Good morning! I hope you’ve had a nice week despite the continually wonky circumstances.
This is the first post that I’ve been able to make time to sit down and crank out in over a week, and it feels good to do so. Today I’d like to do a bit of a “brain dump” that documents various aspects of our lives right now that we’ve settled into temporarily, and I hope that what I share is either relatable to you (“Hey! They do this or that the same way we do!”) or maybe this’ll just a light-hearted, entertaining read.
Either way, here’s just a teeny glimpse into what’s up around here. (Heads up: I don’t have ANY good pics for this post! Haven’t taken many lately… at all. Whoops! Sorry!)
We are still enjoying/relying on meal delivery services to get dinner on the table most nights. We like Home Chef a lot, but we’ve also used first-time user discounts to try out Gobble and Freshly. The fresh meat selections have been continually disappointing at the grocery stores, so last week I ordered a protein pack from Home Chef. This was a breath of fresh air! It was pricey ($75ish), but we received ground beef, ground turkey, Italian pork sausage, and chicken.
I’ve been trying to hit the grocery store about every 8-9 days. I really can only stretch it this long though because my mom or MIL always offers to pick up random things that we are missing and drop it off (I do the same for them when I go to the store). This has helped all of us eliminate extra trips and stay out of the store. (PS: Our family uses Venmo to send money back and forth and it’s so helpful and wonderful, especially when I need expensive baby items, cleaning items, etc. I got both my mom and MIL on this app, and it’s great.)
You guys know that I’ve done Wal-Mart online grocery shopping for almost five years now, but I haven’t done it during quarantine. The slots have been slim, and I want to be able to pick my options right now since I know that Wal-Mart is having to do a lot of substitutions. I am ready to get back to it though because I spend so much more money when I’m actually IN the store. Sigh.
We started Kindergarten distance learning last Thursday. It’s going okay. Before we started formal distance learning, I had worked hard to create some home school routines for Hadley and Sadie, and we were in an amazing groove. We would do reading, math, science, played lots of games, and even “religion class” where the girls would illustrate a story that they heard from The Jesus Storybook Bible. I had catered it to their ability levels and ordered some great resources online. None of it was electronic, so we were free of the distractions of that.
But now we’re on the computer more and doing things a bit differently. Hadley’s teacher is absolutely incredible and we could not adore her or her school more (they’ve worked so hard during this time), but teachers hands in general are so tied with this situation. I was a teacher before I became a mom, so my heart hurts for how difficult this has been (and is) for teachers. SO MUCH WORK on their part, especially dealing with confused parents who may be pushing back. I’m definitely not pushing back and am on the same page/team with her teacher and school, it’s just been an adjustment for us to this way of electronic learning.
Moving forward, we are going to crank out the required work and then hopefully I can keep Hadley’s attention long enough to move on to some other things too. Just one more month of this. Not trying to sound overly critical or negative; Just sharing some personal adjustments/frustrations.
Resources we love for Hadley:
Resources we love for Sadie:
I’ve never been one to routinely work out in the afternoon because if I waited that long in the day, I’d inevitably talk myself out of it or find something else that “had to be done”.
But now, 3:30 is my fitness time. Jillian is either napping or hanging with me in the garage in some kind of baby jail/toy option (with snacks of course, LOL). I open the garage and Hadley and Sadie play, play, play. They have to stay where I can see them easily, and they have a ball. I’ve been doing all kinds of workouts, from various things with Brighton Keller, Physical Kitchness, the Orangetheory app, or just a random workout I find on IG.
Still loving our new rower. Jamie usually gets home from work (or finishes up work) around the time I finish my workout, so he’ll immediately throw casual clothes on and we’ll go for a walk around the neighborhood before heading inside for dinner.
Fitness has been a saving grace for me. It’s been a tremendous mood boost and helps me finish the day strong mentally and physically.
My faith has grown a lot the last few weeks.
I’ve been seeking the Lord via prayer, worship music, devotionals, or just general scripture reading so much lately. I don’t know if I’d be doing so hot without my faith right now. I remember after Hadley’s accident just crying out to the Lord in prayer and praying all night long that first night. I remember wondering how I would have survived that first night without knowing there was a God who was listening. I kind of feel that way now as far as being so thankful to know there is a God who sees us, sees this, hears me, and has not changed (when everything else seemingly has). I’ve wondered how much more anxious I would feel going through this unexpected season without knowing what I know about God.
I have a lot in my brain that I could write about this subject; so much that it’s overwhelming and I’m not sure where to start. Hopefully one day I’ll be able to spit it out one day.
I love seeing Jamie more. He’s more introverted than me so he has totally loved having a wiped-clean calendar. 😉 We’ve been working around the house a lot together, watching shows/movies at the end of some days, having cocktail “dates” on the back patio once or twice a week after the kids are in bed, and just enjoying a slower pace together.
Sticking to a routine that I expect and that my kids expect has resulted in our best days. They are better behaved, and in turn I am then a happier mom because I’m disciplining less (I feel like I disciplined ALL DAY on Tuesday, which hurt my heart and left me in a sour mood that evening/at bedtime).
Days where we hang in pajamas until 1 p.m. with no structure always turn into chaos around here. I always think “Oh, we are just going to have a chill morning” and then chaos ensues and somebody is misbehaved, I’m hollering/disciplining with irritation, etc. So basically, sticking to some structure and giving the kids expectations has resulted in mostly happy days around here.
One major change: they don’t ask me for snacks anymore. OMG it’s been life-changing. About three weeks ago I took advice from my friend Shannon and started implementing snack time. So now we have snack time just like we have meal time, and they know that I control it… and that I give good snacks. 😉
So around 9:30 and then again at 3, I get out big plates and make a big snack, with usually one sweet treat (i.e. some chocolate chips or M&Ms, one salty treat (i.e. Veggie Straws), and one fruit or veggie (baby carrots and ranch). They devour it because they are hungry and then they are satisfied to move on. It’s been amazing.
Around the Home
We’ve done a lot. LOL. Recently I’ve been completely making over the girls’ bathroom. We are also doing some landscaping in the front and back yards. We are getting ready to epoxy the garage floor ourselves and then hang some cabinetry in there. We love working on home-related stuff.
Marco Polo is still my favorite. I’m so grateful for it.
I mentioned earlier that we go on at least one walk a day, so that’s usually when we see other adults who are hanging outside with their families too.
My friends and I have also enjoyed running around to each others’ homes and leaving treats and encouragement. (Ding Dong Ditching in your 30s basically, LOL.) Doughnuts, flowers, banana bread, bubble wands. Good friends are worth the investment 100 times over.
5 a.m. is wake-up time. I need to wake up before my children for sanity. 😉 If Jamie has to go into work, I blog until 7. If he’s working from home that day, I stay in my room and work until 8. I will try to squeeze in work time in the afternoon too (usually around noon) if I’m up for it. My new website launches on May 1st, so we’re getting down to the wire with tying up loose ends. Excited, nervous, and ready.
About that rule book…
There isn’t a rule book for how to handle a global pandemic (imagine that! har har), and everyone’s scenarios are different. Some people have little kids, some have no kids, some people are married, some are living alone and lonely, some people are stressed with at-home jobs, some people have parents with very weak immune systems, some people have zero income right now, some people have family issues and are trapped in their home together… the list goes on and on. It’s heartbreaking really.
I’ll be the one millionth person to remind you to give yourself room to feel your big emotions, especially if you’re on the struggle bus. This is not normal (!!!!), and it will end. We don’t know when exactly, but it will. Recognize your tough days for what they are, but then take ownership of your circumstance and do what you can to make the next day better. What that means will look different for everyone. <3
Thanks for reading! Always appreciative when I see that people are strolling up over here to read the stuff I’m spitting out.
I’d love to know what makes your good days GOOD. What common denominators have you found that lend themselves to the days that you would consider GOOD amidst quarantine?
Hi! I’m Erica, and I absolutely adore sharing my life on this website with you! I come here almost daily to blab about all of the things related to being a regular wife and mother in today’s ever-evolving society. I share about our new home, what’s on our kitchen table, what we’re hanging in our closets, where we’re traveling to next, my crazy 5 a.m. work outs, how I make time for girlfriends, our faith, and much more. We always have a lot of balls in the air and somewhat thrive on the chaos. I believe in the power of story-telling as a form of inspiration and entertainment, so I’m here to do both! I was born and raised in north Alabama and recently re-planted roots here again after my husband transitioned out of the Army (he is now in the Reserve and it’s going so well!) I’m a super proud mom to three little girls (ages 7, 4, and 1) who seem to be the stars of the show around here (for good reason – they’re pretty great!) I’m so glad you found me and are here reading! I hope we can get to know each other here on the blog as well as Facebook and/or Instagram. xoxo