Pandemic: Week 36

Washington is officially locked back down. No indoor gatherings with people outside your household. Indoor dining is closed at restaurants. Outdoor gathering is limited to five people outside your household. Grocery stores and essential services are limited to 25% capacity. I am so hopeful with these new regulations we can get things under control again.

Alex and I had been chatting about tacking on an extra week after Ben’s holiday breaks coming up, as a way to buffer ourselves with other families traveling or gathering together. Ben’s school ended up taking the same approach and announced that the week following Thanksgiving and winter breaks will be virtual-only.

Starting on November 1st we have been doing “Thankful Turkeys.” Each day the kids tell me what they’re thankful for and I write it up on a little feather that we stick on their turkeys.

I wasn’t sure how this would go, but it’s the sweetest thing. I love hearing what they come up with each day. Last weekend Ben did say he was thankful that we didn’t have our thankful turkeys at the mountain house. Hah.

One morning I had the warm fuzzies all over the place and was feeling a sense of overwhelming gratitude for the extra time we’ve been so fortunate to have with Alex home. Before the pandemic Alex was rarely home for any meals, and now we eat together as a family for breakfast, lunch {minus Ben} and dinner.

Alex gets one-on-one play time with both kids pretty much every day, especially Hannah, while I’m taking Ben to school. Watching him playing with Hannah the other day and realizing what a gift this time has been made me feel so grateful.

Veteran’s Day was a holiday for Ben, so he was home with Hannah and me. He used paint sticks to draw the sweetest flag in honor of the holiday. We spent quite a bit of time discussing what a veteran is that day.

Hannah and I had a really fun little date on Friday. We went over to Madison Park and did some scooter riding and played on the playground a little bit. It was extremely windy and that kept most people home, it seemed.

Eventually we warmed up with a steamed milk and a coffee and took them down to the beach to drink. I just love my time with my girl.

The kids have been having so much fun playing independently and with each other lately. It’s so, so fun to see what they come up with.

Our weekend in the mountains was so lovely and snowy. It gets harder and harder to leave the mountains every time we go up. The weekends go by so fast and once we’re back in Seattle we all just count down the days until we can return.

I think it snowed probably close to a foot at our mountain house on Friday and Saturday. It was magnificent. Waking up to a fresh layer of snow covering the trees is one of my favorite things.

Naturally, the kids couldn’t wait to get out and play in the snow. Ben is known for throwing his boots on as soon as the sun comes up and racing out onto the deck.

After Saturday pancakes we bundled up and made our way out for some playtime in the snow.

Of course, the kids had a blast.

We were graciously invited over to our next door neighbor’s house to come chat and hang out by their campfire on Saturday evening. {Of course we were responsibly distanced and the kids were wearing masks. Why the kids? Sometimes they forget how far away they need to be.}

We have a family with a 5 and 7-year old two houses away from us in the mountains. On Sunday we stopped over to do a little sledding on their “dirt pile hill” and the kids had so much fun. Their kiddos are totally virtual and they literally have no social time in person with other kids, unless they play with Ben and Hannah. So, the masks came on and we went sledding.

Our weekend ended with a haircut for Alex! Woohoo! It was long overdue. I think I actually did a pretty good job!?

As we’re heading into the week before Thanksgiving, we hope this finds you well. The holidays will be different for many of us this year. Stay well!