Week 1: Covid lock down

Wow, what a crazy couple of weeks. The disruption to everyone’s lives is just unbelievable. We’re doing our part to flatten the curve with the recommended social distancing and stockpiling of toilet paper.

Thankfully our schools were somewhat prepared by having an eLearning plan in place.  Although it was meant for snow days, it definitely has helped in this situation. The first week was pretty tough because Julie and I are also trying to work fulltime. We made it through and I suspect the following weeks(?) will get better as we get into a rhythm.

Both of the kids have had a crash course in video conferencing. They are doing mostly Zoom calls now and a lot more video calls in Facebook and Facetime.

Peloton and Robots

Julie had a big weekend, she took a weekend trip to New York City with her friend Amanda. She got a lot of good quality time at her favorite place on earth, the Peloton Studio. She crammed in a bunch of workouts (4 cycle and 1 tread) and got to meet her favorite instructors afterward. Julie timed the trip so that she did her 700th ride live in studio!  She sat in the front row and got a shoutout from her favorite instructor Ally Love! 700 rides is amazing! I am extremely proud of all the hard work she has put in. It is probably going to take me another 5 years to hit that number. Even though I wasn’t there physically, I celebrated with her virtually. I did my 100th ride during one of the same classes live from our basement. It was pretty awesome.

Carter had a huge Saturday, his robotics team competed in the Vex IQ Challenge. They have to drive their robots on an 8’x6′ area and try to move boxes or place balls to get points. Here is a video that does a much better job of explaining it. There were 80 teams of 4 kids from a bunch of area schools. The gym and cafeteria was a madhouse for the entire day. Carter’s school sent 6 teams and came away with 1st and 2nd place! His team didn’t win but they did get their school’s Certificate of Excellence.

 

Weekend Catchup

I have been slacking the past few weeks so here is a recap of the last couple of weekends in February.

Carter and I ventured downtown to go to the Chicago auto show. It has been about 10 years since I last went and not much has changed. It is cool to see all the new cars but the show floors are so massive that walking around wore Carter out. Luckily Carter’s buddy Brendon was there otherwise we wouldn’t have made it as long as we did.

Emery finally started her ice skating lessons at Seven Bridges Ice Arena. Santa got her these lessons along with ice skates for Christmas so it has been a long wait to get out on the ice.

I took Carter and Emery to see Sonic The Hedgehog movie. On the way out of the theater, Emery was super excited to get a picture with Scooby doo because it is one of her new favorite cartoon shows. It is funny how everything comes full circle, Sonic and Scooby are both decades old and still cool with the kids.

 

Ugh, I’m over the hill

Yes, it’s true. I’m over the hill. You obviously know 40 is coming but there is something about these milestone ages that make them a little bit harder. Julie really made the weekend great which made the whole thing fly by (no pun intended).

I intended to lay low and just chill all weekend but then Julie surprised me by inviting a couple of buddies up for the weekend. Julie had a bunch of fun things planned for the day. We started off with some indoor sky diving at iFly, made a brief stop at a brewery, watched the Iowa game at dinner, slung some axes at an ax-throwing place, and then wrapped up the night at a few bars in Naperville. Overall a super awesome surprise for such an old guy like me.

The icing on the cake was wrapping up the weekend with dinner and presents with Julie, Carter, and Emery. The best part of getting older is sharing time with them and seeing the kids grow up.

Science!

Emery participated in her very first school science fair last week. Julie has historically helped with Carter’s science projects so I got the honors of helping with Emery’s project this year. We dug into the age-old question, does candy float or sink? After finding out that Kitkat and 3 Musketeers floats we destroyed the evidence…. in our bellies. She did an awesome job with the whole thing!

Finally some snow

The cold and snow came this weekend so it finally feels like winter. It just isn’t winter without blistering cold wind chills and messy salt-laden streets!

On Saturday Carter wrapped up another fun season of basketball with his buddies. On Monday we got outside and hit the “slopes” at Patterson. We didn’t get in much sledding time last year so we took full advantage of the first good snow.

Emery keeping busy

Emery has been keeping busy the past week. Besides having daily wrestling matches with her brother, she has also had a few play dates with friends. We also had to try out Emery’s new ice skates so so we went skating. As you can see below, Emery loves to be on the ice. She is still using the walker but getting much more comfortable and able to zoom around at a pretty good pace.

It was kind of a late Christmas present but I surprised Emery with a new closet system in her room. Her old hanger bar was too high so now she can pull down her clothes without getting a ladder out. Plus she now has a ton more shelves to fit all of the other stuff that was piling up on the floor.

Merry Christmas

I hope everyone had an awesome holiday break! With the incredibly nice weather the few days around Christmas, we spent a bunch of time outside. It was hard to keep the kids outside with all of their presents inside but we managed to get to a few parks. Santa brought some excellent toys for the kids, Emery got some ice skates with ice skating lessons and Carter got an Ipad controlled Star Wars Lego set.

 

Santa sighting

It was a busy weekend a few weekends ago. Friday, Emery’s Daisy troop made ornaments at the YMCA for the Ronald McDonald house. They got to customize a clear ornament with all sorts of sparkles and paint. Emery’s first one didn’t turn out very good but by the second one, we had the process down pat.

Saturday before Carter’s basketball game we all went to see Santa at the clubhouse. The kids got to tell him what they wanted and we stayed for a little breakfast. That night we went downtown Naperville and had an awesome dinner with grandma and grandpa Stubler.

Painting Fun

We decided to do something out of the ordinary and popped into Color Me Mine for some fun pottery painting. Carter and Emery (with a little help) did an awesome job painting their pottery. We can’t wait to get it back from the kiln.

Aunt Shelly sent Ali a nice little care package with some medicine and a new toy. As you can see from the picture below, Ali was vveeerrrryyy excited.

Halloween Prep

Friday we did Trunk or Treat at the Ashbury clubhouse.  Mom took Carter to a birthday party, so it was just Emery and I. The weather was much better than what it looks like it is going to be on Halloween. This might be the only trick or treat we get to do if it is too cold on the 31st.

Saturday was Emery’s final soccer game. It was another awesome season coaching the girls. It is great to see how much they are improving over the past seasons.

Welcome Back

School is about to start so we did a quick visit this week to meet the teachers and have some ice cream. Carter is excited to go back but Emery is beyond excited to start Kindergarten this year. To top it off, she got the same teacher that Carter had.