Another day during lockdown

Today was like most of the other days since I have had to take on the role of Mother, Housewife and Teacher. We have got up, had breakfast, tidied out some of the boys room, done a bunch of school work, including crafts and ate at all the right meal times. The only difference was that I actually got out to the shop today. Conveniently, Tesco Express is a 5 minute walk from where I live. So I took a walk and picked up a few essential items. By essential I mean, not really TOO essential….not unless you think 4 bags of sweets and Pringles essential! These were obviously not the only things I brought! I am not a savage! I also picked items to make meals out of. The whole experience was surreal. The queue when I got there was pretty small, and I stood on the ‘X’ as marked. A One out, one in system was being used in the shop, and before long I was one of the few walking the aisles to buy supplies. The floor inside was marked with tape, placed 2 metres apart. This gave shoppers an easy way of maintaining a healthy distance from one another. That didn’t stop one fella from brushing against me on more than one occasion as he swiftly gathered what he needed to buy……knob jockey!

I got home, feeling particularly chirpy. The shop experience was one that I hadn’t been looking forward to, having seen all of the bad news on social media…but I got what I wanted, and got a tiny bit of fresh air to boot. I have to admit that it was kind of refreshing seeing how quiet it was out there. The roads were clear and there were hardly any people around. I felt quite peaceful actually…

Anyone else feel that the hours in these days are rushing by quickly? It feels like the days are rolling quickly into 1! I can’t complain, because the alternative would be painfully frustrating. I just hope that these days or months ahead of us go just as quickly…..I have been thinking about how we as a country might celebrate New Years 2021! All this should hopefully be behind us, and we can finally get back to a bit of normality….and possibly have a party to mark all parties!

Finally let out of Isolation

Hi all, today was the day when I could get let out of isolation! Did I go anywhere I hear you ask? The answer would be No! Well, that is a small lie as I did drive my car around the block for an exciting 5 mins, as it hadn’t been started up in a couple of weeks. The streets were empty! It felt surreal being out of my tomb, but I was eager to get back again quickly….

Today has been like any other, apart from it sucking arse a little bit more! I have dropped nearly everything I have picked up (a condition known as ‘dropsies’) and I have walked into a few things too! I burned the potatoes meant for cheese and potato pie, which filled the house with a lovely burned spud scent! Beautiful aroma! Beautiful! And I feel on the verge of crying….

Has the lockdown got to me? Am I suffering from cabin fever? I can not honestly say what is wrong with me today….hormones? I don’t know, but today has been one of those days where nothing wants to go right!

The boys (and in boys I mean children, husband and pug) have all been happy. Ethan has completed the build of his Lego city which he proudly showed off to us all. Oliver has been stuck into homework today, and he has been super keen on learning his time’s tables. He has done amazing! Ethan wrote another page in his diary about how the isolation is affecting him and those around him. I have to admit that I have found a nice stride when it comes to home schooling. I can’t fault the teachers at all with how well they have been with sending home work for them to do. We do a lot of lessons in the day, followed by a workout with Joe Wicks and then reading.

Ethans Lego City project

Bad parent of the day award goes to me! Ethan has been grafting away since yesterday to crest this masterpiece above – clicking each piece together and following the instructions meticulously. And then the time came when he could try it out! Only problem was that it needed 9 AAA batteries! Who on earth has that many of those batteries lying around? I searched the battery box, found a mix of AAA batteries that probably were half used ages ago and with hardly any juice left in them….Ethan watched eagerly as I placed the batteries where they were needed, but alas, the train and controller wouldn’t work! Damn it! Any other time I would throw my coat on over my PJs (not really, I wouldn’t be seen out and about in my frayed Friends PJ bottoms…..although I did wear them when I was out on my drive earlier today) and drive or stroll to the shop to purchase more, but it’s not that easy now with everything that is going on…..for one, I wasn’t sure they would even have enough of what was needed, and for two, I would be buying from the local shop, meaning the prices would be criminal! I have watched my son push that train around the track today and make the engine noises by mouth! Part of me laughed inwardly, but I also berated myself for not having enough batteries in supply….

After I burned the potatoes for the boys cheese and potato pie, they were given random potato shapes (waffles, alphabets), chicken nuggets and beans. Our freezer supplies are running low, which is why I must try to venture out tomorrow. I am not looking forward to it at all. I have seen the stories and don’t want to be on the receiving end of abuse from any disgruntled shoppers but needs must….and added to the list, are AAA batteries!

Day 14 – final day of isolation

Originally when I started this self isolation lark, I really did think that the end day would be reason to celebrate but back then (you know, all those 14 days ago) things were different out there. Kids were still in schools, people were still in work and Maccies was still open! Little did I know how different things would be whilst I was locked away.

The cough I had is slowly starting to disappear. I feel drained still and I have a blocked ear but I am starting to feel better in myself. I’m not going to hot tail it out of here tomorrow just because I can. I know that these symptoms are still with me, so until anything else changes then I won’t be venturing outside just yet. I am hoping that a few more days and I will be back to 100%, meaning that I can be the person to do grocery runs, and help others out.

The boys have had a very productive day of learning and play today. Times tables, art, writing and creating. Ethan has been tasked with keeping a diary of how lockdown is for him, we were a bit late with starting it, but he has successfully wrote a few pages today about how he feels about it all and how much he is missing school. Oliver has been reading well and has been working hard on his times tables. After all there hard work they were out in the garden where they let off some steam.

Meal times are always stressful at the minute. Always having to be one step ahead of meal planning just in case I need to defrost something. Today we had cereal for breakfast, followed by sausage baps for lunch and a fruit smoothie, and jacket potatoes and salad for tea. Boys never complained with their meals, and both gave their appreciation in words as to how much they enjoyed what I had done for them. I think they were creeping so they could get a treat afterwards but I will take the sucking up! 😀

The boys are now safely tucked up in bed, Ethan has started building his Lego City set which he had 3 Christmas’s ago….and he has made steady progress on it. This is now in parts around the living room and it is taking all my will power not to tidy it away. He is still working on it and looking forward to continuing tomorrow….it’s just, it’s everywhere!

Every night before bed, I read to the boys. I have been doing it since Ethan was a few weeks old, then Oliver came along and we carried it on. Just one book, every night….Pip and Posy, Gruffalo, Roald Dahl books – Harry Potter – we are now on Grandpa’s Great Escape which I think I have mentioned in previous posts. To be fair to David Walliams, he knows how to create a story that intrigues and pulls a child in. Both of my boys are riveted and can’t wait to listen as I read a couple more chapters to them before they go to sleep. It’s one of my favourite times that I have with them. Lying on my bed, cuddled up, I read the pages and they hang onto every word. Ethan is eager to finish this book quickly so that we can start on the next Harry Potter book. We have been reading the illustrated books by Jim Kay, and have read Phillosophers Stone, Chamber of Secrets, Prisoner of Azkaban and Goblet of Fire. After each book is read, we watch the film….and both are eager to see what happens next. (spoilers) Neither of them know (spoilers) that Dobby, Dumbledore or one of the Weasley Twins die. I am loving how excited they are about each book that we get to read. I remember being that excited as each instalment was released (all those years ago) and waiting for J k Rowling launch dates to come around. I remember the late night queuing to get the book before anyone else and lapping up each page greedily. I am so glad that they have got the bug too.

I am now settled happily on the sofa, glass of water in hand, blankets, snacks and watching Stranger Things. All this lockdown is a new ‘routine’ to get used to, but I am enjoying it so far

Day 13 – isolation

Technically tomorrow should be our last full day in isolation, but in reality we don’t have anywhere we can go anyway so we might as well stay home. We can’t visit family, we can’t go to school, we can’t go for days out, etc….so nothing really changes. When I first showed symptoms of Covid-19, we made the decision as is advised to self isolate, but the kids were still in school, restaurants were still open and there weren’t any restrictions as there are now….although shopping had taken a turn for the worst.

It’s strange to think how much has changed in the space of a couple of weeks. It’s nice to think of when life goes back to normal, but it feels like such a long time off. I can envision street parties and celebrations happening once that ‘normal’ is back, but for now we have to be patient and wait. I miss my family, I miss seeing friends and I know my husband and children feel the same as me. We are all doing the right thing by socially distancing ourselves but it does show you what is most important in life. I can give up restaurant meals and days out to the zoo, etc….but I can’t give up the people I love….and that is why we stay in, that is why we only go out when it is essential.

My cold/virus is still evident. My throat is sore, my chest is full and I have now got blocked ears and earache. Whilst I still feel rough then I won’t venture out, but I know the pull is there. When I cook at home and I am missing an ingredient, it was convenient to just pop round the corner and pick it up….but that is now out of the question. If I am missing an ingredient, I have to make do….trouble is, beans on toast without beans is just toast! And doesn’t quite have the same punch to it! 😫

We have been back in the Geary School today with the boys doing maths, speed words, work on romans and music lessons. This was followed by reading by both of them. I know my boys do better having some of the day structured with learning and activities, and so far they have been doing so well. They don’t complain when I give them something to do and they get stuck in. I know they are both missing school and their friends, but it’s nice to have some structure in the day instead of them wasting the days on pads or tv or games….they do that on the afternoon/evening enough 🙂

I do have to admit that all this spare time with the boys is nice. Lots of cuddles, tons of fun. No, we can’t go out anywhere but we are altogether so we must count our blessings. Some households have it a lot lot tougher than us, with parents out at work or families split up to protect one another during lockdown.

I was shocked and saddened to hear the number of deaths that we have had in the UK due to this virus 😦 – over 1400 people have died. That is awful. All those people, not all all elderly, not all unhealthy didn’t need to die yet….and they have contracted a virus which some of us are denying is even real. It angers me that people can be so flippant in their views. We are living through a pandemic and still people think that they are above the law, above the virus….and they act like this whole thing is nothing at all to worry about. It really is something to take notice of, people are dying of this….yes those who survive will get through this and move forward but we have a few weeks/months to go before go back to what we deem ‘normal’ and it will take even longer if people refuse to listen to the guidelines stated by the government.

Tonight’s tea was burgers and potato balls. Potato balls were brought pre-lockdown, possibly before Xmas but we are completely out of fries, so these will do! 😀

Our evening was capped off by cuddling up on the sofa and watching Christopher Robin. A great family fun film. Our days may be a little bit repetitive at the minute but I am so glad that my little family are all with me.

Day 12 – isolation

Sundays are for lazy days in aren’t they? Well that’s alright then, because I wasn’t able to go out anyways. Day 12, and I am starting to enjoy the thought of going to the shops, taking a walk and even getting petrol – we have been told the guy-wrenching news that this state of social distancing and lockdown could go on for another 6 months! It’s both daunting and scary to think how much a virus can change how we all live our lives.

As with most Sunday mornings, my boys joined me on the sofa with their breakfast whilst we watched cartoons and chatted. They really are the most wonderful little boys to be around. And I know I am a little biased with them being my children, but I enjoy being around them so much. All this time off school is going to be hard for them, with not seeing their friends and feeling uncertain about what is happening, but any extra time I have with them is going to be treasured.

Ethan, 9, has a wonderful sense of humour. He is always smiling, always happy and he is the joker of the household. I can never stay mad at him for long because he has this way of reciting quotes from cartoons and films, which makes me smile. The dances he pulls off are amazing and he knows he can get himself out of trouble easily by playing the fool. But underneath that cheeky joker character is a sensitive, caring young boy who has a lot of love in his heart. He is also very intelligent and absorbs information quickly and effortlessly.

Ethan playing the joker 🙂

Oliver, 5, is still learning who he is as a person. He follows his brother loyally, always wanting to be in his shadow, but never afraid to let himself be heard. He is the opposite to Ethan but just as enjoyable to be around. Oliver has his own mind, he knows what he wants. He has a cheeky, inquisitive mind and is always questioning the world around him. There is a fiery side to Oliver, but he is also loving and sensitive – he finds empathy towards other people’s pain, and cries at sad films. He has a keen learning spirit and absorbs information readily and easily. He has a great memory for numbers and facts. Both of my boys are brilliant at talking your head off. They are happy and thriving and I love to see how they grow and interact with one another. Being brothers they are arguing probably 60% of the time, but there are also those moments when they are sat with one another, cuddled up and happy to be in one another’s company.

The days are going by quite quickly really but I still have a bit to cough left over. Today I work feeling rough. Chest was hurting, throat was on fire and the cough was back sounding like a bark. Am I ever going to be rid of these symptoms? I appreciate that I have to stay in until I am past our isolation period( which is Tuesday) but I won’t be let myself go out whilst I am still coughing my lungs up. Sorry for the graphic description!

So today, I cleared around some more stuff. I cooked a Sunday lunch out of what we had around the house (food obvs) – chicken breasts, a handful of potatoes to boil, veg, Yorkshire puds. The boys enjoyed it, and it turned it quite well, apart from me overcooking the yorkies.

The rest of the day has been spent watching Toy Story 4, which I cried at. Video calling a friend, and chilling. Tomorrow is back to home schooling, and back to me being teacher.

Day 11 – isolation

Another weekend day, another day in. The weather hasn’t been as good today, the winds been a bit blowy and it’s been chiller than it has been. We started the day with breakfast sandwiches. Sausage for the boys, and sausage and egg for me and Stew. After a week of making sure that veg and fruit was in or with every meal, we decided to start the day with something naughty…..and it felt great!

We have been quite chilled today. Watched a couple of films, played some games, and then we went upstairs to have a declutter. 3 black bags of clothes for recycling later and the wardrobes and cupboards are no longer heaving with unnecessary garments that we will never wear again…. we move onto the other side of the room tomorrow. Anything, even tidying up, is welcomed when it kills a bit of time. The drag of being in every day is starting to get to me. I am willing my cough away, which seems the only thing lingering from the cold/virus that I had. If that goes then on Wednesday I can finally venture out – even if it is just a 5 minute walk to the shop and back.

Having spent a fair few hours upstairs, giving out my orders to the boys and getting rid of bags of rubbish, I came down stairs to a request for takeaway. Saturday nights are always for ordering in food and watching Saturday Night Tv. Looking on Just Eat and Ubereats was dire. There aren’t many places out there that are still delivering – so I was about to give up, but then I saw that our sushi restaurant delivered. So making the decision to cook for the boys but order for me and stew, I put an order through and it came exactly when it said it would, delivered to our door by a lady who was gloved and masked up. The food was delicious as always! I enjoyed every single bite!

Sushi and chicken satay
Chicken Katsu and Chicken Teriyaki with noodles and rice.

The rest of the evening has been spent with the boys. I am glad that we had a clear out of things upstairs – it makes me feel like I have accomplished something from the day. All I need to start doing now is writing. I have all this time and a writing course and my own books that I want to write! I just need to start doing it!

Day 10 – isolation

Here again guys! 🙂

Day 10! The isolation period is almost over, in a few days as long as my cough as gone (which it possibly won’t be) then I should maybe, hopefully be able to venture out on my own (wooohoooo) to join the queues to get some of my own groceries. I usually dislike food shopping, but I really can’t wait. It will be great to get a few more supplies so I can have more ideas for meals, etc.

Outside fun for boys today

I am not keen on this 1950’s housewife role that I have been forced to adapt to. Cooked meals every night, cleaning for the sake of cleaning, and homeschooling the children – no takeaways in sight…. does anyone else struggle to find what to make for tea each night? I am always searching for stuff to have with stuff….veg with main meals, bread with sandwich fillings, etc….it’s hard work! Our Friday evenings are usually reserved for a take-away but not tonight…..I rustled some pasta up and salad. My food cupboards and freezer are looking a bit emptier – worryingly emptier. I am not sure if anyone else is the same, but with every shop I buy extra tins and freezer bulk-buys so that there is always something in. Only problem is that this stuff rarely gets touched. So the tins of casseroles, soup, beans and pies are now being brought out to pair up with the frozen veg or rice. Those items are now getting less and less, so I am eager to get out when I can so I can pick up items to make meals with. We have been living on sandwiches, cooked meals, jacket potatoes, pasta and pizzas.

Pasta and salad for tea for boys

No school work for the boys today. I wanted to give them a break from all the days that they have worked hard. We read some books, got through more chapters of Grandpas Great Escape by David Williams, but otherwise we have simply played together and had fun. Today, we had a board game day. There was fortnite monopoly, Harry Potter games and shark bite! We had fun, the boys were relaxed and it felt nice spending time together and just enjoying each other’s company. As always, we took them outside to play with their scooters and balls.

Harry Potter Top Trumps Matching Game
Oliver won….twice!

I am now sat here, writing my blog whilst I watch episodes of shows that I have wanted to watch for a while now. Stranger Things, Legion, Big Bang Theory and the fantastic Friday Night Dinner

Tomorrow is the start of the weekend – we have a few things planned. All in and around the house obviously. A good declutter is on the cards. And bin bags are at the ready…

Day 9 – Isolation

I missed yesterday thrilling instalment of my isolation journey! I am still coughing and yesterday I woke up with a strained voice – it never feels like it’s leaving me. I have stuffy nose, my head aches and I have some aching in my chest from all the coughing…but otherwise I’m not too bad. I am still feeling drained from it though.

Boys had a nice day of learning and they did well with the things that I asked them to do. Oliver has been quite good at his times tables actually. I was surprised at how well he can do them! Ethan is reading a chapter of a book each day and reciting it back to me afterwards (just so I know he’s actually reading it and not just skimming)

Afterwards they enjoyed some of the sun that we are having, running around on their bikes, playing with Ethans action cam and playing football – both boys are taking this isolation remarkably well. Neither are complaining about the lack of activities. In fact, I think they quite enjoy being at home. Myself and my husband are struggling with it just a little bit. We have always been home birds anyway, much preferring to be in together than out, but we like taking the boys different places…and knowing that those options aren’t available sucks just a teeny weeny bit. I know that in the grand scheme of things then it’s not important, but it still bugs me. Our whole life has been changed, and it is only a minor interruption for us…I think of all those people whose lives have been permanently changed or scarred by this virus. I look forward to when life can return back to normal a bit.

The highlight of the day yesterday was most definitely the applause the nation gave to the NHS staff. I had seen posts for it days in advance and had thought that just a few might carry it out, but I was brought to tears by how many stood on their doorsteps and clapped for the staff who are working around the clock on the frontline. My Street was full! And it was heartwarming! I felt ready and although I’ve only been locked inside for over a week, it felt nice seeing neighbours for the first time In what feels like forever. We pass each other everyday and go about our lives with greetings but yesterday we all came together. I was teary then and even more teary when I looked on social media and saw how many joined in with this appreciation display! It was amazing! And definitely something I think we should all do again! I saw people saying that we should mark the day and I for one would be okay with that!

Day 8 – isolation

Another day in isolation. I am kind of getting used to not going out. Sure, eventually I will need to do a major shop and not just rely on small supply drops from family and friends, but at the moment I am pretty content in my mini bubble.

The sun was shining again today, and we spent some much needed time outside in the sun, whilst the boys had a kick around. We have had a day of learning too. Speed words, times tables (which Oliver is very good at) and reading, followed by a question and answer session.

I haven’t been as strict about school work today as I have other days because I am conscious of how much the boys lives have been disrupted. Oliver has had a few days when he has been ready about dying…and I am under no illusion that it’s all of this stuff going on around us that has helped fuel his fears. At 5 years old, he shouldn’t have to worry about catching a virus and going into hospital. As a family, we try to shield them both from the trauma that this illness is causing but we can’t hide them away from all of it. They are aware that things are different – they know that we don’t go outside at the moment, or that there favourite places to visit are inaccessible – so keeping them relaxed and not stressing them out too much is a priority. I do want to keep a routine that is as normal as possible, especially when it comes to schooling but I don’t want to put any added pressure on them.

They finished there day with computer games, and a movie before bed. We are currently reading David Williams Grandpa’s Great Escape and we read a chapter or two each night before they get tucked up for the night. I love cuddling up with them on my bed, under the covers as I read a chapter to them. They are always engrossed and I love how they love books and stories just as much as I do! 🙂

Today has been pretty chilled. I still have a cough and my breathlessness is still there but I can get around better without feeling like I am gasping for breathe or feeling like I am going to pass out. The stuffiness is still there but better than it was – I am hoping that by the end of my 2 week lockdown (31st March) then I can at least venture out to the shop for 10 minutes on my own.

Here’s to the next 6 days!

Day 7 – Isolation

Another day in isolation, another day away from the madness of outside. I woke today feeling less stuffy and chesty as I have other days. The cough has still been evident and I have coughed my way through the day, but I have felt a bit better.

One thing I noticed when I came downstairs was how quiet it was outside – the sun was shining, and their were less people around. There were still the odd sounds of cars mulling around but not as much as usual. I opened the windows, did a bit of cleaning, prepared breakfast for the boys and felt like I had a bit more energy. A lot of my previous days have had me gasping for breathe with any exertion, as this cold or virus 🦠 penetrated my chest. But today, the feeling that I am out of puff has been less. I have moved around quite easily, and have done more around the house than I have managed to do the past week.

It is now Day 7, I have been holed up in here for an entire week and I have to say the days have milled along quite quickly. I was bored in the beginning and I felt trapped but that feeling disappeared. It probably helped that I did feel miserable because I didn’t want to do anything at all. Today, with the sun shining, I took the boys into the garden with Harry Pugger and we made shadow drawings, played football and swingball. I sat on the chair and let the sun tickle my skin and it was wonderful. Being outside after a week felt brilliant.

Once we were back safely inside, I proceeded to do some home schooling with them. Speed words, times tables, geography, science and then a bit of reading. Following on from Boris Johnson’s announcement yesterday, I have looked out at the world outside and noticed how many sounds I can hear, which would usually be masked by cars, etc. Yeah, I know there are still areas where people are congregating when they shouldn’t, and I know not everyone believes in what is happening, but it sounded so different outside.

I am half way through my isolation, from next week I should be able to at least pop to the shop to grab a few things. I will avoid people, I won’t queue to closely and I will make sure I go and come quickly. But it will be nice to pick up my own groceries rather than relying on others. It’s always difficult knowing how many things you can request before you sound cheeky….I generally just request the essentials but I am starting to run low on freezer stuff and cupboard stuff, but I should be able to stretch it all out until next week! I just hope I can get out briefly then!

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