I have felt so homebound lately. It's tough for me because I'm so extroverted and at least was formerly adventurous. Being trapped in my room or bed drives me nuts, but I'm finding new ways to excel and enjoy. In the words of that famous cat, "It's fun to have fun, but you have to know how." Knowing how to have fun within the walls of not just my house but the confines that my limited energy creates is requiring new learning and creativity.

Here are a few things in which I have invested time and thought:

1. How to take a perfect bath 
Lock the door if another adult is home. If not, place children in a nearby location with "the babysitter." The babysitter could be books and coloring (if you have those imaginary children), but it's probably Netflix and a show that they think you don't really like for them to watch but actually YOU just don't like to watch. The moment you decide to take a bath, plug the drain and start the water even if it's not a perfect temperature. Too hot will cool when filling the cold tub and too cold is easily fixed once the hot water warms up. Feel good about not wasting any water. Throw in a handful of baking soda. DO NOT FORGET TO BRING IN YOUR UNDERWEAR AND YOUR DRINK BEFORE YOU GET IN. I have worked long to develop the foot dexterity to adjust water temperature and turn water off using only one foot. You too may be able to achieve this with hard work and determination (to not raise your body out of the water.)

2. How to make a delicious fennel salad
Order things on AmazonFresh. You need fennel bulb (buy 3, you'll want this a lot), orange, apple, onion, olive oil, apple cider vinegar, salt, pepper. Thinly slice the fennel bulb and a few tablespoons of the leaves. Thinly slice half an apple. Finely chop about a tablespoon of onion. Peel and chop up about half an orange and save any juice that runs out on the cutting board. Throw all this in a bowl. Stir together. Add a drizzle of olive oil and more apple cider vinegar than you think. Generously salt and pepper it all. Allow salad to change your tongue's life.

3. How to watch Project Runway with a 3 year old girl
Get snacks. We recommend these gummy bears and pretzels. Turn on the subtitles so that you can see the word "bitch" coming. They use it a lot. Cough on cue to cover the offense. Encourage 3 year old girl to decide whose team she is on. She will probably pick a color. Think she is adorable. Give her more candy.

4. How to cheer up
Use music.

5. How to not ruin the rest you got during your long stay in your room
Pretend you are a kid home from school on a sick day for at least 2 days. Enjoy activities with your kids. They like quieter activities just fine when you are doing them too (unlike when you are trying to force them to do them when you need to get some work done). Puzzles, drawing, beads, play dough are all good choices. Watch movies, but make it an event and snuggle together without scrolling through your phone the whole time. Eat simple meals. Resist the urge to freak out over the disaster that is all around- Mt. Rainier sized laundry pile, Mt. St. Helen's sized pile of dishes, Oregon's dunes' worth of dust on the floor. This step requires at least 20 rounds of bed confinement requiring recovery time to achieve. 

With time and effort, you too can begin to lower your expectations beyond what you ever imagined, and fennel salad, a bath, and a glow in the dark T-Rex puzzle can be your week's greatest achievements too!
The Artist's Challenge

The Artist's Challenge

Feeling Better and Seeing Baby