How’s Your Quarantine Life?

COVID-19 has thrown all of us into a new way of life. With that, I want to know what you have done with this ‘new life’? Have you completed Netflix? Did you learn a new language? Did you boastfully show off your basic banana bread on Facebook? Did you play salon and cut/dye your own hair? Did you throat-punch your way to the last toilet roll in Tesco? No? Just me? Okay! Whatever you did, I want to hear about it, see pictures and/or police reports about it. You can share in the comments below or on any of my social medias.

“But Charlotte, did you really throat-punch someone in Tesco?” Of course not. I’ve avoided shops like the plague and instead sent out the human I love the most (Steven) to go for me. That’s true love. It’s the same type of love that means I feel safer in bed with him laying next to me because I can use him as a human shield. Sounds selfish but it’s actually proof of how much I love him. Anyway, what have I been up to during quarantine? Well, owning a human that is 100% dependant on me takes up a lot of my time (and no, I don’t just mean Steven). Since he has been home, he’s helped me out a lot, allowing me to have some time to do other things like…

Cooking

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I cannot tell you how much more enjoyable cooking is when you aren’t tied to a schedule or have a kid hanging off of your leg. Before Lock Down, I was racing around from 5 pm prepping and cooking dinner to be on the table for 6 pm (when Steven gets home from work) while simultaneously entertaining a toddler, making sure she’s safe (not climbing on the dog) and listening out for the dog destroying something. That sound is absolute silence, by the way, so that means every 5 minutes I run into the living room expecting some sort of baby toy, bib or cushion in his gob that I would then have to prise out from between his teeth. Now? Now, I offload the gremlins, I mean, adorable daughter and pooch, to Steven and can just concentrate on the cooking and enjoy it. Sometimes, I even put some music on and pour myself a glass of wine. I know, quarantine has turned me into a party animal. I just find cooking so therapeutic and I always feel like I’ve done my family a service after making them a meal. I’ve put a bit of love into that meal for them and if they eat it and don’t contract horrendous food poisoning, then that’s a pat on the back for me!

Cleaning

One thing I am thankful for in Lock Down is the fact my laundry hamper has returned to a normal level. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not empty. It’s never empty, but seeing it at an acceptable level (i.e. not spilling out onto the floor) has made me feel a little more relaxed. Normally, I can see the wash pile in the corner of the room while I lay in bed, anxious. It’s like an unwelcome spirit at the end of my bed, haunting me, reminding me. You didn’t do the laundry today. You said you were going to do it yesterday and you never did. Feel like a failure? You should! And as it gets larger and larger, I worry it gets closer and closer until one night it might be standing over me, glaring, breathing on my face. Until one night, a pair of dirty Christmas socks wrap around my neck and suffocate me in my sleep. Now THAT’S a horror story for you. But, thanks to Lock Down (and the amazing weather), I have managed to sleep at night, looking into the corner of the room and seeing, well, just a laundry basket. Ah, peace at last.
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Disney and Day Drinking

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Haven’t we all?

A beer with lunch, a bottle of wine with dinner (on a Tuesday?!), Jack Daniels for breakfast? Why not?! There are no rules in Lock Down. I will stress for ‘those people‘ amongst you, that I do not drink alcohol for breakfast. My headaches in the morning are a result of caffeine withdrawals due to my coffee addiction, not a hangover. Having said that, my coffee intake has gone up since Lock Down.

Upon the news that Steven would be home for a month, we invested in Disney+. Oh boy (as Mickey would say), is it worth it! I am a huge Disney fan anyway, but it also has all of my childhood TV shows on it. So you can bet your ‘sweet nibblets’ (if you get it, you get it) that I’m going to binge those cheesey 00’s Disney Channel shows! Not to mention, it allowed me to do a little bit of Homeschooling myself. Giving Olivia an education in Disney Classics. Everything from the princesses to the more recent Pixar movies. Is she too young? Never! Does she understand it or even watch it properly? No! But I do!

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Anyway, I’m sure there are much cooler things other people are doing with their time than I am. Please share them with me so I can live a cool life through you? Maybe you have some amazing tinder stories? Did you text your ex out of boredom? Did you stalk that girl from high school that called you fat and bullied you and you found out she’s working for her Mum as an estate agent single and alone? No? Me neither…
Maybe you did something less dramatic, like take up gardening? Maybe you became an online quiz master? Meditate? Take up Yoga? Ate everything in sight? Painted that wall you kept meaning to? Literally anything. Tell me in the comments!

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Life of a Beagle Bum Mum

It was brought to my attention recently that this April is National Pet Month. I couldn’t let this pass by without introducing you to my pet, or what I sometimes like to call him, my other toddler in a fur suit, Cody!

Cody is a Beagle. Now, anyone who has ever owned a Beagle is now laughing at me and/or thinking “you poor sod”. You’d think I’d know better, growing up with two Beagles from a young age, but no. I thought, the first dog I owned should be a breed I’m familiar with and, I mean, how much harm could this little ball of fur really do?

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Turns out, the answer to that is, a fair amount! I’d forgotten about my childhood dogs destroying felt tips (resulting in multi-coloured poos) or one particular Beagle eating batteries, chainsaw oil, a whole Christmas loaf (tin foil included) and a whole hedgehog of cheese and pineapple (yes, with the cocktail sticks). Not to mention that same beagle getting hit by a bus and electrocuted AND SURVIVED! He had issues. One scenario after another, vet visit after vet visit, he was still healthy. He passed away at the age of 12, which is pretty good going! His sister, who was sensible and, well, normal, passed away less than a year later. I think that’s what made me forget all the drama we went through. Now they’re just funny stories and happy memories.

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I knew I wanted that again. Sorry? When was the first time I regretted that? Um, probably, yep, 2 weeks after we got him. I came home from work and from about 5 weeks old, Cody had been crate trained (he was about 14 weeks old at this point). So we attached a run to his crate for when we were out so that he still had somewhere to play and do number 1s and 2s. Well, didn’t he take advantage of that? He had pushed the side of the run towards the curtains, pulled the curtains down into his run, gathered all of his toys and bedding on top and did a massive shit over the lot. So I came home to my darling puppy covered in his own shit, my curtains covered in shit, all of his toys and bedding covered in shit and my carpet ruined.
Despite this, he was still so happy to see me as I came through the door. He had an air of “Look at me Mum. Look what I achieved today!” as he wagged his tail vigorously. That, ladies and gentleman, was the first time my Beagle had me speechless and having to sit down for a little weep. First time of many.

That was just the beginning of our journey. Since then he has: destroyed books, ran after Muntjac deer, gotten beaten up by a cat and slurped up a whole packet of bacon like it was spaghetti. However, we have also spent many an evening on the sofa snuggling under a blanket together, he’s cuddled my pregnant belly, he’s been so calm and patient with Olivia and now (secretly) loves her, he dances in the kitchen with me, he’s my drive thru food buddy, he’s my hot water dog when I’m sick and he even helped us announce our pregnancy to the world! Now he’ll be Olivia’s memories of trouble and laughter and comfort.

That’s the funny things about pets though. No matter how much they put you through, how much they push your buttons, how many times they strike panic in your heart, they’re worth it. They bring back memories that you can laugh at or memories like when you were sick and they slept with you on the sofa and it instantly warms your heart. I look back at my childhood dogs and think “Life wouldn’t have been half as colourful as it was without them.” and I hope I can create that for Olivia, too.

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At the end of the day, from the moment we saw him (and couldn’t sign the forms quick enough) to now (which is him snoozing on the sofa) he has been one of the best adventures in our lives and there’s still so much more trouble for him to do!IMG_7591

Please share your stories of your beloved pets in the comments below. I really do love reading them! Oh, and Happy National Pet Month!

After reading this post, the lovely people at Marcy Dog would like to offer you a discount code on their beautiful dog (and human) products!

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Lock Down Daily Routine For Toddlers

Here in the UK, we have been told that, as of this week, we are on lock down. This means we are to stay in our homes as much as possible and only leave for essential reasons. The introvert in me wants to celebrate but the mother in me dreads this time. How do people cope with their kids at home all day, every day. I can’t be the only one that is filled with the anxiety of the thought. Maybe this is the time we’ll be sympathetic to people who commit family massacres. Well, have no fear! I’m here too share our daily routine to make things a little more bearable during these hard times.

I always find routines (especially with children) make the day go faster, more fun and far more peaceful. Children thrive in a routine as they know what to expect to happen when (and let’s be honest, we could all use that in the uncertainty that we’re all living in now). It also ensure you can fit everything you want to into the day and be productive. I always find that being productive really helps my anxiety as my mind is distracted and it’s something small I can control during a situation that is totally out of my control.

So, here is our daily routine. My daughter is nearly 18 months old (just for reference). I hope this is helpful to you mummas right now, feel free to tweak the schedule any which way you like.

My Morning Timeline (1)

If you don’t have a dog, you can use this time for a walk around your neighbourhood or outside play in your garden. Either way, I think it’s really important our little ones get some fresh air.

Also, you may think that is a lot of time for ‘Free Play’ but we break up this time with: singing songs, reading stories, imaginative play and I let my daughter do her own thing while I watch her and drink my morning coffee.

I hope this was helpful to you! For ideas for “Planned Activity” you can read my blog post At Home Activities For Toddlers. You could also check out Easy Easter Brownies as something else to do with your slightly older children.

Stay safe and watch this space for more content during this tough time. Stay strong mummas, click this link if you need some Mum-tivation!

Thank you for reading!


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At Home Activities For Toddlers

With all the chaos of the Corona Virus, a lot of people are isolated at home with little ones. While this seems stressful, this is the perfect opportunity to have some fun! I thought I would create a post with some ideas of what to do with your little ones during this time.

Also, sorry for the silence recently! I spent the weekend in Wales for my best friend’s wedding and had an absolutely amazing time!

The following activities are really simple and you probably have everything you need to do all of these. No need to venture out. While all of these activities are simple, children should be supervised at all times.

1. Paper Chutes

These are super easy to make. You could even use the toilet paper tubes that you’ve bulk bought in panic. I used craft card because I didn’t.
All you need to do is tape the paper tubes to a free wall (I used the back of a door) and show your little one how to drop balls into them. If you have any ball-pit balls, these would be perfect. We don’t, so we used play fruit! Get creative! You could use balled up socks, tennis balls or even pompoms!

For older children, you could colour code the tubes and get them to sort different coloured pompoms into them to help them learn their colours.

2. Indoor Croquet

For this you will need: craft card, tape and scissors.
Cut strips of card long enough so small balls can pass through them when you bend them. Fold the ends over and tape to the floor. Little ones can have fun pushing the balls through the arches and older children can play a game with points or use things to hit the balls through.

3. Feet Painting

This is my personal favourite (although probably the messiest). We have a huge roll of paper bought from IKEA but you can use craft paper taped together or old wrapping paper. Dip your little ones’ feet in paint and let them walk across the paper. Older kids could try and spell their name with their feet or make pictures! Fair warning, you’ll have a lot of cleaning up to do!

4. Kitchen Messy Play

My little girl is still too small to help me in the kitchen or do baking together but we love to do kitchen messy play to introduce her to it. Olivia has a play kitchen so we gathered some of the play pots and pans, some rice, pasta and flour, measuring spoons and small toys to use.

I keep this big Tupperware  box of messy play in the cupboard so we can get it out to use any time. We scoop flour into different pots using spoons and mix dry pasta and rice in bowls.

5. Water Play

This is an obvious one but this is my daughter’s favourite! Water play can be messy but you can use this to your advantage! Sometimes, I like to make a washing up bowl of warm soapy water and get Olivia to help me clean her plastic toys. She thinks it is a lot of fun and it gets them clean! Otherwise, the usual things are fun in water: her plastic tea set, measuring spoons, play pots and pans, etc.

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Make it extra soapy and play with the bubbles!

6. Other Ideas

Just because you’re in isolation, doesn’t mean you can’t leave the house. Play in the garden and get muddy, plant flowers, go to the park, have a picnic lunch in your garden or paint the fences with water (you’ll be amazed how entertained kids are by this). Remember to pull together in these times. Help a neighbour, look out for those who can’t get out, text that Mother that is home alone with all the kids. Show some support.

Top tip! Everyday, put on some music and dance with your kids. It’ll cure boredom, lift spirits and give a little laughter which is something that is priceless in times like this.

Stay safe. Wash your hands. Make the best of the rain for the storm will pass.


Thanks for reading!
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