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….

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!

Chloe’s 10th Birthday “Experience”

Behold! My latest design project! Every year for the kids’ birthdays I give them a birthday “experience” vs. gifts. Well this year it was hard to do a cool experience because, well… it’s hard to experience anything fully these days. So Chloe asked if she could have a bedroom makeover. She helped me paint and then slept in my room until I was done with the rest of the transformation. Voila!

The last time I redecorated it was 5 years ago, when she was five years old (and I couldn’t believe she requested a pink room back then!). When her dad died last fall she brought over a bunch of things from his house and her room just ended up a big “hodge podge” of styles and STUFF. Needless to say it was in need of a makeover so I was more than happy to do it! Before and After:

It was definitely my biggest design challenge to date. Her room is small so space is always an issue. She has wanted a desk for awhile so I had to get creative with that. She also loves STUFF so storage is always an issue as well. She just HAD to keep the fuzzy turquoise blanket from her dad’s house so I had to work everything around that. In the end, I am super proud of how it turned out! She loves it, too, so my heart is very full right now.

The bed solved a lot of the storage issues:

I had to highlight some of her memorabilia from her dad’s house. The drawers on the wall are drawers she brought over from her dresser there, because they used to write notes to each other on them. I filled the shadowbox with special items that held memories for her:

I solved the space issue and the need for a desk with this cool thing, which Chase helped me install:

And the rest was just designed around the things she loves:

Happy Early Birthday to my baby girl!

Kids’ Bathroom Makeover

We decided to make the most of our time at home and do some home makeovers! First up: The kids’ bathroom! Chloe helped a lot and we are very proud of it. It was in desperate need of some TLC! Cool story: I found the 4 pictures on Amazon and asked the kids what they thought of them. Apparently their dad had the exact same ones at his house. They thought that was really cool. SOLD.

Here are some before and after shots:

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!

New Addition: Kirby the Hamster

Well we have a new member of the family. Last week Chloe and I were going for a run, and we were about to start running after our warm-up walk when she said, “Mom! Look!”

There was a hamster running along the curb in the street.

We were trying to figure out how to pick it up without getting bit when he took off toward the middle of the street (with cars coming!) so I ran out there and grabbed him. On the way back home (so much for the run!) we called Chase and asked him to meet us in the garage with a box so the dogs wouldn’t go nuts.

Upon further investigation we noticed he was pretty beat up. He had a big cut on his leg, a mangled foot, his eye was swollen shut and he had blood coming out of his nose. Chloe begged me to take him to the vet so I caved and made an appointment. Paid $83 for the exam and antibiotics, and we have a follow-up appointment tomorrow to see if he has to have his foot amputated (omg).

I posted pics on my neighborhood websites but of course no one claimed him. Chloe got attached quickly and named him “Kirby” (since we found him on the curb), so today I caved and let her keep him. PetCo was scary to venture into because we haven’t been going ANYWHERE, but we survived. Chloe is his official owner, as she is taking his care VERY seriously. The dogs are quite curious, to say the least! This should be interesting!