With Covid rules and regulations a lot of people might be skipping out on visiting the Easter Bunny this year but that doesn’t mean you have to skip out on Easter 🐣 Pics 📸 of your kids!
Gather up your kids and head up to your nearest State Park. If you are working they are staying open later now, and it is better to go towards the late afternoon anyway – so the sun won’t be shining in their eyes!
The state park idea is fun because the kids can go exploring around the area while you’re doing it or even have a picnic. Throw some quick dresses 👗 on your girls and cute shirts on your boys and let nature do the rest. Try out Portrait Mode on your iPhone!
It was very windy when we went up last week!
Take whatever Easter decorations and props you have and head into your own yard for some pretty pics.
*Have a tripod?! Set up your iPhone to take 10 seconds for an automatic pic of you with your family!
Have an early Easter Egg hunt and take ACTION pics of your kiddos hunting for eggs – in their nicest attire.
Also if you have Easter Pics from the year prior that never got sent to anyone? We were in Disney World for Easter 2019 and had pics with Mr. and Mrs. Easter Bunny that never went to anyone only because they were taken on Easter while there 🤷♀️
Planning True Support For Seasonal/Covid Dysthymia
Overcoming Pandemic Depression: Prepping For The Upcoming Spring/Summer
So normally just to get through typical, non-pandemic years and daily struggles I like to plan vacations. I am a planner! When I first had babies I enjoyed planning their giant first birthday parties! I planned beach vacations. I am just the type of person who needs activities, vacations and occasions to look forward to. Since 2020 hit, this has become rather difficult for everyone.
This is an exciting year ahead (as exciting as it can be) in that my older son is turning 13 next week! My husband and I are celebrating our 15th Wedding Anniversary, my Dad and Mother-In-Law both turn 75 and I turn 40 this coming Fall. I feel the need to celebrate at least with our own little immediate family by vacationing. Vacationing you keep to yourselves, you can social distance, sanitize, Clorox surfaces and wear masks. Any type of a party would be too hard and too risky at this point.
In the past few months I have driven my husband absolutely crazy trying to figure out when and where our next vacation will be…. I thought we had decided on an early May vacation but my older son being in all advanced classes isn’t up to missing and having the extra workload. I think after this year my kids want summer to come and just be done, and be free of the virtual, remote learning. (Although he has no desire to go back into school at all physically.) It is definitely easier to go away when it is Summer and there is no stress of work waiting for him, hanging over his head.
We have all been feeling somewhat of a depression and feeling of being repressed, haven’t we all? In by no means would I ever want to risk causing someone else to get sick, so we take it very seriously to wear masks, stay home, sanitize etc. But it has been a hard year! The back and forth of vacation planning has really given me a sort of manic-depression. In my strong desire to plan a vacation, to have somewhere to go with my family was giving me so much excitement that I haven’t felt maybe since the night before our wedding and before that since I was a little kid. But then the major let down of discussing finances (I haven’t been working and funds just aren’t the same since the pandemic hit) its almost devastating; as selfish as that is. My heart, thoughts and prayers go out to anyone that has lost someone due to COVID-19 or that has had a super difficult time with it themselves – my children and I pray every night for anyone that might have it and for the world to heal. But WOW, I have never had this much trouble getting through a winter funk, every before. Every time we had to reschedule, I felt my heart crumble into a million pieces. I know things can be much worse, and I realize that I am blessed and lucky, but I supposed I have been fighting a depression. With the snow refusing to melt, and the endless cold it has been super hard trying to get outside which always help heal my soul.
So now the idea is to go away after school ends. Which means Summer. Which means heat and humidity and masks. I am in the middle of researching breathable masks, so that we can still go and enjoy as much as we can. My Type 1 Diabetic husband and my younger son who suffers with POTS and a hypermobility disorder both struggle walking through the heat and humidity, never mind wearing a mask. Who wants anyone to feel miserable while on vacation? I am in the midst of purchasing better neck fans and cooling clothing, as well as a sun umbrella to help. But since everyone in my family is just plain sick and tired of a lot of nothing, maybe their excitement to be away from home will overcome the added heat and sweat of a wearing a mask. Can you tell how much this means to me?
So in the short-term this week we are having temps in the low 60’s which is super exciting to be able to be outside and feel pleasant! It will melt the snow! We can plan hikes and find new trails. There is nothing like a good hike in nature to help calm your brain and feed your senses! This will surely help my mind, my heart and my emotions. Easter Sunday is only a few weeks away and that always brings renewal and happiness. I have some surprises for my kids in their Easter Baskets this year. We also have a Legoland in New York, just 4o minutes from our home opening up this spring! We will be there vlogging and we will surely be posting on my YouTube channel. There are some other day trips that I am interested in trying before it gets too hot and humid. Just the thought of all these ventures brings me such joy.
One thing that I have ALWAYS done to keep moving forward is working out daily. It is one thing that I always do for ME. I am not skinny by any means but I do enjoy exercise, it is a therapy just for me. Since the pandemic hit and my kids are a little bigger now, I have added walking with my kids to part of my exercise regimen. I really enjoy the walks and hikes I have had with my kids this past year. I am really looking forward to the snow to melt and enjoying the warmer weather with my kids as we move into Spring. Plus with the all virtual remote learning it has been the only exercise they have been getting since we closed the pool in September for the season. One fabulous thing to look forward to is opening the pool the beginning of May.
My husband and I were walking every night after dinner until the Fall time change and then it became too dark to walk. With the time change in less than a week, and the snow melting I am super excited to be able to walk with him again in the evenings. I will have to change my weight lifting routine to maybe mornings or early afternoons while the kids are still in school.
I am currently in the midst of making a giant lawn sign for my son’s 13 birthday next week. Since it is not yet safe to celebrate with family and friends we need to go all out making it special, somehow, don’t we?! I did purchase the “Happy Birthday” part of it from Walmart, but for his name and the number 13, I purchased a foam board along with some other tools for decorating and installation. I will post a list of the the supplies I used and how it was done. Last August while we were lucky enough to have the pool to celebrate my younger son’s birthday, I purchased 20 balloons from the dollar store and decorated the entire deck and pool area. I used some tablecloths to drape over parts of the deck and hung a bunch of birthday decorations.
Every March I like to start an early spring cleaning, just in time for Mikey’s birthday. Over the weekend I scrubbed down the kitchen cabinets with polish. I was on my hands and knees cleaning the edges of the floors to where they meet the cabinets with a mixture of water, Dawn dish detergent and vinegar. We have a new black lab puppy so if I don’t vacuum every 2 days the hair just gets out of control. I feel like all I do is clean. But so begins the deep cleaning and wiping down of everything. I wish I could just hose off everything inside my house.
Not really sure what the current plan is for our 15th wedding anniversary at the end of April. If the weather behaves and permits I would really love a dinner that overlooks the ocean – but April is generally super chilly in April – so only time will tell! I despise having to make plans around the weather. 😕
If you have any suggestions or ideas on most breathable masks to wear during the summer, and any suggestions on what we should do for our anniversary coming up, I would love to hear and see your comments below!
What have you been doing to fight the winter blues?
What are your spring plans?
I would love to hear from you.
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My how life has changed! Back when Covid hit last March, we were all basically afraid to leave the driveway. It was really hard to relieve some of the boredom and mental anguish of what was going on in the world around us. Having Disney World and Disney Landclosed made what was happening in the world all the more REAL. Prayers to the 400,000 Americans that have lost their lives to Covid-19. As someone who was alwaysplanning their next family Disney World Trip – I knew I was in for a real struggle, and some real emotional damage. I was someone who not only was planning an upcoming trip, but a trip for the following year after! In 2019 we traveled to Disney World three times! I am forever grateful and thankful for all the wonderful trips we have had, not just in Disney but all over. We went in April 2019 and stayed at Port Orlean’s French Quarter.August we stayed at the Wilderness Lodge and New Years Eve through the first week of January 2020 we stayed at the mother of all DW resorts The Grand Floridian.
I knew then that things were not going to be the same for a while so I needed to find some ways to help my whole family – and also as an outlet, a way to keep myself sane! We needed something we could do together while getting exercise all at the same time. So my sister-in-law introduced me to the All Trails App.
It is difficult to put into words how the time walking outside each day really affects and lifts my mental health and wellness. It gives me something to plan with my family. I know they have said it has been proven that nature cures depression – yes! I am telling you it works. As someone who loves, lives and enjoys to plan – I find myself battling so much sadness. I feel grateful and blessed that we are all OK, & healthy and that we have survived Covid but I still feel this deep sorrow… to be missing out on such precious time traveling with my children; while they are still “small” yet not so small. You know really where I would love to be with them.
Being on the “go” 24/7 came to a screeching halt. I was working at an elementary school, (now on leave) and was able to work around the kids being at school. I would pick them up from school and each night of the week we had a different sport, or club that they were running to. In the beginning of the quarantine, it was nice to have a break, but being the very social person I am, has made it a heavy burden to bear. The scenic views we discover while on the trails are absolutely majestic and soul-warming – reassuring that it will be ok. It will be ok even if we don’t see our family, our friends and our favorite mouse for a while.
The only way my children have been staying connected with friends is by playing online, and of course they are online for virtual learning all day. I find hiking to be my only way to disconnect from electronics and find special time with them. I love going on a hike into the woods, only to find a beautiful clearing with water! In the spring and summer these water ways are filled with butterflies, turtles, birds and more. Since it has been winter here in North Jersey it has been a little rough to hike in the cold, but it is still interesting to see what we might find when we venture out.
Additionally, when the kids are finished with school each day we go to our local park which has a beautiful track to walk. This is about a 40 minute walk and we all seem to really look forward to it. We can disconnect from school embracing the good vibes of nature. The movement forcing our blood to flow and fresh air helping lift everyone’s moods and focus. Amazing conversations can happen – most of the time. My youngest is still 10 (who suffers with POTS and EDS) so sometimes he still has a meltdown here and there. We have been lucky enough to spot some wildlife here and there on the park track like snakes, deer and most recently a Barred Owl!
I have also gotten really excited about the sunsets we see while walking at the park after school as well. There is just something about it that is so beautiful & it brings this calm peaceful feeling. This spring I hope to find pretty flowers and butterflies to photograph while out and about exploring.
Hiking is FREE. Hiking is safe: outside – safe and distanced from people. It makes you feel like you are “away” almost on vacation. You never know what you are going to see!
What are you doing to safely pass the time during the pandemic?
We seem to have a good homeschool routine down. As soon as my kids get up in the morning, they are logged into google classrooms and doing their work. They are motivated to get it done early so they can have the rest of the day, to do whatever they like. They aren’t allowed on any screens until all their work is completed for the day. Sometimes they just need some moral support to get the work done.
In addition to the schoolwork, one of the most important things I do every day, now that we are home – is making sure my kids get a few hours of exercise play time – which can be challenging living in the Norteast where some days are 65 and other days are still 40.
We were walking the park track but we haven’t been back there in a few weeks as the cases of the COVID19 became more rampant. So we are fortunate enough to have an extremely long driveway and property to venture around. I try to have the kids to 10 laps of the long driveway every day.
Basketball has been tons of fun – some games of horse – and also my youngest is a pretty good player so my husband will play some 1-1 with him.
One important factor the kids really need right now is family security, don’t just let them sit on screens for hours on end. Show your children that you enjoying having fun with them. They need to know their family is happy to be with them and it really is a great time for bonding. Don’t make it seem like it is a chore to spend time with your kids! You don’t need to spend a lot of money to have fun either!
Here are a few ideas of family bonding time:
A simple deck of cards laying around makes for a fun game of Go Fish. Color & draw together! Read together, even if its just the comics in the newspaper. Play catch. Challenge your kids to a race. As I have been brainstorming for some activities that we can do together as a family, I have put an order in for some Pickle Ball, tennis rackets and balls, magnetic darts. A table top foosball game, as well as a table top billards – thinking we can move to the deck on nice days. Im excited for a speedball turnball set and trying to figure out where a good spot will be. We set up a ping pong table in the basement where the exercise bike and elliptical are located. Ask some friends to borrow any puzzles they aren’t using. Find some Legos laying around and create something new.
Earlier last week some pretty bad weather blew through, which prevented us from completely going outside for a day – so I had my youngest (who suffers from POTS and we believe Ehlers Danlos Syndrome – so it is imperative he gets enough exercise every single day! ) do exercises from a list that I found on Pinterest which was pretty funny. Here’s the link to the video:
I am enjoying creating silly videos of the kids playing outside, doing all sorts of things like hide-n-seek, rolling down the hill and they tried to come up with a thowing the ball at each other type game – we will need to retry that one. The videos are a good way for our family members & friends to reconnect with us and feel as if they are playing with us.
My kids have had a lot of positivity come out of this. In addition to being relieved of the stress and social anxiety of having to go out to school each day, they have also rekindled themselves with some toys they haven’t played with in years and reconnected with each other. They are only 2 years apart so my husband and I have taught them to grow up playing together and caring for each other. Now that my oldest is in middle school that changed things a bit. But being home has rekindled our connections.
We just started a new Disney World Puzzle that I just ordered off shopdisney.com for Easter – so I will definitely have pictures of that when its all finished. It is going to take a while because its 1000 peices. Browsing the shop disney website is givng me a feeling of peace but I really have to be careful and stop ordering things for now.
How are you and your family spending time together during the quaratine? Let me know in the comments below.
When are you planning your next Disney World Vacation?