Posts Tagged ‘kids’

More April

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2020

I had a much-needed social distance mom date with a friend this week. We sat in the back of our cars 10 feet apart and gabbed for two hours. One of the things we talked about was how one of the most stressful parts of this already stressful situation is being completely unable to plan anything besides maybe what’s for dinner. Birthdays, vacations, family visits, holidays, summer camps, sports leagues and anniversaries aren’t happening as scheduled. Pretty much all we can look forward to right now is an unknown time some distance in the future where life might go back to being boring and normal and we can complain about stuff like traffic and Dunkin’ making my order wrong.

In a lot of ways, this isn’t that big of a change for me. We don’t live near parents or grandparents or aunts or uncles, so we often spend our holidays as a nuclear family. I’m also an expert at postponed or canceled plans thanks to our life being at the mercy of the Navy. Oh, you thought you had a beach vacation? Too bad, your husband’s work schedule has completely changed and you’re not going. My kids are old hands at Daddy missing their birthday or not seeing him for months at a time so the travel ban that keeps him in New Hampshire is disappointing but not insurmountable.

Unfortunately for me, the way I’ve always handled the uncertainty and inevitable disappointments is by staying as busy as possible. Military families can handle a lot, but we do it with a little help (or a lot of help) from our friends. The combination of social distancing and a completely empty calendar is tough. Add in things like a broken dishwasher or a flooded basement to deal with alone – because although there are people I could call in a life-or-death situation, I feel terrible asking them to leave their houses for something so low on the emergency scale – and I am not the woman I’ve been pretending to be for the last 10+ years. I can do it completely on my own for about 72 hours at a time before having some sort of ugly breakdown.

But I don’t think that’s unreasonable during quarantine. I don’t even feel bad about it. I just keep reminding myself that at some unknown time some distance in the future, life will go back to being boring and normal. Hang in there.

Here is what April 7th looked like at our house:

April 6, 2020 – Day 19

Tuesday, April 7th, 2020

I probably should have started at day 1, but it didn’t seem like such a big deal two weeks ago.

I’ve been spending a lot of time playing dumb games on my phone to distract myself from real life, responsibilities, how loud my house is ALL THE TIME, and because I can’t sleep anymore. It’s not productive or healthy.

Then I remembered I had this long-neglected blog where I used to document our everyday lives as they happened. This time period doesn’t feel that different from 11 years ago this week when I had a brand new baby for the first time and I felt trapped, with an overwhelming amount of work to do, while also being bored out of my mind.

I’ve managed to keep up a 365 photo project for years now, not quite flawlessly, but pretty close. And although I’ve learned better than to make promises about returning to this space, I do hope I can turn it back into what it was originally meant to be by expanding my one photo a day to several days a week documented in photos. You’ll be seeing a lot of my messy house.

This was the first day of our second week of distance learning. The Davis Academy of Stop Touching Each Other needs to hire both a much better head teacher and a janitor ASAP.

Halloween 2018: The Greatest Showman

Friday, October 12th, 2018

Every night I lie in bed
The brightest colors fill my head
A million dreams are keeping me awake
I think of what the world could be
A vision of the one I see
A million dreams is all it’s gonna take

A million dreams for the world we’re gonna make

Last year, the kids got really into Halloween. They agreed on a family costume and were super (pun intended) into dressing up as many times as possible for photos.

This year, Lincoln decided he HAD to be P.T. Barnum from The Greatest Showman. He is beyond obsessed with that movie, we’ve watched it multiple times a week ever┬ásince it came out. Caroline was fully on board with that as a family costume, since she wants nothing more in life than to join a circus as an aerialist. The rest of us agreed we could live with being assigned other characters, which Lincoln was happy to choose for us.

None of these costumes are available straight from the store yet. I had hoped that Chasing Fireflies might have them when this year’s catalog came out, but I think most kids still want to be superheroes or unicorns instead of characters from a musical with a pretty flimsy plot line. But I am not afraid of hot glue and sequins, and once I realized that wasn’t quite enough I learned to use my sewing machine. None of it would pass a close inspection, but for trick-or-treating (or photos!) they worked great.

So for Halloween 2018, I officially present:

Lincoln…as P. T. Barnum

Caroline…as Anne Wheeler

Evan…as Phillip Carlyle

Finnegan…as The Tattooed Man

And me…as Jenny Lind

the greatest showman costume

anne wheeler costume

the greatest showman costume

the greatest showman costume

the greatest showman costume

the greatest showman costume

the greatest showman costume

the greatest showman costume

the greatest showman costume

the greatest showman costume

 

 

These photos aren’t going to win any awards for technical perfection – taking pictures inside dark spaces is NOT my specialty, four kids is a lot of kids to pose, and toddlers are not the best listeners. But that doesn’t make them any less fun. None of the kids care if the pictures are a little grainy, all they care about is seeing their dreams come true.

Sources (all Amazon affiliate links):

Tiny tuxedo
Red vest
Pink wig
Purple leotard
Sparkle tank top
Cream bolero
Hoop skirt
Black hat (this is the only one of several I ordered that actually fit Linc!)
Red Hat
Temporary tattoos
More tattoos
Girl’s dance tights

All the trim and fabric is from Joann’s. One stick is a dowel I painted, the other is from Party City. Evan and Finnegan owned most of their costumes, I got the vest at Goodwill and Finn’s undershirt at Walmart. All the sparkly jewelry is also from Walmart. Also a huge shout out to my amazing hairdresser Jackie at Wild Love Hair Studio for making me a redhead.

And the biggest thank you goes to The Garde Arts Center in New London. I sent an email asking about maybe possibly using just their lobby for some photos and within 24 hours they had found me a time to come in and use the whole theater. Carolyn was beyond generous with her time and resources (I think Finnegan wanted to go home with her) and I could not have made this magic without them. They are a non-profit organization that has worked to painstakingly restore this old movie house to its original glory. I made a donation to thank them for their time and we’ll be attending as many events there as possible, both because it’s an amazing building and because they’re a wonderful organization. (They’re having an awesome Halloween Movie event! You can take the kids to see Hotel Transylvania on Saturday the 27th!)

Happy Halloween!

Where it’s covered in all the colored lights
Where the runaways are runnin’ the night
Impossible comes true, it’s takin’ over you
Oh, this is the greatest show
We light it up, we won’t come down
And the sun can’t stop us now
Watchin’ it come true, it’s takin’ over you
Oh, this is the greatest show

 

 

Best Weekend Of The Year 2018

Monday, October 1st, 2018

Previous years: 2017, 2016, 2015 part 1 and part 2, 2014, 2013, 2012

I really love the best weekend of the year. It kicks off the season of How Many Different Seasonal Activities Can We Fit Into Just Two Days? I love being able to walk to two different food festivals from my front door. I love taking the same photo of the kids at the fair every year. I love running into people I don’t get to see very often but then our kids are instantly best friends again. I love not cooking all weekend and saying yes to everything.

And I love looking back at the other Best Weekends and seeing how our family has grown.

In order: Greek Food Festival, Ledyard Fair, Taste of Italy, Mystic Eats

 

Not A Beach Vacation But Better Than No Vacation 2018

Sunday, September 30th, 2018

Our beach vacation got canceled this year because of a hurricane. I was VERY angry about it, that vacation means a lot to us as a family and as a friend group (we go with two friends from high school and my college freshman roommate). We didn’t want to completely cancel our time off though, and since E hadn’t been to the lake house yet this year we hung out in Virginia. It was a little colder for my taste, but it was still fun. Our best Navy friends came to hang out from Virginia Beach so Caroline got to see her favorite person. We even did a grown-ups only day in NoVa with most of the friends I was supposed to see at the beach, so we don’t have to wait another year to see my BFFs. It’s hard to complain about a lake vacation, especially now that we’re home and I’m just looking back on the pictures.