Posted on March 13, 2020September 8, 2020 by AlbertCoping in Interesting Times 2020 March 13, 2020 No School Day 1: Exercise – without EMA martial arts, the kids practiced outside on our deck surely alarming the neighbors. This actually gets Albert out to finally workout as the girls teach him tae kwon do and he teaches them to be … Batman (okay, Batwoman). Photo Credit Albert Chen Here is a link to Albert’s post on coping with the crisis March 14, 2020 Cherishing the special. Elia will find the perfect place to sit near you even if it is on a calf while you sit on a step. Erin is on her couch. Photo Credit Curie Chen March 15, 2020 With Erin bedridden on the couch with a broken knee, Albert and the kids play MarioKart from the recliner. We bought Chromebooks for the kids which come on Tuesday but for now, it is the weekend. Photo Credit Erin Chen March 16, 2020. Much as we would like to say that this is part of the social studies lesson we arranged for them, the honest truth is that they were playing Japanese restaurant with their sushi set. March 17, 2020. Having fun on the deck after a long day inside. March 18, 2020 Elsa dresses and cupcakes. Oh yes that is a cupcake falling during the picture. March 19, 2020 We had three pictures from which to choose, cooking, stretching or Legos. We chose Legos. Here is the meal, teriyaki salmon, french green beans and garlic, pasta aglio a olio, and two grape tomatoes for garnish. Kids made the teriyaki sauce and picked the green beans. Photo credit Erin Chen with a broken knee. March 20, 2020 Would love to say that they were working on something but they were watching “eggs” on Youtube. March 21. 2020 Erin found out her knee is not broken but badly bruised on the bone. It will still take 4-6 weeks in a brace. But that means that she is not worried about it shifting so has had the girls sit next to her. Here is her and Elia, we’ll post one Curie soon. March 21, 2020 Here are the girls with mini cupcakes. Working from home means you have to make sure it is the weekend. March 21, 2020. Here’s the one with Curie. You can still see my black (now yellow) eye a little. March 22, 2020 The girls have their first virtual play date with Garrett and Andrew from school and EMA. They drew pictures, tested each other with sight words and read books together and to each other. And our old iPad 2s have new purpose, go figure. 🙂 March 23, 2020 Picture day! Just kidding, the girls decided to wear these this morning. Since then Curie and Elia have each been in three dresses. At the moment they are dressed as Elsa and Anna from Frozen 2 (yes specifically). March 23, 2020 Here is said Frozen 2 dresses with Olaf. Erin was Kristoff and Albert was Sven, you should have seen their costumes! March 24, 2020 Today was a hard day. But the girls did yogurt. this would be the tree pose. March 25, 2020 Here are the kids working on their Chromebooks next to Albert. Note their hair, Erin said they are looking feral. March 25, 2020 Late night addition. Call this interpretive meditation. Ommm March 26, 2020 Hip hop girls? They kept saying “drop the beat! Drop the beat!” Elia looks like she is going for Tina Turner. That, by the way is the only clean place in the house. March 27, 2020 Elia chose this picture. I do have one where they are looking forlorn and grateful to be sisters after Onward – which we begrudgingly think is a pretty good movie after all, very Pixar – but it is better to have smiling and laughing faces. Dianna, note washed hair. 🙂 March 28, 2020 They said they were bored so it was a good excuse to get some space in the basement and build out a little tunnel town. This is now a quest tunnel that is a portal, tomorrow we are writing a story. Elia wants it to be about Onward. March 29, 2020 We set up a table next to the couch so that we could draw and play with Erin who has been in the couch for the past two weeks. We had salmon, green beans, soba, and rice to dinner as a family for the first time since Erin hurt her knee. It was nice. March 30, 2020 The girls decided they were going to sew today and they insisted that eye protection was needed and found their Nerf/Archery shooting glasses to sew. Yes, that is toilet paper, because they said they couldn’t find fabric. We found them fabric and they made a little pillow and a sack. March 31, 2020 Storytime with Mommy. So here is Erin and the girls having a moment of storytime during the day. The book is online, Erin has been on this couch for almost three weeks with her hurt knee. Only recently have the girls been able to cuddle up to her. March 31, 2020 On a 1-10 scale my moods ranges from moment to moment throughout the day. Today I was a 4, but making this collage got me to a 7, so here is a little fun:On the left was me January 23 with a stylist cut. Then two weeks ago I started working from home and didn’t shave for two weeks. You may know that Erin hurt her knee which has meant double full time for me with the kids. Work is stressful, the kids are off school for the year, and up until recently, Erin needed help to go to the bathroom (plus I had a huge scare when Erin fainted once) – so frankly, I don’t eat as much and forget to drink and lost 10 pounds so far. Silver linings, right? 10 more to go and I will be at my correct weight.The top middle is the best I can grow for not shaving for two weeks, pathetic, I know, Look how long my hair was though, so I bought a hair trimmer on Amazon and for the first time since freshman/sophomore year in Northwestern, cut my own hair – I will need help in the back for the next round or grow a business in front and a party in the back.Middle picture is cut without gel, bottom is with gel, and right is the next day after letting the girls shave the moustache, soulpatch, and goatee. Bear in mind my sister and her husband got a kick out of seeing me so unkempt, and yes before you ask I was doing Zoom calls for work with it like that. I actually like the bottom middle picture, perhaps the angle, but it looks pretty good. April 1. 2020 Original theater complete with dance number. April 2, 2020 For some reason the girls wore swim suits today. They say it is because they were playing on the beach. April 3, 2020 We do a lot of floor living and have these great cushions. When they are stacked it is pretty tall. We tell the girls not to climb them but then Albert goes ahead and did then up there. There was a lot of screaming and laughing. Good times. April 4, 2020 Thank goodness for laughter. April 5, 2020 Grateful with our silly faces April 6, 2020 Bunny ears all around. We’ll post Erin’s picture too. April 6, 2020 Here is the bunny ears picture. April 7, 2020 We started the InBestigagtors on Netflix and have the girls pause the show to predict who the culprit is or solve the case as part of their problem solving work (okay it is a good excuse to watch TV). At lunch, we talked about a case and both Curie and Elia steepled their fingers to think about it (shades of Mr. Burns!). It was pretty adorable, unposed that is why they seem so far apart. If you liked Odd Squad, take a look at InBestigators. Suephy and Ed, the main character, Ezra, is just like Jared when he was 8 or 10. Watch Episode one and tell us. Seriously. April 7, 2020 A second one for the day. When they were getting ready for sleep, Curie asked me to take this one and a whole bunch with them making hearts and two halves of hearts. How could we resist? April 8, 2020 CuriElua upsiedownsies. Their title not ours. April 9, 2020 Heroes on a quest! April 10, 2020 Sibling Day It is early yet, but the girls decided to put their hair up and play dress up. Elia has a side ponytail going and Curie has a braid in the back. The dress Elia is wearing is Curie’s and Albert had to sew her into it to make it fit. April 11, 2020 We had a living room sleep-in and the girls built a pillow boat/fort. April 12, 2020 Happy Easter! Erin was able to make it outside! April 13, 2020 Getting ready for virtual school tomorrow. April 13, 2020 Virtual classes start tomorrow… but for today, there is always time for one more adventure. April 14, 2020 Albert’s Dad’s Birthday and the first day of Virtual School. A few hiccups, but pretty good. April 15, 2020 The girls (including Erin) learn about dry ice… wish we could say that is all the learned… April 15, 2020 Albert also introduced them to pork rinds, a lot of pork rinds. April 16, 2020 We asked the girls what they wanted to do for a pose and they said: “Stay Strong.” Who are we to argue? April 17, 2020 15-minute pizza challenge, it tastes like school pizza, It’s was good! April 17, 2020 They liked it! Friday pizza, just like school, but from scratch. And cupcakes! 🙂 April 17, 2020 LOL. Pizza wasn’t enough, so at about 10 PM we were watching a cooking show on Vietnamese food and we all got hungry. So soy sauce, garlic, a flour dredge and hot oil 15 minutes later voila! Fried chicken thighs, vinegar carrots in a lettuce wrap! April 18, 2020 One of them is playing cat. April 19, 2020 Thank goodness for Erin. This picture is notable for three things: one Erin is well enough to sleep in the bed, get around, and help around the house again. Two, the girls are a godsend. Three, even if in the day there is a lot of fighting and frustration and generalized anxiety, there will be a moment when all is perfect again. It will be okay, we just have to remind ourselves. April 19, 2020 Third self-haircut at home, this time though Erin was well enough to do the back. I also had shave and a style. Voila! April 20, 2020 Storytime. After Curie read to Elia, Albert read them The Faery Prince, a story he wrote in 1995. April 21, 2020 The girls decide to strike a pose. April 22, 2020 Lights, camera… LASERS! April 23, 2020 The kids got a hold of Erin’s phone and took a selfie. Good job! April 24, 2020 Coming Soon,”Talon Knight.” Midnight and Sunbeam are the Sister Swordfighers of Springfield. April 25, 2020 Azalea harvest. April 26, 2020 Bedtime, newly washed hair and a hug for the camera. April 26, 2020 More specialized hair cutting scissors arrive on the left, the middle scissors my mother gave me when I was 17 for college. I cut my hair a lot with those scissors. The clippers were a recent purchase. April 27, 2020 We almost forgot to take a picture for today. April 28, 2020 Playing “princess” in the Chen house. April 29, 2020 Not swimming, today they are gymnasts. April 30, 2020 Soulful singing sisters. . May 1, 2020 Playing make-up artists with watercolor paints May 2, 2020 The doctor asked Erin to take short walks so we did. May 2, 2020 We made muffins from scratch for breakfast. Three M&M, three chocolate chip, two blueberry, and four apple muffins all in one tray. They were delicious. May 3, 2020 We have this perfectly cute picture of the two of them together, but they said we don’t have one of both of them upside-down yet. Who are we to argue? We wrote two camp-type songs today with funny twists and Albert recorded them. Butterfly, Flying Through the Fields, and Social Media, I Hate You… both to the stylings of Polly Wolly Doodle All Day.. Both can be found on Albert’s Album.. May 4, 2020 Sisters. Grateful for our family. May 5, 2020 So this is what we look like on Zoom for family calls. May 5, 2020 While we were on the Zoom call, the girls went to go play and then came back and told us they made a gorilla nest. So we went down and in the middle of the living room and found that they had taken all the cushions and blankets and made a comfortable TV watching place in the middle of the room. May 6, 2020 Earrings? No just stickers. May 6, 2020 It was bedtime and Elia said that she saw Peter Pan in the window. Bedtime was a happy hour later. May 7, 2020 Okay, so this is totally posed, but we did just got done playing team chess with Curie and Erin and Albert and Elia for real. May 8, 2020 The kids next to their first month collages (we actually forgot to include a day in Curie’s but we do have it). May 9, 2020 Maybe we gave the girls a little too much candy for dessert. May 10, 2020 The girls were so excited to make Erin breakfast in bed. Happy Mother’s Day Erin! Oh chocolate muffins from scratch, Colby omelet, bacon, toast, grapes, and blueberries, and OJ. Card courtesy of Elia and Curie, along with teddy bear and azaleas from the garden. May 10, 2020 Third “self-haircut” Erin again helped with the back, she says she is more comfortable with scissors. Got more aggressive with the sides this time. Used the thinning shears. May 11, 2020 Gratitude. May 11, 2020 Bedtime stories. May 12, 2020 Curie wore a white bear coat as an infant and Elia wore a brown bear coat. Hence CurieBear and EliaCub. Here are their bears and those bears’ off-spring apparently a blended phenotype. May 12-13, 2020 Often at night the girls will find Albert when they can’t sleep or wake up in the middle of the night. Elia will say “I have a bad dream” to spend time with Albert after Erin and Curie fall asleep. Recently Curie has started waking up to find Albert as well. Last night Elia got up at 11:00 PM to hang out with Albert, then Erin woke up to have a midnight snack, and Curie found Albert for the morning. May 13, 2020 Sister Sword Fighters, The Return May 13, 2020 Cosplay? Nah, inner Chen steel. May 14, 2020 Shopping for a midnight snack. May 15, 2020 The girls were playing giant Jenga with the blocks and yelling “Science!” because they were using physics to get the blocks to balance. May 16, 2020 Matchbox/Hotwheels tracks. Elia kept saying we needed to make it cooler. Chengineering II. May 16, 2020 Curie graduates to cooking over an open flame, Salmon fried rice. She would make the final step of katsudon, and then crab fried rice through the weekend. I think of Margot and David’s kids. Curie has helped as the sou chef since she was three (even making parchment salmon boats when she was not yet three) but this was a big step for her. She is and was so proud. Yes, that is an Ikea stool. May 17, 2020 Sometimes a little wizarding magik is needed. May 17, 2020 Or a little MarioKart win (okay Isreal and Bella won most of the games) May 17, 2020 Before going back to the quest. May 18, 2020 Elia hardly ever wears the purple dress and today they both did. We wanted to get a picture with both of them in it but this one was more adorable. Curie is in her dress also, though with long sleeves. May 19, 2020 The family cooked together. The accoutrements are from the Hoagland Halloween party six years ago. May 19, 2020 There are many cute pictures for this, but this one seems to tell a story. 🙂 May 19, 2020 This is one of the things they were making. Yorkshire Pudding, like a giant popover, but easier. May 20, 2020 Asked the girls to take their own selfie, this is what they took. They were terrible at it too, dropped the phone twice and Elia had to push the button with Curie holding it. Cuties. May 21, 2020 Forgot to post this picture. May 22, 2020 So I’ve never really colored digitally. I have newfound respect for people who do. Not bad for a first attempt, but I have a lot to learn. Oh, Sister Sword Fighters! May 22, 2020 Bedtime and the only picture we had was the one Albert drew, so here is one right when we were going to sleep. May 23, 2020 When asked to pose, they said that the have run out of poses, and then proceeded to give us this one. May 24, 2020 So you may or may not know, we do not have a standard dining room where we can put away the low table (in the back there) so that the girls can have an open space for dance parties, shows, or in this case, playing ballet. May 25, 2020 It’s not that we have been avoiding the mask picture, this is literally the first time the girls have worn one since we haven’t really been out. We only went around the block but Elia felt better wearing hers. It made us realize we need better fitting masks when Curie’s wasn’t staying on very well, and it was only a single layer one. In any case we took a moment to take a family picture without them. And that is us! May 26, 2020 The girls found their baby blankets. May 27, 2020 Girls scheming. May 28, 2020 Sister Sword Fighters in flight. May 29, 2029 Grateful. May 30, 2020 Saturday night dance party at the Chen house. May 31, 2020 Sweet dreams everyone! June 1, 2020 June 1, 2020 June 2, 2020 Magik a-brewin’ June 3, 2020 Staring contest. June 4, 2020 Safety goggles when hammering cans. June 5, 2020 Spinning the blue recliner. June 6, 2020 Our dining room is multi purpose. Here we are glamping. June 6, 2020 Family portrait June 7, 2020 Is Glamour Shots still a thing? These are their own poses we didn’t even ask for poses, they were doing a dance party and Elia started this. After seeing Elia’s picture Curie wanted one too. June 8, 2020 Right before the tickle fight. June 9, 2020 Thank goodness for the Chen girls June 10, 2020 Sometimes we are just making dinner together. Chicken marsala and cornbread. Odd combination, we know. June 11, 2020 Thank you West Springfield Elementary! Painting signs for tomorrow’s parade. June 12, 2020 First day and last day of school June 13, 2020 Sometimes our multipurpose space is just a dining room. June 14, 2020 So most kids wear other clothes than school uniforms for summer, our kids wanted these dresses from Target and are pretending they are attending Royal Prep Academy from Sofia the First. And of the 8 pictures we took this is the best one with no one blinking. June 14, 2020 Us on our family walk which turned into a drive. June 15, 2020 The same dresses came back on (they actually took them off to sleep and put them back on in the morning). What a pair! June 16, 2020 Okay we bought new dresses in the same style. Soon in red and extra blue ones. June 17, 2020 If you haven’t already downloaded it for your Switch there is a free jump roping game. Curie did 1000 jumps and Elia not to be outdone, did the same. Of course. June 17, 2020 Here is a screen shot of the game. June 18, 2020 There was a great picture of them cooking, but they wanted this one singing and dancing to the Mama Mia soundtrack. June 19, 2020 Sometimes you remember that they are little girls. June 20, 2020 The girls voluntarily asked for a bath because they wanted to take their LOLs to the pool. June 21, 2020 Fell asleep before posting these. Here are the kids on a walk on Father’s Day. June 21, 2020 I wrote this on Erin’s post, but on Father’s day I am simply grateful to be one. June 22, 2020 I love this picture, sometimes it is Curie jumping and Elia sitting but here we are with Elia jumping and Curie sitting. June 22, 2020 Elia got to pick what we did tonight. June 23, 2020 Best friends. June 24, 2020 The girls playing Taiko no Tatsujin on the Switch June 25, 2020 Oh no, photo bomb! June 26, 2020 Mama Mia! Again!? Granted we did watch Eurovision first. June 27, 2020 Chengineering, the girls built it with almost no help. Oh and that is Sigrit in the background. June 28, 2020 Into the Unknown! June 29, 2020 A bit of tae kwon do before bed. June 30, 2020 Fancy Dance Party in the Chen HOWSE! June 30, 2020 Time for a family picture at the Fancy Dance Party. June 30, 2020 The parents. June 30, 2020 Dancing! Look at Elia’s face in the mirror! July 1, 2020 Fort building before bed. July 2, 2020 Thank goodness for the girls. July 3, 2020 inside the new fort. July 3, 2020 My first power tools. They each have an electric screwdriver. July 4, 2020 Creative Galaxy is an inspiration for the kids. Elia has a box of castaway trash to make crafts. Another inspiration is making vegetable picture trays. July 5, 2020 The sofa in the living room has become a semi-permanent bed – all three girls voted. Here are the girls after their bath doing a little dance playing follow the leader while watching Odd Squad – the Olympia and Otis episodes, season 2. July 6 2020 Eating a snack before bed. July 7, 2020 Hiding in the clothes rack before bed. July 8, 2020 Hooray! July 8, 2020 Tic Tac Toe (apparently). July 9, 2020 Pretending there is snow outside. July 10, 2020 The girls want to know if you can tell who is older. July 11, 2020 It is funny what you can make with airplane blankets for a little pretend play before bed. July 11, 2020 Saturday morning. July 12, 2020 So we do know that the little blue car is too small for our girls, but Elia insisted that she could still fit and Curie insisted that she could push her. She later said that the helmet was too small and hurt her head. July 12, 2020 Our Sunday walk with the little blue car. July 13, 2020 Curie said she didn’t understand division so Albert gave her his epiphany on division using area on a learning toy we bought a while ago, and then Elia wanted to learn it so Curie helped her try to understand it. They ended up fighting over who got to do the next math problem. July 14, 2020 Piggyback July 15, 2020 Watching a little TV before sleep. July 15, 2020 A little family time before bed. July 16, 2020 We invented the living room bed – basically we decided to keep our IKEA sofa bed open permanently. It becomes a stage for the kids. July 17, 2020 Teaching the kids to wear their masks. Rawr! July 18, 2020 So neither of us had a pool in the backyard growing up, so this was a treat for us. Yes we paid COVID prices for this 10ft by 6ft pool, but the kids loved it. Now to figure out how to maintain it! July 18, 2020 Backyard pool! Okay it is a wading pool but it is pretty cool! July 19, 2020 Goggles, floaties and life jackets. The girls outgrew their suits so we ordered more today. We will see two different suits next week. July 20, 2020 Butterflies July 20, 2020 Learning knife skills. July 21, 2020 Curie had a spacer come partially out and needs to have it removed. It is not painful just stressful for her. We have called the dentist for an emergency and will be taking every precaution to keep us safe when we go for our visit. Interestingly enough thirty seconds before this picture she was smiling and cracking jokes about it. She was able to eat non-chewables and is peacefully sleeping. Today a colleague had her grandmother pass, and we heard about the passing of a mentor of Albert’s, so it has been an interesting day. July 22, 2020 New swim suits! We went from XS and S to S and M. Curie’s spacer was removed. Oh and Elia is so proud of her new suit, she needs help remembering tankini, and tells us that it is a two piece that doesn’t show her belly. July 23, 2020 So glad they are such good friends. July 24, 2020 The girls testing out the deck chairs in the dining room during the rain. Note, they are watching TV, and now we need to buy two more deck chairs so that we all have one. July 25, 2020 We actually have a picture of the kids trying Tang for the first time, Elia liked the idea that she was drinking what people in space drink, and Curie not liking it that much, but this is a better picture. The girls in their new suits in the pool. July 26, 2020 Backyard pool life, and committing to fun. Yes, Albert is dressed in a 1930’s swim suit. July 26, 2020 Steve and Julie are moving soon and came by to say goodbye. Because of social distancing, Julie and Steve sat in the backyard while we talked to them from the deck. The girls drew pictures and wrote letters and notes and flew them as paper airplanes down to them. We couldnt take a family portrait, so we are using Elia’s. July 26, 2020 Blowing bubbles. July 27, 2020 Maybe cake before bed is a lot. July 28, 2020 Just before the storm, the sky turned yellow and an eerie feeling was around us. The girls loved it and flew around the deck for a while. This shot is unfiltered for color. July 29, 2020 Elia hugged Curie the first thing after she woke up and side hugged her for this picture right before going to sleep. July 30, 2020 Kinetic sand! July 31, 2020 Time to sleep, we almost forgot to take a picture today. August 1, 2020 We now understand that that three scoops of ice cream before bed might n be counter productive. August 2, 2020 We have more pictures of the pool and eating watermelon, but here are mermaids getting ready for bed instead. August 2, 2020 The neighbors left us half a watermelon on our deck. Elia had 9 pieces in one setting, Curie had two giant ones. August 3, 2020 Searching for clues August 4, 2020 Posing, yes that is Albert’s shirt on Elia. August 5, 2020 Drawing is a very modern affair lately. August 6, 2020 Curie fell asleep early and Elia came to hug her. August 7, 2020 Elia decided tonight was game night, without TV, or TV games (video games), so we played Bingo, did puzzles, Scrabble Junior, Chess, and Chinese Checkers. August 8, 2020 Erin bought a rug for deck, so we had breakfast out on it which was a very peaceful experience.. Unlike most people we don’t have a lot of deck furniture. Our dining room philosophy continues to the deck. August 8, 2020 We’ve been improving the house bit by bit and with new deck lights, we lit our first fire of the season with the Solo Stove Bonfire. The middle picture Elia took from the deck. It’s really good. August 9, 2020 Forgot to post this last night. They are making a heart. August 10, 2020This Elia very expressively singing “The Middle” by Zedd ft. Maren Morris & Grey on Let’s Sing 2019/20 for the Switch. August 10, 2020 Albert’s singing reign came to an end today (452,000 points for “Take on Me” by A-Ha 118th in the country yesterday) when Curie beat him in three straight songs. All sorts of excuses were made. August 11, 2020 A little wrestling before dinner. August 12, 2020 Mama Mia dance party in the basement. August 13, 2020 Leaping on the deck. August 14, 2020 Funny how this is what it means to work these days, Actually Erin works on the bed, but we had a person come over to look at our roof so Erin and the kids went to the basement. August 14, 2020 Wrestling before sleeping. August 14, 2020 And then it all is worth it. August 15, 2020 Piggyback rides August 16, 2020 Hangin’ tough, at least the 6 and 8 year old version of it. August 17, 2020 Sometimes it is as simple as a bubble wand. August 18, 2020 Windswept August 18, 2020 Leaf blower indoors? Now that is fun! Powertools for kids? August 19, 2020 We were playing who had the best puppy face August 20, 2020 Trying to settle down before sleeping August 21, 2020 Watching Wonder Woman August 22, 2020 Kids said they wanted to play in snow, so we let them play in polyester stuffing. Amazingly after a snowball fight, snow angels, and an overall good time, they put it all back in the bag for next time. If only the house was like that. August 23, 2020 Lock picking fundamentals before swimming. August 24, 2020 Overly exaggerated smiles before bed. They just got cooling blankets with a Qmax of 0.4. Basically it feels really cool on one side and warm on the other. No pun intended – but pretty cool. August 25, 2020 The first time each of the kids went to Disney we got them Mickey ears. Both were under two at the time and we had to buy them the smallest one they had and even then it was too big. They still fit now. We didn’t have a good reason to wear them, the kids just saw them on the shelf. August 25, 2020 Curie’s was at Disney World and Elia’s was at Disneyland, at Disney World we could pick the font. At Disneyland we couldn’t and we had the classic writing. You’ll have to pardon Curie’s messy hair. August 26, 2020 Clowning around. August 27, 2020 Feeling grateful. August 28,2020 Hotpot Level Up! So before the kids we used to have hotpot at home all the time, then we had some great hotpot places open up near us which made it easier to just go there to have it, but since the pandemic we have not gone, and it is hard/expensive to get thinly sliced shabu shabu meat delivered to you especially if you want lamb instead of beef, so Albert bought a shabu shabu meat slicer like they have at the restaurants. So figure it normally costs us around $85 – $100 to have hotpot as a family or something like $17.49 at Hmart for shabu shabu beef. So $5.99 a pound for the best quality lamb from Costco, $5.99 a pound for beef. Lunch today total – $30, so the cutter paid for itself in one meal! August 28, 2020 Tinkerbell and Periwinkle’s wings came and Erin’s Antiope doll arrived. For our “vacation” everyone got to buy some dolls, so expect to see a few in the upcoming days. August 29, 2020 We watched the Croods, which was really well done, so the girls played cave with the beach tent and we living room camped out to see the movie. August 29, 2020 Elia kept saying the fancy Mulan doll was the most beautiful doll she had ever seen and held the box for a long time before opening it. But then when her engineer doll came she said it was her favorite doll. Elia has decided she wants to be an engineer recently. Curie got her Aurora with ring, and the wedding dress that she put on a Barbie. Curie wants to be a dentist and is waiting for her dentist doll. We spent some time engineering and crafting doll stands out of clay, coffee cup lids, and clothes hangers. BTW for vacation we decided to do “Christmas in July.” August 29, 2020 The kids collect LOLs. Curie was making scale coloring books for her dolls, and Elia was having a hard afternoon, so Albert drew her her own. August 30, 2020 Our first trip outside the house other than a drive since March. Huntley Meadows. It was very interesting seeing the people who did not wear a mask even though the trail clearly indicated that you should. August 30, 2020 Here are the kids with their masks riding the wagon appreciating nature. To be fair this was on the way back and they did great finding dragonflies and birds on the way. August 30, 2020 Christmas in August Vacation, today’s shipment, Elia’s Cheetah from WW84, and Matias from Frozen 2 for Albert. The former is a great doll with a lot of articulation, Matias can barely sit down and can’t bend elbows or knees. August 31, 2020 We have a real tea party with the girls for the first time. August 31, 2020 Yes, that is Elia in the back. September 1, 2020 Sitting on the armchair together first thing in the morning September 1, 2020 Our bathroom has great lighting September 2, 2020 Interestingly the girls like to wear school uniform dresses for school. Here we are as twinsies! September 3, 2020 Sister Sword Fighters in Disguise. September 4, 2020 We saw Mulan and loved it. September 5, 2020 Making candy sushi kits. September 6, 2020 Ooblek is corn starch and water and is a non-Newtonian fluid where sheer forces and pressure make it a solid and if you relax it becomes a liquid. September 6, 2020 Laying on our deck after playing in the pool. September 6, 2020 There’s 104 days of summer vacation and school comes along just to end it, so the annual problem for our generation, is finding a good way to spend it. Like maybe… playing in the pool or laying on the deck or playing RingFit or ooblek! September 6, 2020 Incense coil to keep mosquitoes away. September 7, 2020 Last day of summer. We start the day with a walk around the neighborhood and in the woods by our house. September 7, 2020 Last day of summer. Scallion pancake hack with dumpling wrappers. September 7, 2020 Last day of summer. Pakoras from scratch. September 7, 2020 Last day of summer. Bubbles in the backyard. September 7, 2020 Last day of summer. Water balloon fight. September 7, 2020 Last day of summer. Then we let the kids jumped into the pool fully clothed, had a water fight, then let them have ice cream before salmon teriyaki for dinner. The kids said it was the best last day of summer.