Our family diary during the COVID-19 outbreak: week 3
A look back at our week: how we're feeling, what we've been up to and reflections.
Week 3: Monday 30 - Sunday 5 April 2020
This week wasn't full of too many surprises from the Government. We were still in lock down. However, it was definitely the saddest week so far with the amount of people dying. The stories I've read have been heartbreaking. I'm honestly so grateful for every single day we are well.
I've been saying a prayer every night for all my family and friends - especially my lovely Nan who suffers with breathing problems. Thankfully Nan seems in good spirits at the moment and she's well. This is all we can ask for!
The weather wasn't as sunny this week, but the weekend has been beautiful. We got the paddling pool out (typical Brits) and we're planning a BBQ for Sunday lunch. I mean, in April? It's these small things keeping us all in good spirits at the moment.
When all of the rules were being put in place I felt like things were going to be tough. However, over the past week I've realised I have it very, very easy. We're all healthy (so far), our jobs at the moment are still going, we've got family close by if we need urgent essentials, and most importantly we've got each other. There's nothing at all to be sad about.
I'm in such awe of all the workers that are still going to not only save lives but keep our country running. There's been a lot of support for NHS workers which has been amazing. We clapped outside our door again this week on Thursday. However, I don't feel there's been enough gratitude for the other workers: people working in supermarkets, delivery drivers, postmen, local stores, volunteers etc. So, I want to say a big THANK YOU. You're all so brave and I admire all that you're all doing...for us.
What we've been up to...
Home school hasn't been very successful this week
Home schooling has proven more challenging this week. Jack has been very resistant. He was really sad on Tuesday night and asked lots of questions while sobbing. We decided to take Wednesday off school.
I admit I lost it with him on Friday too when he was moaning and negotiating about every single piece of school work he had to do (I only asked him to do three pieces). I had the mummy guilts, but I've also realised that as I'm going to be teaching him for a while some ground rules have to be laid out. A bit of tough love, perhaps?. Thankfully we now have 'two weeks' off for the Easter holidays. Hopefully Jack and I can come back after this break and get a better teacher/pupil rapport going!
Work has been more of a juggle this week
I'm still taking the 6am-9am morning shift. But, this week I've had to squeeze in an extra hour or so while Erin naps too. It's meant a lot of iPad action for Jack. I'd love to work in the evenings but I can't seem to switch my brain on. This set up 'seems' to be working for now, even though I'm not giving Jack my full attention. I'm hoping it doesn't impact him!
More virtual Boogie Mites
We joined in with Lizzie's class on Monday again this week. Erin seemed to be very shy today, but she did join in with some clapping. I think the virtual classes are great and definitely provide an activity if you're stuck for things to do. I still can't believe Lizzie isn't charging for them. We'll be donating though to say thank you.
'Reading' Love Hearts
I mentioned how resistant Jack has been with learning at home this week. It has made me more aware of ways to get him to keep his reading and maths going without it seeming like 'work'. He chose a packet of Love Hearts as a treat this week. I asked him to read what was on each sweet. He 'fell for it' and joined in the game. At least I now know he can read 'forever', 'be mine' and 'love you' ha ha!
Ice cube slide!
The wonderful Jane from Jane's House inspired this activity a while ago. In one of Jane's classes she had frozen small toy penguins in an ice cube tray. She then got the toddlers to push them down a 'slide'. A few weeks ago I decided to freeze our own toys. The Ruggies' LOVED it! I'd forgotten about this idea and then Jack found the ice cube trays. We re-lived the moment and it was a hit, again. Thanks Jane!
Jack has never been very interested in puzzles. He hasn't got much patience. But, after Nanny bought us a puzzle of the map of England this week, he was up for giving it a go. He stayed interested for about 10 minutes and helped me with the 'easy bits'. It was then down to me to finish the puzzle. He was chuffed with the final result and has asked to put it up in his room. At least that might've ticked a bit of geography off the list!
Epic art case from Argos
Jack and Erin enjoy drawing and painting. We've got lots of arts and crafts bits from over the years, but the paints were starting to dry up. I'd had my eye on this art case from Argos for a while, but the lock down pushed me to buy it. It was only £10. It's certainly been worth the investment and will no doubt last. The Ruggies' enjoyed using all the different pens, crayons, pastels, chalks and paints for a while too.
Hunting for items around the house
We did this a couple of weeks ago and it worked so well that I thought we'd give it another go. I tried to encourage Jack to write his own list this time, but he wasn't having any of it. This is a great way to buy you 20 minutes while making the dinner. Simply write a list of things to find, give the kids a basket or something to put the items in, then off they go to find them. At least it got Jack reading the words on the list.
Making Easter biscuits
We make these fork biscuits all the time. I'm not a natural baker, but an easy recipe I can do. It's quick to make the dough and you only need butter, flour and sugar. Erin's allergic to egg so we have to find recipes to accommodate this. I'd found a few Easter icing decorations in Tesco a few weeks ago, so we used these to make Easter biscuits. The biscuits provided a treat for them every day this week which helped the 'snack pot' got further!
Snack time in the Teepee
This teepee has certainly got more use out of it over the last few weeks! I saw an idea about parents giving their kids money to buy their snacks throughout the day. We opened up our own tuck shop every morning this week. Erin didn't really understand, but it did get Jack counting money and working out sums in his head. We'd then take our snack to the tent. They'd eat and I'd sit with them with a coffee. Nice moments we would never have discovered if Jack was at school!
The Little Tikes Car has made a come back
I'm sure many Little Tikes cars have been rediscovered in the lock down. Ours certainly has! We discovered we could push Erin down a hill near our house for lots of giggles. Erin absolutely loved it and Jack ended up getting involved too. This was a moment of smiles in the sunshine that made us all very happy.
Walk in The Chase
I've mentioned before that these National Trust woods are on our doorstep. We've not walked in the woods much since moving nearby, but we've been every week in the past month. It's such a great place to have so close and we all enjoy the walk and getting out in the fresh air. Jack took his 'RC Car' this week too which he enjoyed speeding around the twigs, puddles and mud!
We ended the week on a high - a takeaway from our local pub. I think it's great how local businesses are adapting. I suppose it's essential to survive. We ordered the takeaway and then went to pick it up outside the front of the pub. We chose pizzas, chips, ribs and dipping prawns. Yummy!
Resources that have worked for us
Each week I like to share a 'resource' that has worked for us. This week it has to be:
The pub is taking takeaway orders Monday to Saturday from 12pm. You can order from the pub's main menu or it's pizza menu. Bottles of wine are 50% off with food too. The service is great here and it's great to support a local and loved business. Do give it a go!
One aspect of learning Jack doesn't resist to is education apps on the iPad. A friend had told us about Teach Your Monster To Read and it's been brilliant. It's got him practicing sounds such as ay and ai. It kept him entertained for quite a while. Made me feel a bit better about the school work too.
Right, I'll now leave you with a picture of Jack in the paddling pool - in April!
Take care everyone and stay safe.