Around Here Week 17: 04/19-25

Monday, May 11, 2020

A peek into what our life is like right this moment during week 6 (!!) of the Covid-19 lockdown.

Intentional Outdoor Hours:  39+ hours (of 1000)
I got in a walk with the kids and even Red off-roading in the stroller on the trail behind the house (hah). To celebrate Earth Day I encouraged the kids to take a 'naked yard lap' in the 40 degree weather before they all donned bathing suits and jumped into a bubble bath in our Jacuzzi tub where there was a lot of splashing and scream giggling. 

Reading Dig by AS King and really enjoying it. She is an incredible writer and the way the story is weaving together has me completely captivated. Grateful that she is a YA author for your young people and such a fierce advocate for all young people.

Releasing our painted lady butterflies!

Visiting through the glass with family. My aunt Darlene, Uncle Mike, and cousin Amy stopped over on Sunday night to deliver us pizza (thank you!) and to see Red.

Donning our face masks as Gemma, Red, and I adventured out into the world for their well checks. Gem was due for her 8year well check, so we just doubled up to do it on the same day and time as Red's 2 week well check. Hooray for efficiency! Red weighs more than his birth weight (yay!) and I got a print out of Gem's physical form (reminder for fall sports parents - don't forget to request a copy for your kiddo between now and late summer!) Both kids got a thumbs up for their wellness!

Pumping! I was only able to pump enough just to get bottles for Red to drink right then because all the kids wanted a turn at feeding him. As of now we only have one bag in the freezer on reserve!

Noting all the ways the kids are passing the time currently. All the kids like to play kickball in the backyard (best case scenario for them is Dad playing as all-time pitcher), the girls are into playing babydolls right now and I find their baby doll accessories all over the house. We also had a Just Dance morning on Saturday to get out the wiggles. We introduced them to Little House on the Prairie and they loved it. It is so funny to watch it now (I used to love watching this show at my Grandma's house). It is so slow paced but still filled with action - like at one point the dog got swept down the river and Laura said, 'what happened to Jack, Pa?" and Pa simply said, "he must of got swept downstream" Grey could not stop laughing at how nonchalant of an answer that was.  There was a lot that needs explained from a historical context but they were enthralled:  traveling in a covered wagon, one room school houses, Ma protecting her family from the Native Americans. 

Marveling at all of our blossoming trees in the yard, my favorite part of spring! We have a bunch of wild cherry trees sprinkled throughout the yard along the tree line that are so beautiful, but the grandest of all is our pear tree that I swear has never blossomed this much in the 9 years we've lived here. She is glorious!

Turkey calling as youth mentor day opened on Saturday. The kids went out with Brandon on Friday evening to sight in the gun (the little kids shot the BB gun at a target) and then Brandon and Grey went turkey hunting on Saturday with Pappy and Uncle Jonny. They heard and saw a ton of birds, but no turkey to bring home yet. Grey loves it so much and can't wait to go out again next weekend.

Spraying the kids' hair with wash-out root cover up in dark brown (thank you Gigi!) because Gemma wanted to be like the lead singer in the School of Rock series, so Violet and Rusty requested darker hair too. Having some non-blonde Studerkids was pretty funny for a few days. 

Shaking my head at how strange this all is. Just two months ago I was looking forward to being home from school on maternity leave with our new baby and just the two littlest kids. I imagined recovering and then tackling a long list of to do items at home. I would stay in contact with the prom committee to make sure everything was getting done, but other than that - my sub would be covering all the plans I had laid out in my long term substitute binder (still sitting on my desk at school). We would need to figure out how to get to all the soccer practices and baseball games - but that's what family and friends are for right when a new baby arrives. But here we are instead - no nothing but also somehow everything. No games, practices, visits, plans but still work, all five kids, and no outside help. It's so bizarre and even after 6 weeks of it - I'm still not 'settled in' to this life. It's an enormous relief to not be running in a thousand directions like our normal but this isn't our best either (without family and no where to pour our generosity of spirit).

College'ing by turning in another assignment and touching base with the college about end of year wrap up activities (evaluations, dates, etc). Almost there! Only two more assignments to go.

Homeschooling with the big kids' packets from school and some print outs from the little kids' preschool. I also purchased activity workbooks for the little kids from Amazon to keep them occupied easily while the big ones do their homework. Grey had his first class Zoom meeting this week and was proud to show off his baby brother. Gemma invited all her siblings to join her storytime Zoom meeting on Friday afternoon (her teachers are so sweet - they read Interrupting Chicken to the class as a read aloud).

Virtual Teaching with a zoom meeting with students on Wednesday. It was so good to see their faces and hear their voices. I had about 10 kids opt to join me for a half hour or so to check in. The students got started on a country research project that will span the next three weeks. This week they were specifically looking into country details like flag design, imports/exports, leadership, climate, etc. They are putting all their research into a presentation. We did a check in google form on Friday too. We got some end of year details at our staff meeting (last day, potential graduation plans) and it feels so strange to be discussing all this without the normal end-of-year stuff (field day, senior trip, finals, senior week). I feel so disorientated.

breakfast: eggs & fried potatoes, chocolate croissants, homemade bagels, peanut butter & oatmeal cookies, cereal, toast, jalapeƱo & cheddar bagels (from Heather! so delicious from Ryan's artisan)
lunch: buffalo chicken dip, frozen pizza (twice!), philly cheesesteak wraps, spaghetti leftovers, cheese quesadillas, ice cream from the Silver Bell (hah!)
dinner: pizza delivery (from the Mayers!), pork tenderloin (Hello Fresh), fried rice with leftover kielbasa, Italian marinated baked chicken, spaghetti for the kids and Old Bay shrimp over risotto for the parents, cereal for dinner (LOL), wings & burgers for take-out (from Tulune's Living the Dream)

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