Is it Friday? What day is it anymore? Do weekdays and weekends really differ at all these days? I kid, I kid. Happy Friday, friends! I feel kind of weird saying “happy,” but here we are. For the time being, at least, this is our new normal. For those of you who’ve been following the COVID-19 situation, you’ve probably seen by now that Washington officially became a “safer at home” state this week and, as such, though we’d been blessed with the luxury of daycare and preschool whilst working, we’ve officially joined much of the rest of the normal populace and now have three children at home while we attempt to continue working. I’m not considered an “essential employee,” though I’m lucky to be essential to my workplace. Nevertheless though, we’re wrapping quarantine week one and, well, this is our normal.
For many of you, the idea of this being quarantine week one for us is kind of foreign, but, here we are. This is reality now. Ryan’s been working from home the last few days, as well, as he’s been sick and is currently on quarters. JBLM, too, is on minimal manning, meaning very few soldiers are working at the hangar/workplace at the same time. As far as I’m aware, they’ll be split into duty shifts, so next week he’ll be able to help parenting while I work from home, thankfully. But for now, we’re simply trucking along, doing our best to embrace this new normal, and just go with the flow as much as possible.
Portraits of Our Quarantine Week One
1 // Our Schedule/Lack Thereof
Honestly, like I mentioned earlier this week, schedules are not one-size-fits-all. We’ve been doing our best to keep some semblance of a schedule while still being flexible enough to go with the flow. I try to knock out some work first thing in the morning while Ryan does some cartoons, then music time with the kids. Then I make breakfast for the kids while Ryan walks Danny, showers, and knocks out some of his own work. Then I dive back into work while the kids do music and center time…basically free play. When Mieke goes down for her nap, we’ve relaxed our rules and decided our kids can play with their Kindle Fire tablets, usually reserved only for traveling. We both get some work done while they’re absorbed before lunch. The biggest thing right now is attempting to differentiate weekdays from weekends, so we still wake them up and get them dressed, reminiscent of our normal schedule. For now, at least, we’re making it work.
2 // The Weather That Wouldn’t
Last week was gorgeous. It felt like spring. There was sunshine, temps near the low 60s, and we played outside every chance we got – all while embracing social distancing – don’t worry. This week, however, it’s back to gray. Temps in the 40s. Intermittent rain. It’s definitely playing on my psyche, but I’m grateful we bough full-body rain suits because you’d better believe these boys are going to bust those out today.
3 // Getting All the Fresh Air We Can
Despite the less-than-stellar weather, I still believe fresh air cures all. Yesterday, the kids, Danny, and I all took a long bike ride and walk through the neighborhood, staying clear of other people, but moving our bodies and enjoying the break from the rain. The kids are definitely confused as to why we have to cross the street when others approach, but I’m doing my best to explain that we’re trying to prevent sickness. That said, if anyone has any tips for explaining coronavirus to littles, I’ll take them all!
4 // Planning Theme Nights
Guys, I’m not the most creative person. Like, at all. But I’m definitely looking for ways to diversify our days – and our fun – up in here. I’m planning a family “drive-in” movie night, we’re planning to do a family picnic in the back of our car after picking up drive-thru one of these days, and I may have ordered a fondue pot just to do something different and fun together. It’s not normal. In fact, it’s absolute chaos most days, but we’re doing our best to embrace and enjoy all this forced time together. We’re even planning to do Mieke’s first birthday party LIVE on my instagram this coming Tuesday! Check out my announcement here.
5 // Patience & Proactivity
This is a season of enduring patience, and it’s one in which we’re all having to relax our boundaries and just work together. The kids are doing pretty well thus far, and watching them play together has been a lot of fun. We’ve also instituted chores, and the kids are doing pretty great with them! They love earning a little bit of money for doing things like emptying the little trash cans, filling up the toilet paper storage, and cleaning the countertops. Ryan and I also decided to be extra proactive before the lockdown started and bought a used treadmill, Big Bertha, who now has a place of honor in our garage. I hate treadmills, but the convenience of parenting/working from the treadmill is unlike any other!
So, my friends, that’s quarantine week one in a nutshell for us. Tell me – how are you holding up in your neck of the world? Have you been ordered to shelter in place or stay at home? Also, drop your instagram handles in the comments if I don’t yet follow you! I’d love to keep up with more people, especially during this time!