We Live on a Critical Circuit

Last week we learned that we live on a critical circuit. There’s a nursing home across the street so we assume that is why. We never lost power. Our water pressure was down for a day or so but we always had water. We also live across the street from a water tower.

We were already quarantined for COVID so we had planned on not being able to go anywhere all week anyway. It was a bonus that other than a little bit of asynchronous stuff on Monday the kids had no school all week. It was too cold to go outside much so by the end of the week we definitely had some cabin fever going on.

Now to wait and see what our electric bill is going to look like…

COVID in the House

Last Wednesday I took Mayci to urgent care because she had a fever and vomiting and just felt generally icky. Her rapid strep, rapid COVID, and urine dipstick were negative. Her strep and urine cultures were also negative. But her COVID PCR test was positive.

So we’re quarantined. And the “burnt tastebuds” from wasabi peas and the stuffy nose I had due to allergies weren’t from those reasons at all. Yeah, the loss of taste and smell and the muscle aches and nasty headache I had the week before Mayci got sick? COVID. Thankfully we are all fine. Everyone who has gotten sick has had a very mild case. Mayci was literally only sick one single day.

Mayci gets to go back to school on Monday. Anthony and Nicholas get to go back a week from Thursday. Adrian and Elijah don’t get to go back to school until a month from yesterday. Our ISD requires siblings to quarantine for the ten days the positive child has to stay home plus 14 more days to be 100% sure they won’t get sick. This puts them able to go back to school just before the week of spring break.

Add in below freezing temperatures because Mother Nature got lost on her way north and ended up in Texas and this is turning out to be a very memorable quarantine.


When my older four kids were little I read a lot about the evils of television. Plug-in Drug and all that. I was never 100% comfortable with no TV, though, and while we have not paid for TV most of our marriage (mainly because I hate ads, honestly), we’ve still had streaming and bought individual TV shows and what not.

Since we’ve had the kids, and especially Elijah, I’ve become even more of a fan of Edutainment for little kids. Because of what he went through, Elijah missed a lot of the typical exposure to age-appropriate education when he was little. He went to daycare off and on, but I’m not impressed with the ones he went to. It was more Lord of the Flies baby-sitting than anything else.

He didn’t watch much educational stuff on TV. No PBSKids (Ani looks back fondly on some of those “preschool on TV” shows she watched). Most of his TV watching was Power Rangers and Shark Boy and Lava Girl. No educational content and not age-appropriate (he had just turned 5 when he moved in with us).

At the beginning of kindergarten, it became clear he was not at the level of the majority of his class. Most of the kids at least knew how to count to 20 (he could count to 10) and recognized several letters (he recognized 3) and knew the sounds many of those letters make (he knew zero). He was iffy on shapes, but did know most of his colors.

Since he’s been with us, we’ve gotten him off the habit of watching TV all the time and when he does watch TV, we’ve gotten away from the shows for older kids and steered him toward shows for kids his age and younger. The babies love Little Baby Bum and Elijah has actually learned a lot from those animated songs.

Today, almost 2/3 of the way through kindergarten, Elijah can count to 100 by 1s and 10s, he recognizes all his letters both uppercase and lowercase, knows the letter sounds (though he’s still iffy on y), knows a bunch of sight words, knows both 2 and 3D shapes, and so much more.

It’s really incredible how much progress he’s made. It’s really a testament to what a young child’s brain can do. He may have missed out on that first three years of good brain development, but he’s catching up. I just can’t help but wish that he’d been in a better daycare or went to pre-k last year or had watched even just a little edutainment instead of so much Power Rangers. I think it would’ve made a huge difference in his life.

A playground of our very own

After spending way too long debating whether or not to get a Rainbow play system, we finally took the plunge. The installers finished up just as I was getting home from picking up Elijah and Mayci from school. To say the kids (Fritz and Adrian included) were excited would be an understatement.

It was an unusually hot day for February (even by south Texas standards – the high was 83) and all eight kids spent a lot of time outside playing. They were all exhausted by the end of the day. It hasn’t quite sunk in for some of them that the playground is here to stay permanently. Now we just have to get the mulch in place and it’ll be just perfect.