Well, the kids are going to go back to school in-person tomorrow, so I thought I’d recap some of our quarantine experiences.

We built a mask collection (thanks to my mom)!

We did some baking:

…played games:

…got into escape rooms:

…played volleyball (until they shut the court down):

…read books:

…did some art projects:

We invented a new type of Ping Pong called “PE Ping Pong”. The rules:

  1. If the ball is on your side of the table, use whatever means necessary (using the paddle) to get it back over the net (even if you have to hit it 10 times).
  2. If you’re the reason the ball goes off the table, you have to run in place while playing until the other person hits it off the table.
  3. Add some dramatics where possible.
  4. Laugh a lot (though in this particular photo they are in deep concentration mode lol!):

I also learned how to cut Chase’s hair (not very well, but good enough for quarantine). Check out the before & after’s!

We learned how to do everything online, setting up our workspaces and even virtual Tae Kwon Do spaces!

Chloe and I started running again:

We did a lot of “drive-in” and “drive-by” activities: Drive-in movies, Drive-by last day of school, Drive-by birthday parties…

I did some organizing (in addition to my big home projects):

And the kids did what they do best:

It has definitely been (and continues to be) a strange time, but all that time “trapped” in the house together actually came at a great time for us. After the kids’ dad died, life was a whirlwind. This forced us to slow down a bit and just enjoy our time together. Man, I love my little family….


Chase’s First “Little Man” Hair Cut

The kids will be going back to school in-person in a week, so it was finally time for real hair cuts! I looked at Chase and said, “I think we’ve outgrown Cookie Cutters.” He agreed. I made him an appointment at Roosters and he got to experience what it feels like to REALLY get his hair done. His stylist was awesome. She spent time talking with him about what he liked/hated, how to style it, how to properly wash it…. Afterwards I asked him how it was and he LOVED IT. Even asked if we could go somewhere to buy him a comb. My little man! Here are a couple before & after’s (and one “during” lol):

First Day of (Virtual) School!

The kids started school today, virtually. I went back in July, as is normal… but our district’s students will start school virtually as well.

Here are their “first day of school” pics this year!

And then, just for fun. I decided to do a side-by-side comparison to last year’s first day of school photo. I almost fell over. What happened to my babies?!?

Happy Birthday, Chloe!

Chloe is 10! I can’t believe it! Of course I had to make her a cake. She requested something with soccer and puppies:

She also requested Buc-ee’s for her birthday meal. Request granted!

We had to get creative with the birthday party this year. We decided to have a party on Zoom with her friends and family. It was a little awkward, but unforgettable! She wanted to have the party in her new room:

Happy Birthday, baby girl!

Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day was weird this year. Usually school coordinates a Mother’s Day art project or something, and we couldn’t go anywhere for the kids to try to do something else. Chloe surprised me with a cereal breakfast in bed, and I ordered us cakes and let the kids type in the message for the card. I can explain their names on the card: A substitute once pronounced Chase’s name “Kahsay” when calling roll (made me think of the Key & Peele substitute teacher video!) and Chole is a common misspelling of Chloe’s name (for reasons none of us understand)!

Hoppy Easter!

I had to order all of the Easter treats this year. Sometimes it’s hard to estimate sizes. I ordered 2 bags of candy and didn’t realize I ordered two GINORMOUS bags of candy. Then I decided to get a couple little bags of jelly beans and they apparently didn’t have any left and substituted it for 2 bags of more assorted candy. We have more candy than we know what to do with. Not. Cool.

At any rate, Chase wanted to be in charge of the egg hunt this year and it was awesome. He put a lot of effort into color coding each egg and tying it to different levels of difficulty.

Hoppy Easter!

Conversations with a 13-Year-Old: Virtual School, Day 2

CHASE: Mom, I’m done!
MOM: OK, I’m coming.
MOM: To check it.
CHASE: Oh my GOD, WHY?!?
(Mom walks upstairs.)
MOM: Go to your task list. It will list everything that isn’t done yet.
(Clicks on tasks…. A HUGE list of things from the beginning of the school year appears.)
MOM: Omg.
CHASE: That’s all old stuff.
MOM: I can see that. Scroll down. (scrolls) What’s this ELA assignment?
(He opens it)
CHASE: Well I wasn’t sure what to do, but I read it.
MOM: It says to annotate the text.
CHASE: Yeah but I don’t know how to do that on here.
MOM: Well instead of just skipping it, why don’t you ask?
(MOM shows him how to edit the document, walks back downstairs, sits in chair.)
CHASE: Mom! It’s not working!

O… M… G…..

Conversations With a 13-Year Old: Virtual School, Day 1

We’re only about an hour and a half into this online learning thing, and I have already learned that online learning with a middle schooler is going to be exhausting. It’s a little like this (on repeat… over and over and over and over….):

CHASE: (10 minutes into the “class”) I’m done.
MOM: Already?
CHASE: Yeah.
MOM: Hold on, I’m coming. (walks upstairs, looks at computer) What about all this other stuff your teacher posted?
MOM: What’s this?
CHASE: I don’t know.
MOM: Well, click on it. (he does) Looks like a description of what you’re supposed to do for the assignment.
CHASE: What?!?
MOM: So get started on that.
CHASE: But it’s not due until April 10th!
MOM: So get it done now so on April 9th you’re not mad at me for not allowing you to play video games because you have so much work to get done.
CHASE: Oh my GOD, Mom!
(10 minutes later…)
CHASE: Mom, I’m done!
MOM: Hold on, I’m coming. (walks upstairs, looks at computer) OK, but what about the OTHER stuff your teacher posted?
CHASE: Oh my GOD, Mom!

I’m over it already.