Easter egg dyeing! Backyard camping! Egg hunting!
We've thankfully been having terrific weather, so we decided to do a backyard campout. Beth made the sacrifice to stay back by herself in the empty house. Hopefully it wasn't too lonely for her, reading a book and drinking a glass of wine all alone. Meanwhile, I slept in the tent with three boys under ten.
It actually went surprisingly well. They were armed with many flashlights. Much giggling occurred. I read some chapters of Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing. We saw the Big Dipper. And everyone slept through the night!
We packed the tent up quickly in the morning because it was egg hunting time. The boys raced around for round after round of hunting, and then did some egg hiding for the grownups. For someone who didn't grow up hiding eggs, Beth is quite a formidable competitor. She out-hunted me in both adult rounds, in one notable instance diving under our steps to beat me to an egg, nearly crushing it in her grasp. You'll want to click through the photos for that one!
The mood was getting a bit dark over here - too much juggling of schedules and screen time and learning and generally being on top of each other - so we decided to go on a hike. We are all much improved.
But first, we finished a very challenging puzzle. Good to accomplish something.
Then Asa chose his outfit for the day.
Then we went to Belcarra Regional Park, a first for us. Awesome coastal trail to rocky outcrops, with sea cucumber (!), garter snake, and crab sightings.
We are a little late to begin chronicling our quarantine adventures, but no time like the present, particularly since it looks like this physical distancing will have a too-long shelf life. To remember it, we are going to 'try' - amidst the chaos of work, 'homeschooling' three children, and general sanity retention - to put in a little effort towards capturing memories. We began to isolate our family March 14, so here we are, mid-week three of these strange days.
Week 1: nature adventures. As Obie was on 'spring break,' we did what we could to just find spots away from people. This entailed a ton of hiking, including to Whytecliff Park, Lighthouse Park, Centennial Beach, Iona Beach, lots of bike rides, and more. The kids were generally really happy, as we spent a ton of time together in nature.
Week 2: online school began for Emmet. Juggling three kids' developmental needs has been tough, but we have had some sweet breakthroughs (along with some meltdowns and many learning moments for Chris and me on how to do this well and not well). Family 'events' included sushi making, scavenger hunts, backyard seed planting/garden creation, defogging car headlights with toothpaste, popsicle design, creation, and consumption, the 7pm nighttime ritual of cheering for health workers, more bike rides (see video of Chris reading poetry to the kids on a bike ride), and hikes to the Endowment Lands and Stanley Park. Our general approach at home is Asa tags along to Emmet's 'curricula' and Obie gets to choose what to learn in this last week of 'spring break.' Breakthroughs included:
- Knife skills for cooking (Obie)
- Reading an analogue clock (Emmet)
- Subtraction (Emmet)
- Coming downstairs without waking us up, playing, and getting own breakfast (Asa and Emmet)
- Implementing daily and weekly chores (all small humans)
- Cleaning room after nap (Asa)
- Getting fully dressed on his own (Asa)
- Co-creating a book called 'The Dream' (Obie and Emmet)
- Obie and Chris afternoon runs (while catching Pokemon)
- Cool online classes of Obie's choice - periodic table's connection to Greek mythology, history of monsters, and more
- Creative writing breakthrough - online Pokemon class, where Obie was able to write Pokemon 'scenes' - battles, events, etc. (Obie)
- Confident bike riding on a pedal bike (Asa)
- Counting money (Emmet)
- Bike hack - mounting bike rack on cargo bike to take the little boys on family biking adventures (Chris)
Week 3: online school begin for Obie. This includes a lot of self management, organization, and initiative-taking. So far, so good!