Saturday, 1 August 2020

The most beautiful gift

Since Aaron and Noah passed away I've had so many kind people, do beautiful things for me and the boys.  Just after my birthday our friend Aaron and his wife Katie dropped around some gifts and I was blown away when I pulled this amazing picture out of the bag.  
Katie organised for her sister Chelsea to draw this for us and it came all the way from the USA.  I couldn't believe that Milly is also in it.  You can check out Chelsea's art page on Instagram which is @argyleillustration

Thank you so much Katie, Aaron and Chelsea for the most beautiful gift ever.  I'll treasure it always. 

Birthdays in Heaven and on Earth

June is a big month for birthdays in our family.  First it's Kobe's birthday, then mine, Noah and Dad's  birthdays are the same day and then my brother Christian's. 

I used to really dread celebrations like Mother's Day and birthdays after Aaron died. I don't care at all about gifts, but Aaron always made such an effort to make me feel extra special.  

Mother's Day can be one of the hardest celebrations all year, especially if I get on social media.  It's hard seeing what other husbands are doing for their wives and to hear what they are writing about them.  It's those days when I feel really alone.  But as my boys have gotten older, they've made such an effort to make the day easier for me.  This year they bought me some lovely gifts, let me take a family photo with no complaining, and Jay cooked me my favourite dinner of roast chicken and baked veggies. 
Kobe gets so excited as his birthday is coming up and always wants to have a party.  I hate having to plan a party as it's hard work on my own and birthdays are really just a day I often want to get over with.  He's only had a couple of big birthday parties with friends and I secretly felt very happy that I had a good excuse as to why he couldn't have one this year, thanks to Covid 19 restrictions.  

It's hard to believe that he is now 12.  I think his cute baby face makes him seem younger than he is.  It's weird to think that he's now the same age that Jalen was when Aaron passed away. 
Kobe was very happy that restrictions eased a little just before his birthday, as it meant that restaurants could now open up to ten patrons at a time.  He was very excited to go to his favourite Japanese restaurant for his birthday tea. 

I was doing an online professional learning on my birthday, which was actually lovely because it meant I got to go out for brunch with my friend Lynne in the morning before the online workshop began. 
It was nice to be at home all day and the professional learning I did was really good.  We had scheduled breaks throughout the day and it was a lovely sunny day, so Jay went and bought us sushi for lunch and we ate outside on the deck. 
The boys gave me a gift voucher for a massage, so after my online workshop was over I had that.  
It was a big day of food and that night we went to Burger Junkie for dinner.  I made the boys take another family photo with me and told them it was part of their birthday presents to me.  
It was nice that Jay was home for Noah's birthday.  It still blows my mind that he would've been turning 19.   After school and work we went to the cemetery with balloons. 
Kobe had a bit of trouble trying to get the 1 and the 9 in the right place. 
As much as I don't like getting older, I also know how lucky I am to celebrate birthdays more on Earth, because many don't get to.

Sunday, 19 July 2020

Longest Term Ever

Term 2 was such a weird term thanks to Covid 19.  Most of the time the beginning of each term goes really slow and then it seems to speed up and before we know it, it's holidays again.  This term it just dragged on and on and on. 

As an essential worker I went to work every day.  At the school I work at we had quite a lot of students who were at school because they couldn't be supported at home, so we were dealing with kids at school and also kids learning at home.  

My boys all did learning at home.  They enjoyed being able to sleep in and do the learning at their own pace, but Kobe didn't cope very well without me around.  I would get home from work and there was lots of frustration from both of us (let's just say I wasn't 'mother of the year' this term!) as I would have to help him finish off his work each day. 

Because I'm an essential worker he could've gone the whole time, but we thought we would see how it went at home.  He only lasted a couple of weeks before we both couldn't cope anymore, and we decided it was time to go back to school.  He was so happy to go back, and I was so happy to get home from work and not have to help him with school work all night!  It ended up being only two more weeks until all primary school students could go back.
High School students didn't go back to school till week 7.  Harri didn't mind and really got used to learning at home, but missed the social side of things.  Once restrictions were eased in Tasmania and you could exercise with more than one person, he was glad that he could meet up with friends and play basketball.  He enjoyed redecorating his room and has moved Aaron's basketball cards to above his bed.

It was nice to have Jay home but he really wanted to be back in Hobart with all his new friends he made at the beginning of the year.  I loved getting home from work and knowing that all three boys were home together. 

I still cant believe that Harri is so much taller than Harri!

I know my boys have grown up, but sometimes it just really hits me when I see them all together.

It was so nice to have restrictions eased just before the long weekend.  Harri had to work so he and Jay stayed home for the weekend, but Kobe and I went to stay at Mum's.  This little road side stand on the road on the way always has people stopping at it.
The weather was so nice all weekend.  We have been so lucky with the weather this winter.  We've had so many lovely sunny days, which makes me not hate winter so much.

We were so happy to have restrictions eased and to be able to get out and about again, that the next weekend we decided to do a day trip to Devils Gullet. I had seen lots of people's photos from there and thought it looked amazing and was keen to finally go. Harri had to work (again) so he didn't come, but we met Mum in Deloraine and went together from there.

It said it was 45 minutes return, but it was a very quick walk to top. 
The view from the top was amazing! 
We were so happy when the state government announced that primary school students could all start back at school in week 5.  It was so good to have the students back.  My student's parents often spoil me by sending home cooked food.  It's always the best day when I have fresh momos (dumplings) for lunch or jalebi (a sweet). 

I have a new student from Eritrea and we have been talking about the different food they eat.  As she has limited English I always google pictures to show her what I'm talking about.  When she told me they eat porridge, I googled porridge and she looked very confused.  She told me that Eritrean porridge was different to Australian porridge, and brought me some to try one morning.  It was so different but really tasty. 

In term 2 we were learning about migration to Australia and one of the countries we learnt about was Vietnam. My Vietnamese student brought along some Vietnamese dong (money) for us to look at.  I haven't been able to travel much in my life, but I feel very lucky to be able to experience parts of my student's cultures with them.
Harri has struggled for a couple of months with a bad back.  We've been seeing our chiropractor a lot and have been trying to figure out what the problem is and why it is taking so long to heal.  He wasn't too sure about the gown when he went to have an x-ray. 
Uni classes are still online, but with restrictions being eased Jalen was happy to be able to go back to Hobart.  I was happy for him to go back, as I know he's going to have a lot more fun down there, but he also needs to be down there to this semester to make a short film.  I was a proud mum when he told me he wanted to buy a plant to take back down for his room.

We are so lucky as we've had over 50 days of no cases of Covid 19 in Tasmania.  It was nice to be home together for a few months, but we are so glad that things are pretty much back to normal here.  I'm hoping that term 3 isn't as long as term 2 was.

Friday, 17 April 2020

Coronavirus Pandemic

Just so I NEVER forget..... 

Right now we are in the middle of the  Novel Coronavirus (Covid-19) Pandemic, declared March 11th, 2020 ๐Ÿฆ   It amazes me that the things below are happening all around the world at the same time.  My family and friends in the USA and other parts of the world are going through the same things as us right now. 

As of today there have been 184 cases of confirmed cases of Coronavirus in Tasmania and 7 deaths. 

๐Ÿ’ต Petrol prices have dropped as low as  $0.99 a litre in Tassie

๐Ÿซ Schools brought holidays forward. Students began learning from home at the end of Term 1 and will continue to learn from home in Term 2.

 There is tape on the floors at supermarkets and shops help distance shoppers 1.5 m from each other.
๐Ÿ‘ซ๐Ÿ‘ซ A limited number of people are allowed inside stores, therefore, lineups outside the store doors.
๐Ÿ™…๐Ÿป️Non-essential stores and businesses are closed.

๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿป๐Ÿ’ปThose who can are asked to work from home.

๐Ÿ–⛰ ๐Ÿšท Parks, trails and beaches are closed.

๐Ÿ‰๐Ÿ€⚽๐ŸŽพ๐Ÿฅ‡ Entire sports seasons including the Tokyo 2020 Olympics cancelled.

๐ŸŽŸ๐ŸŽญ๐ŸŽฌ๐ŸŽผ Concerts, tours, festivals, and entertainment events are cancelled.

๐Ÿ‘ฐ๐Ÿป ๐Ÿ’๐ŸŽ‰ Weddings are limited to five people, family celebrations and holiday gatherings are cancelled.

Only ten people can attend a funeral. 

️ No masses, churches are closed.

๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡บ Australians are asked to return home from around the world if they can.

๐Ÿ‘ซ No gatherings of 50 or more, then 10 or more, now 2 or more.

๐Ÿ  You’re not allowed to socialize with anyone outside of your home.

๐Ÿšถ๐Ÿพ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿป️You can only leave your home to get essentials, go to work or school (if you are unable to do it at home) or to exercise with one other person.

๐ŸŽ  Children's outdoor play parks are closed.
๐ŸŽก Disney parks and other theme parks all around the world are closed.

๐Ÿงป ๐Ÿงผ Panic buying sets in and we have shortages of toilet paper, pasta, flour, disinfecting supplies, paper towel, laundry soap and hand sanitizer.
๐Ÿงผ You are asked to sanitise your hands before going into a shop and waiting rooms have put in measures for social distancing. 
๐Ÿงผ Manufacturers, distilleries and other businesses switch their lines to help make visors, masks, hand sanitizer and PPE.

๐Ÿ›ณ Government closes the border to all non-essential travel.

๐Ÿ‘ฎ๐Ÿผ๐Ÿ‘ฎ๐Ÿป️ Fines are established for breaking the rules.

๐Ÿจ Recreation facilities open up for the overflow of Covid-19 patients.

๐Ÿฆ ๐ŸŽฅ Press conferences daily from the Prime Minister and Premier.

๐Ÿฆ Daily updates on new cases, recoveries, and deaths

๐Ÿš™ Barely anyone on the roads.

๐Ÿ˜ท People wearing masks and gloves outside.

๐Ÿฆ  Essential service workers are terrified to go to work.

Thousands of people lose their jobs. 

๐Ÿฉบ๐Ÿจ Medical field workers are afraid to go home to their families.

๐Ÿ˜ท Shortage of masks, gowns, gloves for our front-line workers.

๐Ÿฆ ๐Ÿš‘ Shortage of ventilators for the critically ill.

Two hospitals on the north west coast of Tasmania are closed because of a large cluster of cases there. Over 5000 people are asked to quarantine for 14 days and the Australian Defence Force come to reopen and staff the Emergency Department once it is cleaned. 


๐ŸŒˆ We start enjoying the simple things in life again.
 ๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿ‘ง๐Ÿ‘ฆ ๐Ÿงฉ Families get to spend a lot more time together.
๐Ÿ˜ We check on our neighbours, friends and family more.

๐Ÿ”จ We finally have time to do all those projects we never have time for.

๐Ÿ“บ๐Ÿ“– ๐ŸŽจ๐ŸŽฒ๐ŸŽฎ We don’t have to feel guilty about doing things we love.

๐ŸŽผ Singers perform online.

๐Ÿ“ฝ Movies are released online instead of in cinemas.

๐ŸŽ™Talk shows are hosted from home.

๐Ÿ’ป We realise how lucky we are to live in a time when we have the internet.
 ๐Ÿ’ต๐Ÿฃ We support local businesses by doing online shopping and buying takeaway food instead of eating in.
๐Ÿ‘ซ We take notice of others more and know we are all in this together.  
Businesses adapt to the needs of their customers. 
The government provides billions of dollars of financial support for thousands of people and businesses for the next six months, including a job keeper package and coronavirus supplements.

People draw on the footpath for others to see as they're exercising.
People put teddy bears in windows so that kids can go on bear hunts around their community. 
๐Ÿ’ฆ Pollution decreases and we have cleaner air and water.

๐Ÿ’› ๐Ÿ‘ซ We are reminded about what the most important things in life are.
It still feels like we are not even half way through it in Tasmania right now as there are so many new cases every day.  We are very lucky as my job is classed as an essential one, and I feel for so many people who have lost their jobs including close friends of mine.

Even though it's not ideal at the moment, I know that once we are through this and life is back to normal that we are going to look back on this time and be grateful for the time we had to just slow down and be together.
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