Living Arrows

Living Arrows 2020 – 14/52

I have a feeling this week will be an interesting one.

We’re into the third week of all of us being at home, and the first week of trying to fit school work into the juggle of it all.

Over the last week we’ve just tried to keep things as, relatively, normal as we can.

We’ve not really been out other than to pick up food for us and Steve’s parents from the supermarkets.  We tied one of these local supermarket visits in with a walk to the local park, so Steve and the children could get a bit more fresh air and exercise while I had the rather surreal experience of shopping.

The children have been so understanding about not being able to go to the swings, and Rhys was happy to just practice his yo-yo skills while they were outside.

 

That’s what the green string is in his photo.

He had a yo-yo a while ago and never quite got the hang of it, so he is so proud of himself for mastering the skill with this one he was given at Christmas.

Maybe with the extra time at home now we can work on some new tricks with it, there must be tons of video tutorials on YouTube he could learn from!

 

In other exciting news, Nerys lost another tooth last week.

It had been wobbly for a while and she kept questioning why it was taking so long to fall out.  Then all of a sudden, out it came!

It took her a day or two to adjust to this big gap in her smile, but I think she rather likes it now.

To be honest, it took me a day or two to adjust to it too.  She just looks so different now.

What’s really funny though is that a handful of children in her class at school have also lost the same tooth in the last week or two.  We have a WhatsApp group for us parents and last night it was filled with gorgeous photos of gappy smiles.

Through all of this craziness I’m so pleased that we have the technology to be able to stay in touch with everyone.  I have a feeling I might be relying on the mums at the other end of that group over the next few weeks while I try and get to grips with doing school work at home!

 

Living Arrows
me and mine March 2020

Me and Mine – March 2020

I think it’s safe to say that things have changed quite a bit since I wrote last month’s me and mine post.

It feels so strange thinking that it was only a month ago that we had a house full of girls celebrating Nerys’ birthday.  Only a month ago we were complaining about not getting out to the beach as much as we’d have liked thanks to all the storms.

And now here we are, limited to walks close to home.  Being asked to only leave our house for essential shopping and to not have any physical contact with anyone outside our household.

I don’t really have the words to describe it all yet.

Things feel incredibly surreal.  I don’t think I’m fully processing what’s happening yet; not taking it all on board properly as a sort of defence mechanism.

What I do know is this.

Right now I am incredibly grateful for my family.  For the man I chose to marry 12 years ago who is right by my side to reassure me when bits of reality sink in and my anxiety bubbles to the surface.  And for my children who are coping amazingly with this weird new situation.

 

That’s not to say we’re not winding each other up or that we’re loving every single minute of being on top of one another all. day. long.

We’re absolutely muddling through here, working out how to juggle everything with all of us suddenly at home together.  We’ve all cried, we’ve all shouted, we’re all feeling that tiredness that comes with trying to process something completely out of our normal experiences.

But through all of that, I am so grateful that they’re here with me.

Living arrows

Living Arrows 2020 – 13/52

So we’re one week into having the children home from school and I am so grateful that the powers that be decided to bring forward the Easter holidays for us.

It’s meant that we’ve been able to take our time and adjust to all being at home together.  Steve and I have been able to do our work from home without also worrying about supervising school work for the children.

All of that will come in another week, but I’m hoping we’ll all be feeling a little bit more ready for it by then.

Last week really was mainly adjusting to this strange situation we’ve found ourselves in, where on the surface most things are nice and normal, but dig a little deeper and you remember that so much has changed.

The lovely weather has almost made it feel even more surreal to me, but really has helped in that it’s meant we can get out in the back garden and spend time out the front of our house where the children have room to race around on their scooters.

We’ve also had quite a bit of time just pottering around at home.  I had a few things to photograph at the weekend and Nerys was amazing at helping me get it all sorted.

 

After we’d finished she asked if she could use our little compact camera to take a few photos of her own.

I think I might take this break from the normal school schedule to let the children explore a few different interests, and I think photography will definitely be on that list.  Rhys has also starting showing a real interest in drawing and art so I’m planning on digging out my old supplies of artists pencils and oil pastels so he can really get creative.

For now though we’re planning another week of just trying for a balance of me and Steve getting work done while keeping the children safe and happy at home.

How are you finding things with the whole family at home?

Living Arrows
Living arrows

Living Arrows 2020 – 12/52

For the last few years I’ve been doing a little personal photography project.

On the 10th of each month I take 10 photos, with the aim of creating a little snapshot of our life at that time.

This month I felt completely uninspired though.  The 10th fell on a day when I would barely see the children, and I couldn’t think of 10 interesting photos I could take on a day I spent mainly at home, by myself, working in my living room.

So I skipped it.  I let the 10th go by without taking any photos.  Then last Friday came around and I realised that was the day I needed to record this month.

The last day the children would be in school for a while.

So I took the camera along with me on the morning school run.  I photographed the children with their lunch boxes, and Nerys with her sunglasses on after she realised it was a lovely sunny day.  I recorded the little routine I have with Nerys of making hearts with our hands through the classroom window after she’s gone in.  I captured Rhys running into the building with barely a backward glance.

 

I took the camera with me again at pick up.

And I photographed the children on their scooters, whizzing around the yard before we left the school grounds.

 

I don’t think the children realise quite what all this means yet.

Mainly because none of us really know what all this means yet.

The way things have been organised for us means that the children are on their Easter holiday for the next two weeks, which will be a big help for all of us in adjusting to having them home while we try and work from home too.

For now we’ve told the children that they’re on holiday now, and that we’re not sure if school will open again straight away at the end of these next two weeks.  I think that’s what’s so unnerving about all of this, the fact that there is so much uncertainty around everything.

I can’t see things being back to normal any time soon, but I don’t want to worry the children yet by telling them that there’s a chance school might not open back up again this academic year.  I think we’ll take things week by week.  Day by day if we have to.

For now at least we can take a bit of time to adjust to us all being home for an extended time.  Hopefully during this time we can work out how we’re going to balance our work, the children’s school work and general family life once the holidays are over.

 

Living Arrows
living arrows

Living Arrows 2020 – 11/52

I don’t know about you, but I’m starting to feel like last week might be the last ‘normal’ week we have in a while.  Which is strange because it wasn’t actually a ‘normal’ week for us.  On Monday morning I waved Rhys off on a 2 night residential trip with his school.

Last year when he went away for 1 night I didn’t wait to wave him off on the bus, because I though seeing me again after saying goodbye at the classroom might have made him not want to go.  This year though he seemed much more confident about going, and asked me if I could wait and wave to him as they left.

Watching him get on the coach, without any hesitation (other than to turn and hold out his hand to make sure his girlfriend got on ok behind him!) made me so proud.

And by the time he came home on Wednesday I knew he’d had an amazing time thanks to all the photos that his teachers had been putting up on class dojo.

 

 

He came off the coach beaming, and ran over to give me a big hug.  Then told me all about what he’d been up to.

They had done all sorts of things like horse riding, archery, swimming and skiing.  What he was most proud of tackling though was the climbing wall and the high ropes course.  He had told me before they went that he was nervous about those kinds of activities because he doesn’t really like heights.  And he told us that he managed the first part of the ropes course and wanted to turn around and get back down again, but he took a deep breath and carried on all the way round the course.

I don’t really have the words for how proud I am of him.  I know he was nervous about going, and really worried about some of the activities, but the fact that he went and tried and persevered is just amazing.

And I’m pleased they were able to go before there was all the talk of everything potentially being closed and travel not really being an option.

I don’t really know what the rest of this week has in store for us.  For now school is still open and so we’re sort of carrying on as normal as best we can, but who knows how long that will still be the case for.

Whatever you’re dealing with this week, I hope you stay safe and well.

 

Living Arrows
siblings march 2020

The siblings project – March 2020

This past month feels like it was a real mixed bag.

There were quiet weekends at home thanks to wet and stormy weather, and there were busy times with Rhys going away on his school trip.

In the middle of all of this was world book day.

This year Nerys insisted she wanted to go as Anna from Frozen.  I normally try and get my children to dress up as people who were originally characters in books, rather than films, but it didn’t seem worth the battle this year!  So Nerys wore her costume that she got for her birthday, which at least was nice and easy to put together!

Rhys was also nice and easy to sort, thanks to his decision to go as Charlie from Charlie and the chocolate factory.  I found this golden ticket online and printed it out, then all he needed was his normal clothes to go with it.

I have a whole post on world book day costumes that are basically just normal clothes, in case you want to tuck some ideas away for next year!

 

We did also have a few weekends when the storms broke enough to get out in the fresh air.

Along the seafront at Swansea bay there are a few statues that Nerys in particular likes to stop and look at, and she asked if they could have their photo taken with this lovely tribute to Swansea Jack.  They do make me laugh with how they always want to take photos standing in front of things like this, I can only imagine what they’d be like on a touristy tour around the sights of London!

 

Before Rhys went away on his residential trip we had a lovely bonus day all together thanks to a school inset day.

We had a quick trip out to the park in the afternoon and the children scooted around the lake for the first time in months.  It was one of those days where the sun was shining and it felt like spring was just around the corner.

I’m hoping we’ll be able to get out more with the seasons starting to change.  I noticed the other day that the trees here are just about to burst into life, with blossom just waiting to appear, and I am really looking forward to seeing all that colour again.

Living Arrows

Living Arrows 2020 – 10/52

After all the excitement of Nerys’ birthday and her party last weekend, an inset day on Monday was just what the children needed.

We had a slow start to the day, then baked enough fairy cakes for Nerys to take in to school the next day for the others in her class.  I don’t think we’ve ever taken cakes into school before, for either of the children’s birthdays, but Nerys was insistent that she wanted to do it this year.

So we baked over 30 cakes and then Rhys and Nerys had a great time completely covering them in a variety of sprinkles.

 

The sun had been shining pretty much all day, so by late afternoon we decided to grab scooters and pop down to Brynmill park for a play, before meeting Steve after work to all come home together.

 

We haven’t taken the scooters out with us for ages, and Rhys was so happy when the muscle memory kicked in and he could easily whizz off on his.  It’s taken a while for him to find his balance and his confidence with it, so it was amazing to see him jump on and look so at ease on it.

Nerys also had a great confidence boost when she went down the fireman’s pole.

This pole has been something they’ve both had issues with on and off for years, and Nerys was so proud of herself last week for just going for it and sliding down.

 

After so many weeks of stormy weather, this trip out to the park last Monday in the sunshine was just lovely.

It felt like spring might actually not be too far away, with Nerys even taking her coat off for most of the time we were out.

 

This week now is a big one for Rhys, because he’s off on a 2 night residential trip with his school.

I am unbelievably proud of how he’s been about it.

I know he was nervous but he’s been shifting his focus on to feeling excited about it as well, which is what Steve taught him to do when he went away for 1 night last year.  So he’s been thinking about all the fun activities they’ll be doing, rather than worrying about being away from home.

He’ll have an absolutely amazing time, I’m sure, and I can’t wait for him to come back and tell us all about it!

Living Arrows