I am writing this on December 23rd, Elfie’s last evening with us. My children are at ages this year where they are incredibly excited about Christmas, and all of the activities and traditions. Their excitement makes the season truly magical. As excited as they are for Christmas morning, there’s one thing that’s making them hesitant to count down the days: the fact that Elfie will leave us after we go to sleep on December 24th.
We’ve had a wonderful month with Elfie! With everything going on in the world these days, she arrived masked, and kept her mask on for a few days. Over the past month we’ve discovered her climbing walls, reading with friends, hang gliding, and much more. Here are some of Elfie’s highlights from this year!
Our eldest daughter was diagnosed with Celiac disease over 5 years ago. If you’re not familiar with Celiac, it’s an auto immune disease in which “the absorptive surface of the small intestine is damaged by a substance called gluten. Gluten is a group of proteins present in wheat, rye and barley and their cross bred grains. The damage to the intestine can lead to a variety of symptoms and result in an inability of the body to absorb nutrients such as protein, fat, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals, which are necessary for good health” (Canadian Celiac Association).
When our daughter started Kindergarten, I have to admit I wasn’t totally prepared for how challenging it could be. I spoke to the teacher at the beginning of the year, and she was extremely supportive and kind. But there were things that I didn’t think to mention, that cropped up through the year! The following year, when our daughter started Grade 1, I felt much more prepared. I wrote a letter to the teacher, and gave her a few extra copies to distribute to the lunch monitor, other teachers, and to leave on file for substitute teachers. I gave it to the teacher on the first day of school, and she was very appreciative for all of the detail and information.
Our eldest daughter started asking about Elfie’s arrival in early November. By mid-November, we had counted the days until Elfie’s arrival so many times that we decided to make a countdown calendar – for Elfie’s arrival and Christmas day!
Last night, the night of November 30th, our eldest was awake until 11:45pm. She could not stop thinking about Elfie’s return, and even came running out of her room once when she swore she heard Elfie on the roof, and later when thought she saw Elfie’s shadow move across the room!
A few months ago, we began the process of flipping a small house. Or well, that’s what it feels like! In reality our family purchased a playhouse and we have been updating and customizing it to create a cottage for the cousins (our children and our niece).
Especially since COVID, we have been looking for fun things that the kids can do at home. My Mom and I had been on the lookout for a few months, when one day I came across a playhouse for sale online. The family it belonged to had outgrown it and they were looking to sell the playhouse and put a hot tub in its place!
My parents gave our daughter a craft book for Christmas last year: Art Sparks by Marion Abrams, Hilary Emerson. My daughter and I both love this book. It contains 53 projects, many of which you can do with supplies that you already have at home.
If you’re still looking for more excellent books to check out … read on! My eldest and I have been reading some chapter books together lately, which has been really fun. I love having a story that stretches over a few nights. But we still both enjoy a good picture book (as does my youngest of course!). These are some of our current favourites:
Like many children, our eldest daughter recently celebrated her birthday during self-isolation. I was determined to make sure that she had a memorable birthday – despite the fact that she couldn’t have the birthday party she had been dreaming of (and talking about!) for months.
This has been such a crazy time. At the end of December 2019, the first cases of COVID-19 (a new Coronavirus) appeared in Wuhan, China. On January 13th 2020, we heard of the first recorded case outside of China, in Thailand. At first, it didn’t seem too concerning. A common opinion was that it was no more dangerous than the regular flu.
Until March 11th 2020. On that day, the WHO declared COVID-19 a pandemic. Spring Break for us began on Saturday March 14th. Our family had planned a 3-day getaway up island for March 24th-26th. We decided to cancel, as we just weren’t sure what the future might hold. On March 19th B.C. declared a general state of emergency.