25 Easy Activities to Try With Your Kids

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

So... we'll all be at home for the foreseeable future, huh? It's strange, because I've always been a restless person -- I usually feel like I need to get out at least once a day -- but I've adapted surprisingly well (better than I imagined!) to being a homebody. My oldest daughter takes after my husband and is completely and totally fine being home 24/7, but my middle is more like me -- we like to get out!

I must admit, though, selfishly I am happy and relieved to have my kids home. Carrington started kindergarten this year and it's full day, which just feels so long to us, so it's been nice to have her around much more. She misses her pals and I'm sad that she's not having that real kindergarten experience, but she's kept busy playing with her sisters and all of her toys around the house, which she hasn't had much time to play with since beginning school. Hadley is happy to have her big sister home, too. Don't get me wrong -- there has been plenty of arguing and lots of emotions, but it's all good. Soon everyone will be in school all day so I have been savoring this as much as possible.

With all that said, since we're all home with our families, I thought I'd share some ideas to keep your kids busy during this time in case the boredom begins to set in. Some you may have seen or done, and others may be new to you -- hope you find a few fun things to try!

Hang in there, stay healthy, stay connected. Virtual hugs to you all!

In Uncertain Times

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Hello, my friends! Tell me: how are you holding up? 

It's been a couple of weeks (ok, longer) since I last posted as life had been crazy... and, of course, it's only become a million times crazier. It's unbelievable just how quickly things can change in such a relatively short period of time. I feel like the progression of this novel virus we're facing, and therefore the state of our world and consequential changes to our lives, evolves hourly. This is truly uncharted territory for us all. But... at least we're all in it together (well, together but apart, because #socialdistancing).

I honestly have so many thoughts about it all that it's hard to make sense of them most of the time. I worry about the virus itself since there are so many unknowns about it -- I think about the people we love dearly who are in the high-risk groups and how this might impact them. Of course, I worry about my kids getting it. Even though it seems to impact children less, it's still a scary thought as a parent.

I think about the implications of quarantining on businesses, families, individuals, and our economy as a whole. There's no doubt small businesses are feeling this acutely, and on a larger scale I wonder how much our economy can take. I feel so fortunate to have our comfortable home and my family with me during this time, but I know so many others are experiencing this differently. There are many people who absolutely need to go to work to earn a paycheck to feed their families, there are children missing out on regular meals and social/emotional care at school, there are individuals stuck in uncomfortable, lonely, or potentially dangerous positions when forced to be home. Even for the most fortunate among us, this whole isolation can be a mentally taxing experience. So it's just heartbreaking to think of the many different ways this affects all of us.

My kids are home, as of now, until April 20th. So for five weeks, it is up to me to keep them learning in some capacity in addition to my part-time job, training for a new position, and caring for an infant (here's hoping Steve is also able to be home and helping -- that's our plan/goal). Carrie is in full-day kindergarten right now and her incredible teacher has been doing a live lesson every morning. All of the kids get online at the same time so they can all see and talk to each other, and she teaches them their daily lesson, reads them a book, answers their questions. Today (Friday) she even had show and tell. But I do need to be there to help her during that time, to mute/un-mute the mic, help her sound out words, show her work, etc. 

I am so very lucky and grateful that the job that I've been at for 8 years is literally built for working remotely. I've been working at home exclusively since I had Carrie 6.5 years ago, so I am pretty used to this particular juggle of work and kids -- it's just the addition of, you know, homeschooling. ;) I feel for the parents who are usually full time in the office or their workplace, and now their company expects them to be full time from home -- how must they feel when they see the posts floating around that say "Oh, breathe it in, mama. Enjoy every minute of this extra time." That is a beautiful sentiment, and ideally true, but we need to remember that this isn't a vacation for most and be respectful of the fact that many, many people have not been given a "gift of extra time" as they are still expected to perform the jobs that keep the families they love -- and our economy, and many systems of our lives -- afloat. And then there are those that still need to report to work, and those on the front lines of all of this: our healthcare workers (thank you, thank you for all you do). There are just so many different circumstances out there, and that has been heavily on my mind.

With that said, there are positives to come out of this madness, as there always are (memes are top among them, ha!). I'd love to give you a glimpse into our own "life lately" next week, and to share what I consider to be the silver linings of all of this. I've also seen feedback from others that regular ol' posts about NON-coronavirus related stuff are what people are yearning for right now, and I get that. I will have plenty to share there, too, but I do feel like I personally can't just glaze over this right now. This is real life and pretty all-consuming at the moment. But I know we're all in the same boat, and we'll get through this.

Stay well and take good care!

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