I have compared the stages of quarantine to be similar to the stages of grief in some ways. I started out in denial, then anger, then I started to have a light-hearted, you have to laugh to keep from crying approach. This past week was crazy, but I feel like I have overcome some huge hurdles and really had some breakthroughs!

First off I got a new phone. This is a game-changer. My old phone was barely hanging on and right now I am the director of social media at our church (and for Messy Mom AND my photography business) so I could really benefit from a good quality phone especially when we are doing everything via video. This was harder than it should have been with all of the Apple and AT&T stores being closed for COVID-19. We eventually got it figured out though and it was mailed straight to my door. It was perfect timing because now that SJ is doing online videos with teachers and classes it helps her to have Bluetooth streaming the audio to her cochlear implants. I could have let her borrow my phone but once it’s synced everything from phone calls to music and GPS will go straight into her little bionic ears. As you can imagine this is frustrating to everyone. Now that I have a new phone I have let her use my old phone and we just keep the Bluetooth synced to her devices! It’s great.

She is still REALLY adjusting to video conferences. Quite frankly she hates being on video and talking for a recording. It has not been an easy transition at all and I’m sure there are other parents that have kids in the same boat. One sweet story though, is that her teacher started reading The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo. Although you are not expected to get the book and read along with the teacher we actually already owned it! I love The Tale of Despereaux. We own the DVD too. One of the reasons it is special to me is because it’s about a brave little mouse that is different than all of the others. One of the reasons he is different is because of his ears and another reason is that he doesn’t scurry or cower. SJ was also different because of her ears (although they aren’t big like Despereaux) and she has always been brave and one of the things we noticed before we knew that she was deaf was that she didn’t seem to startle like a hearing child. All that to say it was very touching that this book is the read-aloud during this trying season. And how awesome is it that we have the technology for SJ to hear her teacher read aloud and have the sound go straight to her implants!?

Another breakthrough we had this week that made a huge difference was having desk areas for each kid. It’s been almost a fun challenge to know all of the problems that we are solving have to be using what we already have on hand. Sure, there are some stores open, but it definitely detours the idea of running out to Ikea or Hobby Lobby which can lead to overdoing and overspending.

We made nameplates together for a class project and the kids loved it!

  I think the nameplates really help them to feel a sense of pride in their workspace.

Z’s desk is a table that we have in the basement.

SJ’s is in the girl’s bedroom. It was her idea to ditch Elle’s toddler bed that was taking up a ton of space and have Elle sleep with her. This freed up room to add a little table and they are all happy with it. Yes, we are wanting to get bunk beds. In fact, we recently ordered one from one of those auction sites but it didn’t have all the parts so it was a bust. For now though, this works!

Last but not least Ezie is using a table in the living room by the balcony. It’s very loft chic.

I’m using my imagination here, but regardless of how simple our setup is, I am definitely proud of the fact that we managed to find a space for each of them in our three-bedroom home.

I’m really much happier with how the end of this week has gone compared to the first 10 days of social distancing. We are finding our rhythm, and getting to do some things that we normally wouldn’t like eat outside with J in the middle of the day. We also met one of our neighbors (from a distance) on a walk because she had a giant bear on her porch for the lockdown bear hunt.

We have dressed up for spirit day at school and left encouraging messages on social media.

It’s still tough. One day I was so frustrated I stormed out of the house and just started walking down the street to release some steam. Another day SJ was in tears because she didn’t want to record a video to answer the question from the teacher. I had another child ask “Can I be freed now?”. So we’re not the Brady Bunch here. This is hard stuff. It is getting easier though and I wanted to share in case it was an encouragement to anyone else. Bring on week three.