 2nd, 2021
Grandfather’s Gift for Grandmother
I actually took this for another project, my monthly Assignment theme for the New Braunfels Photographic Society. January’s theme is “Something Old.” I submitted a different version of this and since voting is still open, I will wait to post it until next week in a standalone post.
This little figurine came home from Japan to Ohio at the end of World War II with my grandfather. My Pappy (my mother’s father) brought it home to his best girl, Butch… my grandmother, Margaret. One of the angel’s wings is chipped but it’s still a very sweet little china doll.
Day Three, January 3rd, 2021
Anna is incredibly hard to buy for since she usually obsesses on one or two things at a time. From October through New Year’s, she was all about Dak Prescott, the quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys who got injured early in the season. So for Christmas, she got Dak Prescott things… a FatHead poster for her wall, a figurine (from her brother), a calendar, 2 jerseys (one from Dominic), a phone case (from her great aunt), and a Cowboys Build-a-Bear named Dak (from her sister). Curtis, mom, and I decided to redecorate her room as her big gift this year. I re-did Dominic’s room two summers ago and he loves it. I love love love redesigning rooms and can find some really good deals out there to do it pretty inexpensively.
Anna was finally approved for SSI in November and with part of her initial payment, we replaced her old bed with a Level Sleep bed with an adjustable base. She has been having some pretty severe back pain since October and she just saw a spinal orthopedic specialist who has ordered an MRI (that appointment is pending at the time of this post). This bed is made especially for people with back pain, has a 1-year trial period, and a lifetime warranty. Sold! That was the beginning of the new room. She still had pink little girl decorations, a pink blanket, and no rug on her floor. I picked out the teal, black, and white comforter first then built the rest of the room from that. I love the polka dots and animal print. Mom got her the black and white striped curtains and there is a black shag rug on the floor. For her upcoming birthday in March, we are going to replace the furniture. Right now, she’s using 25-year old hand-me-down bedroom furniture that she inherited from my mom. I’ve got some cute modern white stuff picked out from Ikea for her birthday as well as some new lamps. Anna loves her new grown up room! Here she is all tucked in and ready to read with Lola ready for cuddles. <3
Day 4, January 4th, 2021
Prepping for 1st Day Back to School
Our school district allowed parents to choose on-campus or full remote instruction for the 2020-2021 school year. In August, we chose full remote for the first nine weeks of instruction for Dominic who is now a junior at MECHS as well as for Anna who is attending Life Bridges. Anna was bored silly being at home. Dominic loved it. We carefully watched the campus dashboards and both campuses had no positive cases of COVID-19. So in October, we decided to send Anna back to Life Bridges and keep Dominic remote. Life Bridges is housed in a small building with maybe 40 kids total. Everyone is required to wear masks and social distance. There was one COVID scare and Anna stayed home the week before and week of Thanksgiving. No one got sick. She got a sore throat right before Christmas so we kept her home that week too but again, no one came down with COVID. I was VERY impressed with how well the staff did keeping our kids safe. Dominic’s grades slipped a bit; in talking with his educational team and his psychiatrist, we felt it best that he go back in person in January. He was not thrilled with this news but graciously accepted his fate. MECHS has also done an excellent job keeping the kids safe, it’s also a smaller high school with about 225 students total. I decided to drive them to school and pick them up every day to avoid germs on the bus. Hopefully we can keep COVID out of our home.
Monday night I started prepping stuff for their first day back, getting their backpacks, lunch boxes, and masks/lanyards/filters/face shield ready. Who would’ve guessed a year ago that this would be our new normal? By the way, we love these SafeMate washable cloth masks. They come in different sizes and I cut the headstrap off the back of them. They have disposable carbon filters that go inside them. I also got lanyards so the kids can pull their masks down to eat and not have to place them on a table. The filters get tossed and the mask never re-used until laundered. I also got mask brackets that can go over the mouth to keep the mask from making you feel like you’re suffocating. The masks stay nice and snug but you can breathe more easily.
Day 5, January 5th, 2021
1st Day Back 2021 Dominic
Decked out in some new Christmas clothes, Dominic was reluctantly ready to return to school Tuesday. He’s now almost 6′ tall! He drove us to MECHS, then I popped over into the driver’s seat to take Anna to Life Bridges. He is about 75% of the way done with his learner’s license hours then he’ll be a fully licensed driver in late February. He had a good first day back but was exhausted when he got home. Today (Friday), he wasn’t quite as tired so he’s getting back into the routine pretty quickly.
1st Day Back 2021 Anna
Sporting her new Dak Prescott jersey, Anna was so excited to return to Life Bridges on Tuesday. Unfortunately, her regular 1-1 aide is out for the next few weeks, but Anna loves her temp aide. She came home all smiles and full of stories. She loves being out and about in the world. She even worked at Arlan’s grocery store on Wednesday, working in the deli, stocking shelves, and cleaning. Today they are going to the park.
Day 6, January 6th, 2021
Big Rick Visits
Big Rick has been part of our family circle since I was a little kid. He was born on Christmas day and sometimes he joins us for Christmas and we bake him a cake. Since Jenny and Wyatt were already here for Christmas, we didn’t want to introduce any more possible exposure, so Big Rick came for a masked, outside, socially distanced visit this week. It was sooo good to see him, it’s been ages but it sucks not being able to hug him. Happy Birthday and Merry Christmas, Rick!
Day 7, January 7th, 2021
Mr. Billy and Anna
Yesterday, Anna got to spend the day with Mr. Billy, one of the job coaches at Life Bridges. She loooooves Mr. Billy and he adores her right back. They are buddies. He’s a big sports fan so they talk Spurs and Cowboys all the time. (Can I just say how happy Daddy is to finally have a buddy to watch sports with at home? I will do it, but I’m not really that into it. Anna really enjoys it.) Mr. Billy walked Anna out yesterday and I asked if I could get a photo of them together. He’s amazing. Just like all the staff at Life Brigdes!
Thanks for reading and for looking!