2020: weeks 22, 23, 24, 25 (should I just say month 6)

I'm still blaming this whole being terrible at getting my blogs up on Wednesday night basketball being cancelled. Really this is the only way COVID is really messing up my life, and not being able to run the Home Depot after 8 pm. I've been crazy busy doing projects, and instead of that filling my needs, it's just fueling the fire and I have so many more continuously being added to my list. I'm going to do a June projects post, but this one is all about family, aka, pictures of my kids.

Life in times of COVID. We just went to check out Goodwill when it opened. They required a mask. I had hopes of them being overwhelmed with donations and being full/pricing things cheap. That wasn't the case. But we got a bunch of books.

When we go to stores Wade often counts what he's touched and gives me regular updates. "Mom, I've touched 6 things. I better put on hand sanitizer in the car." "I've touched 12 things in this store." He also likes to count the money he's earned from chores, but we've told him money is dirty, so he has to wash his hands every time. I have to put lotion on his little over washed hands nightly. Then there's Blake who always asks if she has to wash her hands and acts like it's the biggest inconvenience when I say yes. I have no Jac hand washing intel, I better check on that.

We've been eating on the deck. It is summer magic at it's finest.

Set up a mini pool:

Two week later mini pool got a mini hole in it and it slowly loses water. Slowly being the key word, so we refill it and life moves happily along. Kids discovered how to make whirl pools in it and require their floaties (for water that my knee sticks out of when standing) so that they can be taken in the current. Pumped up the unicorn that is almost the same size as the pool and I was very worried someone would fall off near the edge of the pool and fall on the concrete. Unicorn also has a mini hole. It's a theme.

Kids have been doing chores. I give them a quarter for each chore. The first week I wanted to boost their confidence and gave them money for a few jobs that I had to redo, but we've had some lessons and there are now some quality control standards in place. One of my children (guess who) doesn't do chores and mostly plays instead, she...I mean, they, often look in their money cup and are sad that is isn't very full. This child also really wants a necklace (and everything we pass in the store), but doesn't work for it. Child's siblings occasionally share their money, which is adorable but annoying because no lessons are being taught or learned. I'm over here being undermined by thoughtful, kind humans that I raised. I will take the credit. Blake weeding:

Blake told me she's going to save up her money for an iPad and she'll set the password and not tell me, so she can watch shows whenever she wants.

Stole my friends daughter for the day. Kids loved it. They did not love this stupid park that this was the only toy.

Stumbled in on Wade reading to Blake. These are the moments that you dream of.

Spotted at WalMart:

Asked Jac if she could grab something and she responded "I'm all full of hands!" She did, in fact, have her hands full and I didn't realize it.

Spending so much time at the beach. Wasn't sure they'd be open this summer, but so grateful they are - even if they are super busy because some surrounding area beaches are closed + there's nothing else open to do. They're my favorite days. Sometimes we meet up with friends (there are a couple of older kids that come and my kids, especially Jac, adore them!) and sometimes we go alone. Fish are caught and held hostage. Water holes are dig (think a sandcastle but just the mote). Sand toys are lost (we have 2 buckets left). Snacks are had, so many snacks. Beach days are the best.

One day leaving the beach, Wade says, "I wish I were a dog so I could poop in the grass."

Wade has been very deep into his creations. They continue to grow elaborate. He made an entire sewer system and save "waterproof" stuff for days, fishing it out of the recycling and stashing it.

Then he made an ICEE machine (so we'd never have to buy ICEE's again, except for the ICEE's we'd have to buy to fill up the machine, of course). His big plan was to take it to the farm, stocking up on ICEE's before he left on the 2 hour drive. I course corrected and suggested otter pops that could be frozen down there and then Nana (you're welcome Nana) could help smash them up for the machine. It should be noted that the ICEE machine was a glorified funnel.

 Last weekend I agreed to be the hot gluer. It was really fun, but also got really out of hand. I told him to get everything ready while I did a chore, then I'd glue, then he'd prep more and I'd work more, then glue. It was a smooth method. He made a parking garage, that turned into a town. Then we made steps (???) and I think I took some air out from under his wings when I informed him they wouldn't be strong enough for him.

Jac praying: "Thankful mommy and daddy can help up and teach us to drive and to cook."

Wade had an end of school parade. I let him stand out the sunroof, which was very exciting. Girls kept talking about how they're excited when they get to have an end of school parade, and I hope they never do! Also, we've decided to not put them in kindergarten next year - we haven't told them yet. I'm going to blame in on COVID. We will put them into preschool.

The Jac and Stella relationship continues to grow and Stella will occasionally go to Jac over me.

Sleepover while I painted Wade's room: 

Cleaned out the kids ears. Wade: "Come to think of it, I think that big ear booger was blocking my soundtrack." 

Spatula helper. 

Girls can't open this door. Blake usually goes to the front door. Jac just stands there (or pounds it and yells at me, losing it when I don't get to the door the second she hollars). 

I don't remember what was wrong. I do remember her siblings were being turds. I gave her the rest of my pop and life was okay.

Summer storms = outdoor cushions come in and forts are made. 

I left for the evening and the next morning my Blake had a black eye! I guess she got it rough housing. But, really, I can't go anywhere. 

Blake's been working so hard at her art. She does get pretty frustrated when it doesn't turn out how she imagines, but she's working at it! 

We have two pairs of shorts that are the same color and look similar. One pair are the girls and one are Wade's. Blake wore Wade's one day, kinda funny, but I didn't feel inclined to take a picture. Buuuuuut, Wade mistakenly put on the girls....that is picture worthy. The shirt on inside out is a nice touch too. 

I sat down, I must want a couple of girlies on me.

Jac's favorite princess is now Rapunzel. But she's been begging to watch Ariel all day. 

Wade discovered a couple of youtube channels that he loves. I found him watching this one on the solar system and pausing it so he could write down the names of all the planets and objects. He rattlings off his acquired knowledge on repeat and I zone out. I'm good with knowing the names of the planets in our solar system, I don't feel the need to know the names of all the moons, and asteroid belts, and dwarf planets. 

He spent all day making this. He had all the planets laid out with the string connecting them to the sun. Then he picked it up and it became this tangled mess. Luckily he didn't seem to mind. If you look at the taped wadded up pieces of paper, he's put real detail into the planets - down the the red spot on Mars, rings on Saturn, and the dark spot on Mercury. 

He also found a show about bodies that he finds super interesting. He keeps trying to shock me with facts. The other day he said, "Mom, did you know there's a things called the spleen?" When I said yes, he replied, "And it's in our bodies!" He was hoping that would shock me, and when I said I knew he started grilling me on how I knew. Same day he was talking to Bryan about why we breath (our body needs oxygen for our brain and organs to work) and then asked Bryan why we breath out, Bryan said to get the oxygen out of our bodies, Wade corrected him, "No, it's to get the carbon dioxide out of our bodies." He's also gone on long monologues about how we get energy and uses words like esophagus, pancreas, and live. 

Jac drew on her eyes with marker. She loves all things "pretty." I can never get too mad, cause she is me. I gave the girls some make up this week (very light simmer) and they have been in heaven! They keep caking it on and looking like ghosts. Who cares, they're happy. 

Jac often asks for a feast. This is what she means, a child charcuterie board. It's the easiest and they all freak out about it. Plus, indoor picnic is always a hit. At that point in the year when we stay inside cause it's too hot. 

Wade told me he found a handsome pine cone and then backed up his claim with facts (it was egg shaped and smoother because all the little poky things weren't spread apart. Apparently that makes a pine cone handsome). 

Stella ate a bowl of popcorn + I switched her food and she had diarrhea for 3 days. Different than the week before when she ate a whole hamburger and had diarrhea for 2 days. I am so thankful I own a carpet shampooer. Stupid dog. 

Kids went to the farm with Nana and Papa for a few days (the first night they were gone was the first of one of Stella's episodes and I was up with her most the night while she ate grass, threw it up, ate all my cilantro, threw it up, and started pooping everywhere. It was an awesome way to spend my kid-free time). I went golfing for the first time! I have a golf simulator in my front room and I've never been golfing?!?! It was fun, and while I wasn't good, I was good enough for it to be enjoyable and agree to doing again. 

Bruised my big toenails a month back, the left one is now coming off. I tried chipping my polish off to see what's happening and it threatened to take the nail with it, so I'm ignoring it. Well, giving it enough attention so nothing gets infected, but mostly avoiding cause it makes me squeamish. 


A party is a party...

But a party after all this whole lock-down/social distancing/shelter-in-place/quarantine business is going to be amazing! I’ve already started planning it. Its going to be a backyard rib fest rainbow themed birthday party for when the girls turn five.

We’re in weird times, and I am ready to get together with friends and family. One of the benefits is that a lot of the clutter in our lives has gone by the wayside, and I find myself enjoying meaningful connections more, even when at a distance. I’ve been better about dropping something off to a friend, calling my grandmother, sending notes my kids make to my mother (their grandma). And I find it fulfilling. And the best part, getting cards BACK from grandma. I remember how excited I would get when I got something in the mail as a kid (still do when I get anything actually addressed to me personally, not bills or junk) – and now I get to watch it on my kids. Their eyes light up, they get big smiles on their faces, and they cherish those envelopes and notes addressed to them.
So why don’t we do that more? 

This year I am sending out party invitations for the girls party – addressed to the their friends. I know when I get a text invite or email invite I don’t show my kids, they don’t know they’ve received anything (can I say how much I’m enjoying no email invitations in my inbox to keep track of?). I would love to spread joy with a card. We do it at Christmas time, send love in an envelope, why not more throughout the year?

I’ve already got the party invitation all figured out, with the help of BasicInvite.com. Here's what I've got so far: 

Dates and times can be figured out later, but I've already got the cuteness figured out. Now let me show you SOME of their color customization options - they have over 180! Plus foil options, multiple card shapes, designs with or without pictures, over 40 envelopes to choose from. They’re fully customizable invitations – you’re not pigeon holed into 4 color schemes.

They give the widest variety + most customization options I’ve seen (and in marketing + as a photographer, I’ve worked with a lot of invitation sites), and all of cards you actually want. You get the benefits of working with a graphic designer, without the cost. They offer free sample orders, free address collection + printing (so your envelopes come printed with addresses and return labels. My mind keeps exploding over this!), and free websites (wedding, party, shower, anything!). They even have an option to mail your cards for you! For this party I'll be self-addressing and mailing the cards myself, but the opt-in's are endless. 

Amazing, but what's the bottom dollar? That's the force that drives a lot of my decision making. They’re the same as or less than any other card you’d find on an online stationary site, – but I also looked at uncustom, very boring cards at some retail stores (the kind that say where/time/date and a blank line for you to write in the info) - these are about ten cents more a card, that’s it. For that marginal extra cost you can get a card made for any event: high school graduation announcements, wedding save the dates, 50th wedding anniversary celebrations, surprise 80thbirthday party invitation. They’ve got you covered. 

And thank you notes for after - how cute is this? 

And I can change the colors to mimic the invite - so they'll coordinate, but aren't the exact thing. Not too matchy-matchy. So adorable. And now to aspire to be the mom that helps my children write thank you notes (I joke, but it is a goal of mine to be better at writing thank you notes, and teaching my children). Is it too early to start planning our Christmas card?

This post was sponsored by BasicInvite.com, but all thoughts and opinions are my own. This really is an amazing site and one I will be recommending to friends and family (and brides).