The Cave Household During COVID-19

Greetings,

Life is certainly interesting in the Cave household during this shelter in place period as a result of COVID-19. Here’s a list of some of the key differences:

  • Streaming more content – even picked up a Disney+ subscription along the way and bumped up the network speed
  • Doing more laundry (and triplet households do a lot as is)
  • We are using a lot more soap. The kids really like to wash their hands. Luckily we dilute it to make it go far. But looking for handsoap when things started to fly off the shelves was an adventure when we were in stock up mode. One trip I ended up going to 5 different places and coming up empty. Got really familiar with Rocklin as a result though!
  • Using more water and electricity
  • The kids are eating more food – so the grocery bill has exploded as we are buying more food
  • Buying more items off of Amazon
  • We’re cooking 3 meals a day (plus whatever snacks they require) 7 days a week
  • We’re using the dishwasher a lot more – it already required a maintenance visit via the home warranty
  • The kids are at each other’s throats more
  • With school essentially a wash the rest of the academic year, we go through whatever the teacher e-mails us, but after that it can be challenging to keep them learning and occupied. The Chromebooks we got from the school are essentially paperweights. They require too much intervention by parents and at these kids’ age, they don’t hold their interest for very long
  • Believe it or not they go to bed earlier than usual…around 5:30-6:30pm. It’s a product of them playing so hard most of the day and eating earlier
  • They are stirring up three times more mischief than when they were in school
  • They get injured more, regularly alternating between out front (falling off bikes) or out back or the side of the house

I just completed 5 straight weeks working from home. I have commandeered Michaela’s room as my new home office until this is over.

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Yep that’s a TV. Go big or go home!

Emma’s once consistently immaculate room has given way to the force of 3 tornadoes routinely blowing through it to play as a group.

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I might make the girls share a room for a few years after this…
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The dining room table has been converted to a craft table. Wrapped in two coats of paper as they love bingo markers now…
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The Megabed has returned! It is stationed in the family room until further notice. In case they pass out there we can just leave them.
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My old office has been taken over and is featuring more and more of their toys. It was out in the open and I was exposed when I first started working from home, so I needed to migrate my teleworking operation to some place with a door. Now they’ve gotten good at making excuses to barge in…too cute.

Other than the chaos in the house and the frequent bouts with cabin fever, they are healthy and happy, which is really all that matters at the end of the day. The stimulus check arrived mid week via direct deposit, so that was a really nice infusion to prop up this massive operation.

I have picked up some hobbies before and after work. I have a passion for foreign languages, so I’m back to building my French vocabulary using DuoLingo in the mornings, and a little German as well. French is much easier for me having lived there in 2001.

I’ve also picked up going for bike rides every day. Now I’m not riding with a pelaton pack of cyclists but I do get out of the house for some exercise so let’s not get carried away!

And in the next week, we’ll probably get the OK to turn on the solar that was recently installed on the roof. That’ll help keep the electricity bill at bay. I’m also getting a 220 electrical outlet installed and bought a Level 2 charger so that I can charge my electric car faster when I’m driving again. 5 straight weeks teleworking has been a blessing in disguise. I had been averaging more than 1000 miles a month when I commuted into work, so not having to drive anywhere far consistently has brought the average mileage down. It’s a leased car with 12,000 annual miles and I was over that, so with another year or so to go I should not exceed the cap when it is time to turn the car in. It’s a nice car, though.

I’m looking forward to all of this craziness being behind us. It has really been an odd time. I do wonder what the new normal will be like for the country, communities, etc., though. Everyone has this look of panic on their faces – everyone is guarded and proceeds with caution like the nearest person to them is sick. It’s ridiculous but kind of toΒ  be expected.

I look forward to seeing isles stocked with Clorox wipes, paper towels, toilet paper and whatever else is producing these regularly seen barren shelves again. I wonder how some businesses will recover, especially businesses that rely on capacity. I wonder how testing will be approached for illnesses of concern moving forward. Will people decide to stop trying to power through being sick if it is getting others sick in the process? Is reliable data/information the new world currency? Things that make you go hmmm….

Cheers,

M.

Drink of the Day: Quarantini

Greetings,

These are certainly interesting times. It’s been a minute since I’ve written, so I figured I would play catch up.

We’ve been hunkering down in the house for the past 3 weeks, with limited opportunities to go places for obvious COVID-19 reasons.

I’ve just completed 3 straight weeks of working from home. It would have been very risky for me to continue to keep going in to work having triplets that were born 10.5 weeks early with under-developed lungs. Contracting a cold is hard enough on them and they stay sick longer, so a respiratory disease of this nature would be very tough on them. Out of an abundance of caution, it made sense to not put them at risk unnecessarily.

3 days into it I took over my “oldest” daughter Michaela’s room as my new office. With triplets that have cabin fever, a door and the pictured headset are ESSENTIAL.

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I have very good internet connectivity, and once I’m on the network at work, I have multiple ways to stay productive. Access to multiple desktops, exactly as if I were physically in the office. Working from home has been interesting. It would be great if the kids were at school, but that wasn’t our reality as the school closed down for the rest of the academic school year despite hopes of having it reopen after spring break. With them around the house all day and generally confined to the backyard and driveway, it can get pretty noisy.

They don’t really understand (and why would they) what is really going on. They miss their teachers and classmates, and even their play dates. Their teachers apparently miss them, too. One left a nice note at our doorstep this week:

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Just goes to show you the impression they’ve left on folks in such a short time in school. They are definitely ready for kindergarten, and will switch over to their assigned school a short distance from the house. Rocklin is home for the foreseeable future, and most likely until I retire. The roots are taking hold!

We’re as prepared as we can be, given the circumstances. When I first saw how bad this was getting, I gave my wife direction to go grocery shopping in a big way before the madness commenced, and she stocked up. No expense was spared, and the overflow of necessities were stored in the garage away from prying hands. We also stocked up on the standard meds as they just come down with stuff no matter what in addition to it being allergy season:

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Yes, everyone has their own nose spray bottle!

Keeping the cabin fever at bay has been tough. They tend to feed off of one another so the house has looked like a war zone most days:

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We’ve had a minor cold make its way through each child, starting with Michaela, then moving to Emma (who came down with an ear infection requiring antibiotics as a result of it, and finally rounding off the ordeal with Christopher, who can’t seem to stay out of his sister’s faces.

Needless to say, as the pandemic worsened around us, Grandma stepped up to the plate and made nice masks for everyone.

Along the way, Emma lost her first tooth (she was the first to get teeth as well).

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There have been no shortage of cute moments to capture:

The severity of the COVID-19 pandemic became clear when the playgrounds started to shut down:

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In conclusion, we are good on this end. We hope that everyone stays safe and sane as we collectively weather this storm on our way to a somewhat cloudy, but undoubtedly new normal.

On another note, if you’re looking for a great read, don’t forget my book!

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Cheers,

M.