Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Shelter in Place Weeks 1 and 2

Hello there from my side of the internet!

Before I say anything else, I hope and pray that you and your family are safe, healthy, and comfortable during this unsettling time of COVID-19. If you are not and you can think of any way that I can help, PLEASE let me know.

We are currently doing the only thing we know will help: staying home. Social distancing is not something that comes naturally to me.

(Danielle and I happened to be at Aldi at the same time and even though we stood far apart while we chatted, we both leaned in for a selfie without thinking twice about it, until multiple well meaning people pointed out we were not six feet apart when I posted that picture on my Instagram stories. Fail.)

I have had multiple moments when my sub-conscience thinks of someone to visit or some friends to have over for dinner, before reality sets back in and crushes my sociable soul. Erasing every social event in my planner in the last half of March, April, and possibly beyond is small beans compared to what so many others have had to deal with (sickness, job loss, extra work, childcare issues, etc.) so I am once again counting every single blessing and good thing to be thankful for.

Explaining to the girls that school is on hold, they can't go to church, dance is now online, and yes, please go outside (but NO, DO NOT stand next to the neighbor kids. No! You cannot share that food with them! Yes, I told you that sharing is good, but NOT NOW!) has been incredibly challenging, but I think we finally have the hang of it.

One of our sweet neighbor friends had a birthday party planned for last weekend, but instead we had a "street party" where every family stood six feet apart, sang happy birthday, and cake was distributed with incredibly sanitized hands. Cora was nearly traumatized when she watched presents being opened from afar but was not able to get close to/touch/play with them. Although I hate to admit it, new toys and/or containers to put them in are her love language. For example, last night she saw me getting the coffee pot ready and her eyes lit up when she asked if she could use the filter basket to put her Hatchimals in. Sorry, I digress.

As Spring break was last week, schooling from home officially started today. My mother-in-law in my constant hero, as not only is she caring for my children while Dan and I continue to work (me from my home office as usual, not much as changed, and him still out delivering "essential" items to his customers), she is also now their teacher. I have armed her with a schedule, to-do list, and warnings to the girls that they better be on best behavior.

On Friday I gave her a break and combined my work day with their care/school in the best way I knew how.

Having a schedule helped tremendously, particularly with me being able to show myself that I worked a good chunk of time in the morning and would work again later, so there was little need to feel constantly pulled in multiple directions. (I fully recognize this only worked because my work is flexible and I only had to force everything together for one day. This model is not sustainable for many reasons and I feel for the parents that are having to work full time and school full time.)

In other news, Dan and I have decided to use this time at our house to our advantage and paint!

We haven't really done a thing to the house since we moved in, other than paint the girls' rooms when they were born. The brown walls and ceiling that I adored when we bought the house seemed to be getting darker by the day and closing in around me.

I sent Dan to Home Depot with instructions to get enough "light grey" paint to cover most walls in our house and he returned with 10 gallons of darkish gray/light blue/periwinkle.

I still can't decide if I am going to like the color, but why let a silly little thing like that stop me from attacking this project with gusto? Regardless, the ceiling is now WHITE, and this alone brightens up the room so much!

We knocked out a good chunk over the weekend (the ceiling and the majority of the living room walls) and I have broken the rest of the living room into reasonable bite sized chunks to finish this week. Then, this weekend we will hopefully rent scaffolding and tackle the very tall entry way. And Dan thought we would be taking extra naps during this quarantine. Ha!

Before the world shut down, Ina had her last basketball game, which she almost missed because she had the flu. Again. BUT, this time we treated early with Tamiflu and she turned around in almost no time at all.

I was sad to see basketball season end, and my opportunity to see my sister and her family twice a week go right along with it. I am looking forward to social times again!

Also, we celebrated Danielle's birthday by eating nachos and play Five Crowns, which is my idea of a perfect evening.

Two weeks later, the 4 of us had to chat in a slightly different way.

Although it isn't ideal, I am very thankful for Zoom! From happy hour to small group,

to dance lessons,

that one application alone is making this incredibly easier. (Like my office-turned dance studio? The girls' tap and ballet shoes now live next to my Clinical Pharmacology textbook. Life just got real.)

Recipes/meals to share - so many that I made myself prune them down to the best. Seriously friends, if you are getting extra time at home, use it in the kitchen! You won't regret it.

- Curry shrimp with cauliflower rice and fresh spinach and roasted broccoli. Holy YUM.

- Slow cooker kaula pig (quickly becoming my favorite recipe ever) with cabbage cooked in the juice

- Asian meatballs, ginger sesame roasted carrots, and cucumber onion salad

- Fajitas - nothing fancy - marinate the chicken breast, peppers, and onions in olive oil, lime juice, salt, and garlic and grill away

- Grilled chicken with Peruvian green sauce - still a family favorite

- Pan fried burgers, salad with homemade ranch, and oven fries - a meal we will likely have weekly. Did you know that eating sauerkraut on a burger makes you not even miss the bun?

- Korean beef bowls - do it.

Also, I cooked extensively from Nom Nom Paleo: Ready or Not! and loved every recipe: asparagus beef stir fry, ginger sesame roasted carrots, cracklin' chicken thighs, salmon patties, and coleslaw, just to name a few.

I hope that being home all of the time gives me more time to post. Talk to you  soon! <3

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