April Fool’s??

As we are all now in the  middle of our 3rd week working from home, which by the way for me has gone fast (I know, put me in a straight jacket-I get it), but it really has.  I have stuck to a schedule which again I have worked from home before, so it’s easy, but as I look at news headlines in the paper and sometimes in the actual tv news, it seems like this is the worst April Fool’s joke ever!  But as you know I love to look at the positive of every situation, we shouldn’t lose our sense of humor.  Yesterday, which looking back should’ve been today, my husband was in our bathroom shaving (with an electric razor or that could’ve been deadly) when I burst in the door and scared the crap out of him.  He wasn’t too happy at first but then he smiled.  By now, my family should be used to this.  I have been doing this all their lives, lurking behind doors, crouching behind couches and even waiting in the dark in their room to scare them.  Probably more for my enjoyment, but I always get a smile and a laugh out of them!  One time I did that last year and my now college son, picked me up and put me on the couch. Which of course he got a kick out of because he is much larger than I.  But we should be smiling and finding the humor in life to get us through tough times!

Last night before game night, my two teenagers were trying to play baseball in the kitchen with a foil ball and tongs and of course I am trying to get them them to clean up.  But we are all laughing at the comedy going on in our house.  Over the years, there has never been a lack of laughing in our house.  They have even tried to scare mom, but it’s hard to do!  So when you are in your houses with your family or zooming with friends or coworkers, find the highlights, find the humor and laugh about them.  And it’s never too late to play an April Fool’s joke, even a day or two late.

So Smile and Stay Sane (so you’re not in a straight jacket)

Carmen

Snackmegeddon…

Having four people in the house all day long for 10-11 days, I don’t know, I have seem to lost count at this point has put a strain on my snacks!  Yes, my snacks.  The things I usually reserve for myself every now and then have now disappeared into oblivion (or better yet in the mouths and stomachs of my teenagers.)  Well I guess there is no excuse now for me not to lose some weight during this time.  Oh I have cut up fruit, an entire box of strawberries, a cantaloupe, oranges in wedges.. and guess who gets to eat those, yes mom.  I am not sure they have eaten all the snacks yet, they may be hoarding them in their room for now in case mom resorts to only buying healthy foods for the duration.  I have stashed my dark cacao where they won’t find it, because I am sure if they got desperate for chocolate that would be the next thing to go.  Seriously I have to keep something for myself.   Emma bought some girl scout cookies with her own money from a girl at school before this all went down and she has stashed those in her room.  I think snack Armageddon might be coming to the Terry household soon.  There may be secret runs to the grocery store and stashing things in my car or better yet behind the canned tomato sauce in the pantry.  They would never look there.  So if anyone sees me out and about looking snack hungry just toss something at me from 6 feet away, any snack appreciated at this point!  Have a wonderful day hopefully you got a chuckle out of this story!

The Hustle and Bustle?

Sometimes I wonder if all of this staying home and having time with our families is actually a true blessing.  I certainly wouldn’t wish any illness, chronic or acute, pandemic or not on any one person, let alone thousands.  I am an optimist and know this will end.  I do not know when, but it will and we will come through this stronger as a people and a nation.  But what I am really hopeful for is that the family unit becomes strong also!   I am truly thankful for this time with my family.  There are four of us and for the first time in a very long time, we are not dealing with the hustle and bustle of jobs, school, sports, activities, meetings, etc…  Of course my husband and I are working from home, my college kid is doing his classes via zoom and the high school kid has spent time coloring in her adult coloring book, reading and working out, but we eat lunch together, dinner together and play games.  We each have a distinctly different personality, but spending time away from all the other distractions has been absolutely wonderful.  Watching my two teenagers interact with each other, horsing around and making fun of us as parents, has been entertaining to say the least.  I am so happy I am getting this time with my husband and children, its comforting.  I know it won’t last, but I will soak up every moment that we are together.  As parents you know that saying “day to day time goes so slow, but the years go by so fast.”  Take the time to watch the nuances of family interaction, the thoughtfulness of each other and remember that in times of strife, you have each other to hold onto.  I am sure the hustle and bustle will return, but maybe this time around, we push some of that aside to remember what is truly valuable in this world.

Toddlers vs Teenagers

As we are stuck at home with either Toddlers or Teenagers or little people in between, they all present with challenges.  I have been emailing with employees who are now at home with their children and needing attention.  I joked with them that I would gladly trade their toddlers for my teenagers.  While we may think that toddlers need more interaction than teenagers, need games to play, activities to do, or general cuddling and holding, I am finding that teenagers may need some similar attention as well.  Certainly not to the extent of toddlers or little people, but teenagers tend to understand a little more about whats going on in the world and it can make them a little more anxious.  And although I am not an expert, I can offer a few pieces of advice (you know after being stuck at home for four days now with two teenagers, and everyone is still alive and kicking.)  First they still need some of their independence.  I have a college kid that is now stuck at home doing online learning through his college.  Having to transition in a matter of a week to moving out of college, living at home and not going to physical classes hasn’t been easy.  They still need to be hugged and be reassured that this isn’t permanent.  I also have a second teenager at home who is a sophomore in HS who doesn’t know when she will go back to school or see her friends.  Luckily in this day and age, most teenagers are connected via social media so they can see their friends and talk with them.  Teenagers tend to have lots of questions about situations such as these and although most of us have never been through a pandemic (thank goodness), answer them honestly and directly.  If you aren’t sure, there are sites such as the CDC, WHO and Johns Hopkins that have great information that is up to date.  I am listing them below this blog or better yet, have them do some research and share it with the family.  One very important thing I had to do with my teenagers after telling them both “no” to going out with friends, was what the ramifications are by NOT practicing social distancing. They both drive, they both want to spend this time with their friends.  It’s hard and it’s affecting all of us, but my husband and I are modeling that behavior by not going out and being with people.  There are many activities to do with teenagers and toddlers such as family meal time.  Make sure that is an important part of everyone’s day, it’s been a great opportunity to have both teenagers home, no sports or other activities and getting to eat a meal together again!!  We also instituted family game night where each person picks a game each night and we play together.  Last night my daughter and I kicked the boys behinds in Euchre!  Tonite its bananagrams, chosen by my son.  My daughter and I usually lose badly to my husband and son who are both wordsmith people!  And although it’s been a long time since I had toddlers or little people, create workstations around your house for them, such as a coloring station, a puzzle station and physical activity station.  Schedule in downtime where they play by themselves with a book and maybe a little screen time or video time.  Remember they are also uncertain during this time because mom and dad are possibly both home and it’s not the norm.  I have also listed below a PDF sent to me by Health advocate on resources for online learning  Many museums around the US have a host of online activities or are now putting their exhibits online such as the Baltimore Aquarium.  So go check it out.  

And remember to take some downtime for yourself!  Take care and remember this is temporary!!!

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html

https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019

http://www.centerforhealthsecurity.org/resources/COVID-19/index.html

SupportingAt-HomeChildren-During Corona Virus

 

 

What can you and I do?

In this time of social distancing, it doesn’t mean that you cannot go out for a walk and soak up the sunshine.  It means keep connected with your friends and family on social media, facetime, instagram or whatever else you are on to connect to people.  (My kids laugh and say “mom’s on the gram!”)  Just today I sent a text out to my very best friends all in one group.  I wanted to know how they were doing, how they were coping, what their kids were doing (some of them have kids all across the country working), but it helps to let them know I care and want to know.  One of my friends has been fighting a little anxiety knowing her parents have been stuck in another country trying to get home-they found out today they are on a plane back home.  It helps to connect and talk about your feelings, if you are anxious, if you need help with something, tell someone!  I found out last night that my brother and my brother in law will be out of job on Friday as they both work for the same small business in Ohio.   Even though I don’t live close, I can still connect with them and offer a listening ear.  Part of what makes a great community is we look out for one another.  When I went to get the paper this morning, there was a note on my door from a neighbor down the street letting us know that if we are elderly or immuno-compromised to give her a call and she will help out with grocery or pharmacy runs or anything else we need.  In these trying times of keeping our physical distance, it doesn’t mean we cannot connect.  Reach out to your friends, make a phone call, send a text or a message on facebook; reach out to your neighbors or coworkers and let them know you are there!  You may connect with someone who needs something right at that moment and you just made their day by asking.  And just to make your health and wellness coordinator happy, go for a walk!!  You have no excuses now!  Take care, be safe, wash your hands and know that I am there with you.  And if you need a listening ear, email me at cterry@iu17.org, and I can always call you if you need someone to talk to.

Working from Home

As you know most offices are closed within districts and IU’s with all the school closures.  I have however set up shop in my house with my computer and most everything I need.  I am still available to answer questions and and if you are interested in health coaching we can still do that via zoom or teleconference.  Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or need to talk.  My email is cterry@iu17.org.

Please stay safe, wash your hands and you can still get some fresh air and walks in!  Take care!

Carmen

Important Information Regarding Preventative Screenings (not including annual physical)

Please upload the preventative screenings into the Health Advocate system.  This includes cervical, mammogram, vision, dermatology, colonoscopy and prostate screenings.  Click on Receive preventative screenings on your home page To-Do list and you will see where it says to upload and put in the date.

This does not include your annual physical examination which still is sent to me.

Thanks!