Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Corona Virus Week 4: Almost to Spring Break!

The weekend that ended week 3 was welcomed with open arms. We were ready for the break in school work and spent a lot of time outside. We explored a new little location close to our house that was a little bit of a walk/scooter/bike ride from our house. I had to laugh to myself because with all of the time in the world, the kids still all complained the whole way there and then the whole way home. "When are we going to be there? How much longer? When will we be home? What's taking so long?"

There are so many things that I am struggling with lately with being quarantined but one of the things that I have been really grateful for is this ability to just play outside at home. This is something we never really did too often before because we were so busy and I have found a new appreciation for my home and little yard that I never really had before.

We have spent way more time in our yard playing, cleaning, and doing things we haven't done in a really long time and I have been enjoying that part.

When the start of the school week came, we were in a pretty good routine but also, ready for the upcoming break. I was feeling burnt out from trying to work/teach and help the kids and getting them motivated to get work done was becoming increasingly difficult. Colin's sleep patterns by this point were not great and he was getting up pretty often at night. This made the early afternoons difficult because he was really tired. I am guessing that part of this is due to anxiety and stress during the day about the unknown (meaning, he knows there is something going on but doesn't exactly understand) and also with the start of his allergies. Our school week was broken up into two parts; school and play. 

Colin's teachers have been asking them to draw different character traits and Colin drew his friend Enzo! 

We tried to sit outside when we could! 

One of Colin's tasks for Math was sorting and counting! 

I can tell you that one of the things I miss THE most about this quarantine is people! We all miss our family and friends a lot. We've done/had some drive-bys and they have changed my day! Last week we had a nice surprise from friends who dropped off some fun items for Chris and I! 

In all of the fun, Colin has become more brave! He tackled another big hill on his scooter but isn't so good with the brake! He fell at the bottom and was really upset, but I was so happy with how fast he turned it around! I am so proud of him and how brave he has become! 

We also worked on a special project for the students of my school, something I was so proud to participate in! 

We learned of an opportunity to thank all of the healthcare workers in our town by placing lights in our window and we jumped on it! We are so grateful for all of those who work so hard for our community!

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Corona Virus Week 3: Survival Mode

By the time the weekend rolled around at the end of week 2, we were all exhausted and welcomed the break from the routine. This was so much so that on Saturday, we all basically laid around on the couches all day long watching movies. We were finally shifting into our new normal and accepting that this was how things were going to be for the foreseeable future.

That weekend also timed with what was supposed to be the kids' last talent show with their school and we were all excited because they were all going to be in it this year. The kids were disappointed because they knew it was going to be cancelled so we decided to "perform" anyway. Cody was not as into this version of the performance, but at my begging, he participated. They performed "Come Alive" from the Greatest Showman Soundtrack. 

This year, Kailey was performing "Rainbow" by Kacey Musgraves in sign language with one of her best friends Kailyn. It seemed pretty fitting at this time that the girls were performing a song that had such a strong message at this point in all of our lives. We decided that the girls would still perform it together, at an appropriate social distance (we measured, it was 8 ft.) and so that weekend, we got them dressed, met up at Kailyn's house and had them perform it for us. This was especially emotional for me and Kailyn's mom because we were already in a period of transition as our kids' beloved elementary school is being repurposed into a preschool and our kids will be parting to different schools next year. These events were being seen as some of our "last" together with the school. 

The girls have been close since before they went to Kindergarten together because of their brothers, Colin and Lucas, who were friends first. 

As week 3 started, the kids' school started to shift into "virtual" mode where they were having more interaction with their peers and teachers online. This was an instant mood booster for the kids as they were missing them all so much. 

"This baby horse was just born." (In case you needed the translation!)
We are so incredibly lucky to have teachers that have done everything possible to help Colin (and us) in this time period. They are being incredibly creative, they are reaching out to him (and us), and they are reminding him (and us) how much they care for his happiness and success. With things not always being easy, this alone has been instrumental in getting us through. This is also true for Kailey and Cody, but as you know, learning looks different for Colin and his teachers have helped us so much with this in this difficult time period. 

While social media is really good at showing the "best of", that is certainly not the case here and I hope I portray those moments too. We have our stuff together the best we can, but it is not fool proof and this time period is so hard. When we think things are going well, we are given a harsh dose of reality! We ALL have our moments of impatience, being emotional, angry, or just having a hard time but we all display that in different ways. 

One of the things that really gets us through is the ability to be outside in the sunshine and fresh air. While there are so many things that just scare me about this pandemic, I am also so incredibly grateful for this given time to be with my family and just PLAY. These moments are infrequent in our busy, hectic lives, but we are being given time and we are definitely taking advantage of that. 

We've done a LOT of scootering, bikes, and skateboards and I really *enjoy* watching them do these activities (although our daredevil Cody is stressing me out!). 

We are also trying to be positive and spread positive with chalk messages in the roadway!

We also celebrated Autism Awareness day!