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Life, plants, and virtual events

It’s a little tricky to write about life during a pandemic because the days do kind of blend together and we don’t get out much. I was supposed to be in Ohio two weeks ago, and Austin last week, for conferences that were both made virtual. I miss traveling terribly, and I get most of my socialization from conferences and events, so while I’m happy that I get to isolate with my favorite people, I do miss other people.

I also miss typical chores being trivial matters. I wanted to drop by the grocery store real quick to pick up some things while I was out walking with Adam today, but I couldn’t. I don’t want him inside public places with other people, and I didn’t properly prepare for a grocery visit myself. Stopping by a coffee shop to grab something while taking the kiddo out? Nope. Going anywhere that requires going into indoor places while I’m watching Adam? No. We’re certainly lucky that we have this option, I am inconvenienced by all of this, but groceries can wait until MJ is available to watch Adam, and I probably didn’t need that iced tea drink anyway.

So, what have we done with this time at home? I’m continuing to grow a new human, I’ll be at 15 weeks tomorrow. The morning sickness didn’t disappear at 12 weeks like it did with Adam, but it lessened considerably and only a few days these past couple weeks have been tough. I’m still quite tired, so I’ve still been focused on work, Adam care, and chores that really need to be done to keep our house clean and orderly. We did finally manage to get a landscaper in to do the huge job of cleaning up the yard, and they’ll be coming back monthly now. I’m extremely happy that this is finally being handled, especially since we went through this all last year and the service flaked out on us after the big job was done. Caligula is a bit less than thrilled by his weed forest being gone.

I tried to cheer up Caligula by growing him some cat grass. I bought a whole kit to grow it and keep it out on my deck! Naturally, he’s totally ignoring it.

Adam’s still growing up faster than I can believe. He’s walking all over the place now, which my pregnant self is grateful for, and I get so much joy out of playing with him. He probably has more toys than he needs, but with us all at home all the time we’re doing our best to keep him entertained. We also just bought him a little inflatable pool for the back yard, which is a bit more complicated than it should be since we have no where to drain the 80 gallons of pool water once we’re done with it. We have a plan though.

I’ve started using reminders on my phone more often, and my plants are the primary beneficiary of this. The orchid I thought was long gone has sprouted new flowers! And the succulents that remain are actually surviving now. I’m sure being home so much helps too, no travel plans throwing schedules off.

Work is going remarkably well for me. There’s no question that the transition to digital events is hard, but it’s been interesting experiencing how different conferences are coping with it. I attended VM Workshop (the one that was supposed to be in Ohio) recently and having a chat embedded in the conference talks and a moderator passing the questions to the speaker was nice for engagement. This week I’ll be attending the Open Source Summit (replacement for the aforementioned Austin trip) and they even have virtual booths! And we’ve all been invited to join a Slack organization for the event, divided up into dozens of channels. I hope I can engage as much as I want to, but it remains incredibly difficult to stay focused on online events when the rest of my job beckons from just a screen away. I’m giving a talk and I have a set booth schedule, so we’ll see how it goes.

I took Friday off this past week to give myself a personal project day. I took a day off a few weeks ago and spent it doing piles of neglected chores that are difficult to do while watching Adam, but I was determined for this one to be different. I treated it like a normal work day, but instead of work I did paperwork, handled some Partimus treasurer tasks, got my personal email under control (no small task!), responded to merge requests on a personal open source project, and caught up with pressing Xubuntu work. I didn’t get through the whole list I prepared for myself and I long for time to work on some more interesting projects, but I feel so much better having gotten all of this off my plate, some of it had been waiting for six months.

The 4th of July comes up this weekend. It’s a holiday we’ve traditionally spent in Philadelphia, so it’s going to be a bit jarring not to be there this year. Still, I’ll appreciate another short work week and we’ll make the best of it with a lot of July 4th festivities also canceled due to the pandemic.