The star stands for joy

While stuck in the house, we’ve been reliving my childhood. The other day, during a Meijer run I picked up a set of these:

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My 6 yo is an avid crafter. And when I was a crafty kid, these bead and iron sets were one of my favorite things to do!  I was a little older than she is now when I started, but after waiting on it for a few years, I thought she might finally be old enough to try this! I was also crossing my fingers that she would even like it. She loves crafts, but her taste is very particular, so I knew there was a fair chance she would crush my childhood dreams by saying no before we even got the package open.

To my delight, the pictures on the box piqued her interest. After opening it up, seeing all the colors, and things you could make, she was beyond excited to start her first one! After choosing the heart shaped pegboard, she got straight to work, working her little fingers to drop the tiny plastic beads onto the short, crowded pegs. “This is going to take forever!” She announces after placing the first few pegs. But she remains resolute in her devours and moves on to the next color in her self selected pattern.

In less time than “forever,” she places her last bead. “I did it! It didn’t take forever! Can we iron it right now?????????” We head upstairs to make the magic happen and complete the project. In only seconds, I let her see through the iron paper how the beads are melting together. She is giddy with excitement and can hardly wait for the iron to conclude its task. The paper is pealed off and “Wooooooowwwwww! It’s so cool!!!!”

From there on, she has been in love with this craft, which thrills me and my 11 year old self. She made all of these in this picture, plus a pencil this morning. All designed completely on her own. No pattern. 20200320_104944

After she made this star, she places it in my hand and says so very innocently, “Here mommy, this star stands for joy. Now you can have joy.”

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Thank you little one. I could definitely use some joy right now.

 

Illinois is closed.

Illinois is closed.

This doesn’t affect me and my kids too much. We’ve already been staying home all week anyway, other than my grocery runs and one doctor’s appointment.

But “Shelter in place.” It just feels bigger. Scarier. More alarming. More anxiety provoking.

We’re trying to hide from an invisible enemy.  We have no idea if we already have it and/or have taken it back to our homes.

Each day seems to bring a bigger bombshell of news of the virus. What’s next?

I’m afraid.

 

 

We’re going on a shamrock hunt!

I’m sure many of you saw this suggestion circulating on FB a few days ago. You put a shamrock in your window or on your door. Then everyone, in their own time can go around the neighbor and hunt shamrocks! And it’s totally social distance approved, lol!

I put this on my neighborhood FB page just the day before St. Patrick’s Day, and I was so happy with the response! So on the day of the Leprechaun, we headed out to find those shamrocks! My daughter wanted to print out a map of the neighborhood and cross off houses as we saw them. I thought that was a fun addition to the game.

We set out on our bikes, which in hindsight, wasn’t the smartest of ways to look for shamrocks. I realized this as I watch my daughter riding forward while looking directly to her right for several seconds in a row. Oops. Surprisingly, we had no crashes or accidents of any kind!

As we’d come upon a house with a shamrock, one of my kids would yell, “SHAMROCK!!” and we’d all stop to take a look and mark it down. Their excitement grew as we spotted more and more. Then some competition crept in as “I saw it first!” started happening. But all in all, they kept it pretty civil.

After riding up and down the streets of our neighborhood, we finally tired and headed back home. It was a fantastic way of getting out of the house, getting exercise, and adding some excitement to an otherwise run of the mill bike ride around the block. I was even getting into it. My heart would jump just a little when I would see another shamrock!

I’ve already suggested that we do and “egg hunt” like this one again in a couple weeks. (There is something going around on FB that has you do something every couple days, but not sure the excitement would be there if we did it every day.)

I’m so happy we had this activity to put our minds on something light and fun!

(Our Shamrock!)

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The rain never bothered them anyway

I love kids. I love their outlook on life. And even on, the weather. My 6 yo daughter was actually excited it was going to rain today. “Yay! I’ll play under the umbrella!” she exclaimed last night.

This morning, I sent them outside so they could get some fresh air before the rain came and we get stuck inside. They stayed out there so long playing and finally, it started…drip drip drip. But instead of asking to come in, she runs up to the door, “Can we have umbrellas?!” So umbrellas they got. First, just walking around doing some covered exploring…89997776_10222306711477518_1906594742141976576_n90153349_10222306583474318_8487137100980813824_n

But then they decided to make a fort with the umbrellas. 90085616_10222306613075058_4350418742585327616_o

When I found a 4th one, my 9yo son yells out, “Yes! Now it is impenetrable to rain!!” and runs out to fortify the fort. 90269025_10222306656356140_2854448566435315712_o

Next up comes the request for towels to make a floor for their umbrella tent and cocoa to keep them warm.

Only after 90 minutes total of being out there, do they both finally retreat to the house for warmth and dry land.

Rats! He escaped again!

My 6 year old daughter was set on making another leprechaun trap this year. Last year I resisted. And too funny, last year she said, “If I don’t trap him, I’m not doing this ever again. Because then he’ll know I have a trap!”  But here we are again this year, and she’s all over making another trap, shhhhh! I mean, um, Salsa jar. (He can hear you, you know). So, I went with it,  enjoying watching her get so into it and have so much fun. And her design was very minimalistic this year, so that helped too, lol. Plus, we’re stuck in the house, so what else are we gonna do??!

So here it was last night, with a trail of Lucky Charms, a jar that says “free gold,” fake gold inside, a ladder to get in, and sticky tape lining the sides and bottom. All her idea. 90058787_10222293933918087_6857523296519323648_n89976875_10222293934398099_1547235047528988672_n

But that darn leprechaun managed to eat up and make a mess of the trail, get in the jar, grab some of the fake gold we left for him (boy will he be surprised when he really looks at it! 😉), and escape the sticky trap! He did leave some shamrocks behind in the tape, maybe coming off his clothes as he tried to escape? Then he also went to our pantry, found some green cereal to write “Hi!” What a silly Leprechaun. Maybe we’ll catch him next year!

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Day 1

We did all stay home yesterday, but today was Day 1 for just me and the kids. It went pretty well!

I am still trying to come up with some kind of schedule even though I have never ever been one to schedule days off. We are a go with the flow kind of family. But after seeing the millionth “COVID-19 SCHEDULE” posted on FB, I figured I’d give it a try. And I’m hoping it keeps us from watching TV or playing video games all day long every day like we did when the kids had the flu 2 weeks ago.

That schedule isn’t finished, so we just used it as a jumping off point. We did “thinking” play, like Legos, chess, and crafts. We did a little TV. One educational one, one of their choice (They love the educational ones anyway). We went for a bike ride too! It was kind of chilly, but it felt good to get outside and get moving. And hot damn! We even did some school work! And they didn’t complain. I’m shocked.

I’m not sure if every day will be this productive or without them trying to kill each other turning me into a screaming lunatic, but at least I can say we got one good day in if the rest all go to hell after this!

Beauty among all the chaos.

Anxiety is running high over here. Growing stronger with each day. But I made my family go outside today and I made sure to take a walk over to my newly sprouting bulbs.

I planted them last Fall. My first time ever. I have wanted to do this for years and just never did. So this time, I did! But there’s a lot of hurry up and wait that goes on with bulbs. You have to get them in the ground before it gets too cold. So I’m planting like mad. And then…..nothing happens for months.

And you start to wonder, did I do this right? Did I plant them too deep? Not deep enough? Too close together? Not close enough? Will an animal get to them? Will they just not make it through their first winter? Will they just die because of my black thumb??

And then. Just then. You see it. You’re not sure at first. So you crouch down and squint a little and…yes! That’s a sprout! And wait, there’s another! And another! And then day by day they get bigger and more sprout, and you start think, YAY!! I did it right!!

ANNNNND you start to get so excited for the beautiful color explosion that is soon to come to your yard. Color you’ve never had before! Some of your favorite flowers that you no longer have to just admire in other people’s yards when you are out for a walk. But right there in MY YARD!

So it’s this sign of life that made me smile today. On a very anxious day. That some things are going on as usual. As planned. And there will be beauty among all of the chaos.

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Game night

We have a couple who are our very good friends from college. Ever since graduating, we started the tradition of game night. We would shoot for once a month. Worked out great for a long time. We’d trade off who’s house we would play at. It was so much fun and built a great and lasting friendship. The game nights started with no kids, then they added one, then another on their end. I guess we wanted to be cool like they were so we added a kid to the mix. Then they added twins! And last but not least, our little Sarah! So game nights these days look different than they use to with 6 kids running around! Luckily, they entertain themselves while the adults chat and catch up. Sometimes there is more catching up to do than others because all of these kids schedules get in the way of planning our fun! By 9pm, we ship the kiddos off to bed, and the adults can play!

We just have so much fun with them. The husband is just hilarious, and I just really enjoy chatting with my friend, the wife. Our game of choice is Euchre!! I love Euchre! And they are our Euchre friends 🙂 They are also avid Friends watchers so it’s so fun to be able to go back and forth with friends quotes that I know they will get!

Back in January, I contacted them to try to get together soon. When I opened my texts with her, I couldn’t believe it had been August since we last saw them! Unfortunately, it took a date 6 weeks in the future for all of schedules to line up. It was on the calendar. And now we wait.

But last night was finally the night! The husband always seems to have a new game to try out with us in addition to our required euchre playing. They are usually hilarious and super entertaining. If you have never played “Joking Hazards” and you’re not easy offended, give it a try. It’s kinda sorta kinda in the genre of Cards Against Humanity. But with pictures and lots of uncontrollable laughing. Maybe even some crying from laughing!

We played a round of euchre, the women barely losing to the men, and then moved onto Joking Hazards. And politically incorrect and inappropriate hilarity ensued. It’s not a game unless you at least ALMOST spit your drink out at least once.

And drinks we had! I actually don’t drink that much anymore. Anything but wine flares up my fibromyalgia. And I don’t love wine. So, I just don’t do it that much. But I decided to enjoy a few glasses. It has been a very stressful couple of weeks topped off by finding out that the entire world is closing, including the schools. My anxiety has been through the roof, so these were well earned drinks. And they really did the trick!

It was just a fun night. A night to get all that’s going on off my mind at least for a little while.

…and it scares me.

I felt it today. Stronger than before. The desperation. The fear. The panic. In others and in myself. I hadn’t been in a store yet that had shelves left completely empty. In fact, this same store just 3 days ago had a very different atmosphere and availability of products. To now see row upon row of cleaning products, toilet paper, bread, meats, hand sanitizer…just wiped out. It was eerie and scary to see such a familiar place, a place I spend a large part of my life inside, look so…unfamiliar. So barren.

There was a feeling in the air and among the shoppers that something big is coming. What exactly it is, we’re not sure. We have ideas. But as the impending doom slowly bears down on us, we’ll only know when it’s here.

This is unlike anything I have ever witnessed…and it scares me.

Is everything going to be okay?

A few weeks ago, I had few feelings about it. Everything will be okay.

A few days ago, the fearful feelings started to slowly creep in. I think everything will be okay.

Last night, panic started to creep in and more quickly than before. Is everything going to be okay?

Today, panic is here. I can’t seem to keep it out of my mind. I’m afraid everything won’t be okay.