Monday, June 8, 2020

Our Week - The One with Quarantine, Week 11 & Summer, Week 1 (Memorial Day, Beach Planning, and Haircuts)

Here’s how we spent Memorial Day week…

Monday, May 25 (Day 73 of Quarantine)

Monday was Memorial Day, and it also marked the day that our church reopened for daily mass.  They have put in place so many rules for the health and safety of our parishioners – everyone must wear a mask, available seating is marked with blue tape to ensure everyone stays at least six feet apart, there are tape marks on the floor to ensure no one gets too close in the Communion line, nobody is allowed to congregate before or after church, everyone must exit the sanctuary after mass in a specific order so there’s not a crowd leaving together when mass is over, etc. – but our little fam just isn’t quite ready for that yet… it’ll probably still be sometime before we feel comfortable being indoors with that many people for an extended period of time. 

Our church sanctuary is very large… it typically seats around 700 people, and they are only allowing around 200ish people in for now, so they are definitely being cautious, but we’ll continue to watch the livestream for a while instead… even though it’s killing me.  Of all the things I miss most about our normal lives, I really, really miss our Saturday evening church and dinner tradition with my family.

We started out Memorial Day with breakfast and cartoons, and while the kids watched cartoons, I sat down to plan the week ahead and check in with my May goals since the month was almost over.  After that, Olivia requested to play the Hatchimals game, so she and I played that for a bit, and then I did a nice long yoga workout. 

Brian was off for the holiday, so the four of us had lunch and then we settled in on the back porch to spend the rest of the day outside.  B pulled out the blowup pool, the soccer goals, and the Cornhole boards so the kids had ample things to do.  We turned on some music and lounged around outside for the rest of the afternoon. 

The ice cream man came through the neighb around 3, and we decided to let the kids get something.  We were very careful.  B did all of the interacting and then we opened the packages for them so all they had to touch was the clean ice cream stick. 

For dinner, we grilled hamburgers and my father-in-law decided to come over and join us.  He’s been quarantining and so have we, so we welcomed him to our quaranteam with open arms.  I hadn’t yet celebrated my birthday with him, so he asked if he could pick up a Dairy Queen Blizzard cake for me, and we certainly weren’t going to say no to that!

The rest of the evening was spent eating and sipping on Moscow Mules and playing Cornhole and opening gifts.  We had beautiful weather and an even more beautiful evening complete with a pretty sunset, and we ended up staying out until it was almost dark.

Monday evening, after the kiddos went to bed, B and I stayed up late looking at rental properties because… we’ve decided to take our annual beach trip as we do every year!!!!  B and I have had numerous discussions about it, we’ve done tons of research on how to do it safely, and I’ve been praying about it nonstop for weeks, and we’ve come to the conclusion that we feel comfortable that we can do it safely.

For starters, we’re only a short car ride away… so short, in fact, that we usually drive straight through, without stopping, which we’ll definitely be doing on this trip.  We can easily get down there on 1/2 tank of gas and the kids never ask to stop to go potty, so we shouldn’t have to stop on the way down or back up unless there’s an emergency.

We go to 30A in Florida, and as you all probably know, the state of Florida is not currently letting residents from certain states with high Covid-19 rates visit to decrease the risk of exposure.  The place where we go isn’t touristy at all, and all of the condos and houses are very small, most of which only have less than 24 units.  That means that the beaches are never crowded, so we should have plenty of space to spread out on the beach and not have to worry about being near anyone else.

With regard to cleanliness of the condo, new laws have been put in place for cleaning short-term rentals in Florida, and they’re so insane that they’re even up to my germaphobic high standards.  They are now required to disinfect every single hard and soft surface, pillows will be rotated out and isolated for a certain period of time before they can be used again which means we will have fresh pillows, all linens will be washed (including comforters, which aren’t usually – GROSS), and checkout is now an hour earlier and check-in is now an hour later to allow for extra cleaning time.  The list goes on and on (I won’t bore you with all of it) but basically, these condos should be about as sterile as a hospital if they clean the way they’re supposed to.  Haha.

That said, we’ll still be bringing our own sheets, pillows, and large blankets to use as comforters just in case we feel uncomfortable.  I’ll also be bringing Clorox wipes and Lysol and spraying everything down myself once we arrive JUST IN CASE.  Oh, and masks… of course we’ll have all of our masks!!  My MIL just made some for all of us, and the kids now have their own.

As far as eating goes, we will likely be doing most of our eating in the condo.  I would guess we’ll probably venture out at some point to eat at a restaurant, but only if we can eat outdoors somewhere that isn’t crowded.  Lucky for us, we live in the eastern time zone, and 30A is in the central time zone, but when we’re there, we pretty much always stay on EST since that’s what our body clocks are used to.  That means we’re always up earlier and beat everyone to the beach, and we always go to dinner earlier than everyone else so we beat the crowds.  We’ve literally had restaurants to ourselves at dinner there because we eat at, like, 4:30 their time.  Haha.

We will also be avoiding all of the touristy spots that we usually go to – Pier Park in Panama City, Dave and Busters, and any kind of indoor play areas or museums, etc.  If it rains, I guess we’ll be spending a LOT of time at our condo… that’s why I’m brining so many books.  And when we get back home, we will be quarantining ourselves for two weeks just to be on the safe side.

Whew.  Can you tell how well we’ve thought this through??  30A is basically our home away from home so we are very familiar with everything, and we know what places get busy and when they get busy, so I’m hoping everything will be fine.  I’ve prayed so much about this and I truly feel at peace with our decision to go, so hopefully it’ll end up being a nice change of scenery for all of us.  And yes, I know a lot of people do not have this option, so we do not take this for granted.  We are very, very grateful to get to go and I feel like it’s much needed for my mental health and for the kids as well.  

Naturally, there's a tropical depression heading our way and it's supposed to rain the entire week we're there, though, so we may end up being stuck inside the condo all week.  Sigh.  #2020

Tuesday, May 26 (Day 74 of Quarantine)

Tuesday morning, I was in full get-things-done mode.  In the past when we plan a beach trip, we usually count it down for a good 3-4 months, so since this one was a last-minute decision, I had a lot of stuff to get done in a very short amount of time.  I spent the morning taking inventory on swimsuits, flip flops, and sunscreen and then ordering everything we needed for the trip from Target and Amazon.  We initially thought we wouldn’t be going anywhere this summer, so I didn’t bother to do any of those things earlier in the year like I normally do.

I took a break just before lunchtime to play a couple of games of Hatchimals and Sorry with Olivia (Jacob wanted some time to himself) and then we all had lunch together. 

The afternoon was spent working and prepping the blog for being gone, and then I cooked dinner.  We all really wanted to walk after dinner, but it was sprinkling outside, but we just decided to go for a walk in the rain anyway.  We hadn’t seen the home under construction in a while, so we headed that way, and when we arrived, they were moving dirt with some of the heavy machinery and the kids were stoked to see it in action.  We stood and watched it for 15-20 minutes and then we practically had to drag them away from it when it was time to head back home.

Wednesday, May 27 (Day 75 of Quarantine)

Wednesday marked another big quarantine milestone – the boys had their first haircuts since this whole thing started!!  B’s hair as well as Jacob’s were both OUT OF CONTROL and it was months overdue, so they finally braved the salon to get the ol’ chop chop. 

The salon we all go to is owned by our church and school family, so we know them personally and trust that they are keeping everything clean.  The stylist wore a mask the whole time, and Brian and Jacob did, too, although they did have to take theirs off while they were in the chair as the stylist had to be able to get around their ears.  That made me cringe, but it is what it is, I suppose.  Fortunately, B said they weren’t very busy at all and there weren’t many other people in there, plus they were in and out quickly anyway.

While they were gone, Olivia wanted to have a game marathon, so she and I played Sorry, a few rounds of Guess Who (fastest game ever), and two rounds of Hoot Owl Hoot (also a quick game).  She was in heaven to have me all to herself, I think.  Nobody has gotten much one-on-one time lately, since we’ve all been holed up together. 

Brian and Jacob picked up Panera while they were out for lunch, and then after lunch the kids and I hung out while B got back to work.  I could tell the kids were antsy because it was another drizzly day which meant little to no outdoor time, so I decided to get them out of the house. 

Our library finally opened again (only for curbside pickup and drop-off), so we decided to take a little field trip.  The kids and I all went to the library just before everything shut down back in March, and we had checked out a total of 15ish books among the three of us.  The library froze everything back on March 13, so we’ve been stuck with all of those books ever since.  We were finally able to return them, and I also had two books available for pickup.  New books – FINALLY! 

I also had an Amazon package that needed to be returned, so we stopped by a UPS drop box to return that on the way home.  Even though they didn’t even get out of the car the whole time we were gone, the kids were in much better spirits when we arrived back home.  And I was thrilled because I finally have two new books to read!  It’s the little things, y’all. 

It was afternoon movie/work time when we got back home, and then I spent a little while playing with Olivia in her “fort” that she’d built in the playroom.  She was so proud of herself and she was thrilled to have Mommy hanging out with her in there. 

I made breakfast for dinner complete with waffles that evening, and then we all played out in the back yard afterward because the rain had cleared.  After the kids got their showers, we let them stay up late and watch America’s Got Talent from the night before… the new season started, and we’re all wondering how they’re going to do the live shows this year.  It should be interesting. 

Olivia was still loving her fort, so she asked if she could sleep in it, so we said, SURE!

Thursday, May 28 (Day 76 of Quarantine)

Thursday, I spent the morning being lazy and catching up on blog reading while the kids watched TV and played.  I’ve been so behind on reading blogs and I miss it so much, so it was nice to start catching up. 

We had a quick lunch at home, and then after lunch, the kids and I headed over to bring lunch to Olivia’s teacher who is recovering from surgery.  Olivia was thrilled to see her, and she thought it was the absolute coolest thing to go to her teacher’s actual house!  Haha.  I also dropped off Olivia’s Oh, the Places You’ll Go book for her teacher to sign and get back to us.  Such a weird school year this has been.

On the way home, the kids asked if we could get cake pops from Starbucks.  They’ve been begging for quite some time and I finally obliged.  While we were on the way to Starbucks, the air conditioner in my SUV went out, and we had to endure the yucky heat for the rest of the drive home.  SIGH.  Y’all may remember that I was struggling with vehicle issues before the quarantine… my SUV was doing some major shuddering and cutting off at random and nobody could figure out the problem.  Well, the shuddering is still happening, and now the air conditioner is blowing hot air, so we’re now dealing with yet another issue.  You may also remember that I was in the process of getting a new vehicle before all this mess began, but we had to put that on the back burner since we all had to start quarantining.  Needless to say, I’m pretty sad that I didn’t have a chance to get a new vehicle because now we’re going to have to pay even more money to fix my old one before we can trade it in. 

Later that afternoon, we dropped my vehicle at the mechanic and left it overnight for them to work on first thing Friday morning, and then we headed to the baseball field to meet Jacob’s coach to pick up his professional baseball pictures… for a season he never even played.  Lol.

His coach told us that they are going to do a full season in the fall, and they are hoping to keep the spring teams together so we can just pick up where we left off!!  I was so excited to hear that news!!  That means Jacob can use the uniform that we paid for and I can use my pin that I had made to wear to all of his games!!  The best part, is that it means that Jacob will have one more chance to play coach pitch with all of his same baseball buddies!!!!  Please oh please let this happen!

By the time we got home, it was pretty late, so I cooked a quick dinner, and then we spent the rest of the evening playing catch in the back yard.  Jacob has been really loving throwing the football or baseball or even a tennis ball around lately, so we’ve been doing that as a family some evenings.  

We also enjoyed a beautiful sunset.

Friday, May 29 (Day 77 of Quarantine)

Friday morning, I worked on more beach prep and started doing some laundry, and Olivia tried on her new swimsuit cover-up that arrived.  Isn't is darling?

I spent the rest of the morning cleaning out the kids’ art baskets in the kitchen.  Oh my word, those things were such a mess (well, Olivia’s was anyway) and it took forever, but it’s done and those things are no longer the bane of my existence.  For now. 

I made grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch, and then I got all of the kids’ remaining schoolwork filed away in their keepsake boxes. 

Mid-afternoon, my anxiety came from out of nowhere and reared its ugly head for the first time in months, so for a couple of hours I felt tense and short of breath and generally awful.  We all headed out after B got off of work to pick up my SUV from the mechanic, and my anxiety finally eased up.  It’s such a strange thing, anxiety.

The mechanic told us they’d serviced the A/C and couldn’t really find anything wrong, and just as I was about to drive it off the lot, I saw that the check engine light was back on AGAIN.  OMG.  B walked right back in there, dropped the keys off again, and then the four of us piled back in his car and left mine there overnight yet again.  For the love.

We picked up pizza from our favorite place for dinner, and then B and I relaxed with some adult beverages while the kids played outside.  We all settled in for an episode of The Mandalorian and Be Our Chef afterward, and then the kids went to bed and B and I watched Multiplicity.  I’d never seen it before (it’s from 1996, I think?) and it was cute even though I fell asleep towards the end because my body was exhausted from fighting anxiety all day.  It is truly exhausting the things my body does when I get anxious, y’all.

Saturday, May 30 (Day 78 of Quarantine)

Saturday morning, it was homemade waffles for breakfast followed by a nice, long yoga workout.  Yoga has been tremendous at helping with my anxiety, and after the day I’d had Friday, I thought a good long dose of it would be good.  I was right.  I felt great for the rest of the day!

The mechanic called around 11 to let us know my SUV was ready, and again, they said they couldn’t find the exact problem.  They said that the air compressor might be starting to go bad (EEK!) which could cause the weird shuddering, but other than that, they had no advice.  Sigh.  Luckily, there was no second charge, though.

We all went down to pick it up again, and then the kids and I stopped by the library to pick up another book for me that had become available.  They were closed for Memorial Day?? even though Memorial Day was last weekend, so we weren’t able to get the book.

The rest of the day was spent lunching at home and hanging out in the back yard with the blowup pool. 

The space shuttle launched with people in it for the first time in the U.S. in almost ten years, so we all watched that together at 3.  My brother and SIL both work for NASA, and they were working for the launch, so we got to watch them on a livestream on my phone while we also watched the main launch on TV.  The kids loved their first launch and they were jumping around and screaming and laughing excitedly.  I was just relieved that everything went smoothly because the last time I watched one live, it was the Columbia disaster in 2003.  It was so upsetting for me that I haven’t watched one since.

That's my brother in the top right box.  :o)

Saturday marked the first weekend that Saturday and Sunday masses were available in person at church, but as I said before, we’re not quite ready to be in a room with lots of people for a whole hour just yet so we didn’t go to 5:30 mass like we usually do on Saturdays.

Instead, B picked up Five Guys and we had dinner at home and then watched two more episodes of The Mandalorian.  I’m not a Star Wars fan, so I wasn’t all that interested (and I’ve already kind of watched it with B anyway), so I planned the month of June in my planner and started working on June goals while they watched.  I did, however, look up and enjoy Baby Yoda every time he was on the screen.  ;o)  I love him.

After the kids went to bed, B and I started watching a new-to-us show.  We just discovered that AT&T has given us HBO Max (their new streaming service) for free since we use their high-speed internet service, so we decided to check out what all is on there.  Well, it turns out, that it’s HBO’s entire catalog plus all of the new shows they’ve picked up (Friends, Big Bang Theory, Bachelor franchise, etc.) so we were thrilled to have so many new choices.  I’ve always heard that True Blood was good so we watched the first two episodes, and y’all, I’m just not sure how I feel about it.  I mean, I guess I should have known it would be a little more graphic since it’s HBO, but it’s pretty far out there.  Anybody ever watched it?  Is it pretty graphic the whole series or does it calm down a bit?  I really like the storyline and it’s definitely holding my attention, but I’m just not sure it’s for me… it might be a little too out there…

Sunday, May 31 (Day 79 of Quarantine)

Sunday morning was cinnamon rolls and church via livestream.  We almost always attend the Saturday at 5:30 mass, so that’s the one we watched Sunday morning, instead of livestreaming the 10:30 Sunday mass.  As I said earlier in the post, this was the first weekend that people were allowed back in church, so it was nice to see actual people in there!!  That was exciting to see!

After church, I did a long dance workout and then we all got ready to go to Sunday lunch at my mother-in-law and step-father-in-law’s house.  My sister-in-law’s birthday was Saturday, so we were excited to be able to celebrate with her.  We did all eat at separate tables again just to continue being careful.  After lunch, we spent loads of time outside.  The weather was beautiful and the blueberries and blackberries in the garden were abundant, so there were lots to pick… and boy, did Olivia pick and eat a bunch of them!!

Sunday afternoon, I worked on another project… moving the travel gallery wall from my office to our bedroom.  All of the frames needed to be spray painted and that took most of the afternoon.  We had a charcuterie board for dinner again and spent the evening outside, and then B and I watched another episode of True Blood before calling it a night. 

Happy Monday, y’all!  We are at the beach all week, so be sure to follow along with us on Instagram stories!

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  1. I still think it is the coolest thing that your brother and sister in law work for NASA! The shuttle launch was pretty exciting - I was kind of worried about watching it, too, but so glad I sucked it up and did. So sorry to hear about your car and your anxiety...neither are never fun. Hopefully this week at the beach helps with the anxiety part!

  2. We have gotten ice cream from the ice cream truck twice now. It's really fun, but expensive! Our library has opened with drive through but for some reason my books haven't come in. Next week all the regular branches open too. I have The Thousandth Floor book and haven't read it yet, but Gabbie just read it! Hope your beach trip goes well. We are planning something similar with a trip to TX in a few weeks.

  3. What a great week! We missed the launch because we were at the lake and do not have great service:(
    Y'all have so much fun at the beach!
    We are back to normal around here. eating out, going to church, etc. I only wear my mask when it is required-the nail salon & Doctor's office!

  4. SO glad you guys decided to book your annual beach trip, and I can't wait to hear what you think of the Thousandth Floor. I just finished the last book in the trilogy last night and all three books are SO good <3

    Green Fashionista

  5. They have started allowing us back to church too. But with three kids, I probably won't go for a while either. I am so glad you are able to take your trip!

    1. I don't blame you! And thank you! We had the best time!


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