Hi internet! It’s been awhile. Well…63 days to exact…since Chicago had the stay at home order because of Covid-19. What a whirlwind of events and emotions the past (long) two months have been! Who would have expected a pandemic – the Coronavirus – would have a huge impact on our lives? But here we are…in the midst of us…living in this very historical time.
We’ve been home, social distancing, working from home, and homeschooling. It’s been an emotional rollercoaster, exhausting, frustrating, and overwhelming. The blog was the last thing I wanted to prioritize. But now that it seems we are in a somewhat “normal” routine, I am finding some time on this Friday night to update the blog.
A different way of celebrating
The weekend of Luke’s 8th birthday was the start of the stay at home order. So we had to cancel Luke’s 8th birthday party and celebrated as a family at home. His friends dropped off gifts by our garage and a few neighbors sang “happy birthday” to him from outside. Although he was a bit disappointed about not having a party, he took it in stride and was a good sport about it. Needless to say, this will be a birthday he will never forget.
We celebrated Mother’s Day at home last weekend. I slept in, ate a nice homemade French Toast breakfast and then we wall sat around the house. I guess nothing different from any other Mother’s Day 🙂
Charlie and I will be celebrating our 9 year wedding anniversary next week. Instead of going out for a nice steak dinner, we are going to order steak from a nice steak restaurant – Maple & Ash.
Sharing a rainbow on our window
During the second week of the quarantine, a friend shared with me an article about kids in NYC making rainbows and sharing them at their windows for other kids to see when they walk by. I thought it was a great idea to do the same thing in our home. So Luke and I cut out heart shapes from the tissue paper and displayed them as a rainbow in our living room for our neighbors to see – and our quarantine rainbow was born! We hope after this coronavirus storm, we’ll all see rainbows. (Check out the post on rainbow murals in Chicago).
Driving around Chicago
Since the weather was cold for most of April, instead of taking walks, we would take an afternoon drive to different Chicago neighborhoods. It was nice to get out of the house while being social distancing from others. We’ve looked at beautiful homes and real estate listings while on these drives. Then we would talk about the reasons why we would or wouldn’t buy the homes. Luke thinks we are crazy but it’s been really fun to pretend to shop for a home you can’t afford.
One of my favorite pictures is of the Chicago Theatre – “We Love Chicago” sign. I think I’m going to frame it as a reminder of this time.
Cooking during the quarantine
I never thought I would say this…but I am starting to enjoy cooking. Maybe because I’ve had more time to cook (no more work commutes). I’ve made banana bread, shrimp ettouffee, Vietnamese shaking beef, chicken gumbo, the Spanish tortilla and chocolate chip cookies to name a few. So far the boys have eaten some of my cooking but that doesn’t matter. They are fed and that’s more important than anything.
Working from home and homeschooling
We are thankful that our nanny comes in part time to help us with the twins while Charlie and I work and homeschool Luke. Although Charlie has taken most of the homeschooling for Luke….which was been good for me and my mental health. We’ve found this whole set up very challenging as we are not as productive as we would be if we were working from the office – from keeping up with all the emails from school and work, work conference calls, e-learning, and making sure Luke is learning and staying busy each day – but we are thankful we both still have our jobs and are all staying healthy.
What I love about this time at home, though, is being home with the twins. I always felt this mom guilt with working full time and not being home enough to be with him. Now, though, we are all home and I get to see them any time I want. To be honest, there are some days I would rather be in the office just to get a breather and time alone. Overall, I like this “extra” time with them.
Telling Ourselves Everything Will be Okay
There’s no doubt this pandemic and staying home and working from home has taken a toll on us mentally. I think the twins are even affected. They are not able to go and play outside as often as we would like for them to. I’ve had days where I’ve broken down, especially when I’m out shopping, it just feels isolating and eery. I’ve felt a burn out with work as there is no longer a boundary between work and home. Everything seems to overlap which an be overwhelming at time.
At the beginning, I would stress out about getting as much work done as possible. Making sure my employer knew I was contributing and working. Charlie and I would work after the boys went to bed. Some nights I would stay up until midnight to “catch up” on work. But in the past few weeks, I’ve felt this burn out. So I’ve scaled back. Told my coworkers I can’t get things done in the amount of time that they expected me to. I’m beginning to take better care of my mental health.
We took this picture of the “Everything Will Be Okay” mural in Edgewater as a positive reminder that things will eventually be okay. Hopefully soon.