Monday, March 30, 2020

Days 16 - 17: COVID-19


I took Evie for a much needed walk on the Roseville trail system we can access from our neighborhood. The pace was a little slow, but it felt great to be outside. The trail was packed with people, but everyone seemed to be keeping their distance. In fact, most people would look away as we passed and only a few said, "Hi". 

Views from the path:

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Days 5 - 15: COVID-19

March 18, 2020

Lisa and I celebrated our 31st wedding anniversary. Not that we would have flown to Italy for a romantic weekend, but we were quarantined inside our home on day 5 of our corona-virus lock down. We were all settling in to our new (and hopefully very temporary) normal. We were in the early stages of figuring out how to work from home while watching the kids and making sure Laurel doesn't fall behind at school. Kellisa is Kellisa, she continues to hangout in her room with Hannah and The Wiggles while reading scary books. Lisa made us a nice family dinner.

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The frogs of Miners Ravine have been serenading me on my late night walks with Evie with the lack of vehicle noise to drown them out. We've had some interesting skies above with all the rain and cold made more eerie by the relative calm.

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Day 4: COVID-19

The girls were trying to be festive in the St. Patrick's Day shirts Lisa purchased a few weeks ago.

The rain finally stopped in the evening long enough for a short drive through the country. Both girls (and myself) were excited to get out of the house. It was nice watching them act normal when we paused to observe a few animal along our path. I was hoping we'd be able to get out, but everything was too wet. Even though we weren't gone for long, it was great for our souls. 

Monday, March 16, 2020

Day 3: COVID-19

Laurel working on fractions
I'm very fortunate that I work from home when I'm not traveling and since I usually don't travel out on Mondays (Conference Calls), today was like any other with a few exceptions. First, my anxiety is through the roof and second, Kellisa and Laurel were home. Fortunately, this happens fairly often for school holidays and summer vacation, so the kids are used to me working from the kitchen table and I'm used to some background noise and calls for help. When my phone rings, I grab it and run outside so I won't be distracted. I was worried about today because I was concerned about Laurel's anxiety and I knew Kellisa would be asking for her bus to take her to school. I was also worried about all the uncertainty in the world and how it will impact my career.

Laurel blew me away today. I could tell she was having some internal worries, but she stepped up and had a perfect day. She played a few video games after waking up, but then came down ready to do some school work. I was absorbed in the news and my work and snapped at her because I wasn't ready to help her. I immediately felt horrible and apologized many times. She even told me that she's moved on and not to worry about it. I still felt bad.

Laurel sat opposite of me at the kitchen table and worked on several math sheets we printed and she studied a new spelling words list and when I quizzed her, she was able to spell 8 out of the 8 new words. I couldn't have been more proud. Her behavior was also perfect. It can often be a challenge when she has her own anxiety, but she really stepped up today.
Kellisa watching The Wiggles
I was still feeling bad and decided to join Laurel in the living room to watch some of her YouTube videos. We watched everything from make-up tutorials to people getting, let's just say unique ear piercings.

Hopefully, I learned my lesson that this is very hard on Laurel and I need to step it up myself to set a calm example.

Kellisa, to my surprise didn't ask for the bus this morning, so she probably thought it was just another weekend day. She stayed in her room all day watching The Wiggles and Hannah Montana while reading her creepy crawly books.

Since Kellisa is at the greatest risk, we are keeping her in her room and only going in to take care of her needs which includes pushing a few buttons every time she needs a new video. We also bring her food and give the tube feedings in bed.

Even though it was a work day, I was still hoping to get outside for lunch or after work, but for the third day in a row, it was a miserable day outside filled with rain, wind, and cold.

I really hope we turn the corner more ways than one.

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Day 2: COVID-19

Today was another cold, windy, and rainy day which prevented us from going outside in nature, but thankfully the beauty came to us. While I'm very happy with how the above picture turned out, it doesn't do the double rainbow we witnessed from our backyard this afternoon proper justice.

Like probably most churches, ours was closed today. Laurel was worried her musical rehearsal would also be canceled because all gatherings and meetings on church property have been canceled through the end of March. Fortunately, the musical director graciously offered to open her house to host the rehearsal for everyone who wasn't showing any signs of sickness. Laurel was excited to go for 2 hours and she asked Lisa to stay with her to help. The rehearsal went long by 45 minutes and Laurel enjoyed every second. Laurel spent most of her remaining hours singing and practicing her parts on the couch in our living room.

Thanks to my friend, Joshua Nordstrom (owner of Tierra Tile in Homer, Alaska), we have a freezer full of wild caught Alaskan Salmon. Lisa took a frozen filet out yesterday to cook for tonight's dinner. We said a little extra prayer before dinner for what every one in the world is facing right now. We made sure all electronics were turned off so we could enjoy a quiet and peaceful meal.

Salmon, rice, and artichoke hearts

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Chris and Joshua in Homer, Alaska

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Day 1: COVID-19

We survived. It felt like a regular Saturday with everyone home and doing there things. Kellisa spent the day watching music videos in her room, Laurel playing her video games, and Lisa keeping the family and house functioning. I'm not sure what I did, but I remember walking the dog, taking boxes to recycling, helping Kellisa, reading a book, spending time on my computer, and I even went to the grocery store. 

I had set a goal to get outside at least once a day while the kids were home from school. I want us to take the time to see the beauty around us and breathe some fresh air. Sadly, we didn't get outside as a family. It rained all day, which isn't a plan buster by itself, but it was cold (50F) and windy all day, so we stayed inside.

Lisa made three amazing meals which makes being trapped in the house a million times easier. 

After dinner, the girls wanted some sister time. Yes, they can drive each other nuts at times, but at the end of the day they love each other. They sat together on the couch for over an hour and the giggle far outnumbered the little pushes or feet in the face shenanigans of sisters.

After the girls went to bed, I decided to venture out to the grocery store. I wanted to grab a few items, but mostly wanted to see the aftermath of Saturday stockpiling. We don't have supplies to survive years or even months, but I think we'll be OK for a few weeks. 

Friday, March 13, 2020

Coronavirus Spring Break

After a week of high anxiety and lack of focus, I finally found some peace. As everyone knows, the Coronavirus has dominated everything for the past week in the United States. As I watch events that would have been thought of as fiction just a week ago unfold, I haven't been able to focus or concentrate. I worry about Kellisa since she falls in the high risk category if she would get the virus. I also worry about Laurel because she worries herself, especially when she doesn't have any control over the matter. And at 10-years-old, she can't fully comprehend what she's hearing and even when we try to explain things to ease her mind, she asks tough questions. She also hates not knowing. so when she asks us if this will happen every year, she does not accept the answers, "I hope not" or "We don't know". Laurel needs to know and just struggles when she doesn't get a definitive answer.

Besides worrying about Kellisa getting the virus, I've been worried about the schools closing and like millions of other parents, how we would handle watching our kids. We don't have any friends or family who can help and with our special needs, dropping them somewhere or having people come into our house is not possible. It's totally and completely up to Lisa and I for one of us to be with the kids around the clock. I was surprised we made it to March 13th and both kids still had school when so many other districts were closing down.