I’ll be honest, last week is a blur – was a blur? Do verb tenses matter anymore?
Let’s start with an embarrassing video that illustrates my point:
Yep, sign of the times. I got very excited a few weeks ago when Shutterfly emailed me a “deal” to get up to 10 magnets for $1 each! Note to self: Read the fine print. After spending over 45 minutes finding old pictures, selecting magnet layouts and writing captions for 10 magnets, I found out in the cart that only 3 of them were showing up as $1… The rest were between $5-8 each. Turns out the $1 deal was only for magnets “of the same size”, which when I looked back at the email they sent me, was literally in the headline of the offer. I may have lost my mind. I’d say send help, but please don’t.
Feeling like an idiot and not wanting to have wasted an hour, I decided to order fewer magnets and ship them anyway, at which time I got the delivery date of May 26 (I placed my order on April 5). Undeterred, I decided to place the order, since our birthday is May 23, hoping maybe it would show up in time for that. And yep, I sent them to myself.
Anyway, we are baby steps away from FINALLY getting those magnets back in the mail to my sister. Why baby steps, you ask? Because my sweet husband went to Staples to ship them (the UPS line was many people long and our local shipping shop is closed), and after Staples was unable to ship for us, he came home and weighed the package and created a USPS account. Guess what? If you want to ship USPS from home, you’ll need to use THEIR packaging, which we don’t have. So we’ve ordered shipping packages to be shipped to us.
I can no longer talk about this. Just cross your fingers. Oh, and take a look at what COULD be an awesome birthday gift for my sweet sister:
And so, magnets. And that’s just one symptom of stir crazy. On the bright side, some good things have come out of this craziness. The Johnson family has started PUZZLING! In fact, we are working on our FOURTH jigsaw puzzle, and it’s been so nice to open up the house on a cool evening, turn on some tunes, grab a glass of wine (for those of drinking age) and work together. Of things I hope we keep after all this, I really hope this one (and / or a family game night) sticks. And speaking of sticking, check out these videos of our master puzzlers “sticking” the last pieces in place with dramatic flair:
And while the kids helped with the two above, which are 500-piece puzzles (my sister prefers 1,000 pieces! maybe one day), we got a unicorn puzzle that was just enough pieces for the kids to go on their own and see if they’d enjoy it. Turns out, they did – we’re a puzzling family! But I’ll let Ella tell you all about it:
Yep, she can’t stop talking about the fact that it’s for 9-year-olds, and she’s only 5. She’s so excited about that she’s now putting it together again, all by herself.
Here’s our next adventure, already underway. Oh, and a note about that, the succulents jigsaw puzzle above is a TWO-SIDED one. If that sounds confusing, well, it is, but the puzzle makers were smart enough to make one side shiny and the other side matte, which does help. This Monet puzzle is the same, so we hope to extend the lives of these puzzles and get to do the other side next. Brilliant.
As a quick update on homeschooling: it still sucks, and we are no better “teachers” than we were 7 weeks ago. I’m thankful to have had professional help from my sister (to help Zoe arrange her days), my smart teenage niece (to help Zoe scope out a research paper), and my mom (who was an ACTUAL teacher for 30 years) to help teach Ella to read. I hope by next weekend to talk Ella into a video of her reading one of the 24-page books she can now READ. Wish me luck on that.
The best part: not only is Ella feeling more confident and proud about reading, she is EXCITED to read and even wanted to read the first 7 pages (all she had learned at the time) of “Mad Dog” on our companywide Story Time with Bart. My mother remains an amazing and inspiring teacher! While Ella got distracted and didn’t end up reading for the company, Zoe DID:
You can tell by her face and how she’s holding the book that she is a natural. What a fabulous kid!
And finally, a grooming update. Since we decided to shelter in place on March 13, we’ve shared the following adventures at home:
- Bart’s first home haircut (which he tried to help with)
- Zoe & Ella’s first home haircuts
- My first self haircut yesterday, not too bad (you can barely tell I cut it)
- Bart, Zoe & Ella mani/pedis (Bart makes me cut his toenails. Help.)
And finally, I waited 6 weeks hoping the gel manicure I got the weekend before our “quarantine” would just grow out, since it’s a nightmare to even have professionals remove gel – which I why I almost never get them! What timing.
Anyway, I got so desperate I decided to try it myself. After being unable to find anything in stock online (other than some weird “melt it off” stuff), my husband was able to find supplies online at Walmart, which he went out to pick up. Yes, he risked his life for my nails. What a man! Here’s the before picture:
It took me an HOUR to soak each hand and gently scrape off the gel. They looked like they were beyond repair, but after some gentle buffing and care, I’m proud to say my nails are back to normal. Phew.
Today, I’ll be attempting to color my hair. While I have done that lots of times from home, the coronavirus chaos has inspired me to try a new color. We’ll see how that goes. I figure even if it turns out terribly, it’s the perfect time for that.
Hope you and your loved ones are safe and well! Wrapping up week 7 feeling lucky to be healthy and to have such amazing friends and family in the world – even virtually – to share this crazy life with! Stay safe.
And remember, social distancing remains important – even our kids know that, as they put up this sign, unprompted, for our Friday night outdoor dinner: