Happy Covid Birthday

Well I hinted and hinted and thought yeah this will be an amazing birthday full of surprises and lots of special memories. How wrong was I?
My eldest daughter started to feel unwell. She felt sick and was very pale, weak, slight cough and ultimately not feeling well at all. Immediate reaction because it’s the norm in early 2022, she did an LFT which said negative. I knew that she really wasn’t right so we dropped her brother at school and I booked her for a PCR at a drive in place. When we arrived home about 30mins later her LFT said positive and she started to throw up. I managed to keep her hydrated and comfortable but she was rough.

Two days later the toddler woke up crying with a raised temperature. She responded well to calpol and tested positive on LFT. That evening Kye came home from work but assumed he was hungover from drinking the night before. He got home and started to go down hill from there. Shivering, temperature, aches, sore throat. That lasted 36h and then he was fine. Tested positive on LFT.

Two days later I woke up and just didn’t feel 100% so as we were all testing regularly anyway I did my LFT and it was positive, 10 days before my birthday. I carried on decorating and wallpapered the bedroom. The average isolation to negative LFT at the time was between 5-12 days. I was gutted. I wasn’t poorly. I just felt a bit off and the thermometer said I had a bit of a temperature.

Just as I tested positive the rest of the house started to return to negative. Then the boy tested positive for all of 3 days and had no symptoms what so ever. So he was out of isolation quicker than I was!

Isolation for me ended just minutes before my birthday. It meant that no-one wanted to visit and I didn’t want to go anywhere just incase we still managed to pass it on. Pretty miserable birthday really.

Luckily, we were all ok and although our symptoms varied within the house – we were all mild cases and managed well at home. It was a tough few weeks. For me as a mum, doing the 24hr shift every day is draining.

Sat in a field drinking cider in the sun!

Oh what a weekend. Every year. It was amazing while it lasted. The first year was family and friends and thats when we learned that we are not tent people. The following year we were there as well and we had a caravan with us. Then the next year we took friends with us. We woke up and saw Jesus on a Tractor. Mud in places you’d never think possible. But we had amazing time and very upset to see it stopped.

I could talk for hours about SIAF but the truth of the matter is, it’s a sacred memory that only those that went will understand. However, if you want to attempt to understand what it was like then there is a song by The Leylines that sums it up so well. Find it on YouTube Its a catchy tune and you will end up singing it!

When I find some photos I’ll come back and add them in. La la laaa la la laaa

Caravan.. a bloody caravan!

Touring can be fun but the preparation is where I need to focus. There is a bit of a back story to this one though.

Back story: We were invited to a family party in a field near Cheddar, Somerset. It quickly grew into a charity festival. The first year we borrowed a four man tent from my parents but upon our eventual arrival, because of course the M5 was not smooth travelling, my cousins had to put up the tent! It was at that moment that Kye and I realised that we were in fact NOT that great at outdoorsy stuff like camping. My cousins are seasoned campers and love a good tent gathering. We had a fab weekend though. Lots of laughs, camp fires, hay bales and jager-bombs. Staying in a tent definitely was not for us. Falling over en route to a shared porta-loos, tripping up on guide ropes, stubbing toes on pegs and fighting with zips just to get into bed…which was then cold for the majority of the night and every time one of us moved the other moved unwillingly because air beds are antisocial only to then wake up bleary eyed and sweating buckets whilst being unable to breathe. Fast forward the following August, we were invited back again to the friendliest field in Somerset. We got a cheap caravan from somewhere near Stoke. We were robbed never having purchased such an item, we didn’t have a clue what to look out for. The seller saw us coming and cashed in on it. It was rotten. The front end was a mess. Cleaned up and hidden with cushions though, so to an untrained eye it looked great. Cosmetic damage to the outside but what did we want for a cheap unit. Our then 18 month old daughter took one look inside the caravan and fell in love with the idea of a miniature home on wheels that we can take to the beach. Kye ripped out the insides and rebuilt the front end of the caravan. We had several weeks away – mainly at the festival but also at caravan parks, in Mablethorpe. Thats another story though. So we sold the caravan and were lucky enough to have been able to stay with family on the Lizard, Cornwall. We fell in love with the picturesque peninsula. House sitting for my brothers family when they went away was the perfect solution to holiday costs…

Back to 2022: Covid was beginning to ease off and life was finally returning to normal again. My 30th birthday was approaching and Kye was hinting at all sorts of suprises and ideas. Great. I was actually excited. Even asking me if I wanted a puppy – to which I said no. Although I am a dog person and an absolute sucker for bull breeds, I didn’t think it was there right time to have a puppy.

Our daughter who is now 10 (where the heck did that time go?) became poorly and eventually tested positive for.. yep you guessed it, Covid 19. It quickly spread in our small abode as the girls share a room and one of them is a toddler – its hard to stop a toddler from coughing in ones face. Anyway, Kye came home with a puppy.. (also another story) not just a normal puppy, no, an XL Bully pup! Not only did he come home with a dog, the girls got covid, our bedroom renovation was underway but I was fast realising that my 30th birthday was going to be cancelled. So the ten week old menace joined the mad house and he changed everything.

Being regular visitors of Santa Pod, we were fast realising how annoying it is to have to borrow my parents camper van – yeh, they too realised they do not get on with tents – it was ok as long as it was only me and Kye and even then it was a pain because we were uncomfortable sleeping in there. Im short and he’s tall. It was just a bit too small. Kye was offered a caravan for a decent price and after I took a look around it with the youngest who was 2 at the time, we decided to buy it.

In late July, early August, we were supposed to be in Cornwall looking after the cat and dog. However, we can’t take our dogs. My parents said they’d have the dogs this one time (because they don’t like the breeds we have and the holidays were booked before the pup arrived). The plans started to go wrong from there on. Our eldest daughter joined Girl Guides in January and was invited to a camp trip July-Aug so we changed our holiday. The new plan was to pick her up on the Tuesday from the coach and head straight to Cornwall. So thats what we were going to do. Dropped her off happy and excited to goto camp but the following day ended up in hospital with the middle one, aged 8. He had appendicitis. (Thats also yet again, another story).

The holiday is now moved to August – September and I actually cannot wait! We’re camping. In the caravan! It’s going to be great weather, in a great place, with an even more comfy bed. No animals, no chores… I literally cannot wait. I’m that excited I forgot that there was three whole weeks before we go! I’ve already packed the majority of the clothes as we weren’t expecting to postpone for surgery. So there are two massive suitcases that need to be emptied. Plus bags of clothes that I won’t let anyone wear so I don’t have to re-sort it for the holiday. However, I will need to re-sort it because it’ll be in the caravan wardrobe before we go… I asked Kye to leave the caravan door accessible for me to start packing and he kept refusing. It was only yesterday that I realised why. There is an extra 7 days than I thought there was until we go. So in preparation I have daydreamed a few days away in the caravan and worked out what else we might need. We knew that booking in August, for August in Cornwall was going to be expensive but wow £860 for 2 adults, 2 children and infant, 2 dogs in a caravan with awning. Well when you put it like that probably doesn’t seem so bad but we were shocked all the same. Especially when we were able to get a week away for four on a Haven site for £92 but that was 7years ago. In true me style I knew I could find a better deal so I hunted all over the internet for days and found an amazing little site only a few miles from my brother’s on the Lizard peninsula and the best bit is it’s under £400! I couldn’t quite believe it. Finally things were looking up. The boy’s surgery went perfectly and he was sent home the next day. Our eldest girl come back from Guides camp so excited and full of stories and our littlest is super excited to go camping again.

So much prep, so many people to pack for.

First stop… Amazon!

Day 143: bit more to say now.

Well the last 111 days [since I last posted] have been a mixed bag of interesting, eventful and utterly boring.

I submitted my final assignment and that was marked, slightly lower than the assignment before but in my defence I was trying to do those assignments at the height of a pandemic with three young children at home! Anyway. I did enough to pass that assignment which, in this instance is all I could hope for.

HP sorted out their ink issues. With everyone working from home, buying printers and needing ink they just had a little delay, a bit like the supermarkets with their bog roll and flour. I laugh at this now but the no flour and tissue situation was pretty unsettling. I have lots of ink now. Not that we have a Twinkl subscription though, the free access all areas ran out in June/July when some of the schools could reopen to some year groups.

Harry could’ve gone back to school at that time as he was in one of the “allowed” years but he didn’t because we worried for Gemma’s safety as she was diagnosed with asthma at the start of lockdown. The asthma nurse has since ensured us that it would’ve been fine. However, by the time we had that reassurance the school were at their new level of capacity. Hey ho, home for all of us.

So the bookcase needs emptying and sorting properly… it has become a dumping ground again! But a productive one.

My final module results came back! I passed the module! I’m free to start my final module for my degree. So I have enrolled and got my stationary ready, hence the bookshelf becoming a dumping ground, for October start!

The NEXT tele unit was a steal. Absolutely love it! It is perfect, and less dusty haha.

We celebrated Megan’s first birthday. What a strange day it was. I made her a special rainbow cake and we allowed my mum and dad to visit for the first time since lockdown began. We are usually pretty close so it was strange to have to be so distant. The children cuddled them and I think that was a massive highlight for both the children and my parents as this pandemic has got to us all in some way or another.

The football was allowed to restart. Boy did West Ham come back good, well Antonio did. Our little household were quite excited about the restart and watched in their claret & blue! COYI. Managing to do enough stay up in the Premier League and avoid relegation.

Harry & Kye we’re allowed to go back to football training and now Kye is allowed to play matches again. It is good to have their footy routine back but it was nice to have them home whilst it lasted. Life was much less hectic and more perfect without football. In fact I actually really enjoyed their company without football!

Harry, collecting his player medal for 2019/20 season with Little Diamonds.

Megan, since lockdown began in March has learned so much. She is really bouncing off Gemma and Harry so much. Picking things up, doing more, engaging, she’s a right cheeky little so n so though. Megan has a regular sleep pattern, which only is disrupted by the inconsiderate heat and humidity of our summer, or teething. So that’s been a massive hurdle to final be over. Sleeping between 10-12hrs a night is a massive relief for me. I was beginning to crack. Megan is also eating and drinking really well now so in turn she has grown too, which is absolutely fabulous! Although it does mean some of the super cute outfits no longer fit. Including her West Ham kit.

We have now had a Chinese meal from our favourite Chinese take away ok so maybe two or three times. But it has satisfied the need haha. We have also been out to eat three times too. Which is a strange experience now with the new measures in place. Eating in a pub, having to fill out track and trace information prior to being seated, table service in a pub garden – it’s all alien! Sanitiser, one way, masks/face coverings, social distancing…

Kye and Harry let me cut their hair for them, and I even gave myself a trim. Luckily a couple weeks ago me and Gemma were able to get booked in at our salon for a well over due hair cut! We had loads off too – maybe a bit too much. But it was needed. Kye was happy to return to the Turkish Barbers for his skin fade and hot towel massage thingy.

We have been able to see my parents, we even cycled there. They live at the higher part of the valley that we live right in the bottom of. That was fun. Uphill all the way there. Ate far too much. Then cycled home, downhill in the rain! Haha. It was so much fun on the way back, got mud everywhere.

It’s been quite fun during lockdown in our own bubble with everything closed. Gemma and Harry have learned to ride their bikes.

Some time has passed

Ok, so I didn’t manage to keep the diary of events of our isolation covid lockdown etc journey. But now we are through that and times changed again we have a new adventure to begin and that is where we’re at now.

The NEW adventure!

Day 32: Not posted for a while

What is there to say?

We’re still inside. Locked in our homes. Bored as hell. Eating twice as much as we need. Getting on each others nerves.

That being said, I’ve tried my best. I have given them activities since the printer has been a great help and of course the Twinkl subscription… I have made some great meals and we have worked hard making the garden better for them.

above: before.

Below: after. (We have since painted the picket fence to match the shed and moved the trampoline net)

We have started to grow carrots, chillis and parsnips. I cooked a leg of Lamb for the first time this easter, we had an Easter egg hunt, lots of chocolate eggs. And with the left over lamb I made a rogan Josh. We ate our roast lamb in the garden too! Which is probably only the third time we’ve ever eaten in our garden.

UK went into lockdown and we’re still here.

The children and I made life size hugs for my mum. We have a roll of paper and I drew round the children. They then coloured them in. I did Megan’s for her of course.

I’ve been wanting Chinese food since Christmas. We usually have Chinese on Christmas Eve, but I cooked a shepherds pie instead. Then we have a Chinese for New Years Eve. But I’m not even sure we had one them… anyway since C19 hit we decided to not have Chinese food. Initially because it had been Chinese New Year and our favourite take away had been closed, we assumed they went to visit family in China. We have had a few failed attempts at Chinese inspired food but the Char Sui & BBQ veg was sooo yummy!

I rarely take photos of myself, so there is a rare half liked photo of myself with Megan. We are struggling to establish a strong sleeping pattern for her. So I was trying to get her to nap. Instead we took selfies and the dog played too!

Megan got a West Ham kit at her first visit to the London Stadium at only a few weeks old, she has been too small to wear it until now! 10 months and it fits perfectly. These are two of the cutest photos that day.

The random tele unit… ok so I am sick of our black class tv unit. I dust it and by the time I’ve finished dusting it, it’s dusty again! It’s awful! So I spoke to Kye and said what about building one. So I drew up a plan. I queued for three days to get on the B&Q website and eventually got on there to check prices only to be disappointed that it would cost £135 in wood and screws. So we looked again online and found this well looked after NEXT unit for £85!

So had a really annoying email from HP my instant ink order is delayed due to them closing production. I need ink. Bloody heck. How can I entertain off the screen if there is no ink? It’s very hard to keep them both engaged.

I’ve sorted out the cabinet, half the bookcase and the sideboard. It’s getting quite boring now.. five weeks into isolation and I am still procrastinating… my final assignment for this years module is due very soon and I just cannot focus! It’s so hard right now…

Day Thirteen: so tired

I think Megan must be teething, the lack of sleep is really getting me down now. I’ve never ached this much m, it’s awful. Eventually she will get this sleeping lark!

Back to PE with Joe Wicks this morning for Gemma and Harry, fancy dress Friday no less.

We did some writing, reading and maths. I’m not gonna lie or jazz it up to make out I’m some kind of supermum!

Day Twelve: monarchs

This morning I was up with the delightful Megan at 4:45! Less than impressed and very sore from lack of sleep and a draft, I stumbled down the stairs and sat in the dark with the baby.

Having read the latest news and decided to ignore it all – or go crazy over thinking it all – I tried to close my eyes for a bit of a rest. Megan had other ideas.

8am I hear Kye starting to get sorted for work. So i went and made his lunch. He had asked for egg mayo in his sandwiches so i peeled the eggs and made his pack up. We emptied my boot into his car and he took my car to work to service it, the tracking and change a couple tyres.

Today I decided to switch it up a bit with Gemma and Harry. So they had their breakfast, probably muesli as they make their own cereal. Then whilst Gemma was washing, brushing her teeth & hair and getting dressed, I sat with Harry. We went onto The Maths Factor website. Carol is smashing the maths lessons. He really engaged with it and I think he was appreciating me sitting with him one on one. Then they swapped. Harry went up to get washed and dressed and Gemma sat with me and we worked through some maths together.

We spoke to my mum on FaceTime, she told the sprogs to practice spellings for a test later on. We joked about and Megan joined in too. They were then happy to go play outside and made a new game together. Playing with bubbles and bouncing around. They came in for lunch.

We looked at the Horrible Histories monarchs song. Brilliant. So we have decided to make mini fact files about each of the forty monarchs to have reigned since William I (the conqueror).

We are creating a time line. It’s going to take a while.

Day eleven: Kyes Birthday.

My handsome man had a rubbishy day, he had to goto work. We tried to make it birthdayish though, a cake, gifts & cards. Feel like I failed though.

The children waved their dad off, to work again then we did PE with Joe Wicks and some reading, we also watched some educational videos and talked about science things whilst watching NASA live on the firestick. We also watched and then talked about Horrible Histories movie.

Made a lasagne for dinner, carrot cake birthday cake for my man too.

Pretty boring day!

Day Ten: Mum’s birthday

I’m sad I can’t see my mum. I’ve finished her present today with hours to spare. My dad collected it, I had to leave it on my car because we’re not allowed inside 2m of each other. But it cheered up her day as the dog seems to have had some kind of stroke or something in the night and is unable to walk or eat or anything. They have meds from the vet, he has ten days to improve 😢

We wrapped Kyes birthday presents for tomorrow. FaceTimed my mum. The children read and played on their tablets and went on the trampoline. Ok so…We might’ve snuck out to the shop to get dinner stuff. I left them in the car and cleaned the trolley before I used it haha!

Toad in the hole for dinner because everyone is talking about it from the other Sunday. “Mum, I want toad in the hole!” Is a daily phrase now.