Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Our Week - The One with Quarantine, Week 17 & Summer, Week 7 (Visit with Mama Cass & Yearbooks)

Summertime is in full-swing over here and we’re down to just four weeks left of summer break until the kids go back to school.  At school.  In person.  Eeks.  Our school has put together an excellent plan to keep the kids as safe as they possibly can while in the classroom, but with Covid cases on an extreme incline here in our city, I’m honestly starting to worry that in-person class may not be the right thing.  We do have four weeks, though, and a lot can change in four weeks, so I’m crossing all of my fingers and toes and saying prayers every single day that PEOPLE START DOING THE RIGHT THINGS to flatten the curve here (again).  Sigh.  I guess we shall see how it goes.

Let’s get to the recap from this week!  It was pretty mundane, and these quarantine recaps are probably boring all of you to death, so feel free to skip these journal entries if you don’t enjoy them.  I just like documenting them for our family… I think the kids (and I) will enjoy looking back and seeing how they spent their days… even the mundane ones… and I only took four pictures worth posting this week which is completely unheard of!

Monday, July 6 (Day 115 of Quarantine)

Monday morning, I had my semi-annual lung check-up at the allergist.  They administered the same two tests I get at every visit and I got some great news!  Both my PFT (pulmonary function test) and my FENO (nitric oxide test) tests indicate that my asthma has improved with the continued use of my daily preventative inhaler!!  My doc said that my asthma has officially been downgraded from moderate to mild… for the first time since my journey with asthma started 14 years ago!  WOOOO HOOOO!  That is great news, especially now with this stupid virus going around since it can affect your breathing.  He told me to keep on doing my daily inhaler and I don’t have to go back until January! 

I have to say, 2020 has been a hell of a year for the whole world, but aside from that craziness, it’s actually been fairly good to me with regard to personal things.  I’m continuing to get a handle on my anxiety, my allergies improved enough so that I was finally able to stop taking allergy shots, and now my asthma has been downgraded.  Fingers crossed I’ll outgrow it altogether eventually!

By the time I got home, it was time for lunch, and then the kids and I spent some time playing in the yard.  We came back inside to get some more summer homework done, and then it was work time for me and movie time for the kids. 

We had some leftover beef and parm pasta for dinner, and then we went on a family walk around the neighborhood.  Olivia was dying to ride her bike, so we went straight to our culdesac after our walk to let them practice.  Jacob (who never wants to ride his bike) was looking more confident than I’ve ever seen him on a bike, and B was able to let him go on his own a couple of times.  However, every time Brian would let him go, he would immediately get scared and stop.  Sigh.  B also let Olivia go a couple of times, but every time he does, she says her arms “are wiggly” (AKA she doesn’t know how to control the steering) so she always stops immediately, too. 

We have one kid who can easily control the bike but is terrified and completely disinterested in learning (Jacob) and one kid who is dying to learn but is super clumsy and can’t control the bike (Olivia).  SOS.  We can’t win, y’all!  Somebody come teach these kids!!!!  Haha.

After bike-riding we watched a couple more episodes of Floor is Lava.  If you’re not watching that with your whole family then you’re missing out!  It’s so fun!  As I’m typing this, we’re already done with season one and we’re not-so-patiently waiting for season two which probably won’t come out for a billion years because – pandemic.

Tuesday, July 7 (Day 116 of Quarantine)

Tuesday morning, Olivia had her very last Zoom meeting with her kindergarten teacher.  Her teacher was kind enough to continue doing one-on-one reading sessions with the kids during the summer to make sure they’re where they need to be for first grade, and we were excited to opt-in!  They spent their 15 minutes going over her readers, and then her teacher sent the last three to me to do at home with her.  Her teacher told us that once we finished those Olivia will be the only child in her whole class to complete the whole thing!!  We’ve already done them and we’re so proud of our girl… she loves to learn!

The rest of the day was spent doing the usual things at home, and then after dinner the kids and I played tag in the back yard while B mowed the lawn.  Very, very uneventful.

Wednesday, July 8 (Day 117 of Quarantine)

Wednesday, we actually had a couple of fun things planned.  First up, was visiting my Mama Cass… one of the hardest parts of all of this has been not seeing her!  She has always been a huge part of my life, and for as long as I can remember, I’ve been able to spend time with her at least once a week, most of the time more.  However, we’re all keeping our distance now to keep her safe, so we’ve only been seeing her sporadically, and from a distance.  Back in the spring, we visited her several times outside in her yard, but with the summer heat, humidity, and mosquitoes settling in, the yard parties have been much harder to tolerate.   

Wednesday was supposed to be cloudy with milder temps, so we arranged for the kids and I to arrive around 9:30 AM to beat the heat.  It worked out beautifully and we were able to spend about 30 minutes with her outside in the front yard.  We chatted nonstop and got all caught up on everything that’s been going on, and I also brought a University of Georgia mask to her that my mother-in-law had made.  My late grandfather was a UGA grad, so my Mama Cass (and our whole family) are die-hard fans, and she thought it would be fun to have a festive football mask just in case college football is miraculously able to be played this season.  (For the record, I don’t think it will be and y’all have no idea how devastating that is to us college football fans.) 

Mama Cass also gave the kids some more newspaper clippings of puzzles and riddles and games that she’s been saving for them, and they were so excited about them that they spent most of the time sitting in the car getting a jump start on them.  Haha.

After we left her house, we made a stop by the kids’ school because their yearbooks were finally ready after all these months.  Back when everything shut down in March, the factory who produces our yearbooks had to shut down, too, so everything was delayed.  The kids came inside the school office with me (all of us in masks, of course) and they were in awe to be walking the hallways again for the first time in four months.  It still makes me sad that they lost all of that precious time with their friends and teachers.  

Since my mom works at the church office right there on the same campus, she came outside and chatted with us for a couple of minutes, too, before we headed out.  On a normal day, we would have just walked right into her office, but they have it closed to the public right now to keep the employees safe.  So crazy that we’re now being robbed of all of these little things that we’ve been doing our whole lives… things we’ve never even thought twice about being able to do. 

All morning long, Olivia had been telling me that she had a loose tooth, but I didn’t really take it seriously because she’s been telling us that for years (literally).  Lol.  When we got home, I decided to humor her and check it out, and I’ll be darned if she wasn’t finally right this time!  She is very excited about it, but also really paranoid about it, too, which is not really in her nature.  She’s been obsessing and fretting over it non-stop ever since then and every single day she keeps telling me she thinks it’s ready to pull.  Spoiler alert, it’s not.  It’s going to be a long couple of weeks before that thing finally comes out… at least.  It’s nowhere near loose enough to pull right now.  Haha. 

The rest of the afternoon was the usual lunch, playing, summer homework, working, and screen time, and then I made breakfast for dinner, something we’re doing pretty much every week now.  After dinner, all four of us went outside and played wiffle ball (a recent favorite of all of ours) and then we headed inside to watch a couple more episodes of Floor is Lava while it poured rain outside. 

Thursday, July 9 (Day 118 of Quarantine)

Thursday morning, I received the sweetest message from one of my old school teachers regarding the interview I did for the kids' school.  The interview was turned into a video for the school and it was released on social media this week.  My 6th grade teacher, who taught me at the same school our kids attend, saw the interview and private messaged me with the kindest words.  It completely made my day (especially since I was so anxious about doing the interview) and reiterated for the millionth time why we have our kids at this school.  We are truly family.

I had to run to the doctor for a quick check-up as my bladder infection seemed to not have cleared with one round of antibiotics (sigh), and then I stopped by Panera on the way home to pick up some lunch. 

After lunch, the kids and I sat on the couch and scoured their yearbook from cover to cover.  They were excited to see their friends and teachers and point out pictures of themselves on the different pages.  And since the factory was closed for so long, the school wasn’t able to submit the yearbook plans to them until the end of the school year, so they were able to add pages with pictures from the distance learning we did for the last 2.5 months.  They also dedicated the yearbook to the families for adapting so quickly and working so hard during the pandemic, and the lower-school principal wrote a very sweet pandemic-related message for the preface.  I love that their yearbooks were able to reflect the craziness that was 2020, although, I hate that they weren’t able to have their friends sign them.  Maybe when school starts back in the fall?? 

It was so hot Thursday so we ended up spending the entire day inside (whoops), and that afternoon Olivia and I snuggled up in her bed and read an entire Magic Treehouse book from cover to cover while Jacob worked on his summer homework.   

Olivia’s dance school emailed us that afternoon to let us know that the kids’ recital trophies were in, so we were able to drive through and pick them up after dinner.  Olivia had been asking about her trophy and was convinced she wasn’t getting one due to the ‘Rona, so she was surprised. 

We swung by CVS on the way home, and then watched another Floor is Lava before the kids headed up for bed.  Jacob has been having some trouble falling asleep at night, so I figured it was probably time to let him start staying up a bit later than Olivia.  We told him Wednesday night that he could start reading in bed for a while after we do the bedtime routine.  He has a bookmark with a timer on it that he always uses, so he told me that he set it for 25 minutes that night and went to bed once the timer went off.  Cool!

Thursday night there were rumblings all over social media about college football changing some things and doing a modified season where teams only play teams in their conference.  The Big Ten was the first to announce they would be doing it, so now we’re expecting all other conferences to follow suit.  If that ends up being the outcome, it’s expected that all teams’ schedules will be completely redone.  Yikes. 

Friday, July 10 (Day 119 of Quarantine)

Friday morning, I headed to Publix bright and early to do my bi-weekly grocery shopping.  I used to do all of my grocery shopping on Mondays, but since the pandemic started, Monday has been the worst day of the week to shop because after the weekend, there’s nothing left on the shelves.  I wised up a few weeks ago and started going on Fridays instead, and it’s working like a charm because most stuff is in stock when I go now.  Not all, though.  Our Publix is still having trouble keeping syrup in stock (probably due to the Aunt Jemima rebranding), lunch meat, hot dogs, Progresso canned soups (I haven’t been able to get my favorite Italian Wedding soup in months), hot dogs, breakfast sausage (occasionally), frozen breadsticks (random), and, of course, any kind of paper goods (TP, napkins, paper towels)… not that I buy paper goods from there anyway, though.

About 60% of people were wearing masks (not high enough – let’s try to shoot for 98%, y’all!) but fortunately, I had gone early enough to where I was able to avoid those people very easily. 

Jacob had a dentist appointment to get his teeth sealed at 10 AM, so he and I headed there – in our masks.  ;o)  He got to see his classmate, Tyra, there which was so fun!  They haven’t seen each other in person since March, of course!  His appointment went well, although, it took a little longer than normal because he accidentally swallowed some of the stuff that they put on the teeth to seal them and it made him feel nauseous for a bit.  He recovered quickly, though, and then we headed back home where we spent the rest of the day lunching, summer homeworking, and doing a thorough tidying of the house. 

Friday evening, B picked up food from one of our local pubs (their camel riders are the best!) and then we watched the last episode of Floor is Lava and another Be Our Chef (which we still haven’t finished).  After the kids went to bed, it was the season one finale of All American and an episode of Sneaky Pete for B and me!  I’m obsessed with All American, y’all.  It is so good. 

Saturday, July 11 (Day 120 of Quarantine)

Saturday morning was pretty lazy.  I made homemade waffles for breakfast, the kids watched some cartoons, and then the four of us played one of B’s old childhood games, Bonkers.  We had a quick lunch, and then we spent the afternoon outside, playing in the blow up pool, reading, and playing wiffle ball. 

During the worst heat of the day (and it was HOT on Saturday), we all came inside, and B and the kids played video games (they’re still working on Zelda, and also Mario Odyssey) while I worked on blog stuff.  I went from spending at least 30ish hours per week on the blog to spending about 15ish hours per week on it since the kids got out of school in March, and it shows.  My hole is getting deeper and deeper, y’all.  Y’all may not really be able to tell that much, but trust me… the behind-the-scenes maintenance is in shambles right now and I also haven’t pitched to a single brand since March.  Thank goodness ad revenue and affiliate links make up the bulk of my income anyway!  I’ve never been so thankful for Mediavine for keeping that income rolling in!

Saturday evening, B picked up barbecue from our favorite local place and then we spent the evening watching The Rescuers followed by our two shows after the kids went to bed.

Sunday, July 12 (Day 121 of Quarantine)

Sunday I finally got my butt in gear and I was actually productive.  Between the funk taking over last week, plus not feeling well from my infection, I have literally done next to nothing for the past couple of weeks.  I’ve been working on the blog a little and, of course, cooking, house-tidying, and keeping two children entertained, but other than that, I’ve done nothing.  No extensive house cleaning, no house projects, no organizing, nothing.  Y’all know something’s wrong if I’m not in the mood to organize!

Anyway, Sunday I finally got the house cleaned top to bottom, dusting, scrubbing countertops, cleaning toilets, sweeping, mopping, and vacuuming.  The house hadn’t had a good top-to-bottom scrubbing like that in over a month.  Of course, we constantly scrub down kitchen countertops, spot clean, and vacuum here and there when necessary, but as far as big cleaning sprees go, it had been far too long. 

That took the whole morning plus a good chunk of the afternoon, and B picked up Chipotle for lunch, so we didn’t have to stop and make anything.  My mother-in-law didn’t cook this weekend, and my parents are quarantining again, so we were on our own again.  :o( 

The afternoon was spent working while B and the kids played video games (it was just too hot to even think of setting foot outside), and then we had a quick charcuterie board for dinner paired with a glass of wine.  A major storm blew up just as we were getting dinner ready and the wind gusts were so strong, it blew over my basil pot and broke it.  Noooo!!  Guess I'll be replanting it!  Since the rain had settled in, we weren't able to go outside as I had hoped, so we watched two more episodes of Be Our Chef.  It’s so cute, y’all.  If you have kids, it’s a really fun show to watch together. 

And that was our week!


  1. Yay for your asthma being downgraded!! And good job Olivia. We still have no idea what school will look like in the fall. I go back and forth between being ok, and being nervous.

    1. I'm a wreck, girl. We have three weeks and I'm not ready.

  2. Yesterday I started freaking out about school. I mean if Dave's work is having everyone stay at home for who knows how long, then how can we expect teachers to go back to teach the kids? But my kids need to go back! UGH. My kids all learned to ride their bikes on a grassy hill in a park near us. Somehow the grass helps with balance. Do you have a place like that near you?

  3. I cannot believe school is supposed to start in 4 weeks! This summer has flown by! That is so great that you are getting your asthma and anxiety on track. So glad you got some Mama Cass time in!

  4. So exciting about your asthma! While these posts may seem mundane when writing them, I always love reading about the every days. It's fun to have the peek into someone's days! I really need to start doing charcuterie board dinners - yours always look so good!


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