Twitter 27

Living Arrows 2020 – 27/52

Another Monday rolls around.

I can’t think too much about how much time has passed, how long we’ve all been at home.  It’s almost too much to process.

The weeks keep passing though, and things are slowly starting to change.

The children went back to school for the day last Monday.  They’re there again today too, and next Monday if everything goes to plan.

I really wasn’t sure if it was the right choice.  Up until the very last minute I wasn’t sure if Nerys would even go in.  She was really nervous about going in, about how different everything would be, and about missing us while she was there for the day.

She did go in though.  Seeing 2 of her best friends at the gate really helped reassure her it would all be ok.

And at the end of the day she came out beaming.

She told me she’d had an amazing day, and couldn’t wait to go back next time.

 

Rhys hadn’t seemed all that concerned about going back.  He wasn’t nervous at all, and didn’t seem all that bothered about things being different from normal.

The only thing he really talked about was how much he hoped his girlfriend would be in on the same day as him.

So you can imagine the smile on his face when I spotted her walking towards us at the school gate and pointed her out to him!  I just felt so mean reminding him that he couldn’t give her a hug.

He had a great day back at school too, and said straight away that he’s looking forward to the other 2 days he’s got there before the holidays.

 

I wrote in last week’s living arrows post that I really wasn’t sure if it was worth the children going back in to school, when it’s only for 3 days.

Seeing how happy they were coming out at the end of the day last week though I’m so pleased we chose to send them in.  In terms of their happiness and wellbeing it was absolutely worth it.

I also hope that these 3 days will help them adjust again in September, if things in school are still not quite back to normal.  We’ve not heard anything here in Wales yet about the plans for schools for next year, so it’s another waiting game really.

Whatever happens though I feel a bit more hopeful now that my children will be able to adjust and will be ok.

 

Living Arrows
Twitter me and mine June 2020

Me and Mine – June 2020

How on earth is it the end of June?!

I was chatting with Steve the other night about how surreal this whole situation is.  This is the longest we have ever spent all at home, all together.  It’s a good thing we quite like each other’s company really!

June has been a mix of sunny afternoons at the beach and in the park, and chilly wet days at home.

We’re really lucky that Steve’s parents live close to us, so we’ve walked over to see them pretty much every week which has done all of us good.  We went up at the weekend and spent a windswept hour in their garden, and that’s where this month’s family photos were taken.

 

I think we’ve almost mastered our lockdown look.

Steve’s lockdown beard is coming on nicely and Rhys is starting to rock a classic Bieber hairdo.  I’m toying with the idea of letting my grey completely do its thing, after dying it every other month since I was about 18.  I’m not sure though.  Maybe I’ll use the bottle of dye I already have at home, and then let it grow out after that!

Honestly though, the main thing I think when I look at these photos of us is that we look happy.  I wouldn’t say we have more time at the moment, we have so much to juggle and try and get done each week, but our time is more flexible.  And that flexibility has been really lovely.

We’ve got that bit more freedom to spend time together.  We can head to the beach or the park together on a weekday afternoon.  Steve’s had more time available to listen to Nerys read and to play Roblox with Rhys.  We’ve baked more bread in the last 3 months than we ever have before.

I really hope that when things start to go back to something like they were before we can keep some of this flexibility.  After so many months of living this way, I can’t quite imagine going back to being tied to timetables and rushing out the front door every day.

Living arrows

Living Arrows 2020 – 26/52

We had a pretty good week last week.

I’ve still not mastered juggling everything with any sort of ease, but last week work got done and school work got done and we had time to head out and enjoy the sunshine.

On Tuesday afternoon the warm weather had arrived and I took the children to the park for a quick scoot around after an early tea.  We ended up staying longer than we planned after bumping into one of Nerys’ friends from school (and his mum and sister).

The children had a great time playing together and it was so nice for me to have an in-person, adult conversation again with someone outside of my family!

 

 

We were actually quite spoilt last week in terms of spending time with other people.

One afternoon we walked up to see Steve’s parents in their back garden, and then the next day I took the children to Singleton Park to meet up with my friend and her two.

We spent a lovely few hours in a shady spot in the ornamental gardens and it was such a nice break from work and thinking about school.

After a lot of deliberation, and chats with the children, we’ve decided that they will go back to school this week.  They’ll be in each Monday for the next three weeks.

To be honest, I’m still not sure it’s worth it.  I’m not sure how it’ll go.

The school have been great though, walking both us parents and the children through how things will look, where we need to be and when, and what they’ll be doing to keep everyone safe.

I know they’ll do everything they can to make these days back at school a positive experience for the children, so hopefully it’ll all go well and we’ll be all smiles at the end of today.

 

Living Arrows
20200615_142510 (Canva-edited) (2)

Living Arrows 2020 – 25/52

I know it’s such a cliche to talk about the weather, but it was such a mixed bag last week I can’t not mention it!

We went from gorgeous blue skies and sunshine at the start of the week to parts of Swansea being flooded in sudden downpours at the end.

The children and I made the most of the dry weather at the start of the week with a walk down to the beach.

We walked through Singleton Park, stopping to take a few photos along the way.

 

 

I’m not sure what this long grass is called, but the fields were covered in it where things have been left to grow a bit longer during lockdown.

What the gardeners have done is cut sort of grassy pathways through this long grass, rather than cutting the whole lot, and I love the result.  It feels much more like walking through a natural meadow instead of a neatly mowed lawn and it made the walk to the beach that bit more interesting.

The most exciting part about our trip to the beach though was that we met up with my friend and her children there.  Her children are almost exactly the same ages as Rhys and Nerys and we’ve known each other since the older 2 were about 6 months old.

I last saw my friend about a week before lockdown started, and the children hadn’t seen each other since I’m not sure when, so it was really lovely to get to see them all again.

We sat and chatted and caught up, while the children dug holes and built sandcastles and made multiple trips to the sea to fill up buckets with water.

There were a couple of moments of needing to remind the children to keep their distance from each other (mainly Rhys who kept drifting to the wrong side of the line we’d drawn in the sand to act as a visual reminder to stay apart) but for the most part it wasn’t as hard as I thought it might have been to keep everyone safe!

Mainly it was just amazing to spend time with other people.  Such a simple thing really but so lovely after all this time.

 

Living Arrows
Twitter Siblings June 2020

The siblings project – June 2020

I remember two weeks before the schools were closed, not really believing it would happen.

I remember when they did actually close, thinking it would only be for a few weeks.

And now here we are.

Three months later and still at home.

Things are starting to shift though.  The plan, at the moment at least, is for the schools in Wales to open again in a few weeks, so all the children will have a chance to check in and catch up with their teachers before the summer.  We’ve not talked about it much with the children yet, because I’m still waiting to hear how exactly the school are planning on making it work.

For now we’re just carrying on with what we’ve been doing at home.  Trying to find some kind of balance between getting work and school work done and having fun as a family during this extra time together.

Most of the last month was full of sunshine and blue skies so we were able to get out quite a bit as a family.

With the freedom of not being restricted by school hours and office hours we could go to the beach at high tide, so the children could have their first proper swim in the sea of the year.

 

We were also able to pop out for walks to new places as well as old familiar places.

It has been so nice to have the freedom to shuffle our days around, to get work done in the mornings and then head out for some fresh air in the afternoons.  Which is quite funny to say really, because normally by the end of the usual 6 week school summer holidays I’m so ready to get back to the routine of the school week!

 

The children still seem to be coping really well with everything, and are quite happy in this new, sort-of routine that we’ve cobbled together at home.

I think they’re enjoying the slower pace of not having to be up and out the front door for school.  I know they’re enjoying being able to stay up a bit later in the evenings!

They were both still awake at nearly 10 last night, reading in their beds.

Nerys has had a real boost in confidence with her reading over the last few weeks and is so excited to be able to sit in bed and read by herself like her brother has been able to do for years.  A whole new world is opening up to her now and I’m so happy for her.

Last night she read some of her ‘Fairy animals of Misty Woods’ book, then moved on to reading a book about space!

Do your children read in bed before they go to sleep?  What sort of books do they tend to choose?

Living arrows

Living Arrows 2020 – 24/52

I’m not sure why but I was a day out all week last week.

I was a day ahead of myself for some reason, which meant by the time we got to Friday it felt like it had been a really long week.

The children had a pretty good week though, and were brilliant about getting their school work done.  Their teachers send over the work for the week on a Sunday evening or on the Monday morning, and we’re then free to make our own plans for the week as far as what we do on what day.

Over the last few weeks we’ve found a system that sort of works for us where I sit with the children and look at their work for the week with them and let them decide what they want to tackle when.  Nerys has caught on to the fact that if she gets her work done over 4 days she can basically have Friday off, so that’s how she’s been planning her weeks lately.

 

One thing we are trying to do each day on top of the work set by school is practicing Welsh.

I realised that Nerys in particular was really losing confidence in her Welsh, mainly because Steve and I don’t speak it so we don’t ever use it at home.

So I signed us up for Duolingo and we’ve been doing a 20 minute session together each day.

She seems to be enjoying it, I’m happy to finally be learning a bit of the language after saying I need to do it for years, and I can see her confidence with it all coming back which is amazing.

I’m hoping that I can pick up enough that we can start using the language a bit more in day to day life at home, to keep both Nerys and Rhys ticking over with it.

 

Do you speak any different languages with your children?

Do they learn anything at school that you’ve had to give yourself refresher lessons in to be able to help them while they do their work at home?!

 

Living Arrows
Living arrows

Living Arrows 2020 – 23/52

I can’t quite believe that these photos were taken at the start of last week.

Things have turned so grey and chilly the last few days, it feels really odd to think that it was less than a week ago that the children were splashing around in the sea!

We knew the weather was due to shift, so on Tuesday last week after we had finished with work and school work for the day we popped down to the beach for high tide.

We’d been down at the weekend too, just for a paddle.  Which of course resulted in the children getting absolutely soaked.

So this time we went prepared, with them in their swimmers, and towels in our backpack.

 

In case you can’t tell from the photos, they had a whale of a time!

They lasted about half an hour before starting to get a bit chilly and deciding it was probably a good idea to come out of the water and wrap up warm for a bit.

It might have been quite a short trip to the beach, but it was just what we all needed.  A welcome break from the return to school work after the half term holiday and a chance to just forget everything that’s going on in the world for a bit.

 

The announcement has been made that schools in Wales will be open for all children at the end of June, so now we have to think about what’s best for our family in terms of Rhys and Nerys going back or staying at home with us.

For now we’re waiting to hear a bit more about how it will work at their school before making a firm decision.

At this stage I honestly don’t know what the best answer is for us.

 

Living Arrows