COVID-19 Journal

Like many families, the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted many of our usual routines and rhythms. While the ideas of "safer at home" and social distancing were still novel, we started a daily journal to catalog our experiences. Maintaining this journal became emotionally and mentally draining as the novelty waned and the reality of the terrible scope of this virus set-in. We have preserved these 51 entries as an artifact of a challenging time in human history.

Welcome to our COVID-19 ↗ quarantine journal. We will use this journal to track our efforts to protect our family from the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, and how we are coping with life in quarantine.

Start at the beginning ↓

  1. Friday, May 8, 2020

    Movie night! We decided to make today special for the boys. We didn’t have a clue what movie we would watch, but decided to do a movie night. After a low key morning, Stephanie made (with some assistance from Bobby) a batch of homemade soft pretzels. They were delicious! Owen won’t eat popcorn, so that’s his movie snack of choice. The boys also had hot dogs for dinner and cookies for dessert. We decided to watch Toy Story. They loved it! Arlo actually watched the majority of it.

  2. Tuesday, May 5, 2020

    Happy Cinco de Mayo! We did nothing to celebrate here. It was a much needed slow morning inside. After 2 days spent mostly outside, we enjoyed taking some time to relax and take it slow. Stephanie and Owen did more school work. After naps, we relaxed and watched some cooking shows. Nothing of note, but a fairly good day.

  3. Monday, May 4, 2020

    Another wonderful day here in Knoxville. It was actually warm enough to get the water table out in the morning. Stephanie took the boys out for over 2 hours before lunch. After lunch, Stephanie was able to do school with Owen. His reading is improving leaps and bounds. He is thriving with this new curriculum. After naps, the whole family went back outside with the water table and some new tennis balls. We spent another 2+ hours outside. It was a great day!

  4. Sunday, May 3, 2020

    Today was a wonderful day. We did church at home and the boys got to watch their lesson. Bobby and Owen made cornmeal pancakes with strawberry compote for breakfast. That was a hit and a recipe we’ll definitely make it again! After naps, we spent all evening outside with the water table. It was so hot, we even set up the tent to block out the sun. We took Cooper out with us and gave him a (much needed) bath and brushing. He’s overdue for a haircut and so shaggy. The boys wore out the water table since we hadn’t really gotten to play outside much last week. We came in for a late dinner before heading to bed. It was a much needed breath of fresh air for the entire family.

  5. Saturday, May 2, 2020

    The last week was long and stressful. We had a couple of really hard days, probably due to the weather keeping us trapped inside.

    Yesterday started Phase 1 of the state opening back up. Restaurants are able to open seating up to 50% and retail stores are allowed to open their doors, with the understanding that guests need to maintain a 6 foot distance from one another and masks are highly encouraged whenever you enter a store. In Knox county specifically, salons and personal services are also allowed to open and churches can resume services under strict guidelines. Personally, we are choosing to stay home because we can and to keep our boys safe.

    Today we went for quite a long drive just trying to look at something different from our 4 walls and what we can see beyond the driveway. It is good for the soul, for the adults at least. Owen would rather just stay home. We picked up some Mexican food from one of our favorite local restaurants for lunch. After lunch, it was inside play and lots of TV.

  6. Saturday, April 25, 2020

    As has become the tradition for our Saturdays, we took a family drive. It was the first time any of us have left the house since our last Saturday drive. We just drove all over Knox county seeing what all we could get into. We decided to grab some lunch from one of our favorite local places to support a local business. It was a delicious burger! Arlo fell asleep on our drive, so Stephanie carried him up to nap. Owen stayed up to eat his lunch, but was very tired as soon as Arlo woke up. So we did naps in shifts today, which means mom and dad didn’t really get a break. The boys played trains and watched some TV before dinner.

  7. Friday, April 24, 2020

    We made it to Friday! (Surely we can still look forward to the weekend, right?) Lots of trains this morning that were left set up from Bobby’s masterpiece last night. After a rough nap time, Stephanie took the boys on a walk and then pulled out some play doh sand outside. They enjoyed making a huge mess in the driveway and throwing it in each other’s hair. After watching Survivor for this week, we turned on some old videos of Supermarket Sweep. Owen loves that show, so he enjoyed getting to see them run through the aisles.

  8. Thursday, April 23, 2020

    At breakfast, Owen was really excited to read Arlo a book. It was so cute to see him so excited. Arlo sat himself down and started petting Cooper while Owen did a school lesson. They really are best friends. Stephanie brought out one of Owen’s old books and Arlo really enjoyed reading through it. He begged all day to read different parts again. He’s getting close to talking and enjoyed hearing the words repeatedly. It was a rainy day, so Bobby promised Owen that they would make a box into a tunnel for his Thomas engines. They had a lot of fun chugging the engines.

  9. Wednesday, April 22, 2020

    Today was a fairly calm day. We played inside a lot and Owen did a school lesson. Stephanie took the boys for a walk after nap. We had a really low key day.

    We’re still awaiting more details about opening back up here in Knoxville. I think everyone is getting a little anxious about helping small businesses.

  10. Tuesday, April 21, 2020

    This morning we were able to play and find some activities inside. We built more train tracks, building blocks, and playing with Lego. After a failure of nap time, we went for a short walk. We had a snack outside before playing chalk and then tossing some balls.

  11. Monday, April 20, 2020

    This morning was interesting. Arlo figured out how to turn on the TV and was so proud of himself. After naps, we got to play outside for a couple of hours. It was warm enough for water table. We decided to get out Owen’s new sprinkler. Arlo loved it! Owen was a little unsure of running through it, but loved filling cups with the water.

    Today was exciting for another reason as well! Owen’s new Kindergarten curriculum arrived! We had plans to start him this fall, but since we’re home now and needing more challenging activities, we decided to jump in now. We will likely take some time off later during the summer to do all the fun things once they open back up and again at the holidays. He is really enjoying everything he is learning and is excited to do schoolwork each day.

    The governor announced today that the safer at home order will expire April 30 for 89 counties in Tennessee. That leaves 6 counties with their own health departments to make the decision for themselves about opening back up. Knox county is 1 of the 6 that weren’t reopened by the order. We are still waiting for further details from our county mayor about more details regarding open up some non-essential businesses.

  12. Sunday, April 19, 2020

    Church at home again this morning. Stephanie made bagel sandwiches that were delicious. After church, the whole family played with trains and built tracks all over the living room. After dinner, Bobby and Owen worked on learning how to play chess together. They had a lot of fun. All the days are really running together at this point. And nothing is nearly as exciting as it was 40 days ago.

  13. Saturday, April 18, 2020

    Saturday was a good day. After breakfast, we loaded up and headed out for a drive. We wound our way up to north Knoxville and showed Owen our old stomping grounds. Owen requested Chick-fil-A for dinner, so we made it happen. We brought it home and then got the boys down for a nap. Stephanie tackled cleaning the playroom then we all settled in for a rest. The boys fought nap, so they slept until dinner time. After dinner, Bobby played trains with the boys. Then before we knew it, bedtime was upon us.

    Its been a while since we’ve recorded numbers, so we thought we’d include them today. Tennessee is at 6,752 confirmed cases with over 90,000 tests performed. So far, 145 people have lost their lives. Knox county is up to 194 confirmed cases, which is the lowest of the 3 big cities in TN by a substantial amount.

  14. Friday, April 17, 2020

    Finally Friday - do we still celebrate Friday in this nonsense land? We had a grocery pickup order ready at 8am, so Stephanie loaded up the boys to get 10 days worth of food. It was definitely the biggest grocery order for our family to date - 5 gallons of milk, 16 containers of berries, and 36 eggs. The only thing they didn’t have was yeast and we’re critically low. After we got the groceries home and unloaded, it was a relaxing morning. Owen and Arlo played. Owen did a yoga video. Lunch was sandwiches on the end of the bread Stephanie made the day before with the homemade french onion dip was delicious! After naps, we were able to get the water table out and the boys really enjoyed it. Bobby joined the family after he logged off and we played with balls until dinner time.

  15. Thursday, April 16, 2020

    Finally, a beautiful weather day! We had scones for breakfast (they were delicious and the boys loved them!) We had sandwiches on our homemade bread for lunch. After naps, Stephanie and the boys spent the afternoon outside with chalk. This evening, Stephanie decided to caramelize onions to make homemade french onion dip in the morning. Bobby did an awesome job cutting the onions, while Stephanie gave the boys a bath. It was a team effort to cook them and it was worth the time.

  16. Wednesday, April 15, 2020

    Knox County Schools officially announced, at the request of the governor, that school would be out through the end of the year. Having missed 6 weeks of Sophomore year of high schools, Stephanie definitely feels for and can relate to, the students who are going through this period with no school.

    This morning, we received a grocery delivery from Publix. We were critically low on milk, so this became a necessity in our house. The first pickup available (as of Sunday) at Kroger was for Friday. It was nice to get groceries delivered straight to the door. Family walk returned after nap because it was actually a nice evening. Stephanie decided to bake some bread and mix up some blueberry scones for breakfast this evening.

  17. Tuesday, April 14, 2020

    Tuesday morning started off with Stephanie’s bible study meeting virtually. It was the last week of our study of the book of Romans. We will pick up the book of Philippians next week. After naps, the boys were cranky, so Stephanie took them on a walk to check the mail. We’ve started letting Arlo walk by himself and he always looks like such a big boy. Arlo worked a wooden puzzle while Owen and Bobby worked on the Pokemon puzzle he got for his birthday. After, Owen and Arlo got rides on our shoulders. They loved it, but its brutal on mommy and daddy.

  18. Monday, April 13, 2020

    The day after an eventful weekend is always difficult. The reality that we are still home really set in with nothing really to look forward to in the coming weeks. The weather forecast isn’t great for being outside. The governor extended the safer-at-home order through the end of the month. This wasn’t surprising, but it was still a stark reality against the celebration of Easter and Owen’s birthday. We did school with Owen, Arlo enjoyed coloring in his new coloring book, and then napped. Owen had fun playing with some new Lego that arrived from Aunt Kelsey as a late birthday present after nap.

  19. Sunday, April 12, 2020

    Happy Easter! We celebrated with baskets overflowing with outdoor toys, swim shoes, coloring books, some new board games, books for reading, and a chocolate bunny. It was weird to watch church online for Easter Sunday. Stephanie made a delicious lunch of Marry Me Chicken, mashed potatoes, roasted asparagus, and scratch-made rolls. When Stephanie ordered Owen’s cake, she also got a cookie decorating kit for Easter, so we did that after nap and enjoyed the cookies for dessert. While the boys napped, Bobby helped hide Easter eggs in our living room for the boys the hunt. Arlo loved it! Owen was more worried Arlo than looking for the eggs. We also played a bunch of new games the boys got for birthday/Easter. We had a great day!

  20. Saturday, April 11, 2020

    Owen turns 4!! We celebrated a day early because his birthday fell on Easter and during the quarantine times, no one knows what day it is anyway. So we celebrated for 2 days!

    Bobby had created an app on which Owen could catch Pokemon using QR codes and his cell phone. Owen was so very excited when we read him a letter! He was very excited to take Bobby around looking for the Pokemon. We had donuts for breakfast (thanks Mimi and Pepper). Bobby had the idea to make pokeball pancakes, so we colored some pancake batter and and made some pokeballs. After naps, we watched some Pokemon tv shows, played with new toys, and did cake and sang Happy Birthday.

    We all loaded up to get some Chick-fil-A for dinner after eating donuts, pancakes, and cake all day. It was Owen’s request for chicken nuggets.

    At bedtime, Stephanie was talking to Owen about his day. His favorite part was hunting Pokemon. And when she asked him if it was a good day, he responded “I don’t think anyone will ever believe how awesome today was!” And it really was a great day. Just missing our family getting together to celebrate him.

  21. Friday, April 10, 2020

    Today was a good day! Bobby took the day off from work. We took a drive up to Mahalo Coffee for some more beans and for a yummy iced coffee. It was nice to soak up the sun and get out of the house for an hour or so. We spent some time building train tracks, watching some tv, and Bobby put the finishing touches on the surprise for Owen.

    After the boys went to bed, Stephanie went into party mode with Bobby’s help. Pokemon came to visit us, 120 balloons were blown up for a balloon arch, and the table decorated with too many presents. It was so perfect for celebrating our 4 year old!

  22. Thursday, April 9, 2020

    Today was a fairly normal day in this new quarantine existence. Today was a pajama day for the boys. They played with trains and built some cool tracks (with parental help). Bobby spent a lot of the evening putting the finishing touches on the big surprise for Owen’s birthday. Stephanie’s creation of the day is was peanut butter chocolate chip banana pancakes for the boys for dinner.

  23. Wednesday, April 8, 2020

    It’s Wednesday, so that means lawn care day for our complex. So the boys were entertained for the morning watching the lawn mowers, weed eaters, and blowers come by the window. Owen helped Stephanie make a buttermilk cake! We had it after lunch and it was delicious. Stephanie spent the afternoon reorganizing Owen’s school stuff and the nook with her desk. Owen has completed about 50 pages worth of kindergarten level worksheets since this whole ordeal started and he finished his k primer book. He loves to learn!

    Knox county is knocking on the door of 150 cases. The deaths continue to mount state and nationwide. It is so sad to think of all of the families impacted by this pandemic.

  24. Tuesday, April 7, 2020

    Knox county is up to 143 cases as of today. Statewide, we surpassed 4,000 with 74 deaths. That is nearly double the deaths in 48 hours.

    Stephanie had arranged for a Kroger Clicklist pickup for this afternoon, so she spent most of the morning cleaning out the fridge and organizing to make room for the new stuff. Owen wanted to do some schoolwork in the morning. They ended up calling to say that the order was late, but it only ended up being about 30 minutes late. We were able to get everything except for yogurt and peanut butter. They also only gave us 3 of the 5 milks we ordered. (That’s just a 1 week supply. Not trying to hoard, but we go through a lot of milk.) After we finally go all the groceries unload, Stephanie was able to take the boys outside for some water table time before dinner. After dinner, Bobby and Owen built a super awesome train track and played some Pokemon on the Gameboy Color.

  25. Monday, April 6, 2020

    Today was better. We caught a breath of fresh air. Owen was up a little early, but we were able to get some school in at breakfast. That usually seems to set our day up for success. Breakfast and lunch were delicious, which also improves Stephanie’s mood. Stephanie took the boys outside after naps, and Bobby was able to join the family after work. It was so nice to get the water table back out and spend some time in the warm sun. We lost track of time, so we rushed in for a late dinner. We had a little time to play after dinner, then bedtime.

    No real change in numbers locally overnight. Still bracing for what is expected to be a sad and long 2 weeks.

  26. Sunday, April 5, 2020

    Today was hard. The boys are becoming more stir crazy and it showed today. We watched church this morning and our only complaint about online church is the childcare is lacking. The boys ate lunch and went down for naps, while mom and dad had a day date with frozen pizza while watching NASCAR iRacing. Naps were far too short. Bedtime provided much needed relief.

    Knox county reached 115 cases today. The news is starting to say that this week will be the worst for cases and deaths in the majority of the US.

  27. Saturday, April 4, 2020

    Normal Saturdays are errand days where we wonder around the mall or visit different stores. We’ve definitely been missing that rhythm in our house, so after a quick breakfast we loaded up just for a car ride. We drove along the river, weaving our way to campus. Man, is it weird to see campus completely empty! We maybe saw 5 people walking around, which is fewer than we saw even that summer we stayed in Knoxville for summer school and working for the band. After an eerie drive down an empty Gay Street downtown, we were all hungry. We decided to support a local sandwich shop with the best lemon cookies. The boys refused naps, so to keep the mood up, we headed out for some water table time this evening! When it was time for dinner, we let the boys eat outside in the back of the Tribeca, since the driveway gets no shade and it was very hot. They loved the picnic in the back of the car! Definitely something we’ll have to do again, even though the trunk is usually full of things needed for regular outings.

    Tonight, Bobby and Stephanie hosted a game night with a different group of friends. Though this one was cut short because of fussy babies, we really enjoyed connecting with a group that we don’t get to see near as often as we’d like.

    Cases are rising, though Knox county only reported 1 new case. Nationally, cases topped 300,000 and deaths topped 8,000. NYC still seems to be taking the brunt of it right now.

  28. Friday, April 3, 2020

    Stephanie and the boys had a relaxing morning. Arlo is figuring out how to put the train tracks together and he makes the best faces when he gets 2 pieces connected! After naps, Stephanie opted to take the boys outside and Owen begged to go for a walk. About halfway through, Owen decided that he was hot and wanted to just go back to play in the driveway. It was so warm, Stephanie filled up the water table and let them play with the water in the regular clothes. Bobby brought Cooper out and joined the rest of the family for a little while before we headed inside for dinner.

    Statewide, cases surpassed 3,000 in Tennessee. Knox county is knocking on the door of 100 cases. The CDC released a recommendation now that all people should wear a mask when out in public. Stephanie plans on making us some for in the event we must visit a store for food or necessary supplies.

    Stephanie attempted a visit to Costco during naps; however, there was a line of 50-75 people waiting to get into the store. Luckily, we don’t need anything from there desperately. So she set up a Kroger order, but the earliest pickup available was Tuesday.

  29. Thursday, April 2, 2020

    This morning, Stephanie made cauliflower bagels from scratch with bacon and eggs for breakfast. After breakfast, she baked a loaf of sandwich bread. It was delicious! We used it to make grilled cheese sandwiches to go with homemade tomato soup. The boys played with train tracks and watched some TV while Stephanie spent some time in the kitchen. Owen did some preschool both before and after nap, with Arlo joining in for the after nap portion! It was a full, yet fun day.

    Cases are mounting, but definitely slower than we all expected. Hopefully it is truly a flattening of the curve and not a lag in reporting or testing. Only time will tell.

  30. Wednesday, April 1, 2020

    It was colder today, so Stephanie couldn’t get the boys outside until this afternoon. This morning was quiet here. Owen did more yoga videos. Stephanie pulled out the train tracks and then the boys enjoyed watching some episodes of Thomas and Friends. After naps, the boys played with chalk and Stephanie took them on a walk. While the boys had dinner, Bobby built a big fort for them.

    These last couple days, Stephanie has noticed Owen asking for more activities and asking where we’re going each day. He’s starting to notice the difference and going a little stir crazy. Stephanie had planned to start Kindergarten with Owen this summer, but we’re planning on going ahead and ordering it soon to give him some additional mental stimulation.

    Knox county is up to 78 cases and Tennessee has had a total of 24 deaths. We’re just watching daily to see the numbers rise and waiting to see how high they will peak.

  31. Tuesday, March 31, 2020

    It was a rainy day today, so we weren’t able to get outside. Owen requested a game of Chutes & Ladders with Stephanie before breakfast since he woke up a little early. After breakfast, Stephanie had a video call with the women from her bible study since they’ve had to cancel the rest of their study on Romans. The boys were fairly cooperative while she was able to enjoy checking in with everyone. The afternoon was pretty uneventful. After dinner, Bobby and Stephanie started working on a 1,000 piece puzzle.

    President Trump has admitted to the worsened outlook nationwide, with peak cases and deaths expected later this month. No exciting reports out of Tennessee or Knoxville, just an increase in cases.

  32. Monday, March 30, 2020

    The report today was not good for Knox county. Cases topped 50 and the first death was reported today. Governor Bill Lee issued a “Safer-at-Home” order for the entire state, closing all non-essential businesses in the entire state. A news story was released late last night regarding independent projections for TN. Peak hospitalizations are estimated to be around April 12, with the state being short over 150 beds. Death toll would peak around 51 on April 21, with 1,551 deaths total in the state by August.

    As for our family today, we had a great day! Stephanie let the boys ride along to grab some breakfast and our grocery pick up order. When they got home, Owen did lots of preschool activities and 4 yoga videos from YouTube. Leftovers for lunch, followed by naps. After naps, Stephanie took the boys on a walk and let them play outside for a few minutes before coming in for dinner. After dinner, Bobby, Stephanie, and Owen played Sorry!, Mancala, and Chutes and Ladders. Another day of family fun!

  33. Sunday, March 29, 2020

    Our church offered online services again this morning. There is a meme circulating that jokes about how church at home needs better childcare. And we agree! But it is nice to see familiar faces and to stay connected in worship. We spent the rest of the morning watching some shows before we ordered pizza for lunch. While the boys napped, Stephanie and Bobby were able to watch some Nascar folks drive via iRacing, which is a video game that is incredibly realistic. After naps, we spent about an hour and a half outside. Baths and bedtime followed.

    Tennessee surpassed 1,500 cases as a state and Knox county has 38 cases. We have doubled since Thursday. Knox county is less than a week into “safer at home”, so we expect the numbers to continue to climb for another week or so.

  34. Saturday, March 28, 2020

    Saturday is usually full of running errands and being out and about. This morning, the boys enjoyed a lazy morning of cartoons. Stephanie really didn’t feel like cooking, so we had leftover muffins and a frozen dinner for lunch. After naps, the entire family spent over 2 hours outside playing with the water table, playing basketball, or throwing the frisbee. We even ate our picnic dinner outside.

    Stephanie and Bobby hosted a Skype call to play games with some friends while social distancing. It was a lot of fun and provided some much needed adult interaction!

    More cases are coming locally and nationally; however, at the state level, we seem to be at a daily growth rate of around 20%, which is much better than the 33-50% we were told to expect. We will continue to practice social distancing, as it seems to be flattening the curve.

  35. Friday, March 27, 2020

    Another day of staying home. Owen and Stephanie made muffins from scratch for breakfast and some cookies first thing. Stephanie was able to video chat with some mom’s club friends in the morning. It was nice to reconnect with them and check in on their families. Then Stephanie took the boys outside for about an hour for chalk and toys. Owen woke up way before Arlo (because of super short naps Thursday), so he got to play outside with the water table by himself for over an hour. When Arlo woke up, the boys both played piano for a little bit before dinner. After dinner, we were able to relax and watch some tv.

    The US now has more cases than any other country. More cases locally as well. There are now some scary reports coming out of New York about hospitals being overcrowded. Praying that we don’t get to that point in Knoxville.

  36. Thursday, March 26, 2020

    Tennessee surpassed the 1,000 cases mark today. We were expecting it, but it still caught us off guard a little. The US also has surpassed most every other country in death toll, which is not a stat we were not expecting.

    We had an absolutely beautiful day in Knoxville today. Stephanie and the boys went out this morning for little bit of chalk and sunshine. We decided to load up the entire family and drive over 20 minutes away to a local coffee shop owned by Daytona 500 Champ Trevor Bayne and his wife. Trevor was actually at the shop roasting coffee and came to talk to us about what beans they had available. Owen was shy, but thought it was really cool that he was a real Nascar driver.

    The water table made an appearance after a (very short) nap time time. The boys splashed and played in the driveway for almost 2 hours. After dinner, Stephanie took the boys for a walk. Overtired Arlo went straight to bed, but Owen stayed up and played Pokemon on the Gameboy with Bobby for the first time. Better moods all around today!

  37. Wednesday, March 25, 2020

    It’s officially been 2 weeks since our last outing with the boys where they were allowed to run around and touch things. It is so crazy to think that everyone was joking and laughing about toilet paper hoarding and we’re now 2 weeks in.

    Alro ate an entire container of blackberries for breakfast! Stephanie took the boys to run some errands (none required getting out of the car) before getting out the water table after nap. They enjoyed splashing and playing so much.

  38. Tuesday, March 24, 2020

    Knoxville had another day full of rain today. Stephanie took the boys out for a picnic breakfast before it really picked up. When they came back inside, Stephanie set up a race track obstacle course for them to race Hot Wheels on. That was definitely a hit, but Cooper and Arlo were always wild cards being in the way or moving the obstacles!

    After nap, Owen did some preschool work with Stephanie and Arlo was not happy that she didn’t have any activities to do with him. As a family, we watched Alton Brown and his wife live stream making dinner at their house since they are quarantined like the rest of us. This was the second Tuesday in a row that they have done this and they plan to continue as long as we are all social distancing! It has been very neat to watch the way in which celebrities and others have used social media for positive and uplifting things during this difficult time.

    Knox county announced an increase of only 3 cases overnight, with only an 8% jump in cases in the entire state. There are reports circulating of resulting taking as long as 5 days to come back, so it’s quite possible there are more infected, but not confirmed through testing.

  39. Monday, March 23, 2020

    Knox county more than doubled the number of reported cases overnight. We are also now under a “safer at home” order, meaning non-essential businesses open to the public are to close for good by midnight. Grocery stores, pharmacies, and doctors offices will remain open, and restaurants will still be able to serve to go and deliveries.

    This morning was a regular morning for Stephanie and the boys, including some preschool and independent play. We decided to support a local restaurant and pick up some burgers for lunch! Walking into a usually bustling diner with no one in the dining room was a somewhat shocking experience for Stephanie. Stephanie did some work changing out the boys clothes for warmer weather and for the next size up during nap time. Bobby showed Owen an old version of the Pokemon game before it was time for bed!

  40. Sunday, March 22, 2020

    Welp, Tennessee hit 505 cases. We expect the numbers to continue to climb, but it is surreal to watch the counts rise daily. We were able to place an order for Kroger Pick Up this morning (we had to start it 3 days ago, but were given the option to edit as needed) simply to replace things we were using and of course we needed more milk. There were some substitutions, but we were able to meet all of our needs!

    The entire family was able to watch church online, including a special video the boys would normally watch during their time in childcare. After church, we played Chutes and Ladders. This was Owen’s first time playing and he actually won one round! Stephanie won the other 2.

    After lunch and while Arlo was down for nap, Owen was able to do a preschool lesson and did great! After nap, Owen helped Stephanie make a chocolate cake from scratch. He really enjoyed making the ganache and helping mix the batter. After dinner, we all settled in for a round of Sorry!, another game that was new for Owen. Bobby was the winner this time!

  41. Saturday, March 21, 2020

    Cases in Tennessee jumped 60% overnight to 372 total cases with only 1 death. We had decided last night to support our favorite local breakfast place by getting it to go, but they made the decision late last night to close at least over the weekend and reevaluate what next steps they’ll be taking. Instead, we supported a local donut shop who has started doing drive up.

    We watched Mulan late this morning. Owen said he didn’t like it, but he didn’t stop watching. After naps, we did our nightly family walk, which was chilly but definitely needed. We watched some Barefoot Contessa to end our day before baths and bed. A relaxing Saturday at home, just missing our usual routine of running errands and wandering at various stores.

  42. Friday, March 20, 2020

    It was a rainy day and we all felt the mood change after a beautiful sunny day. The boys played with the end of the wrapping paper after I wrapped presents for a friend. Stephanie was able to take the boys out for a walk after naps, but they had to hurry home as sprinkles were starting.

    75+ new cases in Tennessee today, and increasing cases in the east region. Knox county has closed all bars and limited restaurants eat in to 50% capacity. No changes to take out yet, but we’re noticing more and more service industries closing to help flatten the curve.

  43. Thursday, March 19, 2020

    We had an exciting day today! It started out with our first injury of the quarantine. Arlo fell and busted his lip pretty good. But he bounced back quickly when he saw banana on his plate for breakfast!

    We brought out the huge container of wooden tracks for some morning fun while we waited for the rain to stop. Both of the boys had a blast building tracks. Stephanie took the boys out for a picnic for lunch and some outdoor play leading up to quiet time.

    After naps, we were able to fill up the water table in the driveway because the weather was beautiful! The boys spent over an hour splashing, pouring water, and washing army men. We then loaded up in the car for the first time in almost a week and headed to pick up a Target order. We grabbed fast food for dinner to treat the boys. We watched Survivor and then built more tracks before bed.

  44. Wednesday, March 18, 2020

    Today was uneventful, for the most part. Cases are mounting in Tennessee, though the bulk of the cases are located in middle TN. Owen and Stephanie did lots of preschool and Arlo even sat at the table with us and colored! No walk this evening, as sprinkles moved in right about the time we were going to leave. We watched some children’s authors read their own books instead. Jimmy Fallon’s This is Baby had Arlo enthralled! We ended our night with another round of Mario Party. Bobby was the winner tonight!

    Bobby did make a run to Publix to back fill some items we had used since our last trip on Friday. He found more empty shelves than last week, so we’re appreciating that we had stocked up on most things earlier.

  45. Tuesday, March 17, 2020

    Today was fairly normal for the entire family, except Stephanie’s Tuesday bible study has been postponed indefinitely.

    We awoke to the first confirmed case in Sevier county and the news that Knox county schools will be out through the end of the month, at least. Stephanie spent lot of today checking in on friends from church, mom’s club, and friends we keep in contact with from college. So far, everyone seems to be social distancing and keeping kids safe. And they claim to have enough toilet paper!

    Owen completed a couple of preschool lessons, a highlight of his day. After nap, Stephanie took the boys outside to enjoy snacks and burn off some energy. Before dinner, the entire family took a walk for the third night in a row. The regular routine amongst the unease has been a bright point. After dinner, Owen requested that we play a game, so we chose Super Mario Party on our Nintendo Switch. And the winner was…Owen! He was really excited after his crushing loss over the weekend!

  46. Monday, March 16, 2020

    Bobby went back to work today after taking Friday off. Stephanie and the boys managed their first quarantine day with Bobby at work pretty well.

    It’s starting to sink in how real this is becoming. None of us are showing any symptoms of anything yet, so we’re hopeful we took enough measures before we may have been exposed. To distract from the growing cloud of uncertainty, Stephanie and Owen took to the kitchen to whip up some savory breakfast muffins (made of pancake batter, cheese, and sausage baked in muffin tins), blueberry scones, and cinnamon rolls. Our fridge and freezer are packed with delicious treats for now 😄. Owen and Arlo both enjoyed some of the new episodes of Thomas the Tank Engine that were recently added to Netflix.

  47. Sunday, March 15, 2020

    Disney released Frozen II to Disney+ early, so we made plans to watch it together after the church livestream. Bobby ran out to Publix early in the morning to check on their stock of things and grab some special movie snacks for the boys. All paper goods were still sold out, but most other foodstuffs were in decent supply. Hopefully more stock is on the way to keep the masses from panicking more.

    We took a walk around our apartment complex last night to burn off some energy. Owen and Stephanie did some more preschool before everyone settled in at the end of a very long weekend.

  48. Saturday, March 14, 2020

    Today was our first full day at home. We worked a few puzzles with the boys, then went outside to blow off some energy with chalk and basketball.

    In the evening, we played Super Mario Party with Owen. Some of the little mini games were too tough for him, but he did well in picking up the concept and making decisions on his own. He would’ve won, too, if the computer didn’t decide to award Stephanie some pity stars at the very end 😁. We also used SMP’s Sound Stage mode to get the blood pumping and burn off a little bit more energy before bed.

  49. Friday, March 13, 2020

    We started the day bright and early with a trip to Publix and Target to grab the final groceries we’ll need to weather the next few weeks. To minimize the boys’ contact with public surfaces, we kept them in our double stroller for around the stores. They were sad they couldn’t ride in the fun race car and double carts we normally use, but they handled it well otherwise.

    NASCAR and the fledgling XFL finally cancelled their seasons. Our church also moved their services to online-only for at least the next couple of weeks.

    The rest of the day was pretty low-key. We hung out with the boys and let them control the tv for a while. Bobby started teaching some basic musical rhythm concepts to Owen, and he picked it up extremely quickly! Working with Owen on his preschool and new skills will be an important distraction in the coming weeks.

  50. Thursday, March 12, 2020

    Today we cancelled plans with friends and family for Friday and Saturday. It was difficult to tell those we love that we could not see them, but the risk of spreading something is just too high.

    Panic buying has begun as people are buying stores out of toilet paper. The Target order we placed less than 24 hours ago wouldn’t be possible now. Food still seems to be in good supply, so we finalized a shopping list for groceries to pick up first thing tomorrow.

    After the NBA shut down yesterday, pretty much every remaining major sports-related anything followed suit today. Knox County also reported their first confirmed case of coronavirus. Knox County Schools announced they would close on Friday for a to-be-determined duration.

    Bobby’s employer announced they would begin enforcing a work from home policy on Friday. Stephanie and the boys had a fairly normal day of preschool and playing outside. Our first day of social distancing is in the books.

  51. Wednesday, March 11, 2020

    Today we decided we would begin social distancing and self-quarantine on Thursday out of an abundance of caution. Stephanie and the boys attended a bible study in the morning, then had lunch with friends from church before coming home to prepare. Afraid that personal hygiene supplies would soon be limited, we placed a drive-up order from Target for diapers, wipes, toilet paper, soap, shampoo, and toothpaste.

    This evening, the NBA cancelled their season ↗ after a player for the Utah Jazz tested positive.