15 moments of our Circuit Breaker
1. Chicken pox
Our circuit breaker started a week earlier because of Emmalyn's chicken pox. Thankfully, I was already able to work from home by then and didn't had to exhaust my vacation leaves. Several weeks went by and Avalyn decided to have spots around her body and arms. By then we were still in the midst of Circuit Breaker so we didn't know to consult any doctor. Avalyn was still cheery and did not have fever or much discomfort. Thus, we just follow the tradition - avoid chicken, eggs and dark sauce. She recovered in a week or so. All in all, I'm really thankful that both happened during this crazy time else I would need to take almost a month leave to keep them at home considering the incubation period. Apart from them, we are all strong and healthy! Thank God!
2. Cooking marathon
At the start of the year, I decided to carry on my "cook twice a week" resolution. I didn't dare to set a higher goal even though I did well last year. But guess, God has a greater plan. For the last 2 months, I've been cooking twice a day on most day. It's such a rare opportunity to be able to cook so much and I enjoyed cooking. However, there are also days where I just skip cooking as I'm just tired and overwhelmed with work & housework (I miss having part time cleaning help) .
I'm still not a master chef but definitely getting better at cooking a number of simple dishes. Besides learning how to cook better, I've learnt alot about planning, preparation and online grocery shopping during this cooking marathon. I had 3 kitchen accidents and even had 2 battle scars on my left arm. Thank God, the burn at my nose healed pretty well.
3. Work from home
Like many, working from home with children is a total new thing for me. I've done it when the girls were sick but those were just few days long. I'm thankful for an understanding boss who knows how challenging WFH can be with young children. Hubby takes alot of online meetings so I'm often the one handling the girls. Honestly, it's hard to work that same 8.5 full hours like normal. In addition to working in pockets of hours while entertaining to the needs of the children and family, I work at night after I put the girls to bed. It's more productive than me trying to complete my work in the day. Despite the exhaustion, I'm actually more thankful than everything else to be able to work in such arrangement without stressing myself too much.
4. Home-based learning
This is yet other new thing that we had to cope with. I enjoy teaching and learning with Emmalyn. However, it's a challenge because of work, Avalyn and cooking. Avalyn isn't someone who likes to sit at the dining table and do her work long. Thus, we can't do HBL without any distraction. Nonetheless, I'm glad that we managed to do majority of the school work with some rewards in terms of TV and candies. Thankfully, school holidays were brought forward by a month and we could take a break from HBL. During this Curcuit Breaker period, she's blessed to have online lessons with Aureus Academy for drum, Fun with Abacus, The Swimming Room for exercise, ballet and her Student Care to keep the days really enriching.
As for Avalyn, I'm thankful that she didn't have any proper HBL. Her school gave some suggested activities but I totally neglected them. Her HBL comes in the form of potty training, speech and drama, lego building and character building.
5. Lego and Play
We had a few small boxes of lego and a big container of duplos which had been put aside for a while until some 8 weeks ago. The girls play with them along with other toys like Sylvanian families, barbie dolls, soft toys, kitchen sets. They do role play and lots of random things together. I saw their interest and bought a small frozen lego set as a reward for them. Their uncle also bought one for them. We can't resist to get more sets for Avalyn's birthday. Their interest just kept growing and growing. They even picked lego making youtube clips for their TV time. During the last few weeks, they started to play lego for hours pretty much by themselves and it gave us more room for work. And lego would be the only toys they play. I love how lego activates their focus, creativity, problem solving skill, social skill and even speech. They role play and tell their own stories. They negotiate and fight for characters and bricks especially when they are hungry. Thankfully, they played well 80% of the time. I'm extremely thank God that they have each other accompany during this long stay home period.
And, I need to pen this joke by our little lego fan.
Me: Emmalyn, later you will be having character building class (by her student care)
She thought her big sister was going to learn how to build more lego characters
6. TV and family show
We were the family who only watch TV on weekends but had to give more TV time than I like to during the Circuit Breaker. I didn't like the feeling of having to let the TV babysit them when we work and I really feel bad about it. But my dearest Hubby thinks that watching TV is childhood. That's kind of true too. Now, I kind of accept the fact that they get their daily dose 2-3 hours of TV over 2 stretch as a reward and break for them. I'm glad that their recent choice of shows are lego building youtube clips that teach that alot. Besides their regular TV time, we also catch shows together a family on the weekends! And, the girls are always very excited about it!
We did a fair amount of painting, drawing and crafting during Circuit Breaker. I really enjoy crafting all sorts of things as it's so therapeutic. But, not enough! Wish we can do more!
8. Outdoor play
Thankfully, the girls aren't that super outdoor kind and are fine to stay at indoor the whole day. When they feel like they needed some breather, we will let them scoot around, play with water or just run around. Our highlight got water play at our inflatable pool as the girls miss the pool so much!
I believe we are the most noisy unit on our floor as music makes us happy. Sorry neighbours! Hubby practises drum with Emmalyn every other day. He also practises drum himself and ukelele. He don't have any background but is surprisingly picking them up well. I'm glad that he's setting a good example for the girls and this motivates Emmalyn alot. Besides, it sometimes that I can't guide Emmalyn at all. Avalyn and I just sing and dance along!
We had celebration after celebration during this Circuit Breaker - my birthday, mother's day and Avalyn's birthday! These occasions certainly brightened our days and I'm thankful to still be able to celebrate in our own unique way. We had an out-of-the box celebration with a magic show with Mr Bottle over zoom.
11. Church and Quiet Time
I miss attending service and fellowship at church. It's really different from attending service and Sunday school online. So far, we only have service for the adults but we are starting online children sunday school this Sunday.
During this stay home period, we sang more worship songs together. We pray together as a family before bed as usual. I managed to go through a week of bible lessons with them before Good Friday. But, I couldn't continue with the HBL and work commitment. We eventually started on reading the children bible every night and also get to talk more about our faith.
Apart from helping the children to be stronger in their faith, I'm also more committed to have daily quiet time in the morning. I used to do my reading in the morning before work and on commute but during the initial stay home period, I often pushed it till late at night and sometimes skipped it. I decided that it's not unhealthy and grabbed a few sisters to try doing virtual quiet time for support.
12. Sweet Treats
I must say, the next thing I needed most apart from coffee is all the sweet treats. We definitely rewarded ourselves with more ice cream and cakes than usual. I avoided alot of unhealthy snacks as I'm worried that the girls will fall sick from them. But, I did use vitamins gummies, jellies and candies to bribe them from time to time. We all need that dose of sugars to keep us going!
13. Family & Friends
We are so blessed many gifts from family and friends. Thank you once again! Thanks to technology, I'm able to stay much connected with many of them. So happy to be able to catch up with some of them till late night. I really need to talk to people other than those at home and work. I'm really missing all the gatherings and meals together! Can't wait to meet them all!
14. Online shopping
I've never shopped so much online before! It's for necessities as well as sanity. We were determined to stay home throughout the period, so we get everything - food, groceries, kids stuff, random stuff all online.
15. Self care
We put the girls to bed before 8pm on most day so this gives us some peaceful moments after they go to bed. I always struggle to keep myself awake when I put them to bed until I started taking 2nd cup of coffee in the evening. With the extra hours at night, I took this opportunity to step up on skin care and watch netflix while washing dishes! I also recently started exercising. It took my knees 3 long months to recover from pain and I'm glad that the pain is finally gone! I'm taking baby steps and just doing 7 mins workout everyday. My back hurts so much from working at the dining table and it helps to be able to exercise! It's easy to neglect myself and be consume by mummies' duties. I'm still learning that balance and there are so much for me to work on.
No doubt, it has been tiring; sometimes frustrating and stressful. But, I'm so thankful for more time to learn, laugh, play and stay safe together as a family. As a working mother, it is what I dream for and I cherish this period. I'm thankful that the sisters have each other to accompany each other despite the daily squabbles. I thank God for his protection and helping our family to pull through every day. I'm thankful that Hubby and I have been supporting each other well during this period.
We are now at post Circuit Breaker Phase 1 and the girls will be returning to school next week. But, it still looks like there is still a long way to go. Let's choose LOVE, choose JOY, choose PEACE and choose HOPE! Let's do our part and continue to pray hard that this Covid-19 outbreak will be over soon! 💪🏻