Around Here Week 13: 03/22-28

Monday, March 30, 2020

A glimpse into Week 2 of covid-19 lockdown life.

Intentional Outdoor Hours:  25+ hours (of 1000)
Lots of great time outside this week between the rain and thunderstorms. The kids are killing it outdoor time wise and spend probably 6-7 hrs outside daily. I'm snagging time everyday between chores, meal making, cleaning up, and school/college. I have been making a daily walk down the driveway to the mailbox and on Tuesday afternoon our whole family took the dogs for a super long walk behind our house in the farm fields. It was so lovely and at one point I was laughing to myself thinking, this is just a random weeknight evening that we are all out here for a two hour walk together - what a blessing! The kids found a huge lot of frog eggs in one of the big puddles, Gem practiced her one-handed cartwheel 300 times, and Rusty used a stick in every imaginative way possible (a horse! a sword! a pretend weenie! #boymom) Everyone was sufficiently dirty and tired after that which was another big bonus! Nothing better than dirty, tired kids.

Reading the same two books and not getting really anywhere with either. ugh. I'm going to commit to one this week so I can knock it out before the end of the month!

Distracting ourselves from the news by getting totally sucked into Tiger King on Netflix. - we finished the series in two days.

Leaving a thank you note and snack bag for our mail carrier!

Singing happy half birthday to our Violet girl who celebrated her five and half birthday this week! Celebrating half birthdays is about eating dessert, singing, and measuring the kids' heights on our kitchen door frame. Nothing very fancy, but a little special added to regular days is always welcome.

Setting a plan for this baby brother. I had another ultrasound this week for a final check to see what the situation with his cord is - and it is still in the way and doesn't appear that there is any way for it to move out of there before go time. With just three weeks left to go, I am to take it easy and make it to the goal of 39 weeks without going into labor on my own. I feel grateful that despite the reasoning, I am blessed to be home right now than walking around a classroom all day; if I need to lay down or put my feet up - at home I can do that. And the kids have been very patient and helpful. We scheduled a c-section (my first!) for Monday, April 6th which would be exactly 39 weeks and fully cooked for this kid who will be born into a pandemic. The whole thing is wild and someday will be a great story for him - but good grief. Thank you for all your well wishes and prayers; I am doing okay mentally/emotionally. I feel grateful to have a date in my mind and I'm focused on making sure to take it slow and get things done before then. I am so deeply blessed to have my cousin, Meg as my midwife and Dr. Khouzami, my newly assigned high risk doc/surgeon - and all the nurses and ultrasound techs who have helped keep us both safe this whole time.

Social distance visiting with Aunt Uch when she stopped by to drop off a baby gift of a new diaper bag swagged out with Hello Bello supplies, adorable onesies, and hidden chocolate for me post-birth! (thank you so so much!!) and some milk and snacks because she deeply understands her nieces and nephews. It was heartbreaking to tell the kids, "Aunt Uch is on her way, but we can't give her a hug. You can talk to her, but we have to stay back so no one gets sick." The kids complied but it was still sad and I could use a hug from my sister (both and parents!) but with this baby pending - there is no messing around with germs.

Girl timing with Gemma on Saturday night with some charcoal face masks. She helped me make dinner and while she was being helpful, the other three kids used up all of her and Violet's face masks they got in their stockings. So, she and I had a little special time just the two of us after dinner, clean up, and jammies. It was good for both of us - we are so much alike that we clash heads and hearts quite a bit so a little one-on-one time goes a long way.

College'ing by writing a few more pages to my research paper and checking in to my online course site regularly for any updates.

Homeschooling loosely again this week. We watched a few days of Lunchdoodles with Mo Willems, we went water bear searching in moss with Gemma's microscope. (do you know about water bears? they are fascinating!) The kids are obsessed with Guardians of the Galaxy 2 right now (thanks Disney+) and have even asked if we can call the new brother, Baby Groot when he's born (um, yes please). So we did a color assignment and then a leveled writing exercise for each of the kids to go with it. We learned about the life cycle of a butterfly and then ordered our caterpillars from Insect Lore so we can raise Painted Lady butterflies over the next few weeks. As a family, we incorporated dancing through the #Blindinglightschallenge into our curriculum (ha) and shared it on Insta stories (on my Covid-19 highlights).

Virtual teaching again this week and extending it at least another week and a half. As of now, PA is set for teachers to go back to school to prepare for students the second week of April (I will not be returning as of my new c-section plan). So, I worked on another week's worth of plans, answered students' emails and questions, and enjoyed receiving photos from students as they work on their #isolationmotivation challenges. We had another Zoom staff meeting and I participated in a teacher survey phone interview this week. I also got assignments ready for the next week since our lockdown has been extended another two weeks. I've been holding off on making decisions about Prom so far - we are supposed to return to school after Easter which would give us a small window to try to pull this thing off - but if we get another update that the virtual learning is getting extended beyond that, we are going to have to reconsider our prom plans for May 8.

Making all the food all the days. We received another week of Hello Fresh meals which has been a real delight to our meals and also teaches us new ways to prepare food (and with fresh ingredients!) If you have ever considered doing one of the mailed meal plans - I think right now is a great time to try it out. (I'm not getting any perks from suggesting this) We have tried Blue Apron a few years ago and Hello Fresh now. We won't be continuing with a subscription because it's too expensive for normal life with a big family - but it's a nice little change to our normal meal routines: I like to select meals that I wouldn't normally make myself but that I think the kids would enjoy still. (the apricot-balsamic pork was a huge hit with the kids - they were losing their minds and Rusty told me, "This is so good, momma, I will pay you some money!")

Breakfasts:  waffles, banana bread, cinnamon sugar toast, cupcakes (Violet's half birthday!), eggs with hashbrowns and sausage, peanut butter energy balls, and eggs with biscuits and sausage.

Lunches: lunchmeat sandwiches, 'lil smokies in crescent rolls, Apricot-balsamic pork loin (Hello Fresh), meatball sandwiches, leftovers (twice), and making white chocolate & sprinkles popcorn for a snack!

Dinners: leftovers, frozen pizza (twice), frozen fruit smoothies and homemade bagels (recipe from 1000 hours outside insta stories), hamburgers & cheddar brats, sweet and sour chicken with fried rice, and Figgy pork loin (Hello Fresh)


  1. Girl, I'm sorry about the c-section. I imagine that is crazy stressful... but I had all my babes that way, and Carly's was my best one! (Hers was a date we put on the calendar. I walked in and said, "Let's meet this baby!")
    My advice? Steal as much mesh underwear as you can get your hands on, and plan to wear a maternity dress home. Pants aren't your friends in the beginning. ;)

    I agree that it is so hard to not be able to see our people. Especially when they are within reach!!

    I love the picture of all the kids on the rock. So great! I will say that the one good thing about the quarantine is how much quality family time we are getting in, much of it spent outdoors together.

    Those frog eggs are the coolest!! What a great find (and picture)!

    I hear you on the reading... The end of the month approaching inspired me to finally finish one of mine, but I have not had such a reading slump in a long time. I'm hoping April will be better... but only time will tell.

    And I hear you on Tiger King! We also binged all the episodes in two days! It was so cuh-razy!! I told Josh if all those things were together in a book I would have told the author it was "not believable". Hah! I guess sometimes truth IS stranger than fiction.

  2. Be assured of our prayers on April 6! I'm sure it's comforting just to have some sort of plan...can't wait to see his cute little face! XOXO