Coping with Fire Season
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– Feb 23, 2022(2 replies)
We’ve been thinking about finding a sleepaway camp for some period of July or August for our camp-curious nine-year-old. The regrettable New Normal of California “Fire Season” had totally skipped my consciousness until I came upon one camp website that addressed their management of weeks and weeks of smoke in a recent camp season. Now I’m questioning if even thinking about a west-coast sleepaway summer camp is sensible. Posting to find out what other parents are thinking, and doing, about this—? Thanks in advance for any reflections.Feb 23, 2022
– Mar 19, 2021(4 replies)
HI everyone! We live in a very old house and have original windows (1914) in much of the house. The windows are extremely drafty and we have not been able to fix it with weather stripping. Many of our windows are large double hung windows that will need custom replacement. With smoke season now being a yearly issue, we see replacing the windows as a likely necessity for staying safe in the Bay Area. Has anyone done this? Do you have a recommended company that does a good job with these custom windows in old houses? Anything you feel we should be considering?
Thank you!Mar 19, 2021
– Sep 15, 2020(8 replies)
Our preschool opened up (with stable cohorts, daily temperature checks, etc) last month, but it is now closed again due to the poor air quality. I'm curious to know whether other programs that were recently open for in-person instruction are also closing during this time. If your preschool is closed due to poor air quality, I'd love to learn more about the criteria your preschool is using in deciding when to close the school. Thanks!Sep 15, 2020
– Sep 14, 2020(2 replies)
I’m looking for feedback on whether your kids are struggling with sleep right now. Has it become erratic? What’s helping you?
We moved at the start of the pandemic and my child is in her own room, for the first time. It’s close to ours, but she’s really stumbled with both going to sleep and sleeping through the night. Bad dreams, or not enough excercise, especially this week stuck inside. Many times, when she wakes, she’s up from 3am.. til 6am. This has been hard.
We’ve used melatonin to get her to sleep so she’s not taking 2-3 hours to fall asleep. We’ve done sleep training throughout her life. But she’s particularly scared of fires (first really bad dream here was about fires in her school, many months ago :(. We don’t want to over use melatonin, nor do we want to be so severe in sleep training during this time, but open to what makes sense. We’ve let her have books in bed to cycle down, or slept by her bed or have her come in with us, with a really bad dream or night. We want to stop a lot of that within reason but with these times, it’s felt like the best thing in the moment.
We’re struggling with whether to be just plain rigorously consistent in never staying there or letting her in bed, no books, and only check in’s (like extinction method), or perhaps continuing to really meet the trauma needs and knowing this is a long game, and offshoot because of this hard season. Thankfully, she’s a pretty well adjusted in this time, although beyond bored this week (no matter the exercise, obstacle course, etc).
Really want her to get good rest, and us too. It’s been hard.
Thanks for what’s worked for you.Sep 14, 2020
– Sep 11, 2020(5 replies)
I just returned from Portland Oregon where I’ve been sheltering from the smoke. And now it’s just as smoky in Portland. And I’m wondering:
for parents of toddlers in small residences (I live in a second floor apartment)
what are you doing to keep them occupied and out of trouble? Given that the outdoor air is unsafe and public indoor spaces are closed due to COVID?
Thanks, EmilySep 11, 2020
– Sep 10, 2020(14 replies)
Hi friends -- for the last 4 years, I've referred to the fall fire season as: 'the fifth CA season: Mama questions her life choices,' but this year, with the insanely early and intense fire season on top of COVID and all else, I'm really struggling and wondering if it is time to explore leaving the area. I am not a CA native, but have lived in various parts of the East Bay for more than a decade; my husband has never lived anywhere else. His parents are both in the East Bay; mine moved 2 years ago to Reno/Tahoe to be closer to us, and my brother and his family now live in Roseville in a house that they bought with the intention of it being the only house they'll ever own. We have a preschooler and toddler. We bought our house in the Richmond area more than 5 years ago, and are now pretty deeply rooted in our local community, to the point where I've seriously considered running for city council or school board. My husband's an introverted sort who struggles with making new friends in a place he's lived all his life, and also works in software, so is wary of moving away from the tech coast. When the weather is good, the kids and I basically live outside, and our neighborhood is perfect for that kind of lifestyle. We have amazing neighbor friends who I've been scheming to build a real neighborhood community with for the last 2 years. And yet.
I grew up in northern New England and still have connections there, including some beloved relatives who just moved back to Maine. This week, I'm bouncing wildly back and forth between all the reasons to stay (everything outlined in the preceding paragraph), and the specter of the West just getting drier and hotter and more charred every year, with a longer, uglier fire season every fall. The cost of living hasn't prompted these thoughts in me; the traffic is annoying but manageable; the risk of "the big one" doesn't scare me most of the time (we've done all the preparations we can, have EQ insurance, etc.); but the idea of being locked in our homes for months at a time, literally unable to even play in the yard, every year for the rest of my kids' childhoods... that's starting to feel overwhelming. If winter lasts for 4 months as it did when I was a kid, I can put the kids in wool hats and snowsuits and spend the day outside, but there's no "good clothing" for fire season.
I know this list has some subscribers who've gone elsewhere. Anybody have any advice they could offer? <3Sep 10, 2020