This week we said goodbye to the chicks, and really got our backyard in order. We used to have three dogs, and for years our backyard was uninhabitable, it was essentially our dog's toilet. We'd clean it up here and there but it was not somewhere you would want to walk around or play in. And for the most part we were ok with that. We had the lake area to explore and spend time outside and honestly we were rarely home! We loved going out to local parks and playgrounds. We even have a playground RIGHT NEXT to our house, so we would often play there. But now that even going for a basic nature walk can become stressful we knew it was time to get our yard in order. We bought a weedwacker and pooper scooper and spent several hours over several days getting it usable.
The days are starting to blend together. After four weeks of quarantine I think we found a somewhat new normal, but its so different than anything we've experienced before. We have realized we will most likely never "go back to normal" things will be forever changed. The best we can do is help Bram navigate this strange new world, keep plugging along and add to the "giggle bank" any moment we can.
We stayed very close to home this week, sticking to areas around the lake that people never seem to visit and mainly staying in our own yard which we are working very diligently on to make habitable and fun.
We just finished up week THREE of COVID-19 Quarantine.... it was by far the most challenging. We spent a majority of the week inside staying in our pjs all day. Bram and I both started feeling unwell which is usually a challenge but during this time the added fear of what if, starts to creep in. He had a low grade fever and overall agitation (don't we all?), and then I started having shortness of breath on our daily nature walks, needing frequent stops and gasping for air, where I was able to even run most of the way the week before. The headache and pressure was intense too, was it seasonal allergies? Are we allergic to the chicks? Was it some typical/not scary virus? Was it THE virus? When I then also got a low grade fever I set up a tele-visit with my doctor. Unfortunately even though I have most of the symptoms, without any serious underlying health concerns or without known direct contact with someone who tested positive I don't "qualify" for a COVID-19 test. Lee thankfully hasn't shown any symptoms. So we hunkered down the rest of the week, and stuck to our own backyard for any outside time. As I write this on Monday the 6th, we are starting to feel better, which is good news!
This was our second full week of quarantine, and things are getting more difficult. Our state (Maryland) is under a strict Social Distancing Quarantine, but will most likely move to a Shelter in Place in the near future. The internal stress we have been feeling, the change in schedule, Lee still working and feeling guilty, the threat of job loss, economy, health, etc. Bram and I try to stay active, we try to get outside at least once each day, we try to avoid endless hours of screen time, and we try to stay as safe as possible.
We did several fun activities this week!
This was our first full week in quarantine or "Social Distancing" as its been coined due to the threat of COVID-19. All schools are closed, many non-essential businesses are closed, restaurants can only do delivery and carryout, and people are told to stay home, avoid social gatherings, playgrounds, keep 6ft away from other people if you do venture outside. Its been interesting thats for sure. Thankfully we have already been through the transition of working and schooling at home, unlike many of our friends who are now faced with that. But not having any physical socialization has been difficult. Bram is extremely social and explaining this situation to him in a way that his understands and is not terrified has not been easy.
This week things with COVID-19 started getting serious, we knew closures of many of our favorite places were imminent and for an unknown duration so we tried to visit while we could. It was also a busy week for me at work with a tax deadline approaching. And thankfully Bram really allowed me to work mostly uninterrupted for long stretches of time. A lot of screen time might have been involved, but hey it worked!
Lee focused on stocking up on essentials for our house in case we were quarantined and figuring out a plan for his family's business. We explained pieces of the situation to Bram as lightly as we could without increasing his anxiety. Just explaining that there was a lot of people getting sick right now and we had to be extra careful to wash our hands frequently and may not be able to have play dates or visit many places for awhile.
Due to the Corona Virus Maryland has closed all schools, libraries, county facilities and has banned large gatherings through the end of March. Many schools are providing some remote learning opportunities but some are not at to do so.
For those now faced with unexpectedly needing to homeschool the next few weeks I wanted to share things I do with Bram that might help! I know there are lots of activity lists floating around but for another option here is what we do. We try to mostly do free play with loose parts I have at home, and LOTS of outside time (and will continue that except no more group meetups or playgrounds). But I also utilize complementary curriculum and both can work for working parents as well! I started both almost a year ago when I was working and he was at school.
It's been a month, and we've seen big changes this week. There is a process known as deschooling which "is the shift from a traditional, government-influenced institution of schooling to a less-restricted method of learning that focuses on being educated by one's natural curiosities..." And I believe that is what has happened. The past few weeks I've been trying to not loose the knowledge he acquired in formal preschool, but I shouldn't have been so worried about it. This week we did ZERO from our main curriculum...and it was one of our best weeks yet!
SO MUCH learning has happened. I was pleasantly surprised that he ASKED me to help him read license plates as we walked through a parking lot. He now asks me to read books to him or asks why something happens the way it does. Or even just watching him figure things out through trial and error.
Hes now THIRSTY for knowledge instead of it lead by me or a teacher and it's been beautiful to see.
Also we hit 15 hours outside this week!! For a total of 98 hours since 1/1/20.
I've been taking Protandim an NRF2 Synergizer for almost 2 years and have really enjoyed the benefits (like reducing oxidative stress by up to 40%!). Getting my 4.5 year old to take the pills hasn't gone well. I've tried various methods like adding to applesauce or peanut butter or yogurt without success. I made cookies last week with Protandim in them and they were a hit, but I had to bake them, and while there is no research or evidence that baking would lessen the effectiveness I wanted to see if I could find a no bake option and came across this. I modified it to include the Protandim and to make it gluten and dairy free.
Spoiler alert... they're delicious!!!
Highlights from this week:
Since he dropped naps he is sleeping in a bit longer, and I've learned if he asks for my attention I can not put it off for more than 60 seconds. Then if I give him 1-3 minutes of attention I can get another 30 minutes of uninterrupted work time. If I try to put him off he will just keep asking for it. I've also found that its important that as soon as he wakes up we have physical contact (cuddling) for a about 5-10 minutes until he really wakes up. I was asking him to lay on the couch while I continued working, but I found if he got that physical contact first it set a great tone for the morning.
is a kiddo who still lives with his parents and dog in a suburb of Washington, DC.