Making Lemonade from Lemons

Literally. From lemons left on our porch. 

What's so unique about this situation we find ourselves in is we are all in this together. Literally every person in the world. That certainly never happens. So while this time of virus attack and staying at home can feel so isolating, it is also a time we are all in together. 

I've gotten texts from people just checking on me. We have gotten THREE citrus deliveries from people and a cookie delivery too! The kids have written letters to their friends. In fact, Isla's letter was followed up with a text from the friend's mom saying the letter had the whole family laughing. Bears adorn the windows of more than 100 homes in my neighborhood. Though the "bear hunt" is a fun activity, I also see it as a sign of solidarity. A sign of us all reaching out to each other and saying "we will get through this together." We participated in a social distancing birthday party that had me tearing up...probably because it was the most I have seen people in a while. But also because it was a bunch of us coming together to make the day of someone we love. Of course, it ended with my car breaking down...but that's another story. 

I don't really have a nice bow to wrap this all up with. But really, even with us all feeling lonely in our homes, we are also SO all in this together and it really is a beautiful thing. 

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Scenes from Quarantine {week two}

I'm a planner. I like knowing the plan (a realistic one, of course) and making sure it happens. Having every plan thrown out the window and knowing I need to plug my ears to when the world will "open" again has been weird. A shift in perspective for me.

Everyday, the first thing I do is go around and open the curtains in the house, letting the sun flood in. It used to be showering. Now that is much farther down on my list. Drinking coffee, feeding the kids breakfast and even dishes come before that.

It's been a week, that's for sure.

I went grocery shopping for the first time in two weeks. It was eerily calm, though my cashier told me that has just started. I was shocked by how many old people were out shopping. I wanted to tell them all to return home and to give me their lists, but I knew that wasn't practical. I did what I could do to help though and picked up some things for my parents and someone else. While out at the grocery store, my house key somehow fell off my keychain. How does that even happen when they are so dang hard to get on?? Our old 1930's house also has an old lock. Those keys made at places like Lowe's aren't good enough for it...we've tried in the past. So, we only had two house keys. And I freaking lost one. We had to call locksmith and get that dealt with. He changed up the lock (not the actual lock, but how it is, so the old key doesn't work) and made us a plethora of keys. That's one stressful situation dealt with.

Someone knocked on our door the other day. I looked outside and didn't see any cars. I opened this weird window thing in our door and saw a neighbor standing there, so opened the door. Our other neighbor's cat got hit by a car and ran up our driveway. Of course, said neighbor wasn't home. I called my sister in law, who is a vet, to see what to do, as the cat was bad off. She said they could euthanize it. Thankfully, it didn't come to that. The cat perished rather quickly. But it was just a lot in a week already running high with emotions.

Anyone that knows me well can confirm that I am not a very physical person and I'm not emotional. Through all this, I keep thinking how I just want to hug a friend and cry in their arms. I don't want to talk about it. We all know what's going on. We are all facing the same beast of a virus and life changing isolation together. But I just want my friends.

The kids are doing oddly well. They have taken to the daily walks. Callum and Isla spend a lot of time drawing. Connor is chipping away at his mission project. Willa is practicing walking...when she is in the mood. We really have a lot to be thankful for. But I also feel sad.

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Scenes from Quarantine {week one}

It's been one week with our new reality. One week with no school, no activities, no walks to grab Yogurt Mill. One week of no playdates with friends, runs to the thrift store or coffee with Mallory and Trina.

Ian asked me the other morning what my plans were for the day. I gave him a look and said, "Are you serious?" He said he meant around the house. But I have not been planning anything, except what we will eat for dinner. I haven't even consulted my calendar, which I usually look at on a daily basis. It hurts too much to look at it. To see all the things we are missing out on.

All in all, I feel like we have settled in rather nicely. It feels a bit like a school break, just with a bit more structure. But when I read the other day that this could go on for months, I wanted to hit my head into a wall. Not because I am home with my kids. Because we can't be out doing things we all enjoy.

Our days start with a good rhythm, then seem to become more chaotic in the late afternoon. Everyone  eats breakfast in the morning, while the coffee is brewing and I clean up and prepare the house for the day. Then the kids do some schoolwork and reading. Callum and Willa usually play during this time. I make the kids get dressed and do a couple other things before they can turn to electronics. Usually it doesn't happen until after lunch. I have been making all the kids have an hour of quite time after lunch too. For my own sanity.

Callum cried the other day when we told him he couldn't go to his grandparents house. It broke my heart a bit. Of course, it also breaks my heart how much they are going out to stores and seeing others. Here I am stretching out visits to the grocery store to minimize exposure. I have cut us off from practically everyone. I stopped selling things online so I won't have to go to the post office. If we need to get something from the store, the kids don't get to go.

I work at connecting with people how I can. I talked to my best friend on the phone for more than and hour and I can't even tell you the last time that happened before. Another friend called me and told me she was walking by. She stood on the sidewalk and I was halfway between there and my sidewalk. From a heartbreakingly far distance, we bared a bit of our souls to each other. Its hard to end conversations like that without a hug or anything. More of a "good luck until next time" type thing.

We have our health. Ian has a job. The kids haven't even said they are bored. This really is the best case scenario in what feels like an oddly movie-like scenario. It's just that worried pit in my stomach that I keep stuffing down that roars it's ugly head whenever I get a quiet moment. All the what if's. But we all, the whole freaking world, are in this together.

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Thoughts on our new reality

I woke in the middle of the night last night to the pitter patter of feet on our wood floors. I wondered who would appear at the side of our bed. A moment later, Callum did. I pulled him into bed and he instantly cuddled into me and closed his eyes. I lay there awake, wishing I had the innocence of young child right now. Also wishing I could cuddle in with my parents and have all the cares of the world melt away.

I have always loved the news. Even as a kid, I would sit and read the newspaper and watch the news with my mom. I consider myself well informed. I wake up in the morning now and question if I even want to check the news. What sort of mind-blowing craziness will I read today? I watched a couple weeks ago as grocery stores in other countries had empty shelves. Now it's happening in ours.

When I went grocery shopping a week ago and found so many empty shelves, I almost cried then and there. It felt so overwhelming. All the sudden, six mouths feels like a lot to feed. Ian went to the store this morning and waited an hour just to get in. He was able to get almost everything on our list, before waiting to check out in a line that stretched to the back of the store. Is this our new normal?

I mourn the thought that I may not get to go to Callum's preschool Mother's Day tea. It has been a highlight of mine the times I got to do it with the other kids and I looked forward to it. I imagine Callum not getting his little end of year promotion like the other kids did. I love those preschool teachers so much and worry for them. Will they still get paid?

I worry for my parents. Will they get sick? Why is my dad still meeting with people? That exposes him and my mom. I worry for my brother. Will he get sick? He has to be out working. I worry for his business with everything closing. What will this mean for him and his business?

I hope and pray that my kids are blissfully unaware. I tend to be one who can let things go. But this weight, its there all day and all night. Well, except at the dinner table. When we eat dinner together, it seems so normal. It makes the weight go away for a little while.

There is still beauty all around us. I smiled seeing the trees getting leaves again while on a walk with the kids yesterday. People are rallying around each other and helping in times of need and that's a beautiful thing. It helps dull that aching feeling I have for a bit.

But this is all real. Very real. And I wonder what our new reality will be once this is all over.

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a glimpse into the life of Callum

This is Callum standing in front of his preschool, showing off his show and tell item. 

It's a painting he did with his Grammy (Ian's mom). He's holding it upside down. 

When I was getting him out of the car, he kept hitting me with the painting. I told him to be careful or he could ruin it. He responded with, "I'll just make another one." If that doesn't sum up Callum's personality, I don't know what does. 

Callum calls those shoes he is wearing his "jumping shoes". It's what he has called them from the moment he saw them. 

That fleece he is wearing, we bought on our vacation to San Diego last summer. It was an amazing and relaxing vacation. 

Callum is the kid that keeps me both humbled and fully entertained every single day. He's a fun one to have around...especially now that he isn't as likely to run off from me in public. He'll run, but when I tell him to stop, will most likely stop, turn around and stick his tongue out at me. Like I said, he keeps me humble.

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Willa {12 months}

weight: 19 lbs, 13 oz
length: 28.5 inches

accomplishments: has four teeth, waves and says "hi", babbles, cruises, climbs down from the couch and bed

The older I get and the more I write these updates, the more I struggle. I want to remember so much and sometimes it's hard to put that in words. How does one sum up their child's personality? Willa is a sweet one. She is generous with her smiles, but is starting to prefer her mama over anyone else. She has found her voice and uses it a lot. This includes her learning to scream whenever she wants something...and it's up to us to guess what that something is! Willa loves playing with whatever her siblings are playing with, which generally they don't want her grabbing. She has an eye for any food left at her level unattended. The cozy coupe is among her top played with toys. Followed closely by any cords or plugs...eek! Well, and the remote control. And she's a smart one and knows when you give her a remote that doesn't go to anything, haha!

Willa loves to eat and really just eats whatever we are eating. I can't really think of favorites right now, but her face definitely lights up when I put chocolate in her mouth. Like she smiles excitedly and it's sort of the cutest thing ever. When she is done eating, or just not interested, she throws the food on the ground, which is obviously awesome. Willa is still nursing. She doesn't nurse as much during the day, mostly when she is tired. But at night, she tends to nurse most of the night. Once Ian is done with busy season, I would like for him to go to her at night, so we can stop the all night nursing, as we are tired! 

Willa has proved to be quite the dramatic teether and because of this, ends up spending a lot of time in her carrier. When she is teething and wants to be held all the time and I need to get stuff done, I strap her on my back and keep going. Of course, she actually usually takes a nap a day like this. Usually it's in the evening, when I am cooking dinner. 

Size wise, I moved Willa to size 4 diapers this past month. I made sure to use all our size 3 first and noticed the size 3 pampers are bigger than the brand we normally use. So, all that to say, if using pampers, she would probably still be in a 3. She still is wearing many 6-12 months clothing, but 12-18 months mostly works as well. Some of it is huge, but not all of it. I think all her pjs are currently size 6-12 months. 

Willa loves showers. She crawls around under the water with glee the whole time and it's one of the cutest things. Even if she is having a bad day of teething, the shower still makes her smile and giggle. And I just love that she will sit and let the water run down her face, as I know eventually she will freak out over any water getting on her face. 

The past year with Willa has been grand. I am so glad we got to live it with her. It will be one I would like to remember over and over again. 

And here's a little look back video of Willa's first year of life:

Since I'm going to look back myself, here is Connor at one, Isla at one and Callum at one. I'm pretty sure even Callum had more hair than Willa at one. All those teeth and the hair that Isla had made her look so much older! Willa was my smallest and lightest one year old. Petite little one.

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