Thursday, May 28, 2020

Observations of Life in a Pandemic

This is such a weird, unexplainable time where the rules and facts change everyday. I've tried several times to write down how I feel, but I really can't put it into words because everything is so confusing. So, instead I decided to document some of my observations about this time.

>Things we do now that would have been weird three months ago...
     -Visiting my grandpa at his assisted living home, but only talking to him through a window.
     -Quarantining groceries.
     -Keeping face masks in my van for when we go out.

We "visited" my grandpa for his birthday in March.

>Things we say now that would have been weird three months ago...
     -No, you can't hug Grandma.
     -Do you want to Zoom later?
     -We're social distancing.

>Davy was hospitalized overnight with suspected COVID-19 a week after the lockdown started. He's usually great with doctors and nurses, but the respirators (which sounded like quiet vacuums) and hazmat type suits that they had to wear every time they entered his room scared him. We were so happy when his test came back negative and he started feeling better!

Feeling better and ready to go home!

>I went for a walk with the kids the other day and passed a hair salon with a sign on the door informing people that they are closed until "insert date here." The date had been crossed off and replaced with a later one three times.

>My sister works as our PCA to help with therapies and other things, but when we went into lockdown, she stopped working so as not to expose our family anymore than necessary. I spent a month constantly redirecting my 4th grade son to stop wasting ALL OF HIS TIME and actually do his schoolwork with fun phrases such as "Nate, stop playing games on your (school) tablet and do your math worksheet" and "Nate, stop goofing around and write your essay questions!" plus other things along that vein. And then, Nate looked at me one day and smugly said, "You know, if you would stop talking to me, I would be done with my schoolwork already." I was already stretched extremely thin between his refusal to do schoolwork and managing Davy's meltdowns and therapies, and that was the last straw. That was the day we decided my sister needed to come back to work because I. Was. Done. 

Nate doing his schoolwork

>Yes, we baked bread from scratch during lockdown. Honey wheat bread using the same recipe with which I learned to bake bread.

This is the original recipe for honey wheat bread that I wrote in the front of my cookbook when I was a kid

>I was homeschooled and always envisioned myself homeschooling my own kids. That didn't happen, but when their school got shut down, I thought, "hey, here's my chance to try it out!" Boy, was I wrong. Distance learning with four different lesson plans into which I had no input with four different kids, two of whom did NOT handle the change in routine well AT ALL, was one of the hardest things I've ever done.

>We adopted a bear and some other random animals during lockdown. Haha, just kidding. The Google 3D animals are a lot of fun though! Search for an animal on Google, scroll down a bit on the search results and you should see a box that says "See this animal in 3D." Click on that and have fun!

Davy with our new pet bear

> When lockdown started, everyone was like, "the introverts are living their dream!" At first, I agreed, but then I realized that being stuck in the house with four talkative, active kids 24/7 was actually an introvert's nightmare. I may thrive on alone time, but I also thrive on meaningful interactions with my core group of people so not being able to talk to or see them has not been great for my mental health.

>Virtual piano lessons were an interesting experience.

Katie during piano lessons

>Meal planning is a lot harder when so many things are out of stock at the grocery store.

Nate was the first one of us to have an appointment at the clinic when they started opening back up.

>Before the lockdown, I was trying to lose weight and eat healthier. It turns out that I don't diet during lockdowns though.

>Davy's village is made up of two preschool teachers, paras, a special ed teacher, a speech therapist, a physical therapist, an occupational therapist, and more. They have been doing all they can to support him at home, but I've been trying and failing to fill their shoes.

Davy doing speech therapy on Zoom

>Our school's teachers had a drive-by parade for the students. My kids loved waving standing by the road and waving at all of them. When it was over, Davy nearly cried because he misses his teachers so much. I'm just glad that back in March when this all started, our school decided to go through Tuesday instead of canceling over the weekend like some did because at least the kids got to say goodbye to their teachers.

>Parent burnout is real. I love my kids and I love spending time with them, but I'm struggling.

>I picked up some of our childhood games from my parents house to play with the kids. The Game of Life was a big hit. I read the directions and found out that we'd been playing it wrong my whole life. Oops.

>Virtual church is NOT the same as fellowshipping with your church family and being able to hear the sermon in person with them. I've been listening to extra sermons at home and reading my Bible more, but God created us to fill others' cups and have ours filled as well by being with fellow believers. I feel like my spiritual cup has been half empty for over two months now and it's HARD.

Easter at home was different, but good. The kids dyed real eggs for the first time.

>In the past, when things have happened in my life that have shaken my core, it was a comfort to know that outside of my bubble, things were the same. The world carried on as normal. This time, that's not the case. The whole world is changed, brought to a stop, and uncertain. There is no solid ground on which to brace myself. I don't like it.

>Is anyone else sick of the "We know it's a rough time for everyone and you've probably lost your job, but we're here for you if you want to buy a car!" commercials from the auto industry?

>My girls have been arch-enemies for a long time. I have tried everything to help them get along, but nothing has worked, except...a pandemic. They're best friends now and get along great with only a few snags here and there.

That elbow though...

>Like thousands of other people, we cut out hearts to hang on our windows. My favorite is the one cut out of the plastic wrapper from a packet of Angel Soft toilet paper.

>My sister and I have a running joke about potatoes because we're weird. One day, she dropped off a potato that she had made glasses for and named Spudnik. Davy fell in love and they were instantly best friends. Unfortunately, Spudnik didn't survive the lockdown.

Davy and Spudnik

>Getting a break from our usual 6-12 medical appointments a month has been pretty great. The clinic is just starting to schedule appointments again, and when Davy had one in the orthopedic/outpatient therapy department last week, the receptionist/scheduler mentioned that it had been a long time since she'd seen us. I laughed and told her that I wish we could say that we'd missed her, but it had been nice to have a break. She understood and there were no hard feelings. :)

How have you been doing the lockdown? I'd love to hear some of your observations too!