Saturday, April 18, 2020

Quarantine Easter

"Are we going anywhere TODAY?" - what Cora's asks, literally every single morning.

After I sadly answer, no, we are not, she replies with all of the sass she can muster, "Well then when will we go somewhere? And don't tell me you don't know. Please just give me a number."
Posing with Charlie - Nonnie's dog

Bless her heart, I have been asking that same question in my head, so I feel her pain in my soul. I too want to go somewhere, anywhere, but I don't even need to go to the grocery store this week, so here I shall remain.

I did two weeks' worth of grocery shopping last week, and ventured out to Costco, where I waited in a line outside wearing a mask and had to remind myself this isn't actually a dream or a dystopian novel, but a "normal" Friday.

I am currently in between patient phone calls, hiding in my office while Dan cleans up the breakfast he made (bacon and the most amazing scrambled eggs with garlic, ginger, jalapenos, and onion - the ginger makes them seriously next level) and I can hear Ina quizzing Cora with preschool brain teaser cards while Mira is doing her best to destroy any order around her. They will find me soon, but until then I am going to furiously type this post out.

We joined the rest of the world with celebrating Easter in isolation, which is just so weird. I am so thankful for the ability to watch our pastor and worship team on YouTube, but I miss being with my church on Easter, everything from seeing everyone dressed up to the worship music being extra loud. Next year is just going to have to be even more extra.

We dyed eggs on the Friday before Easter and only cracked half of them, so I consider it an overall success.

Just as we finished putting the eggs up, a dearly precious friend Charlotte sent me a text message to say that the Easter Bunny had stopped by our house and the girls ran outside to find buckets of treats and eggs scattered all over the yard.

The squealing went on for ages as they ran from treat to treat and they stayed outside the rest of the afternoon playing with their new toys and eating candy without me stopping them at once piece. This was such a sweet surprise and another reminder that although we are "isolated" our tribe is still showing up to support us. Other ways we have been so blessed:

  • My friend/neighbor Mallory gave me a pot of beautiful pink tulips. Ina even wrote a short story about them for school. 
  • My dad dropped off bouquets of suckers in the bushes for the girls to discover
  • My friend/neighbor Kim drops off treats for the girls on the regular, along with writing Ina letters. She also brought me an iced coffee that saved my day last week.
  • Brooke brought me over a drink and new nails! I can't wait to put them on.
  • My group chats with my friends have been much more active, sending memes and encouragement to each other. 
  • The girls' cousin gave them the mermaid section of the dollar store. I have not been to the dollar store in years, but I am certain that section doesn't contain one more thing that isn't in our hose right now.
As you can see, we have been spoiled beyond belief and this has me thinking of ways I can shift my time and energy balance to brighten others' days. 

I worked Saturday morning and then spent a good chunk of time in the kitchen, prepping food for the week. I made mayo, and, just like every week, a little jumps out of the blender onto me when I have the lid up during the loooonnnggg 2 minute pour/trickle time.

Dan calls it my weekly mayonnaise hair and skin mask. Lovely, isn't it?

After spending the day in my workout clothes, getting various things done, Brooke text me to let me know her family was outside playing corn hole and I should come down and chat, from a safe social distance of course. I left to join them immediately, but out of the confines of my house, my lack of a shower suddenly became very obvious to me. I excused myself and came back 40 minutes later a new woman with eyebrows and earrings.

After dinner I joined Brooke, Mallory, and new friend Monica for a drink while chatting in our four corners of the driveway. A storm was coming in, so I reluctantly peeled myself off the concrete around 8, but I think I would have stayed all night if they would have. I don't think I realized how much social interaction fills my cup.

Sunday morning, the Easter Bunny came and gave the girls matching Birkenstocks. That is one clever bunny!

The girls ate candy while I made bacon and eggs from breakfast, then we showered for our obligatory family photo.

True to their natures, Ina took her skirt off five minutes after the picture was taken, and Cora and Mira refused to remove their dresses. Mira even slept in her's.

Mira's newest saying of endearment is to say, "Mommy, I love you with all of your heart." Sometimes she follows that with a "poopy face," but only if I am lucky.

We watched church online and then a few Easter themed activities, followed by listening to worship music on YouTube while making a late lunch of steak, seared scallops, deviled eggs (salvaging the dyed eggs project) and broccoli salad.

The girls were full of candy, but I wasn't too upset when there was extra steak for me. After lunch we watched a recorded version of Sight and Sound Theater's production of Jesus.

The show was absolutely beautiful and had me regretting all of the times we have been to Branson and not gone to whatever show they were putting on at the time. That changes now.

The rest of the week went on as one would expect from a home schooling working from home scientist mom. Ina did the announcements for her school.

I started a new Beach Body program called Lift4 and I LOVE it (but am still looking forward to the day when I go back to the gym.) I met with both my women's and couples small groups on Zoom.

I had what I can only describe as a panic attack on Tuesday for no clear reason, other than that we had nothing planned to do and that nothing made me more uncomfortable than our normally stuffed schedule and I didn't know what to do with my energy. Don't worry, I haven't felt that way since and I texted my counselor, who I haven't talked to in months, to hash it out. After an hour long conversation, we came up with a plan and strategy for me to soak up and enjoy those times of "nothing" instead of running from them or finding something to do. I will let you know how it goes!

Ina has been staying with me during the day a few days of the week while the other girls go to Nonnie's house with her, and I am loving the one on one time. Thankfully, after a little guidance and direction from me, she can do her school work on her own while I work, and we take breaks to read together or go on a walk / bike ride.

We are continuing to eat so well, mostly because I have more time to cook. Some meals we had this week - I would recommend any/all of these recipes for your meal plan!

F: Marinated grilled chicken with my favorite Brussels sprouts salad
S: Ribs, potato salad, and slaw
S:  loved this sweet and salty broccoli salad!
M: Burgers, roasted potatoes, and salad
T: Dijon Chicken Thighs, carrots, and steamed asparagus
W: Kaula pig with cabbage (cooked in kaula pig juice) and beets - on a weekly rotation around here
Th: Moroccan meatballs (delicious!), cucumber and onion salad, roasted sweet potatoes

Have a great weekend friends! <3

Friday, April 10, 2020

Shelter in Place Week 3: Dan's Birthday Camping Trip

Hello there!

(I curled my hair and felt it should be documented.)

Here we are, another week of the majority of our relationship building needs being under-filled with Zoom Meetings, YouTube Videos, and Facebook/Instagram stalking. Sorry, I didn't mean to start this post off so negative, because I know I have absolutely nothing to complain about. Dan and I both have our jobs. My loved ones are healthy. I have food and childcare and every little thing I need, with the exception of social interaction that doesn't involve a screen or the tiny humans that live in my house.

So, let's start over. Here we are, another week of having the opportunity to spend even more time together as a family!

And together we have been. The day I found out school was cancelled for at least a month (and then beyond) I stood in the kitchen and listened to the girls arguing with each other about every single little silly thing and had serious doubts we would all survive this month. I am happy to report that a few weeks later, although the the growing pains were rough, the girls are doing a great job of being each others' playmates despite differences in age, toy supply and demand, and movie preference. Of course they still argue, but they also have huge chunks of time when they play together in the toy room without adult guidance or intervention. Honestly, they seem to have the most fun when they "wrestle." Yep, who knew that my three princess dress wearing daughters would pass their stay at home time rolling on the ground together?

Have I mentioned that Dan purchased a camper?

I say "Dan" and not "we" because I didn't know about this transaction until it was complete. Apparently these desperate times call for quick decisions to be made in the area of alternative living situations.

Our new pride and joy is parked on my family's farmland, ready and waiting, with no running water or electricity.

The girls, who have been begging for a "camping thing" for years, were beyond elated and begged to go camping the minute they saw it. I promised them and Dan we could go as soon as we finished  painting the living room, which just happened to coincide with Dan's 35th birthday.

On Saturday morning Dan and the girls packed their clothes and left early while I worked, then I packed up some healthy(ish) food and headed down around lunch time. Considering this was the first time they have packed for such an event, they did a decent job. Mira only had one pair of shoes, which she poured water in during the drive down, Cora only had one shirt, and the only socks to be found were two singles (one of Ina's, one of Mira's). When I told Dan there wasn't anything for Cora to wear, he actually replied, "Yes, there is. Look at how many pink things are left in the suitcase."

Bless his heart.

It turns out that socks are only required if you are a wussy (me) when camping in near freezing temperatures, as the rest of my family went barefoot the majority of the time.

I have to admit that when I sat down next to the fire, shivering within the first 15 minutes of being there, I was less than enthusiastic about sleeping in the cold and may have been a touch pouty. It didn't take Dan any time to say in the nicest way possible, "This is my birthday and I want to have fun. If you don't want to be here, you can leave."

After hearing that I put on a second layer of my big girl pants, ignored the cold, and joined my family in having a lot of fun.

We walked through the timber (where my family has had weenie roasts since I can remember) to the creek (where I played as a kid) and Ina sang, "We're lost in a field of thoooorrrrnnnns!"

We drove around and oinked at pigs and moo-ed at cows.

We sat by the fire singing and talking, grilling up frozen pizzas (Dan's birthday meal request), smore's, and hot dogs.

We played cards - Ina is becoming quite the Spades player and I don't want to admit how many times she set me.

We went dug for worms and went fishing.

We climbed trees.

We finished the 24 hours off with go-kart riding.

While I did change my attitude, I have to disclose that during the first hour on Sunday morning, after sleeping on a slight tilt with 5 people in 20 squared feet, I sat in the van listening to my audio book, drinking the iced coffee I had packed, and taking full advantage of the heated seats. (Side note: if you have not read Educated you should. It is a masterpiece of a book.)

Even though a full work week has passed since going camping, I don't have many specifics to report. I am learning a new program/application at work. I have homework again, which is right in line with the girls. (Ina came in my office when I was messing with these plots and I taught her what a concentration versus time curve was. Home school: check.)

Our walls have a little more paint on them.

The girls continue to have Zoom meetings for school, dance, and small group. I continue to be beyond grateful for my mother-in-law, who is making this season possible for us.

I have been going on very long walks. They keep me sane and I love them.

Inspired by a Facetime with my sister and neice, Ina and I did fun "science experiment.". Behold, our rainbow in a jar, which only took 5 tries.

I bottled my kombucha and started a new fermentation.

Some recipes we loved this week:

I hope you have a Happy Easter! <3
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