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May Update

June 8, 2021

I’m going to skip my normal monthly update format. There isn’t a lot to say about money. I haven’t analyzed our spending data in a few months. Our net worth basically did whatever the market did. My current thinking about money is something along the lines of “we (probably) don’t really want to try to FIRE soon, so should we be spending in some areas now to improve our lives?” mixed in with a bit of “the world/political situation is scary and we should keep options open” mixed in with “I probably should reflect more deeply on purpose and FIRE, because I’m also not interested in wealth accumulation for its own sake.”

Late COVID Life

(I’m hoping this is “late COVID”. It is certainly not post-COVID, and it won’t be globally for some time. But it is certainly a new era of COVID, compared to the pre-vaccine world.)

My vaccinated parents came and visited. It was SO NICE to see them, and LO had a blast playing with them. We rented a house up the coast for a few days to break up the visit. (Seven nights is simply too long for houseguests in our small home – even if they are parents.) We spent a few days around town and around the house, then drove about 2.5 hours to our rental. Unfortunately, my mom had a medical emergency the next morning, and spent 2 nights in the hospital. Also, the nearest hospital was a 2 hour drive, so she ended up going by helicopter. We think things are mostly fine, but she has some follow up now that she is home. It was something of freak event, maybe. They are looking into it to see if there is an underlying cause. After she was discharged, my parents were able to delay their flight home by 2 days so she could recover a bit before flying out. I was really grateful, because it would have been terrible to have her check out of the hospital then have to rush home the very next day. There was no charge for this delay, but my dad ended up driving to the airport to talk to Delta customer service because he couldn’t get through on the phone, even after waiting hours. (Apparently this is a thing that has been going on for months.)

Next, we are getting a visit from T’s mom later this month! These family visits mark a huge shift in pandemic life for us. We are still opting not to fly until LO can be vaccinate, and avoiding indoor activities we might otherwise be doing. I might be willing to bend on some indoor stuff if case rates are low and/or if the vaccination timeline was expected to be longer than it appears (this fall). Risks of COVID for kids LO’s age are tiny. I am not frightened by a potential for long term risks to her health. Now that the adults in our home are vaccinated, and that nearly everyone who is at risk in the community can get a vaccine, I’m a lot less concerned about my family spreading COVID to the more vulnerable.

But, there are a small number of at-risk people who cannot get vaccines or do not respond to them, and there is a number of people who refuse and are slowing our path to herd immunity…. And it is not that much longer! (I hope.) So, we’ll continue to take precautions and delay some activities.

Return to the office?

A small number of people have been needing to work hands-on throughout the pandemic, and have been going into the office for some time. Some other number of us have been working in phases of projects that don’t require it. I think I was last in my office about a year ago when I grabbed my monitor from my desk.

This summer, we all have the option to return. To be on site right now, people are required to either be vaccinated or participate in weekly surveillance testing. I’m tentatively planning on going in person a few times a week in the summer, then regularly in the fall. My employer is offering a fair amount of WFH flexibility, so I’m interested to see how that shakes out more broadly. I’m not particularly interested, due to my small commute and decent work space, but I can also see some benefits. It will be strange to have us all getting ready and out the door at the same time again. I can’t even remember what that was like.

We’re gearing up for yet another major review, and I’m optimistic and excited and nervous and overwhelmed. By August, I should have a pretty clear picture of what work will be like in the immediate future.

Family & Life

LO’s language is exploding from phrases into longer sentences, thoughts, and stories. It’s very fun to see. She is also testing boundaries and asserting her individuality, which can be a struggle – but it is good to see.

She climbs inside the fabric hamper (which she has deemed her “nest”) and pretends to read the tag by running her finger along the words. “It says… we can do it!” I’m glad the uplifting messages are sinking in!

Me: “Do you want to check on those succulents we planted?”
LO: “HELLO PLANTS! How are you doing?!? Are you OK out here!??”

We are still working with reduced childcare hours (< 7 with drop off and pick up). It is mostly fine – especially now that T is not lecturing for the summer and I’m mostly off my meeting-heavy project. It is nice to have the extra time together. Still, I was relieved that daycare came out with a plan to expand first to 8 hours late summer, then to the normal 9.5 hours this fall, actually covering a normal full time work day. That should help a lot in the long run. LO is switching to a preschool classroom in the fall. She’s on the cusp for being old enough, so I wasn’t sure if they’d place her there or in another “older toddler” room. It will be interesting to see how she does being one of the younger kids. The teachers probably will cope with her growing out of naps better in the preschool classroom. I think she will do fine…. and it also saves us >$300/month compared to toddler pricing, so I can’t complain about that! It will be a (much) larger class than she has now (just 5 other kids). At the start of the year I expect the kids won’t be able to be vaccinated, but I’m pretty optimistic that case rates will stay low locally, and a vaccination will be available to her soon.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. June 8, 2021 12:19 pm

    How frightening re: your mother. 😦

    Everything else sounds like it is going well!

  2. June 8, 2021 8:01 pm

    Oh gosh I hope everything is okay with your mother. I’ll keep my fingers crossed for her follow ips.

  3. June 10, 2021 4:28 pm

    Scary situation for your mom! I hope the cause is found. You have had a very reasoned approach to Covid risks. I’m happy for you that you can do family visits!

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