All the days are running together, please help.
We’re set with a good routine, but I don’t really have to know the specific date to make life work right now so when I look at the calendar, it often surprises me.
April, hello! Thanks for the sunshine!
That’s the best part of week three, I think. After a few weeks of cold, rainy weather, we got warmer temperatures and sunshine. Spring sunshine always feels special, but right now might top all the other spring suns.
We finished March with a birthday celebration: Harper turned nine on Tuesday. We knew this birthday would be especially rough since there were no parties, no classroom treats, and no traveling. In anticipation, I asked my Instagram followers to send a birthday card to Harper. Nothing fancy, a homemade card on lined paper would be more than fine, and my followers came through.
It was overwhelming, truthfully.
So many people (more than 70!) sent cards, stickers, pictures, bookmarks, puzzles, and more to my girl. She woke up to stacks of cards and packages. It was more than I could have imagined.
I scheduled her day full of FaceTime “meetings”: breakfast with Meme, lunch date with Poppy, cousins called in the afternoon, and friends sent messages. Then in the evening after dinner, we had her party.
About a week before, I had texted friends asking them to make a cake and join us via Zoom to sing and celebrate together. I offered to drop off cake mix and icing if they needed it. Everyone made cakes (so many cakes!), and then at 6:30 we surprised Harper with a Zoom call with all her people. We sang, everyone blew out candles, we showed off cakes, and then we ate together. Eventually, the party turned into a pet parade with guinea pigs, cats, dogs, a lizard, and a snake joined the festivities.
It was such a good evening. Our people showed up big time, and I am so thankful for the people who show up no matter what. Even if they do bring a snake with them, Christine.
This week was full of Zoom calls. After a few weeks of settling into our new life of never leaving the house, we got back to our regularly scheduled events.
The girls started e-learning and spend two hours a day doing work their teachers assign. I’ve decided two hours is all they get to spend on school, we’re not spending more than that on schoolwork a day. Our district is only asking for three days a week (Tuesday-Thursday) so if what they need to do is taking longer, we’re making it up on non-school days. But that has yet to happen. Trying to explain to my over-achieving eleven year old that her teachers are not in charge of our time at home has been challenging (even though her teachers have said the same thing). We made it through the first week without much struggle.
Sunday was another family game night using Jackbox Games.
Tuesday evening I held book club over Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson.
Wednesday we had life group and helped some technology-challenged people get set up with video chatting.
Thursday morning Bible study started back up.
My friends and I had our monthly First Thursday gathering, but this time in a parking lot while sitting in our trunks. We stayed six feet away from each other, ate our own snacks, talked about what life was like right now, and stayed until the streetlights came on. It was good to see my girls and hear what’s happening in their lives. Yes, we text, but face-to-face just feels better, especially after the things that have happened since our March dinner.
Last week felt busy. Our evening schedules were full, and I’m still working 40+ hours a week. Chris has one day off during the week with his reduced hours so it’s helpful when he can take over parenting duties when he’s here. I am not complaining that we both have jobs and so much hasn’t changed, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t feel a little envious of the people who are home with less to do.
We’ve been finishing up lots of random house projects that needed completed. Chris added trim to the kitchen bookshelves, he moved my garden boxes and built some new ones, he got the lawn mowers ready for the fast-growing green grass. I finally painted the trim in our bathroom, only two years after we did the remodel. I hung up picture frames in our room hoping it would annoy me enough to finally order pictures to put in them. That trick hasn’t worked yet, unfortunately.
We have a giant rainbow drawing in the garage window that says “Have a nice day!” and a tie-dyed bear in the living room window. We don’t have lots of foot traffic by our house, but if anyone happens to drive by looking for rainbows or on a teddy bear hunt, we wanted to be prepared.
Things that helped us this week:
-We spent Sunday and Monday baking cookies and brownies then spend Monday evening driving all over the east and south side to do porch drop-offs. This is a highlight for the girls because there is nothing more fun than trying to sneak up to someone’s porch and leave food when everyone is home. We got caught a few times, but the thrill makes the girls giggle so much. We’re still doing a weekly porch drop-off for friends and family. We do a different set each week and instead of the list getting shorter, we just keep thinking of more people to share with.
-The girls aren’t watching much TV. During the first two weeks, their schedules included an hour of TV each day, but now that school is back, there is no time. The weather is nice, they get an hour to play on their Chromebooks while I make dinner, and that’s been enough. It’s making Saturday morning cartoons and Sunday night movie night more enjoyable too. Having things, even routines, to look forward to each day is really keeping us going right now.
-Disney+ released Onward so we got to watch that this week. That was one the girls were bummed we didn’t get to see before everything closed down so it was a good surprise when it showed up.
-Walkie talkies! I bought walkie talkies for Christmas but when I wrapped everything up, the girls had too many presents. Somehow I got excited and went rogue from our four-gifts theme. So I put them back to use for camping, thinking it would be a fun surprise on our first outing of the year. One day the girls were outside playing some elaborate cops and robbers game outside, and I figured it was the perfect time to bring out the walkie talkies. THEY WERE A HIT. I don’t think I saw them the rest of the afternoon. Seriously, three hours later, they were still out there playing. Way to go, December Mary, your mistake really saved the day in March.
-Have you seen the Harry Potter escape room that everyone has been sharing? I put that on the schedule one afternoon and the girls gave it two thumbs up. J.K. Rowling also created a pretty sweet Wizard World website with fun stuff for Potterheads.
I did my weekly grocery store early Saturday morning. Walmart finally put up barriers, closed an exit, and started being more vigilant about social distancing. It took a lot longer than it should have. I knew the face mask recommendation was coming so I ran by my friend Casey’s house and picked up a mask on my way home. The bad news about being immersed in the news all day for work is that it’s very wearing and mentally exhausting. The good news is I’m aware just a *little* bit sooner than most people about what’s coming next. So I made sure to get enough food and supplies for two weeks during this trip. My goal is to not leave the house for 14 days. Those quick weekly trips need to stop for now, even if I look forward to them. It’s a relief though too. I was starting to get anxious and angry going out and seeing all the people who don’t seem to care about the rules or recommendations or the health of others. It was just getting to be too much for me. (I realize the privilege we have to be able to buy more food and stay away from the stores longer. That feels heavy too. All of this just feels so heavy.)
What’s for dinner?
Sunday: beef tacos
Monday: hamburgers & chicken on the grill
Tuesday: Skyline & noodles
Wednesday: eggs, sausage links, and biscuits
Thursday: frozen pizza
Friday: sub sandwiches
Saturday: grilled chicken, zucchini, and couscous
My tulips and hostas have started emerging from the ground. The tulips have been working their way up for a few weeks now, but this week actually felt like spring. I washed our winter coats and put them away for the season. This normally means there will be snow one more time, but I am in denial of this possibility.
I hope you survived week three! Tell me what you’re doing to stay busy!
DISCLOSURE: AFFILIATE LINKS USED