The Screen-Free Quarantine – Day 2
Okay. Today was much better than Day 1. Seriously. I actually enjoyed some parts of today, and I got work done. This is saying a lot since I also stayed up till 2 am working on yesterday’s blog post. I didn’t have high hopes for today, so I’m thankful for little blessings.
This morning began with a 5 am alarm. I slept right through that but finally dragged myself out of bed at 5:30. Mike had to go to work today (his days at work are reduced, but some days he has to go in, and we like to eat, so, he must leave the house), so I had a little bit of time alone in my prayer room. The peace and quiet were just what I needed.
Then it was off to start the day. I drank a few cups of coffee and got moving on my work and before I knew it, a little boy was up and wanting to know if we could make IHOP Hashbrowns for breakfast. I’ve never made IHOP Hashbrowns, but we have potatoes, and we have a skillet, how hard can it be?
Since I don’t have any materials from the school yet, I figured I could make it a little math lesson as well, so Jacob had to figure out how to multiply out the ingredients. He did a great job, and I have to say, homemade IHOP Hashbrowns are THE BOMB!
Daniel still wasn’t awake, so I took Jacob with me on my morning walk of #thebookfarm. The mangos are having a second fruit set (which means that there are already mangos on the trees that are bigger than large marbles, and now there are tiny mangos growing out of the new blooms). I check on them daily because after the flowers are pollinated, I spray them with copper to keep fungus from causing the new fruits to drop. I got to explain to him all about how the tree will grow up to ten mangos or more on one branch. Over time, it will decide to let the smaller ones die. It can only supply nutrients to so many mangos at a time, so it selects the best ones on its own. I love watching nature work on the farm!
Then I took him on a tour of the Kale Canoe. We have cabbage growing in and some Kale that was ready to harvest. He picked me a few Kale leaves and I told him it was my favorite bouquet, ever.
We had to wake Daniel up because he stayed up late reading The Wild Robot by Peter Brown. He came down and ate breakfast, Kasie ate a quick breakfast because she had an online precalculus class. I had to be on a 10 am conference call, so the boys and I did a quick Bible Study (they wanted Revelation, I wonder why…). They went out to spend some time reading in their hammocks, and I went to work.
After my first conference call, I promised the boys that we would play Multiplication Bingo. That was a lot of fun, and it gave me a good idea of where they are on their math facts. Both boys were sad that I had to stop playing at 11:45 am to prepare lunch.
Oh, boy! I must be tired because I cannot for the life of me remember what I fed them for lunch. Oh, that’s right, I had a bunch of leftover frozen shrimp and we paired it with French fries and clementines. Kasie does not do shrimp, so she had leftover pizza.
After lunch, I needed to get on another conference call. The boys helped me clean up the lunch mess and I answered a few emails while they played some sort of fishing game that required them to take fishing line out of the garage and some PVC pipe that we saved for them to tinker with. I don’t know. I’m pretty sure I’ll find out when I head upstairs to say goodnight to them that it’s a mess.
My second conference call literally felt like it lasted forever. This is where the kids started getting bored. They sat out on the patio for a while looking up words in a children’s dictionary. I gave them notebooks and told them to write down their thoughts and feelings or draw pictures. One page per day about this Coronavirus/Quarantine/Social Isolation mess. They did a really good job on their journals.
Finally, Jacob got tired of waiting, so he sat behind me and looked over my shoulder as I edited some marketing material with a client. Sweet, but somewhat irritating when he would answer questions for me. Still, I kept my cool and for that I deserve chocolate.
I had ONE MORE phone call after that (I feel like I spent my whole day on the phone!), and then I made a healthy dinner. We are low on chicken breasts. We have plenty of food, but I guess I didn’t buy enough of those. We had chicken breast and the boy’s favorite, green beans with lots of garlic. They will eat a few pounds of those, but we kept it small to save fresh produce. Just in case.
After dinner, we all went for a walk together. Well, the boys went on their skateboards and Kasie and I walked. I am never going to use a skateboard. That’s all I need, to have to go to the ER during a pandemic because I broke my leg or arm on a skateboard. It would kind of make all this hard work being isolated worthless. It’s crazy how hard we work to keep the germs out, but we have no control over the life that happens while we’re washing our hands and snapping on our rubber gloves to open the mail. Don’t judge me.
We came back from our walk and Mike was home. I took a much-needed break for a hot bath. The boys played some more and got bathed as well. Kasie had an online tutoring appointment at 8 pm, and here I am.
One note about this Screen-Free Quarantine. I can already tell that I’m going to come out of this thing never EVER wanting to buy another potato chip. The kids want to be near me, and I get that. But why must they sit behind me and watch me work, while crunching potato chips???? Why?
What worked today:
- Short bursts of focused academics. Thanks to a teacher friend who wrote me to let me know that even SHORTER bursts would be more age-appropriate. I will experiment more with this when I get materials. Right now, I’m winging it!
- Again, breakfast time seems like a real winner. I like when only one kid is awake at a time. We are early risers, but I think I like letting the kids sleep in. Morning seems to be my only quiet time.
- I enjoyed our Bible study time and the boys seemed very interested in Revelation. I would have never read it to them, but with all of this Pandemic stuff, I think they were curious. They remained engaged for an entire chapter.
- They were gifted old fashioned Sony Walkman’s for Christmas. Not too old fashioned. I download music on to them, but they have no wifi, and no gaming capacity, no videos or movies or pictures (other than album covers). My favorite moment of the day was when I was sitting at my desk on one of my conference calls and I could hear one of the boys singing at the top of his lungs while swinging out on the hammock. I have it on video, but I swore to him I would NEVER post it. Sorry.
What didn’t work today:
- I forgot to eat. I had that Kale smoothie, but I made them dinner and then switched to cleaning up and I didn’t sit down. Mike wasn’t here and I wasn’t hungry because I was just so busy, but now I am. Note: MUST. SIT. DOWN. TO. EAT. I will do that tomorrow.
- I need some textbooks for the kids. I am going to work on that tomorrow morning. I think I’m going to get a 6th-grade math book and use it for both boys. Jacob is currently in 6th grade and doing well, so I can start him in the middle of the book where he is with his classwork now. With Daniel, who is in 5th grade, but very clever, I can start him slowly in the front of the book. If that doesn’t work, I can always get something for 5th But I think this may work. I’m also going to pick up an old literature textbook. I think we’ll have fun doing that. We also have Jacob’s History textbook here, so we can go through his history work as well. I really don’t want them doing the online schoolwork if I can avoid it.
Things I’m thankful for:
- My husband. He is the most patient, consistent and kind man I have ever known. I lose my cool daily and sometimes hourly, but he doesn’t. And he goes out to work in this currently germ filled world to support us. What a guy!
- My kids. They’re kind of nervous, bored and irritated at how this virus has thrown them a curveball, but they’re taking it in stride and I love that about them.
- My home. It is comfortable. Clean. And ours. (and there are mangos!)
- Our Jobs. So many people are losing their jobs. I have a friend who owns multiple businesses and she had to write termination letters for 250 people. I can’t imagine their pain AND hers. Just devastating.
- I am also thankful that there are business owners out there who are working to keep their employees busy and EMPLOYED. I’m really thankful for everyone. I’m feeling like TOGETHER, we can all get through this. Everyone just has to pitch in.
See you tomorrow! (You know one day I’m gonna get so busy, I’ll forget to post, but whatever. See you soon!)