Chasing Frogs

It's not often I drag out my DSLR camera anymore, iPhones have really caught up. Granted the only difference is how my nifty fifty lens really captures moments. 

Nothing beats the depth of focus of that nifty fifty. 


Jeremy was working in the yard/the kids were playing outside yesterday evening.

Elliot really is a happier person outside. Thank goodness though! We couldn't get a child that would hate camping. Maybe that's what 2 camping trips in your first year of life will do for a person, three if you count our Arkansas trip when I was pregnant.

Speaking of which, I never want to try and hike pregnant every again.


It so hard to capture kids at this age, especially for a non photographer.

I prefer taking photos of food for the blog, granted it's been about a year since I put out any recipes. But living in apartments will do that to a person. It's hard to be motivated in a less than motivating kitchen.

Oh dearest Cherry Palm house oven, how I miss you so much.



This picture has me thinking, if you're looking for good kid shoes, get some Keens when they are on sale. I got both the boys a pair of their sandals (because they can endure it all) and have loved them.

They aren't the pretty little boy sandals I prefer, but they are durable, conform to their feet well, and do not come off. I repeat. THESE. SANDALS. DO. NOT. COME. OFF. LITTLE. FEET.

I also have a pair of Keens, the short tennis shoe style, but hiking shoe. Who knows. One day I want the higher top ones. They were given to me when I was a writer for Lafayette Mom, Keens was a sponsor, and I love them for hiking. They feel much more secure than regular sneakers when you are out hiking around a campground. They're built for that... but still. they're worth the price and legit.



How do y'all like that dirty little butt that scooted down the hill below?


That is all for today, until I bring out my camera again. Granted if quarantine doesn't end soon it will be a blog of little boys in the yard. Maybe we will get creative and take picture in front of the neighbors horses and cows to change it up a bit for y'all. 

Maybe We're a Two Kid Family || & More QuaranMemes

It's. Been. A. Week. 

Hence the fact that I wasn't here Wednesday or Friday. 

First off, we finally got guidance for what to do work wise. I need a plan. Hello Enneagram 1 here! So two weeks sans any sort of plan had me quite irritated. 

Now that we've got a plan I'm good. 

Monday night my grade level had a Zoom meeting about what we were going to do. So Tuesday morning when Elliot woke up chipper (for Elliot standards) I got to planning in the play room. Mainly because someone's tree fell and knocked the power out and I firmly believe that family owes the entire street tacos for the inconvenience. 

Who the heck allows for a power outage in the midst of the biggest sickness since Spanish Flu? 


In more Elliot related news. 

Don't check out mamas, not even for 5 seconds because the sounds of children is grating on your nerves. 

One minute on Facebook and my glasses were dead to the world. We couldn't find any super glue, so until (14-21 days) that online optical place delivers I'm sporting glasses held together with prayers, epoxy, and a touch of duck tape that keeps sticking to my face. 


This photo was taken at a moment Elliot wasn't screaming for some ridiculous reason.

Don't look at it for too long, I don't want you believing the moment lasted longer than it did in reality.


As if Covid wasn't out to get us, the pollen took up the slack. 

Momming alone with sickness is a flat joke. If these kids were 5 years older I would have locked them outside by now and shown them where the water hose is. 

Look now, we survived it, don't judge me. 


One perk, fueled by antihistamines, is that the weather has been cool in the morning and we have a nice fenced in porch. With rocking chairs. So the boys have spent a ton of time outside, where boys belong. 

I always threatened to get to get rocking chairs at our Cherry Palm house and I'll definitely get getting some when we buy a house in the fall. 

Also... notice the throat coat tea with lemon. It's a miracle worker. I drink it every day before teaching (you know, back in the day when we actually saw children in person.) 


Random activities bring up old memories. 

We picked up Chinese takeout last night and it was reminiscent of Pop bringing home takeout from South China in Natchez. We got together with my grandparents every weekend when I was a kid and the cardboard boxes that takeout was put in at South China are a fond memory. 


Elliot's saving grace this weekend is that it seems he will be my Rocky Joe rider. 

My parents got this rocking horse, and this is his original paint color, when I was about his age. Joshua and Harrison didn't care for it much. But this wild child appears to like the rocking horse. 

Fun fact: I name this sucker Rocky Joe and chose the blue color. My mother wanted one of the pretty natural wood stained horses. 

He's held up well for a 33 year old horse. 


QuaranMemes


I don't drink, but this is sounding like a great idea at this point in the lockdown. 

I seriously have laughed every time I've read this one. Especially the "follow me for more recipes" at the bottom! 


Considering we ended our zoom call trying to change our backgrounds... I had to send this out to my coworkers.


Memes sent to Mike because he doesn't listen. 


Tuscaloosa's got jokes. 

But for real, if I wear an LSU shirt to any teacher trainings I have a heck of a time finding a partner for activities. 


Don't be donating your gremlins right now folks, we don't have time for that. 


Now, I must go. I accidentally left the pantry unlocked and Elliot is eating a honey bun that Harrison opened for him. (and yes I have baby locks on the pantry because Elliot tears this joint up spreading things all over creation if I don't)

This second child y'all! I was fairly strict Paleo with Harrison (because that's all I cooked anyway) and now kid number two is breaking every rule ever set in place in the house. World's more YOLO baby ever.

Dalgona Coffee, Earaches, & More Quaran-Memes

Nothing like insomnia to lead you to a Korean coffee craze. 

I've now made this with instant espresso and instant coffee. Go for the espresso. It's 100% better. Milk is also better than a milk sub, but I'm lactose intolerant and can't be hyper and stuck in the bathroom at the same time. 

Not a great combo. 


Dalgona Coffee is super easy to make:


2 tbsp instant espresso
2 tbsp sugar 
2 tbsp boiling water

whisk until it's basically a cloud and pour on top of iced milk. 



@mrs.natalie.h over on Instagram started doing this family drawings during quarantine, so I tossed our name into the bucket to have her draw ours.

Y'all it's this precious! I told her I need to get a print of this. I just love it. 



In less exciting news.

I was doing just fine with quarantine until Elliot managed an ear infection.

He doesn't do sick like Harrison. Harry tends to not even act sick unless he is actually near death. Like so far only Flu has really taken him down.

Meanwhile Elliot needs to be in the ICU over a cold.

Toss an ear infection on that and it has been a week of a feverish tumor attached to me via my Ergo carrier. It was nice having Jeremy home this weekend because I could actually not be attached to the kid at all times.

I'm not good at being the sick parent. Jeremy is better at that skill. He can cuddle in a chair all day and not care. I on the other hand am looking around at the floors, laundry, and whatever is currently on my to do list.

I am not a cuddle-er.

Quaran-Memes



Tiger King is quite possibly the best thing that has ever been put on Netflix in terms of weirdo murder documentaries. 

It's got some language, so don't call me fussing. I warned y'all. 

But it is INSANE. 



Anyone else playing 6 Degrees of Kevin Bacon with Covid? 

Imma need to call that Tele-Doc for some anxiety meds if this keeps up. I personally would like to lock everyone in this house and not leave until April 30. 

I'm almost at the social distance point of putting Jeremy in a tent outside. 


I had to restock kid items yesterday and went to Publix after my Walmart pickup. Y'ALL. I saw a family of 5. Legit everyone they know was in that buggie cruising around like it was just another Sunday. 

Meanwhile I'm shopping with a Clorox wipe in hand and avoiding stores with packed parking lots. I nearly wore that mask I had to put on when I took Elliot to the doctor the other day. 

What is the point in trying to be careful (because I'd rather not be on a vent) and other people are acting like nothing is happening. School is cancelled nationwide. We weren't even shut down in 2009 during H1N1! 

I think the joy-buggie-riders are the ones who need to watch the news. They need to freak out and maybe they'll stay home. 

Okay, end rant. Because I could go on for days about this. 

Picking Wildflowers & Quaran-Memes

Yesterday we went for a walk up and down our little country road. The boys are starting to hit stir crazy, so today I'm going to take them out for a ride in search of teddy bears. 

Hopefully it proves interesting... and we actually find bears. 



One upside to this lock down is we've had more time to cook together. PLUS Harrison has been more willing to try new foods. 

At lunch today he asked to try the leftovers from the other night. (those Pioneer Woman Meatballs I posted Monday) 


Elliot is still being Elliot. 

This photo was on our last shopping trip before all heck broke loose.


What Elliot has recently deemed hilarious is fake sneezing. He tosses his head back and just blows raspberries. 

He will be starting his comedy tour as soon as Corona is over. 

Quaran-Memes


Because what state actually produces better memes than Louisiana? 
But for real though... where did that meat come from? 


Welcome to our house. I just saved you thousands of dollars. 




And I fell off the couch laughing at this one...




Until Friday... stay safe people. 

I'm about to make a iced coffee and see if the kids will hold off burning the house down until Jeremy gets home. 

Pass a Good Quarantine...

Time

Can't exactly pass a good time if you're under stay in orders.

Meal Planning 


No real change here.

Lunch this week is Breakfast Quesadillas (sausage or bacon, eggs, cheese, on a Ole low carb tortilla with fruit)

I added Pioneer Woman Comfort Meatballs to the meal list... we had really only removed one meal from last week's list.

Granted we were out a bit more than I preferred last week due to having guests, but it was all takeout.

Daily Grind 



Yesterday was out first church service online. Surprisingly Harrison was glued in nearly the entire hour.

Elliot is steady digging through everything we own.

I've put a bit of a loose schedule in place for us, Jeremy is at work and it's just me and the kiddos.

7:30 - everyone should be up and eating breakfast/watch a show

- Mama gets a shower, dress the kids.

- Bible Story (Youtube has a ton of great animated options that hold his interest and give me a chance to fix my hair somewhat)

- Letter review (We started doing the Learning Dynamics 4 Weeks to Read recently... I'll talk more on that below) and learning games

9:30 - 10am - Snack

11 - 11:30 am (depending on when they ask) lunch outside on the porch. Play outside until nap time for Elliot.

12:20 - Elliot naps, Harrison does a new Learning Dynamics Lesson and has quiet time after.

2:30 - 3pm - Elliot should be waking up - Mama get's a Pure Barre On Demand workout in during this time before he's up and moving.

3pm - snacks and play outside is the weather is nice

4pm - Jeremy should be getting home - free play for the rest of the day

5pm - dinner get's started

6:30pm - baths and bed routine begins

7:30 pm - bedtime

Home Learning 


Initially I planned to start this over the summer, but we are jumping on it early with the forced break from school.

Harrison, as I've mentioned before, has a language delay. He didn't begin speaking until we started speech when he was 3 and then didn't really become conversational until June of 2019 (just over 4). With that he has struggled to learn and maintain what he has learned with letters at school. Math and logics seem to make more sense to him, fine by me... as long as everything isn't a struggle.

So with this delay and really only recently recognizing certain letters I decided to get the 4 Weeks to Read program. Not so much with the intent to have him reading by August(Kindergarten) but mainly wanting him more familiar with all the letters and their sounds.

We've only made it through 3 lessons (I'm taking weekends off and just practicing those letters on Saturday & Sunday) but I'm seeing an improvement in what he is retaining. To practice the letters after going through the Learning Dynamics lessons I am using Khan Academy Kids and just practicing those particular letters.

Y'all it's actually working.

Hopefully this continues to work for us. I've got a set of letter cards that my K teaching mother made and we flash those, we also practice the letters by running to find whatever I call out on their playroom mat that is the alphabet. Interesting enough, he couldn't look at a card and tell me what it was the other day, but if I called it out he could write the letter in chalk on the sidewalk.

I've got a mover for a learner, so that will have to be taken into consideration in the future.

I think that's all I have time for at the moment... Elliot appears to have gotten quiet and that is never good with this baby. I'll be back Wednesday! 

The Great Covid-19 Lockdown of 2020 || Week 1

Can I be really honest with y'all? 

I've been saying for months that I needed a break. We moved here in August, guns blazing. No time to really get it together. I had three days before I started work. I didn't even have time to get a my car registered. 

So this forced shut in. It's the best thing that could have happened to me. 

I've been stressed with work, unhappy. Just going through the motions. 


It's easy to get past the desire to stay home when you are working somewhere that is fun and offers a real sense of family/community. That isn't the case when things don't pan out that way. Slap on top of that what's basically a long term sub position and you've got a recipe for feeling like a squatter that would rather go home. 

I'm looking forward to next year when I can set up my classroom with my own things. My own organization system. 

So this forced sabbatical... it's just what the doctor ordered. As a family that always lived for the summer months of shared time off, this is perfect. 


During our social distancing time we've eaten lunch outside, a bunch.

I've even convinced Harry to get past his odd food habits that developed during the Terrible Flu B of 2020.


We finally found time to go to the local state park. 

That was a combination of the weather allowing it and time. 


Our friends Brandon & Kali had been planning to come visit this week for awhile now. So we stayed in a good bit and made up for lost Friday nights sitting on the couch. 


We also hiked a new to all of us trail, Moss Rock Preserve in Hoover. It was beautiful and we will definitely be going back to play in the creeks this summer. 


It was Tuesday... so we went all Taco Tuesday at the local Mexican restaurant (across from the hiking trail) and ate dinner on the grass in the park. 


Elliot practiced social distancing. 


He wasn't a fan of the "only two customers allowed inside at a time" rule. 


And then we ate some more porch lunches. 


This afternoon I'm going to organize kid clothing, it's time to swap sizes around. Towards the end of nap time I'll do a Pure Barre On-demand workout. 

But most importantly, I'm not fixing my hair everyday and taking a break from makeup. My skin and hair need it.