A Family Life Update (How We're Really Doing)

It's been a long time since I've sat down and just did an informal update on what's going on in everyones lives around our house. And since none of us have left our home for more then a couple hours in the last 40+ days, I figured I'd share what quarantine is really looking like in our home right now. 


First of all, we've been in "quarantine", or have been hunkered down in our house since February 27th. Ours started earlier than everyone else because that is the day Kinsley got pink eye. Right after she had pink eye, Kyle caught the flu. Then Kinsley had an ear infection, and caught the flu from Kyle at the same time. Neither of the kids had a chance to go back to school from their illnesses until the schools all closed, so we've been home together for a long time. 

Derek:
Derek has been working at home since the second or third week in March. All the days kind of blur together at this point. While it's nice to have him home and know he's safe and won't (hopefully) catch the virus, it really throws our family dynamic for a loop. Kinsley is obsessed with Derek and when he's home she wants him non-stop. This just causes lots of whining and other undesirable behaviors, especially in the afternoon when she's done with schoolwork and doesn't really have anything else to do. I'm really tempted to send Derek back to his office at this point. He can't catch the virus if he's the only one in the building right? I kid, but man afternoons get rough over here. 

Other than that he's been playing a lot of online chess with his brother when he's not working or parenting, reading some book I couldn't even tell you the title of, and being the number one bike ride facilitator with the kids each day.

Kyle:
Kyle has been on spring break since last Thursday, and will be on spring break through this Friday (his is longer since he goes to a Catholic school and the kids have the days before Easter off to observe holy week). It's nice to not have to homeschool two kids this week. He's been doing well getting most of his schoolwork done each week, but I admittedly forget to have him do his music, Spanish, and art work each week. I'm 99% positive they can't hold my kid back for failing his specials at this point, so we're just doing the best we can with the core subjects and trying to not get overwhelmed by everything else. 

Kyle's school uses a book app called, Epic that he has been loving! We did the 30-day free trial, but now we're paying for it monthly #whoops. They have a ton of books that you can read, or read along with a narrator while you look at the pictures, or just straight up audiobooks. Kyle has been listening to the huge collection of Boxcar Children books on the app and is totally obsessed. I think it's funny that he doesn't even want to do something while he listens (color, play legos, etc...), he literally just stares at the iPad screen and listens to the book even though there is nothing happening on the screen. 

Kyle also relearned to ride his bike. He didn't ride it for basically two years because our home in Layton was on a busy street, and then when we moved here he had a flat tire that we didn't fix until a few weeks ago. He LOVES it now though and rides up and down the hill by our house all the time, pedals while standing up, and is a total pro at riding. It's super fun, and he even asks to go outside and ride by himself, which is huge because even when we had a fenced-in backyard, going out to play by himself was never of any interest for him. 

Kinsley:
When not harassing Derek, Kinsley has been doing really well with her homeschool work. We've been floored by how well she traces her letters, attempts to write her name independently, she knows all her letter sounds, can identify most of her numbers 1-20... she's made such huge progress in kindergarten this year, so it's been fun to work with her at home and see all that she's learned for ourselves. We started doing the 4 Weeks to Read program with her, mostly to give us something to do in the afternoons, but also because... why not? Do I think she'll be reading in 4 weeks, not likely, but she has enjoyed the first 6-7 lessons we've done, and we'll keep doing it a few afternoons a week. 

On the afternoons we don't do reading lessons, we've been working through the Confessions of a Homeschooler preschool curriculum that we bought for Kyle when we used to homeschool him. Kinsley likes the activities and I think they're really perfect for where she's at academically right now. 

Kinsley's aides from school put together a bunch of little activities and games for her to play with at home. They're not mandatory at all, but they did it simply because they missed the kids and wanted to do something fun for them. I'm so sad Derek was the one that answered the door and that I didn't get to see them! They put so much time and effort into them and it makes me so happy to know that Kinsley has amazing teachers and aides at school who love and support her! 

Kinsley has also had amazing improvement riding her bike as well! She has gotten to the point where on a flat surface she can pedal independently, and even back herself up, and turn herself around and change direction without needing any help at all. This is basically our easiest form of PT right now because she loves it, and it needs little effort from Derek and I. We're hoping all the leg strength she's building will have payoffs down the road. 

Also just because I know people will ask, all of Kinsley's PT/OT/SPL appointments have been canceled, and everything for her potential upcoming surgery are on hold until at least may. She is kind of getting services through school, but PT was mostly just a list of stretches and things that we should do whenever, along with OT. SPL seems a little more intense on the school end, and I honestly haven't even wrapped my brain around starting that yet... especially since Kinsley talks all day long I don't feel motivated to do it if I'm being super honest. 

Me:
It more often than not feels like a massive undertaking homeschooling the kids and being responsible for their education, but I know we're doing the best we can and we luckily have a supportive school staff we can fall back on for help. I've had to remind myself that some things matter and a lot of things don't. Kyle has been struggling with writing in school (not actual handwriting, but coming up with ideas and topics to write about for assignments), and being able to zoom conference with his teacher and have her help him one-on-one with that has been such a weight off of Derek and I who were spending way too much time working through those assignments with him, where his teacher can help him in a fraction of the time. That in itself has been a huge blessing. 

I've been doing lots of baking and trying new recipes (as I'm sure you can tell with the influx of recipes over here). We've been eating homemade bread weekly, and have had more treats than I care to admit, but when in quarantine right? 

I decided since I have more time for running than ever before, I should start training like an elite runner and see where that gets me. I set a goal to see how much I can improve on my 10k time in one year, and see if there is any hope of me coming remotely close to the olympic standard in the 10k on the track, which is 32 minutes. My current PR is 55 minutes, but I did that with almost no training and then dealt with injuries for an entire year after that, so I think at baseline I could actually do much better than 55 minutes. 

I'm planning on doing three 8-week training cycles, and at the end of each cycle either run a race (if races are back on) or a time trial on the track to see where I'm at. At the end of the three cycles I plan on running a 10k on the track in Santa Barbara, CA in September with a goal time of 40 minutes. A lot of people have asked why Santa Barbara, and it's just because they have a track meet there every year that is open to everyone (most meets are for elite runners or NCAA athletes and since I don't have a sports agent because I'm not an elite runner... I can't get into most of them). The race will also be at sea level, which should hopefully give me some benefit since I live and train at 4,000+ feet. 

That is basically everything and more than you wanted to know about our lives right now. I'd love to hear what you're up to and how things are going for you in the comments! 

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