COVID-19 Reflections: Alone at Home

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.

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Creating a Drive-in Theater at Home for our first Disney Movie Showing

One lazy Sunday morning (pre-COVID-19), we were looking for something relaxing to do as a family. It was a dark, rainy day … a perfect movie day! Our eldest is at the age where we felt she might be ready for her first Disney movie. She and I also felt like crafting! We decided to put the two together and create our own Drive-in Movie theater.

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At Home Learning: April 3rd

School started a bit late today. The girls were playing so nicely together after breakfast … I didn’t want to interrupt them! They played in their room, chatting away, playing with the Barbies. It was very sweet to see. I just enjoyed the peaceful play time and waited until they were ready for something different. Then we started class! We didn’t follow our school timetable, but we did some fun activities that our 6-year old really enjoyed.

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At Home Learning: April 1st & 2nd

Well, 3 days into our lessons at Cedar Tree Elementary, and already we find ourselves taking liberties with our detailed timetable! Although I feel like we benefit from some structure… this schedule is going to be pretty hard to maintain! I’m sure that as we go, we will find a happy medium between structure and down time …

Yesterday started off even smoother than Day 1 … with our youngest student (2-years old) showing up to class fully dressed- instead of butt naked as she was for the entire morning of classes the day before!! We had a wonderful productive morning, then my eldest and I took a break from the schedule in the afternoon.

Today, Day 3, was incredibly mellow. The day began with me realizing just how cluttered and messy our house has become. We decided to cancel morning classes due to necessary Tidy Time. The girls played and I spent most of the morning tidying the house! It felt good!

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At Home Learning: March 31st

So, we’ve taken a few days off to just play as a family, go for bike rides, and enjoy time together. Then on Monday my eldest daughter and I spent some time brainstorming things we want to learn, and how we want to spend our days. We realized that if we are going to be self-isolating at home for the foreseeable future, and we have no idea if/when schools will re-open … we might benefit from a bit of structure.

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Stuffing my Pockets with Gluten Free Treats: What it means to support your Celiac child

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May is Celiac Awareness Month. Celiac Disease is defined by the Canadian Celiac Association as:

a common disorder that is estimated to affect about one percent of the population. It is a condition 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.

Our 6 year old daughter was diagnosed 2 years ago and although they say it’s the only disease that is treated by diet alone, it’s not always easy. The diet is very strict, and it’s lifelong: even a crumb of gluten can affect someone with Celiac disease. Sometimes it can feel very stressful and overwhelming.

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Victoria Family-Friendly Summer Events & Festivals 2018

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I can’t believe it’s almost the end of July. As always, summer seems to be flying by! I love all of the family-friendly events around town during the summer months. There is always so much to see and do; so many new things to experience as a family. I’ve pulled together a list of the festivals and activities that I’m looking forward to checking out in the next month or so, and thrown them all into our family calendar! I thought I would share for anyone else that might be interested. Lots of fun still to be had this summer!!

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Tried & tested gifts for a 4 year old girl

This post is a bit late … but better late than never! A friend’s daughter recently turned 2 years old, and I have to admit I wasn’t sure what gift to get her that a 2-year old would enjoy! I have a 4-year old (and a newborn baby), but for the life of me, I couldn’t remember what was a hit with our little one a few years ago, when she was 2! I had to go back and take a quick look at my blog post (Tried & Tested Gift Ideas for a Toddler). Then it all came back to me!

If I’m already having troubles remembering favourite gifts from a couple years ago, I can’t imagine what I’ll be like when a few more years have passed! So this post is for me … future me! And perhaps it can help others out there too, who are in search of the perfect gift for a child celebrating their 4th birthday …

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Going off Gluten: Resources to help the transition with children

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Last summer our family learned that we need to go off gluten. Our young daughter was diagnosed with Celiac, so no barley, rye, oats (unless marked gluten free), or wheat. And no cross-contamination. At first I felt quite overwhelmed. Preschoolers are not exactly known for adaptability and risk taking when it comes to food… so I was a bit worried! The fact that pasta is one of our daughter’s favourite “food groups” made me even more anxious about making the switch to gluten free.

I won’t lie … at first it was a bit tricky. She didn’t really understand why, all of a sudden, she could no longer eat many of her favourite snacks and meals. We tried out many different gluten free pastas, bread products and other snacks, trying to find alternatives that she would enjoy. Some of them were definite no’s – even I couldn’t bring myself to eat some of the pastas and macaronis that we tried! But over the past several months we have found some great options. Our daughter now asks me whether something is gluten free, and ok to eat, and she is no longer upset about avoiding some of her old favourites. Now that we have gone through the hard work of finding some yummy alternatives, I thought I’d share our findings in case anyone else finds themselves in this same position. Possibly save you from some rather unpleasant food testing! :)

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Adventures of Elfie 2017

This is rather late … but better late than never I suppose! Right?! I apologize for a Christmas post in February, but I promise I have a good excuse for being so late. We welcomed our second baby in December … and things have been a little, well, busy!! I’m hoping that by publishing these ideas to my blog, perhaps they can help someone next year!

I know that there are mixed feelings about Elf on the Shelf … and I get it. Inviting Elfie (as our daughter named ours) into our house has certainly created a lot of extra work. There was more than one night where I woke up in a panic, having realized that I had forgotten all about Elfie! And now that we’ve signed on … there’s no end in sight! Even the arrival of our second baby in mid-December didn’t offer us a break. Although I must admit that Elfie’s creative poses/activities took a definite hit!!

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