Been awhile since I posted a Family Friday update! Both the girls have started school for the year – one has already been “quarantined”. More on that in a moment. My baby is now 5, we celebrated both of their birthdays with a joint party, Mark turned a year older (41!), the girls had their first airplane flights, and Shea will be turning 7 next week! Been busy!
A few weeks ago, our dear friend Jess, the girls’ nanny from a few years ago, took the girls to our downtown’s “fall fest”. They always have a petting zoo and fun stuff for the kids – it’s one of my favorite fall events near us and to learn that I’d booked their birthday party the same day, I was sad! So, dear Jess took the girls to the fall fest, all decked out in their birthday dresses, so that I could set up for the party and Mark could pack coolers and race around picking up pizzas. Jess texted and said the local newspaper asked to take a photo of the girls petting a bunny and lo and behold, they had a massive photo of them in the paper, which also ended up as the cover for their Facebook page (below). They look quite over-dressed for the occasion, but it was cute! Mark and I have been getting copies of the newspaper page from friends and coworkers for keepsake.
The girls got LOTS of new toys from their birthday and have thoroughly enjoyed playing with them. As Gina and I talked about on our “Things We Said We’d Never Do” podcast episode, I talk about how we don’t buy gifts for our girls and so after Christmas, they have a full 9 months to enjoy what they’ve got 😉 They just opened up gifts in Atlanta from their aunts and got roller skates…that light up! And color-your-own unicorn PJs. Mark got an advent calendar of beer (#jealous).
Piper had her first overnight accident…ever…a few weeks back. When I asked her about it in the morning she said, “I’m sorry. I just dreamed I was swimming with mermaids and I know it’s OK to pee in the lake…” I laughed hysterically and couldn’t say she was wrong!
I don’t hear a TON about school from either of the girls. I continue to ask questions and get a bit of excited feedback about lunch and recess. Sometimes music or art or gym. We’ve started a new routine of reading the library books they check out from the Media Center at school BEFORE the TV goes on at night. We’re going to try to stick with it – it’s good for all of us!
On Mark’s birthday, last Saturday, the 25th, it was beautiful out. We had no real plans and so he decided we could go to the dunes that are about 10 minutes south of us and go for a hike. Piper chose the BIGGEST dune and climbed it TWICE in the time I got up once. While she doesn’t warmly embrace many athletic things, the girls love, love, loves to climb sand dunes. We were all pooped, sitting in one of the valleys, and Piper was running up and down more dunes. The next day after church, Piper wanted to return to the dunes for more! Mark took them and I got a TON done around the house. That quiet time can be nothing short of bliss!
This weekend, we headed to Atlanta to visit Mark’s sister and her wife in their beautiful new home. They are gracious hostesses and we’re staying in their master suite. SO BEAUTIFUL! The home is stunning and decorated to beautifully! I’d like to think my house would be as tidy, clear, and beautifully decorated if I didn’t have kids, but that’s likely not the case 🙂 We are heading to the aquarium today and have a weekend of fun ahead, I’m sure.
And at the very least, we’re here. When I got a call around 2pm on Tuesday from the girls’ principal sharing that Piper had had a (masked) COVID exposure on Friday and that I needed to come get her, my heart sank. We’ve all been so excited for the trip and nevermind managing work and COVID woes. I immediately took Piper for a rapid test (negative, day 4 post-exposure) and was told that in order to bring her back Monday, she would need a negative test on day 5, and that if I wanted her to return sooner, she would need a daily rapid test. The health department informed me that a rapid test is good for 24 hours, however the school wanted day-of. Well, tested sites are not open before 9:30am near us and results take up to 1 hour at some locations. Needless to say, Wednesday and Thursday were a juggle of early meetings, one kid getting on the bus, working from home with Piper, and then COVID testing and getting to work by…11? Such a mess! I ended up getting tested Tuesday when I took Piper the first time because it felt like the right thing to do, especially with upcoming travel and then yesterday afternoon, Mark shared that he’d just been feeling super tired and so he went for testing, too. Also negative. Phew. This was the first time anyone other than me has been tested and I haven’t been tested since last fall when I once had an exposure and once didn’t feel super hot. Like everyone else, I’m pretty over this pandemic.
The girls did great on their first flight. We opted to fly out of the small (expensive) airport near us and save the trip to and from Chicago O’Hare. We were door-to-door in 4.5 hours which to the girls, certainly felt plenty long, but in reality was a breeze. They opted to sit together on the plane which was a tiny two-and-two row jet with just 13 rows. Both girls thought the snack was awesome and both had to check out the bathroom on the 1 hour 25 minute flight despite using the facilities TWICE before take-off. Eye-roll. They looked very nervous at the point of take off and both were gripping the arm rests tight, but they did great. I didn’t even get a complaint about ear popping. Shea likes to tell the story that she pooped on the airplane when she was a baby (true, she had just turned 1) and that Piper was on a plane when she was in my belly (true). But for all intents and purposes, this was their first REAL flight. They also liked the magic stairs (escalator) and tram at the Atlanta airport. Big, big stuff going on in these little lives!
Shea’s birthday is Wednesday and her classroom has a nut, dairy, and gluten-free need. Must be store-bought. HELP!!! What the heck should we send?! She has informed us that she wants mac-n-cheese for dinner – the boxed stuff with powder. No other real plans because we’ve basically been celebrating birthdays non-stop since Piper kicked us off on September 8th.
I’ve got a bit of planned PTO to go see my bestie in Chicago next week in her new (for now) home as her forever home is being built. Her son also celebrated a birthday in September so I’ll finally get a few boxes out of my front entryway.
We are off to enjoy Atlanta – happy Friday to all and have a fabulous weekend!