Opening up (slowly)

We went back into another lockdown at the very end of December and only recently have shops allowed to open (except for essential shops which never closed, like the one I work in) Stay at home changed to Stay Local and then just the other week changed again and the border opened up with Wales and we were allowed to go visit my in-laws and walk around a big field and drop off Christmas presents we have been unable to give them since plans changed back in December. Today was the first time I have ventured out of the house that wasn’t for work/grocery shopping/something important like collecting meds or attending an appointment and to a shop where I spent my Hobby Craft gift card I received for Christmas – I got a super bargain too, a gold glitter effect travellers notebook reduced from £25 to £5!

I put in an application to be a commons designer over at digitalscrapbook.com too. I have dabbled in designing stuff off and on over the years and once I found this great community I decided I’d jump in and do it again as it has been so long. I am currently a level 2 designer and am (slowly) working on getting to level 3! It’s fun to have something to focus on that’s not everything else I have to do. It has been really tough – that third lockdown plus stuff going on in my personal life it has just all weighed me down. Luckily my dad seems to have a bit of time where he is able to get up and about on crutches and he has been out on a mobility scooter to go with my mum when she has gone on a walk, but he still has some bad days where he’s in a lot of pain and can’t do much and it’s really sad to see 😦
Dylan? Well just this week his school hours are now completely returned to normal, though I’ve had some hiccups at pick up time once we have left the playground with him leaving his girlfriend behind – there’s a girl in his class he has been very good friends with for a long time and he said he was in love with her and asked her to be his girlfriend – it’s super cute and it helps me get him to school but a little bit stressful at home time as he doesn’t want to leave her! Just this week she drew him an adorable picture of the 2 of them together that I just had to scan in and preserve for him when he gets older to remember lol. He has also (thankfully!) pulled his front baby tooth out that was giving him problems and it was no wonder it was a struggle to come out as the one side of the tooth was so long it was holding on for dear life LOL! He is relieved it is out and we are hoping his adult teeth which were already coming through, can finish off coming through with ease without that baby tooth stuck in the middle!

Front top baby tooth finally out!

For my birthday this year I had a wonderful surprise – I couldn’t get to have it for a while though sadly because I managed to take a chunk out of my thumb literally days after my birthday so that and the fact I had to take the weekend off work as I was in no fit state to go into work with my thumb how it was and not being able to physically do much and I hadn’t had a sick day for 2 years either! But anyway, it was a vintage sewing machine. As someone who can’t sew well at all and had numerous issues with my old machine… It was amazing to get to use my new-to-me machine and was surprised at how quickly I managed to learn how to use it and how much better it is than my old machine!

Anywho that’s pretty much all of an update that I have as there really hasn’t been much more worth to share 🙂

And then it was July

I am so behind on my Goodreads challenge for this year… 6 books to read and I’ve only read 1 😦 I’m still constantly feeling overwhelmed and had the weekend off work which was definitely much needed. Working in retail during all this really does take its toll. We have officially passed day 100 of lockdown, though things are starting to open and ease up, we haven’t felt very comfortable in going out.

I wear my homemade masks every week for work and shopping. At work I slot in a disposable mask just as an extra layer – I really need to look into getting some non-woven fabric instead so that I can wash and reuse. I took Dylan out to get some sweets last week to the local newsagents as well, which was massive for us and he did the best he could – but once out of the shop he had to take his mask straight off so I had to do my best to carry it home looped over 1 finger. He’s finding it hard, but we did manage to get out for a socially distanced walk with his friend M to go see the horses in a nearby field. I know he really needed that.

Our holiday at the end of July has been cancelled and he has been so upset about it as it’s his favourite place to go, only we couldn’t see Rory the Tiger, or go swimming in the pool, or eat in the restaurant, or do anything else – including his ultimate favourite thing of visiting the arcade… We could literally just sit in the caravan or visit the beach with literally everybody else, with just a 20% discount… so it was a big no from us! All the images we have been seeing with how others are acting have just put us right off and it’s a lot of money just to sit in the caravan for the week.

Saturday 4th of July was dubbed “Super Saturday” when lots of stuff reopened such as pubs and restaurants. We did not leave the house. There are far too many people out there who just don’t care and are putting others at risk. It’s just so upsetting. I am going to attempt to take Dylan out to Hobbycraft as he needs some more picture beads as he has been loving making Mario characters to be ironed and kept from the beads but we are low on black and white beads. I know he will enjoy getting to go out, especially in the car. I honestly can’t remember the last time he got to go out in the car! I have seen on their website how they are dealing with queues and people going into store and I feel like they have it under control with social distancing (just like in our store at work) so I feel a little comfortable going to see how it goes. Just having that info on the site made all the difference to me actually deciding to go with monkey 🙂

School work is very much difficult to get him to do hence why as he has only been doing a little each day, he will be continuing through the summer holidays just doing a little. We do really hope that the week we were due to go on our holiday we can do some activities as a family but we need to play it by ear and see how things go. But top of the list of things to do it a picnic up the local hill 🙂

You can also see Dylan lost his first tooth as well and was super excited by a visit from the tooth fairy! We have had a socially distanced visit from his teacher and the SEN lady from the school (they stood at our gate to talk to us) to see how he is doing. It’s a bit sad that he has pretty much missed out on Year 1 at school. We also had info from the school about his teacher for Year 2 and when he saw the list of teachers and teaching assistants he told me he didn’t care who his teacher was as long as he had a specific TA (she has been in the other class all year in year 1) but myself and Gareth knew who we hoped his teacher would be as the one teacher was in our sports day group for Dylan’s year in Reception… and that’s his teacher… in addition to the TA Dylan wanted, so relief all round, and as they usually swap classes around each year after seeing how the children are during the school year as they did after reception class, this year they are keeping classes as they are due to all the disruption this year, so we are also relieved that though there is going to be a massive change with a new teacher, TAs and new room… the people in it plus the one TA will be familiar to him.

Day…. Uhh… lost count

I have fallen out with my sewing machine. Last night I had it apart trying to get it sorted and gave in at 11pm (which is waaaaay past my bedtime) and then spent hours from after Dylan woke me up at 6.30 still trying to fix it. I went through all the trouble shooting and finally it started working… but the tension was all wrong. I tried everything I could but I couldn’t get it fixed. I managed to finish the project I was working on at the time (I figured bad sewing was better than no sewing) and I boxed the sewing machine up and shoved it back where it was stored.

However, this week I have managed to make a face mask for each family member – it was hubby’s that broke my machine. It was really as a “just in case” as many other countries are following a rule of having a face covering when going out and as yet we have not had one but there are rumours in the news that it could be announced. I grabbed an old bed sheet that I stashed with my sewing supplies and cut out my own and Dylan’s masks and made them. For hubby’s I had a navy fat quarter laying around which has also been sun damaged – it’s been laying around for quite some time! While far from perfect, I’m pleased with how it turned out and find it a lot more comfortable than a “proper” mask I had been given to use which just didn’t fit right at all. It was my nan (a seamstress) who on our weekly chat mentioned a pattern for a face mask prompting me to get online and find something for her that I could print off and post in her letterbox… As much as I wanted to ask her to make some for us, I thought I would just give it a go myself. And while I can no longer make more than the ones we already have, I can get them in the laundry and into the tumble drier pretty quickly.

It such a crazy time right now, I sometimes sit and try and process just what the heck is going on. Just sometimes I have a wave come over me about it all. I’ve not been having the best week neither (my sewing machine no longer sewing correctly is just a small portion of my bad week – and it’s only Wednesday). Schoolwork is still a struggle. Just going to pee in peace is no small feat. Luckily we have “Wellness Wednesday” and the last 2 weeks I have jumped on a video chat. Dylan got to catch up with his friend on video chat as well today and it was nice to say hello to her mum and have a quick chat. I know I should get in touch with my Florida friends as it would be cool for Dylan to chat to one of my friend’s daughters. Dylan also has a class video chat too tomorrow which I know he is looking forward to as he hasn’t “seen” any of his school friends since the school closures in March.

I will be sure to do another check in soon, but for now, I need sleep!

Day 30 of lockdown

We have slightly slipped into some sort of routine, though this week is “back to (home)school” after 2 weeks of Easter holidays, so I knew it was going to be a bit difficult to ease back into it. BBC have been doing “Bitesize Daily” and the first 2 days wasn’t too bad but today in addition to the technical difficulties that it didn’t go up until a bit later, it just wasn’t happening. It wasn’t that he didn’t do anything because he did and that’s something at least. I think the only reason bitesize held his attention yesterday was because there was a gross yeti who ate yellow snow that made Dylan absolutely howl with laughter and request “the yeti part” over multiple times. Yesterday morning I even managed to turn his mario gameplay into school work and submit it to his teacher… He was playing Mario Maker 2 – so building and debugging by checking his level to make sure it is playable and as we use class dojo via the school, he managed to get dojo points for doing it!

He has managed to persuade me to play some Mario 3D world and we have done a bunch of levels that we struggled with (there was one level I refused to do because it was too hard and I didn’t think I would ever be able to do it…. I completed it with all 3 stars, the level stamp AND gold flag! GO ME! Not gonna lie, it did take a while LOL!)

Mondays I spend the morning (after having a short cuddle with monkey) tidying up the kitchen and starting the new week’s chores, and we do some school work. Tuesdays are super busy as I head out to Tesco around 10am and don’t get back until about 11.30, During this time Dylan has all the tablet time as he needs to sit in the spare room with daddy who is working in there. This is the day home school doesn’t start until around 2pm as we have lunch and then I have to get bins, food waste and recycling sorted ready for whatever is being collected that week (recycling and food waste every week, bins every other week). I also do my best to video chat with my nan this day.

Wednesday is general chores in between other things. We do some school work. Evenings I watch Goldbergs (8pm, though tonight I am catching up on the computer while I can as I can just get on E4 and watch all the shows I like) Schooled is 8.30 and then when I’m sleeping and I don’t get to watch it while it’s on is Zoe’s Extraordinary Playlist at 10pm but I watch that on catch up when I can – I try on Thursday. Thursdays again, try some school work but by this part of the week, it’s waning. Fridays we try our best lol. On the weekends I am working the early shifts and I catch up on any chores I need to do and just try chill if we can.

My flare got worse and the hospital never responded, so I spoke with the doctors on Monday and they took extensive notes and decided considering the situation they would prescribe it to me but I would need to speak with the hospital who actually did actually call me back after that call when I updated them. I was in so much pain on Sunday, I’m wondering how I managed to get through my shift at work. Monday was another bad day (hence the call) and I’m hoping next week the meds will kick in and it’ll be so much better (it has eased a bit already thankfully!)

And saved for last, the best news! I have managed to claim my .co.uk domain back! Long story short, they reset all open tickets, I opened a new one asked them to change my WHOIS info they said no (they actually responded!) so I took full advantage to ask them to transfer my domain and now I’m free from them! The domain currently points here to my blog.

A new normal

If anyone has been following me on instagram (check me out btw) then you will already know some updates of late. Dylan’s school closed at the end of the school day on 19th March as his school already had an inset day planned on the Friday. Many children didn’t go on Thursday but Dylan went as it allowed him a bit of closure and to bring some of his things home as we have no idea when (or if) he will be going back to school for year one.

I cleared the dining room table of all the random stuff that often got left on it and it became his learning area – complete with a Pokemon poster courtesy of Twinkl and calendar posters that I’m sure I’ve seen before in Dylan’s classroom that I also laminated. That shirt on his table was his “uniform” that he designed for his first project. That Friday where the teachers were in for inset day, they had set up all resources for the kids and we are on the class dojo platform so it’s nice to have that connection to school and his teacher still.

Gareth is working from home and has been since just before Dylan finished school. It can prove challenging trying to keep Dylan’s volume down, we were just super grateful last week the sun was shining (though cold at times!) and we spent a lot of time outside in our back garden – today not so much as it rained.

Work has seen some big changes too. From operating as normal, to putting down tape to keep customers back, having to physically put things in front of the counter to stop some of them still leaning over, to closing our shop front and having barrier tape outside and running click and collect only with a pasting table at our store door for people to able to collect their items once we have stepped back. It has been interesting for sure.

Today has seen minimal school work completed, but it’s OK. We will get back on to things a bit better tomorrow – mummy certainly needs to have a quiet bath and I am hoping to carve out a bit of time each day to sit and read my own books. I failed my Goodreads reading challenge last year and I want to make it this year (I don’t count Dylan’s books lol otherwise I would pass with flying colours!) It is also super important to set some time aside for some gratitude and meditation to keep things in perspective as well as I try and juggle everything. I have had to call the IBD team at hospital and leave a message – considering all that’s going on they are swamped with calls and so it takes around 3 days for it to be returned which is understandable, but I have had to request some more medication as my doctor will not allow me to get a repeat prescription and I started flaring a few days ago.

Domain host issues

I am so grateful that I decided to back up my blog the other week! I’ve mentioned previously that I’ve had web host issues in the past and now my whole site is down and not just the one, but my blog and main site. I have set up redirects so my domain points to my Google Site (I have been slowly getting the page up together so it’s pretty much done) and my blog URL points to here. I’m starting to think I’m over web hosting anyway, there are free offerings that suit me just fine for how often I actually blog plus my main site points to my social media anyway and Google Sites is perfect for that.

I am going to transfer my domains away from where they are now and have the 2 in different places. I’ve been doing the research for a long time, I guess now it’s time to do something about it.

Little Romeo

Life wise, it has been a year since I last blogged! A whole year has passed since I met Hanson on the String Theory tour… time really does fly by! Monkey is growing by the day, last Friday we were at the school disco, I was helping to run the shop/bar and Dylan often came over to see how I was, and grabbed one of the fake roses to give to me, in his mouth and I just had to snap a picture. I had to leave my post at the bar on a couple of occasions when Dylan was going up to the speakers and putting his ear up next to it to get him away from it >.< It’s an ongoing process, and I will certainly do a post another day about some of his Sensory “Quirks” (note to self: add it to my Trello!)

We had a meeting at the school yesterday to discuss his needs. It’s a bit emotional to hear that while he excels in his speech/reading etc he struggles with his fine motor skills (another reason he hates writing) and he struggles with social situations and his attention span. He has a lot of one on one time with teaching assistants when time allows but he may need additional support. So we are working with the school so that home life is consistent as well. I was so proud of him when he wrote in my birthday card and will treasure that writing ❤

Project wise, I’ve been streaming once a week to Twitch and Mixer trying to get used to doing it regularly and once I’ve got the hang of it and I’m comfortable talking to myself to begin with, I will spread the word and let people know when I go live and look at doing it on my YouTube channel as well… I have some YouTube video ideas but it’s getting over my “it’s not good enough” issues and just get it out there 😉