Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Oops...


Oh my goodness… I know it’s been quite awhile since I shared a post.  I had one started and never finished it and the truth is, I just haven’t felt like writing.  Part of that is because our days aren’t super exciting or noteworthy, but at the same time, I feel like we’re as busy as ever.  Busy just looks different these days.  We’ve been cooking dinner together, creating scavenger hunts for the boys, taking walks, cleaning out cars, and eating as many meals as possible outside.  We just started taking the boys to local parks again, but only let them play if there are no other kids present.  We’re trying to make the most of our new normal.







A few events since I last posted… Father’s Day!  I will admit I’m a bit jealous because Father’s Day was much better than Mother’s Day.  The weather was beautiful and the boys were great.  The night prior, we went out to eat at a local restaurant.  It was our first time since March.  We wore masks, practiced social distancing, and ate outside.  All of the staff wore masks as well.  I really enjoyed it.  The boys and I made our very first cheesecake and we had that for dessert.  On Father’s Day, we grabbed Starbucks in the morning, went for a walk, the boys played outside, and A grilled.  We gifted A books, a game, cologne, and hand sanitizer. 😊  It was just a nice, low key day.




We had a fun 4th of July that consisted of grilling, popsicles, and sparklers.  The boys played in the inflatable pool while we sat outside and enjoyed a nice day.  Our nextdoor neighbors went all out with tons of fireworks so we had an up close view.







We traveled to Maryland.  I know this is controversial and we didn’t make the decision lightly.  I’ll share more on this in another post, but I will also mention that we wore masks every time we were in public and practiced social distancing.  We stayed at my aunt’s house and had an entire floor to ourselves.  Maryland also has far fewer cases of COVID than our home state.  We were very careful and I feel like this little trip was so good for our mental health.  More to come!

Friday, June 19, 2020

Currently...


I’m really appreciating a slower pace these days.  While I’m sad that the boys can’t participate in their usual summer activities and we can’t just turn up at our favorite restaurants or go to a Cubs game, I love that we’re not busy all the time.  Our weekends aren’t jam packed for once.



Over the past weekend, we picked out flowers from a couple local shops and walked along the river trail at the forest preserve.  It was unseasonably cool and I loved it.  We’re still eating outside as much as possible (though I saw a spider today so I may never set foot out there again) and playing badminton in the back yard.  We’ve created more chalk drawings than I ever thought possible and tried new recipes (spaghetti carbonera… yum!!) .

This past month has been the busiest at work for me and the slower pace of things has helped me not feel too overwhelmed.  The same could be said for grad school.  If this was a “normal” summer, taking a class on top of all the activities would have been really tough (not to imply that it isn’t tough… this class has been odd).

In other news, my intern started and I’m really enjoying being a “boss”.  I like helping others learn and I enjoy sharing knowledge.  I’ve appreciated the experience more than I expected.

A and I are also still enjoying weekly trivia nights.  I’m still terrible, but love participating.

Looking forward to celebrating A this weekend!

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Life Lately


Ugh.  It’s been a bit since I posted.  The state of the world right now is heavy on my heart.  We need to do better.

I keep meaning to write something on my “lunch break” (ha!), but lunch breaks look different these days and the weeks are just challenging.  So here we are.  Lots of updates…

Our weekends have been wonderful!  For as challenging as the week days can be, the weekends have been restorative and (mostly) peaceful.  I’m living for the weekends.  Memorial Day weekend was beautiful and we spent the majority of our weekend outside.  We took walks and played badminton in the back yard.  My mom and Nani and Papa came over for a socially distanced cook out.  It was great to catch up and it was wonderful to have a little “normalcy” back in our lives.




We’ve participated in a couple “drive by parades” for A’s students and we have a couple scheduled for the boys.  I am absolutely loving these and think they should become a thing even after virus concerns dwindle.  W has already asked for one for his December birthday.  Not sure about that, but I do know we’ve had fun creating signs, decorating the car, honking and waving. 😊  We’ve also enjoyed seeing a few parades take place in our neighborhood.

All the guys have finished school for the year and that comes with very mixed emotions.  I’m elated to be done with eLearning.  But I’m also heartbroken the boys didn’t finish the school year AT school.  When they left in March, we had no inclination they may not return.  This was S’s final year of preschool. He left without saying goodbye to friends, some of whom we likely won’t see again.  There was no celebration, no closure for such an important milestone.  And my contemplative W missed out on field trips, projects only his creative teacher could effectively demonstrate, thoughtful instruction, and fun with friends. A and I tried our best, but between juggling our own work and having no experience teaching little kids, there’s no way we could fill the shoes of the boys’ amazing teachers.  I’m just so sad this school year ended the way it did and I’m praying both boys can return to school in the fall.




We visited the lake this past weekend.  The boys loved climbing on the rocks and running along the shore.  We stayed far away from any other people.  I absolutely love the water – it’s so calming.  The boys didn’t want to leave and asked if we could return the following day.  Can’t wait to visit again.  This particular state park is only 15 minutes from our home and we never visit – that needs to change.







We’ve eaten dinner outside quite a bit lately and I’m loving it.  A commented that we have eaten outside more times in the past month than we have the entire time we’ve owned the house.

We bought a new car!  A’s car wouldn’t start a few weeks ago and we had it towed to a repair shop.  There was a pretty long list of maintenance work that needed to be done.  We were hoping it would last through the summer, but it didn’t make sense to spend money on fixing things when we didn’t intend to keep it much longer.  I guess the timing worked out because we were able to trade it in and I feel like we got a good deal and 0 percent financing.

I guess that’s all for now.  Stay healthy and be kind to one another!

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Currently...

I keep meaning to write a quick post.  Somehow it seems like there's less to do, but I'm busier than ever.  A couple weeks ago we had the best week and I was all "we've FINALLY got this quarantine situation figured out!".  And then the following Monday and Tuesday were a complete disaster and I realized that the previous week was a fluke.  Ha!  Really, though, this will never feel normal.  Some days are wonderful and others are terrible.  I've come to realize that W especially needs my undivided attention.  He just does.  And days in which I can do school lessons and focus on just him are usually good days.  S continues to amaze me with how much he's learned in the past couple months.  He writes, he spells several words, he recognizes several words.  None of that was intentional.  It was simply the result of him expressing interest and needing to find activities to keep him busy while W worked on school.  I'm praying he can start Kindergarten on time because this boy is so ready.

Mother's Day was... interesting.  A went out to grab Starbucks for us and the boys were just awful.  I was in tears when he arrived home and felt pretty foolish.  I think I was just frustrated and so tired of quarantine life.  I had high expectations that the day would automatically be great given that it was Mother's Day.  Sadly, the weather was terrible and we even saw snow flurries.  Ugh.  Thankfully, things improved after breakfast and the guys treated me to a few goodies and lunch from a local restaurant.  All's well that ends well - though I am hoping to leave the house next year. :)




Have I mentioned that I'm getting an intern at work??  ME of all people.  No idea what to do with her or how to provide meaningful work virtually, but I've got an intern, y'all!

I finished my class and got an A.  I'm proud of myself.  It was my first grad class in several years and I did it while working full time, completing eLearning lessons, mothering, and volunteering. 

I know there was more I meant to share, but I'm drawing a blank.  Until next time...

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Weekend Recap

How is everyone holding up?

I thought we finally had things figured out as last week got off to a great start.  And then Thursday and Friday happened.  Ha.  One child gave the cat a hair cut and the other threw a broom at me.  They both trashed their rooms and broke a curtain rod.  I won't tell you who did what, but I lost it.  And then I started thinking about how I knew I'd be a terrible stay at home mom and moments like these only prove it.  I miss going to work, I miss routine, I miss leaving the house!  I was feeling pretty low.  Except this current situation is not even close to what being a stay at home mom would look like and everyone is struggling in some way... So I know I need to cut myself some slack.

Thankfully, the weekend came and we decorated cookies, played games, took walks, and ordered lunch.  The baker who makes the boys' birthday cakes offers contactless delivery of baked goodies.  So far I've ordered cupcakes, brownies, cookies, and a cookie decorating kit.  Obviously the quarantine diet is going really well.  But I've also realized we need little things to look forward to and I love treats.






I just completed my graduate class.  I submitted my two final assignments early for feedback from my professor.  I was really nervous and asked both A and a colleague to review my work before I submitted.  Then I changed my mind and decided they already had enough work to do so I needed to suck it up and accept whatever feedback came my way.  Well, my professor told me I nailed it.  I'm proud of myself and I'm halfway through the program!  One less thing to worry about! Woohoo!

I started reading Harry Potter with the boys last night.  I've never read the series and after W was born, I knew I wanted to read it with him some day.  These aren't the types of books the boys would typically choose and S is definitely young for it, but we're going to give it a try anyway.  We've been reading a ton since the stay at home order and I love it!

Oh!  I gave the boys haircuts.  I watched one whole YouTube video and decided I could do it.  And guess what!  They turned out really well!




I think that sums up life lately.  Really, we just take each day as it comes and hope for the best. :)

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Weekend Recap / Easter


I’m a bit late in posting an update/recap/whatever you want to call it, but as I mentioned previously, not much is happening and every day feels pretty much the same.

I spent the majority of Easter just feeling sad and trying to repeatedly give myself a pep talk about how our situation could be so much worse.  We still had Easter baskets, an egg hunt, and an amazing dinner.  By the way, A and I can apparently cook a really great grown up meal – who knew?!?  We had ham, roasted potatoes, mac and cheese, green beans, deviled eggs, and cupcakes.  Yum!  But I couldn’t help feeling disappointed that we weren’t able to attend church or celebrate with our extended families like we’ve done in years past.








We’re just taking things day by day.  Admittedly, some days are really challenging and just plain hard.  These are they days in which A and I have work meetings and the boys don’t cooperate.  The boys come into the bedroom where I work about 8057 time or they're fed up with the current situation, which results in yelling and throwing things.  There are meltdowns and arguments and A and I end up completely exhausted.  But luckily, the challenging days are usually followed by better days.  Days that include chalk drawings, dance parties, long walks, scavenger hunts, science experiments, and reading books.

I get overwhelmed easily.  I’ve noticed it ever since my brother passed away.  Things that would typically bother me just feel heavier and bother me so much more and I feel a tremendous sense of dread.  So you can imagine that working full time with kids home full time, home school, graduate class, and weekly preschool board meetings are weighing on me.  In a totally ironic twist, I talked to my doctor about this and he prescribed a medication to only be taken when I needed it most.  You know, like now.  Except I didn’t fill said prescription before we went on lock down and now I’m too afraid to visit the pharmacy for a non essential medication.  Ha.  Go figure.

Last night, after my board meeting, we put the boys to bed quickly and hopped on a virtual trivia tournament.  Yes, I now realize I sound like an uber nerd.  You should know that I hardly knew any of the answers.  But it was the first time in a long time that I felt a little more “normal”.  We had so much fun and I’m so glad our friends invited us.  We ended up in third place and our friends came in second out of 25ish teams.  Again, can’t take any credit, but I love trivia contests with A.

Other positive takeaways from the past couple weeks: We’re still trying to get walks in when possible and I feel SO much better when I get a little fresh air and exercise.  It has snowed a few times, though.   We joined our neighbors in donating funds to our mail carrier, UPS delivery man, Fed Ex delivery man, and sanitation workers.  Tomorrow we’re presenting them all with the money collected and also making thank you signs for our yards.  I love that our neighbors organized this!  S and I have started doing kids YouTube dance videos.  If I needed confirmation that I’m the world’s worst dancer, this was it!  But S told me I’m his favorite person to dance with so there.

Stay well!



Friday, April 3, 2020

Weekend Recap

I don't really have much of a weekend recap because every day feels more or less the same.  I think everyone is in the same boat.

We've been going for walks everyday - thankful we live in a pretty big neighborhood and have been able to discover new routes and places.





We visited my mom as well as Nani and Papa from the driveway.  S even made a sign to hold up.  I think it was so good for the boys to see their grandparents.  They had a really really challenging Monday.  The entire day felt like one giant meltdown, but since then, things have gone well.  There are scuffles and arguments, but I'm grateful the boys have each other during this time.



My mom came over yesterday for a "social distance" walk - she stayed outside and walked 6 feet behind us, but it was great to catch up while getting some fresh air.  We ended up walking for over an hour.  On the downside, Charlie still smells like a swamp after our walk - so gross!

We've done quite well with meal planning and I'm proud of us.  W has surprised me with some of the things he's liked - mostaccioli, chicken tacos, and greek chicken with rice.  I've made it a point to let him know that I'm trying new recipes and if he doesn't like what I make, we'll find something else for him.  I think this has taken the pressure off in a way and he's discovered that he really does like different foods.  A major win!

Work is challenging because I don't have the office conveniences and the boys do interrupt often.  I'm just doing the best I can.