Thursday, April 23, 2020

Our Week - The One with Quarantine, Week 5 (Sidewalk Chalk at Church and Laundry Room Clean-out)

Week five of quarantine is in the books and it was a pretty good one.  It’s hard to believe it’s only been five weeks… it honestly feels like months since I picked the kids up from school on that crazy Friday the 13th when everything shut down…

Monday, April 13 (Day 31 of Quarantine)

When we left off last Sunday, we’d had a rough night of bad weather.  Thankfully, we didn’t have any tornadoes in our area, but we did have to spend some time in the closet, and I was up for most of the night because I was anxious.  Thankfully, the kids were out of school Monday for Easter, so we were all able to sleep in… well, everyone except for B who still had to work from home. 

I rolled out of the bed at 8:45, and after breakfast I spent the rest of the morning putting our storm shelter AKA the closet under our stairs, back together.  We use it for a utility closet, so we have to move everything out every time we have bad weather to make room for ourselves and all of our important stuff (hard drives, laptops, life binder, etc.). 

Once that was done, I sat down with my planner to map out the week ahead.  While I was doing that, we got word that one of the bridges on our walking trail in our neighborhood had been hit by a tree, and that part of the trail is closed until further notice.  Bummer, since we just started using the trail! 

We had a light lunch and then we all headed straight outside to enjoy the gorgeous weather.  It was absolute perfection again and it was hard to believe we’d had such scary weather blow through just hours prior to that. 

Later that afternoon, I finally sat down and made a weekly checklist for the kids’ schoolwork.  Both of their teachers have given us the roadmap for what to expect these last few weeks of school, so I felt I had all of the info needed to make a good schedule.  And since both of our kids are now having live lessons via Zoom every single day (some of which overlap), plus specials work due every week (Spanish, Art, Drama, Music, PE, Library) I thought it’d be in our best interest to make a weekly checklist for each of them so we don’t drop the ball on something.  I printed the schedule, along with a daily checklist for life things, and they are both tucked in plastic sheet protectors so I can cross things off in wet erase marker as we go, and then erase and start all over again the next day/week.  I’ve been using them for nearly a week now and they have been a Godsend!

Monday evening, we had leftovers from Easter for dinner, and then the kids and I hung our rainbows in the front windows that we’d colored the Friday before.  When we went outside to look at the rainbows, we found a package laying on the doorstep from Jacob’s teacher.  She had made a little keepsake packet of a sample of his work from the school year that we hadn’t yet seen, complete with a sweet letter from her, and his third quarter awards… he was so excited to see he’d made Top 5 for AR in his class!  I teared up as we looked through it because it’s still just killing me that the kids are having to end the school year this way.  They didn’t even get to say goodbye. 

Monday evening the kids and I did a Jillian Michaels workout on YouTube… they are completely obsessed with her workout videos!  Haha.  I hadn’t yet closed my rings on my Apple Watch for the day, so I jumped on the stair stepper after the kids went to bed.  I’m so obsessed with closing those rings that I’ve been working out and moving around so much more since I got this thing!

Tuesday, April 14 (Day 32 of Quarantine)

Tuesday morning, the kids requested cinnamon toast, so breakfast time took a little longer.  It was worth it for that cinnamon toasty goodness, though!

The kids had been having live lessons via Zoom sporadically up until that point, but Tuesday was the day that they started having them every single day, and on a set schedule.  Jacob has language arts on Mondays and Wednesdays, math on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and a question and answer session + something fun (scavenger hunt, show and tell, etc.) with each teacher on Friday.  Olivia has language on Tuesdays and Thursdays, Reading Groups and Math on Wednesdays, and a spelling test + play date on Fridays.  Whew.  That is a lot to keep up with.  It’s like having two tiny little coworkers to manage.  Haha.  And since we have live lessons every single day, that also means we have to make sure everyone is always wearing pants.  And shirts.  And that we brush our hair.  Hahahaha.

Because both of the kids are now using computers most of the day, we ordered a new Chromebook.  Prior to this, Jacob was using Brian’s laptop and Olivia was using my iPad, but the iPad just wasn’t reliable for Zooming.  My laptop has been a hunk of junk for a long time and it’s consistently unreliable, so we haven’t even bothered to use that for anything.  I don’t want to risk it freezing up during a live lesson.  The Chromebook arrived Tuesday morning, just in time for the kids’ first day of daily live lessons, and everything went off without a hitch!  Woo hoo!

We had leftover ham from Easter and made it into sandwiches for lunch and it was just so good.  Does anyone else love Honey Baked Ham as much as I do?!  I mean, I just eat it straight out of the refrigerator, plain and cold, because it’s so dang good.  I think it was one of my favorite things from this past week!  Such a treat!

Both kids worked on their art assignments for the week on Tuesday afternoon once all of their regular lessons were completed.  Jacob had to make a color wheel of primary, secondary, and tertiary colors made from objects he found around the house, and Olivia had to make one of the primary and secondary colors.  I think they both did a great job!

The rest of the afternoon was our typical movie time and work, and then around 5 I went downstairs to make dinner.  Just as I was getting it started, I saw B walking fast outside, chasing something through the yard.  I’m sure at this point you can probably already guess what it was… yep, another snake.  Waaaahhhh!  This one was different than the one last week… it was about 3-4 feet long and it was solid black with no patterns.  B texted my brother and he said it looks like another harmless snake.  But STILL.  Please, stay out of my yard. 

After dinner, we all went for another walk around the neighborhood taking care to stay far away from all of our neighbors who were out walking, and then after the kids went to bed, B and I watched another episode of The Office.  We’re now on episode 4 or 5, and I still don’t love it.  I’m going to keep trying, though!

Wednesday, April 15 (Day 33 of Quarantine)

Wednesday morning, I woke up super early so I could get to the allergist right when they opened at 7:30 AM.  I still have to get my allergy shots, so I’ve been careful to choose times when I think they’ll be the least busy.  The last time I was there, nothing was really different, but this time, it had all changed.  There was a nurse at the door taking temperatures before they would even allow you in the building, and then once you were approved, you could go to the shot room.  The shot room, which is normally chock full of chairs (and people), only had a few single chairs staggered and spread out around the room, all at least six feet apart.

Fortunately, there were only two people in there other than me, a dad and his son, and it stayed that way the entire 30 minutes I was there.  I wore my mask (my first time wearing it out in public), and I was in and out quickly.  I was also informed while I was in there that I only have to come one more time and then I’m done for GOOD!!!!  (Assuming my allergies don’t start raging again when I stop them.)

That was my first time driving in over a month… the last time I had driven was when I went to the allergist for my allergy shot in March.  It was weird being on the road, behind the wheel, and part of me is wondering if I’ll forget how to drive altogether if this quarantine lasts too long.  Haha.  That was also my first time being in a public place in almost a month, too.  Yikes.

I got home just in time to get the kids started on schoolwork right on time, and both kids had live lessons and lots of work again.  Olivia had her first live one-on-one with her teacher and she was ecstatic to have her all to herself for a bit!

Right when B and I were discussing what to have for lunch, B looked out the back door and… that stupid snake was back again, right by our back porch.  I mean, GO AWAAAAYYYY!!!!  B chased him to the back fence again, and he slithered back under it and out of our yard, but good grief, can we please stop seeing so many of these nasty things?!

B headed out to grab Chick-Fil-A for lunch, and then I had a Zoom meeting with my therapist followed by a Zoom Home and School meeting, and then I spent the rest of the afternoon working.  It was a busy day for sure. 

After dinner we had another leisurely family walk over to the dirt pile so the kids could play, and B stayed with the kids while I walked up and down the hill to get my workout in for the day.  When we got home, we watched the live bedtime story with our friars, and then we sent the kids off to dreamyland!

Thursday, April 16 (Day 34 of Quarantine)

Thursday, Olivia had her first live Phonics test.  Her teacher called out all of the words on their live Zoom meeting, and the kids all wrote them down.  Once they finished, I snapped a picture of it and sent it to her teacher, and then her teacher sent back her grade.  She got a 100!  Not too sure why her handwriting is so dang sloppy, though… she’s getting lazy in quarantine!  Haha.

Jacob had to make a Resurrection garden for his Religion assignment on Thursday, so the kids and I headed over to the dirt pile to gather his supplies – dirt, rocks, and twigs.  While we were there, I let them play for a good 30 minutes while I walked up and down the hill to get my workout in for the day.  The day was gorgeous yet again, so it was a pleasant workout. 

When we got back home, Jacob grabbed some greenery, a few roses from our flower bed, and a couple of Lego characters, and he completed his garden.  I think it just turned out so cute!!

The rest of the day was just another ordinary quarantined day… work and movie for the kids and then dinner.  After dinner, we got the kids outside in the back yard to try to work with them on their bike riding.  Jacob is just so darn scared of it most of the time, and he just wasn’t having it that evening.  Olivia, on the other hand was balls to the wall Thursday evening (for lack of a better term – haha!).  Neither of them remotely have the hang of it yet, though, so if anyone has any tips on how to teach a kid to ride a bike without training wheels, PLEASE HELP!!

Friday, April 17 (Day 35 of Quarantine)

Jacob’s teachers try to do fun stuff in their Friday Zoom meetings, so Jacob had Show and Tell Friday morning.  He brought his Lego Voltron (of course), and he was excited to show it to everyone.  It’s so funny, because he probably hasn’t had Show and Tell since kindergarten, so I love that they’re bringing it back for quarantine! 

After lunch, it was another day at the dirt pile for the kids, and a walk for me.  I’m loving the fact that the empty lot is on a big hill, so I’m able to walk up and down over and over again to get a decent workout while still keeping my eyes on the kids.  They are completely obsessed with that dang dirt pile and I’m seriously considering paying somebody to come dump a giant pile in our back yard.  Lol.

We had to be home by 2 PM for Olivia’s live spelling test, and then she also got to have Show and Tell.  She brought her Sheepie, her favorite stuffed animal.  While Olivia had her Show and Tell, Jacob worked on his library assignment for the week… an origami ice cream cone!  My oh my, that single origami video opened the door for him in a big way, and he has been begging to do origami ever since!  I just ordered a pack of origami paper for him so I’m sure he’ll be thrilled when we surprise him with it later this week!

B got off of work around 4 and we all decided to pile in the car and head to our church and school campus to leave some surprises for our friars.  We left some fun little notes for them in sidewalk chalk and dropped off some letters that Olivia had written to them earlier in the week.  It was the first time we’d been on campus in five whole weeks… since March 13… the last time I picked the kids up from school.  That is probably the longest I’ve ever been away from that campus since I’ve grown up there, attending church and school there daily and weekly.  It was nice to be back, if only for a few minutes.

We had initially planned on picking up pizza from one of our favorite local spots right down the street from church, but we found out they’ve closed temporarily along with our other favorite local pizza place.  Sigh.  I’m so worried about all of our favorite places not surviving this.  :o(  We ended up picking up pizza from Old Chicago instead, and we’ll for sure be researching some new local places to support in the future until ours reopen!

Old Chicago is right next to Dairy Queen, so we thought… why not… and we swung through the drive-through there to get Blizzards to save for dessert.  The Blizzard cups got scrubbed down and put in the freezer to save for later, and we served them later in our own bowls with our own spoons so as not to risk getting contaminated.      

After dinner we watched the Disney Singalong that we’d recorded from earlier in the week and it was so good!!  It’s just wild seeing all of those famous people singing from their kitchens and bedrooms and back yards and recording with their phones.  What a strange time to be alive!  Michael Buble and Demi Lavoto ended the show with A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes, so naturally, I cried.  Everything makes me cry these days.  Everything. 

After the show was over, we watched some more of The Imagineering Story and then we put the kids to bed so we could watch some Ozark before hitting the hay ourselves.

Saturday, April 18 (Day 36 of Quarantine)

Saturday ended up being a great day!  We got up, made homemade waffles, and watched the Lego Masters finale.  We were all rooting for a particular team and we were excited to see them win the whole thing. 

When that was over, I decided to go for a run.  I mean, seriously, who even am I anymore?  I think this quarantine may just make a runner out of me again.  I ended up running 3 miles in just over 40 minutes, so my pace was awful compared to what it used to be, but I’m calling it a huge win since I’ve hardly run in the last 20 years. 

We had a light lunch shortly after that, and then I spent the next hour laying out in the back yard and reading my book.  B took the kids to the dirt pile to give me a break, and it was soooo nice having an hour all to myself when I wasn’t having to clean or cook or run.  B and the kids walked the good part of the trail that wasn’t closed off from the storm damage, and when they got directly behind our house, they yelled hello up to me!  Haha. 

I went inside and opened some packages I’d been quarantining, and then I got showered and dressed for the day.  The next couple of hours was pretty productive, and I got the whole house tidied, I completed a couple of small projects that needed to get done, and I got some pictures taken for my Instagram oils account… it was SO NICE to finally have some time to be creative.  Lately, I’ve had zero time whatsoever for creativity since I’m schooling the kids during the week.  I’ve been struggling just to even keep new content flowing, so time to be creative has been completely out the window, and I feel like all of my blog posts as of late have reflected that.  Such is life right now in quarantine, though, I suppose.  

B picked up Mex from one of our favorite restaurants for dinner and we spent the next hour sitting around the dinner table stuffing our faces with chips and cheese dip.  My gosh, I miss our Saturday evening Mexican dates at our favorite restaurant with our whole family after church. 

B went out to pressure wash for a bit after dinner, and I called my momma and daddy just to chat.  I miss them terribly, too.  I really miss Saturday and Sunday evenings with them.  :o( 

B came in around 7:30 and we all watched the original Peter Pan movie, put the kids to bed, and then B and I watched some of the One World show that was on to raise money for the current happenings.  Again, it was just wild to see all of the famous singers and actresses performing in their own living rooms with no fancy lighting or makeup or anything. 

Sunday, April 19 (Day 37 of Quarantine)

Sunday morning, B went through the drive-through for donuts and then we all watched church after breakfast.  We were all excited to see that the friars had gotten our sidewalk chalk messages and they posted some pictures of it during announcement time after mass.

After church it was time to get ready and have lunch, and Olivia decided to accessorize with every single piece of jewelry she owns.  Lol.

I spent the rest of the afternoon tackling our laundry room.  We’ve lived in this house for ten years now and I’ve literally taken zero time to ever clean out, organize, or decorate the laundry room.  It’s disorganized and just plain gross and it has been on my to-do list forever, so it felt good to finally get it done!  Here's the before... come back Friday to see the after!

I got all of our cabinets cleaned out, I tossed a ton of old crap that we didn’t need, and I also brought up all of the paint cans from our closet downstairs and organized them in the cabinet above the dryer.  They’ve been taking up precious space in our closet downstairs, and it made zero sense to have them there, so I’m happy to finally have them out of the way. 

I still have a lot of things I want to do to the laundry room – paint the walls, paint the cabinets, put some subway tile in there, add a countertop over the washer and dryer, and get a few organizers + some décor and then it will be done.  We have a long way to go, but I’m just glad to have finally started!

Having all of the paint cans out of the downstairs closet freed up a bunch of extra space to move some things around in there, and now it’s nice and organized again, and there’s more breathing room than there was before. 

We had another bout of severe weather predicted for Sunday night (strong tornadoes predicted again), so we spent the rest of the day preparing the storm closet again, and then we had leftover cheese dip and chips along with Taco Joes for dinner.

After dinner, my anxiety was running high because of all of the tornado talk in the news, so I went upstairs and turned on a Jillian Michaels YouTube video to burn off some steam.  I felt a lot better afterward, and then we got the kiddos settled in their sleeping bags on our floor again so we could make a quick exit to the storm closet if we needed to.

B and I hung out downstairs for a bit after the kids went to bed and we listened to the storm outside.  We had a bolt of lightning hit super close to our house and my brother even sent me a picture of how close it actually was.  He has some kind of fancy weather tracking software that is crazy… he’s our own personal meteorologist.  Lol.

Just as B and I were heading up for bed and I was sure I wouldn’t sleep all night again, our local weather people announced that the line had changed course slightly, and the worst of it would go south of us… hardly any more risk for tornadoes!  Woo hoo!  That was enough for me to let go, and I ended up falling asleep quickly and sleeping like a baby all night.  The bad weather did, indeed, go just south of us and, thankfully, we were spared again.  We did wake up to the news on Monday that we had gotten SEVEN INCHES of rain on Sunday alone, though.  Is that not crazy?!


  1. A balance bike was the magic ticket for my daughter to learn to ride her bike without training wheels! We were lucky enough to borrow one from a friend but I think they’re easy to find used on FB marketplace and Craigslist too!

    1. Oh thank you so much! I'll have to look into that. Both of our kids are just SO SCARED for some reason. I especially want Jacob to get the hang of it because he's eight!! It's past time for him to learn!

  2. We went back to our school yesterday to pick up work for Simon - this has been the longest I haven't been on the campus since we moved here, even in the summers I'm always there to take Gabbie to dance - and it's so strange not to go all the time! I also drove for the first time last week when I met up with someone to pick up a book. We would have had to order a Chromebook too but luckily Simon has one from school. I bet I'll have to return it at the end of the school year though! When I was a kid, there was a dirt pile in my neighborhood and we found baby rats in there. Then someone told their parents and the dirt pile was destroyed! Agh!

  3. I love honey baked ham too, I am so sad I did not have any for Easter and the normal sandwich for lunch on Monday. I am so nervous about the small places around here too, I try to eat one meal out a week at a small local joint. I have started running too, and being obsessed with crossword puzzles, both things I really haven't been into since law school!

  4. Catching up on some reading! I love a good ham, too. That would definitely be a treat. I was feeling like I wouldn't know how to drive either. It has been so weird the few times I have gone out! So exciting about your allergy shots, though.


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