Pandemic: Weeks 29 through 33

For the first six+ months of the pandemic I somehow managed to do a weekly blog post. I haven’t been able to keep up and fell about several weeks behind. So, here’s what we’ve been up to since the middle of September.

Ben had a slow transition to doing in-person school. For the first four weeks he would slowly increase the amount of time he was at school. This was really helpful since he had just been at home for six months. It also allowed the kids to ease into mask-wearing for extended periods, as well as get comfortable with their teachers and classmates.

After one of the first weeks of school we ended up going virtual for a week due to poor air quality. Part of Ben’s school’s Covid plan is keeping the windows in the building open; however, you can’t do that when there’s unhealthy air quality.

We were holed up in the mountains that week and I loved getting to be a part of Ben’s school day. Ben’s teacher is truly one-of-a-kind and I adored listening to the kids share and his teacher lead the class through their virtual activities.

We’re sort of expecting with the recent spikes in cases that the chances are pretty high for Ben’s school to shut down this winter and go virtual. My experience with the week of virtual learning gave me hope that it won’t be too bad. Can you believe Ben’s school picture?!

I truly cannot believe how much Ben has grown and changed in the last two months since school started. He has grown up tremendously. His vocabulary is changing, the way he plays is changing and it seems like his imagination was opened to a whole new array of ways to play and learn. Going to school has been huge for him. He LOVES school. I can’t express that enough. He just LOVES it.

Hannah has been adjusting to her twice-weekly virtual co-op preschool. The class is 45 minutes long, though we usually end up signing off after 30-35 minutes when Hannah loses interest. She loves doing the art project and listening to Teacher Shannon’s story.

Hannah’s teacher, too, has done a marvelous job at putting together engaging materials for preschoolers and I absolutely applaud her efforts.

High fives {air fives, I guess, right now} to ALL the teachers right now. You are incredibly inspiring heroes!

During the day while Ben is at school, Alex works from home still {newest orders are through June} and I get to spend the day with Hannah. Most days include a request to go ride scooters up at the park. We occasionally meet a friend there so Hannah can have a little buddy to ride with.

Afternoons go by so fast and generally include a huge snack and ample outdoor time, whether playing out front of our house, going on a nature walk or taking the scooters up to the church parking lot in our neighborhood.

Our weekends have primarily been spent in the mountains recently.

We did have one Seattle weekend, though we opted to take a daytrip to Mount Rainier. The kids have never been before and when one day Ben saw the majestic mountain he asked, I said yes.

Our trip to Mount Rainier was a hit for the kids. Ben loved all of the streams running down the mountain, and we were excited to see little patches of snow on the ground. Needless to say, it was very chilly!

Just this last weekend we had the pleasure of enjoying the first snowfall of the season out at The Lodge! We’d been watching the forecast all week, doing our snow dances, me drinking out of my “Let it Snow!” mug, and sure enough! We got at least 6 inches of beautiful white snow.

The kids *loved* every moment they spent in the snow, and Alex and I had a blast too.

It was especially fun seeing how much more independent Hannah is able to be now that she’s a little older. She was so excited to be able to walk in the snow all by herself.

Alex has been getting into a good exercise groove and I’ve been running a couple times most weeks. It’s been extra special to see neighbors and friends again. We run into a neighbor most days and I’ve been either intentionally or unintentionally seeing friends up at the park. It’s very easy to distance ourselves {while also wearing masks} at the park. The in-person adult time is SO refreshing and rejuvenating. Pair that with a run and I’m golden!

We’re really starting to feel a lot more settled in Seattle and with our routine. September and October have completely flown by now that we actually have things going on. Now that Halloween is coming up in a few days I am getting SO excited to plan for the holidays, even despite the fact that our options and time with extended family will be so limited this year.