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.
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.
march madness at home
March always comes just when we need it.
I never realize how much pent up energy these kids have inside them until they are set free after winter.
If the sun is out, these kids are out. Dinner is skipped many evenings, or shoveled into their mouths at a lightening pace, to get back outside.
Never a shortage of friends or things to do.
And I get to see my long lost friends too. Life is good.
Crewby keeps me busy during the day with constant fort building.
I actually banned forts for April though, I'm a good mom like that. Ruby loves to destroy them and Crew loves to scream and cry when this happens. So, we are taking a break, before I completely loose it. :)
We registered Crew for Kindergarten this month.
I am not too happy about having him gone everyday next school year, but bless Utah and their half day kindergarten.
Look at this stud, I am not quite ready to part with him.
Although, he has been mastering the screaming fit lately, so I won't miss that. :)
Lucky for me, I still get this crazy girl all to myself for a little longer.
She is actually starting to play and pretend with her toys. I love to watch.
She also uses everything as a magic wand and is constantly turning me into Belle or Ruby.
And look at this hair!
And these best friends are just the cutest. Ruby's life just wouldn't be the same if Ella didn't live across the grass from us.
I often get asked if Ruby is still wild. The answer is "yes!"
There are a million stories I could share. This particular picture though represents what happens the 1 time I forget to lock the closet door in her room.
She was suppose to be napping, but she of course sensed my mistake and emptied all my more dangerous craft items all over her room. She left the paper, crayons, googly eyes, pom-poms, craft sticks, washable markers, and tape alone.
Instead she went for ALL the permanent markers, ink pads, and scissors. She covered every item in her room, and her body of course, in ink. Luckily her wardrobe is installed with self locking technology, otherwise I am sure all of her clothes would be covered in permanent marker as well.
45 min in the bath and 45 min scrubbing her room and most of the marker is gone. the palms of her hands and soles of her feet were pink for a week. And her bedframe is a lost cause. Other than that, it didn't turn out too badly.
Once again, this is why we spend so much time outside. :)
Crew learned to ride a two wheeler last year, but he isn't quite ready for real bike rides, due to the fact that he can't ride straight and either rides into fences or off the curb. I find it a bit stressful. So, we have been doing lots of practicing in the Target parking lot.
This particular day we ended up with a 3 bike pile up. I think we need a little more work on the brakes.
There's of course been lots of basketball watching. M&M are very into this year and have kept very good tabs on their favorite teams.
We bought Rogue One and these 3 LOVED it. We sent them down to get their PJ's on and they all came up in their Star Wars gear.
We pulled Miles' Battle Bots arena down from it's high shelve and it's been quite entertaining. Ellie even got in on the action when she stopped by to visit.
A highlight of every March is always Paul's Birthday.
homemade chocolate cake with homemade frosting...only the best for this guy.
He even got to come home from work early to play with us. And yes, notice another fort has been set up in the backyard.
We then got a babysitter. Watched some basketball at Buffalo Wild Wings. Then played mini golf and video games. I love birthdays.
I also caught this cute leprechaun.
Yes, he is really 35 now.
Paul was a bit sad about getting older, so we made sure to celebrate in style.
Paul is not a fan of sharing his birthday with St. Patrick's Day, so we made sure to get the leprechaun business out of the way first thing.
Then it was onto breakfast meats and presents.
The real excitement came though that weekend where we celebrated where every 35 year old dreams...Nickel City
Pizza, video games, friendly competition, laughter, good friends, and laser tag.
It doesn't get much better. And I realized I am much too out of shape to play a 15 min. laser tag game. :)
This getting old thing really isn't that bad after all.
Paul and Steve took Macey and Ethan on their first overnight backpacking trip up to Silver Lake in American Fork Canyon.
The hike was just over 2 miles in and an elevation gain of 1,450 feet.
Macey was so excited that she was big enough to carry all her own stuff (sleeping bag, sleeping pad, clothes, gear...everything for her). I don't think she was as excited about it half way through the hike, but she did it and I was impressed.
I was a bit, ok a lot, nervous about bears.
So, Paul got bear spray, taught Macey what to do if they saw one, bought a bear can, and made sure to set up their kitchen up away from their tents. He's a good husband to ease my fears like that. :)
It happened to be the coldest weekend since summer, there was frost everywhere when they woke up, but they both slept totally fine (I would not of slept at all).
Macey gave it 2 thumbs up and said it was just as fun as Disneyland and given the choice between the two she doesn't know which she would choose.
Her favorite part was climbing around on these rocks, which is her own personal heaven. She of course ripped her pants in the process.
Things Paul wants to remember about their trip:
- unsuccessful fishing, Macey still loved it.
- He told Macey not to go in the water, she did and then was freezing cause her shoes were wet. She had to wear his socks and still did some pouting about it.