Our Five Ring Circus: My Birthday in Quarantine During a Pandemic

Friday, April 3, 2020

My Birthday in Quarantine During a Pandemic

My Birthday in Quarantine During a Pandemic

Today was my birthday. When I envisioned this birthday, I imagined it would be my usual day of driving my kids around, breakfast or lunch with a sibling or friend, going out for dinner with my husband, and a little party with my family in the evening. In reality, my birthday was much different. I never imagined I would be celebrating it in quarantine, during the coronavirus pandemic!

I would say that my birthday felt just like any other day, but that isn't quite accurate. Nothing is ordinary right now! Instead, it was just like every other day we spent social distancing. It was a bizarre birthday, but definitely one I will never forget!

There wasn't a doughnut breakfast, I didn't have to drive kids to school, I didn't meet a friend or sister for lunch, my husband and I didn't have date night, the presents came from my Amazon wishlist, and there wasn't a party. This was the first time I didn't get to see my mom on my birthday. Heck, I didn't even leave the house except to get the mail! Birthdays in quarantine, during a pandemic, are definitely out of the ordinary! Despite the circumstances, I still felt the love!

Let me start by saying that birthdays are NOT a big deal for me. I make them into a big deal for my kids, but I feel like once I reached adulthood, they just became a day like any other. Yes, being spoiled a little bit more than normal is nice, but I never have a huge celebration.

Birthday presents are nice, as well, but I don't need them. The things I really want to ask for - like hugging and talking to my grandma one last time or galloping through the woods on my horse's back - are things I can't have. I've learned that the true gifts in life are moments, so I focus less on gifts and more on the spending the day with people I love. 

This year, however, that was tough. I just planned to spend the day with my loved ones, but it was limited to spending the day with just my husband and kids, since there was nowhere to go, and we couldn't gather in a crowd. I am so thankful we could all celebrate together, but I just miss my family and friends, too!

Pittsburgh Blog

When I woke up today, I felt more tired than I had in a while, even though I got enough sleep. It compared to the bone-deep tired you feel when you are in a hospital. My body was tired, my mind was tired, and I just wanted to go back to bed. It was bad timing, but I think it was due to all the stress from weeks of social distancing and our new norm of homeschooling for three days. It's a LOT to deal with at once!

I briefly considered canceling Liam's first teletherapy session for physical therapy so I could sleep longer, but the guilt got me out of bed. Even though Liam did NOT want to cooperate, seeing my husband jumping around behind the iPad was pretty funny. Liam eventually cooperated a bit, and finished the session strong.

I had approximately 10 minutes to chug my hot tea and read birthday messages before it was time to call in to the Zoom meeting for daily circle time with Liam's special ed class. He loves those live circle time sessions, though, and loved seeing his teacher, para, and aides on the iPad screen. He just doesn't understand why he can't be at school with his favorite people, and it breaks my heart!

Down syndrome

Grant helped a lot with homeschooling today. Even though he is working from home, he planned ahead, and took a personal day. He only logged on this morning, then took over the teacher duties and tackled all the meal prep and cleanup duties today. Homeschooling three additional kids is a LOT, and I was feeling very overwhelmed, so it definitely helped. I don't want to jinx anything, but it did to go more smoothly today, and the kids were done more quickly. There were a few glitches, but I expect that for the first few weeks!

At 1:00, Liam had teletherapy for speech again. I still hadn't eaten anything, so Grant made me soup, and Lexie took over for the second half of the session. His other teletherapy sessions are rough, but Liam does cooperate  for speech! 

Down syndrome blog

While I was helping with the first half, my dad stopped by with a card, a bouquet of flowers, and cake and ice cream. I only got to wave to him, but it meant so much that he took the time to drop everything off and make sure I still had a special day. My parents are wonderful, and I know I'm so blessed to have them in my life! My aunt/godmother never forgets my birthday, and sure enough, there was a card in the mail. She sent me a little reminder of my beloved grandma. When I opened the card, out popped a bunch of beautiful butterflies that my grandma loved so much! (You can see the card and the bouquet on my mantle in some pictures!)

After lunch, I NEEDED a break. The exhaustion was getting to me, and my head was pounding. I rarely take naps, but decided I needed one. I fell asleep fast, and slept for over an hour! Just as I woke up, Coen needed one, so I nursed him, and snuggled him for a few minutes as he slept. I never expected to have a fifth baby, especially now. Even though he is by far, my most demanding baby, I am thoroughly enjoying my time with him, and I spend more time slowing down to savor the special moments.

Mom Blog

One thing I was bummed about was not being able to go out to dinner or have a little party with my husband, kids, and parents. I just planned to cook dinner at home, but we opted for takeout from a local pizza place instead. It wasn't quite like the Olive Garden meal I pictured for my birthday, but my salad and provolone sticks were good! 

While we ate, we had family movie night. Grant told me to pick a movie from my childhood, so I chose Mannequin, from 1987. My mom and I watched it on repeat for many years, so I was excited to watch it with my older kids!

After dinner and a movie, my sweet little tribe threw my a little party! All of the presents came from my Amazon wishlist since going shopping was a no go, and this was the first year my parents couldn't be here to celebrate, but I will never forget how hard my husband and kids worked to make my day so special. They presented the homemade cards and the gifts with so much excitement, and I felt incredibly loved! My favorite moment was having an armful of babies as my husband and kids sang happy birthday to me. Yes, I'm more than a mom, but they make my life worth living!

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Later in the evening, after we put Coen to bed, Lexie and Lily spent time with Liam so Grant and I could watch the last episode of True Detective. (The third season is SO good!) It took us a while to finish it because my parents called to chat for a few minutes, but I'm so glad I got to talk to them. Not seeing them, and my family and friends, is rough!

Parenting Blog

As I thought about birthdays, it hit me that although this one was far from perfect, it was still incredibly special in other ways, and it's a birthday I will always remember. I was able to celebrate another year on the planet with six people I love the most, and thanks to technology, I was showered with love. And when this lockdown finally ends, we're going to have the biggest party to celebrate Lexie and Coen's big birthdays, and just maybe we'll add my name to that cake, too!

Big Family Blog

Will you be celebrating a birthday in quarantine during this pandemic? How will you make it special?

My Birthday in Quarantine During a Pandemic

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  1. Happy birthday! Gabbie had her birthday this week and I think she made the most of it. I like that first shirt you're holding up!

  2. We did pizza take out for Rory's birthday too. It is sooo weird to celebrate someone's birthday when the world is like this right now. I can't wait to celebrate him when this is all over. I have been super bone tired lately and it is just because this is a lot to handle. I am working from home, taking care of my kids and the house all day long. No break. And I cook three meals a day. It is tough. I am barely surviving too. Stay safe and sane my friend.

  3. Awe, Happy Birthday!! I am glad you were able to make the best of it during this difficult time.

  4. Aw, I'm so glad that your family was able to make it special even if your plans couldn't go all happen. That's so sweet of your dad to drop some things off for you! My niece has a birthday on Sunday - yes, Easter - and I hate not being able to see her, but I know we'll celebrate more once we can. My birthday is May 30 so who knows what will be happening then??


  5. Happy belated birthday, lady!! I'm glad your family made your day so special. It was definitely not ideal celebrating in quarantine this year, but it was one you'll remember forever!

  6. Happy Birthday!! Looks like you had a good time with your family even with the quarantine going on. I'm impressed that Liam can handle so many tele-appointments! My Lily tried one OT appointment but it didn't go that great at all.


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