I am still in disbelief that a whole month has passed. This past week, by far, has been the easiest. Dad and I have got an operating rhythm down. But there's also something else happening. In my writing class over the weekend, the group of us talked about a collective surrender that we all seem to be experiencing. At the start of this social distancing transition, it was natural for our minds not to be at ease. Now, after four weeks, it feels as though we have relinquished the fight and have settled into this "new normal".
Last week, I talked to you about potential stay-at-home extensions. Cases are rapidly on the rise as testing has become more accessible. The total global confirmed cases of COVID-19 are rapidly headed toward 2 million. The U.S. alone has over 550,000 cases as I write this. As expected, Los Angeles county extended its stay-at-home order until May 15th. I was holding out a tiny speck of hope that you wouldn't have your fifth birthday in quarantine, Tess. I was crestfallen. You, on the other hand, were unfazed declaring that it will still be fun! Every day, you are both reminding me that life can be a lot simpler than we make it out to be. It will be just the four of us celebrating on that Thursday, your actual birthday. But I'll make a wish now hoping by that Saturday we might actually be able to gather with friends and family in the flesh.
It did, in fact, rain all week. We didn't get out too much but seized the opportunities when we could. We've started this habit of doing snack walks if you're looking at these photos and videos, wondering why there's always food in your hands. It started to rain on us as we were finishing our walk on Monday. Tess and I ran all the way home, dodging raindrops, laughing the entire time. This past week, distance learning officially started for Tess. We thought we were going to luck out with Tess being in Pre-K. But we were wrong! The daily lessons take anywhere from an hour to an hour and a half. There are sound bytes embedded into them helping Tess learn Mandarin. I'm actually impressed. Miles even got a taste of distance learning this week, having a couple of Zoom sessions himself. While there was a good amount of screen time (the rain!!!!), we did a ton of zany things too. You kids have become obsessed with Queen's "We Will Rock You" so imagine that playing on loop in the house. There was Tik Tok, pretend YouTube videos, dancing and obstacle course running. Dad is a little bit more reserved with you guys, but I love forgetting that I'm a full-grown adult and getting wild with you. We, of course, baked and made Chocolate Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins. For me, the best part of the baking experience is the end when we all sit down together. I love to see the pride burst out from Tess with her first bite. Easter landed on Sunday and I started to feel mom-guilt. It was raining so I thought I'd forgo the egg hunt that I've put together for Tess for the last two years. But, Tess, when you realized it was Easter, the first thing you asked for was the egg hunt. I couldn't deny you the fun. So we did a makeshift hunt inside with prizes you didn't realize you already owned. Not my finest mom moment, but I will make it up to you guys next year. While I was in the garage retrieving the plastic eggs, I stumbled upon the training potty and brought it inside. After setting it up, Miles gave it a go. I mentioned a few weeks ago, Miles's vocabulary continues to explode. He asked me for "privacy" in the most adorable toddler manner, shut the door and poo'd and pee'd on the pot! We're keeping the bar of consistency low because a later performance (where privacy was also requested) ended with poop on the floor. He then proceeded to pee on his bedroom floor after bath time. Insert face palm emoji.
This upcoming week will be a change for us. Mom got news she really needed to hear on Wednesday. She gets to go back to work! For now, it's only part-time but I couldn't be happier. Though the news comes at a time when we've finally got our family groove going, the honest truth is that I have constantly been trying to fill my time at home. I've realized I don't do well with idle time. I don't seem to have the personality type that can embrace this lull. So to my great delight, three days a week I get to lock myself in a room and exercise my brain! I'll be leaving Dad to handle you both. I definitely got the better end of the stick here. Be kind to him and be good listeners! We'll find out how it goes next week! We love you to the moon and back!