Pivoting During the Pandemic

April 2020

Well, April was month number two of being restricted in terms of the shelter-in-place edict related to COVID-19. However, I’d like to say that we tried to make the most of it considering the circumstances. Saying that we have completely adjusted to this new normal would be a bit of an overstatement, but I am proud of the way we are taking all this seriously and really hunkering down until we are allowed to ease up just a little bit. At the beginning of the month, Hanleigh’s class had a musical talent show in which she broke out the trumpet that I played from forth through ninth grade and tried to teach herself how to play the scale. She definitely picked up the technique in terms of how to play a note, but teaching someone how to blow into the mouthpiece at varying angles to adjust what note actually comes out, whether it’s high or low, is harder to explain. Her class enjoyed watching her play and I know she enjoyed watching her classmates show off their talents as well.

We had a fun Zoom call with Mom, Thomas, Cooper, and Kyle where we all experimented with fun backgrounds like great white sharks attacking us or aliens abducting us. We were all laughing so much and it was great to have our first official family Zoom meeting. Hanleigh’s Y Guides tribe met online as well, which was awesome. The dad who hosted it even dropped off crafts for each of the girls to make while they were on their call. Very creative and it was a great way to keep them all connected during this time. I had a Zoom call with my Triple B’s and we even had a goat make an appearance! We’ve also broken out the NCSU cornhole boards and have it enjoy playing competitive games in the driveway. We continued the creativity by having a dessert bake-off. Brayden and I were on the same team and decided to take a basic chocolate cupcake recipe and add an extra spin to it. We filled it with a cream cheese center and crumbled Oreos and then topped it with a homemade cream cheese frosting with more crumbled Oreos. Trent and Hanleigh were on the same team and they made mint chocolate cheesecake bites with a chocolate ganache and topped off with a Andes mint.

Sadly, but not surprising, our spring break plans to go to St. Martin were preempted by the pandemic. The girls still had spring break and enjoyed a week of no schoolwork while Trent and I continued to work our regular jobs. In commemoration of a trip that didn’t happen, we made some tropical drinks to attempt to miraculously transport us to the islands. I think it may have worked for 30 minutes. In the meantime, we postponed our trip to late August a week before school starts, but after booking it, I learned even this may have its own challenges. Apparently, the governor of NC mandated that all schools must start on August 17. Our county planned to start on August 31 because the RNC is coming to town the week of August 24 and our superintendent didn’t want kids to be in school while the insanity of that week takes place. So, this means that we will now be on vacation two weeks into school starting. So many things have changed since the pandemic and nothing seems to be set in stone anymore, so who knows what will really happen. If things stay as planned, the good news is that the week of the RNC may be a remote learning week for kids. Oh, they’ll be remote all right!

We enjoyed Easter at the house with the girls finding their Easter baskets and then spend the afternoon having numerous Easter egg hunts, with various rules and extremely tricky, yet not always fair, hiding spots. While COVID-19 has brought infinite negative consequences as a result of it spreading across the world, there are little victories and moments of sunshine that show themselves throughout all of this. The kids do the dishes daily and the complaining has decreased to almost next to nothing when we ask them to help out with that chore. We also have rediscovered how much fun bike riding is. Brayden, Hanleigh, and I all got new bikes so our rides are much more smooth. Trent is on the hunt for a new one for himself. The girls have gotten creative by coming up with some Quarantine Olympics. The first game entailed each of us putting a cup with a straw up to the waterspout that is integrated into the front of the refrigerator. Whoever can drink the water out of the straw while the water spout fills up the cup for the longest amount of time is the winner. This it’s actually very hard to do. The second game was to guess how far six feet actually is by holding a measuring tape and walking the estimated distance away from the person holding it with the measurement side face down. It sounds simple, but you would be amazed how hard it is to guess what six feet actually looks like. Hanleigh got it spot on. Lastly, April seems to be the busiest month in terms of birthdays. We have lots of good friends who celebrated quarantine birthdays this month: Tonya, Kaitlyn, Cooper, and Nina. Once this quarantine and pandemic is behind us, we will have a lot more to celebrate at one big blowout party!

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