We last left off with a recap of our final weekend with my family and then, earlier this week, we made the drive back to North Carolina. I don’t think we’ve ever been gone from our house for so long but the trip did so, so much for ALL of us and truly rejuvenated our summer. I’m already missing our pool + beach routine and seeing the boys with their grandparents, aunt, uncle and cousin but I must admit I am looking forward to getting back into our usual groove and enjoying the rest of our North Carolina summer.
How have you guys been? Aside from our return to normalcy, like many of you out there I’m sure, I’ve been a little stressed thinking about fall and what it will look like for our children. I know I’m lucky in the fact that I will only have two preschool-age children to consider versus older children but I’m still feeling concerned. With a new baby due in early September, I was admittedly very much counting on preschool to give the boys a place to go where they can socialize, learn and play that would also provide me with much-needed work time and one-on-one time with a newborn.
Prior to the pandemic, Chase was signed up for the 5-day 5-year-old program and Ryder was set to go 2 days a week, with both boys in preschool from 9:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. but we’re waiting to see what their preschool will say regarding our governor’s recent plan for a mix of in-person and virtual learning since our local school district is opting to do remote learning only and our preschool typically follows their lead. From our experience at the end of the school year, virtual learning doesn’t work well for our young kids so I may be looking into pre-K homeschooling options for Chase (I’m not as worried about Ryder since he’s only 2) but it all feels overwhelming. Having both boys home with me 24/7 while trying to work with a new baby feels intense but I know we’ll make it work — we always do. What do plans for the school year look like in your area? I’m hoping for some information from our preschool within the coming week and then we’ll see how things unfold from there as we weigh our options.
But let’s shift gears away from all the stress we’re all feeling at the moment and chat about some things that are bringing some light into our week, shall we? I know I could use a distraction and a smile so my latest roundup of weekly favs are comin’ at you this morning!
Things I’m Loving Friday
Aviator Sunglasses (2 for $24)
During our time in Florida, I lost my favorite pair of aviator sunglasses. I nabbed them from a small boutique during a trip to Park City, Utah with friends last year and LOVED them! I was majorly bummed and didn’t want to wear my fun-yet-slightly-ridiculous heart sunglasses all the time during our visit so I ordered a two-pack of aviator sunglasses from Amazon that had great reviews and looked to be a similar style to my previous pair and some of the Quay aviators out there that look so cute. (I ordered a two-pack of black + black fade glasses because I clearly lose sunglasses easily and a two-pack was $24 versus $17 for a single pair. They’re the same size though the angle in the above photo makes one look larger.) I’m happy to report that the new sunglasses are comfortable, cute and, most importantly, keep the sun out of my eyes quite well!
My mom had the cutest little place mats set up for the boys during our visit that they absolutely adored! The I’m a Food Scientist Place Mats were engaging, educational and FUN for both Chase and Ryder! We used the place mats mostly for lunchtime after spending the morning at the pool when the boys were ready to chill for a bit and eat a hearty meal. Chase asked us to do the “food scientist game” over and over again during our visit and loved measuring his food on the place mat and telling us all about it. (Of course Chase understood the concept a lot more than Ryder but Ryder still had fun pointing to various boxes and participating.) Since getting Chase enthusiastic about food is no small feat, I just had to give this place mat a shout out in today’s post because it truly seemed to make him excited about meal times!
Alouette Spread & Snack Wedges
Any other big-time Alouette cheese fans out there? Their soft, spreadable cheeses are so creamy and addicting. I’ve been known to eat an entire 6-ounce tub of the cheese in one sitting. (To quote Elle Woods, “What? Like it’s hard?”) I’m not sure if the Alouette portion packs are a new thing but I haven’t seen them in our area up until now. I immediately bought a pack of the garlic and herb cheese from ALDI and love the little personal portions. I’ve been using them as a spread on sandwiches or wraps for lunch and as a dip for fresh veggies, chips and crackers in the afternoon.
The Power of Bias and How to Disrupt It In Our Children (An interesting read regarding how to help reduce and and mitigate bias in children and how seeing race and color is a good thing because their eyes will be more open to racial discrimination.)
Weight Gain During Pregnancy (I’ve gained more than the registered dietitian and author of this article did at the point in her article where her doctor told her to “slow down” on her weight gain and love her research-based thoughts on appropriate weight gain during pregnancy.)
Sustainability Challenge: Reducing Junk Mail (A helpful guide to removing yourself from junk mail lists.)
Vegetarian Chickpea Curry (One of my all-time favorite vegetarian recipes! We made this last night and it felt so good to get a lot of veggies in my belly after neglecting them while we were away.)
No Gym No Problem Workout (No equipment needed!)
Question of the Day
What is one thing making you smile this week?