Our family diary during the COVID-19 outbreak: week 4 + 5
A look back at our week: how we're feeling, what we've been up to and reflections.
Week 4 + 5: Monday 6 - Sunday 26 April 2020
I took a week off the diary last week as it was Easter weekend. We were meant to be away in Costa Adeje so Pete took a couple of days off work. The sun was shining, we had BBQs in the garden and spent a lot of time playing together. Am I allowed to say I actually enjoyed myself? I don't know about you, but if I'm having a good day I feel guilty for saying that knowing others really, really aren't.
Going "back to work" this week was difficult after our sun-filled 'holiday' together. Pete also received the news that his business is cutting everyone's pay by 20%, and my main client put my work on hold. It was a week full of funny emotions. On Wednesday I opened the wine and finished off the Easter chocolate. Sometimes I feel a blow-out makes everything better. Thursday morning we got up ready to start again and look at the positives. We had each other, we were healthy and we would get by on lesser money. Like many other people at the moment, we'll just have to tighten our spending.
Friday was a bit of a 'meh' day but I think this was mainly due to the rain. Jack seemed a bit down. I am worried slightly for his mental health. He's slowed down and appears sad quite often. I guess it's a lot for a 5 year old to get their head around!
Anyone else enjoying being a hermit? I do sometimes think what has happened to the world is a wake up call for us all to slow down, stop being self-involved and spend more time with the people who matter to us. I know for one that our little family unit has done so much more together than we've ever done before. It's been a breathe of fresh air and something Pete and I want to try and continue when things go back to 'normal'. I can't believe just weeks before this all happened I'd written a post about not being able to stop and do nothing. Oh the irony of it now!
I'm already feeling anxious about Jack going back to school. I'm not only worried for his health, but his mental health too. I think throwing him back into full on school days is going to be a lot for him to handle. I'm hoping they'll allow the children to be eased back into their routines, but I very much doubt that'll happen.
Putting my self-involved feelings aside, I feel incredibly sad for all the people who have lost loved ones and suffered MUCH much more than others. There is too much sadness in the world. We clapped for the NHS again on Thursday. Thank you to all the heroes working in the NHS and holding everything together to keep our world spinning. I really do hope you all get a big fat pay rise after this and are FINALLY paid what you're worth!
What we've been up to...
A little look at what we've been doing to keep two very active Ruggies entertained!
@Happytoshelf sticker dot activities
I scroll through Instagram a lot to find ideas for the Ruggies. I stumbled across @happytoshelf this week who had many ideas that I thought could work for us. One was using dot stickers for maths, literacy and colour matching activities. Jack enjoyed it. A relief after his resistance to doing any kind of school work! I thought Erin would understand how to match the colour dots on the ladybird, but she soon got bored and had other ideas. Sticking dots on our faces instead!
(Not very well made) Easter cupcakes
I am NO baker and you'll see from this picture why. I like to think I'm creative, but when it comes to baking it all goes wrong. I don't think I have the patience for it. Anyway, over the Easter weekend I felt mummy pressure to do something fun for the kids. I thought, "I know we'll bake Easter cupcakes". I found a recipe on Olive magazine that we (sort of) had ingredients for and that looked easy enough to recreate. It was all going well until the butter icing went on. It melted and slid right off the cakes. I threw a little strop! The Ruggies' still managed to decorate them though and on the plus side they tasted okay. I think I might stick to my trusted Fork Biscuits recipe from now on!
Making bug gardens
Now I'm pretty sure this wasn't as fun for the bugs as it was for Jack and Erin, but we decided to collect bugs and put them in our own make shift garden on the Tuff tray. I don't know about you but lockdown has certainly made us do things we never would've done before. I would never have dreamed of getting the Ruggies' to find bugs. I would've thought the whole thing was too messy and stressful. However, being at home everyday has made me be a bit more inventive. I'm normally the mum stocking up in Hobby Craft and Argos before a school holiday!
Handmade Easter bunting courtesy of two local businesses
I promise I'm not plugging here - well maybe I am a bit - but I helped my client Popsy and Mama and local business, Squiggle & Dot, collaborate on an Easter crafts blog post. Rebecca, who founded toddler art classes Squiggle & Dot, shared some lovely Easter craft ideas with Popsy and Mama's customers. The Easter Bunting idea caught my eye and looked simple to do. We gave it a go, it worked and the bunting went up for Easter weekend! A good tick off the 'Easter crafts/decorations' list.
Messing up Mummy and Daddy's bed!
One day I totally lost my "fun mummy" mojo. I'd run out of ideas. I didn't want to play any more! I told Jack he was the boss, and we actually had one of our best days yet. At one point he said, "Let's jump on mummy's bed." Why not, I thought! They jumped, they hid, they tickled each other and they pretended to sleep. We spent about 30 minutes here and had some nice moments. I got to have a little lie down too. Sometimes, it really is the simple things.
Andrew Lloyd Weber, The Show Must Go On
You might have heard about this one: Andrew Lloyd Weber is streaming a musical every Friday on YouTube for 48 hours. The first was Joseph and the Technicolour Dreamcoat. The second and third haven't been very appropriate for children as they aired Jesus Christ Superstar and The Phantom of the Opera. I did put some of the snippets from Joseph on the TV and Erin was mesmerised. I'm hoping he'll release something a bit more child friendly this week.
Giant Jenga became building bricks!
When Pete and I got married our parents' bought us a Giant Jenga for guests to play in the garden. A bit random, but it was a hit on the day after a few vinos. Since then, the game's only come out on rare occasions. I discovered it in the garage again this week and Jack was delighted to see the bricks. He decided to make a house. At least it's getting some use out of it! Jack and I did later play an actual game of Jenga which was nice too. All while Erin sat talking on 'her phone' and looked after baby!
Rediscovering board games
Before Erin was born, we played quite a few board games with Jack. I guess since she arrived it became more difficult to concentrate on a game when a little sister wanted to come along and trash it! I found two boxes of board games in the garage and both Ruggies were delighted to look through them. Jack found some old favourites and we realised Erin could play a couple of them with us now too. We've spent quite a lot of our time this week playing board games and often play one after dinner now as a family. Something we would NEVER have done before. Maybe the lockdown will start a few good new traditions and bring our family closer together.
KiwiCo Marble Run Challenge
I'd never heard of this company before. They're based in the US and I discovered them through an Instagram advert. Jack has always loved a marble run. Many birthdays and Christmas presents have consisted of new marble run add-ons. So, when I saw the video about the KiwiCo marble run challenge, I knew he'd be up for it. I was right and he enjoyed the task of making a marble run out of things we found in the house. He did get frustrated with it at times, but we got there in the end. Erin thankfully was happy pottering around while we were making it too.
Making hairbands in the garden
A Headband Making Kit was given to us by Nanny (thank you Nanny!) I wasn't sure at first if Erin would like it or get annoyed with it. Thankfully, it was the former. Even though Erin couldn't put the bits together, she enjoyed watching me do it and choosing what colours she'd like on her necklace and headbands. It was nice to do something for Erin for a change. She hasn't had much of a look in since lockdown as our activities seem to revolve around Jack. I guess she's at the age where it's hard to keep her interested for long, whereas Jack needs something to get his teeth stuck into. A nice little kit if you're looking for ideas.
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:
Discovering this company was a plus for us this week. There are lots of other ideas on their website that I know Jack will love. Definitely check it out.
This blog has so many activity ideas that incorporate learning in a fun way. Since Jack's been at home it's made me realise how resistant he is to learning. I have no idea how the school manage to get him to concentrate! This blog has lots of ideas that I know he'll enjoy.
That's us for another week. Here's to another 21 days in lockdown. We've got this!
Take care everyone and stay safe.
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