march, april, may oh my!

and the beat goes on!

14 weeks later and we’re still at home! well, kind of…we’ve enjoyed more playdates, dinners out, and general social distance get togethers {more on that later}. it’s now june and we’re in phase 3 of reopening illinois. my emotions are mixed because there’s so much we don’t know in general and such high emotional energy stirring. there are a lot of questions and not enough answers. this moment in time we are experiencing is unprecedented and ever evolving. we’re doing our best to keep up, keep sane, keep educated, and keep positive!

on a great note, we’ve done so much while at home and i love it. i’m sharing a gazillion pictures with you, as it captures some of the things we were able to do but not everything! there were moments i needed to be and not snap away constantly at the situation but i’m happy with what little snippets i was able to take and share! these are all picutres from phase 2, before we hit phase 3 in june.

the biggest moment we’ve experienced during quarantine was olive learning how to ride a bike!!! she mastered it last month after three tries! she practiced on a balance bike for a few weeks and then boom! she was riding on her own. i introduced the big girl bike and she was nervous practicing on it. i then worked with her another day and she was still scared {the bike is a hand me down from her big sis…so it was an inch or so too high. which didn’t help her fear factor}. i saw her balancing but the multitasking overwhelmed her. a few times she was riding on her own but still afraid. then she asked me to try, for a third time, on another day. this was it!!! she did it! i was so proud of her!!! she was ecstatic and couldn’t believe she was riding a bike! total proud mom moment right there.

i hope you enjoy the pictures as much as we enjoyed living the moments!

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[playing lots of games! this was a spin off of the princess and the pea. we supported our local shop called fair game!]

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[supporting their aunt and uncle in their mask making business: miss tashina.com]

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[the new way to celebrate – birthday parades. sass not included]

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[i was taking a pic, so she decided to do some tricks. LOL]

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[getting fancy and ready to decorate cookies]

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[yummy yummy cookies!]

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[she’s so darn sweet]

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[the goodies]

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[always so detailed and careful]

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[she’s always so proud of her creations]

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[she’s really good at eating what she decorates. LOL]

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[the final products]

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[her riding outfit of choice]

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[she loves her balance bike]

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[i’m singing in the rain…just singing in the rain. what a glorious feeling, i’m happy again!]

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[flower shopping on mother’s day]

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[ellie is definitely olive’s shadow]

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[give a squeeze…she loves her big sister]

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[wash yer hands!]

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[fort building every day…she loved her bed one and her toes sticking out couldn’t be cuter!]

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[how cute are they and their shirts?! they tie dyed it themselves!]

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[i love them so much]

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[ughhhh, please don’t mind the artificial light ruining the color of the picture but notice how darn cute these two bakers are!]

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[testing out the cookie dough]

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[loving the cookie dough]

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[proud of their results]

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[olive was like, “i don’t like chocolate chip cookies” uhhhh what? she loved it]

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[cookie monster]

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[i can’t with these shirts]

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xoxo

olive’s kindergarten promotion!

wow! my girl has been promoted to first grade! hooray!

as a broken record sounds, the end of the school year was not as expected but we made the most of it! olive didn’t have her typical promotion ceremony at school, as they prerecorded the event and we logged on to view it.

nevertheless, we celebrated at home, together. as i watched the video, i didn’t expect to cry but i totally did! it filled my heart with joy to see the memories displayed, to hear the teachers and administrative’s words, to know that my girl was going into the big school was too much to handle!

olive worked so hard during the school year and with her home learning. i can’t express enough how amazing she was with her school work and how she woke up every day excited to learn. she was determined, she applied herself, and she really enjoyed everything we did. i hope her attitude, excitement, and joy never fades with anything she encounters.

to commemorate this special occasion, i bought a cap and gown, balloons, and made a balloon arch to capture this milestone in her life. we had fun taking pictures and she loved throwing her cap into the air! we did it over and over as she laughed every time it hit the ground. she squealed in laughter when the cap landed on a balloon and popped!

olive, you are kind, sweet, thoughtful, inquisitive, mindful, honest, patient, loving and beyond amazing in every way. i am so blessed to have a daughter like you and i am truly honored to call you mine. as you start your new journey this coming school year, i pray that it is filled with just as much hope, laughter, and joy as you give those around you.

congratulations my dear! you will accomplish many great things!

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[she’s ready for first grade!]

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xoxo

daddy daughter dance date night

with all that has been going on and so many things being cancelled or put on hold…we were looking forward to the daddy daughter dance but alas, that was cancelled as well with our shelter in place going until the end of april {at least} – side note – LOL i wrote this post just the other day…ahem…we are now SIP until the end of may!!! so, no loss there…we decided to host our very own daddy daughter dance!

again, what to do when you don’t go out to get anything or more so, nothing is really open. LOL thank goodness i love hoarding party stuff. i rummaged through my stash and found that i have a billion tassel garlands! how pretty would that look?! i hung them from the ceiling with my new wall safe tape that hc so lovingly loves. i pulled the balloon garland in from outside that i got for hc’s birthday and and put up some honeycomb balls to make it feel festive!

i ordered a corsage from a local flower shop too! i felt that made it feel real and complete. i thought about it last minute and searched for a shop that was open and found one a few miles away. i called them and the lady on the phone was so sweet, despite the fact that they were closing up in an hour. she walked me through the options and we landed on a peach corsage that would be a great match to olive’s dress. she said that if i came in 20 minutes, she would have it ready to be picked up and that if i came then…she would go home afterwards! LOL i gathered the girls and rushed over. i called her 5 minutes earlier than expected and she had it ready and ran it out!

we got home and waited until early evening to start our dance party. hc got ready, olive got ready and ellie and i stayed in our pj’s. hahaha! olive was so excited to receive her corsage…she thought it was so beautiful and it matched her dress perfectly!

we got the party started! they slow danced, fast danced, break danced, had dance off’s and i got to judge! hc was full of laughable moves, like the running man, walk like an egyptian move, moonwalking and the worm. i think that last move knocked him out {physically…cause he is old popcorn} and he was pretty much done for the night. hahaha! while they retired their dancing shoes on the couch, i made a pasta carbonara with pancetta dinner and for dessert, the girls had pink cotton candy and chocolate treats!

overall, it was a pretty successful night! we had the best time and i know olive did too! cheers to making memories no matter what the situation may hold!

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[she’s the cutest]

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[she loves to pose]

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[she’s so dramatic]

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[olive’s corsage]

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[ready to boogie down!]

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[dancing away in her pj’s]

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xoxo

hc’s quarantine birthday

another celebration On the books while sheltered in place.

i was concerned on how we were going to celebrate hc’s birthday, with us being quarantined and no place to go to celebrate, let alone shopping for decorative supplies to create some sort of festive environment. i couldn’t order a cake from the place i wanted to be delivered and i wasn’t heading out to get it. i couldn’t order balloons from the party shop because they were closed. i couldn’t get a yard sign company to come out to decorate the front of our house because everyone else was doing it and they were booked until may. i couldn’t order anything on amazon to arrive on time because they were prioritizing necessary shipments first.

so, here i was…scrambling to figure things out as his birth date came closer and closer. i finally somewhat hashed it out in my head and some things just fell into place! i texted the hub’s bestie’s wife, carrie, and asked her if her husband, dave, could help me gather everyone for a zoom birthday drink call with hc. dave was more than happy to help! he group texted everyone and we all coordinated a time and i set up a meeting slot for all the boys to jump on to surprise hc!

that day, i homeschooled the babes but had a ‘shorter’ day although learning is non stop, right?! we then had a home economics class – we baked vanilla cupcakes from scratch. that wasn’t my intent, as i was positive i had cupcake mix in the cabinet but after a thorough search, i did not. the girls helped me with gathering the ingredients and decorating! oh my, they had so much fun creating works of art! i dragged out my box of vintage cake toppers and the girls went to town topping off each cupcake with all sorts of odd figurines. hahaha!

after the baking, we decorated the house! we hung happy birthday banners, paper tassels, pulled out party hats and the girls helped me create the paper sign to hang outside! once the inside was decorated, the balloon garland we ordered arrived! yayyyy! it was gorgeous! it came from float416…an independent shop in la grange! kristina is so talented and i absolutely love her work! she created the most beautiful balloon garland and dropped it off for us. we were so grateful!

now the outside decorating i did myself. i hung the balloon garland from the top of the front post to the bottom and hung the happy birthday sign across the front walk to our bay window. oh it looked so pretty!

once everything was set, the girls called dada upstairs to surprise him! i then started dinner, chicken parmesan with pasta, and afterwards, cleaned everything up and got ready to surprise him with the zoom call. i had to pull the iPad away from olive but filled her in on the secret. what a mistake! she tried to whisper but she was.so.loud! gosh, she almost blew it! i logged in and within a few minutes, i had 5 people on the call {we were expecting 8 or 9 people to join} but i felt that was enough and i couldn’t wait to surprise him! he was still sitting at the dining room table when we walked over and gave him the iPad and yelled surprise! happy birthday!

he was so pleasantly surprised! he was on the call for awhile. we had a family call lined up afterwards and he was having such a great time, he was late getting on the family call! in-between, he came upstairs and the girls sang happy birthday to him, ate their cupcakes and went to bed while hc joined the call with his family again.

hc’s birthday turned out wonderful! he was super happy and loved it all. i’m so happy with the limited resources, i was able to pull off a decent quarantined birthday! yay!

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[decorated the house a bit for hc’s birthday!]

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[ellie ate all the cupcakes she decorated. LOL]

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[i have to post all the pics…they’re too cute!]

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[i c a n n o t LOL]

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[here’s olive eating oreo crumbs with a spoon.]

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[dyyyyyying. i pulled out my vintage box of cake toppers and we had the most RANDOM items chosen. the girls did 100% of the decorating {and eating LOL} and that is why you see a bride and groom topper. olive loved it when she saw it in the box!]

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xoxo

quarantine easter ’20

first easter in my life where i did not spend it with my extended family! as you saw in the previous post about our situation with covid-19…it’s been several weeks of unknown, unfamiliar territory.

let’s be clear…i am not scared. i am not upset. i’m not living in fear but i understand that what we are doing is for the greater good of our world. i’ve loved our time home and if that’s what we need to do to flatten the curve, then so be it. i’m quite content.

celebrating the rise of Christ was so good. we started the morning off with easter baskets and gifts. the girls loved their presents! they spent some time opening up their treasures and then we ran outside for the easter egg hunt!

it had rained the day before, so we figured it would be safe to have the hunt outside and it was suppose to be 55 degrees, which was a great temp for us to hold this outdoors.

after the egg hunt, we came inside to open up all the colorful eggs to see what toys or candy it held inside! after playing around a bit with their egg hunt favors, we all got dressed up for the day and watched sunday easter mass via online.

we had our easter brunch catered through foxtail in downtown downers grove and all we had to do was heat it up! while we were preparing our meal, we were also waiting for the easter bunny to arrive!

a month back, our favorite shop, waterlemon offered easter bunny visits through their site! when i saw that, i thought hell yes! how awesome would that be with us not being able to visit the bunny this year but to have the bunny come to us?! i was on it.

as we were waiting for our food to warm up, the bunny arrived! we started screaming for the girls to come upstairs! olive rushed up and ellie was perplexed. we said, ‘the eater bunny is here!” and ellie was like no thank you. she said, “i scared! i scared!” well, we didn’t care. LOL we all rushed out and left ellie behind and she had no choice but to follow us outside.

oh what a treat! the bunny was waiting with balloons and gifts and asked if olive and ellie were around! olive was SOOOO excited! she was jumping up and down, so ecstatic to see the easter rabbit and so excited the bunny knew their names. the bunny was so sweet and loving towards the girls. they exchanged a few words and ellie busted out, “where are your carrots?!” hahaha! the bunny so wisely responded with, “i ate them for breakfast!” the visit was short, sweet, and socially distance. what i loved most was that ellie has always been afraid of life sized character costumes and she totally warmed up to the bunny…we are breaking through!

wow…it was such a fun 10 minutes of our day! the neighbors all came out to catch a glimpse and the bunny visit put a smile on everyone’s face!

afterwards, we all went inside to a delicious easter brunch and relaxed on the couch, in our jammies, for the rest of the day!

check out all the pics from our easter week!

*****

B U N N Y  C R A F T

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[ready to paint!]

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[blue…her FAVORITE color]

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[my sweet girl getting so big!]

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[full focus]

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[this girl is full of funny faces…she knew i was snapping a pic and wanted to display how hard she was concentrating and working on her artwork]

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[finished product]

*****
E A S T E R  W E E K  F U N

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[ellie’s easter shelfie]

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[easter bunny lunch]

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[easter basket goodies]

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[i love creating their baskets]

*****

B U N N Y  C I N N A M O N  R O L L S

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[yummy cinnamon bunny rolls]

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[olive’s creation]

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[ellie’s creation]

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[she’s like – what you looking at?! LOL]

*****

E A S T E R  E G G  D Y I N G

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[she’s been on either a cat kick or purple hair kick]

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[i was very surprised at how well ellie did with dying her eggs!]

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[she’s wild and sweet]

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[first batch]

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[painting]

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[working hard with the glue, glitter, and confetti]

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[olive’s batch]

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[watercolor]

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*****

S A T U R D A Y  M O R N I N G  F U N

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[i had this donut decorating kit delivered to our house!]

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[they ate more than they used on the donuts]

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[working so diligently on her creations]

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[the girl’s works of art]

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[thumbs up yummy!]

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[we packed up donuts for our neighbors!]

*****

E A S T E R  S U N D A Y

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[easeter goodies]

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[excitement]

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[she loves her walk a lot unicorn]

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[she was excited to get this minnie mouse phone]

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[olive’s glitter chalk easter eggs]

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[gummi’s]

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[easter dress]

*****

E A S T E R  E G G  H U N T

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[ready to hunt eggs! i told hc to make it easy but i didn’t expect him to just dump the eggs in the middle of the yard. LOL]

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[going through her goodies]

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*****

E A S T E R  B U N N Y

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[my sweet babes]

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[here comes the easter bunny!]

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[waving from afar]

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*****

E A S T E R  B R U N C H

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[bunny cookie from foxtail]

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[bb’s baby donuts! so good!]

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[grapefruit mimosas]

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xoxo

covid-19 hibernation

well, this isn’t necessarily a fun post to write about but definitely worth documenting, as this unprecedented moment in our lives will permanently change how we will forever interact.

we had our first public cases in the u.s, in january, a few here and there. then it really started to gain traction in february…we all had heard about the virus ravaging china and of course, with us being so far away, you don’t think it will effect you. typical, right? it started in wuhan, china and soon it was spreading across the world, within a month, hitting countries like italy, iran, spain, and germany hard.

come march and it was getting serious. the cases were popping everywhere and the virus was spreading fast across the united states. washington state’s cases were multiplying and soon you could see that densely populated and urban travel areas were becoming hot zones.

governor pritzker officially closed all illinois schools starting march 17th but olive and ellie’s school closed that friday before on the 13th. we were told to socially distance ourselves. stay home if possible, don’t gather in large groups. keep 6 ft apart, person to person. then after that, with st. patrick’s day weekend upon us, pritzker was upset that too many people were out and about celebrating in large groups, bar crawls, full restaurants, etc. he then closed down all the bars and restaurants! he mandated a shelter in place starting march 21st. we were to stay home, unless you worked for an essential business. you could go to the grocery store, get gas, help care for an elderly person, or take a walk outside but he stressed how we should limit our exposure to others and remain inside our homes if possible.

well, we’ve been home now for several weeks and literally at home. i ventured out to the grocery stores, maybe twice but haven’t set foot in one in weeks. hc works for an essential business so he’s been at work everyday and he’s picked up groceries if we needed to get a supply of milk or eggs.

i started homeschooling olive the first week she was out and i was a mess. just trying to find our routine, what was right, and what worked for us. i questioned how i was going to be effective, was i suppose to keep the same routine? there was a lot of grey and no answers and with the weight of the world coming down; there were definitely some sad, hard moments. i know a lot of mamas out there were thrown for a loop with school being out. we became teachers overnight, there were those of us who were working from home and trying to homeschool. we are moms {and that’s a full time job!} who all of a sudden had to juggle a lot more with kids being home 24/7!

come the second week of us hibernating, we found our niche. we started a great ‘schedule’ and it’s completely worked for us. we or should i say i am not an early riser. never was, never will be. when i finally get up…sometimes the girls are just doing their own thing {hc will usually get them ready in the morning with breakfast} and i will get ready, start a cup of coffee {yes, i gave up starbucks…S H O C K I N G} and then i get the girls to do some e-learning {usually by 10 am}. they usually do this for an hour {sometimes they are so excited that it goes on for longer…they really love the program we use!} and then we take a snack break. after snack time, we move onto worksheets provided by the teacher. i have ellie write out her name while olive completes her worksheets. we do everything the teacher asks…so if there is a story to be read, video to be watched, game to be played, we do what’s on the teacher’s agenda. i also had and purchased some additional learning activity books for olive, so we do that too!

as a group, one of our mom friends suggested that the kids zoom together once a day to help break up our day, for the kiddos to see each other, and just feel like we are in this together! so every day, for a couple weeks. we log on at 1pm. while olive is on the call, i prepare lunch and then after the half hour call, the girls take a lunch break and ‘recess’. we then move onto more worksheets or activity books that we didn’t finish. depending on the day or we will do her ‘special’ classes, such as p.e., art {which is pretty much every day}, music, spanish, and technology!

while olive is working on her schoolwork, ellie is typically learning how to write her name, learning the alphabet, colors, or words. while olive works on her own, i will do flashcards with ellie and help her practice her writing. ellie is usually engaged 2 hours a day…which is more than what she experiences with her regular school schedule. i feel great that she is involved and will keep her interested as long as i can!

once that is all complete, we then do the hail mary or the our father together {mainly to teach ellie…olive has it down pat}, the sign of the cross, read a chapter in the bible, pray together and then call it a day!

i’m pretty happy with our routine and every day is different. i have found i’m not very montessori and prefer a more structured day/routine but, overall, it feels great to see the girls love for learning and inspiration to work.

there are days were it feels surreal and moments were it hits me like a ton of bricks that this is our new reality. at this point, imo, staying home is the only true defense we have to stop the spreading of the virus as there isn’t a vaccine, yet. i miss my parents, mom, sisters, brothers, friends, school, pretty much everything we did on the daily. but i love, love, love this time with my girls…this family time is amazing. the girls are so sweet and special and melt my heart. i am so fortunate to be blessed with this tribe i call my family.

here’s a little questionnaire i asked olive to answer!

what’s your name? olive

 how old are you? {and 4 months}

how old is your mom? 99

what’s your favorite color? rose gold

what’s your favorite food? toaster strudel

who’s your best friend? madison and leyah

what’s your favorite song? elsa in frozen II, into the unknown and show yourself

what do you like to watch on t.v.? ryan’s world

what’s your favorite animal? cheetah

what makes you happy? hugs and kisses

where is your favorite place? all aboard diner

what do you want to be when you grow up? an artist

who loves you the most? family…dada, kiki, ellie, ba, rimma, gramma….people i love

what does your mom do all day? clean, work on the computer, on her phone, drinks wine

where does money come from? dada! kiki only has a credit card!

where do you live? illinois

where did you come from? from inside kiki but God made me

what’s your favorite number? 9

what’s your favorite toy? bunny

where do babies come from? mommy’s tummy and God

if you could have one thing in the entire world, what would it be? my family…God’s family

what kind of car do you want? blue

why are you so cute? cause of my parents and God loves me

what does daddy do all day? lay down, never move, text, and play games

what is your favorite thing you got for christmas? ryan’s world treasure chest

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[zoom fun with her classmates!]

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[my goofs finding some fun with dada’s glasses]

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[lots and lots of snuggle time!]

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[spreading some love and hope while we stay in]

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[at home shenanigans]

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[their new thing is reenacting everything they watch]

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[jumping off chairs and couches]

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[t.v. time]

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[she totally looks up to her sister]

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[working hard on writing her name!]

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[completing her school worksheets]

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[yay to learning]

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[a lot of time like this…]

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[heading out to a doctor’s appointment]

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[southport avenue…desolate and quiet on a sunny, warm day]

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[olive said she was making an angry bear face…LOL]

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[bubbles alllllll day]

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[christmas pj’s, messy hair don’t care]

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[finding random treasures in the yard]

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[crafting galore…we’re always trying something different and fun with what we have on hand!]

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[ellie saw a kids ghoul movie and became obsessed with the main character’s purple hair…there you go.]

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[a lot of chalk time!]

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[e learning with vids from her teacher!]

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xoxo