Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Our Week - The One with Quarantine, Week 43 (Virtual Learning and a Dark Day for Our Nation)

Well, I think we can all agree that last week was… a week.  That’s for sure.  Our family had to go back to virtual learning for the first time since May 2020, and there was also a very scary event that happened here in the United States causing even more divide in our nation.  I honestly thought it couldn’t get much worse and then it did.  To say I’m grateful for this new week is an understatement, and I pray that it goes better for everyone.

Monday, January 4 (Day 297 of Quarantine)

Monday was the kids’ first day back at school, and unfortunately, on January 1, we had gotten word that they were going to be going back virtually.  I had three days to mentally prepare myself for it, but unfortunately, the whole first day ended up being a hot mess anyway. 

I was up bright and early to be at Publix at 7:30 right after they opened because we were in desperate need of groceries.  Covid cases are exploding here in town and all of our hospitals are at full capacity, so I wanted to get there as early as possible so I could come in contact with as few people as possible.  I only saw three other customers the whole time I was in there, and I was in and out in 25 minutes.  Success!

Unfortunately, since things are getting so bad here, it appears that people are doomsday shopping again, though, and therefore, so many items were sold out.  There were only two cartons of eggs left in the whole store, and I got them both (even though neither were the ones I usually buy), I had to buy substitutes for our usual bread, sausage, canned pineapple, and orange juice (among other things), and I wasn’t able to get any sweet potatoes or Sunchips (our fave to keep on hand) at all.  They were completely out.  What a weird weird time to be alive, y’all.

By the time I arrived back home, it was time to hit the ground running with virtual learning.  Jacob had a live Zoom meeting at 8:30 AM, and then the rest of the day was school work for both of them.  Both kids’ work loads were significantly larger this year as a fourth and first grader than they were as a third grader and a kindergartner, and the school day ended up lasting until just after 3 PM, which is even longer than it would have been had they been at school in person.  Sigh. 

Both kids are learning completely new material and concepts since it’s a new quarter, so it’s a lot for them when they can’t be in the classroom.  By the time they finished school, I was completely frazzled and my brain was fried from running back and forth between the two of them, but there was blog work to be done, so I spent the next two hours cramming in as much as I could before heading downstairs to cook dinner and clean the house.

The rest of the evening was spent laid out on the couch by the fire, watching the new season of The Bachelor.  That was about all I could muster.

Tuesday, January 5 (Day 298 of Quarantine)

Tuesday morning, I was confident things would be smoother and faster since we knew what to expect, and while they did go a bit more smoothly, they most certainly did not go any faster.  Jacob had live Zoom meetings at 8:30 AM and 1 PM, and he had so much work that he didn’t finish until after 3 PM again.  My goodness, the workload for him this year seems like twice as much as it was last year when we had to do this.

Olivia completed her work just before lunch (which was a huge win), so she was free for the rest of the afternoon.  Brian made mini pizzas for lunch so I could take some time to put holds on library AR books for both kids, and then after lunch, Jacob had his second live Zoom of the day, while I went to my office to Zoom with my therapist for my monthly appointment.  She has been such a blessing this past year.

The rest of the day was spent squeezing in some work, cooking dinner, squeezing in a quick 30-minute workout, and collapsing on the couch right at 9 to flip back-and-forth between election coverage and This is Us.  In case you don’t live in Georgia, and somehow missed the news, we had a Senate runoff that day. 

This means that when all of you received your blessed reprieve from campaign ads back on November 3, we did not.  We had to endure them for two whole extra months.  We haven’t been able to turn on the TV, get on social media, look at our text messages, take phone calls, or answer our door at our own home without having campaign ads shoved in our faces.  Yes, we actually had people ring our doorbell in a pandemic, with no masks on, just to tell us who we should be voting for.  On multiple occasions. 

So, I guess you could say that Tuesday finally brought on a huge sigh of relief for us after the worst ever election year.

Wednesday, January 6 (Day 299 of Quarantine)

Wednesday morning, both kids rocked their virtual learning, and both were done with all of their assignments just before lunch, aside from Jacob’s afternoon Zoom lesson.  It was a much smoother day, which was good, since my nerves were frazzled from watching the news at the Capitol all day. 

2020 was a sad year to be an American – so much violence, so many riots, so much social injustice, so many horrible things said between friends and loved ones on social media, and so. much. divide. – and now it’s looking like 2021 isn’t going to be much better.  I wrote a little bit about my feelings in this post here, and you can read that here if you’re interested. 

Olivia had ballet Wednesday, and we opted to send her virtually instead of in-person as we wanted to wait until all of the Christmas and New Year's Eve get-together germs in our city die down before sending her somewhere with other kids.  I'm hopeful we'll be able to send her back in-person either this week or next, but only time will tell.  She's been working on her splits, and she's getting better and better!

The rest of the day was spent watching the news, making dinner, and having some hard conversations with the kids.  It makes me sad how many of those conversations we’ve had to have this past year – Covid, social injustice, the election ugliness, and now that horrible day at the Capitol – these poor kids have grown up this past year in utter chaos. 

At the end of the day, I curled up with Olivia in her bed to read with her, and it was a nice way to calm my nerves after a very sad day.

Thursday, January 7 (Day 300 of Quarantine)

Thursday morning was more virtual learning, and then I left just before lunchtime to grab some books for Jacob from our school’s curbside pickup as well as our public library’s curbside pickup.  I grabbed Chick-Fil-A for lunch on the way home, and then the four of us ate together.  The kids opted not to come with me on the drive, and I realized when I was halfway there, that was the first time I’d been out on my own in several weeks, aside from grocery shopping on Monday. 

Thursday afternoon, the kids finished up virtual learning, and then they were both THRILLED that their packages had arrived in the mail.  They had both received some money from Christmas, so we let them each pick out something from Amazon.  They both opted for Lego sets, Minecraft for Jacob, and a Frozen Lego jewelry box for Olivia.  They spent the afternoon putting those together, and I was finally able to squeeze in a couple of hours of work.  It was rainy and cold all day, so no time was spent outdoors.

Thursday evening, I finally got around to tackling the first decluttering project on my list – cleaning out the fridge!  I got all of the expired stuff thrown out, wiped everything down, got everything back in nice and neat, and I made a list of things that we need to replace the items I’d throw out.

B and I started that new show Away on Netflix (the Hilary Swank space show) Thursday evening, and we’re both enjoying it very much so far.

Friday, January 8 (Day 301 of Quarantine)

Friday, both kids had much lighter virtual learning loads and we were all so grateful!  Both of them ended up wrapping up their days before lunch, and the rest of the day was spent playing and relaxing.  It was another dreary day and it was SUPER cold, so none of us set foot outside for the second day in a row. 

After lunch, I cleaned out the pantry, got rid of many expired items, and got everything organized.  After lunch, I sat down in my office and got caught up on paying some bills, making some phone calls, and catching up on other “life stuff.”  Olivia complained about her vision being blurry a couple of times last week, so I called my eye doctor to see if we could get her in.  Unfortunately, because of Covid, they are still backed up for a couple of months, so they told me it would be April before they could see her.  Thankfully, one of my friend’s mom’s works for them, and she was able to find a spot for her the very next day as someone had canceled an appointment.  Score!  I was so grateful to her.

Being productive and getting all of those things done was just what the doctor ordered after a tough week.  It gave me a sense of accomplishment after a long week of spinning my wheels. 

Once all of that was squared away, I finally got around to scanning some old pictures of my grandparents that my Daddy had given to me.  I called him to identify several people in the pictures so I could get them labeled properly, and I ended up chatting with him on the phone for the rest of the afternoon.  We hadn’t had a good chat like that in quite some time and it was nice to hear his voice on the line since we can’t spend time together in person right now. 

Friday evening, Brian picked up dinner from our favorite Mexican restaurant, and we made margaritas to go along with our yummy tacos.  While he was gone, I attempted my first ever HIIT (high intensity interval training) workout, and it was a success!  I did a 20 minute workout with a 5 minute warm up and a 5 minute cool down, and I burned nearly 200 calories in that short amount of time!  My legs felt like jello after I was done, so I knew it was a winner! 

After dinner, B put a fire in the fireplace, and we all sat down to watch Spies in Disguise.  We’d never seen it, and it was cute.  Not my favorite, but watchable.  The kids enjoyed it a lot!  After they went to bed, we watched another episode of Away and another episode of Bridgerton.

Saturday, January 9 (Day 302 of Quarantine)

Saturday morning, Olivia had her eye appointment at 11:15, so I set an alarm to get up earlier than I normally do on the weekend.  I had lots I wanted to do, so I didn’t want the day to get away from me.  I ended up doing my daily meditation, quiet time, and affirmations and did an entire workout before anyone else in the house was up. 

Once they were up, I made homemade waffles for breakfast, and then I hit the ground running unloading the dishwasher, tidying the kitchen, and starting some laundry before it was time for me to get ready.  Meanwhile, the kids watched cartoons, and Olivia was thrilled because Maui snuggled with her.

Olivia and I arrived at the eye doctor right on time, and they are still doing a fantastic job of keeping everyone safe during these pandemic times – temps are still being taken upon entry, every single person in the building is required to wear a face mask (and everyone was actually wearing theirs properly), and they had plenty of signage to ensure everyone followed social distancing guidelines. 

We ended up having to wait a long time before we actually saw the doctor, but Olivia was so patient!  She had to have her eyes dilated, and she wasn’t a fan of the drops, but she was so brave, and I was so proud of her.  After all of her tests were run, the doctor told us that she is the tiniest bit farsighted, but that it’s so minute that there’s no reason to get glasses.  He said that the majority of kids around her age have some degree of farsightedness due to the way their eyes grow and develop, so it was totally normal and nothing to worry about. 

He did tell us that we can get reading glasses for her if we think she truly needs them, and he printed her prescription for us in case we decide to do so.  B and I decided not to for now, and Olivia was so disappointed!  Haha.  We had talked up glasses so much prior to her appointment that she ended up really wanting them!  I tried explaining to her that it’s a good thing she doesn’t need them, but she is still disappointed.  So funny.

When we finally made it back home two hours later, we had a quick lunch with the boys, and then the kids and I headed to the playroom to get it cleaned out and reorganized with all of their new Christmas toys.

We had just cleaned it out in the fall, so it actually wasn’t too bad, and we were surprisingly done in about an hour and a half. 

It was another dreary and suuuuper blustery day Saturday, so for the third day in a row, there was no outdoor time for anybody.  The afternoon was spent working, playing video games, and hanging out.  Then Saturday evening, B picked up dinner from our favorite local barbecue place and we watched Over the Moon on Netflix.  It was a good family movie!

After the kids went to bed, it was more Away and Bridgerton for B and me, complete with ice cream and a fire in the fireplace.  Another cozy little night in.

Sunday, January 10 (Day 303 of Quarantine)

Sunday morning, we had cinnamon rolls for breakfast and watched virtual church.  I also use Sunday mornings to plan the week ahead, and goodness knows, I needed to do that since virtual learning is going down again this week. 

After all that was done, the rest of the morning was spent cleaning out Olivia’s room.  We had just cleaned the whole thing out in the fall, so this time was quick and smooth!

My mother-in-law stopped by just before lunch to drop something off, so we were able to see her for a couple of minutes, and then we had a light lunch at home.  After lunch, B and I got in a 3.5 mile walk while the kids played at our neighborhood playground, and then the rest of the afternoon was spent tidying, prepping for the week ahead, and squeezing in some more work time since the kids are home all this week again.

We had leftover homemade baked ziti for dinner, and the rest of the evening was spent hanging out, watching TV, and getting to bed at a good time to get the week started on the right foot!

Happy Tuesday, y’all!


  1. Last week was definitely 'a week'...my goodness. So glad it brightened up for you at the end!

  2. Simon got reading glasses this year. It's weird because everyone else who has glasses have distance ones! My boys are in person this week and now we got an email that the lower grades (including Simon) can go in person next week too if they get a negative test. I'm undecided what to do, since Zachary will be home anyway and I'm kind of against testing for no reason...though I did make him an appt for a test!

  3. I love doing virtual schooling, but I'm sure it's no fun to do it with such short notice! I remember when I got tested to see if I needed glasses! I didn't really need them too much, but we got me a pair just in case. Now I never wear them! 😂

    1. I'm so glad y'all are loving virtual! Our school has done a fantastic job with it, and so have our kiddos, but I just don't personally have the patience for all of it. It's definitely my own problem. Haha.

  4. Last week was rough. I just keep praying and praying for our nation.

  5. I truly enjoy your blog and wanted to say that you seem like such great people in real life! One thing I cannot help commenting on today is how you threw away your expired food items in refrigerator and pantry. Please, please be mindful about not wasting food and letting it expire. You are so great with organizing that I am sure you can come up with fantastic ways to make sure NO food items expire so they can all be used. For people who say saving food doesn't help to feed others, I would strongly disagree and say that saving food results in buying less food, which in turn results in less inventory in supermarkets, and so on which means it affects supply chain from top to bottom. There are millions of starving people in this world. Every little bit helps.

    1. I'm so glad you reached out about this, and it's actually kind of funny that you did because I LOATHE wasting food. Seriously, you can ask my husband... I fret and have so much guilt any time we have to throw away food and I try everything in my power to not waste anything. I meal plan and stick strictly to those plans so there is little to no waste. We save all leftovers and eat them for lunch during the week so there's little to no waste from my cooking. And what you saw in those pictures is actually a little misleading because most of the boxes had little to nothing in them. Like the TJ's Pumpkin Joe Joe's? There was only 1 left that we had to throw out because it was stale. The bag of Hershey's kisses was completely empty because I had moved them to my kids' candy buckets (because otherwise they would have been overlooked and gone to waste), and the graham crackers were nearly empty... seriously only a couple of crunched up crackers left in the box that we had to throw out. All of the other food that was tossed was literally the only food we tossed the entire year... that's how long it had been since I'd cleaned out the pantry. So I promise we're doing our part not to waste. I agree with you whole-heartedly that it's important not to waste food. <3

    2. Thanks so much for your response! And yay, I am so happy to hear that we are on same page when it comes to not wasting any food. I am the exact same way--even if I don't like something I buy, I almost always finish it anyway because otherwise the guilt is just too much for me. You seem to be doing an amazing job finishing all food you buy since I know that is sometimes tough in a household with kids! :-)

    3. Haha, I am the exact same way! I will eat something I don't like, too, just so I don't have to throw it out. And if for some reason, there's something we absolutely can't stand, we give it away to a family member. We recently bought an oatmeal variety pack and none of us liked one of the flavors, so we pulled all of those out and gave them to my MIL. And yes, it's definitely tough not to waste anything when you have littles around, but we try our best. :o)

  6. It was a week. :( Annabelle just got glasses, but she is nearsighted. Sorry you are back to virtual school. Hopefully you will be able to be back soon.

    1. Aw man, I'm so sorry. I bet she looks so dang cute in her glasses, though! I need to stalk your page to see if you've posted any pictures yet!


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