Pre-Quarantine phase 1:
Where we knew stuff was coming, but we were still naive about what exactly that was.
I got to go to parent's day at the jr. high. I loved going to Macey's classes with her. Seeing how she navigates the chaos that is the halls and how she manages to find her friends in the insanity that is lunch. Jr. High teachers are amazing. Modern day heros.
Seems like a lifetime ago when we still got to hike together. Little did we know this would be our last one for who knows how long.
- Kacie and I have still been hiking, since there's just 2 of us. But, this was the last time we'd stand close together for a pic.
Some girls planned a really fun dad and daughter activity at church. We crammed all the girls under the table for the dads to try and identify each daughters foot. so much giggling, hopefully it will last them awhile.
- This what my kitchen used to look like most days. Now it is in a constant state of chaos. Pre-Quarantine phase 2:
Still thinking we might get to go to Disneyland. Still playing with friends outside, but no one is allowed in the house anymore. Still allowed to go to State Parks not in our county.
Antelope Island with Holly.
This was also the last time we ate in a restaurant, sadly McDonalds was our last meal. We didn't let the kids play in the toys though, some were more mad than others.
- In preparation for our trip to Disneyland I decided to go to the grocery store and stock up, just in case we had to be quarantined for 2 weeks when we got back. We really had no idea what we were going to do with Disneyland at this point.
Little did I know how grateful I would be I made these store runs, because like 2 days later things got crazy.
Schools announced they were going to do 2 minimal days, so the teachers could prep for online learning. My kids left school friday, thinking they'd go back Monday. Right after they got home, we found out school was cancelled for 2 weeks.
- We took our last hike with friends.
We tried to make the kids keep some space between them, but weren't too stressed about it.
It was heaven sitting in that meadow soaking up the sun. Glad we got it in before it became highly looked down upon to be with friends.
- Domo moved Domopolozza to online, so Paul worked non-stop trying to help get things ready. Domo moved everyone to working remotely. Which means Ruby moved into Crew's room and Paul took over Ruby's room as his office.
They have a love hate relationship with sharing a room. Best part, Crew used to come down crying that he was lonely. Worse part, Ruby destroys their room every single day.
My favorite quote from Crew this month, "Ruby is destroying the 2 things I love most!! Playing and sleeping." :) - Paul's Birthday!!
It turned out a bit different than we planned. We were planning to go to IHOP to get rainbow pancakes, the kids had been looking forward to it all month. Paul's birthday was the day they closed restaurants. I don't think Crew has forgiven us yet. We then entered into Quarantine Phase 3
For me this meant lots of Sodalicious and raspberry filled powdered donuts.
- We tried to figure out this online learning.
First schedule didn't work. So, I kept trying.
and trying. I think we are currently on homeschool schedule take 4. It might be a keeper, at least for a few weeks.
We did some rearranging. Found each kid their preferred schooling spot and device, and tried to settle into our new routine.
- That grin is due to seeing his class (mostly his teacher and crush) for the first time since school got cancelled.
- Getting setup for virtual Violin lessons.
- Some pics of what our online learning looks like.
- Ruby's cute little giraffe drawing for a math story problem. They had a zoo animal themed day on the day they were suppose to go on their zoo field trip. That was a hard day.
- Every Monday morning Crew, Ruby, and Miles all have speech over hangouts with their amazing speech teacher. It is not easy, they are not the most cooperative, but she just rolls with and helps us the best she can. We miss her a lot, so much so, that every time I talk with her on Monday's I am afraid I will break down and cry.
How I feel 10 min into homeschool.
- Fang is getting very worn out having all the kids home all day.
His only safe haven is Paul's office.
- We have instituted a kitchen helper of the day. They get to pick what's for lunch, prep it, and then help me with dinner. They also get to pick the movie after outside time and lunch.
I feel like it's been one of our more positive additions to our daily life.
- There has been lots of crafts, puzzles, games, and overall mess making.
- The boys spent 2 solid days doing Pokemon Masked Singer in the basement and I think they've put together this Pokemon puzzle at least 5 times.
I survived pre-Coronavirus by getting outside and taking my kids places. We've been trying to do the same during all this craziness.
the snow hasn't been helping though.
Some days I force them on a walk and stomped behind them like a prison guard.
Other days I send them off on their own with a promise they can't come back until they've walked at least a mile.
- We've had endless bike rides trying to get our excess energy out.
- And then sometimes there's a miracle and kids are content to just draw with sidewalk chalk for a few min and soak up the sun.
- One of my favorite moments of March was a family kickball game before bed at the school. Even Fang got in on the action.
- Another highlight has been watching these kids play together without the distraction of neighbor kids. It really has been amazing to watch and this is what I hope they remember.
Crew reading to Ruby.
Macey and Crew practicing their Harry Potter Spells.
And the unifying effort of making Fang participate in their imaginative world.
- We've been on more hikes and walks than the kids would like, but sometimes we bring Fang and there is much less complaining.
- A new favorite pastime we've discovered is flying kites in the field at school.
- The tramp has also been in use nonstop.
- Miles got his cast off!!! This has made life much easier to handle for him.
- One of the harder things is our trips that keep getting cancelled. Our tally is currently at Disneyland, Nana and Pop-Pop coming to visit, Snow Canyon, Moab, and Capital Reef.
I am doing my best to keep a positive attitude by
Kacie and I keep an appropriate 6 ft distance between us at all times, even when taking selfies.
Date nights in the car.
I have even done some crafting.
So many trips to Sodalicous.
Paul and I have been working hard on putting together our own Covid-19 playlists. It really helps laundry folding more enjoyable.
And memes. People's meme games are strong right now and are helping to keep me sane.
We started the month with this girl's birthday.
Weird to have a teenager and I might of shed a few tears that night when I went to bed.
This year was a much more mellow birthday than last year (Crew's arm) and we were happy we were actually all there to have cake this year.
Macey is everyone's favorite. And most
days I don't know how I got so lucky to get her.
She is a lover of Harry Potter and Survivor and can't wait to apply for Survivor when she turns 18. She loves school and her friends and I still haven't heard her say anything mean about anyone ever. She's our favorite babysitter and cookie maker.
She even planned to pay for her own birthday party at The Space Center. But, she ended up letting us pay instead. :)
She has made some amazing friends this year and I hope she stays close to them through the craziness that is Jr. High.
And The Space Center was just amazing. Paul and I dropped them off and came back 2 1/2 hours later to pick them up. Heaven.
Their mission was Invasion. and it was hilarious watching them on the video cameras getting attacked by aliens and trying to save another planet. Lots of screaming and laughing. They all have big plans to pool their money and do the 6 hour mission this summer.
Macey and Miles are still the best of friends and get super wild together. And we still call her The Miles Whisperer.
The boys finished their basketball seasons and Crew scored his first basket!! I didn't get a picture of course, but it was adorable.
There is still constant basketball being played out front.
Always makes my mom heart happy to see Miles and Crew find something that they actually both like!
We took the kids to their last BYU game of the season, since there was no way we were risking this sort of attitude at the Gonzaga game.
Then we ended our BYU basketball season in the best way possible, by beating Gonzaga.
Best home game since the Jimmer Era. Can't wait for next season.
- Lots of Valentines Day Excitement.
- We enjoyed lots of time with the sun streaming in through the windows, but it was still too cold to go outside to play for too long.
And then it hit 50 degrees and the kids thought it was summer and requesting we turn the sprinkler on.
- The snow of course came back and since Paul works insane hours in February, it was up to Ruby and I to shovel our massive driveway.
- Luckily, I also got to do my favorite winter activity to help me stay sane. Hiking.
and julianne and I even had to pull out our snowshoes for the first time this season. It took us a very long time to get them on without our husbands help, but we did it!!
- House updates
And sunglass storage art. Love things that are useful and make me happy.
- the kids had a random day off of school, so we went to Costco together, just like old times. Made me almost
miss the days when my cart was full of little kids and i couldn't order my own hotdog because I was too busy trying to corral kids. Now it's only slight chaos.
- I feel like February was constant kids and it made me very excited for warmer weather so all social gatherings can take place outside.
- Fang update. Everyone is still obsessed.
Biggest excitement of the month: Classic Skate Night.
I never go. Paul's been so busy working, it was cold out, the kids convinced me we should go. It was a moment of weakness.
Ruby had the time of her life with her gang of kindergartner friends. Crew had a pretty great time. Miles got dog pilled on in the bounce house area 5 min after we got there.
He came running to me saying he thought he broke his arm. In my classic Kelsey response I said, "looks good. Go get some ice and then go back to play when it feels better". 10 min later he was back jumping with his friends. Then he came back, we iced it for a few more minutes, I had all my friends look at it who agreed with me and I sent him to the roller rink. This went on for about an hour until he finally said it hurt too much.
So, I rounded up the kids in the complete chaos of school skate night (I had no Paul or Macey to help me) and got them loaded in the car to go home after lots of tears, a kindergartner peeing her pants, and a kid that couldn't walk because their arm hurt too much.
Broken. I couldn't even believe it. I then had to text all my friends I was with the night before to tell them I was wrong, once again, and it really was broken.
Miles in a cast went about as good as you probably think it did, which means horrible.
Life did get better when the hard cast got on though. He could at least run wild and didn't have to wear the sling anymore.
It doesn't look like it, but really having Miles in a cast has been a challenge. He wakes up already reaching his sensory limit and then just yells and stomps around for most of the day. Thank goodness for some sunshine days.
I thought February was a tough month for me, little did I know what March had in store.
Labor Day Weekend we went with the Rensinks to Julianne's family cabin in Island Park, ID. It was beautiful.
And our kids are getting slightly easier to travel with, although I am always thankful for Brenden and Julianne being patient with the craziness that we bring everywhere we go.
We hung out lots at the river by their cabin.
Catching little fish, moose watching, canoeing and jumping in the water.
I tried to keep Ruby's cast as dry as possible.
They were the perfect Yellowstone tour guides and it was just heaven following along behind them as they lead us to some of their favorite spots.
The morning was super awesome. It was freezing out (low 30's), so when the steam hit the air it made all this crazy fog.
but, then the sun came out and I no longer felt like a bad mom putting all my kids in shorts.:)
The highlight for everyone was seeing all the Bison.
And of course getting to see Old Faithful.
And exploring the lodge while eating icecream and finishing up Jr. Ranger Books.
The Rensinks also took us to see Mesa Falls and we lucked out with some beautiful rainbows.
I didn't get to enjoy it too much though, because Ruby of course had to use the bathroom right when we got down to the falls. :)
Luckily Julianne and I got a pic in our matching shirts before I ran back up the trail with Ruby.
The kids favorite past time at the cabin was seeing who could hang from the beams the longest.
And I was only slightly terrified of the kids playing outside the cabin with all the wildlife around. But, once they got to a certain level of craziness inside, it was worth the risk to kick them out.
Most of my camera feed is full of pictures of Ruby and I walking to and from the school each day.
And somedays i just cannot get over her kindergarten cuteness.
Telling me she's ready for school. Sometimes I just don't know what I'm going to do when I don't have this crazy 5 year old running around.
There was a common day once this month, so Ruby actually started at the same time as the boys. She was so excited to walk to school with them and Crew told me held her hand the whole way and made sure she could find her class, since they had to lineup inside because of the rain.
He is the best big brother.
Fang and Ruby watch a show together every morning after the other kids leave.
And Ruby is still my errand buddy, which means I we still frequent sodalicious and the mall playround when she cooperates.
Ruby and Reagan also started dance.
and Ruby FINALLY let us take her training wheels off her bike and is now happily cruising around the neighborhood. And yes, we took the training wheels off while her arm was still broken. We are good parents like that.
Fang had an exciting month. He escaped through an open gate in the backyard and went to the kids' school. The principal found him wondering in the first grade hall. He didn't have his tag on (although he was microchipped). Luckily, she is nicer than me and instead of just pushing him outside, she took him into her office. She then sent a picture to all the teachers to see if any of the kids recognized him and then all the neighbor kids ran down to her it was our dog. Then as Paul and I were frantically searching for him I got a call from the school that Fang was in the principal's office.
Best day of his life so far.
Other exciting September happenings with the other kids that live at my house.
Crew had a great soccer season and scored some goals and was much more aggressive than last year. Can't wait for spring season to start.
Macey is pretty busy these days. And when she's not busy, she's hanging out with her bff Makenna.
She also captured an exciting neighborhood moment for me and even gave it a hashtag. :)
Miles caught a snake and then for the next hour took it around to show all the neighborhood kids. The snake ended up biting him (it wasn't poisonous), but paul chopped it's head off and kept it in a shoe box just in case miles broke out in some crazy rash.
Luckily, there is also some calm neighborhood afternoons too.
I also had to document how I now have to wash Raffy, Miles' special stuffed animal. Which is pretty much a rag now with a giraffe head.
One of my proudest moments of the month was when all 3 of us girls showed up to load the car for church and we were all wearing leopard print shoes.
We killed Mom Hikes this month, which also included our first annual retreat, which I will of course be blogging about later.
I even took the girls I work with at church on one of our frequented trails.
and then to Sodalicious, just like Mom Hike.
The month ended with Ruby getting her cast off.
And the primary program!
Back to School
Paul and I got back from Florida and it was pure craziness as we tried to get ready for the first day of school. We also had 3 different start dates this year.
The main stress for Macey was the locker situation at school, but after practicing for about an hour before the first day, they got it down and were ready to go.
We did our back to school dinner like always.
I just love how simple it is and that I do pretty much the same thing every year, so there's no stress involved. Especially when I get back into town the night before.
The excitement this year was these amazing pickles I found, they were the highlight of the meal. :)
There were WAY less tears than last year, it was mostly all smiles. Macey
started first since she had 7th grade
day at the Jr High.
The bus ended up being late and they missed the entire first period. Plus, Macey had some things she needed to fix on her schedule at the office when she got there. But, she handled it like a champ and got her schedule settled all on her own. This girl was more than ready to leave elementary school behind and couldn't wait to be reunited with some old friends from Suncrest.
I've loved listening to all the Jr. High stories, so much more entertaining than elementary school stories. Bus drama, boys that like them, the stress of remembering all their different locker numbers, and the chaos of the halls that were not represented accurately in movies they'd seen. :) Macey could not love Jr. High more.
Crew and Miles started next.First day of 2nd Grade.
All smiles for this kid until about the 3rd week of school, where he realized that 2nd grade is a lot harder than 1st. :) He's killing it though and got an amazing teacher and lots of awesome kids in his class.
He had to include Fang in his paper doll project. :) first day of 4th grade.
I tried and tried, but this kid would not cooperate for a picture. He is not one to hide his emotions. His morning was full of lots of yelling and throwing things, but we got out the door and once he saw his friends he ran right to class without me.
The day went better than these pictures predict though. He got an amazing teacher, with a few friends in his class and came home smiling.
Although we did have a massive anger explosion that night, where he ripped up all his hard earned money. This kid.
We took a picture on the 2nd day of school, it turned out much better.
I know it's going to be a good school year, even if it kills me.
Ruby and I then had our last week to ourselves before she started school.
We had lots planned. Zoo Day
with The Miners.
It was hot and busy, but a perfect way to spend one of our last days of freedom. Splash Pad
with Michelle and Lottie.
Our last breakfast Date at Chickfila
A few more lazy mornings
, just the 2 of us and Fang.Kindergarten Testing
I wasn't exactly sure how'd she do. We didn't even start working on letters and writing her name until the week before her test. Can you tell she's my 4th kid? :) I was happily surprised when she didn't do too bad (I was sitting across the room filling out paper work and spying). this was my favorite moment:
Mrs. B. : Count from 1 to 10.
Ruby: 1, 10
Mrs. B. : Say the numbers inbetween 1 and 10.
Ruby: 1, 7, 5, 2, 8..
Mrs. B. : Finish counting for me 1, 2, 3....
Ruby: 4, 5, 6, 7...
I was dying. Poor kindergarten teachers.
We had a princess movie party with Reagan.
And then in the mist of it all she BROKE HER ARM
and I didn't think it was broken, so I didn't take her in for like 4 days.
She was running in the backyard, tripped, and her hand went between our tramp hole and the tramp. She only cried for a min, so I didn't think too much about it.
That night she was still complaining, so I wrapped an ace bandage around it to make her feel better. She went right to sleep and I chalked it up to her just being dramatic.
She made me keep it wrapped during the next few days, but at night I would unwrap it when she was sleeping to see if she could remember what arm she hurt (she's crazy dramatic, so it's hard for me to trust her). She did remember and then when I spied on her sunday getting dressed for church I could see her wince when she was putting her dress on. So, the day before kindergarten started I took her in just for peace of mind, still not thinking it was broken.
Broke 2 bones in her wrist. Good thing about waiting so long is that the swelling was down and she could get her hard cast on right away.
When they were putting her cast on she looked at me and said, "This is the Best day of my entire life". She kills me.
Finally the much anticipated first day of Kindergarten
came and it was only made better by the bright pink cast she got to sport.
Pretty much the cutest, and pinkest, kindergartner around.
She was a little nervous since she didn't know anyone in her class and mad at me that I put her in AM Kindergarten, while Reagan was in PM Kindergarten with the same teacher.
She had a great first day though, made new friends, and got to have a photo shoot with Reagan before it was her turn to head off for her first day of kindergarten.
I was very successful in my 2 hours and 45 min of alone time.
I read a book and organized my pantry.
Then before I knew it, it was 12:00 and time to go pick her up.
And we still had about 2 hours together before the big kids started getting home.
While somedays I wish she was in all day kindergarten, I'm trying to soak her up as much as possible, because I know this is the end for me. Next year they will ALL be gone ALL day and I will actually have to take up some hobbies or something.
March was mostly full of lots of broken arm drama.
The trauma of it all, plus the horrendous rash that developed under his big cast, made for a very clingy 6 year old.
and a 6 year old that could not fall asleep alone.
I tried to enjoy the cuddles, because I prayed once he felt better things would be back to normal.
When we went from the big orange cast to the blue cast, we got to see the rash first hand. It was bad and I was glad I had tried to be patient during all the complaining about the very itchy arm, because I think I would of ripped my arm off.
Life did get better once we were able to treat the worst of the rash and he was happy to have some movement back.
And the big day finally came!! No more cast.
And then he walked around with his hand in the claw for the next 24 hours.
Hiking kept me sane during the stress of it all.
I even went solo hiking one friday because my entire hiking group ditched me. but, my mental health desperately needed to get outside.
It was as creepy as I thought it would be, but worth the risk. :)
Luckily, i didn't have to brave the big bad mountains alone again.
Even worth it in the freezing cold.
We visited the aquarium.
Went to soccer games.
Played lots of basketball on our new hoop.
Lots of sunny days on the trampoline.
Ruby and I walked to school to volunteer in all sorts of crazy weather.
We went to The Bean Museum.
And played with neighbor kids as much as possible.
Paul also had a birthday.
The sun was out, so we headed to the park as soon as church got out and the kids treated Paul to some rides on the swing.
And The Tween hung out here for most of the time. :)
He also had a little party with lots of video games and food. I got no pictures of the actual party, but this is him getting the basement set up for optimal Smash Brothers playing.
In house updates:
I got myself an amazing patio chair.
And we finally replaced the sunroom light and got pendents.
And this girl is getting closer and closer to kindergarten.
She is learning to write her name and couldn't be more proud.