The Stress-MAKING Diaries, Day Four
Day Whatever and Two

Brain Food

Weekend Stress-Baking/Stress-Eating report:

More blueberry sourdough muffins

Oatmeal Scotchies

Two loaves of oatmeal bread

Six more pizza dough balls, for freezing

Two no-knead sourdough loaves, to accompany this cheesy white bean-tomato bake, aka Apocalypse Dining At Its Finest

We also ordered a no-contact delivery of Indian food and bought some homemade pasta and short rib ragu from a local restaurant that was selling whatever they had left out on their patio for a few hours on Friday. They also had plenty of wine, so we bought some of that too. 

All non-essential businesses have been ordered to close in less than an hour from now. Thankfully, liquor stores have been deemed essential, so there's no reason to panic. Yet. 

Tonight's dinner: Beyond Burgers, which are my kids' new favorite thing. They're sold in packages of two and I typically make six burgers total, but Safeway had zero packages and Target had exactly five packages. I put three packages in my shopping basket but then my reptilian brain made me grab the last two, just in case these were the very last Beyond Burgers on earth, or maybe just as payback over the whole toilet paper hoarding thing. 

(I found a surprise four-pack of toilet paper hidden in the back of a bathroom cabinet yesterday, though. It's like the global pandemic equivalent of finding a $20 bill in your coat pocket!)

I got on the scale this morning for the first time in awhile and somehow I'm down 15 pounds. Can you be so stressed out that sitting on the couch reading CNN alerts counts as cardio?

Week One Homeschooling Report:

Ha. Ha ha. Ha hahahahahahaha.

Ezra and Ike are enjoying the daily modules of free content from Scholastic. (Noah does them too, but the word "enjoy" is not really applicable there.) Ezra downloaded Duolingo and is diligently spending 20 minutes a day learning French, because Ezra gonna Ezra. Ike and I work on a few activities from this book every morning and read a chapter of Percy Jackson at bedtime. (Amazon managed to fulfill our order of these reading guide strips, which Ike says are super helpful.)  

We're also creating an art gallery for my mom's fridge, and have learned important life lessons like, how to change your own bed sheets and properly scrub a toilet. 

Music lessons moved to Zoom over the weekend, while Ezra keeps practicing the music for his school concert, which technically isn't officially cancelled just yet.

Noah, on the other hand, is still practicing a piece for an upcoming all-state solo festival, which is officially cancelled but I guess they forgot to tell people because I only found out after Googling it just now

I can't stop thinking about all the extra reading support Ike should be getting right now. I can't stop thinking about Noah's IEP meeting that got cancelled last week, the one where we were supposed to meet with his high school's team and work on his class schedule and transition plan. I know I need to stop thinking about it. Maybe I should make some popsicles. 

I overheard Jason joke on a conference call that we're not trying to be super-perfect parents with super-ambitious homeschooling plans over here. "We're keeping them alive. That's good enough for now."

Yep. That'll do just fine for now.



Sounds good to me. If Ezra wants to practice his French, I'm British but have lived in France for nearly 28 years (eeep) and can speak fluently… I can also maybe find old kids' books and scan them for him… Always wiling to help promote French learning in English speakers :-D


Thank you for the stress baking updates. Brownies are on my list today.

And thank Jason for the voice of reason. I'm feeling bad for not getting my daughter to learn a language! do all the crafts! Travel virtually to museums! None of which she wants to do. ("Moooommm I'm going to my room now"

My husband and I are still in pretty essential but non front line jobs (his more front line than mine; he is a psychotherapist) so I am telling myself not to feel bad.
Really hope the schools (I'm in MD too) get online instruction going next week so that the teachers are accessible to students.
stay safe.


I'm in Virginia and my three kids school just got cancelled for the rest of the year. Do you hear me SCREAMING?!?! PLEASE LISTEN, YOU WILL HEAR ME.


That cheesy white bean tomato bake looks sooo good. I made these and they were fabulous:

I worry about my kiddo too. I know for a fact I'm not as good as his teachers at meeting his IEP needs. Plus, I'm working, so I can't give him as much attention as he needs to focus. Hopefully his brain doesn't turn to mush.


I'm screaming with you Elizabeth_K!!!!!!! Also, not that I was taking DD to playgrounds or parks, but they're now all closed in Arlington, which just seems like salt in the wound at this point.


Thanks for the update. Good enough for now is indeed good enough. I get stuck in worry-spirals about the pieces of my son's IEP that we can't replicate at home, too, and ugh. But every kid (IEP or not) is going to be in the same boat with being behind, so I guess I'm just hoping it will equal out again. It's hard though, for all of us.


SO odd to read.
Out in west where we hit lockdown a huge whole long week ago and buying more than 1 or 2 of anything is not allowed by stores as normal rule now (to end the highly extreme over buyers as much as possible). Surprised that isn't yet the universal rule. It wasn't getting 5 individual frozen food boxes but the 'multiple case' buyers that really caused panic and increased problems. (To be clear you might well have bought all 5 in November last year too. Not hoarding, just family with 3 growing boys.) The people who came in and just swept 100% of any pasta off the shelf and filled parades of carts at one time are quite different. In a normal household just how many Costco sized packages of TP do you use in a year? I think some people laid in 2-3 years worth.
Our case numbers are going up ... in part because it is now possible for a few non-celebs to actually get access to a test. The real question being how many cases are really happening compared to those being found now. Who already had it and recovered? We would do well to identify them, immune people will be able to make such a contribution going forward.
Freeways very empty. Public transit running closer to empty now rather than overstuffed full. And a new odd smell in the air on buses/trains ..... good grief! They are sanitizing the train cars with disinfectant!!! Regular street emptier. Quiet settling in. Lots more walkers and bikers out. Everyone staying distances away on walking paths. Lots of thank yous happening for delivery people, postal people, cashiers, stock fillers ,and of course any medical person. Maybe common humanity and kindness will become a trend in place of hatred preaching.
THANK YOU for writing and being real and honest. Be VERY CAREFUL Casting your vote will be important soon, be here to do so.


So jealous. I would stress bake if I could, but up here near New Rochelle I can’t get either flour or sugar. Still have lots of wine in the basement so haven’t yet resorted to drinking the vanilla extract.


I’m in VA too! Broke into my secret stash of Cadbury eggs when I heard the news about school closing forever.


The -15 pounds is probably a side effect of your new medication! Vyvanse is a stimulant and is also used for binge eating disorder, so it makes sense that you would see a weight drop! I’m on a different med now, but contemplating a switch to Vyvanse for maintenance (because stimulants work as antidepressants for me, but antidepressants make my body do weird things).


We really like the Beyond Burgers too; however, if you see the Lightlife veggie burgers (similar packaging and concept), I think they're even better.

There's no easy answer for the schools: my kids don't need any special interventions, they just need to be in a classroom with a teacher who knows what they're doing b/c I sure don't when my kids ask me for help on their 9th grade math or the "force and motion" science unit.

I am pretty fluent in French, though................bonne chance, Ezra!!


A friend asked about our plans with the kiddos for the quarantime, and I said "keeping them from killing each other."


My local district is starting to offer parent teacher conferences and IEP meetings via Google hangouts; I think that’s the platform. Perhaps you could have Noah’s meeting that way, or even via zoom. Should your district opt to close for the remainder of the school year, remember that IEP meetings can be held over the summer. I know for a fact that schedules can continue to be adjusted days before school starts.

Your CSE chair would honestly be very happy to receive a request for a virtual IEP meeting. It would be once less thing on his/her long list of things to catch-up on someday.


As someone who also lives in the DMV and has a spouse newly diagnosed with liver cancer (after very successfully being treated for pancreatic cancer in 2016), I am DEEPLY empathetic to the twitchy-nervousness about Very Important Meetings getting cancelled or pushed back. So far, we have been charging ahead with his additional needed tests and doctor's appointments, but I was almost denied entry to his medical oncologist's office yesterday because of their "no visitors" policy and had to plead that this was his very first visit and we were still figuring out even what type of liver cancer this was and his recall isn't good right now because of all the pain meds and I know we need to protect everyone, but please please please I need him to not be dead in six months from the thing that for-sure will kill him while we still are taking All The Precautions about coronavirus because I promise we are taking that seriously too. This comment genuinely isn't suffer-Olympics, but that sense of "oh crikey what happens if X critical thing for someone I love gets cancelled?" just super-spoke to me and I really genuinely feel for you on that. Oh and trying to keep our two kids on track learning-wise in the midst of all of this? Very much in the "we are just doing our best and that will have to be good enough for now". No time for guilt trips on that score!


Man I wish I could trade you flour for TP! We just bought our semiannual 72 pack a few weeks before all this chaos so have TONS. Didn't think of flour until I started reading everyone's stress baking, and there is NONE to be found (nor yeast). For some reason I have about 30 lbs of sugar though (actually I know the reason - post holiday sales, $1 for 4 lbs. If only I had also bought flour!)


I accidentally bought both TP AND 20lb of flour during my early Feb Costco run and still had a 10 lb back, so I’ve got flour for days.

Small in the grand scheme of things, but our meeting to schedule a bathroom remodel and basement remodel got pushed back until after the stay at home gets lifted. We’ve been working towards this for almost a year. It is stupid and annoying.


A free resource our kiddos are enjoying. ABC Mouse programs for preK thru grade 8

Use Code SCHOOL7771 to get free account Pre thru 2nd Pre thru 6th Grades 3-8


Maybe Jason would like to guest post some sourdough tips...???

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