Pandemic: Week 28

Life is feeling slightly more smooth, predictable and, dare I say, normal. It was another big week in our transition back to Seattle last week – Ben began school in person and Hannah started her virtual preschool program.

I cracked one of the camera lenses on my {brand new} iPhone at the end of this week, so I’ll be short on photos for a week or so until I get it repaired. I was completely devastated when I realized what had happened. The iPhone 11 camera is unparalleled. I take copious amounts of pictures of my kids and our life and I was so disappointed when I saw that my camera broke. My sweetest Hannah asked me at least 25 times if I was okay.

It was a short week in Seattle, as we only had three nights there. It almost felt like we had a little bit of a rhythm going. I was feeling more at ease and able to do some planning, organizing and thinking.

One mom win on my scorecard was prepping the kids lunches in advance. It was so fun for them to have their cool new lunchboxes {as I write this – they’re on sale!!} to use on school days, even though we were eating at home. I absolutely love making my kids fun, creative lunches.

Sending Ben off to his first day of in-person school in the middle of our global pandemic was strangely fine, but of course a bit weird at the same time. We’re grateful for the slow start and the opportunity to ease into the school year. It’s such a tremendous adjustment for Ben to be away from home.

Ben LOVED school. Absolutely and completely loved it. He is smitten with his teacher and is so comfortable there. Even if we only get another week, heck, another day, of in-person learning, I’m forever grateful we had a week.

Hannah caught me off guard when she was confused and sad after dropping Ben off. Of course she had no idea what it meant when I kept telling her Ben was going to school. She probably has no concept or memory of him ever leaving the house to go to school since it’s been so long.

Sweet, wild Hannah started virtual co-op preschool last week.

One of the other parents in the school created these darling “first day of school” signs for all of the kiddos. Hannah sure is shooting for the moon with her lifelong aspirations {if it’s too small to read, it says “When I grow up I want two chocolate chips”}!

I think it’s going to take a few weeks for her to get into a groove and get accustom to Teacher Shannon and the other students.

She sat there for a bit and was enjoying the story, then we lost her to a pair of maracas.

If it wasn’t for the pandemic, I am not sure Ben and Hannah would have become quite so close. They have been forced to be each other’s best and only friend for six months. Especially for Hannah, it’s going to be a massive change as Ben transitions towards being away at school all day.

We received Ben’s school’s updated re-opening plan, which increases his in-person time over the next three weeks. By late-September, he’ll be going with his full cohort of 11 students for the whole six hour school day.

If I’m being honest I really haven’t processed that possibility. There are so many ways this can all go and I’m working hard, and succeeding, on going with the flow.

That being said, we were thrown a bit of a curve ball last week when a massive cloud of smoke moved up the west coast. The air quality worsened as the week went on, so our outside time in Seattle was relatively limited all week.

We ended up skipping school for Ben on Friday because the air quality went up to “very unhealthy.” That meant we got an early jump-start on our weekend in the mountains.

Of course the smoke followed us east, but not until later in the day on Saturday. We’re still dealing with poor air quality and it looks like we’ll be in the midst of this much of the upcoming week, sadly. Our hearts are breaking for those affected by the wildfires across the west. The devastation is unbelievable.

On a more positive note, last week was our first adults-only social time in person since before the pandemic began. We had our friends Kirsten and Linc over to spread out in our backyard and catch up. Zoom and FaceTime are really terrific ways to keep up with family and friends; however, there is no equivalent substitute for the in-person connection we were able to have. We felt so grateful for their au pair who made our evening together possible!

Now that we’re back in Seattle more we’re hoping to be able to do that more often with friends, especially before the rain comes. That being said, we do have a covered patio in our backyard that would still allow us to spread out if we took the table out. Maybe we should get a little heater for back there and stock up on some cozy blankets!

I have no notable mentions in the food department, aside from an epic, epic fail in the takeout department. However, I do have a very noteworthy coffee mention! We have been using our Nespresso at The Lodge on the daily and I couldn’t bear to not have one in Seattle {I fully realize the ridiculousness of that statement}. It’s faster, less expensive and significantly safer than going to a coffee shop right now, so I pulled the trigger and ohhhhh was it nice making that first iced latte!

We spent the weekend out at The Lodge. This was our last weekend with Alex’s parents out here. The amount of time we were able to spend with them was a tremendous gift, and one I will be eternally grateful for. That time is the exact reason we built this house. We want our family and friends to come and spend quality time with us. Our family and friends are everything to us.

To have Donna and Stan out here for nearly six weeks was so incredibly special for us all. The kids were overjoyed with the amount of Grammy and Papa time they had. They made memories and shared experiences and deepened their bond. We were all extremely sad to say goodbye to them and wished they could have stayed longer. We will miss them terribly and we just don’t know when we will see them, or any of our family, again.