Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Our Week – The One with Quarantine, Week 2 (River Walk & Yard Parties)

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Originally, I had intended to post our weekly recap yesterday so I could dedicate today's entire post to all things Simplified Planner.  But with all of this new quarantine homeschooling going on, I've gotten way behind on all things life, and unfortunately, the blog has to be the first thing to take a back seat.

So before I get into the recap for this past week, I just wanted to let all of you know that the new Simplified planners will be available this morning starting at 10 AM!!!!  There are plenty of new covers, all of which are just gorgeous, so if you've been wanting to get your hands on one, today is the day!  Happy Floral has my name all over it for next year!  It is stunning.  

I've been using the Simplified planner for two years now and it's safe to say that I'll probably never stray.  These planners have everything that I need to stay 100% organized, and even better, I love everything that the brand stands for.  If you want to see why I love these planners so much, check out this post and this post, and if you want to see how I organized my entire life using this planner, check out this post hereBuy them here at 10 AM today!! 

Now for our weekly recap...

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Well, another week has come and gone, and things are looking more dire in the United States than ever.  This week I’m grateful for our little bubble, healthy family members, plenty of food to sustain us, and lots of at-home activities to entertain us.  I’m grateful for technology and the internet so that we can still be “close” to loved ones even though so far away physically, and I’m grateful that we still have toilet paper.  Because, yes, it’s still impossible to find online or in our city.  Sigh.

Monday, March 23 (Day 10 of Quarantine)

Monday morning, we were back to the grind with online/homeschooling in the morning.  We had a successful day and completed all of our work by lunchtime, and then after lunch, the kids and I all went outside in the driveway in our PJs to do sidewalk chalk before the rain came in. 

Monday afternoon, Jacob’s homeroom teacher called to check in on us and make sure that we were rolling right along without any issues, and the kids were excited to be able to talk to her, if only for a few minutes. 

Our school holds a spring fundraiser every year and I had already started collecting money from the third grade parents for our auction items, so I spent the afternoon refunding money to everyone who had contributed since the event has been canceled. 

While the kids watched their afternoon movie (Frozen 2 for the eight millionth time this week!), I talked to one of my old coworkers on the phone for a good 30 minutes.  He and I have lunch often since I quit two and a half years ago, but thanks to social distancing, we haven’t seen each other since the end of January, and we had a lot of catching up to do.  One thing I’ve enjoyed about the whole quarantining thing is more actual conversations on the phone instead of random texting.  I can’t even remember the last time I talked to someone besides my momma on the phone for 30 minutes!  It’s like old times! 

I made baked chicken, broccoli, and red potatoes for dinner, and then after dinner I jumped on the stair stepper for a few minutes to get some cardio in.  B and I put the kids down for bed around 8 and then he and I spent the rest of the evening watching shows.

Tuesday, March 24 (Day 11 of Quarantine)

Tuesday morning, I woke up feeling anxious because I knew I had to take a trip to the grocery store.  We were completely out of meat and fresh produce, and we were also almost out of milk.  We’ve seen no meat here in town for weeks (other than the Boston butt I purchased last week), so I wasn’t confident I’d come home with any chicken. 

Fresh Market does put their chicken on sale every Tuesday, and our Fresh Market is rarely busy, so I thought if I arrived at opening that maybe I could snag some.  However, right now, Fresh Market is letting all of the elderly shop for the first hour alone since they are more vulnerable (which is wonderful), so I had to wait until 9 AM to go in.  I arrived at 8:45 and sat in the car for a few minutes to scope out the situation, and at 8:59 AM I put on my gloves and walked into the store.  I was fully prepared to also wear a mask (just a reusable cloth one that I have for pollen season), but there was literally nobody else with one on, so I decided not to wear mine.  For starters, they say the masks aren’t even protecting anyone anyway, and I’ve seen where some people are stealing other people’s masks since there aren’t any to be found, and finally, I didn’t want to look like one of the horrible mask hoarders that everyone is looking to crucify right now.  (Wow, an entire paragraph about why I didn’t want to wear a mask to the grocery store.  Something I never thought I’d write about but here we are…)

Anyhoo, I was pleasantly surprised to see that Fresh Market was fully stocked on all produce and chicken (and it was still on sale!!!!) and they also had some breads and cheeses which have been hard to find.  There was a five pound limit on chicken, but five pounds is enough to feed our family five times, so it was definitely a win!  I filled my cart with loads of fresh produce, the five pound max of chicken, and some bread, cheese, and cookies.  They didn’t have any milk (dang it) and many other items that we needed so I knew we’d have to make a trip somewhere else later that day. 

When I got home, the fun part began.  I went inside, washed my hands, went back outside, brought the groceries inside, unloaded the groceries from the bags, tossed the bags in the outdoor recycling bin, went back inside, washed my hands, used an antibacterial wipe to wipe down all of the groceries, washed my hands, put the groceries away, sanitized the counter, the refrigerator handles, and the door knobs, and then I went upstairs and changed out of my grocery store clothes, put them in the washing machine, washed my hands, and then put on clean clothes.  LAWD.  If we end up getting this virus, it surely won’t be from lack of being sanitary.

After all that hullaballoo, the kids and I finally got started on our schoolwork for the day.  We miraculously managed to get all of our work done before lunch, and then after lunch I had a Zoom conference with my therapist.  I’ve been seeing her every couple of weeks since October to keep my anxiety in check, and as you can imagine it’s more important now than ever to keep my mind healthy and strong because of these circumstances.  I was originally scheduled to meet with her at her office, but thankfully, her whole office implemented remote conferencing this week so we can all stay safe at home.

Tuesday evening, we kept it low-key with pizza leftovers from Saturday evening when we ordered takeout.  After dinner, B ventured out to Publix because we were out of milk.  I made a long list for him of other items we needed (which we’re now just calling a wish list) and thankfully, he was able to fulfill 80% of the list, even finding ground beef!  Woo hoo!  There’s still no flour or sugar to be found as well as a couple of other items, but I’m sure we’ll get ahold of some soon. 

After dinner the kids and I went outside and played some more with the Stomp Rocket, and then B and I had a date with Netflix after the kids went to bed.

Wednesday, March 25 (Day 12 of Quarantine)

Wednesday morning, we started online/homeschool right on time and while the kids worked, I worked on sterilizing some Amazon packages that had arrived the day prior.  Since the virus has been found in several Amazon fulfillment centers, they’re now recommending that all packages be quarantined and not brought inside.  Therefore, our method is as follows:  we’re quarantining packages in the garage for a day or two, we’re opening them outside, dumping out the contents, disposing of the packaging in the outdoor recycling bins, wiping down the products with hand wipes, and then quarantining items inside for as long as possible before we actually need to use them.  So much work, but it gives me peace of mind.  Well, as much peace of mind as one can actually have during a time like this. 

After lunch, the kids and I went outside to do some working out.  Our school held three virtual spirit days this past week to keep everyone connected – TikTok Tuesday, Workout Wednesday, and Thankful Thursday.  I videoed the kids doing some jumping jacks and sent them in to the school to be shared with all of our families. 

After our workout, I went inside and put away some laundry and then Olivia and I gave her beloved Sheepie a much-needed bath.

The kids had their movie time afterward, and they chose a family favorite… Home Alone 2.  So good.  As per usual, I worked while they watched and then I went downstairs around 5 to make breakfast for dinner – eggs, grits, bacon, and toast.  Always a crowd pleaser!

After the kitchen was clean, we all went outside for some good evening fresh air.  The kids and I played frisbee in the back yard while B mowed the front yard.  Yep, it’s officially that time again… the grass is greening up and growing like crazy! 

We came inside a little earlier than usual Wednesday evening because Jacob had to get in his PJs for a Zoom bedtime story at 7 PM with his teacher and all of his classmates.  She read Mulan (the original version) to them and then they all chatted (goofed off) for the remaining time.

We put the kids to bed immediately following story time, and then B and I hung out on the couch watching shows as we do most nights.

Thursday, March 26 (Day 13 of Quarantine)

Thursday was another morning of school, and right around lunchtime that day, we got the news that the governor of Georgia extended public school closure through April 24th.  We were originally scheduled to go back April 6th, but it’s been pretty obvious as of late that it would have to be extended since things have gotten worse and worse by the day.  Our school is a private school which means that they can make their own decisions, but our superintendent and principal typically follow the lead of the public school system, so I knew it was only a matter of time before our school made the decision to do the same.

Even though I knew it was coming, and even though I knew it was for the best, the news saddened me, and the kids were also sad when I told them their time away from school would likely be extended.  We all decided to get out of our funk by going on a walk around the neighborhood just before lunch.  It was a beautiful day, but it was sunny and pretty darn hot, and we all worked up a little bit of a sweat.

After our walk, the kids wanted to do yoga, so I put on a video for them and I did some cleaning.  After their yoga class, they turned on their afternoon movie and I went upstairs to work.  I came down and made BBQ chicken, garlic whipped potatoes, and broccoli for dinner, and then we had a little more outside time after dinner. 

Our pastor had scheduled a livestream church council meeting at 7:30 to discuss some things, so I tuned into that for the whole 45 minutes while the kids got ready for bed.  It was very informative but also bittersweet as our school principal fielded questions about graduation and activities for our seniors.  My heart goes out to them… I just can’t imagine having my senior year ripped away from me like that.  Our principal also shared how successful our online learning program has been and how we’ve all been staying connected through morning prayer and live Zoom meetings every day.  It made me so proud to belong to such a wonderful, connected school whose priority is to put relationships and the well-being of our students and families first, and I’m just so grateful for them for putting forth so much extra effort during this hard time.  Our pastor also made the sad announcement that all Easter masses have been canceled and that Easter will, unfortunately, have to be celebrated via livestream.  I mean, I knew it was coming, but I definitely still shed some tears.  For the first time ever in my life, I won’t be able to set foot in church on Easter Sunday.  This is all just so strange.

Once that was over, B and I put the kids to bed, and then at 8:30 I logged back into Zoom for a live Parent Happy Hour that our school administration had put together for all of the parents at the school.  Everyone had brought their favorite cocktail and we all spent the next hour chatting and “hanging out.”  It was a unique experience, that’s for sure, and I was grateful to have some human interaction, even if it wasn’t face-to-face.

By the time I was done with that, it was already 9:30 but B and I just decided to YOLO and stay up a little later and watch some shows (because why not??), and then we ended up turning in around 11.

Friday, March 27 (Day 14 of Quarantine)

Friday morning was our last morning of online/homeschool for a while as we’re on spring break this week, and Jacob had live Zoom meetings with both of his teachers and his classmates.  His class was supposed to have been on a field trip to a nursing home that day, but since it was canceled, one of his teachers took the kids on a virtual field trip to Disney World and they all got to “ride” Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway in Hollywood Studios (which we were supposed to have been riding this week in real life.  Waaaahhhh) and Expedition Everest in Animal Kingdom.  It was such a special touch and a great way for him to kick off the day.

Mid-morning, we got the call from the school saying that they are extending online learning through April 24th just like the public schools in Georgia.  We obviously knew that was coming, but gosh, it was like a punch to the gut.  We’re slowly creeping into the timeframe where the kids should be doing all of their special end-of-the-year school activities and I’m just dreading hearing the words that kindergarten graduation is going to be canceled.  Please oh please let this all be over before that.

B and I got word Friday afternoon that The Fox theater had postponed all of their Hamilton shows, and that our tickets were rescheduled for a Saturday night in September.  I wrote it in my planner for the new date and then started wondering if we'd even be able to go then... I took to Instagram to poll all of you, and the majority of you think that things will be back to normal by then and that we'll be able to go.  I SURE HOPE SO!

After lunch, Jacob’s paraprofessional called to chat with him and check on him and I thought it was just the sweetest thing.  Our teachers are all going above and beyond to stay connected with our babies and it’s just been incredible.

The kids requested to go on another early afternoon walk, and as we walked our usual route, we saw one of Olivia’s friends from dance and her mom (my old friend from high school) sitting out in their driveway (they live one street over from us).  We chatted with them for a good 15 minutes (while standing about 15 feet away), and then we went on our way.

Our neighborhood has been in development for 12ish years now (it’s really big) and we’ve been living here for 10 of those years, so we’ve seen probably 75% of the houses get built.  There’s just one lot left in the whole neighborhood, and we discovered last week that they’re about to start building on it.  When we walked up on it Thursday, the kids were excited to see a giant pile of dirt and a huge piece of equipment to help level the lot since it’s on a major hill.  The kids requested to take their picture with the dirt pile and then we went on our way. 

When we got back home, it was time for Olivia to Zoom with her teacher and classmates, and her room mom had arranged for the kids to do a scavenger hunt together.  They all had to find something round, something that started with the letter A, something red, something small, something old, and a few other things.  Olivia loved it and she cheesed the entire time they were on together.  Plus, she got to see her BFF so her day was made.  After she was done, that wrapped up our school week, and we officially cleaned up and closed up shop for spring break.

That afternoon I worked while the kids watched their movie, and then I made grilled cheese and tomato soup for dinner because – Lent.  I’d had a particularly tough day because of everything going on, and I was feeling especially down because we were supposed to have left for Disney World the next day, so after dinner we Facetimed with my parents.  It’s always comforting to talk to your momma and daddy when you’re down.  Unfortunately, my mom and my brother both still have to work outside the home (they’re both essential at their jobs) so we can’t see them, and I miss them.   

After our call, we all piled on the couch and started the series The Imagineers, because what else would you watch the night before your canceled Disney trip?  We apparently like to torture ourselves.  Haha.  We watched the first episode and a half, and it’s very good, by the way.  :o)

After the kids went to bed, B and I watched the season finale of A Million Little Things, and oh my word, so many tears.  As if I haven’t been making enough of those on my own lately.  Then this picture showed up in my Timehop for the day... just cruel.

Saturday, March 28 (Day 15 of Quarantine)

Saturday morning, I woke up in a major funk.  I was just feeling so out of sorts knowing that we were supposed to have been leaving for Disney World, but instead, we were stuck at home trying to figure out how to fill nine days without leaving the house. 

I did make homemade waffles as I always do, and then we all watched Lego Masters, and then after that, I knew it was time to stop wallowing and get out of my funk.  We tidied up the house, Olivia played with her stuffed animals, B picked up Chick-Fil-A for lunch to break up the monotony of sandwiches, and the person who bagged our food had written a sweet little note on the bag which, of course, made me tear up.  It also made me snap out of it and try to make the most of the day.

It was sunny and mid-eighties, so B blew up the kids’ blow-up pool (third year running… I’m telling you, best money we’ve ever spent) and then we spent the entire afternoon outside.  The kids played in the pool so well for four whole hours.  I spent the time reading and working on my tan, and B spent the afternoon cleaning the overgrowth off of the back of our fence.  We’ve neglected it for the last ten years, so there was a lot to do… one good thing coming out of this quarantine!  Just look at that before and after down below!



We all came inside around 5, showered, and got directly into our PJs, and then we had hot dogs and mac n cheese for dinner.  B and I made a couple of Moscow Mules, and then we all settled in to watch one of my childhood favorites, Hook.  Jacob proclaimed it’s his favorite movie ever and Olivia proclaimed that it’s her second favorite movie ever, just behind Frozen 2.  Haha.  I hadn’t seen Hook in, probably, 20 years, and it took me straight back to being a kid again… and it made me miss Robin Williams more than ever.  And yes, of course, I cried.

After we got the kids in the bed, B and I decided to see what all the fuss was over Tiger King, and after just two episodes, I’m still wondering what the hell we watched.  OMG, what a train wreck of a show.  Haha.

Sunday, March 29 (Day 16 of Quarantine)

Sunday morning we slept in until 8:30 (typical) and then I made homemade Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins for breakfast.  We livestreamed church at 10:30 and it didn’t crash this time (yay!) and then we all got ready and had lunch.

By Sunday, the kids hadn’t left the house in seven whole days and I hadn’t left in five (only stepping out to go to Fresh Market earlier in the week) so I told B we needed to find somewhere to go because I was going crazy.  We decided to try to go to the river walk downtown, and we decided that if it was too busy, we’d leave and find somewhere else to go.  Thankfully, there was barely anyone there, so we spent the afternoon walking along the river and seeing the sights.  We go downtown pretty frequently, so it was bizarre that we hadn’t been in so long. 

There were a few other people out fishing and walking, but everyone was very careful to do the social distancing dance and stay far away from each other.  We ended up walking a different route than we normally do simply to avoid other people, and we ended up seeing a few spaces that we’d never really paid much attention to. 

Maui had never been there before, so she was in heaven, and I’m pretty sure she’s enjoying quarantine more than any other time… she’s probably been on more walks this week than she has in the past six months!  I think she’s also loving all of the extra time with us because she never has to be alone.  <3

Since we were already out and about, we decided to stop by my parents’ house for a yard party.  They sat on the porch while we stood in the yard, and we spent about 20 minutes catching up with them.

On the way home, we stopped by the liquor store down the street from our house to pick up some ginger beer since we were out.  They have a drive-thru so we didn’t have to get out of the car, and then I sanitized everything when we got home.

My father-in-law came over shortly after that to have a yard party at our house for a bit.  We hadn’t seen him in weeks, so it was nice catching up with him, too.  He lives alone, but he’s been making the most of his quarantine time by cleaning out all of his old files. 

B and the kids played video games the rest of the afternoon while I finally put in an hour or so of work, and then B picked up barbecue from our favorite local barbecue place for dinner.  We did the whole sanitizing rigamarole when he got home, and then we had a delicious dinner complete with leftovers to save for lunch one day this week. 

The rest of the evening was spent watching YouTube videos of the rides at Animal Kingdom since that’s where we were supposed to be on Sunday, and then we also watched some more of Tiger King after the kids went to bed.  Right before bed, Olivia chose to unroll and entire roll of toilet paper on the floor just because... she's literally never done that in her life and she chooses now of all time to do it when TP is precious.  Haha.  You better believe we made her roll the whole thing back up and they're gonna use it!

Sunday fueled us with some much-needed (SAFE) face-to-face interaction with real humans, so I’m hoping I can make it through this week without being too down and out. 

And now, since it’s the last week of the month, here's my currently section for March...

Currently Reading

I still haven't finished Christmas Shopaholic... I was enjoying it, but I put it on hold while I read City of Girls for my book club meeting, and then I just didn't have the desire to return to it since Christmas is over.  Whoops.  Instead, I picked up Class Mom since it's more appropriate for this time of year.  Even though, now it's really not since we're all stuck at home doing school online.  

Currently Watching

We just finished The Bachelor, This is Us, and A Million Little Things since they're all now on hiatus for the summer, and we're still working on Shark Tank, Modern Family, and Lego Masters.  B and I also started working our way through Better Call Saul season 5 a couple of weeks ago, aaaand we just started Tiger King which I literally cannot even wrap my mind around.  OMG.

Currently Listening To

Since we've been staying at home for the last few weeks, I've been glued to iHeart Radio listening to my favorite morning show - Elvis Duran.  I love how they report the news... they stick to the facts, they focus on the positive side of things, and they are not sensationalists as every other news outlet seems to be.  They make me laugh and that's exactly what I've been needing lately.  I've also been listening to a lot of jazz and old standards because they cheer me up, and we've also started listening to our favorite summer artists like Luke Bryan, Chris Janson, Zac Brown Band, Chris Stapleton, etc.  

Alright, y'all, after a verrrry long post, I'm finally out of things to say.  ;o)  Y'all take care!

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  1. Our schools exteneded to May 4th yesterday and I was the same..even though I knew it was coming it was still sad to see in writing. I've definitely realized I'm more social than I realized and I've been missing all my people...and just people in general. We had a shortage of meat and milk at first but all of that has been restocked and I have had zero issue getting groceries but we are still out of paper products. Thankfully I haven't needed any just yet so I haven't had to go. It's just so dang crazy...I would have never believed if someone would have told me this was going to happen!

  2. The next two weeks are going to be the hardest with most of our country going through the peak of corona - so it's going to be hard! I'm glad you're finding the great moments to get you through these times! The kids sure are a bright spot in our dark times! xo, Biana -BlovedBoston

  3. Yay for zoom and yard parties! You are such a good mom and I love your positivity and how you are making the most of it! So proud of you and I hope you’re already celebrating your birthday this week girl!

  4. Our schools are closed for the rest of this year and it just makes me sad to think about it, plus the summer coming up and on the one hand it's good I never signed up for camps for the kids but on the other, I just can't imagine having nothing planned all summer too! I am not doing a good job with sanitizing things coming into the house like you are.

  5. Tiger King really is just whack. I barely ever watch TV and my friend begged me to watch. It is an amazing world out there, eh? I need to remember to be as thorough as you next time I venture to the store. It is ok to get down in these weird times and little acts of lovely like that note on you Chic Fil A bag always appear when you need them. I hope your spring break week is going swimmingly!

  6. We have been bummed that we were supposed to be in Mexico. Everyday it has been we would have been doing this. Today it was we are supposed to be enjoying our last breakfast, walking the Melacon and flying home. It has been so sad. Love that Chick-fil-A did that to your bag of food. We haven't been there yet since this pandemic, but I am sure we would. I hope you guys are doing ok.

  7. Everything is so crazy right now, but it sounds like you're like us and just trying to make the best of it every day! Stay positive, mama <3

    1. Thank you. As much as I'd love to say I'm being positive about everything that hasn't always been the case. I've been trying to keep a happy face on for the kids because I know that's so important, but some days are much harder than others. Thank you so much for the encouragement.

  8. Hook was one of my favorite childhood movies too! We had Chik-fil-A the other night. It was delicious. They are always so kind and nice. Our schools (Kansas) are closed until next school year. Well, the buildings are closed and we are doing online learning. We just started Monday. I'm making a list everyday for the kiddos while I'm in the office and helping them in the evenings. (They are older, 8th and 10th grade) My daughter and I will be struggle busing on geometry. :)

    1. We just got word from our state yesterday that our schools will be closed for the remainder of the school year as well. To say I'm heartbroken that I won't get to see Olivia graduate from kindergarten is an understatement, but I know it's the right thing to do right now.  Good luck with your online learning!! I'm thankful I don't have to worry about geometry because I didn't even get it when I took it back in high school! Haha.

  9. I finished my quarantine recap, and never posted because it was so boring! Just a whole lot of staying home!

    1. You should post it anyway for yourself! I know my recaps are pretty boring, too, but at this point, I'm doing it for myself so we can look back on this one day. Nobody is ever going to believe this 30 years from now!

  10. I know just how you feel about Disney. We started making phone calls yesterday to cancel our trip (really we hope to still use our tickets and go in the fall so I guess it's another postponement but at this point I kind of feel defeated!).

    1. I'm so, so sorry. I hope you can go in the fall, too! I'm sure we'll be postponing ours for a second time soon. Early June is not looking good anymore I don't think.

  11. I hear you on the grocery store. I went last week, and it was crazy when I got home. I still have groceries in the garage. I figured I will be wiping down the perishables and just leaving everything else in the garage for 3 days. You are so lucky you can leave your house. We are under "shelter in place" and ugh!

    1. We are officially under "shelter in place" starting tomorrow so we won't be able to leave anymore. I'm so sorry you're in the same boat.


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