COVID-19 quarantine week nine

I know there are a hundred memes that say this in much funnier, more concise ways, but it’s hard to conceptualize how long we’ve been in quarantine. It feels so…strange. Like a lot of time has passed but also no time at all.

It’s also strange to think back to my feelings about week one. I was crying, overwhelmed, scared, and also a little numb. Probably more than I realized at the time.

I also remember thinking about the time the same way I think of Christmas break or summer. I wanted to go through my craft cabinet and use up everything. I was going to let the kids have a piece of candy each day and finally eat through our treat stash. We’d find a show and watch it together as a family every evening. That sort of thinking is reserved for temporary blocks of time. Now this feels more like how we live now.

Nine weeks in, I’m both settled in and confused about how to proceed. This is our new normal but also Virginia just started phase 1 of reopening, so what does that mean? How do we make decisions about what is safe when the scientists don’t even really know? For weeks now, all we’ve talked about is COVID and we still don’t know what to do.

If you want to know the questions that are bouncing around in my brain here they are: What’s happening with school next year? Am I going to get strep again? Which on my friends do I need to check on? Why haven’t we seen any of our praying mantises in our yard? What’s going on with Denise on RHOBH!?

In summary, this feels normal and strange and long and short. And I don’t know what’s next. And all things considered, we’re doing great.

Thank you for coming to my therapy session.

We hope the credits are rolling on the strep saga in our household. We have everyone on antibiotics at the same time, and I’m throwing away everything and disinfecting everything else. Dear Jesus, please let this work.

Thanks to everyone for your condolences/advice.

THIS GIRL! Check her out in her bike helmet, looking all confident and cool.

I have spent hours and days and YEARS of my life trying to teach her to ride a bike. It always ended in tears (her) and yelling (me).

I vacillated between 1) she would never learn to ride a bike and 2) we just needed to practice with her more. But practicing was tough because, well, see above about the crying and yelling.

Then one day our neighbor dropped off this tool (without us asking). Three days later Mary was independent on her bike.

Every kid learns differently, but for Mary the balance buddy was exactly what she needed to give her independence and security at the same time. (All of our kids have used balance bikes, and they’ve all learned differently so far.)

I wish I’d taken a better picture. She’s smiling all the time.

Riding down the hill backwards. This resulted in a crash (obviously).

A sign of the times: Mary introducing her class to her new chicks on a video chat.

I love this picture because LOOK AT HER TEACHER’S ENTHUSIASM!

My kids’ teachers have been amazing through this. They’re supportive, enthusiastic, and caring. I’m so thankful for them and how hey’ve scrambled to support their classes.

The kids never want to help me in the garden, but David loves training the sweet peas up the trellis.

This is becoming a habit — they tear apart both couches and up-end chairs and get every blanket in our house for a multi-room fort. It makes an epic mess, but I’ll allow it because it involves all four of them — problem solving, creativity, collaboration. Magic.

Quick chicken update: they are getting big but are still super cute. We now have five instead of six, but that’s a (sad) story for another day. Look how sweet they are all cuddled up and sleeping.

Speaking of chickens, we have progress on the chicken coop! The kids are roosting until the hens move in.

We did a teacher parade for Thomas’s preschool teacher. I let the big kids stick their heads out of the sunroof and let’s just say I know what they’re getting for Christmas next year. They’ve never been so excited.

Stealing oatmeal from Mama’s bowl, a two-year-old specialty.


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