Living arrows

Living Arrows 2020 – 39/52

One day at a time.  That’s how I’m trying to take things at the moment.

Everything feels so uncertain and just when you’re getting used to things being one way they up and change again.  So I can’t try and plan.  I can’t think too far ahead to how things might be in a few weeks or months.

At the moment we’re in a local lockdown here in Swansea, and we don’t know how long it’ll be before those restrictions are lifted again.

In general the tighter restrictions don’t affect us too much as a family.  We’re not allowed to leave Swansea, which is fine, we didn’t have any trips planned.  We have to wear a mask if we go to any indoor public places, but that rule was already in place.  The pubs are closing at 10pm, but it’s not like we were out painting the town red anyway.

The one thing that does impact us though, is the fact that we can’t be part of an extended household any more.

So we’re back to spending time with my in-laws outside for the time being, rather than being able to be in each other’s houses.  At least we knew these restrictions were coming so the children were able to have a last sleepover at their house on Saturday, before they came into force on Sunday evening.

The children were also able to head back to swimming lessons this weekend, for the first time in months and months.

 

They had to arrive at the pool ‘beach ready’, and then wrap up in a dressing gown to head home rather than getting dry and dressed there.

I think it’s going to take me a few weeks to get in the swing of the new routine, with staggered start times and a set route in and out of the building.  We weren’t able to stay and watch either, like we normally would, so had to wait out in the car while they had their lessons.

It’s a strange new set up to get used to, but the whole thing was really well managed, and both Rhys and Nerys seemed to really enjoy being back in the water.

I would say that it was a little taste of normality for them, but that doesn’t sit quite right with me.  Because it wasn’t.  It wasn’t a normal Sunday swimming lesson.  It was like everything at the moment, almost normal.

And the children coped with it brilliantly, the same way they seem to have coped with all the changes and disruption this year has brought.

I think it is starting to take its toll though.  We’re all tired.  We all need each other that little bit more than usual.

We’re all questioning what the rest of the year will bring us.  How many other things will be almost normal, but not quite right.

I don’t want to think too much about the answers to those questions.

So, for now, I’ll just keep taking things one day at a time.

 

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Living arrows

Living Arrows 2020 – 38/52

I think it’s almost time to call it.  We’ve done what we can to wring as much summer out of this year as possible, and I think it’s about time to start welcoming autumn in.

There are a few things on our summer bucket list that we didn’t manage to do, but our plan was always to move these things over to a new autumn/winter list so I don’t think the children will be too disappointed that we didn’t tick everything off.

And some of the things on the list, like spot a double rainbow, were perhaps a little optimistic!

We did manage to tick a few final things off last week, including having a bbq.  It’s not something we really do because Nerys has never enjoyed typical bbq food like burgers or sausages.

Last week though Steve convinced her to try a burger again, and she loved it.

 

So I think we might actually get to have a few more bbqs next summer.  Who knows, she might also like sausages or hot dogs as well by then!

 

Now I need to sit down with the children and decide if we do want to do another list for autumn/winter, and if so what sort of things will be on that list.

We’ll have to keep it all quite simple again, with activities we can do at home or out at the park and the beach, because so many of the things we’d normally do over the next few months are already being cancelled.

I’m hoping that if we can come up with fun, seasonal things to do together we can create some great memories for the rest of the year, like we did over the summer.

So it might be sparklers and hot chocolate in the back garden, instead of walking to the big firework display, and driving around to see the lights on people’s houses instead of watching the Christmas parade in town.

It might even be putting together their own little Christmas concert in the living room if the school one doesn’t go ahead which, honestly, is more than likely going to be the case.

It won’t be the same, but I think we can still find all sorts of things to do as a family that will make us smile and see us through these next few months when so much feels uncertain.

 

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Siblings Sept 2020

The siblings project – September 2020

The last month has been mostly about change.  New starts and new routines.  And I’ve been amazed at how well the children have adapted.

They’ve headed back to school with new teachers (who they didn’t get to meet at the end of last year) and separated from some of their closest friends.

The classrooms look different, the school run is different, nothing about their school day is quite the same as it was before.

But they’ve adjusted so well.

They both love their new teachers and are happy to be with the friends that they’re still in class with.  And spending a bit of time apart after all the time spent at home together means they look forward to seeing each other at the end of the day, with new stories to tell each other.

Of course now they’ve also shared lovely back-to-school germs with each other so they’ve been back at home together the last 2 days!  It’s just a cold but we’re erring on the side of caution and keeping them home to get well instead of sending them in to potentially pick up even more germs.

Luckily I managed to get some pre-cold photos of the two of them together for the siblings project when we went to the beach for sunset a week or so ago.

 

I hope they never get too cool to hug like this for photos for me!

And I hope that once they’re back in school we can go a bit longer than a week before the next cold gets us.  I really don’t know what this term holds for them though.  I have a feeling it may end up being lots of disruption if the last week is anything to go by.

I’m hoping for the best, but already starting to think of contingency plans for keeping learning going at home if they do come down with more bugs in the coming weeks and months.

How has the return to school gone for your family so far?

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Living Arrows 2020 – 37/52

It was all going so well.

Last week was the children’s first full week back at school and it was all going smoothly.  They both settled into their new classes quickly and are full of praise for their new teachers.

The classes have been mixed up a bit so their friendship groups have been split up, which I was a bit worried about.  But they’re both still with enough of their friends that they’re happy, and it just means they’re even more excited about seeing their other friends across the playground at break time.

I knew it was only a matter of time though, before the back to school germs came along and threw a spanner in the works.

I had hoped we’d make it a little bit longer, but by the end of last week Nerys was all snotty and blocked nose-y.  By Friday night I’d been hit and then Rhys woke up on Sunday morning with the same blocked nose.

So most of the weekend was spent resting at home, really not doing much of anything.  Although we did make it out to the car park a couple of times for the children to have a scoot in the sunshine.

 

I also spent a fair bit of time over the weekend trying to get clear on whether or not the children should go to school if they’re unwell.

In the end the decision was made this morning to keep them home, when they both woke up still just full of cold and under the weather.  I’m certain it is just a cold, but it the way things are at the moment I don’t really want them in school spreading any kind of germs around, and I’m also wary of what else they might pick up from other people with their immune systems already being tested.

So here we are.

A week in and already needing to keep the children home from school.  And from what I’m seeing on social media we’re far from the only ones.

I don’t really know what the answer is though.

To my mind this was always going to happen.  After all those months apart there were bound to be issues when all the children went back to school, even with all the safety measure that have been put in place to stop germs spreading.

I had just hoped that we’d last a little bit longer before the first back to school cold got us!

 

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Living arrows

Living Arrows 2020 – 36/52

So this is it.  After all those months at home, the children are back at school.

They were both in for one day last week, with half of their classmates.  The other half were in the day after, and now they’re all back in for the first time today.

I’m really pleased the school did it this way, because it gave us all a chance to try out the new routine, and for the children to meet their new teachers, with reduced numbers in the classes and at the gates.

It also meant we had one day of the children in school and then a lovely long weekend before things really got started this morning.

With that little bit of extra time we managed to tick a few more things off our summer bucket list, including going out and watching a sunset.

We popped down to the beach at Swansea bay this time, for a stroll along the sand as the tide came in.  The sun wasn’t setting over the sea, but we still got to see the beautiful colours in the sky all across the bay.  It was the perfect time to grab some photos of the children!

 

We stayed at the beach for long enough after the sun went down to also be able to tick ‘go for a walk after dark’ off our bucket list.

There were a few people out on the sand doing fire poi which Rhys in particular was fascinated by.  From where we were standing you really couldn’t see the ropes, so it looked almost like they were moving fire balls around their bodies using magic which our huge Harry Potter fan thought was amazing!

 

And now, after that lovely long weekend, we’re back to earlier mornings and packed lunches and school uniforms and trying to get used to a new routine.

The children’s school has set up staggered drop-off and pick-up times, so Rhys goes in 10 minutes before Nerys now which works quite well for us.  It still felt quite busy around the gates this morning but the school are doing everything they can to keep the children safe and happy and for that I am incredibly grateful.

Rhys and Nerys both went in smiling this morning and I can’t really ask for more than that!

Have your children gone back to school this week?

 

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Twitter Me and mine August 2020

Me and Mine – August 2020

So here we are, the end of August.

It’s been a pretty good month, all things considered.  And we ended it with a really lovely amount of family time with Steve able to take almost 2 weeks off from work.

Right at the end of the month we headed out for a walk and a scoot in Singleton park, which is where we took this month’s family photo.

 

We also ticked another thing off the children’s summer bucket list while we were at the park, which was the classic childhood activity of rolling down a hill.

Such a simple thing, that for some reason they’ve not really done before and had fun trying out in the slightly soggy grass of the park!

We’ve still got a few things on the list that we want to tick off over the next week or so before we need to admit that summer is on its way out.  All in all though, we’ve done quite well getting through a good chunk of the things they wanted to do.

They’ve baked bread rolls with their dad and cakes with me.  We’ve made ice cream and eaten s’mores and pancakes with all sorts of different toppings.  We’ve painted stones, made paper fans and drawn pictures on postcards to send to friends and family.

They’ve stayed up till midnight and had a family slumber party in the living room.  We even managed to play every single board game we own, which turned out to be quite a task – who knew we had so many board games!

This summer really was a bit of a strange one, and we didn’t do all the things we normally would, but I hope the children will remember it as being the one we did all these fun things together.  The summer they both taught themselves to play the recorder and Nerys learnt to fly with Daddy in his flight sim game.  The summer we listened to ‘Surfin’ USA’ a lot after picking it as our summer anthem.

We’ve never written a bucket list like this before, but it’s been brilliant for keeping us going with ideas for things to do, new activities to try, new skills to learn, on days when we didn’t really know what to do with ourselves.

I think we’ll do the same thing again next summer, whatever situation we find ourselves in by then!

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Living Arrows 2020 – 35/52

The last week has been quite an eventful one for Nerys.

Well, as eventful as any week can be at the moment.

She lost a tooth, but not one that we were expecting to come out, thanks to a knock from a recorder.  She also got her own recorder which she is very excited about.

She completed her 2nd 30 day challenge on The Maths Factor which I’m so proud of her for being so committed to.  She’s learnt so much from it and it’s done loads for her confidence with maths too.  We signed up for paid accounts after the free access finished at the end of term, and it’s been absolutely worth the money.

The most exciting thing for Nerys last week though, was finally picking out a new scooter.

 

The brake came off her old one a week or two ago and we’d been debating ever since what type of scooter to get as a replacement.

In the end she decided she was ready for a 2-wheeler one like Rhys’ and, having seen her whizzing round the car park on it, I think we can safely say she made the right decision!

 

She was a bit wary of using the brake to start with, but it didn’t take long for her to feel brave enough to give it a try.

The next step now is to take it out to the park so she can give it a go on all the little and not-so-little hills!

 

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