Coronavirus: The Third Month (June)

Day 76: Monday, June 1:

Dear Stephanie, let’s get married and have kids so instead of spending quarantine binging Netflix we can tape balloons to our car and drive by some six year old’s house and sing happy birthday from six feet away.

Day 77: Tuesday, June 2:

I’m regretting panic buying $100 worth Of LEGO’s to end up with two kids ignoring them and instead playing with cardboard Amazon Prime boxes and a Tupperware lid for the last few hours.

This quarantine thing is intense!

Wife: “You should never question my choices, because you’re one of them.” Me: “That’s exactly why I question your choices.” _ Wife: “Good point!”

Day 78: Wednesday: June 3

The world is still fighting over toilet paper and today my son decides to give our few rolls left a bath…

Day 79: Thursday, June 4:

How do you keep two kids busy while you conduct Zoom Meetings all day? Give them a vacuum, a few baby wipes and put them to work!

Day 80: Friday, June 5:

What do you do when you can’t go out for pizza and you have ZERO DESIRE to cook… you put the kids to work!

Day 81: Saturday, June 6:

Today I got to catch up with good friends to celebrate one of their 40th birthdays. Interesting enough, Jax used to remind me to take my keys, wallet and cell phone… today he said, “Dad don’t forget your mask and Purell!”

Day 82: Sunday, June 7:

FOLKS… WE GOT SOME BIG NEWS HERE… OUR FIRST LOOSE TOOTH! This kid is growing up too fast! Bring on adulthood!

Day 83: Monday, June 8:

Today we attempting an early morning walk before work and virtual school started.

7:30am: leave house

7:32am: stop because Jax is so hot and “needs a sip of water”

7:36am: stop for rocks

7:37am: stop to pick flowers (that are actually weeds)

7:39am: now Oliver’s cold

7:40am: stop for sticks

7:42am: go home because both boys are really, really tired.

45 total steps logged.

Day 84: Tuesday, June 9:

Happy birthday to the only person who isn’t on Social Media. To my not so little brother! We’ve come a long way from me almost getting you eaten by a snake in the backyard when we were kids! Jax and Ollie couldn’t ask for a better uncle!

Day 85: Wednesday, June 10:

I couldn’t have asked for a better birthday present than spending the day with my family! It was our first family outing and first time out to dinner in MONTHS!

Day 86: Thursday, June 11:

Hard to imagine how my kids were ever able to survive a regular school days without 23 snacks.

Day 87: Friday, June 12:

Today Jackson had his VIRTUAL FIELD DAY!

Field Day VIA a computer might have been the most frustrating aspect of Distance Learning. My kids would rather watch the timer in the corner of the screen on the zoom conference than actually participate in virtual field day. Jax has now asked 16,000 times when this is over because he wants to go inside already!

PS: Do they give college scholarships for balloon dribbling?!?? Jax had a record of 30 before the balloon popped. What does that count as? Forget it… This has now turned into a way for me to feel athletic again!
As a matter fact I’m playing the Rocky theme right now and shoving the kids to the ground!

Day 88: Saturday, June 13:

My two little Dirt Devils/Beach Bums! There’s nothing like burying yourself in the sand as kid!

Day 89: Sunday, June 14:

During quarantine I’ve been slowly working on a project that I had wanted to do for ages. I figured the perfect time was now! In between Zoom meetings and distance learning (and you know life) I decided to build a high back sofa/bar table for the basement. Mind you I’m lucky to come away with ten fingers after using a pencil sharpener. so this was quite the challenge. But, table saws, circular saws, hacksaws and vice clamps be damned, because it came out pretty good.

Day 90: Monday, June 15:

The tooth has fallen out (been pulled out). All packed up in an envelope with a note. That Tooth fairy better start looking for some spare change!

PS: Yes the first tooth only yielded a dollar and a pack of baseball cards, but remember the tooth-fairy is a nonprofit…. she’s on unemployed from her other “paying” job bc of Covid-19, so with that being said, “you get what you get and you don’t get upset!!!”

Day 90: Tuesday, June 16:

You want to wear a cut off tank top and rain boots up the street on your power wheels while carrying garden tools? Sure, at this point at least you have on pants.

PS: Today I learned my children can fix a squeaky wheel with hand held garden tools. Don’t ask!

Day 91: Wednesday, June 17:

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Started Kindergarten in the classroom and ended it by the pool

The last day of Kindergarten also meant the last day of Distance Learning (for now). What a crazy, crazy cRAzY school year it was for this little guy! Mom and I are so incredibly proud of you and your accomplishments!

Day 92: Thursday, June 18

Today, after putting on my mask in the Big Y parking lot, I looked in the rear view mirror… I realized this is what my ears look like with a face-mask on:

Day 93: Friday, June 19

Dear Apple,

Can we just not with the screen time reports this week?

Love, mom and dad

Day 94: Saturday. June 20

Pre-Father’s Day Father’s Day Party: my wife, the boy’s mom planned a party for today…. my response to that… Thank you. This was perfect. I actually for once enjoyed myself. I did just enough cleaning, organizing and cooking, etc to keep sane.

Stephanie, I don’t know if you noticed but I actually went in the pool. That’s a big deal. We may argue and butt heads. But, If there’s anyone who is going to be by my side for all the nonsense that is me and what comes with it… I wouldn’t want anyone by my side but you.

Day 95: Sunday, June 21:

Father’s Day is always perfect when spent with the family, especially my two superheros!

Day 96: Monday, June 22:

My wife buys our kids a lot of kinetic sand, play-dough and painting supplies for someone who wants to stay married.

Day 97: Tuesday, June 23:

Today was my first official day I have taken “off” from work since Christmas Break. It was nice to spend some quiet time without the phone/emails for a little while. The boys and I went to the beach (mom was stuck in the office!!!)

With the tide out we were able to walk out almost to the top of the jetty! Nobody fell in (more importantly no one pushed anyone in!)

Day 98: Wednesday, June 24:

Today was a LOOOOOONG DAYYYYYY! Coordinating chrome book and iPad drop off at school for all the amazing students who borrowed devices during distance learning will take a lot of a guy! But, coming home to these two smiling little boys (SCREAMING, “DAAAAADDDDDIEEEESSSSSSS HOMMMMEEEEE!!!!” Will always help being a long day of to a happy close!

Day 99: Thursday, June 25:

My day today… on a Zoom Call with my assistant principal while working from home:

Assistant Principal: “Would you be able to…”

… my two kids run by the camera: one wielding a sword, one naked, both in ski masks and capes…

Assistant Principal: “Never mind.”

Day 100: Friday, June 26:

ONE-HUNDRED-FREAKING-DAYS-OF-QUARANTINE. It’s been 100 days since schools across the nation began distance learning and the quarantine began. As we mark that significant number in this global pandemic not much has changed. Cases are still spiking, masks are required almost everywhere

Day 101: Saturday, June 27:

Roman, our newest little nephew, was baptized today. It was nice celebrating with family for the first time in long time. We also learned Jax is a pretty good photographer!

Day 102: Sunday, June 28:

Heard the wife yelling this from the other room earlier: “STOP DOING THAT!!! WE CAN NOT GO TO THE EMERGENCY ROOM DURING A PANDEMIC!”

Day 103: Monday, June 29:

We’ve officially lost it here. No school for the kids, rain outside and Oliver wants his 14th M&M yogurt of the day. I have to draw the line somewhere. 13 M&M yogurts before noon is acceptable, but when you try for 14 you have gone too far. Sorry little man, but that temper tantrum is going to have to last a lot longer than…. forget just eat another damn yogurt!

Day 104: Tuesday, June 30:

What a way to end the month. I came home to Jackson narrating a live video of Oliver playing with his Magic Trax! Apparently he’s started his own YouTube channel. Best part, he signed off by saying, “Thanks for watching. Don’t forget to like and subscribe!!!

I guess that takes us into month four… hello July!

PS: Thanks for reading. Don’t forget to like and subscribe! 😂😂😂

A Letter on Your Last Day of Kindergarten

Started kindergarten in the classroom…
finished kindergarten by the pool.

Dear Jackson,

You will probably not read this letter for a long time and that’s ok. It’s better I save it for a time when you are older and can better understand the significance of the year you just completed. Ten months ago you walked into “Kindergarten.” You we’re excited, but nervous even though you wouldn’t admit it, but I could tell. I know you too well (don’t worry your mom and I were nervous too). You didn’t cry that morning, but I did. I had to leave for work very early for my first day at my new school and would miss you getting on the school bus for your first day.

I laid with you and held your hand a lot longer than usual that night before school started all those months ago. I’m sure your first day was similar to mine, we both probably read a few stories with our new classmates/students and played a game or two during morning meeting to learn everyone’s name.

I watched you grow over the next six months… you continued your growth in reading, became a stronger mathematicians, scientist, and loved being around your friends. You played with others, took turns, worked through problems, and practiced patience.

You smiled, laughed, and sometimes cried. And mom and I received our first call from your principal. Not all of your days were easy, but most of your days were filled with learning, excitement, and happiness. Your teacher email us to tell us about your profess and how kind you were to others especially new students who joined your class late in the year.

Fast forward to March and the world was changing so fast my around all of us. You had no idea, your classmates and teachers had no idea what laid ahead of us all. You packed up your things on a Thursday afternoon, put your folders and pencils in your book bag and zipped up your coat and said good bye to Mrs. G, not knowing it would be for the last time as in person.

Time has seemed to fly by, since the last day you stepped off a school bus and while I am excited for summer and happy that you are through distance learning, I sometimes wish that you had the opportunity to finish the year as a real kindergartner, with your friends and your amazing teacher INSIDE of a school, not at our kitchen table.

You are part of a generation that has reinvented education. You made the impossible possible and it happened overnight. You learned Google Classroom as a five year old (there are adults with college degrees and Google training who can’t figure that out! You video-taped yourself reading, watched videos and held court during weekly Zoom Meetings. It was truly amazing to watch, but at the same time sad to see you miss out on the last few months of kindergarten the way it should have been.

Yet, I know you are ready move on, I’ve learned just how much of a critical thinker and independent learner you are. You, the kindergartner taught your dad, a former teacher and now principal, a thing or two about distance learning through all of this.

But, before you just go on to first grade, please remember that I believe you succeeded through one of the greatest challenges in education and some of the most unprecedented times that our world has ever faced.

And while I know that much of this year will fade from your memories as time goes by. I’ll never forget how you faced these new challenges with determination, grit and that same huge smile that we’ve all grown so accustomed to.

Congratulation on “graduating” Quarantined Kindergarten. We are all so proud of you!!!

Love,

Mom, Dad, Oliver, Buster and Max

CoronaVirus: The Second Month (May)

Day 45: Friday, May 1:

Everyone’s snuggling in bed after a long day watching a movie. I finally go to lay down, but Buster is in my spot. Oliver says, “no, Buster stay.”

I moved Buster, lay down and Oliver started kicking me off the bed and says, “No, go back and do work.”

Insert eye roll here

Day 46: Saturday, May 2:

“The marvelous thing about a good question is that it shapes our identity as much by the asking as it does by the answering.”David Whytetq

Oliver today, “dad can I poop on the grass like Buster and Max?” 🙄

Day 47: Sunday, May 3:

There has to be a time where we can just go do stuff, right? like there’s no way people can just sit inside all day, seven days a week. It’s Sunday, so we should all be gathering as a family around the kitchen table or out by the pool with friends.

Day 48: Monday, May 4:

A friend sent this to me today, “I get a scratchy throat sometimes and think, ‘crap! I’m getting the virus!’ Then I remember it’s scratchy because I was just screaming at my kids with everything I have, because they are driving me crazy.”

That’s what this virus is doing to everyone. Parents can’t even tell if they’ve been infected or been yelling too much at their kids! And no I won’t admit who made the above statement (snitches get stitches).

Day 49: Tuesday, May 5

Me: Quarantine is going well right?

Wife:

Day 50: Wednesday, May 6

Fifty days of quarantine, of distance learning and homeschooling and these two are closer than ever. Today I found them sitting together and Jax was teaching Oliver about number bonds on his math program.

… and by night they wanted to sleep in the same bed.

Tomorrow they will probably be slap fighting and pushing each other down the stairs, but for now they are best friends.

Day 51: Thursday, May 7:

One of the beat parts of a global pandemic is how everyone is a little more lax with their dress code. Case in point… you can wear your six month old Third Birthday Blaze TShirt for the eighteenth day in a row, or just go as the Naked Cowboy from Time Square.

Day 52: Friday, May 8:

My six year old used the phrase “a long time ago today” to describe the morning and it’s probably the most accurate description I’ve ever heard.

Day 53: Saturday, May 9:

We ventured out a bit today. Just being able to drive down the road to go to the beach was a blessing. The boys were so happy, their eyes were wide and they had giant smiles on their faces. They built sandcastles, filled buckets with sand and threw shells and rocks into the water. It was nice to “get out” for a bit.

Day 54: Sunday, May 10:

This quarantine nonsense is effecting every aspect of life. At bedtime both of my children turn into dehydrated philosophers who need a hug.

Day 55: Monday, May 11:

Today was like no other day. I know I’ve touched on it before, but that was when we had Jackson only. To accomplish what we accomplished today is reminiscent of the “Jordan Shrug” Game. Everything we did hit today, every shot we took, every attempt we put out there… all of them hit.

Everyone’s work was completed without complaining, no one fought viscously over the remote control, lunches and dinners were eaten including fruits and veggies. Baths were taken and every body part was washed without any begging Just like MJ against the Trail Blazers in the 1992 NBA Finals , we couldn’t miss.

Day 56: Tuesday May 13:

Finally got Oliver under the clippers! I couldn’t take the Lloyd Christmas look anymore! (PS, my bad on trying to cut his bangs the day before!)

Day 57: Wednesday May 13:

Jax and Oliver want to know when they don’t have to wash their hands every time they come inside after playing. These kids apparently think that general hygiene will be a thing of the past once the pandemic is over. Even when this coronavirus nonsense is over we are going to have to reiterate that those things aren’t optional.

Day 58: Thursday May 14:

I had to get out of the house. While I appreciate having so much time with my family (even the tough times are still time spent with them), I had to get some fresh air! After all the zoom meetings and the last Google Meet of the day… the golf course, on a late sunny afternoon provided just that.

Day 59: Friday May 15:

Today I had a few very important PPTs to chair and Stephanie was sorting through budget cuts and balancing a school district account during the unprecedented Covid-19 shutdown.

We asked the boys to sit calmly and be quiet. What our children heard: “Battle Royal. Everyman for himself. Run, fight, scream!!!!”

Day 60: Saturday May 16:

It’s always great when you get a surprise visit from family! Today, the newest little family member came to say hello! Mima also surprised us with an appearance!

Day 61: Sunday, May 17:

Now that we’ve all been cooped up in our houses for days, or weeks, or months, the days just seem to…blend together. Weekdays and weekends no longer have any separation. After all, where are we going to go?

“Is today Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday?!??”

…. “Yes.”

Day 62: Monday, May 18:

Oliver and I got up early as we usually do. It was 5:30am, my coffee was hot and Oliver’s apple juice was cold. We both settled in for a calm and quiet morning and all of a sudden Oliver starts cheering. Like, yelling, whooping and was just so excited. I had no idea why, but I just joined in. It was marvelous!

Day 63: Tuesday, May 19:

Netflix needs to get it together and stop asking us if we’re “still watching”. Of COURSE we’re still watching! It’s a pandemic home lockdown! Just keep it rolling the shows out there.

Day 64: Wednesday, May 20:

So today the shark IQ robot special was on TV… Jackson had been waiting for this day like it was Christmas morning. He had it ready to DVR and was hoping to stay up all night to watch it. It’s a three hour long show… He binged watch it like it was a special on Netflix. By the time everyone reads this I guarantee you he’s probably seen it 15 times.

If anybody needs to know the specs of the shark IQ robot… Or even just how its sensors keep it from toppling down the stairs just let us know and we will have Jackson give you a call.

Day 65: Thursday, May 21:

Jax just ripped the door off the hinges again I fixed it it took me an hour and as he was trying to close it because the keys scared bugs are going to come in the house he literally ripped off the hinges

Day 66: Friday, May 22:

Social distancing in the mind of children:

Day 67: Saturday, May 23:

Rain, rain??? We haven’t seen a cloud in weeks. I forgot how insane children are when they are stuck in the house on a rainy day paired with CoronaQuarantine.

There’s only so many crayons, construction paper and Disney movies one family can go through in one day. Is there a Guinness Book of World Record for that? Someone look it up. I’m pretty sure we’ve got that one locked up.

Day 68: Sunday, May 24:

Happy birthday to the best Mima in the world…

Day 69: Monday, May 25:

Today begins “Quarantine Homeschool Spirit Week!” See below for the weekly schedule. Join in, we’d love to have you!

Monday: Pajama Day!
Tuesday: Pajama Day!
Wednesday: Pajama Day!
Thursday: Pajama Day!
Friday: Pajama Day!

Day 70: Tuesday, May 26:

Day 71: Wednesday, May 27:

I’ve had it. This house is a prison. It’s like we are living in a small shed and the walls keep closing in on us. No matter how much I clean up… No matter how many times I asked the kids to clean up after themselves… No matter how much organizing I do… There’s still stuff everywhere.

Recently I’ve been binge watching Hell on Wheels, a story of the building of the Trans-Continental Railroad that connected the United States following the Civil War. The show centers on the men and women who helped forge those tracks. Black, White, Asian, or Native, the people who lived in the mobile town of Hell on Wheels came from around the globe to be a part of history.

Things around here have been mimicking what we watch. Meet the main character of Hell on Wheels:

Day 72: Thursday, May 28:

Today I clamped a 2×4 to my weight bench in my basement and used an extension cord I found in the ceiling to power my circular saw. I’m not sure why I though this was a good idea, but then again… COVID don’t care.

By the way, it worked and I still have all my fingers and limbs.

Day 73: Friday, May 29:

Today I watched my boys get along. I heard Jax tell Oliver he was his best friend. I heard Oliver tell Jax he was his best friend. I watched them share.

Day 74: Saturday, May 30:

Today was the perfect day to sit by the fire.

Day 75: Sunday, May 31:

We had a nice little surprise visit today from the family. I finally got to hold my nephew!!!

Another month of Coronavirus Quarantine has passed… bring on June!

Here Comes the Sun

From the Journal of Mrs. Chronicles:

5.20.20

“I’ve never seen the sun shine down the way it did like the day we held my dad’s memorial, until today. I believed back then that it was my dad looking down on us and I believe that even more so now seeing it again. Thanks for keeping an eye on us dad and keeping us all safe.” ❤️

A Live Saver

As parents, Steph and I are so unbelievably nervous about who let babysit our boys. We view babysitting our children, though as a scary gig. You’d think these two amazing little boys are easy to hang out with… truth is, it’s not all a bed of roses.

A good babysitter is hard to find especially during this CORONAVIRUS nonsense. The great thing is, we have more than a baby sitter. We have a teacher, someone who loves our kids and most importantly someone who can deal with the craziness of this family!!!

Miss Missa makes both our boys (and us) feel safe. Whether they are out at the “playground,” as they call it or just playing in the house, we trust her and that’s saying something.

There is a quote somewhere out there in the inter webs that says something along the lines of, “There is no one more thankful than a parent who relies on childcare for work or personal reasons.” You can’t say it better. We entrust our most important part of our lives, our most valuable and most loved part of our lives to someone other than “us.”

That’s saying something. Teachers are one thing. But allowing someone in your own house to be with your children… that’s another. I’m not an easy sell… I know child development and how to engage primary aged children. How ever, I also know the importance of the social/emotional connections as well.

The peace of mind for a parent knowing that their child or children are in capable, loving, responsible hands while they are away at work or play is priceless. Find thank you cards, send a hot air balloon or smoke signals… because Miss Missa is a life saver.

Old People Music

We’ve learned so much about each other in this family during the Coronavirus Lockdown. We’ve all spent more time together the last two months then ever before. That can be a blessing and a curse. Generally, it’s been more of a blessing. That was until Steph and I were ;for the first time) made you feel old by our children.

As we ended our work day, we decided to take the kids to the beach so they could play in the sand. We packed up everything we needed and made our way across town. Nothing says beach ready like Kidz Bop radio… but today we took a little detour… mom and dad decided to hit up a little LL Cool J “Rock the Bells XM 43” for a little extra motivation. What should come on but some 50cent “What up Gangster.” (Clean version for the kids of course).

There’s no stopping the immediate head bobbing and lip-syncing that occurs from two middle aged parents in a family SUV when 50cent begins blaring through those stock speakers. There’s just nothing that can stop it.

That is… until… your six year old begins covering his ears and screams, “Turn this off!!!! This is old people music!!!”

And just like that, mom and dad… felt extremely old… and then continued belting out a little 50cent… for the kids of course!!!

Happy Mother’s Day 2020

Dear Mom,

When you brought us into this world, I’m sure you weren’t prepared for what kind of damage and destruction we had in store for you. After all, being a good parent doesn’t come with instructions (or safety gear), but nothing kept you from loving and protecting us.

No one ever knows what life has in store for them and yet look at us. We made it! You were able to raise us and keep us safe (and let’s face it, dad is basically a toddler too, so essentially you’re raising three boys!!!) Even in a house of all guys, we all are growing up strong, happy, and caring.

Being a mom means being patient when your little boys want to run around and put stuff in the shopping cart when you just want to get the groceries and get out of Big Y. Being a mother means answering every dumb question we ask when you just want relax. Being a mother means watching “Trolls World Tour” over and over and over again even though your DVR is overloaded with Beverly Hills of Something shows. Being a mother means being able to take good care of your kids, (and dad, and Busty and Max), while still working 700 hours a week. Lastly, being a mother means being the never ending source of love and support for your kids.

You are the best mom anyone could ever ask for! Thank you for loving us and letting us grow up and learn how to be a good person from you. We love you very much!

Love Always,

Jackson and Oliver

And Buster and Max

CoronaVirus: The First Month+ (March/April)

Starting from the first day my school district and my sons’ school district/preschool closed down I began a running diary of what life has been like in “quarantine.” Below is March/April, the first month and a half of the CoronaVirus “shutdown.”

Day 1: Monday, March 16:

First day of social distancing. People can’t go to school, work, bars, restaurant’s, movies, parks… anywhere. People literally have nowhere to go and the virus continues to spread.

NYC is literally a ghost town. Central Park is empty and Times Square is dark. The world is literally shutting down and the zombie apocalypse is upon us, yet my wife is still shopping.

Day 2: Tuesday, March 17:

There’s some semblance of a routine here. Morning meeting: singing the hello song Oliver sings, “Hello to a fart,” and Jackson farts almost perfectly on cue. Both laugh endlessly. All is well in this house (for now). Reading stations. Schooling actually happens for 15 minutes. (I still got it).

Got a message from my my mom about teaching, “Good job. You still know how to teach! Good job Jax and Ollie. Nothing like home schooling. When’s recess!??!?”

Day 3: Wednesday, March 18:

Steph is now officially working from home. My routine (two days worth) is ruined already. This is going to be really difficult.

Having completely different parenting styles is hard enough when you are alone with the kids. But, having completely different parenting styles when you are both together with them (especially for an extended period of time) is infuriating.

On a side note, today was notable as I used a circular saw and still have all ten fingers. Jax and I made a canopy for the fish tank. I’d like to share that we are both good looking and pretty handy, if I do say so myself.

Day 4: Thursday, March 19:

A ton of at home work today. The kids were completely left to fend for themselves. They have now turned feral.

Oliver is on all four barking like a dog. Jackson just lifted his leg and peed outside. We got to a point today where we had to just cage them to keep some order around here. It was a tough decision, but in the end it was in everyone’s best interest.

Day 5: Friday, March 20:

Actual quote yelled at the top of my lungs to my two children, “Have either of you heard of the Hunger Games?!?? If not you better read up, because that’s where we’re headed right now”. I’m confident I won’t make it out of this “quarantine” with multiple children.

Day 6: Saturday, March 21:

Our first casualty of the quarantine was Oliver’s nose… he looks more like Rocky in this picture than Sylvester Stallone does.

Then again it was the weekend. So this dad, principal, teacher and husband got a break. Nope, just kidding. I spent the day breaking up slap fights and hand sanitizing everything with in ten feet of me.

Since today seemed to be full of quotes it’s only right that I end that way:

Two quotes that define our week of quarantine:

“No!!!! Give me that booger now!!!”

“Does anyone in this family sew!!??”

Day 7: Sunday, March 22:

“And on the seventh day he rested.” Even the Lord took a day to himself. Now I’m not comparing myself to God, but if anyone deserves a rest you’d have to vote working from home parents with two little boys as a top candidate.

Day 8: Monday, March 23:

The first day of true distance learning for our kindergartener. He was amazing. Mom set up a sticker chart for him and he earned one for every task (including his secret chore… which was fake and we just made up because we needed him to help).

Today provided another challenge for the quarantine/homeschool/work from home process. We woke up to a theee year old with a 105.3 fever and went to sleep with a 103.

Day 9: Tuesday, March 24:

Today I walked in on an interesting conversation. I heard mom ask, “Oliver where does a burp and a fart come from?” Oliver’s response equally as troubling as the question, “your mouth.”

Jax had such an interesting and exciting morning. I guess it’s his new normal… his teacher and class did a group ZOOM Conference Meeting!!! I guess social interaction with his teacher and friends VIA a computer screen are his new normal. They are everyone’s new normal.

Day 10: Wednesday, March 25:

We practiced yoga today. We all needed it today. I don’t know who needed it more… me or them. The house walls are closing in on everyone. It’s a relatively crappy day and everyone is stuck inside except for a few quick runs in the rain and some jumping in puddles.

I can’t organize anything around here anymore than I already have. I’m beginning to reorganize things that have only been organized twice so far this week.

Day 11: Thursday, March 26:

I traveled out of the house to pick up some essentials. People have officially lost it. A woman at CVS was holding a plastic bag over her nose and mouth. Apparently suffocation is an ok way to go out, but COVID-19 is where she draws the line.

The kids are pretty much teaching themselves at this point. Jax was reviewing sight words with Oliver earlier in the morning and rewarding him with NillaWafers for every correct answer. It was like watching a trainer feed the seals at Sea World for performing tricks.

Day 12: Friday, March 27:

Joe Exotic thinks he’s a tough guy hanging out in a cage with five vicious tigers???

Please… try navigating distance learning and 12 days stuck in a house with a 6 and 3 year old.

Day 13: Saturday, March 28:

There’s only so much you can when it’s cold and rainy outside during a time of social distancing. I lit a fire. I might have burned stuff around the house purely for researching purposes in case the quarantine turns into a shelter in place (of course the fire happened in a safe and supervised manor)…

1. diaper box- forgot to take off the tape and shipping label. That smelled bad! Also, it didn’t fall out of the fireplace and almost light all of Steph’s EASTER decorations on fire.

2. An avocado peel. Cool flame color from that.

3. A wet log from the outside fire pit (my bad I forgot it was out in the rain, it didn’t feel wet)

4. Some random lint I found in the under-underneath of the couch cushion (there was a tiny hole in the back side of the couch in which i found the above mentioned lint, a cupcake wrapper, a fire stick remote, three Direct TV remotes, three magnets and some painters tape.

Day 14: Sunday, March 29:

Rainy Sundays are always a bore, but even more so when you’ve already been home for 14 straight days. We needed to spice things up a little bit and there’s only so many times you can recreate scenes from Frozen II. That’s when the perfect song came to mind.

As rock music blares through the house, the boys and I are standing in our boxer shorts in the middle of kitchen feeling very free and ready to bring some excitement into this dark and rainy Sunday afternoon. Jax and Oliver clearly stole the show as they strut across the room with makeshift microphones and oxford button downs. I’d like to say my slide would have given TOM Cruise a run for his money… but then again, I’d rather keep that video hidden from the public eye.

The day ended in a makeshift fort (that resembled a pretty well built lean-to that even Bear Grylls would be proud of) all snuggled up watching… what else? FROZEN II.

Day 15: Monday, March 30:

The kids are shockingly having spaghetti and meatballs for the 8th day in a row.

Day 16: Tuesday, March 31:

You know Distance Learning has become just another day when your three year old has his own Zoom Meetings to attend. Oliver got to Zoom his friends today. Witnessing multiple toddlers try to figure out how to take turns on a video conference call was as insanity!!!

We’ve now resorted to posting a ZOOM MEETING family schedule.

Day 17: Wednesday, April 1:

It’s Poppa Peep’s birthday today. We spent the day prank calling him. Jackson thought it would be funny to get Alexa to sing him, Happy Birthday dear fart!”

Day 18: Thursday, April 2:

Today was a lot. The New Normal is beginning to be just normal. There’s so much to balance… but in reality there’s always so much to balance. I try to continue to look at things as they come. There’s always another hurdle to get over (track and field reference) and if you know how to be flexible… truly flexible and more importantly resilient, then you can continue to get through things. Never perfectly, never easily… but you can continue to evolve.

Jax has taken this massive change very well. He’s struggled a bit, but that’s expected. He misses school, his friends and his teacher, but he’s dealing way better than I’d have ever imagined a five year old would. Oliver however, is a mess. There’s been a lot of tears and lot of falling asleep around 4:30 wherever his head hits a pillow.

We’re all exhausted. Everyone’s exhausted.

Day 19: Friday, April 3:

Today I ventured out… I had to make a trip to the UPS Store. It was what I expected. People standing far apart from each other and giving dirty looks if you coughed or let alone breathed heavily.

I’m at the point where I’m convinced if someone hears me sneeze than some government agents are going to come get me like in Monsters, Inc.

Day 20: Saturday, April 4:

It feels like the 473rd day of the year. Luckily, I love being around my kids. Yes, they drive me and mom nuts, yes they can be as annoying as Lloyd Christmas on a road trip… but in the end, this extra time with them is a blessing.

Day 21: Sunday, April 5:

It had to happen. The two of us. The hair was out of control. Shaved heads.

Oliver… get ready. You’re next.

Day 22: Monday, April 6:

Steph and the kids are down at the bottom of the driveway now drawing a six foot containment area with sidewalk chalk so that their best friends could come over to say hi.

Jax decided to draw it a little bit up from the bottom of the driveway so that they could park at the bottom of the driveway to block it off. He asked if everyone could bring some chairs so that everyone could sit and talk.

I’ll put my kids chairs in the bed of the truck, I don’t trust them otherwise. High school kids is a different story. Harvey and Oliver will immediately run up to, and lick each other!

Day 23: Tuesday, April 7:

Good day today, Zoom meetings and Google Hangouts for days, but it was actually one of the first smoothly run days so far. Things ran like clockwork. One meeting ends, the next one starts, Jackson’s school work was done with little pushback and lots of higher level thinking. Oliver ate more of his lunch and dinner than he fed to the dogs for once.

I gotta say it was a good day!

Day 24, Wednesday, April 8

Today was a relatively light day. Lots of Zoom meetings, and a few teacher and parent chats. Interestingly, I was notified by a student VIA Email that researchers in India, recently discovered a new species of green pit viper and that they have decided to name the snake after the “Harry Potter” book series character Salazar Slytherin.

The fact that during this unprecedented time in education a student reached out to me about a random snake in India and its relationship to Harry Potter let’s me know I’m doing my job as an educator in both building relationships and promoting reading!

Day 25: Thursday, April 9:

Buster and Max must think we quit our jobs to spend all of our time with them. They are in heaven with all the attention and extra food they are getting everyday!!!

Day 26: Friday, April 10:

Our town’s school lunches are on point. We decided to pick up today after reading that every child in town qualifies and that it helps keep the school’s meal numbers up which helps with funding. Plus Jax was so excited for a “hot lunch.” This massive haul is for both kids and on Friday’s they give you three days worth for the weekend!

Although I will say, Jax was very disappointed they package the calzone with broccoli, because now the calzone smells and taste like broccoli. Also factor in that Stephanie told Jackson to dip his calzone in the sauce that came with it… Mind you it was salsa not marinara.

Day 27: Saturday, April 11:

I’ve seen Trolls world Tour six times in two days and Onward twice. Jax is in two pairs of underwear because there’s no school today, he said. Oliver wore no socks; Jax had on one sock all day. Their feet are filthy. Oliver just drew a goatee on his face in sharpie, guess what I.DON’T.GIVE.A.SH!T

Day 28: Sunday, April 12:

Easter

Today we celebrated Easter… from a distance. Well… the distance between the street and the front yard.

The Easter bunny did a quick drive-by and left some eggs in the house… And the neighbor sent their Easter bunny over to drop off some eggs in the front yard… And then Mima and Papa keep came a bit later and dropped off even more Easter eggs.

Needless to say there are more pennies nickels and dimes in this house than you can even imagine. There’s candy flowing from every orifice and every cabinet. It’s stacked on every shelf and hiding in every drawer.

Day 29: Monday, April 13:

First day of April Vacation

I’m done. I’m listening to Stephanie just threaten the boys, while I hide in the Harry Potter Cupboard. They just laugh at us. They are in control and they know it.

To top off our first day of “April Vacation” we lost power.

Two toddlers ✅

Corona Quarantine ✅

Pouring Rain ✅

Power Outage ✅

Pray for us 🙏🏼

PS: Sometimes I wonder if they got this corona if it would slow them down?

Day 30: Tuesday, April 14:

I couldn’t get five seconds to do anything today. I take out the lawnmower, “can I push?!!!” I take out the rider lawnmower, “can we drive it?!??” I take out the weed wacker, “can we use it!???”

Want to know how I solved that problem. I gave the kids two pairs of scissors and told them that they had a very special tool that was used to trim long grass against the pool fence.

It kept them busy for almost 45 minutes. And the best part is Oliver used scissors with the plastic blades that doesn’t cut anything but Play Dough.

Day 31: Wednesday, April 15:

I can not watch Trolls World Tour one more time, I just can’t!!!

Day 32: Thursday, April 16:

“The best day of my life!” According to Jackson. For the first time he asked to go out and play baseball together, unsolicited. He hit, I pitched, we laughed, I cheered and he kept asking for tougher pitches. It was amazing.

I am so impressed with the development of his swing over the course literally only an hour. He hit righty and lefty and by the end of the day he was identifying what he did wrong with his swing, even if he made contact.

We also had another first for Oliver. He received his first ever REAL baseball glove. I’d been saving it and had it stored away for the right occasion and today was the perfect occasion. A beautiful sunny (quarantined) day, to play the field while his brother took BP!!!

Day 33: Friday, April 17:

Quarantine art project… the kids repurposed old chairs from my school. They really look great and will brighten up the office! I’m excited to get back and set them up.

I won’t lie, as excited I am to get back, I am loving the extra time with my family.

Day 34: Saturday, April 18

No comment. I’m done. I have nothing to say about this nonsense anymore.

Four humans and two dogs… I don’t know if this is even real life anymore. I literally put shoes on this morning just to remember how they felt.

It’s effecting everyone:

Jackson: Is today Saturday?

Me: What do you think?

Jax: You don’t know either, do you?

Day 35: Sunday, April 19:

It’s such an interesting time right now. How can we explain “social distancing,” quarantine, or the cancellation of life as we know it to our children, now and even later?

Its not even like saying, “what was life like before DirectTV, cell phones, or the internet, etc.” In those days you could at least walk to your neighbor’s house, or down the road and play with everyone in your neighborhood. Now, my children are begging to talk to the neighbors across the street.

“Dad, when the coronavirus goes away, can Kendal and Scarlett come over to play again??!?? I really miss them!”

Of course they can buddy… when… that’s the question.

Day 36: Monday, April 20:

So, today the governor issued an executive order in Connecticut. Masks or cloth face coverings are now required in public in an effort to slow the spread of coronavirus as the number of cases nears 18,000 and the death toll passes 1,000. This isn’t a problem for me as I had my mask all set to go.

Day 37: Tuesday, April 21:

I give up. Kids are now fending for themselves. “Ohh you’re thirsty, find a puddle.”

Day 38: Wednesday, April 22:

Pouring rain outside✅

Social Distancing in effect ✅

Every place closed ✅

Indoor bounce house…

Best investment ever ✅

Day 39: Thursday April 23:

It’s barely the end of April, but we needed to do something drastic. We needed something to entertain these kids and were running out of ideas. We didn’t want to do it, but we felt we had to. It was are only option!!!

The pool is now open! The temperature outside is a balmy 53* and the temperature in the water is 41*. But that didn’t stop Oliver from splashing his feet on the steps and Jackson from attempting a penguin plunge.

Day 40: Friday, April 24

#ChroniclesOfANewUncle

Today Stephanie and I became an aunt and uncle for the second time and the boys are now cousins again to a beautiful baby boy.

Roman Micheal who surprised us a few weeks early this morning is sporting the family’s good looks and big nose. Congrats to Tricia Kershaw and Dustin Kershaw ❤️❤️❤️

Day 41: Saturday, April 25:

Day 42: Sunday April 26:

Got this message from Stephanie today:

14 days!??? Please… remind me when it’s tomorrow.

PS: Any recommendations for a Quarantined Mother’s Day gift?

Day 43: Monday, April 27:

Today we celebrated a birthday unlike any birthday ever! Our brand new SIX YEAR OLD was in heaven with all the virtual and social distancing love he got on his special day!!! Thank you to all Jax’ friends and family for an unforgettable birthday.

Telling a six year old he can’t have a party can be a difficult thing to explain. But we more than made up for it today!!! A MASSIVE SHOUT OUT TO THE FIRE AND POLICE DEPT FOR THEIR SIREN AND LIGHTS DRIVE BY!!!

Day 44: Tuesday, April 28

When your child calls your name for the millionth time during quarantine:

Stephanie still has to go into work once a week. It’s nearly impossible to work from home and still teach your kids/keep them alive.

I have so much respect for the parents who are maintaining some sort of normalcy and routine right now and even more respect for the children who thrive on structure and schedule, because most of the days we wake up and throw all of that out of the window. It’s just organized chaos at this point.

Day 45: Wednesday, April 29:

Day 46: Thursday, April 30:

With mom in budget meetings and me participating in Columbia Teacher’s College (virtual) workshops all day, the boys were set up for a rough day.

But, today the end of the month, 46 days since we went into this crazy state of quarantine, they were phenomenal. They read, worked together on math problems, and sat next to each other (arms around each other) watching a movie as the sun set on another long day of coronavirus life.

Social Distancing Birthday

Planning for children’s birthday parties in and of themselves are always painful, but try having one when dealing with a pandemic. People running all over the place, kids snots flying all over the place, Hans sanitizer flowing like a waterfall But, try actually having your child’s birthday during a pandemic.

Whether it’s your child’s birthday or someone else’s, there are plenty of ways to celebrate from home, of course some of these “virtual birthday” parties are getting out of controls, but luckily Jax has no expectations except to be with his family (which is what makes him so special). We might not be able to say “Happy Birthday” in person, but lockdown didn’t need to ruin Jax’ birthday plans completely.

We live in a town where I used to work. I have become friendly with the police and fire crews who serve our school system and became colleagues of mine. The amazing first responders came through with lights and sirens which absolutely blew Jackson’s mind! He was more excited then I’ve seen him in a long time and it was priceless. Nothing, no party, or venue could have make him smile the way those truck made him smile…

…that was until his classmates, Mima and his Cousin Dominic all drove by with sign on their car and horns blasting. Jackson was again The Mayor. He was conducting business meeting with parents, he was waving to his fans… all in all, it was a wonderful day!!!

Honestly, I think we are going to need to through him a “quarantined birthday” every year!