Day 193 of Isolation: The New Normal

My youngest daughter is having a hard time adjusting to online school. She missed the first five days because she was sick so got behind. The way this program works does not allow for missed days, especially not more than one in a row. They already expect her to do nearly six hours of work every day to stay on target. Because she’s behind, she would likely have to do ten hours every day including weekends for the next three weeks just to catch up. There are no “off” days scheduled in besides weekends.

Each assignment takes three plus hours to complete and there’s a new one every day. I thought she was working on all of this the last two weeks, but apparently, she’s mostly been playing on her phone and ignoring her work because it’s impossible to catch up.

I emailed the director of the program and her teacher about how it would be impossible for her to catch up based on the the number of assignments and how much work each one requires so now she’s just depressed and constantly anxious. They said they’d look into it.

In the meantime, I told her she now has to come downstairs to do schoolwork in the morning instead of just sitting in her room where she’s distracted by her phone every few seconds.

So now my schedule looks like this:

6:30am – wake up, get dressed, make bed, go to the bathroom, etc.
6:45am – make coffee, do dishes while coffee is being made.
7am-7:30am – either sit in my room sipping coffee to wake up or clean the kitchen
7:50am – get Jack to log into his Zoom meeting
8am-10am – Jack does his Zoom meetings, I work on my laptop (hopefully doing some writing)
10am – take my pills, wake Nora, get Jack started on homework
11am – start making lunch while also helping Jack and making sure Nora is doing her work
11:15/11:30am – have lunch sometime around this time (Jack is usually done with homework by the time lunch is over)
12:30pm (Mondays/Wednesdays) – get Jack to log into Zoom for his small group meetings)
12:30-1pm – make sure Jack pays attention to his meeting while getting Nora to do her work
1pm – Jack is done with school usually; Nora takes a half hour break after three hours of work
2pm – my husband gets home from work; Nora and I go up to my room so she’s not distracted by the TV
2pm-4:30pm – keep Nora working on her afternoon assignments, helping as needed
4:30-5:30pm – cook dinner

So basically, I’m going to be doing something from 6:30am until 6pm every day. While also being severely depressed because my meds don’t seem to be working much and having chronic fatigue that has been getting worse each week.

I doubt I can keep this up for very long. Last week, I took a nap almost every day right after lunch because I was so exhausted.

Here’s us working during lunch today. Jack across the table from me working on an art project while Brenna works at the PC and Nora works on her Chromebook in the living room.


Day 182 of Isolation: Plague Update

It’s been nearly two weeks since my daughter woke up with a sore throat and cough. As of right now, she seems fine. She never developed any other symptoms and because she quarantined herself and wore a mask outside of her room, no one else in the house caught her cold (a first).

She’s now been let out of quarantine but continues to wear her mask in the house just in case.

Her biggest issue now is she’s behind in her schoolwork. She’s doing an online school that requires her to do one assignment each day. When she was sick, she couldn’t keep up. Now it’s nearly impossible to catch up because each assignment is hours of work (they expect her to spend 5 hours each day doing schoolwork) so it’s not like she can really do more than one assignment in a day.

Being a kid is not easy right now.


Day 170 of Isolation: Plague?!?

It finally happened. Someone in the house got sick. My fourteen-year-old daughter, Nora, texted me this morning to let me know she has a sore throat and headache. And a slight cough.

I was hoping this day wouldn’t come, but between my husband and oldest daughter working, the seventeen-year-old going to parties, the baby moving between our house and his dad’s house, and Nora spending weeks at her friend’s house, it was bound to happen eventually.

Hopefully, this is just an annoying summer cold, but as a precaution, she’s in quarantine in her room which means I have to bring her food. She’s also wearing a mask when she uses the bathroom (which she shares with her sisters and nephew). She also shares a room with her sister who disappeared as soon as she sobered up from her hospital visit. She lost her phone so I have no way to contact her to let her know she should just stay where she is for now.

I don’t know if I have the physical, mental or emotional energy to deal with this right now. Ugh.


Day 94 of Isolation: Another Graduation

Today my youngest daughter “graduates” 8th grade. Normally, they have a ceremony at the high school with a dance after (in which case the rest of the family goes to Cold Stone Creamery to celebrate… it’s tradition!), but since the pandemic shut the schools in March and social distancing is a must, they did a drive-thru parade/graduation thing.

A lot of the schools in the area are doing them. The high school had a big parade through town last week and the elementary schools are doing them throughout the week (my 4th grader’s is on Thursday).

But today is about Nora who is officially a high schooler now!


2020 03 02_0039

Seems like just last week she was starting kindergarten. Won’t be long before she’s an adult. I just can’t even anymore with these kids growing up.

Here she is on the first day of school back in August already looking too grown up:


And bonus first day of kindergarten:


They grow so fast.

No, I’m not crying… that’s just dust in my eyes.


Day 23 of Isolation: Happy Birthday!

Today, my youngest daughter, Nora, turns 14. Doesn’t seem possible that she’s nearly all grown up now.

nora2020Stole this picture off her Facebook… I have no idea why her hair looks so blond, lol.

Too bad she had to have such a sucky birthday. She was really trying to convince me to let her stay the next four weeks with a friend (there was a PowerPoint involved), but her friend’s grandfather would also be there. Apparently, her friend’s family was fine with the idea of her going over there, but I just couldn’t in good conscience let her go. Maybe if we had actually been in quarantine the last two weeks, but my husband still works. Every day he comes home is the start of another two weeks of isolation before we can be sure we’re not spreading anything. I’d hate for anything to happen to her friend’s grandfather if she happened to be carrying something (so far none of us is sick that we can tell but part of the problem is you can’t tell until it’s too late).

Instead, we had our typical cake and ice cream and she picked Papa Murphy’s pizza for dinner.


Here she with her big sister and nephew who was very mad they wouldn’t let him touch the flaming candles, lol. That’s a cheesecake sampler (we also had other cake for everyone else).

We didn’t have any gifts for her since we couldn’t really go out and her gift from my dad (a new iPhone) has been delayed. A friend did drop off some snacks and a balloon to cheer her up. Wish we could have done more.

Some pictures of her through the years…


Throwback Thursday

My youngest daughter being hella adorable back in 2009. She had just turned 3. She used to love to wear dresses back then; not so much at age 10.


Throwback Thursday

First day of school 2008


Owen (1st), Meagan (3rd), Brenna (kindergarten), Nora (age 2)

They looked so adorable in their uniforms, but I’m glad they are out of that Catholic school.


Throwback Thursday

My oldest daughter, Meagan, shared this picture on Facebook of her and three of her siblings in 2010 with this comment:

currently my favorite picture of all time. i wish jack was old enough at the time to get in on this, its just so darn cute. me and my lifelong friends. so thankful that i get to live and grow with my best friends


August 2010–we had just moved to this house a week before after a five-day, cross-country trek. In the back: Brenna (7 1/2) and Meagan (10). In the front: Owen (8 1/2) and Nora (4). Jack was a month old.

And here’s the most recent pic I have of all five of them together at Owen’s 8th grade graduation in June.


From left to right: Nora (1o), Owen (14), Jack (almost 6), Meagan (almost 16) and Brenna (13).

Here’s what else Meagan had to say about her siblings:

ive been around these kiddos forever. no matter who walks in n out of my life, these fuckers are the ones who will always stick. i dont even want to think of us all starting our own lives and separating. its scary. ive lived with them my whole life, i hate to think one day i might have a hard time getting ahold of them because we let distance or time get in the way


This from a girl that has always said she hates being at home because there are too many people in the house and she can’t stand any of us. I guess she’s getting wise in her “old” age.

I look at the second picture and can hardly believe these are my kids. Three teenagers–two of them in high school in the fall. Am I old enough to have a sixteen-year-old? When I think about them, I still picture those little kids in the first picture.

Or like this:

February 2004

Brenna (15 months), Meagan (3 1/2) and Owen (2). So little.


Happy Halloween

Meagan as a nerd.

Owen as a zombie

Brenna as a zombie

Nora as a hippie (all clothes the girls own, I love that top)

Jack as Tigger (wearing the same costume the other 4 kids wore their first time out trick or treating)

The kids: Owen (10), Jack (15 months), Brenna (almost 9–next week) and Nora (5 1/2).¬† Meagan took off with her friends before I could get one of all 5 kids.