Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Our Week - The One with Quarantine, Week 3 (Spring Break, Disney Day, & My Birthday)

Last week was such a roller coaster of emotions for me, personally.  It was Spring Break for the kids, and also the week that we were supposed to have been at Disney World.  That knowledge, coupled with new mandates from the government, some bad news, and a birthday to celebrate in quarantine made for a very, very tough week.  I’m documenting this time in great depth, mostly to have this to look back on one day, so settle in, friends… this might be my longest weekly recap yet.

Monday, March 30 (Day 17 of Quarantine)

Monday morning, we started off the day with the news that all salaried employees at Brian’s company would have to take a 10% pay cut, effective immediately.  His company is being proactive to try to save as many jobs as they can for the impending recession, and that was one of the ways they decided to do it.  As you all know, I quit my full-time corporate job 2.5 years ago, so Brian’s income is extremely important.  The news completely blindsided us and that was the start of my funk for the week.  On the bright side, he still has a job, so we are trying our best to focus on that and be grateful.

Since Disney was canceled, B decided to work since there was no point in wasting vacation days when we can’t go anywhere, so the kids and I were on our own with no school work to keep us busy.  We spent the morning playing board games and Jacob pulled out an excavating kit he’d gotten for Christmas and hadn’t ever used.

We had a coupon for a free meal at Panera that was about to expire, so B ran out and grabbed soup, sandwiches, and salad at curbside pickup for lunch.  It was a welcome change from all of the home lunches we’ve been eating.

After lunch, the kids and I went outside to use our new box of sidewalk chalk that had just delivered a few days prior.  I drew a big rainbow, Jacob drew a bird, and Olivia drew Cinderella!  There’s just nothing like a fresh new box of sidewalk chalk!

The kids’ school had arranged to do a Spring Break parade to visit all of the students that day, and shortly after 1 PM, we saw three cars driving slowly up our street.  The kids ran to the top of the driveway and waved and cheered at the teachers who drove by.  I’ve said it before and I’m going to keep saying it over and over, I’ve never been so grateful to belong to our school as I have during this time.  They have truly done an outstanding job of keeping us all connected even though we can’t physically be together.  The things they’ve done and continue to do are just above and beyond.

After the parade, we all headed inside to play some more games, and then the kids turned on their afternoon movie while I got some work done.  They went back outside to do more sidewalk chalk art while I got dinner on the table.  Fortunately, before the quarantine, I’d made several freezer meals and put them away for a rainy day, so I was able to heat up Taco Joes without all the added work.

After dinner, we all decided to start our new 2,000-piece Disney puzzle.  We worked on it for a good hour or so, and then the kids went up to shower and get ready for bed.  I haven’t been sleeping the best, likely due to the fact that I haven’t been keeping up with my workouts, and I was also still in a funk from the morning’s news, so I knew I needed some physical activity.  I laced up my tennis shoes and headed out for a run to try and run all of my anger/sadness/disbelief out.  Now, I used to be a runner and I was actually really good, but I hung up my running shoes many years ago, so it was interesting to say the least.  I’m in good shape, but I definitely struggled, simply because I don’t ever run anymore… as a matter of fact, I pretty much hate running now.  So, my run ended up being more like a 3/4 run and 1/4 fast walk.  It did get my heart pumping, and it made me sweat a little, so it was a win, though.

When I got back home, the kids had just finished up with their showers, so we all headed to the living room to “ride” a few rides in Epcot since that’s where we were supposed to be that evening.  While we “rode” I hopped on my stair stepper and put in 500 more steps even though I was already pretty tired after running.

After the kids went to bed, B and I watched a couple more episodes of Tiger King (OMG) and then we called it a night.

Tuesday, March 31 (Day 18 of Quarantine)

Tuesday was rainy and there was a possibility of severe weather/tornadoes during the day (just what we needed on top of this quarantine), so we were stuck inside.  The kids started off the day with some cartoons during breakfast, and then the three of us all sat down to paint rocks together.  I couldn’t even tell you the last time I did something creative that wasn’t for the blog, and it really felt good to just do something different. 

We painted rocks until lunchtime, and then B came out of his office to join us, and after lunch, the kids made a big poster for my cousin because it was her birthday and we had plans to drive over and parade down her street.

After the poster was completed, the kids watched a movie while I worked, and by the time the movie was over, the rain had cleared out and made way for perfect sunshine.  We had avoided all of the severe weather!! 

B and the kids went outside while I put a frozen pizza in the oven, and B repaired part of our fence that was separating (more good things coming out of quarantine!).  After dinner, we all worked on the puzzle some more, and then just after 7 we headed over to my aunt and uncle’s house to see my cousin for her birthday.  My parents and my littlest brother met us over there, too, and we all lined up in our cars and pulled up in front of her house.  We spent about 30 minutes chatting with everyone from our cars, and then it was time to head home.

Tuesday was the day we were supposed to have been in Magic Kingdom, so we spent the rest of the night working some more on our puzzle and “riding” MK rides.  I’ve had so many people ask me where we are getting those videos, and they are all from YouTube!  You can watch pretty much any ride anywhere on YouTube!  The kids love doing it!

B and I finished Tiger King Tuesday night after the kids went to bed, and then we started the new season of Ozark.  I’m just not an Ozark fan, but B loves it.

Wednesday, April 1 (Day 19 of Quarantine)

Wednesday, the kids started the day with a movie, and then we did a big house tidying.  Since we’re all here 24/7 these days, it’s been harder and harder to keep the house tidy.  By Wednesday, it looked like a bomb had gone off in most of the rooms, so the kids and I tidied and tidied.  Just having the whole house tidy at once made a huge impression on my mood.  I felt lighter and happier than I had in days.

It was lunchtime by the time we’d finished cleaning, and then after lunch we went outside to do some more sidewalk chalk.  All of the rain the previous day had washed ours away, so we were ready to get the driveway decorated again.  I worked on another rainbow, this time right by the street so people could see it, and Jacob worked on a couple of planets while Olivia drew a sunset and some fruit.  It was a perfect, gorgeous day – sunny with not a cloud in the sky, and 65 degrees.  Not too hot, not too cold.  Perfection.

We spent a ton of time out there, and then when we came inside, the kids did a Cosmic Kids yoga video, had some quiet reading time for 20 minutes, and then they watched another movie while I went to my office to work.   

The sunshine and fresh air had put me in a positive frame of mind, so I was feeling pretty light when I headed downstairs to cook.  B and I made a grocery list, and he headed off to see what he could find at Publix, the kids went outside to play, and I started dinner. 

Almost immediately, my phone started blowing up with text messages, so after I got dinner in the oven, I stopped to check my phone.  It was my bible study girlfriends going back and forth about the latest news – the governor had officially canceled school for the remainder of the school year and had issued a shelter-in-place order effective Friday.

I instantly burst into tears and proceeded to cry pretty much nonstop for the next 45 minutes.  Thankfully, the kids stayed outside the whole time… I didn’t want them to see me that upset, and I didn’t want to have to break the news to them just yet.  Since they go to a private school, our school makes their own decisions.  They always go by what the governor says, though, so I knew it would be canceled, but I didn’t want to tell them until it was officially announced by their school principal. 

Since B was at the grocery store, I called him to let him know so he could add a couple more things to his cart since I knew all of the hoarders would be out in full force after the news.

When B got home, we wiped down all of the groceries, put them away, sterilized the countertops, and then called the kids in for dinner.  I was able to regain my composure by then, so the kids were blissfully unaware of all that had just happened. 

After dinner, I knew I needed to get out of the house again, so I did another 30 minute run/walk around our neighborhood.  I ran faster/harder than I would have if it had been a normal day… it’s funny how much harder we push ourselves when we’re mad/upset. 

After my run, we all worked on our puzzle for a bit, and then we rode some more Magic Kingdom rides on YouTube.  There are just so darn many of them, we had to split it up over two days!

While putting the kids to bed later that evening, I was laying with Jacob, and he said, “Mommy are you okay?  You seem sad.”  So I guess I didn’t hide it as well as I thought I had.  :o(  I told him that I was sad because of all that was going on in the world, and I thanked him for checking on me.  He’s always had such a sensitive soul, and he’s always picked up easily on my emotions, so I should have known he would know something wasn’t right.  I didn’t tell him about school just yet, though, because I didn’t want to tell him without Brian and Olivia, and their school hadn’t yet made their announcement anyway. 

B and I spent the rest of the evening catching up on some shows.  We’ve been watching Manifest, and just when we were considering taking it off of our list, it started getting really good.  So that was, at least, a way to take my mind off of things, if only for an hour.

Thursday, April 2 (Day 20 of Quarantine)

Thursday morning, I made cinnamon toast for breakfast.  I hadn’t made it in years, and I don’t think I’d ever made it for the kids, and they loved it. 

The kids and I worked on some Spirograph art after breakfast, and during that time, we received the call/text/email from the school saying that we were officially not going back for the rest of the year.  B came out of his office and we told the kids together, and naturally, I couldn’t hold it together.  Ugh.  Sometimes it sucks being a crier. 

Both kids took it way better than we expected, although, it did take Jacob some time to gather himself before he said anything.  I’m not sure it’s really sunk in just yet, and I’m praying that there’s not going to be any major fallout once they realize that they’re truly not going back.  Jacob is really particular about many things, but both of our kids are both pretty go-with-the-flow when it comes to everyday living, so I’m hoping they’re going to be just fine through all of this.

After lunch, the three of us took a walk around the neighborhood since the weather was so gorgeous again, and we decided for the first time ever to check out the walking trail that runs through our neighborhood.  At the start of the trail, there is a big ditch and a creek that you have to cross, so we decided to wait until B was off of work and could come with us.  There is a little creek that runs through our neighborhood, and there are several bridges along the trail that cross over it, so I’m not sure why our neighborhood hasn’t installed a bridge at that part of it.  So strange! 

When we got home, the kids did another yoga class before settling in for their afternoon movie.  I spent movie time ordering Easter egg stuffers for an at-home egg hunt, ordering soap from Bath & Body Works since they were having a huge soap sale, and ordering some summer clothes for the kids at Old Navy because they were also having a huge sale.  Might as well get the things we’re going to need while they’re all extra inexpensive, right?

For dinner Thursday evening, I made breakfast for dinner that included homemade waffles.  I typically save homemade waffle-making for Saturday mornings, but the kids had been begging to have waffles with dinner one evening and I couldn’t think of a better day to do so.

After dinner, we all piled in the car and headed to my uncle’s house to borrow his pressure washer.  He had put it outside for us, so all B had to do was grab it and put it in the car.  We chatted with my uncle for a couple of minutes (while keeping a long distance since he’s still going to work every day), and then we headed back home.  Pressure washing has been on my to-do list for about six or seven years, and we’re finally getting it done because of this quarantine. 

When we got home, the kids wanted to play outside some more, and Olivia made friends with a little caterpillar.  I’m not one to pick up insects and bugs and neither is Jacob, but this girl will pick up anything.  Sometimes it freaks me out.  Haha. 

After naming their caterpillar “Little Joe” (LOL) and playing with him for a while, the kids wanted to do some more sidewalk chalk out front, and I retreated to my office at 7:30 to Zoom with some of my girlfriends from my Bible study group.  We ended up talking and commiserating over homeschooling and this weird situation we’re all in, and it was SO GOOD to “see” all of them and know that I’m not alone on my emotional roller coaster.  We didn’t end up doing any actual Bible study, but we did say a prayer together at the end of our chat, and that time spent with those ladies filled my well… it was exactly what I needed that day.

Friday, April 3 (Day 21 of Quarantine)

Friday, B took the day off of work to spend with the kids and me for the last day of spring break.  Since we were supposed to have been wrapping up a Disney World trip that day, we decided it would be fun to do a whole Disney themed day at home.

We all slept in and had Mickey waffles, sausage, and fruit for breakfast with drinks in our Disney World cups, and then we worked on our puzzle for a couple of hours.  Right before lunch, it was time for our first “fast pass” of the day.  ;o)  I dug out the kids old Disney shirts, Mickey ears, and magic bands from our last trip back in 2018 and they got all dressed up as if we were really there.  I used a flashlight to “scan” their magic bands, and then we all settled in on the couch for our first ride of the day – Slinky Dog Dash!  We haven’t ridden that one before as it just opened, so it was fun to see something new.  It also got us really excited for our trip, when we ever end up getting to go.

After the first ride, I headed to the kitchen to whip up a “quick service” meal in the kitchen, and the kids did Star War themed yoga.  Since it was Friday and it’s Lent, we went meatless, with a grilled cheese for Jacob and a PB&J for Olivia.  I tried to make them look like Mickey heads, but the banana slices made them look more like little Svens instead.  ;o) 

After lunch, we had another “fast pass” for Tower of Terror and then another for Rock n Roller coaster, and the kids and I enjoyed watching those because we didn’t ride them on our last trip.  We were all too scared to ride Tower of Terror and the kids weren’t even tall enough for Rock n Roller coaster. 

After our two rides, B and I went upstairs to dress for the day, and we both wore our new Baby Yoda Star Wars shirts that we had bought for Hollywood Studios.  We headed out with the intention to go walk the trail in our neighborhood (because is it even Disney if you don’t walk 8 billion miles a day?!), and we were able to cross the creek and walk about half of the trail before deciding to turn around.  It was hotter than we’d expected that day and we had gone out with no water, so we didn’t want to push it and risk the kids getting too thirsty or overheated. 

It’s funny, because we’ve lived in our neighborhood for over ten years now, and never once had we walked that trail.  Our neighbors had always complained on Facebook that it was overgrown and that the bridges were broken, so we just never bothered.  It turns out, it is actually really nice!  The trail goes directly behind our house at one point, but our house is up on a huge hill from the trail and there is a lot of brush between the back edge of our property and the trail, so we’ve never really been able to see much of it from our yard.  I’ve always wondered what it really looks like behind our fence, and we were able to see all of it that day!  So cool!

We went slightly past our house on the trail, and that’s when we decided to turn around and go back.  It would have been convenient to just walk up the hill straight to our back yard, but that’s not possible right now with all of the brush and uneven terrain.  It’d probably be cool to build a path from our back gate down to the trail, but at the same time, I’m not sure I’d want a path there as that might tempt random people to walk up to our back gate.  No thank you!!

We were all hot when we got back home, so a nice little treat was in order – Mickey ice cream sandwiches!!!!  It just wouldn’t be Disney without Mickey ice cream!!  The kids were so surprised and so excited, and it just made my day to see their little faces light up.

Some serious relaxation was in order after that, so we pulled out the good ol’ blow-up pool, filled ‘er up, and we hung outside for the rest of the afternoon.  Jacob wasn’t interested in playing in the pool, so he read on the back porch with me while Olivia coerced B into the ice cold pool.  We blasted all of our favorite Disney tunes while we were out there, and it was a nice afternoon just hanging around.

Around 5, we all went inside for our last “fast pass” of the day for Star Tours, and then we all showered and got in our PJs.  B went out to pick up Mexican food from our favorite local Mexican restaurant, and we were thrilled that they were doing margaritas to go!!!!  We had to buy an entire 1/2 gallon of them, but it was well worth every single penny and we were able to drink on it for the rest of the week!  All of the food was extra good, especially the cheese dip, probably because we’d missed it soooo much while we we’ve been quarantined. 

After dinner, we turned on Disney+ to watch the new movie, Onward.  B and I thought it was pretty good (not fantastic), but the kids were head over heels in love with it. 

Friday evening, one of our local news channels flew a drone over the super busy complex in town where a lot of our good shopping and dining is, and it was dead empty.  At 7 PM on a Friday evening.  A sight I never thought I’d see…

Saturday, April 4 (Day 22 of Quarantine)

Saturday morning, I got out after breakfast to start pressure washing.  OMG, pressure washing is, like, the most satisfying thing I’ve ever done, y’all!!!!  It is just mesmerizing and it’s instant gratification!  I was shocked at just how dirty our driveway really was, too.  Who even knew it was that bad?!  Just look at those befores and afters!!!!



Before & After

While I did that, B worked on edging the yard, something he hasn’t done in, like, two years.  Hahahaha.  One thing’s for sure, by the time this quarantine is over, our house is going to be looking fantastic!  I don’t think it’s looked better since it was brand new back in 2009.  Haha. 

The mail came shortly after that, and I received my first birthday gift from Emily – two of the wine glasses I’ve been wanting from Crate & Barrel!!!!  They are absolutely gorgeous in person, y’all.  Thank you again, Emily!

After lunch, we spent the afternoon outside again, playing in the pool, tanning, and hanging out.  B finished taming the brush at the back of our fence line, and then we all went in for some video games (B and the kids) and blog work (me). 

We showered for the day after that, and then I headed down to cook dinner.  My aunt had given me a heads up earlier in the day that a little mom and pop supermarket up the road from us (and out in the sticks) was fully stocked on every grocery item, so B headed over there in search of flour and a few other things we hadn’t been able to find anywhere else for the past month. 

He came back with every single thing on our list and we toasted with leftover margs over dinner.  Afterward, I headed back out to do more pressure washing, and B and the kids played in the front yard. 

After we put the kids to bed, B and I decided to try to watch The Office one more time.  We’ve both tried watching it in the past and just couldn’t get into it, but since everyone raves about it, we decided to give it another shot.  Y’all, I was just not impressed with the first episode at all.  I know one episode hardly does anything justice, so we’ll keep pushing through a while longer before giving up, but can somebody please tell me when I can expect it to get better?!

Sunday, April 5 (Day 23 of Quarantine)

Sunday was my birthday, so B and the kids let me sleep in, and when I went downstairs, I was greeted with lots of hugs and happy birthday wishes, and homemade cards.  B made a Baby Yoda card for me that’s pretty much the best thing ever, and the kids had made me precious little cards as well.  The kids wanted me to go ahead and open my gift, and I was thrilled to see an Apple Watch in the box!!!!  EEEEK!  I’ve been wanting one for so long and I’m just so excited to put it to good use.

We made cinnamon rolls for breakfast, and then settled in for 10:30 mass streamed from our church.  It was Palm Sunday, and the reading of The Passion each year makes me so incredibly sad because it’s always tough to hear.  Towards the end of mass, our pastor announced that he’d had to lock the church doors due to the shelter in place mandate, and he got a little choked up, which made me flat-out cry.  We haven’t had masses or gatherings of any kind for nearly a month now, but they had been leaving the church open so people could go in alone to pray, but after the shelter in place mandate, our pastor had to lock the doors and it’s just been heartbreaking for everyone.

Right at the end of church my parents called me to wish me a happy birthday and we decided that it was probably best for them not to come over and do a social distancing birthday visit.  After listening to The Passion and watching our pastor tear up during mass, and knowing that I couldn’t see any of my loved ones on my birthday, I was overcome with sadness and just couldn’t snap out of it for the next few hours.

I got myself showered and put on makeup and did my hair to feel somewhat “normal” but I just couldn’t shake the sadness.  I did receive loads of texts and calls and messages, and a drive-by from my aunt, uncle, and cousin, and those were definitely bright spots in my day.

I spent the afternoon tidying the house in preparation for more homeschooling on Monday, I worked on the puzzle for a bit, and I sorted laundry to pass the time, but the day just dragged on and on. 

Olivia got all dressed up for me since it was my birthday and that definitely made me laugh.  She came waltzing in with her fancy dress and Elsa boots, and blue ponytail… how could I not??  Haha. 

B and the kids made a Funfetti cake for me (my favorite since I was probably Olivia’s age!) and then B picked up Italian for dinner so I didn’t have to cook.  The day was beautiful, so we had dinner on the back porch under the twinkle lights.  I poured some wine in my new wine glasses, and between the fresh air, twinkle lights, and delicious dinner, slowly but surely, my spirits began to lift.

We went back inside for cake, and then after cake, the kids got in their PJs so we could Facetime with my parents.  Right when my mom called on Facetime, she told me to guess where they were and she held up the phone and… I could see my house in the background!!  I flew down the stairs and out front and I was just soooo freaking happy that my mom and dad and brother had come over to surprise me!  I couldn’t get near them and I certainly couldn’t hug them, but it was just so wonderful to be able to see them in person and talk to them for a while.  They ended up staying until dark, and I went back inside feeling so. much. better.  Our good evening completely redeemed the day, and it was definitely one for the books in more ways than one… I’m sure I’ll never forget having to celebrate a birthday in quarantine!

Now I’m just counting down the days until this junk is OVER so I can celebrate properly with everybody!!

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  1. Happy belated birthday! My husband likes Ozarks too and I just can not get into that show... nor the Office either. I have tried a few times with each show but they just aren't for me I guess.

    1. Thank you! And yes, I agree 100% on both accounts. I'm going to try The Office again, but I just don't get it!

  2. This has been a weird time for sure. We got some new chalk too and it was so great! I feel it gets used up so quickly though... maybe that's just because of how much we are using it. How fun to see your parents and brother. This is the longest I have gone without seeing my parents or MIL in person and it's hard.

    1. It DOES get used up quickly. I thought the same thing! And yes, I'm so sorry you're in the same boat. It's hard, especially when they're just right down the street.

  3. Looks like you guys have been trying to keep busy, that's awesome! I love the kiddos chalk fun!

    1. Thanks, Lily! We're doing everything we can to pass the time and have fun!

  4. I love seeing all the chalk creations. I haven’t hugged my mom in weeks and it’s so tough. You are doing a great job and yay for your sweet birthday despite this craziness. xo

  5. I'm sorry to hear about B's company. I feel your ups and downs as well - it's a rollercoaster of emotions that is just insane! Your rainbow was beautiful - i do them outside more so for me than anything else LOL! xo, Biana -BlovedBoston

  6. I like that you are doing so much that you have what to write about! Our days are pretty boring. The kids did chalk art yesterday and used up all of our new chalk! I'm sorry you've been feeling sad but it sounds like you felt better after your birthday, happy birthday again!

  7. Aww I️ love that you're making the best of the situation given the circumstances! Your kids look like they're having so much fun <3

    1. Thank you! They really are! They miss school so much, but I think they're really enjoying the extra time at home with us.

  8. I'm SO sad that my favorite Mexican spot (with AMAZING margaritas) closed down and isn't available for take-out orders right now so I'm super jealous of your spread! Sorry to hear about your husband's pay cut, my husband's job did a TON of furloughs and lay offs and he was fortunate not to be included in that but he also is taking a 10% pay cut right now. So thankful that they are still employed during this uncertain time. Sending lots of hugs sweet friend <3

    Green Fashionista

  9. I am so sorry to hear about B's company policy. I am glad they are doing what they can to keep people employed. I am nervous for the day that comes for me. Your Mexican and Italian meals look amazing! I need to get some takeout. I am glad you could have a good birthday despite these trying times. I want to pressure wash so bad now!

  10. Lindsay I'm just so sorry you weren't at Disney this past week. We live about an hour from Disney and I've been thinking so much about all those who have not been able to go on their fun family Disney vacas. Makes me so sad. And I'm so sorry around B's 10% cut. I'm thankful he has a job still! Btw you're kiddos did an amazing job with their sidewalk chalk! All the sidewalk chalk pics are making me so happy! :)

    1. Thank you so much. We are just SO bummed about our trip since we'd been counting it down for eight months, but I also know that there are so many other people who are way worse off than we were. We are fortunate to be healthy and safe, and that's all that matters right now.

  11. Michael's company hasn't done a paycut yet, but they did announce that the raises that had already been promised are a no-go. So ambitious to try a 2000 piece puzzle! I loved your Disney day. I know that was a blow to hear about the rest of the school year being cancelled. I'm sure we'll be hearing the same soon. Hang in there!

  12. I am SO GLAD you got to see your parents for your birthday. Even though spring break looked a lot different than you had planned, it still seems like you guys really had a great time, especially with your Disney day. Love that you did that!

  13. Happy Belated Birthday! Mine is today and I could really use some of that margarita you shared to celebrate. I know it isn't ideal, but hoping your birthday was special. You deserve it!

    1. Thank you, Tiffany! I really appreciate those kind words. <3


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