Thursday, March 26, 2020

Our Week – The One with Quarantine, Week 1

I’ve been documenting our weekends and weeks here on the blog for five years now, and like any other time, I plan to continue documenting our time in quarantine.  We are living out history right now, and I know that one day when our grandchildren are reading about all of this in their history books, these “journal style” entries will be an interesting tool for them to have.  I hope they will find it useful to have a firsthand account of the events and I hope it helps them understand just how extreme the situation was.  I’ve lived through some very scary times (post 9/11) and some very sad times (personally, post miscarriage), but I’ve never in my whole life lived a week more bizarre than last week… 

Monday, March 16 (Day 3 of Quarantine)

Friday afternoon, the kids’ school had announced that the kids were officially dismissed from school until at least April 6 to do their part to help stop the spread, and they implemented their Always Learning program for the kids to do at home so they won’t get behind.  Obviously, I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect since we’ve literally never been in this situation before, but I had received lots of emails from the teachers over the weekend, so I knew the workload would be plentiful.  Before we could start homeschool on Monday, I had a dentist appointment at 8 AM that had been on the calendar for six months, so I had to get up early and get out the door.

The upside of the kids not having school is not having to wake up before the sun at 6 AM to get the day started!  I set my alarm for 7 AM and got showered and ready for the day as I always do.  B got up just behind me and got showered and dressed, and then he headed downstairs to start his workday from home.  We are so incredibly grateful that he can do his whole job from home so we don’t have to worry about him exposing us to germs, and we also don’t have to worry about him missing any paychecks.  So grateful.

I went to go get the kids for breakfast, and Jacob was already up as he’s our early-riser.  That day I think he said he woke up around 6:30.  Just crazy.  Haha.  Olivia loves to sleep in, but by the time I went to get them, she was already up, just hanging out in Jacob’s room as she always does when she gets up before us.  The three of us went downstairs and made breakfast, and B came out of his office to join us before walking back in his office to work. 

I left the house at 7:45 to run to the dentist for a TMJ/bite guard check-up, and I was thankful to have the first appointment so I didn’t have to be around a lot of people and sit in a chair that someone else had already sat in that morning.  However, when I arrived, I was told that my hygienist was out with the stomach bug and that they’d have to reschedule me.  They apologized profusely that they hadn’t had a chance to call me to let me know, but they’d just found out.  They rescheduled me for the following week (much to my chagrin since I wasn’t wanting to be out and around people), but within two hours of me leaving, the Georgia governor mandated that all dental offices close with the exception of emergencies.  My appointment was canceled until further notice. 

We were running low on groceries, so I headed straight to Publix after leaving the dentist.  Ugh.  We desperately needed milk and I also needed some produce, and I was shocked to see that the shelves were already bare for produce, bagged lettuce, bread, water, meat, frozen pizzas, waffles, and frozen vegetables, among other things.  It was only 8:05 in the morning.  Sigh.  Fortunately, they did have milk, so I grabbed two as I always do, and then I bought a few other things that they did have in stock that I knew we’d need soon.  The only meat they had left was three Boston butts, so I bought one just to have something on hand.

I got home, put the groceries away, and then it was time for the kids and I to start their school day.  I was pleasantly surprised to receive a text message promptly at 8 AM (the time the kids normally start school) with a link to a Zoom video for our morning prayer with our school’s president and the lower school principal.  The school has been sending a video every single morning at 8 AM since then, and it’s been so wonderful to start our day in prayer with people from our school even though we can’t be together.

We got started on our work for the day around 9.  We initially started at the kitchen table, but once I realized what a big load of work there was, I knew it would be best to move everything to our formal dining room table so we could leave everything set out, and not have to clean it up constantly in between meals.  That table is huge, too, so we’re able to spread the kids’ work out over the various subjects, and still have room in the middle for a basket of pencils, a basket of crayons, the pencil sharpener, and a few other tools they use frequently.

Since Monday was our first day ever of homeschool, I had multiple emails from Jacob’s two teachers and Olivia’s teacher, and because the kids use so many applications at school (YouTube, class websites, Kahn Academy, Google Classroom, AR website, Quiz website, etc.) I was immediately overwhelmed.  Panic set in pretty much immediately, but after seeing how organized our school and teachers were, I was able to get my bearings by the end of the day. 

Our school had already whipped up a new page on their website that’s password protected, and all work for that day was already uploaded for each teacher by grade.  Everything was easy to find, and everything the kids needed to do was right there in one place. 

In addition to that, both of Jacob’s teachers (who are incredibly organized and just plain fantastic), each provided a weekly to-do list, organized by day, of every single thing that he needed to accomplish that week.  And Olivia’s teacher has been providing a new checklist each day of the things she needed to accomplish, including links to all of the supplemental videos.  Both kids already had assignments lined up from their primary teachers for every subject, and they also had assignments from their specials teachers (PE, Art, Library, Spanish, and Drama). Jacob was sent home with packets for each subject on Friday before school let out with all of the printouts he would need for each subject, so I didn’t even have to print any of his work.

The only thing I had to print was his two checklists for the week (one for each teacher), and then I printed Olivia’s daily checklist plus her “daily message” that her teacher has the kids dissect every morning at school.  Jacob used B’s laptop to do all of his work, and Olivia used my iPad to do all of her work, and both of them wore headphones so they wouldn’t distract each other with their videos.

Both of the kids’ teachers had already sent lessons for their subjects via Zoom that day, so they were both able to keep learning the same things they would have learned if they had been in school.  Once their lessons were over, they pulled out their papers and opened Google Classroom to complete their assignments.  They were both so excited to see their teachers on those Zoom videos!

Obviously, none of us have ever done homeschool before, and because we have two kids who normally have three separate teachers, all of my time was spent running back and forth, trying not to stress that I couldn’t be in two places at once.  One Mommy trying to do three teachers’ jobs at the exact same time is tough, y’all.  There were lots of tense moments that day, and we also had some issues with technology… having four people on wifi at the same time definitely caused a strain on our internet service.  The kids ended up finishing their work a little after 3 PM (the same time they normally get out of school), but we called it a win since we made it through day one.

After their work was done, I made them get dressed for the day (note Olivia’s fancy pink maxi dress – LOL) and I sent them outside for some fresh air.  I joined them because I needed it as much as they did.  After outdoor time, I let them have free reign over the TV because I had to get to my office to work. 

I made beef and parm pasta with our very last thing of beef (it’s impossible to find at stores right now), and I divided it into two meals, so we could eat the leftovers later in the week.  I don’t often drink on the weekdays, but that day called for a glass of wine because it was a humdinger, y’all.

After dinner, our whole family of four got out of the house and went for a family walk around the neighborhood.  It was good to get out of the house (and out of our own back yard) and I felt refreshed after coming back inside. 

The kids went to bed at their normal time of 8 PM because we’re trying to keep them on some semblance of a schedule, and then B and I spent the rest of the evening catching up on shows. 

And that was just day one.  Whew.

Tuesday, March 17 (Day 4 of Quarantine)

Tuesday was much of the same – up and ready, breakfast, I threw the Boston butt in the slow cooker to cook all day, prayer with our principals, and homeschool.  On Tuesday everything was much smoother, and the kids ended up finishing all of their academic work just before lunchtime… much better than 3 PM that we’d finished the previous day.  The kids’ school librarian sent home Book Bingo and Olivia decided to read “on a blanket” to check that one off of her list. 

After lunch, we spent some more time outside, and the kids also wanted to play with some Snapchat filters.

Our diocese sent out an announcement that day, canceling all public masses until further notice (something that has literally never happened), so the pastor at our church asked all of us parishioners to send in pictures of our families and the school kids so they could tape us into the pews and see all of our smiling faces while they do mass.  They are continuing to do daily mass every weekday morning, and mass once on Sunday morning so that we can all livestream and “go to church” and I imagine it’s probably pretty odd for them to be preaching to a bunch of empty pews.  They posted an update Tuesday afternoon on how it’s coming along, and I was so excited to see so many pictures already there!

Tuesday evening we had pulled pork sandwiches and I bagged up all of the leftover meat to freeze.  One Boston butt usually feeds our family about 5-6 times, so we now have some good meat on hand in case we can’t find any down the road. 

After dinner, the weather was beautiful yet again, so we all headed out for another family walk.  After our walk, we all went inside to Zoom with our school principals, our pastor, and all of our school friends and families for a family rosary night.  I just love how much they are doing to keep all of us connected during this difficult time.  My goodness, we all need it so much.  <3

Wednesday, March 18 (Day 5 of Quarantine)

Wednesday, I had to get an allergy shot (a necessity for me, especially this time of year), so I got the kids mostly finished with school and I arrived at the allergist at 11:30 AM, just before they closed at noon.  I’ve found that’s their least busy time all week.  The earlier you go, the busier it is, and I knew I wanted to be around as few people as possible.

Fortunately, there was only one other girl in the room besides me, so we were able to sit super far apart.  I kept my purse in my lap the whole time, used hand sanitizer twice, and I was out of there in 25 minutes. 

On the way home, I stopped by the Chick-Fil-A drive-thru to break up the monotony of sandwiches for lunch, and CFA was running that drive-thru LIKE A BOSS.  Most restaurants had shut down their dining rooms by then and were take-out or drive-thru only, and even though that drive-thru line was hella long, I was in and out of there in less than five minutes.  Didn’t have to get out of my car, only had contact with two people, and I wiped my card down with a hand wipe after I paid.

When I got home, I left the bags in the car, went inside, washed my hands, went back outside and grabbed the bags, pulled all of the containers out and opened them, washed my hands, and then we ate.  You just can’t be too careful with germs right now.  And while I’d love to just quarantine completely and not have any contact with the outside world, I also think it’s important to support businesses (especially local!) and the economy right now.  So important. 

After lunch, the kids watched their Zoom video from their Drama teacher, and then the three of us went out in the back yard to let Jacob practice some baseball.  It was pretty dang hot that day, though, so we ended up coming back inside after just 30 minutes.  The kids watched their movie for the afternoon and I did some work and had my quiet time and meditation for the day… the reading for that day was pretty darn fitting.

That evening we had breakfast for dinner (eggs, grits, bacon, and toast) and then all four of us went back outside for some baseball.  I even got in on the action, batting.  ;o) 

Thursday, March 19 (Day 6 of Quarantine)

Thursday morning, the kids took a break from their homeschooling to watch the recycling truck come through… the things we’re doing for entertainment these days!  Hahahaha.

The kids worked on school work all morning and then Olivia decided to read under the table for her Book Bingo.  :o) 

Once the kids were all done with their school work, I set them up with a yoga video on YouTube, and they did that while I made lunch. 

After lunch, I had a Zoom Home and School meeting with all of the ladies at school.  The school had made the hard decision to cancel our spring fundraiser, so we had to tie up all of the loose ends and close out everything that had already been started since we were well into the planning phase. 

I spent the rest of the afternoon working on the blog while the kids watched a movie.

Thursday evening we had leftover beef and parm pasta (cannot be wasting food at all nowadays since so many items are out of stock everywhere!) and I poured another glass of wine because it had been another long, exhausting, and stressful day.  My bible study girls and I all have a group text, and we all took turns cheers-ing each other with pictures of our drinks… turns out, I wasn’t the only one drinking on a random Thursday night.  Pretty much everyone was!  Ha!

After dinner, we pulled out our tried and true – STOMP ROCKET – and the kids had a blast with it.  They love that thing so much and it’s a great way for them to get some physical activity.

Thursday evening, a couple of local news outlets had picked up the story about our pastor taping our faces into the church pews so I was able to see the progress on Facebook… it was really filling up by then!  And yes, our family is in there... my mom made sure they taped us up in our usual back pew.  Hahahaha.  

Friday, March 20 (Day 7 of Quarantine)

Friday was an exciting day for schoolwork, because both kids got to Zoom live with their teachers and all of their classmates!!  Jacob had two sessions since he has two teachers and all of the kids were just so excited to see each other.  Olivia was all up in their business since she knows so many of his classmates, so she was right there by his side the whole time.

While I made lunch, Olivia practiced her dance recital routines that her dance school had sent.  Unfortunately, there is a lot that she hasn’t learned yet, so I’m not sure how well she’ll do if she does, in fact, get to be on stage for her recital this year.  I’m just praying everything goes back to normal before then so she can have more instruction from her teacher prior to the recital.  Although, honestly at this point, I’m a little worried the kids won’t go back to school or baseball or dance at all for the rest of the year.  Hopefully that won’t be the case, though.

After lunch, I turned on another yoga video for the kids, this time Frozen!  They were thrilled!

After yoga it was time for Olivia to live Zoom with her class… can you tell she was excited?!  Just look at all of those sweet little faces.  She was especially excited to see Aubrey, her BFF, and the little boy who she has a major crush on.  Lol.

After that, it was another afternoon of work for me and movies for the kids, and then it was time to stop and get ready for dinner.

I made grilled cheese and tomato soup for dinner since it’s Lent and we’re not eating meat.  After dinner, we all piled in the car and drove to my Mama Cass’s house because it was her 91st birthday and we wanted to celebrate her!  P.S. How appropriate is my shirt right now??

Since she is 91 years old, she’s more at risk, so we knew we couldn’t have all 30 of us pile in her house.  Instead, we canceled her original big party, everyone who was out of town stayed home, and those of us who do live in town all stood in her front yard as far apart as possible.  The out of towners all joined in on Facetime, and then we all sang happy birthday to my wonderful Mama Cass.  Everyone stood around chatting for about 30 minutes and then we all had to go our separate ways as it was getting dark.  It was, by far, one of the weirdest things I’ve ever done, but it was definitely a bright spot in the week since we got to see real, live people.  It just really sucks that we weren’t able to celebrate Mama Cass the way she deserves to be celebrated. 

After that, we went back home (because there’s no where else to go!) and then B and I settled in on the couch with Moscow Mules to watch Paul Thorn (one of our favorite musicians) live stream a little concert for us.  The one good thing that’s come from all of this – lots of free live concerts at home!

Saturday, March 21 (Day 8 of Quarantine)

Saturday morning was especially lazy.  We were all exhausted after our first week of home school so we sat around in our PJ’s all morning watching Frozen 2 and Lego Masters.  I did finally take the time to clean out my purse (first time since about a year ago) and I was able to get rid of so much junk that was weighing me down!

That morning, Jacob’s baseball coach sent out a group text with a picture he’d taken of all of the boys on opening day and he sent the sweetest message with it.  I teared up immediately and it made me long for normalcy more than ever.  We miss our baseball family so much and it’s killing me that Jacob is getting robbed of his first and last season of coach pitch baseball… especially since they had all practiced so long and hard.  Sigh.

I had taken a poll on Friday asking followers in my Instagram stories how quarantined they were, and I went through and tallied the responses Saturday morning.  I was so happy to see that the majority of people were doing their part to flatten the curve, but I was baffled that some people were still responding with a “2.”  I completely understand that some people still have to work, but I cannot wrap my head around the fact that some people are still getting out to do non-essential tasks.  It’s just selfish.

The four of us spent the entire afternoon out in the back yard.  The weather was beautiful and warm, so the kids played while B and I cleaned off the porch.  The kids even got in on the cleaning!  We figured, we’re going to be spending loads of time at home, so we might as well be able to enjoy the porch!

The last hour before dinner was spent playing video games (B and the kids) while I tried to get caught up on some blog work.  Homeschooling and having the kids here 24/7 is already taking its toll and I’m not sure if I’ll be able to keep up with all of this if we have to continue this way much longer. 

B picked up takeout for dinner at one of our favorite pizza places as we’re still trying to support local business as much as we can.  They had set up curbside pick-up so he didn’t even have to get out.  To see exactly how careful we’re being with our takeout, just read the text in the picture below.

After dinner, we all sat down for another family movie night and we introduced the kids to Richie Rich.  I loved that movie as a kid, and I was happy that both our kids loved it just as much.

Sunday, March 22 (Day 9 of Quarantine)

Sunday morning, we tried to livestream mass at 10:30 but there were so many people trying to watch at the same time that the system crashed.  Our pastor sent out a message to let us all know they would get the system fixed and try again at 4 PM. 

I obviously haven't been able to go to the gym since all of the gyms are closed, so I had to find a way to work up a sweat.  Family walks are great, but they don't do much for me physically, so I've been jumping on my stair-stepper more since it makes me sweat.  

We had already committed to eating at my mother-in-law’s for lunch, but I was feeling pretty anxious about going because my sister-in-law is still working outside the home.  Fortunately, her family decided not to come at the last minute because they didn’t want to put us at risk, and that was a huge relief for me.  It sucked that they couldn’t be there, but it was definitely safer that way for everyone.

My MIL and step-FIL have been quarantining as long as we have, so I felt comfortable enough being around them.  However, we all agreed that this would be the last Sunday lunch for a while because we all need to do our part and stay apart, sad as it is.

The day was rainy, so Brian and the kids played video games when we got home, and I worked on blog stuff.  We all had a light dinner and then we went for another family walk around the neighborhood since the rain had cleared.  Poor Jacob came home with two of the worst skinned knees he’s ever had, but he was a trooper and he walked home the rest of the way all by himself, even though he had blood trickling down his legs.  He may have cried most of the way, but at least he didn’t ask me to carry him.  Spoiler alert, that would not have happened. 

When we got home, we watched mass that had been recorded at 4, and then the kids went to bed while B and I caught up on some shows.  I also received these pictures of our family in our back row pew in church.  Hahahaha.

And that, my friends, was our very first week ever of quarantine.


  1. What a week. Schooling online here has been similar - we had to get our internet fixed yesterday because it just wasn't working well for all of us being home and on it all day! Simon is just doing school work in the morning. We have online prayers as well. And we get outside for walks but that's about it at the moment. I need to mail something at some point though!

  2. I love that they put the pictures on the pews, that is adorable. The rush on groceries was insane. I was a #3 when you posted that poll but now I only leave the house to walk the dog! Stay sane and well!

  3. I don't know about you but after week 1 for us I felt like a year had passed! Some days I really don't know how we'll get through this, then magically the days just go by. I wish our school did Zoom with the kids!!!

  4. Ugh I am so jealous of your weather! We are up north and have been bundling up to try and get some outside time in all of this, but nice days are still few and far between.

    1. Oh man, I'm so sorry. That is the one thing we do have going for us down here in the south. The weather has been beautiful! It's been a little chilly again this week, but nothing like what you're experiencing, I'm sure. Hang in there!


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