|Love this boy|
We've been on Corona lockdown mode for the past 5 weeks.
The first week was the toughest. I had no idea how to manage helping the two older ones with their homework while having to take care of the two younger ones. That plus the crazy increase in housework with having to maintain a certain level of tidiness with 4 kids at home at all time, cook two warm meals daily and not having a cleaner (we asked her to take a break), resulted in a pretty frazzled me for a while.
But somehow we survived. I guess it helped that the hub was also working from home part-time, so I wasn't always alone with the kids.
Fast-forward 5 weeks and the German government has announced that the schools will stay shut down until May at least. I have no idea if my boys will go back to school for this school term anymore. In any case, I've gotten quite used to our usual routine by now.
To be honest, even though I'm an extrovert by nature, being a stay-home-Mom has tamed me down a lot. I do not have any close friends who live within close proximity and while I'm thankful to be able to make small talk with some familiar faces in my neighbourhood, I must say that my children are my primary source of companion. Them and God of course!
Being a SAHM for 8 years has prepared me for this corona lockdown I must say. I'm already home all the time and am used to spending time alone with my kids. However, the biggest change is having to be the primary educator of my kids even though German isn't my mother tongue.
I have an influx of Emails from both teachers and finding time to sort through my Emails isn't easy. My Archilles Heel is knowing that I'm not a native German speaker and I keep thinking I would be better able to help my children if only I understood German as easily as English. But that said, I think this means that I'm constantly dependant on God since the Bible says, in my weakness, His strength is made perfect right?
This time has not been easy mentally either. I do think sometimes if Liam's birthday might be the last birthday I'll celebrate with him. Or what if I'm one of the few people who do not make it through this unpredictable virus? I'm not being pessimistic, but the reality is we do not know how long we have to live on this Earth. And being a Mom I know one of my biggest fears is not to be able to watch my children grow up and get married. My mom passed away just a month before I got married, so I certainly don't take it for granted that everybody gets to become a grandparent.
That said, I've been nursing a weird cough for the past 2 weeks. And half of me hopes that it could be the corona cough? Cos then, I know I'm done with it. And the other half is, "Nah, it can't be...."
But the bible says, if you faith the size of a mustard seed, you can move mountains. And my prayer is that somehow supernaturally, my family and I will have natural antibodies to this virus. I speak from experience that this is really possible. When I was pregnant with Isabelle, a kid in Gabriel's kindergarten got infected with the 5th disease - It is a pretty rare disease that causes skin rashes in children but when contracted when pregnant has the potential to be extremely dangerous for the unborn fetus. I was so worried! And to make matters worse, Liam broke up with a weird rash all over his face on the same day I went to the doctor to test my bloods to see if I got the virus! Writing about this still gives me chills!
My prayer back then was only that I would not have any sign of infection in my blood. But guess what? Not only did I not have any infection, I was even immune to it!! Like seriously! How is that even possible, you may ask? I have no idea! I believe God gave me the antibodies supernaturally! How cool was that right?
And somehow I believe I have this Praise report because I know the same God who got me through the 5th disease, will get me /us through this corona crap!
We've been praying Psalm 91 daily as a family and its so comforting!
Oh one thing we have incorporated into our family life? We take the time before we eat dinner to have a round of applause. Usually one kid would start, "Round of applause for Mummy for cooking such yummy food." And everybody would clap. And the next person would say, "Round of applause to Daddy for earning the money for the food." *clap clap* and on it goes until everybody has a round of applause. This thing just started randomly and somehow stuck. I thought it was such a nice way to appreciate everybody at the end of the day.
When we were preparing for Liam's birthday (before the corona outbreak), this was our conversation.
Me: Where would you like to celebrate your birthday?
Liam: At home
Me: You sure? You don't want to go somewhere fun? We could go to the park, have a picnic, nice playground?
Liam: No. I want to celebrate at home.
During home quarantine after corona shutdown in Germany
Me: Liam, nobody can come for your birthday you know. Grandma and grandpa can't come. It will just be us celebrating your birthday.
Liam: That's OK. (Showing an understanding face).
Liam: Yeah. I'm so excited to celebrate my birthday at home.
He got one present mailed to him from my in-laws.
Me: Liam you can go downstairs to the store to pick one more present for yourself ok?
Liam: But I already have one present.
Me: Oh but you can have another one!
Liam: Oh wow! I can have 2 presents!
He ended up having 3 presents because my dad called from Singapore and said he would like to sponsor a present for the little one, so you can imagine his happiness! The mom in me just hopes to instil inner contentment and simple joys in the hearts of my little ones. Happiness doesn't lie in the size of a party or the number of presents one is lavished with.
I felt sad that we couldn't have guests over for his birthday this year. So that's why I decided to decorate the place & make the day as memorable as possible.
Liam enjoyed being in the center of attention for the day and getting calls from family and friends made him feel so special. It's such a poignant reminder for myself that as much as life can be isolating / uncertain as it in right now, God has still blessed us with so much we can be thankful for. I will always be thankful & grateful to God for this gift to be a Mom and to learn and grow with my kids.
We bought this letter garland which is sooo practical! If you look closely, you can see that each letter can be detached and re-used. That's fantastic for multiple kids in a family. You can have a professional-looking garland without having to go through the hassle of making it yourself.
|I told them to look crazy|
|Somehow they always need to make rabbit ears|
|Look at that death stare! LOL.|
I baked a brownie chocolate cake and decorated it with M&Ms. Liam wanted to have a chocolate strawberry cake but strawberries are not in season yet so we compromised with M&Ms. I also baked some German vanilla Kipferls - traditional German Christmas cookies because I had to get rid of some ground hazelnuts.
|The boys played with sparklers!|
|Isabelle was so fascinated by the sparklers but Liam was positively terrified|
|Let's try to ignore Isabelle's picking of her nose. Lol.|
|Finally, one photo with me in it!|
|Liam couldn't take his eyes off the scary sparklers!|
|My big boy!|
|Blowing candles must be one of the best things ever as a birthday kid!|
|The boys totally enjoyed playing with the new toy!|
You are such a sweet kid. You lavish Mummy with hugs and kisses and I'm so enjoying it until the day when you don't do it anymore. You still sleep next to Mummy's bed because you haven't started kindergarten yet. Our deal was that when you start kindergarten, you can graduate to the big boy bed, but since that is nowhere in sight, Mummy shall continue to enjoy having you as my roommate.
Once in your half sleep, you came over and said, "Mummy, I really like you very much", hugged me and you went back to sleep after that. Can you imagine how Mummy's heart melted into a million pieces?
You really enjoy learning how to cook and bake!
Whenever you see me in the kitchen, you would ask if you can help me and would proceed to wash your hands first! Mummy appreciates having a little elf and who knows, maybe you'll be a chef one day!
|You made banana muffins here|
|Here you were using a real knife to chop up veggies!|
Look at how happy you were making chicken nuggets! And yes, you finished breading the nuggets all by yourself! And you persevered until you were done with almost 1kg of chicken breast!
You love doing crafts!
We usually do craft together every Tuesday afternoon with a very nice Russian lady. But the Family Center has been closed since the shut down. We really need to start doing crafts by ourselves again!
Life as the youngest of 3 boys
|My 3 blessings|
|The boys are sooo good at games by now!|
You are the youngest of 3 boys. As much as you love having 2 older brothers to look up to, it hasn't been a bed of roses for you either. You are always trying your darnest to catch up with them and you feel frustrated when you can't.
You picked up cycling just a few days before the shutdown. Thank God! Wow! We tried to get you to cycle a few weeks prior but you were too scared. Somehow though, when we tried again, you picked it up sooo quickly! And what better timing because all playgrounds are closed and there's hardly anywhere we can go to. Since then, we've been cycling as family of 6!
Once, Gabe had to use the toilet desperately so he decided to speed home with Sam, leaving you to cycle home with Mummy. I didn't see it as a problem, but boy oh boy. You were so upset! You cried buckets and was so overcome by your emotions! You simply couldn't understand why your brothers left you behind. Mummy's patience was honed up a notch because she had to wait in the cold for you to calm down before we could resume our cycling again.
This was the first time I realised how a seemingly small incident can have such an effect on the mind of a 4-year old. I realised if I were in your shoes, I would of course feel so upset at the whole situation as well. Needless to say, that was the first and last time your brothers sped home without us (you).
You have also learnt how to play Monopoly, chess, this German game called, "Dame". It's becoming so much more fun to play with you!
Life as an older brother to a 1-year old sister
I'm so proud of how you've grown in your role as older brother to Isabelle. It's not easy being dethroned from being baby of the family but you have really done it with grace. You absolutely adore your baby sister and would look for her once you've woken up. With your two older brothers usually at school (before corona), your constant playmate has been Isabelle, who has also started playing with regular lego at the age of one. You two share an amazing bond.
You're mild in temperament, so even when you've had your tantrums, you've been able to listen to reason and make wise decisions. We pray that you'll learn to hear the still small voice of God at a young age and you won't be fazzled by problems but you'll always live a life of faith, knowing that with God you can climb every mountain.
We love you very much young man!
Mummy & Daddy