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A Big 'Ol Quarantine Update

How are you doing?

How is quarantine life?

How are you not going crazy with your kids home all day?

How is that sink full of dishes doing?

I thought I would type up a big 'ol Blackwell family quarantine update. How its going, what we're doing (and not doing), how the kids are handling it and how many wine corks we have lined up on the shelf, you know, to count the days ;-)

What does work look like these days?

Chris and I are both engineers so the majority of our "office" work can be done virtually. My office setup is in our bedroom and he took over our actual office. Since we both have virtual meetings throughout the day its nice to have these separate spaces to work in.

I am still scheduled for console shifts every couple of weeks, so on those days I do actually have to put on business professional attire and drive over to NASA. But inside it feels like a weekend evening shift - there are limited people in Mission Control itself and a few extra people here and there as support requires, but generally very quiet.

How are the kids are adapting?

Even though we don't have close family in Texas we are lucky that both grandmas have volunteered to come out and watch the kids for a few weeks at a time. This way Chris and I are able to work mostly uninterrupted during the day while the kids get quality time with grandma! Lately "grandma school" has been heavy on outside time - walks, climbing trees, tending the garden, swinging on our backyard playset and swimming. We have been avoiding common areas like playgrounds just to be safe. The weather has been incredible here in Houston so we are taking advantage while it lasts! Both kids received gardening tools for Easter, so they like to dig in the garden to find worms, then we go fishing in the retention ponds behind our house in the evening!

Any tips for sanity?

Over a month into this quarantine journey I'm sure everyone has a new normal and has implemented ways to stay sane. Some of our top tips include:

  • Plan out meals. We have been planning our meals/take out about a week in advance. This helps us streamline our grocery store trips, and sometimes even shift some of the needed items to online order/delivery instead. 
  • Lots of walks. Grandma usually takes the kids on "discovery walks" during the day. These walks are more leisurely and inquisitive - one day we even found this Box Turtle roaming around! In the evening we try to squeeze in a bike ride or walk with the kids before bed and since grandma is here, Chris and I can take a grown-ups only walk after the kids' bedtime - something we don't normally get the chance to do! 

  • I've seen a lot of memes and facebook posts about using the time in quarantine to learn a new skill. I think that's a pleasant idea if your situation allows for it, but in our case, we are full-time parents and full-time employees, it's hard to fit in learning a new skill. So, we have turned that sentiment around a little and made it our mission to TEACH our kids new skills - so far we have tried Lego building, fishing, tending a garden, riding a bike (for the 2-year-old), making bead bracelets, learning how to use a tape measure, peeling an egg, miscellaneous baking and so much more! 

  • We have also had to implement new ways of parenting including rewards beyond candy and treats (for our sanity, honestly). Temporary tattoos have been a hit, even if my daughter's arms look like sleeves. 
Tell me some of your tips in the comments!


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