This week we started our 6th week of isolation and lockdown, the 5th week for the country as a whole. The last few weeks have been ok. Nothing too drastic has happened and that has made it easier to manage our own little family situations.

Fire Up The BBQ

Just before we went in to lockdown, JHogg finally got his dream BBQ delivered. He has been researching them for probably the best part of a year and was so excited to finally find one on sale at a time that we could afford it. It is a kind of smoker/bbq……. thing. It uses wood pellets rather than gas or coals so your food gets a really smokey flavour.

We got a Deliveroo of meat from our local butcher and have been experimenting ever since. First it was a chicken. It did taste nice, but to be honest I could do it just as well (if not nicer) in the oven. JHogg then upped his game with a slow smoked brisket which was delicious, ribs and sausages over the following 2 weeks.

A smoked brisket on a large wooden chopping board
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It’s been fun experimenting with the PitBoss and working out which recipes will work for us. Our hope is that before the end of the summer we’ll be able to have our family round to share a bbq with us – but if all else fails we’ll just do it virtually instead.

Easter In Isolation

Easter is usually a big family event for us. We get together with my parents, my sister and her family and have a lunch and an egg hunt for the kids. This year was obviously different, but I like to think we still made it special for the boys.

Piggie was so excited to find eggs waiting for him downstairs in the morning, ad we did an egg hunt in the garden. JJ didn’t quite grasp what he had to though and after a while go bored and started hiding his eggs in the playhouse for later

A boy in a skeleton onesie holding a ghost bucket and collecting chocolate
A boy standing in a garden holding a blue bucket and wearing a batman hoodie
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As much as my boys like chocolate I don’t really let them go wild with it, so JHogg and I have slowly been “helping” then work through their Easter chocolate in the evening once they’re in bed.

Making Friends In The Garden

Thank god for the garden! The sun has been out in full force so we’ve been outside with the boys as much as possible. The have a new slide and have been up and down it way more times a day than I could possibly count. We always said we couldn’t get them a slide as we live next door to a play park – but obviously circumstances have changed!

A boy with a big cheesy grin on his face
A boy pouting and puffing his cheeks out as he tries to climb a ladder
A boy at the top of a slide
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We have even gotten the paddling pool out one day. It was a bit of a fiasco as our pump didn’t really work so we had to blow it up by mouth – less than ideal! But once it was up the kids played around while JHogg and I sat in the sunshine having a drink. It was the closest we’ve come to peace and quiet in months.

Two children in a paddling pool in the sunshine
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In this last week though we’ve had a new friend in the garden. Piggie found a wasp in his playhouse, and it turned out to be a queen wasp that had started to make a nest. We scared her off a few times and destroyed the small bit of nest that was there but she keeps coming back. Hopefully she’ll get the hint soon as it does make me more wary when the boys are out playing.

Virtual Pub Quiz

The last few weeks have seen a lot of quizzes with friends – I don’t think I’ve ever had such a busy social life! My parents got back from their trip around 10 days ago so we’ve got a family quiz on the go now too.

We’ve been using Zoom, but the 40 minute time limit is a bit annoying. We’ve hosted a couple and taken part of numerous. It’s a nice way to pass the time in the evening but, aside from Harry Potter, we need to brush up on our general knowledge!

What Even Is TikTok?

A few weeks ago I got sucked in to the black hole that is TikTok. I started watching videos, and before I knew it I was making and posting them too. It is definitely the weirdest platform that I’ve been on, but it’s great fun and keeping us busy! Between the kids and work (which is surprisingly busy at the moment!) I don’t have much time off. I’ve enjoyed dipping in to TikTok for a couple of minutes here and there for a little bit of escapism.

Slowing Down

Being at home has definitely forced us to slow down. The days can drag but we try not to wish them away. Piglet has actually adjusted really well, he no longer asks where we’re going each morning and in general seems quite content at home.

I’ve noticed more of a struggle with JJ recently. He is used to 3 hours a day of time with just me. We go swimming, to gymnastics, to the park or just play at home. I have always been pretty firm on my children learning to self settle, but JJ has requested a cuddle and falls asleep in my arms. This has been going on for about 10 days now and for once I am not fighting him on it. He obviously needs that little moment together in peace and quiet, and I’m happy to be his safe place.

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