We are doing our part to flatten the curve by sheltering in place and socially distancing ourselves from pretty much everyone. We have a lot of loved ones who are advanced in years so want to be very careful, and unfortunately too many people we love are already affected, so pretty much anything we can do to not be part of the problem is our goal. The boys continue to learn online with their school (their teachers are doing a spectacular job converting to online learning in the midst of all this), and home life is pretty much like a typical weekend for them, so it’s not hard on them, for which I’m grateful.
Here’s what we’ve been up to while following stay-at-home orders in New York:
DIY Home Haircuts for Boys
I learned to cut the boys hair at home. I bought a set of clippers from Best Buy for about $50 on sale, and watched some great YouTube videos, and went ahead and gave the boys haircuts at home. It was a beautiful, sunny day, and we have a somewhat shady spot on the side of the house, so while the boys listened to audiobooks, I buzzed their heads. Now they can run around and scooter and play without sweaty hair sticking to their foreheads.
A before pic:
I attempted it for the first time some months back, before watching YouTube tutorials on DIY home haircuts, and let’s just say I’m grateful for everyone who uploads helpful videos online. It wasn’t terrible (not like Henry Huggins had to deal with), and the boys weren’t embarrassed to go to school or anything, but I saw the spots I missed, the parts that were uneven, and I felt so bad! This time, I was better prepared, after studying up by watching others share how to do it. Here is the YouTube video for DIY haircuts at home for boys that I followed – it has lots of great tips, so I recommend listening to it straight through before starting the first time.
Despite the fact both boys have cowlicks and thick hair, it came out pretty darned good! They look handsome, their sideburns are even, the fade in the back looks well done (at least as good as their usual barber does it), and I think I will become better each time I do it. My dad thought I did a pretty good job and asked me to cut his hair next time too 🙂
An after pic (playing with their new video games-, which I share below):
More Great Video Games For Boys
The boys spend their free time outside of online school and reading by gaming, and added two new E-rated games for kids to their video game library. They are currently playing Animal Crossings New Horizons (newly released) and love it! It’s very kid-friendly and fun, engaging, and they keep asking me to create a character and join in because they love the Animal Horizons virtual world. I just worry I will be addicted to it more than I should be (don’t want to relive the Candy Crush year) so for now, I just watch them play 🙂
The premise of the game is that you are on your own deserted island with no other people, and can build your own personal paradise. There are many fun interactions with talking animals, and the island offers a lot of activities such as digging up fossils, fishing, exploring different areas of the island, and more. I tried to get them to describe it to me, and they replied “there is so much!” describing the different aspects and talking over each other as they excitedly discussed it. After a new update (that incorporates Easter egg themes and more) they are energetically exploring new options such as a museum, bigger homes, more shop items (money on the game is earned by searching for, collecting, and selling items around the island). The character transacts with the animals for upgrades to their paradise, all while living life in the dreamland they created.
The official summary of the Animal Crossings New Horizons game (it’s clearer than my sons were able to explain it to me): In Animal Crossing: New Horizons you create your own little slice of paradise as you explore, build, and customize your very own deserted island. A cast of charming animal residents including Tom Nook and Isabelle help grow your budding community. Players make the world their own using a wealth of natural resources to craft everything from tools to creature comforts and decorate however they wish. You can even take a break to enjoy a beach sunset while ocean fishing or hunt down insects at the crack of dawn!
They also started to play Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX, which lets players find out what it’s like to wake up and discover they are a Pokémon! The backdrops look like watercolor illustrations from classic children’s books, and the goal is to figure out how to transform back into a human while saving Pokémon from mystery dungeons. My son is building a rescue team of Pokémon friends to go on missions and save the Pokémon. They LOVE these games!
Reading and Going for Walks
We are reading a lot. Luckily, before the local libraries closed, we picked up plenty of books, so we still have another two weeks of books to read. We also have online resources for eBooks and audiobooks, so we will be able to keep up with our voracious appetite for reading. The boys are currently reading “The Long Long Secret Diary of the World’s Worst…” series, Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library, and City of Ember.
We also try to go for walks often, to get some fresh air and enjoy the early spring day. It beats those feelings of cabin fever. It’s very weird to see sooo many cars on the streets and in driveways these days. These cars are typically all gone during the day as the residents of these home are at school or work or shopping, and now everyone is home, and so are their cars.
Remember the Saucer Magnolia tree we planted in the fall in the front yard? It’s starting to bud ♥︎ My first tree!
We have been trying our hand at some of the art classes on Skillshare. I only just started these so I will share more about this next week, after we have some artistic creations to share 😉 The classes on lettering and sketches look amazing so I personally can’t wait to try these. They are currently offering two months free to try it out, and since I really hope we can get through this and a vaccine or cure is found to help our at risk loved ones by two months, I figure I would try it and learn some new ways to inspire my creativity during this downtime. I hope everyone is making the most of these times sheltering in place, and finds ways to embrace this major lifestyle change in the best way.
We were provided with the video games for the boys to play and share their honest opinions. Posts may contain affiliate links.