Our Five Ring Circus: Currently...in Quarantine

Monday, April 20, 2020

Currently...in Quarantine

Parenting Blog - Currently in Quarantine

We just began our sixth week of social distancing, and our fourth week of online learning! When this all began, I thought for sure we would be back to normal life within 2-3 weeks, and definitely 6 weeks tops, but as the days went by, I began to suspect that it would be much longer. Now, I'm starting to worry this is going to extend through Summer. 

Life sure is different now. We don't go anywhere, but our days are long and busy! Some days it feels like we've got this, and other days our emotions are all over the place. I'm beginning to think we could have our own reality show at this point: Quarantine with 5 Crazy Kids!

I have been sharing snippets of our everyday lives on social media, and so many people have told me that it either makes them laugh, or that they can relate so much. Yes, we have "normal" days and incredible moments with our sweet kids, but when you put 7 people together in a 4 bedroom house, things can escalate QUICKLY!

Here are a few snippets of life lately...

●Liam tripped and knocked out a tooth.
●Homeschooling Lily is a nightmare, even though she’s super smart. We honestly think she's developing anxiety while learning at home. She never adjusted to homeschool, and misses her teacher and friends so much. Each week, her attitude gets worse, and now she's an absolute spaz. We tried so many things, and she is just angry and full of anxiety over this entire situation.
●Coen had another seizure this past week, and his neurology appointment got pushed back until this is over. So we’re on our own until then. He seems to be averaging one seizure a month.
An entire brand-new bulk size bottle of syrup fell on the floor and broke. Syrup everywhere. Does not absorb. Never want to clean that up again!I peed on a pig. When I say pig, I mean the giant squeaky toy pig that Coen threw in the toilet.
Liam ran into the room naked, shivered because he realized it was cold, and unintentionally peed all over the desk.
●Homeschooling four kids is ROUGH.
Coen finds mud and sits in it, EVERY time we go outside. Like sits and splashes. 
Dylan is fed up with us, and hides in his room all day.

●Grant caught Lexie talking on the phone to a boy for the first time, and couldn't even handle it. 
●Our kitten went into heat for the first time. We weren't quite prepared, and she's driving us crazy!
● I legit could not remember the last time Liam brushed his teeth, so we did an extra long tooth scrubbing session. 
I made myself toast for breakfast/lunch, and left the room briefly. When I walked back into the kitchen, smoke was coming out of the toaster, and the three kids in the room were COMPLETELY oblivious to the fact that it was burning.
Liam chugged apple juice during a therapy session this morning, and kept burping REALLY loud. He said excuse me, I just threw up my hands and shook my head, and his therapist was doubled over laughing.
There was that time Liam jumped off the top bunk, landed on the giant doll house, walked across the roof of the dollhouse, grabbed an umbrella from the coat rack on the closet door, and jumped down like Mary Poppins. Grant watched that play out, and was in awe of his problem-solving skills. 

Those are the stressful, crazy moments, but there's also so much good. We're having more family movie nights, more family game nights, eating dinner together every single day, and going outside for hours each day. There is school to complete, but the older kids are actually helping the younger kids learn. We're getting a lot of work done around the house, and learning how to simplify life. And despite the emotions and chaos, most of the time, we're actually having a lot of fun together!

Parenting blog

When I'm not teaching, stepping in as a therapist, cleaning, or wrangling the chaos, I'm...


I wear pajamas a lot right now, but I actually get dressed and put on a little bit of makeup each weekday. Liam has daily morning circle time on zoom, and 1-2 therapy sessions a day, 4 days a week, so I'm often assisting him. I'm not going to lie, though...some mornings, I'm business on top, and comfy on bottom!  Shoes, however, are another story. I wear my ugly Crocs around the house and outside to play. I only put on real shoes once or twice a week! Oh, and that lovely mask when I go out. Now I have a reusable one!

Social Distancing Blog


We finished the current seasons of quite a few shows recently:

  • True Detective. Loved the first season, hated the second, LOVED the third!
  • This Is Us. I didn't love the last season of This Is US, but I loved the current season!
  • The Worst Witch. I grew up watching the movie, so when I saw there was a show on Netflix, I had to watch it with Lily. It's cute, and she loves it!
  • Modern Family. We binge-watched this show over the past year, and loved it. The last episode made me tear up!
  • Schitt's Creek. We watched this show before it was so popular, and loved it. I'm honestly really sad it ended!

We're currently watching:

  • Ozark. We're almost through the current season. It's so good, and I want to binge-watch the rest!
  • How To Get Away With Murder. I quickly got hooked on that show, made Grant watch a few episodes, and he got hooked, too. We still have to make our way through the last few episodes. 
  • WestWorld. Grant loves this show, but I just watch it for him. It was okay until this current season, but now I feel like I'm watching a completely different show. 
  • The End of the F***ing World. This is a filler show for us, but I'm definitely interested to see how the current season ends!


I used to read a book each day, but that was before I had a bunch of kids. Now I'm lucky if I can read one book a year!  Since the quarantine, I've been reading a lot more. 

Here's what I read:

  • The Kept by James Scott. I couldn't put this book down, but I didn't love the ending. I pictured it going so many ways, but it just kind of ended. 
  • Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah. I absolutely loved this book! I tend to stick with suspense/mystery, but decided to try a different genre, and I'm so glad I did. If you haven't read it, I highly recommend it. I sobbed through the last few chapters!
  • On Mystic Lake by Kristin Hannah. Although I preferred the first book, I couldn't put this one down. I really liked the ending!

Here's what I'm currently reading:

  • The Girl He Used To Know by Tracey Garvis Graves. I'm working through a stack of books that already made the rounds through my mom and sisters. It's not really my genre, and I don't have anything remarkable to say, but the chapters are short, so I can read one in just a few minutes. At this point, I'm determined to finish, and hoping it gets better!

Lifestyle Blogger


I pretty much gave up my strict vegetarian diet during all of this. I still don't eat much meat at all, but my ingredients are limited these days! I do cook dinner each night, but my menu planning has changed quite a bit. I now try to plan meals for 2-3 weeks at a time, so I can decrease the amount of trips to the store to pick up our groceries. Because I'm only going to 1-2 different stores, I try to stick with recipes that have just a few simple ingredients. I DID manage to perfect my homemade cheesy tuna noodle casserole during the quarantine. (I will share that recipe soon!) We try to have a leftover night once a week to clean out the fridge, which is also a new concept for us. Honestly, we have only gotten takeout once in the past 5 weeks, and that was for my birthday!

Here's what we're eating this week:


Pork Chops
Baked Potatoes 
Glazed Carrots




Chicken Drumsticks
Rice Pilaf
Creamed Green Beans




Soup & Sliders




Seasoned Potato Wedges
Garbanzo Beans


Uhhh...Kids. Noise. Chaos. 

We did finally splurge for a sound machine for our bedroom, and it's AMAZING. I'm honestly sleeping much more deeply!


I was doing so good with the workouts, then social distancing happened. And Easter candy. We spend a lot of time outdoors, so I'm getting physical activity, but it's not structured. Tomorrow, Lexie and I are starting some hiit workouts at home!


✔Our menu plan for the next two weeks.
✔A grocery list split between 3 different stores for pickup - now I just need to get a time slot. (Tip: It's best to wait until just after midnight to submit!)
✔A vacation for as soon as the restrictions end. We usually go to the beach in August, but I'm not quite sure that's going to happen. If it doesn't we're going to pull the kids out of school in the Fall, and go somewhere!
✔Blog and Social Media Content
✔Weekly To Do Lists and Schedules
✔Sensory Bins for the next few weeks
✔Backyard and Home projects
✔New chore charts for the kids


We're in the midst of a huge decluttering project, and a big room change. The first thing we do when this is over, is get a dumpster for all of the things we're throwing away, and filling up my SUV with donations!

Here's what we're working on:

  • A Homeschooling Corner for the little kids. It's almost done, and I love it!
  • Organizing all our art, homeschooling, and home therapy supplies. The rest of the items will be here on Wednesday.
  • Turning the walk in closet in our living room into a small mudroom.
  • Decluttering the hall closet, which is WRECKED. I made it through 2 of the 5 shelves, threw away an entire garbage bag of junk, and have another garbage bag of donations already! 
  • Sorting all the clothing and toys into bins and boxes in the attic. We have so much! I finally found a bag of brand new 12 month clothing that I bought for Coen last March. Thankfully, he's small, and they still fit!
  • The BIGGEST project around the home is a room change. Lexie and Lily shared a room, and Liam and Coen shared a room. Liam rarely slept in his room because he's afraid of the dark, and was used to having Dylan in there with him for so long. Coen has been sleeping in our room since the seizures started. The girls bicker all the time, and Lily has a lot of STUFF. We decided to try a change since the boys' room wasn't really being used. Our initial offer to add a bedroom to the finished basement didn't go over well. Instead, Lily moved into the boys' room with all of her things, and Liam moved in to the girls' room with Lexie. Everyone seems happier, and is sleeping better. It was actually a blessing in disguise, because as we swap all the items in the rooms, we're going through everything, and getting organized. It's a work in progress, which will probably continue for another week or two. When this all ends, and I can send my kids elsewhere, we're going to paint both bedrooms grey, so it's gender neutral, and they can switch things up again. (Which I'm certain will happen.)


Who else is cleaning so much more? We're mopping our floors daily, cleaning hard surfaces several times a day, and I go through the house each night, disinfecting frequently touched surfaces.


More blog posts! I'm so happy to have a bit more time for blogging. Hopefully that will continue after all this ends!


I was doing photoshoots daily until Easter, then took a week off. I only picked up my camera ONCE this week, which is unusual for me. (Exactly why I only have one photo in this post!) I have a few ideas in mind, and a few products to photograph, so I'll be getting back into it this week. 


Oh, how I love Amazon! Right now I'm shopping for a few necessities, and few fun things for our home!


  • A new laptop. Mine is now only working when it's plugged in. As soon as I pull the plug, it dies. I know the battery is going, and it's time to upgrade anyway, so I just have to choose one!
  • Pyrex Measuring Cups. We have a set, and they get used daily. We only cook in the microwave or store food in glass containers. With everyone at home 24/7, we're going through a lot of soup, oatmeal, and canned pasta, and everyone is fed up with constantly washing our Pyrex!
  • A few more items Liam needs for OT at home...like a fly swatter?


  • A few more items for homeschooling.
  • A hall tree for our entry.
  • A baker's rack for a coffee/tea station in the kitchen. 
  • A small desk for me.
  • A gym mat for Lily's tumbling.
  • More storage bins for my organization spree!
  • Outdoor toys for Summer, especially if we're still social distancing and can't go to the pool or parks. 
  • A fabric ball pit for Coen's room.
  • A tiered tray for my counter. 
  • New pillows and furniture covers.
  • A jewelry organizer for my necklaces.
  • A new lens!


I think we can all agree...this pandemic coming to an end!

Big Family and Down syndrome

Currently in Quarantine. What My Big Family is Eating, Wearing, Reading, Writing, Watching, Organizing, and more!

Tell me...what's life currently like for you? 

You might also like:

Big Family Blog

1 comment:

  1. Whew, you've had a lot going on! I'm glad that there have been some good, family times though, and getting outside has to be nice! I hope the room switch works out for awhile! I think I have the most anxiety with not knowing when things will get back to normal...and even when it does, it's going to be a very new normal, I'm sure, so that's a bit nerve-wracking. It's just rough - I can't imagine being a kid and dealing with school and all of this too because it's hard to understand sometimes even as an adult! On a positive note, yay for reading some more and blogging. I'm trying to schedule ahead more often on my blog.



I love hearing from you! Let's chat!!!