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The New Normal- Covid19 Blog

Party Time?

Now the “unlocking of lockdown” has begun (thanks Kyrie!) we should all be feeling elated? But for some reason, it feels like a massive anti- climax. Previously I had been thinking and asking people… “what’s the first thing that you are going to do when lockdown is over?”. I imagined everyone coming out into the streets and cheering, hugging each other, maybe even licking each other. There would be fireworks, maybe even a trumpet, but most definitely glow sticks. Then the next day I would eagerly hand over my kids to grandparents as we jet set off for some *wild weekend away.…But it’s not been like that at all. Its not be like a massive party with fanfares and celebrations. It’s been a very gradual, diluted affair.  For me I feel like I’m slowly and very timidly dipping my toes back into reality and life again, but feeling guilty and scared by doing so?

*full night’s sleep, a tidy house and bath without toy frog going up bum.

What Are The Rules? Anyone?

I’m also feeling rather confused?! Like when you accidently try to make a phone call with your TV remote or spray air freshener in the garden? Just me? I think my confusion is partially down to not really watching the news anymore (kids next level crazy atm and can’t do anything remotely adult). Lockdown was lockdown, you stayed in, didn’t do ANYTHING. Simple. Almost easier? But now, we aren’t back to normal as we knew it, but we aren’t in full lockdown. Just in some weird world in-between universe. Its feels sort of “normal” but then not normal at all??? Maybe this is why I went out in odd flip flops the other day.

Routine

It doesn’t stick around long enough to get used to it??? For me…..husband away, me solo parenting; everyone on lockdown 24/7; me working, husband looking after kids 2 days a week (bliss); furloughed; 5 year old at school, husband back at work full time; soon me to be back at work, kids summer holiday……I used to look after both boys by myself all the time but must admit these last 3 weeks have been HARD getting used to that again!!!! Out-of-practice.

The End Of A Horror Movie?

It’s scary. When were in the midst of it, it was a novelty. Everyone was in it together. But I think now the reality of what this crazy pandemic has left us with is starting to hit. The uncertainty, the re-building, the new etiquette, the furious anti-bacing, the job losses, the one-way systems, the queuing, the deserted shops, the loss of human touch/ face to face interaction, the unruly lockdown hair. The life as we knew it has gone. Honestly, the only thing I can liken it too is some sort of film where the actors have to hide underground from some kind of apocalypse. Then once it’s over, they reimage to discover what’s left of the world. Obvs not as dramatic but I definitely have a “28 days later” feel recently.

School

I have not really talked about the school thing on here because I was worried of being judged. Not sure why really but maybe because I wasn’t sure myself and questioned the decision to send my 5-year-old son back to school. I must admit, when BJ first announced that reception kids could go back, my husband and I jumped off the sofa cheering and high fiving!! But then it sunk it. It wasn’t going to be the same for my son. I was so sad for him and worried if he would be ok with it. So many emotions and thoughts like most parents must have had. Won’t bore you with our reasons (could do a whole other blog post on this!) but we stuck to our original decision, we did what we felt was right for HIM. And we struck gold, honestly. And I can’t tell you what a joy it is to retire as his teacher. I once had an inkling to be a teacher. That is now gone.

Questions. So many questions.

Is this it then? The new normal? Are things ever going to be like they were before? Or is there always going to be this massive elephant in the room. Am I always going to have to queue up to get some peanut M&Ms from Tesco’s 2 meters apart?! Is anyone ever going to be able to cough in public again without getting death stares? Drink Corona beer without making a corona related joke? Walking backwards down the one-way-system in a shop to make it ok (anyone else do this?), open air hugs, workout without a child using you as a Stegasaurus, hold breath when go passed people, feel guilty for enjoying yourself, feel like it’s just going to happen again and the urge to buy that extra pack of loo roll????!!!

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Mountain Biking

Was loving (and still am) appreciating the simple things in life (the sound of the birds, the greenness of the trees, the smell of the flowers etc), but It was when I said to my husband the other day with earnest in my eyes and genuine excitement in my voice “oh, I think I might be able to fit another wash load on here”, I realised I seriously needed to start getting “back out there”. I needed to get some of ME back.

Introducing Mountain Biking!

My dad (age 73) is like this crazy downhill, off-road mountain biker. Honestly, he’s gnarly. He has been trying to get me into it for years, but it really had zero appeal to me. He kept saying I would love it, it was just like snowboarding, but I couldn’t see it. But when him and my mum were both poorly with suspected Covid19, it really put things into perspective. Having not had a bike since I was maybe 10, I have really had to start at the beginning. I mean, I didn’t even know what the different gears were for or that you actually had 2x breaks! Also had to go for a specialist “undercarriage” saddle fit as clearly birthing 2 boys has broken me.

I’ve been 6 times now and I am LOVING it!!! And IT IS just like snowboarding, picking lines, carving, trying to “ollie” your bike. I look like a complete kook in my gear and my lack of skills, but I actually don’t care. Gives me that “oh my god I’m going to die” adrenaline rush I love. I’m weird. It has become a family affair now, bikes all round.

I have also spent more time drinking gin with my mum on park benches! Life’s about balance!

Felt Mobiles

Quite contradictorily to my adrenaline seeking extreme sport type things, I really enjoy sewing (*cough granny). I have finally got around to semi putting into production my range of Felt Mobiles. It’s something I can do whilst watching TV/ sunbathing/ socialising. Keep trying to do it with my kids there but have 100% confirmed that this isn’t as feasible (my youngest dismantled the felt unicorn and rubbed the unicorn’s horn around his ball bag……don’t worry Millie, I made another!). Working on some more designs over the summer. Had a brainwave for the name…..Mega Felts. See what I did there?!

Life Is Going To Be Better

However, I think this whole thing could do some good changes to our world for the better? We are going to be even more super polite queuing and being very British and polite AND hopefully be healthier and get less bugs over winter as we are all going to be cleaner! I’m also going to save money on perfume as people can’t get close enough to smell it, AND I can eat garlic and onion with no concerns people also won’t be close enough to smell the effects of that. I have also learnt how to make semi edible cheese straws during this time.

 

 

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Covid-19- Changes Afoot

Ironically when lockdown is completely lifted, I think we are going to spend more time at home????!

When Borris announced the first phase of coming out of lockdown, I wasn’t as excited as I thought I would/ should be??? Is that weird? We had become quite content in our little isolation bubble I didn’t feel ready to leave (also not ready to shave my legs, wash my hair, parallel park). I realised I was scared to lose some of the life we had acquired during this lockdown time.

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So, it got me thinking about things I might change when re- emerging back into the real world. I’m not going to build a mud shack on the middle of Dartmoor and live-off-the-land whilst wearing nothing but dock leaves to cover my modesty (my boys would love doing this). But I have had some realisations. Oh, I’ve become so deep.

Lounge Wear

I have decided to give away every item of clothing and just live in lounge wear for the rest of my life.

OUT OUT

I’ve never been a homebody. I’ve always preferred to get out there, see the world, do anything and everything I can to fill my days. I felt this was living my life to the max. My diary is always jam packed and I always felt guilty if I wasted time “just at home”. Oh how the tables have turned. I’ve realised staying at home is actually alright and we are so bloody lucky to have a home. Especially as this time last year we were living in a hotel room. Staying at home is not something to be feared. Don’t get me wrong, we will still do lots of adventuring/traveling but I think we will also have more time chilling out watching TV at home and not feel bad about it!

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Less Use Of Car

We have got so used to jumping in the car to go anywhere. During lockdown without this luxury, we have actually discovered amazing places right on our doorstep. And, we CAN walk to the beach with the boys. It’s all too easy with kids to opt for the least stressful way of getting to places. But we have underestimated the boys and they can in fact walk*

*whinge, stop for snacks 689565 times, wind too windy, sky too blue, trees to rustley, carry 2x kids plus bikes plus suitcase of snacks home in heat wave.

Underwear

I might go all Charlie Dimmock and not wear a bra anymore??? I’m just so free now

Spend Less Money

I was a VERY good person and helped out some small businesses and bought some things from Instagram shops (!!!!), but now I have done my bit, I am seriously going to cut back on spending. Not having the option to nip into shops has definitely made me less impulsive. And healthier?! And the option of going anywhere less *fashion conscious

*all about loungewear chic these days

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Look At Things Differently

I’m very aware that I don’t want this to make me or my family super paranoid and scared to do anything. But inevitably, I have already found myself looking differently at things. For example, any movie/ TV when people are hugging and close together makes me think “oooo they aren’t socially distancing”. Seeing people on a walk, instead of feeling uplifted to see them, I’m just thinking how I can best navigate my kids and myself to not get too close. If someone sneezes in public (I know not Corona symptom), instead of saying “bless you” I think “oh my god its bloody Rona”. People handing me something, and thinking I need to anti bac the item and my hands immediately. I really don’t want to live like this forever and my boys growing up being scared of the world. I’m 100% behind the “rules” to keep everyone safe, but eventually I want to get back to normal. I want my kids to eat stuff off the floor again (5 second rule??!!)

Home Gym

NEVER thought I would have the motivation to work-out at home. I thought the temptation of having the sofa right there would be too much. But actually, when there is no other option and I don’t want to look like Mr Blobby after too many pies, I have found I’m pretty driven. Plus, as you are in your living room, it’s totally acceptable wo work out in your bra and pants whilst watching Friends. Save on clothes, gym fees and have a bloody good time.

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Running Career

As much as I still absolutely HATE running and it’s SO bad for my knees, I think I might carry on with it?? The main drive behind this is I get to escape from the kids and listen to music that isn’t off a kid’s program. I also don’t piss myself nearly as much since I started running.

Slowing Down

I’ve always done lots of clubs and activities for the boys. Felt they needed it? When actually, I have spent the last 5 years rushing around to all of these things and not actually spending proper time with them? I think they have really enjoyed not being carted around everywhere when really, they seem quite happy playing with Mummy the Dinosaur in the living room. Although, Kitt is going to be an Olympic Gymnast and Arlo and Olympic Snowboarder so we will see……

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Free Fun

Also realised that we don’t need all these places that cost a bomb to get it and are full of glitz and glamour (well, loud primary colours and music that’s gives you migraines). All of the best times we have had have been totally free.

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Family

When everything in your life is stripped back, and the things that defined you are gone, you realise what is really important in life. Family and that everyone is healthy. So we have decided to have 20 more kids………..joking, can barely cope with 2! So, from now on I’m going to prioritise my family more. Not just my little family but my parents too. This is why I have now promised my 73-year-old dad that I’m going to be his new mountain bike buddy!!! As long as he gets me a pink bike and we stop for cake. I feel a bit helpless with my brother and expectant wife all the way in NZ though:(

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Shopping Without Kids

This is something I hope will never change. It’s been a great shame (!!!) that I have had to do the food shopping ALONE without any children.

Appreciation

I tell you, I’m just going to appreciate everything SO much more after this: hanging out with friends and chatting “lovingly “about our husbands, H&M, wearing Tena Ladies to Adult Gymnastics, going to work with adults, hugging people and accidently inhaling their hair, petting crazy dogs that then try to hump you, accidently eating fish whilst wakeboarding, talking to random people about the weather, standing in EasyJet check-in queues, hairdressers, teachers (bloody deserve medals), Clubbersize and glow sticks, licking my mates and the holy grail of childcare (god bless). And of course, snowboarding. I’d take that in a whiteout right now.

Cleaning

Huge realisation that its actually pointless cleaning my house again until the kids have left home. Me off the hook for the next 15 years.

*Disclaimer

All of these life changes will probably all go tits-up and when lockdown is fully lifted you will find me finally out of loungewear, wearing a bra, at an expensive event that I have driven 5 hours to get to.

The reality of how different our world is going to be is really hitting me at the moment, especially the school thing. It’s all just so sad. But I guess we just take each step as it comes and focus on the positive things.

This also got me thinking…what’s the first thing you’re going to do once lockdown is fully lifted??????

ps. This evening I watched my son eat grated cheese off his penis (long story), I actually think its now time to get out more

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Groundhog Day- COVID-19

Groundhog Day

Anyone else feeling like this yet??? A few days ago, we did our walk  THE OTHER WAY ROUND!!! Totally crazy and mind-blowing!!!! My pre-Corona-life also felt ground-hoggy (word?) as I KNEW what was coming (gym Monday, work Tuesday, Forest School Wednesdays, Baby Gym Thursday, Swimming Friday, work Saturday, school run every day….dinner every day, high chair cleaning everyday…), but now it’s like the ultimate kind of Groundhogs. Although weirdly, the feeling that we really don’t know what’s coming next keeps me going?? I am working towards an end??? Or a new beginning maybe? For me this is keeping the mundane fresh (mostly) and the novelty of this temporary way of life ticking over (most days). I know this isn’t forever. I won’t get this time again.

We Are Not All In The Same Boat

I’ve seen this a lot recently and I’m becoming acutely aware of is how different this situation is for everyone. No two lockdowns are the same. I was stood in the queue for Tesco’s the other day and I was studying everyone (through my dark sunnies): silent, not talking, not making eye contact, distancing from others in their own worlds. I just thought, each one of these people has a their own COVID-19 story and facing their own set of battles. The spectrum of difficulty is huge, and I feel bad to say anything bad about my situation as many are SO much more worse off.  A lockdown with young kids does present its own set of challenges however, but I’m thankful each day for chocolate, locks on bathrooms, TV, wipes, bribes and my (chaotic) family.

Slob Days

I’ve been having these days, like once a week?? Where I just wake up with zero motivation to do anything at all and I just feel a bit glum? So, I wear odd socks and joggers, eat peanut butter straight from the jar, do oven fish and chips for my kids, snacks all day on the sofa, and let them watch a lot TV. I feel mega mum guilt but have told myself that the kids need a rest day???!! I would win no parenting awards AT ALL and if they want to eat tomato ketchup from the bottle and run around naked, so be it. Generally, if I just go with it and try not to fight it I wake up feeling so much better the next day.

I’m Scared For It To End??!

Obviously, I want this all to be over, and life to return to normal, families to be reunited, jobs to be safe again and people to be healthy. BUT, I’m nervous to get back on that hamster wheel of life again. I’m nervous to be away from my kids for longer than my food shop (although Grandparents, please feel free to take them away for like a week when this is over so I can sleep and just sit there in peace), nervous to drive again, parallel park, nervous for the overload of life admin, work deadlines, making pack lunches, getting somewhere at certain times……Plus, I think I’m going to be like really weird in social situations now??? I think I’m scared of people!!! I’ve strangely become accustomed to this slower pace of life. Who’d have thought! But I’m also scared for how our new world is going to be after this. I’m not sure it will ever be the same again. Staying in this bubble for a while feels safer.

 

Fear Of Missing Out

My whole life I have really bad FOMO! But for the first time like EVERRRRR, I don’t have it!!! Because EVERYONE is in the same situation- no one can travel, no one can snowboard, no one can go to gymnastics, no one can hang out with mates, no one can go on adventures. I’m not drooling over what others are doing for once. Apart from those obviously quarantining in like Hawaii.

The Tables Have Turned

Obviously not in every situation (some are worse off now as Dads are away full time and mums doing it totally on their own) but in some situations are husbands getting a taste of full-time parenting???!!! If you are in this situation, is it giving you justice in some way??? Like they will finally understand what it’s like??? I’ve now been furloughed, but for a sweet month, I worked more than my husband. I felt slightly smug that maybe my husband might see what it’s been like for the last 5 years. I’ve done A LOT of solo parenting and even though he farts too much and is well annoying, I’m so grateful I’m not on my own right now. Shout out to all you bloody amazing hardcore mums/ dads doing it on you’re own.

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I Think I’m Becoming Lazy??

As the days go on, I can feel my motivation dwindling. I went in strong with the kid’s activities, daily walks, home exercising, DIY, now I feel like I’m just totally running out of steam?! And ideas of “fun things to do with kids”- I’m all out. I hate feeling lazy, like the less I do, the more sluggish and lazier I feel, so the less I do??? Vicious circle. I think this would be worse without kids, as they definitely don’t allow you to sit around like everrrrrr.

My Running Career!

Exercise has definitely been my saving grace in life. Any bad times it’s what I turn too. Helps me mentally and means I can eat more cake. So, with no more of my normal exercise outlets, I have turned to running!!! I HATE it (until it’s over then I like it!). No idea how people do it? I’ve zero stamina, run like a chicken and sound like a wheezy donkey? I trained for over 2 weeks to get up to 5k for that challenge (blisters, cow poo, wee, faulty running gear falling down, shoes that look like moon boots) but now I’ve run my 5k, I’m please to say I’ve retired!!! To be fair I will probably carry on* as it’s my only escape out the house kid free.

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*go out in running gear, hide around the corner, throw water over me to look like sweat just before I come home.

 

Getting Out Of The House

When I first had a baby it honestly took me like 3 hours to leave the house?? I then (somehow) got it down to a fine art and could get ready and out with 2 kids by 8am (ish). But now, for our daily exercise, it takes half the day to get ready to go out?? I don’t understand, there’s 2 parents to help!!! We are done with “home schooling” by 9.30/ 10 but often don’t get out for our walk until 12/1?? No idea what happens in those 3 hours.

Time To Do Things

Actually, I haven’t achieved much at all on my to-do list. I seriously underestimated (forgot) how full on it is just surviving each day with kids. Thought I would have oodles of time to write this blog but tbh, I don’t think I’ve even brushed my teeth today??! I haven’t learnt a language, I haven’t got an online qualification, I haven’t learnt an instrument, I haven’t built a new bathroom, I haven’t planted veg, I haven’t birthed baby chicks, I haven’t learnt yoga, I haven’t got a 6-pack, I haven’t painted beautiful pictures of nature, I haven’t become a domestic goddess (I did bake a banana bread once), I haven’t home-schooled a little Einstein. BUT, I have managed to do some little things that I am pleased with:

Started moisturising my feet

Watched ALL the seasons of Friends

Sorted out my sock draw and paired socks (that was a fun half hour with kids??!)

Made baby album for Kitt (age 18….ha only joking he’s nearly 3)

Put lemon in my hair to see if it will make it go blonder

Clean Forest School mud off my boots from 2019.

Put “does hair self-wash over a certain time” to the test…..its doesn’t seem to.

 

Trying to celebrate the little things!

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….home Clubbersize!!

Turned to Drink

So, I don’t drink (a story for another time), apart from a Baileys at Christmas and a very odd special occasion where I will have 1 and that’s it. However, I have started to enjoy an afternoon (after 12pm??) tipple. And I swear it makes me a better mum??!! I’m so fun! Last week I was riding around on our brush pretending to be a witch. Kids loved it. I was a HOOT!!!

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Changes to My Life

Once lockdown is over, I think I’m going to make some changes to my life……..More of that in the next blog!

 

  1. Has anyone else’s food shop doubled since lockdown and “pile for the tip” taken over a large portion of house??!

 

 

 

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My Stages of Understanding COVID-19

The Beginning Stage

2 weeks ago I was seriously deliberating whether I needed some new pink snowboard mittens to match my pink goggles for my snowboard/work trip……fast forward 2 weeks and everyone is more or less house bound, people are separated from loved ones, kids no longer go to school, parents can no longer work…..and there is no loo roll!

COVID19 has escalated so quickly its unreal. Everyone has their own struggles and horror story to tell and its impacting everyone’s lives. I feel so trivial for wanting pink snowboard mittens (although they were lovely). I realise now this is far more than a missed snowboard trip.

 

The Schools Out for…..ever (??) Stage

I’m ashamed to say I really think I buried my head in the sand at the start. I’ve always had this amazing technique that when bad things happen, I can put them in a box in my head, put a smile on and get on with things. Nobody would ever know. Then on Friday, it was my sons last day of reception class….say whaaaat???!! For some reason it really hit me like a brick wall what an awful/ crazy/ surreal/ unexpected world we were living in. Ironic that the last blog on here I wrote was about my son starting school.

Seeing my sons little face saying goodbye to his teacher, seeing how his teacher was trying so hard to be so happy and smiling but was really trying to hold it together so well for her little comrades, knowing that that was his last day of his first year of school that was supposed to be all about fun and exploring, his little friends, his new world that he had just grown to love, his little brain that was just starting to click…….this broke me. It just seemed so unfair. It wasn’t meant to be like this.

Just to add here……my son really didnt know/understand what was going on and he was just more excited to get his “end of school gingerbread man” and get to watch way more TV everyday!!!! Just his mum that was a blubbering mess…..”hay fever”

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The Awareness Stage

The first time I was probably aware of COVID-19 was probably only a few weeks ago? I’m not an avid news watcher (sorry I know I should be), so probably just saw something on social media. But it seemed like one of those things that happened far away in distant lands and didn’t really affect us (sorry that seems awful too). I heard all about China, and then Northern Italy. People began to talk about cancelled ski trips (I work in the snowboard industry), and it began to dawn on me that I may not get to go to France snowboarding. And even if I did, there was a possibility of getting stuck there…away from my kids (although catching up on 5 years missed sleep did sound appealing…and did I mention the hot tub?!). It started to become more serious in my mind.

Then they locked down France. Needless to say, the snowboard trip was cancelled

 

The Denial Stage

For the next week, I’m sure like many others, I didn’t really know what to think??! Was this Coronavirus bad? Were people just making it out to be bad? Was the government just trying to scare us? Should I be going out? Should I be seeing people? Should my dad still childcare for me (he’s 73)? Should I be going to work? Where was “acceptable” to go? Should I still go to the gym? Should I be buying toilet roll???!! (silly people). I was so confused so just kinda bumbled a long like semi normal, many others seemed to be doing the same. And when we finally had a beautiful sunny spring day, it was hard to feel like there was anything was wrong at all.

The Confusion Stage

There seemed to be so much information out there and everyone had their opinions on what was right/ wrong. This almost seemed to divide people and cause judgement and anger if others did differently. I really didn’t want this to turn people against each other. Some had gone into isolation, some had pulled their kids out of school already, some were still going out drinking and for meals……I wasn’t quite sure what “camp” I sat in, torn whether to keep some normality for the kids OR to go into lockdown??? It still almost didn’t seem real. So, I just sort of just did a bit of both, but mainly just bumbled a long in some weird sort of daze looking a bit cross eyed? All I know is that for that week, Corona was on everyone’s mind and was all anyone could think/ talk about. Sometimes I found myself getting completely over-it and needing to switch off totally and watch Friends on Netflix (happy place).

 

The Realisation Stage

When the schools closed, it hit me. This was BAD. I became scared. Yes, the virus itself was AWFUL but the repercussions of it were equally terrifying. My mind began to think of my brother and his pregnant wife in NZ, my old (sorry mum/dad) parents, my uncle with COPD, my friends with new-born babies, friends separated from their loved ones, friends stuck on islands whilst travelling, teachers with no pupils, cancelled weddings, cancelled operations, cancelled holidays, cancelled house moves, friends having chemo, businesses going bankrupt, people having to now home school multiple kids whilst trying to work and provide food, people no longer being able to work at all…..this was going to affect absolutely everyone in some way. I know it’s not the war, but I did start to think maybe this is how a war begins?? People were doing silly things. People seemed angry, at each other, at the situation, at people’s reactions, at the government, at the lack of toilet roll. It would be easier to deal with if we knew an end stage? Was there an end to this??? Let’s just say my mind went into over drive, I just felt for everyone so much and their battles. The flood gates had opened, pass me the chocolate.

I also realised there was now a shortage of Mini Eggs.

 

The Obsession Stage

Constantly watching the news, googling it, researching it, thinking about it, talking about it, dreaming about it, worrying about it….

 

The Corona Etiquette Stage

Myself and everyone began to have a crash course in Corona Etiquette: no touching each other, washing hands, no licking each other (kids are gross), avoid crowded places, use anti bac obsessively, wipe things down before and after use, don’t shake hands, avoid old people, “go-off” Chinese food and Corona Beer, avoid pregnant people, social distancing, don’t stretch over someone in Tescos to grab the cheese, be cagey if you have been to Italy, don’t pet peoples dogs, don’t go into peoples houses, if you cough say “it’s not corona”, if you sneeze say “it’s not corona”……and 100% don’t choke on own saliva in school playground and have coughing fit!

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The Total Panic Stage

The next stage for me was panic. This started when I realised that I would have to semi educate my wild 4-year-old??!! My son’s future was in my hands! My Mummy Watsapp groups were going CRAZY with the end of school. So many ideas, and schedules and resources, all amazingly helpful but really started to freak me out. We are not even going to have time for alllll of these???? There were SO many things on offer, too many, I really didn’t know where to start or what was best? Maybe outdoor adventures alternated with TV wasn’t going to cut it after all?!

 

The Retail Panic Stage

Next I started to panic that I needed to get stuff to fill our days….commence-writing long extensive shopping lists of arts and crafts, things to do in the garden, DIY in the house, educational things, new “house clothes”, vegetable planting stuff, garden chickens, garden cow, new trainers/ home gym equipment, scissors to home haircut, make up stockpiling (delivery men), home waxing, home baking, home classroom, home slippers………Even though I felt many were “essential”, it dawned on me that if we were unable to work we might need to save money on “new home shoe rack”, to like…eat???!!! So decided to save some dosh.

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The Panic Eating Stage

This was a weird stage (still in it) of being torn between eating absolutely EVERYTHING, including kids left overs and neglected out of date chocolate gateaux…..and trying not to eat anything to “save the supplies”. Also (sorry very superficial) very aware that could end up looking like 10-tonne-Tesse by the end of all this if stuck in house with food and no gym.

 

The Let’s-Do-This Stage

Then I became more positive-helped by a bit of sun. It’s going to be ok. This is temporary. Our ancestors have been in way worse situations and our world has survived. We are in this together. I began to feel a real community feeling, everyone helping each other out and everyone looking at each other (whilst social distancing) with knowing/sympathetic/ reassuring looks. This could bring us together rather than tear us apart. So many families have travelled to be back together to isolate. It’s quite lovely! A few months in the grand scheme of things is nothing, and we will be a better world once its over.

I also decided to embrace this time to get stuff done (in hindsight there will be 2 crazy boys swinging around my legs dismantling the house and sh*ting on the floor and it will be all I can do to stop them trying to use each other as human hand grenades)…..but here is my “Isolation To-Do List”:

 

Re-start neglected Megamum.com blog- writing seems to be my therapy?

Become domestic goddess

Go Make- free and look 10 years younger by the end

Catch up on Netflix series

Grow armpit and leg hair (not sure about this one)

Sack-off straighteners…Monica

Get shit loads of stuff done in the house so looks like Ikea show home

Become a gardener

Become a chicken keeper

Read a book!

Potty train

Save money (if can work from home and don’t spend money on “house clothes” collection)

Feel “self-less” buying shit loads of things to support small businesses

Have a non-pressure zero commitment type of life

Become all zen and stuff

Become a home-work-out queen and get a six pack

Make up for 5 years of lost family time due to work

Clean house

Get mega sun tan

Catch-up with friends on skype/ Facetime

 

To be honest (as many mums do) I have felt like I’ve been on some crazy hamster wheel of life and can’t get off for the last 5 years. So will be nice to have a breather *if that makes sense. What an amazing opportunity.

 

*children will still be there (can’t help but feel like self-isolating would be bloody wonderful if it was kid free???!!)

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The Reflective Stage

I’m really not sure why COVID-19 has happened, maybe I’m being all hippy-jippy but feel it was kinda Mother Nature’s way of getting us to stop destroying our beautiful world for a little? Allowing us all to have a break and to spend some family time together and become DIY experts. And when Mother Nature’s ready, we can get cracking with life again

OMG I should actually be a hippy

And the home schooling thing…..I need to remember that he’s 4….in other countries they haven’t even started school yet. I missed over a year of school age 8 (v.poorly) and watched TV all day everyday, and I’m (semi) fine (cough cough). Yes we will do some proper school stuff, but as an when its fits* My son will be focusing more on the school of life and a gap year of travelling to secluded places around Budleigh/ Exmouth/ back garden for “exercise” whilst practicing social distancing. My main concern now is how I’m going to spend that much time with my husband???!!! True Story.

 

Joking aside (think it’s a nervous thing?)  I really hope everyone stays safe and heathy, Coronavirus looks truly horrendous and I’m definitely going to do everything I can to help. We are all in this together.

 

*After day 2 of “home schooling” I have now extinguished any desire to be a teacher and realised education may go out the window as it is all about survival. If kids are fed, semi clothed and semi clean at the end of the day it’s a win. Please scrap most of above “Isolation To-Do List”.

 

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The Philippines- FINAL PART

We arrived back encrusted with puke onto mainland Bohol.

We purely picked the next accommodation because it had a slide (although sure my husband picked it because it was called Mario…..Super Mario???). Weirdest place ever. Was sort of like a building site with random scuba divers walking around? I cant even describe it really! Slide was a hit though, the kids liked the slide too

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It was only one night and it was actually the cleanest place/ insect-less place we had stayed so far. Once we all got bored of the slide, we made an executive decision to go OUT OUT and sack off any type of bedtime routine (kinda been the go since we got to the Philippines). We got a trike down to the “main strip” which was buzzing. Again, I actually felt like I was a (younger) backpacker again, I bought some “tat” (essential holiday jewellery to make me look more travelly) and had a last ditch attempt to let Rich allow me to get some henna and get my hair braided. If anyone has been to Thailand, it was kind of like Koh San Road, but a waaaaaay smaller scale. I LOVED it!

Next morning we had one last swim in the pool. We had remained accident free most of the trip, but on my way to the toilet I FULLY wiped out. Not just a little fall, like a full blown wet jelly fish blubbering around on the floor. Literally couldn’t get up, everytime I tried I just slipped again. Im not sure what the floor was made of. About 4 men ran over to me to try and help the “poor white british wanna be backpacker damsel in distress” wallowing on the floor. Massive cut on my leg, but I told everyone it was a shark attack. Not fall on pissy bog toilet floor.

Flight up to Manila was a breeze with semi well behaved children. Ran them ragged in the airport before so think that helped. Landed into the big smoke of Manilla. Such a change from the little remote island and rickety villages. This was a proper big city. Actually nice to have a change. The people of Manilla seemed totally unaffected by the earthquake a couple days ago, felt rather silly carrying my “evacuation bag” (just like normal bag but with more snacks). I did feel a bit uneasy about staying somewhere so high with a roof top pool after all the videos I had seen on the news with a roof top pool during the earthquake. But I soon got over it when I had a dip.

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Ventured out to a mall that evening, it seemed to be the thing to do?! Then we had the age old crisis of trying to buy nappies and wipes again, not easy in a mall either. Rich went off to try and find some, I stayed with the boys in the “soft play” (sofa department). Arlo announces he needs a poo (you get 5 mins warning before it comes out), so queue me running around shopping mall like a crazy women trying to find a toilet and realising we have lost rich and no phone signal

Toilet found, poo deposited, Filipino sanitary towel bin opened a million times, anti-bac applied, husband found, nappies purchased then back to the hotel for our last night in the Philippines. I cannot describe how much I didn’t want to come home. Arlo mainly enjoyed standing naked in front of our hotel window.

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The flight home was SO much better than the way out. We got the bulk head seats…together….so the boys had their own little play bit down by our feet (obvs still wanted to jog up and down the aisle). We got offered a sky cot for kit, even though he was too big for it really, I forced him into it. To not have a kid on your lap for 14 hours was so much nicer. I even managed to go to the loo a couple times! Sleep was still minimal and Arlo still puked, but Rich and I didn’t want a divorce at the end so it was a success

WE MADE IT!!!!!! Backpacking in a crazy Asian country with 2 children!!! I felt quite proud of our little family. I also realised (well I kinda knew anyway, but this trip had just confirmed it) that THIS is want I wanted to do with our lives. I want to be one of these cool backpacking families that travel the world, giving their kids the best life lessons ever and best memories ever and realise there is a whole world out there to explore. I am going to do everything I can to make this possible, new life goals

And I 100% found it easier than being at home….
1) No housework- your staying in hotels/ beach huts/ home stays and you don’t have to clean woohooooo
2) No cooking- you end up just eating out for all your meals as its so cheap and don’t have cooking facilities anyway
3) No Routine- no school run, no deadlines, no packing school bags, no toddler groups, just your own time all day every day
4) Extra pair of hands-normally at home I’m on my own, whilst travelling I had an extra pair of hands every day
5) High spirits- everyone is generally happier as don’t have the stress of every day lief to argue about
6) Less life shackles-you literally have everything you need in a couple bags. It liberating. Don’t need Tezza the Turtle, toy frying pan and weird one-eyed squeaky fish thing after all.

7) We were happy! It felt easier to be happy without all of the above!

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Arlo still talks about the Philippines now (Uncle Janice and Aunty Jamie, bless him, he gets confused), but mainly about the boat and the plane??!

We have started talking about the next trip…VIETNAM BABY!!! (my husband bought me the Lonely Planet to Vietnam so he must mean it??). We’ve agreed that we will go when Kitt is out of nappies and doesn’t run away so much and Arlo doesn’t want to shit in the sofa section of shopping malls….2020/21???? I will be shaving my head for this trip

I really thought my backpacking days were over, but they really aren’t. They have become VERY different but way better! Its almost like more fulfilling with kids and more exciting and rewarding. Also slightly harder work than drinking your way round Asia when you’re 18 AND there is a hell of a lot more luggage. There are lows, there are highs (way more highs) but travelling with kids is so much fun…in a “travelling with kids” kinda way

The world is your oyster boys….and your mum might just come with you!!!

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The Philippines…PART 3

Next morning we got up leisurely, had a cup of tea in bed whilst reading a book and then had a nice long shower….said no parent ever!!

We got woken up by the smell of children’s poo (ours) at 5am, rinsed the all-you-can-eat breakfast one more time, Kitt sat in his throne and chucked pancakes on the floor one last time, and we played in the paradise pool one last time. Then we hit the road.

We arrived at Bohol ferry port to get out boat across to Siquijor (pronounced ciggi- WHORE…true story). This tiny island was known for witchcraft and magic. I was intrigued, mainly to see if I could put a love spell on Rich so he thought I was hot-stuff again. The ferry port was a hustle and bustle of sweaty backpackers (carnage, but I liked it) and for the first time on the trip, I really felt like a backpacker again. That familiar carefree, nomad, adventurous, content feeling washed over me…albeit with 2 agitated whipper snappers in tow. Yes, most of our fellow backpackers were young, 20-something, tanned, beautiful specimens (could actually be on Love Island), but it didn’t seem to matter. I’m sure they were giving us looks of admiration?! Or it was a contraceptive seeing us, not sure. However, my eyes were drawn to other backpacking families. There weren’t many, maybe 2? But to me THEY looked like the cool ones in the crowd. Their tanned kids with wild hair, the parents super chilled with travely clothes that they probably picked up from a street stall in Vietnam……..They oozed freedom from every inch of their bodies and seem so far away from the “bedtime routine” and “school phonics” it was unreal.  I decided in that moment that THIS is my life goal. I WANT TO BE A COOL BACKPACKING FAMILY. The nicest thing was that you end up making eye contact with the other back-packing families very easily, and giving each other a knowing nod. Sort of like the nod that Subaru drivers give each other. It’s like a mutual respect and understanding that back packing with kids is fucking hard, but amazing, and totally do-able.

Anyway, we boarded the ferry, totally prepared with sick bags and spare clothes for pukey Arlo. We were pleasantly surprised with no pukes and the boys semi staying in seats (well seated area). We even enjoyed a chocolate Oreo.

We arrived into the port in Siquijor. I instantly knew we had picked the right place. There was a buzz of excitement and colour, and beautiful beautiful backdrops. For the first time this trip, our transfer was actually waiting for us. We had our very own Jeepney to Arlos delight. And, even though the ride was bumpier that a camel’s back, both boys fell asleep and Rich and I got our first glimpse of this quirky yet beautiful little island. And again, for maybe the 5th time this trip, I cried! THIS is what life is about. Showing your kids the world….well if they hadn’t been asleep!!

It had all been a little sketchy setting up our accommodation here, but it was perfect. A wooden shack right on the beach and 10 metres away from the pool. It was like stepping into a postcard, topped off with and over hanging palm tree (which was to feature in 263740 of my photos), coconuts and hammocks on the beach.

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We used the beach shack as our base for a few days and did lots of little adventurous from here. We hired a kayak (after persuading the guy that Arlo wouldn’t jump out to be eaten by sharks) and did laps of the bay. Not really my thing but good for the Instagram. Arlo LOVED it, Kitt tried to eat a jelly fish

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During our time here we played with coconuts on the beach, made weird flower wand things, went for 7am dips in deserted waters, found cool little restaurants, visited different beaches, watched dreamy sunsets, played in sandy playgrounds, went to little markets, napped in old school cots (Kitt) and went out on trikes just for the lols. I was really keen to go and see a wizard in the middle of the island to have my future told….Rich wasn’t keen. But I did manage to persuade Rich to take my “breastfeeding on a beach” photo that I really wanted.

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My favourite part of our time on the island was the day we went to the waterfalls……

You hire your own trike for the whole day and you pretty much drive around the entire isnad, stopping off wherever you want. So first we were asked if we wanted to stop off at a “spa”…HELL YEH! Not quite what I had in mind. It was a pool of ferocious fish with red eyes and fangs, foaming at the mouth (just normal fish but I have a fish phobia-long story). But when in Rome…..so I dived straight in. Well, dipped my feet. I think my feet look better now?! Youthful??! Kitt was 100% braver than me.

The next stop was the famous waterfalls. And everyone knows what happened last time I stood under “magic” waterfalls (bun-in-oven). It was a pretty gnarly climb down, I was trying to film for my Insta stories and realised that this was in fact not a good idea. Actually, didn’t see any other kids as young as ours trekking down to the waterfall. I felt pretty hardcore. The trees cleared and it was the most beautiful sight of glistening waterfalls, big lagoons and people swimming and bathing everywhere. There were rafts and best of all….rope swings. We choose the quietest waterfall to start and played on the raft and Arlo dunked his head under the water fall (he asked!). Rich had a go on the SMALL rope swing…..I was saving myself for the big dog! Obviously, Rich needed to warm up on the SMALL one first.

We moved into the big lagoon, and the big rope swing. I tested it out for Rich and went first. Under strict instructions “not to do anything silly as I was here with my kids”???!!! Guess he does know me. So I saved my quadruple backflip for another time and just swang and jumped into the water. LOVED IT. Thought I had lost my bikini for a second but it was just “displaced”. Rich had a go….now he knew it was safe.

We spent a couple of hours there and then hit the road again.

I can report, the “magic” waterfall didn’t have the same outcome as last time, phew

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We went to another beach with huge slides and cliff jumping into the water, but boycotted that one as the boys were “on the edge” literally. Saw a lady breastfeeding her toddler on the side of the road with the rice paddies behind her. I gave her a little smile and nod, she probably thought I was totally weird but I just thought she looked so beautiful and I was swept away with a hippy-jippy travelling moment. She was actually the only person I saw BF the whole time we were in The Philippines.

Anyway, I had an actual drink that night (I don’t drink!), 1 mojito. then had to take myself back to the hut as I felt familiar old feelings that I wanted to go clubbing and dance on tables. Oh dear Katie.

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Then it was time to move on again. I really freaked out though as we were due to fly to Manila in a couple of days and we had just heard that there had been an earthquake there, 6.5 on the richter scale. The word tsunami springs to mind. I definitely worry more about things now I have kids. I thought I would pack an emergency evacuation bag…just in case. But didn’t really know what goes in one of these. So I packed snacks, mascara, the iPad, passports, nappies, wetwipes, toothbrushes and toy diggers. All bases covered

We didn’t need the emergency evacuation bag. And when we got to manila it was like nothing had even happened. Guess they have to deal with this kind of stuff all the time.

We said a tearful goodbye to all of Arlo and Kitts girl fan club at the place we were staying (they gave Arlo free orange juices the whole time we were there) and headed back to the ferry back to Bohol.

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The ferry back was not so successful as on the way there. 5 mins in we saw some dolphins, it was beautiful. Then Arlo puked everywhere. I took him to the back of the boat and held him over a black bin. Kitt wanted boob so fed him at the same time as holding puking Arlo. Then I was sick in my mouth a little. The sea was so rough.

I didn’t even get a photo of this. Didn’t feel so clever and backpackery now

Hair update….not even bothering to brush it

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Final instalment coming soon……..last leg of trip, did the love potion work on Rich, weirdest accom ever, Manila, flight home and WHY travelling with 2 kids is easier than being at home……

 

 

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The Philippines… PART 2

Next stop…..Bohol

(not to be pronounced “bow-hole”- people will look at you funny)

The wedded couple, my mum and dad, Rich and I and the 2 boys all set off for a little island off the coast of Cebu. It was only an hour or so flight away which was literally a breeze compared to 14 hours. The children were almost enjoyable on this flight. The only hard thing was that yet again we had run out of nappies but also (holy shit), wet wipes!! Weirdly these things are not easy to get hold of in the Philippines. Managed to locate both of the above at the airport finally. They were kept hidden “behind the counter” in a random shop. Had to ask for them and the ladies exchanged a “look”. Felt like I was buying Crack.

Landed in beautiful Bohol. Already it felt more “travelly” than Davao. We had all booked to stay in different places on the island. This was due to different budgets/criteria’s, but mainly to give the newlyweds some romantic time together (you know, the sort of married bliss that doesn’t involve children shitting on a sun bed and pulling your swimmers down in public). My parents didn’t require accom with pool to keep ginger children cool. A must for us.

When booking our accommodation back in the UK, I had got swept away with the prospect of being a hippy traveller and “we don’t need anything fancy, we just need each other”….and ….”memories are made from experiences, not from nice hotels”…..so had booked some budget accommodation. Cheap skate. We arrived and actually it was really lush. The pool area and restaurant was lovely and there were lots of cats (with rabies?). We paid up BEFORE being shown to the room. Massive school boy error. I forgot when we used to travel that we always checked out the room first. HELLO COCKROACHES.

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We used to stay in some pretty grotty places before kids…..like the one with frogs living in the toilet that you had to try and time your “toilet time” so they didn’t jump up your bum. Or the room with “half a roof for half the rent”. But we just sucked it up as it was cheap. I definitely began to realise that we just couldn’t do this with the kids now. Kitt wanted the cockroaches to be his friends and pretty sure Arlo wanted to eat them. They were crawling everywhere. Just freaked me out that they would land on the boys in their sleep. Plus HELLO BEDBUGS. Itching and squirming all night long. Kitt was still really poorly and there was no aircon (it was 37’). We stomached 2 nights then we bailed.

They did have great Pizza though. This had become the boys staple diet. Also could walk to a nice beach:)

During the skank-fest, Kitt was getting worse again. So I decided to take him to hospital. ROAD TRIP!! Actually, a great way to see more of the island and local way of life (zero westerners at hospital), but obviously for a shit reason. Just felt so bad for him and he was so unhappy which is not like him. Turns out best decision as the first lot of medicine he was on was making him worse. So got new drugs and Kitt got some new friends. A little girl was sharing her snacks with him in the waiting room, I was trying to figure out how poorly she was and whether Kitt should be sharing her snacks .But before I could think, they had already shared some slobbery snacks and a little cuddle. Only time would tell. What do you do in this situation???

Kitt had a whale of a time in hospital and didn’t seem poorly at all!!! Sods law

Whilst me and Kitt were in hospital, Arlo was living his BEST live and had his first (of 4643920) rides in a Trike.

The cocky Cockroach pit a distant memory, hero Rich had moved all of our stuff to a new place. OMG it was bloody lush. So out of our league and so beautiful. Words can’t even describe how nice it was….the pool, the beach, the food, the room, the staff, the view. So well set up for kids. It’s amazing what a difference a bed bug free bed  and decent accom can make, even though I did feel like I was cheating somehow.

The next few days we focused on getting Kitt better. Chilled days, lots of naps, lots of water, new medicine and lots of milk (boobs), thank god I still had this to go to.  The staff even gave Kitt a ‘throne” for breakfast everyday which I think help his mental state. Took it in turns to take Arlo out on Kitts nap time ie: felt guilty the focus had been on Kitt so fed Arlo ice-cream. We went on some little trips out on the trikes but mainly *chilled by the pool and beach and in the hammocks/ next to toy diggers and beach bar . I may have even had a sip of a Mojito one evening, shhhhhhh.

* I mean run around after the boys trying to stop them eating sand and jumping in pool- but we were in the vicinity of the pool and beach……again, how do parents tan on holiday???

I feel my hair deserves a mention at this point. I had made an executive decision not to bring hair straighteners with me and go au-naturel. By this point I had also given up brushing it to go for the “I think I’m a cool surfer chick” look

It was getting bigger and bigger and bigger…….

We had all this stuff planned in Bohol but sacked it all off to get Kitt back on track. Really is so different with kids, def their health and happiness first. I had to remember that I wasn’t a 20 something back-packer anymore with henna tattoos and an infected dodgy nose piercing. We shall just have to go back to do the “Chocolate Hills” and “Root Climbing” next time. In hindsight, I think trying to explain to Arlo that the Chocolate Hills WEREN’T actually made out of chocolate would have been very difficult. Dodged a bullet there.

Kitt finally better, and Arlo finally getting a semi sun tan, (well freckles) time had come to say goodbye to my parents (off to Nepal!) and my brother and his new wife. So sad as you just don’t know when the next time you will see them again. Who knows, maybe next time they will have children (hint hint) as long as we hadn’t put them off

I ate lots of chocolate that’s night:(

Couple more days in paradise then it was time to hit the road again. Arlo said an emotional goodbye to his girlfriend from Honk Kong (well emotional on her side, he had a girl in every town) and we tucked in for our last night in Bohol.

We got moved to a different room- equally as lush. The bed was fricking HUGE. That night we all slept in the same bed, zero sleep was had obviously but I remember feeling so happy and content that everything I needed was right next to me

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Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

 

PART 3 coming soon…….actually might be 4 parts all together as so much more to tell!

 

 

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The Philippines- PART 1

PRE TRIP JITTERS

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I really thought my back-packing days were over. I was wrong! They have just got better (albeit very very different).

There were highs, and there were lows, but I honestly found back packing with 2 kids in the Philippines almost easier that being at home??!

Before I explain, here is a brief run-down of the trip……..(ended up being longer than expected so part 2 coming soon, story of my life, just have so much to say!)

As any mother would be, I was apprehensive about out 3 week “back-packing” (loose term as we had 2 kids, suitcases and only 3 weeks) in the Philippines with our 2 boys, 21 months (Kitt), and nearly 4 (Arlo).  My husband and I had done quite a bit of travelling pre-kids, but this was going to be our first taste of proper travelling with kids.

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My brother was getting married to a lovely Filipino girl, Janice. They lived together in NZ but we having a wedding in her home town of Davao. We were to spend a week there, then 2 weeks travelling.

I had a million and one things I was worried about- rabid dogs with red eyes, loosing luggage, loosing kids, kids being sold for goats, husband selling me for a goat, kids eating random shit off the floor, kids licking random shit, Kitt using random flip flops as teethers, drowning, getting eaten by sharks, swallowing dirty water, shitting dirty water out, getting poorly, getting bitten, earthquakes, tsunamis, sleep being even worse, loosing passports and having to stay in Philippine forever (should have done this), inhaling cockroaches whilst asleep etc etc. Weird, I would never have worried about so many things pre kid travelling. BUT the main thing I was worried about was the 14-hour flight.

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THE FLIGHT

Pretty sure I’ve blocked most of this out? From what I can remember……my 1 year old cried for maybe 10 out of the 14 hours? He was on my lap for the duration…but of course wanted to be either on top of the seat, on top of passengers, in aisle 45, under the seat or in food trolley.  Zero sleep from him. I let him feed from my empty boobs for 14 hours in awkward positions to try and keep him still, quiet and happy. Zero sleep from me. My 3-year-old couldn’t get comfy, angry that he couldn’t get comfy, husband angry that he couldn’t comfy, I’m angry that husband is angry etc. Zero sleep from them. Ran out of snacks. Ran out of Peppa Pig episodes. Ran out of nappies. 1 year old had diarrhoea, had to use 3 year olds pants-sanitary pads-nappy bag to tie round. No baby change, so had to change shit nappies on seat or toilet floor. Our cocky “lets book a night flight then they will just sleep” statement totally backfired. It’s like they were on crack. Babies crying everywhere on flight, setting each other off. Apart from one baby opposite that slept the whole way. The mum even had a glass of wine. Yes, I was watching you. I’m surprised this flight didn’t end in divorce.

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I literally balled my eyes out when we saw the bright lights of Manila as we were about to land. Part of this was probably pure relief that we had made it. But most of it was I just felt so emotional that we were DOING IT, travelling with 2 kids!!! Giving them their first taste of the world. Such an amazing feeling. I felt more like “us” again.

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One more short flight and we arrived in Davao. We knew what to expect when you walked out of a foreign airport: the heat, the craziness, people everywhere, people grabbing at you. Even though I felt like a total zombie, I kinda enjoyed this. I had missed this craziness. The only westerners I saw, what we must have looked like (ginger, blonde, freckly, back combed hair, whiter than ghosts). Jumped in a taxi and drove through the back streets (and rabid dogs) to our hotel. Realised we had been totally ripped off but didn’t care as WE WERE THERE.

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Had struck the gold mine with our hotel. S-W-A-N-K-Y (we didn’t pay for it). Checked in, all in one room, but had air con and a Snickers in the fridge. Must had been about 3 am? And I can’t remember how we did it, but we all went to sleep.

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FIRST STOP DAVAO

The next morning, opening the curtains onto the tropical gardens of our new home for the next week was a lush moment. Our balcony (hello!) backed onto the pool. Yes, we were going to be very happy here.  Jet lag is a wonderful thing, the boys slept until 8 am, unheard of at home. And we all napped, also unheard of at home! All you can eat buffet breakfasts are also a wonderful thing.

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Here was our first taste of how much the Filipinos loved western children. Literally everywhere we went “hey baby, what’s your name”. They were like celebs. I should’ve started charging, would have made a fortune. Dread to think how many FB they have ended up on. Everyone thought Kitt was a girl, in the end I just rolled with it as I had always wanted a girl!

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We stayed here for a week, did little trips out but mainly chilled by the pool. Poor Kitt was suffering, constantly crying and HATED being out in the heat (turns out he was actually poorly but we just thought it was heat/ teeth). Old ginger Arlo was loving it however, totally surprising us how well he took to it all. I ended up chilling in the air con quite a bit with Kitt, (he needed my boobs) watching the boys tan by the pool…..I think I became whiter this week

THE WEDDING

Then the wedding was upon us. Like any Asian event, to an outsider it all seems chaos, but then it all comes together at the last minute and is the most beautiful thing ever. What wasn’t so beautiful however, was my face!

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I was a bridesmaid and they spent maybe 2 hours doing my make-up, telling me how beautiful I was. I’ve never had my make-up done before and I was so excited for “the big reveal”. He held up a mirror for me at the end and wow…….I looked like a lady boy!!!! Maybe it was just because I looked so different, but I think I looked a bit like a tranny?! I kinda got used to it as the day went on and by the wedding and by the end of the day, I had grown to love “Kevin”. I think the amount Kevin’s face sweated during the day softened the tranny effect.

Rich obviously refused to wear anything Filipino. Rich wasn’t keen on Kevin

The ceremony was just magical. My brother said his vows in Filipino (no idea what he was saying but it was so emotional). Janice was beautiful, the view was beautiful, Kevin was semi beautiful. Just everything was perfect. Paige boy Arlo even walked down the aisle holding a sign like he was supped to. And didn’t piss on any of the wedding party.

Poor Kitt was hysterical during the ceremony, so luckily Rich took him off to try and calm him down. There was no air con and it was 35’. Just before the reception Kitt was at the peak of his illness. He had a fever and was going all floppy. Only wanted me. There was a doctor there and she thought he had an infection from the water and might need to go to hospital. Obviously, everything starts running through your mind.

I had to make such a hard decision. Do I go to my brother’s wedding reception, who I haven’t seen for 4 years, who I might not see for another 4 years, flown half way across the world to see……or do I stay with my kid, who was really really poorly by this point and needed medical attention???

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I stayed with Kitt. I hope this was the right thing to do. It felt like it was, but I still feel so guilty on my brother

Anyway, so no wedding reception, saw bits from the outside whilst waiting for the taxi, it was honestly like a full-blown theatrical performance! Like something you would get on an all-inclusive holiday but way way more classy. My brother even sang and danced. Ricky Gervais springs to mind (sorry bro, stick to the day job).

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ISLAND HOPPING

We were really limited with stuff we could do in Davao as Kitt was still poorly. But we did squeeze in a little island-hopping boat trip when he perked up one day.

This was AMAZING. Arlo went “snorkelling” (put his face in the mask for 3.5 seconds) and we all went swimming off the boat and hung out on beautiful beaches. Kitt had diarrhoea in the sea and Rich nearly swallowed it through his snorkel.

PART 2 COMING SOON– trikes, waterfalls, beach huts and cock roaches, coconuts (not mine)

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Girls Snowboard Camp- Megamum Recap!

So I have written a recap for Ticket To Ride (Recap-Girls Snowboard Camp)   already….this is semi professional I guess. Here is a recap from “megamum”s point of view (ie: talking more about kids/ boobs)

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As you may know, I was previously supposed to host the last 2 camps….first year…..got up the duff, second year……had a baby still attached to my boobs 24/7 (maybe not what the girls would sign up for?). Third time lucky and I was back in the game. Jenny Jones was my replacement. In fact, I think I actually did the camp a favour as getting Jenny was a waaaay better deal! Sorry 2019 ladies

I was nervous leaving the boys. I knew Arlo would be fine as pretty sure he doesn’t like me that much anyway?! Plus I had left him before, but only for 2 days. Kitt I had only left for 24 before. A whole week was a different ball game

And yes, I was still BF, which I had no idea I would still be doing when the camp came around, Kitt is 21 months! Would Kitt survive? Would the empty Capri sacks survive?!

The most exciting thing was, my husband would have the kids for a whole week and finally see how hard it was motherhood could be….on zero sleep. HE would have to get up in the night. HE would have to do 4.30 am starts. Finally he will understand……finally…….oh how the tables had turned, me going snowboarding for “work”*

 

*Husband sent kids up to Granny and Grandpas for the week

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So leaving motherhood behind, I set off to Meribel with 2 free hands and a bag free of snacks and baby wipes. Oh how beautiful it was travelling solo. The anticipation of a week of sleep by myself was very exciting.

I met some of the girls at the airport to get the transfer. As soon as I met them I knew the week would be fun. The drive up to Meribel was soooooo beautiful, I had forgotten how magical he mountains are. I definitely took it for granted when I lived there.

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The chalet was bloody PIMP, hot tub and all! The rest of the girls arrived and honestly, they were the coolest bunch of chicks. I felt so lucky. AND a few of them were mums too! I hadn’t even considered that, I’m not sure why. But of course, it made total sense that shred mums would come! Like minded girls that used to do seasons/ snowboard, then had kids and wanted to get away for some kid free shred time. YES!!!! This also made me feel more at ease I think. We were all in the same kid free boat. One chick was leaving 8 month old twins, she was the most hardcore in my eyes!!

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Then the legend (and also mega friend of mine) Cozza arrived. She was to be the coach, and I (Katie-washed up snowboarder) was to be the host. I think (hope) we made a good little team me and Cozza. I literally couldn’t have done it without her. Plus I had never actually been to Merible before!!!! Was terrified at the fact I was hosting a camp there, but luckily Cozza knew her stuff.

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I won’t go into what we did every day……but we had sunny park laps, powder, bluebird, flat land jibbing, tree runs, hot chocolates, too much afternoon cake, yoga sessions, quiz night (what happens at quiz night stays at quiz night), chick flick night, girls chats, wine, amazing food that ruined bikini bodies, hot tub plunges (see pics),,,,,I even had a nap! Felt like we covered a lot in one week. I put my heart and soul into the camp, but honestly, it never once felt like work to me.

I even got to do some park laps, maybe only 4 or 5 but oh my it felt gooooooood, also sketchy ha!

 

 

 

My boys back home were having a whale of a time, and I was so busy that I didn’t even get a chance to miss them that much. I guiltily was enjoying not having to clean poo off puzzle pieces and watching Peppa Pig. And obviously SLEEPING/ drinking HOT tea on my own/ toilet on my own/ etc

AND GUESS WHAT……..reports were that Kitt was now sleeping through the night??!!! He has never once slept through for me? Say what?! Is it me????

Left the camp a day early to get home as we were flying to the Philippines a day later for my brothers wedding (blog coming soon). Was pretty gutted not to see it through to the bitter end, but you know, when you have to fly to a tropical country with white sandy beach’s and crystal clear waters you just have to do it.

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DO NOT READ IF YOUR SQUEEMISH…..the camp for me was more than just a camp. It was the first time since kids I had really felt like me again? Katie the snowboarder rather than Katie the Mum ya know?! Even though I was technically working, it felt like I was doing something just for me.  I definitely felt my confidence coming back as the week went on and loved the novelty of something completely different to my day to day life in the UK. I may be pretty late to the game, but it even made me think about properly coaching? Crazy idea I know.

I really had a ball, and hope the girls did too. Thank you all so much again for comingJ

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The camp is on again for next year….and watch this space for more exciting things in the future……..

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I can confirm that Kitt is NOT sleeping through the night…it IS me:(

 

My boobs were fine, Kitt returned to his habitat as soon as I got back and hasn’t looked back since!!

 

Arlo didn’t notice I was gone

 

Husband still hasn’t got up at 4.30 am

I’m not bitter

 

 

 

 

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Hello Poor Neglected Blog

Oh my, I haven’t updated my blog for soooo long. Life life and more life has got in the way. I’m still planning to blog (Arlo will be starting school in September so watch this space), and have lots of ideas…….I’ve started to write about 10 different blogs then never got a chance to finish them. Seriously, I have no idea how mums work from home with children at large. Even if I “put a nice relaxing film” on, they do circuits of the living room whilst watching?!

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I have lots to tell and could go into detail about everything but I have 45 mins flat to write this so GO……

 

Potty Training

One of the last blogs I wrote was about potty training. Well I am most pleased to inform you all that Arlo, bar outside nature wees and the occasional shit in a bush-picked up with nappy bag-put in dog bin…… is potty trained. It took a good 6 months to do, was not one of these little gems that “did it in a week” type kids. Haven’t even contemplated night times yet though……

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Sleep

I literally had no idea that when you had kids that you would never ever sleep again. I thought once you got the new baby phase out of the way, it would be ok. I didn’t even contemplate that it would go on for months/ years. So yes, still not sleeping. And its still bloody hard. Sleep is everything. Plus, lack of it ages you a million years and makes your left eye twitch. But I’m so bored of even talking about it now, so let’s leave it there. Maybe ill finally get to use that milestone card “my first time sleeping through the night” in a few years. I’d take 3 hours straight right now. It’s always the nights I get cocky and stay up until 10pm that are the worst, its like Kitt knows?! However, my husband is still sleeping through the night fine.

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House

We sold our house! But house we were moving too fell through. So two weeks before xmas we were (on paper) homeless. We weren’t out on the streets though, we moved up to sunny Stoke-on-Trent to stay with the in laws. Also managed to squeeze in a week in the mountains snowboarding, which, may I add, would never have happened had we moved into our new house. Silver lining. Our new house is a new build in Budleigh Salterton, near the sea. However, we are still waiting, 6 months later. It will be worth the wait though if it comes off. IF it comes off. If not, I have no idea what/ where next. Snowboarding?!

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For now we are renting a lovely little flat in Budleigh from a friend, a friend that I owe lots of cake to! Weirdly, I actually have been feeling a lot better since we moved and not really known what we are doing?! I think I like the freedom of it? Spontaneity? Since age 18 I have always moved/ travelled somewhere every 6 months. I guess I like change! Budleigh is so lush, all the old granny’s talk to me about the weather and help me with my food shopping/ screaming kids. I actually feel quite at home here. Please cross your fingers for us!

Job

At the same time as being “homeless” I lost my job, also just before xmas. I got made redundant, yikes! I loved my job, but again the cloud with the silver lining. I had xmas off work, redundancy pay helped with xmas shopping AND I’ve landed my dream job!!! I’m working at The Board Basement in Exeter (snowboard, wakeboard, everything board- company) with the most awesome bunch of guys. My job title is vague, but I do their content writing, blogging, hopefully social media etc…….pretty much get to talk about/ write about/ dream about snowboarding all day. I can wear a beanie and Vans to work and snowboarding and wakeboarding will be part of my job…for research obvs! I also get to work with my husband for 1 day a week, which he is THRILLED about?!

The Boys

Arlo is 4 in May. He will be starting school in September. He’s full of life and energy, lots of energy. He makes me genuinely laugh on a daily basis. He non-stop talks and is very bossy, some would say “defiant”. Sometimes I actually can’t control him. If we are out in public I just pretend he’s not mine!! But on the flip side, he’s a charming little boy and very caring. Once he held Kitts hand, I cried.

 

Kitt is 19 months (I think??), happiest little boy ever. If I had had him first, I think I would have wanted 5 babies. He seems very content and genuinely loves life….and dogs. Dogs are his thing. I am aware he could “turn” at any moment, so enjoying this time before the terrible twos hits. Kitt is also very very full of energy. Especially at night.

 

Rich is ok, and now 105 years old.

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Future plans

I get so worried about jinxing things so don’t want to say too much…..

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I have my snowboard camp I’m hosting (finally as I’m not pregnant or BF…much) 31st March-7th April. The most exciting thing about this is I get to sleep for a week! Then 1 day turn around, then the Philippines for 3 weeks. My brothers is getting married there (thank you Jamie as obviously I HAVE to go!). A week at the wedding, then travelling around after. This will be our first bit of proper travelling (can you call it that with 2 kids??) since having babies, so we shall see how it goes. I’m buying them both leads and dying their hair brown. Not sure how the ginge is going to fare in the heat.

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I really want to make more of my felt mobiles and sell them in REAL LIFE, do more gymnastics and parkour (1 night a week isn’t enough!!), and give megamum.com some love, get a bikini body etc….also just be a semi ok mum and stop y children eating food off the floor??! But for now I feel like I’m on a hamster wheel of life, I’m just going to do my best for now x