Playing With the Older Kids

A pair of older kids have formed an unlikely group for T to play with after school. Four weeks ago, our end of day routine became one hour of play at the playground next to his day camp, which is now his after school program. It’s a nice playground and even big enough for meContinue reading “Playing With the Older Kids”

Happy Meals and Summer Memories

Summer fly, winters walk. T got an extra week of vacation this year but it’s time to head back to school this week. This has been a strange challenging summer. I’m thankful my family stayed safe and got to make the most of it and explored the beauty of Ontario. I know this was aContinue reading “Happy Meals and Summer Memories”

Nature and the Passage of Time

Trees tell the story of time. Standing on the rocky Georgian Bay shore scanning the tree line, I see hints of red, yellow and orange. The autumn chill is in the air. Labour Day is the last blast of summer vacation before school starts. This year, school is starting a week late to give schoolsContinue reading “Nature and the Passage of Time”

When Kids Lift Each Other Up

At his core, our five-year-old T is a caring kid. I saw an example of this in action at the playground next to the outdoor pool we visit several times a week in the early evenings. While I line up to get into the next hourly pool slot, T plays in the playground. There isContinue reading “When Kids Lift Each Other Up”

Swimming in a Secluded Spot at Painting-Like Killarney

We spent Friday at Killarney Provincial Park, where every corner looks like a painting with its smooth red rock facade and Georgian Bay backdrop. Our friends and I have been wanting to camp here for years but sites always sell out. It took a pandemic to get the hubby, T and I here – sansContinue reading “Swimming in a Secluded Spot at Painting-Like Killarney”

Finding the Roaring Spirit of Adventure in Thunder Bay

We arrived in Thunder Bay close to 10 on Sunday evening. T screamed, “Why does it look like this? Where’s the thunder?!” The scenic adventures that unfolded over the following three days of our Summer 2020 family roadtrip more than made up for his initial lack of enthusiasm. First stop on Monday: Beautiful Kakabeka Falls,Continue reading “Finding the Roaring Spirit of Adventure in Thunder Bay”

Family Roadtrip to Explore Northern Ontario

We were determined not to let the pandemic take away our summer tradition – the family roadtrip. In August, we always take two weeks off to visit the hubby’s parents in New Brunswick, two provinces East of Ontario, and add a detour. This year, we hoped to visit New Hamsphire. It goes without saying theContinue reading “Family Roadtrip to Explore Northern Ontario”

Return to Day Camp!

During yesterday’s day camp pickup, the staff told me that T was talking to them and the kids about Madonna and how he wants our family to move to London to live with her. Being a big Madge fan, moments like this are like a ray of light and remind me like a prayer thatContinue reading “Return to Day Camp!”

Family Weekend Roadtrip to Breathtaking Killbear Park

The last four months of lockdown – working, schooling, parenting – have been so hard but also creatively and emotionally rewarding. But the hubby and I are beyond burned out. So we took T for a recharge in nature with a short but sweet family roadtrip – three hours from home – to scenic ParryContinue reading “Family Weekend Roadtrip to Breathtaking Killbear Park”

Teaching My Son To Be Bored

When we started lockdown homeschooling, the blank page of a day gave me great anxiety. I’ve since learned it’s okay to leave pockets of time during the day as unstructured time for five-year-old T to be bored. Research has shown that boredom supports a child’s healthy development, as it helps them build creativity, resilience, andContinue reading “Teaching My Son To Be Bored”

Return to the Pool!

Our City opened outdoor public pools this week and T and I leapt into its refreshing water this afternoon like reuniting with an old friend. It brought me so much joy to see how giddy he got in the water, the first swim since early March. We’ve always gone to indoor pools, but we’re notContinue reading “Return to the Pool!”

Camping in Our Backyard

The hubby and I were not going to let a pandemic take away our family camping tradition, so we pitched our tent in the backyard this weekend. It was also camping week at homeschool this week. T’s teacher gave a series of camping-themed learning activities, from books and poems, to math exercises, and more. TContinue reading “Camping in Our Backyard”

A Rejuvenating First Nature Hike Since Lockdown

A family of swans, Canadian geese, ducks, and a deer feeding from afar. My family basked in a feast of nature this afternoon, our first outing since lockdown began three months ago. It was a beautiful Saturday. Sunny and a comfortably cool 16 degrees for t-shirt and shorts. A steady breeze. We headed for LyndeContinue reading “A Rejuvenating First Nature Hike Since Lockdown”

Our Budding Little Baker

Learning comes in all forms, as we’ve learned from homeschooling in lockdown. Making a no-bake keylime pie with T reinforced lessons in measurement, chemistry and having fun! The hubby enjoyed the strawberry and rhubarb pie that T and I made last week and asked us to make this no-bake keylime pie recipe from A MillionContinue reading “Our Budding Little Baker”

Magical Colours and Ingredients in Our Garden

T and I made our first strawberry rhubarb pie thanks to the garden lovingly nurtured by the family who lived in our home for over half a century. We are the second family to live in our late 1950s side split. The home is old and we are slowly fixing it up over time butContinue reading “Magical Colours and Ingredients in Our Garden”

Bonding Over Video Games With My Son

I’ve unlocked another fatherhood badge: Playing video games with my five-year-old T. For all the worries that I have about the learning gains that T may be missing out on while in lockdown, I have full confidence that he is excelling in digital literacy skills. Last weekend, T pulled up a chair and plopped itContinue reading “Bonding Over Video Games With My Son”

Homemade Bird Feeders to Help Our Backyard Friends

We’ve reached the point in the pandemic where we’re now coating pine cones in peanut butter. Jokes aside, these home-made bird feeders were a nifty craft idea suggested by T’s teacher and he worked on it with the hubby last night while I got some personal rest time for myself. During last night’s walk, weContinue reading “Homemade Bird Feeders to Help Our Backyard Friends”

Easter and the Resiliency of Nature

“The oak fought the wind and was broken, the willow bent when it must and survived.” – Robert Jordan It has been a long week. But we get a reprieve from the insanity of simultaneously working and parenting from home with this four-day Easter long weekend. The big change this week was T’s teachers areContinue reading “Easter and the Resiliency of Nature”

Cooking & Finding Calm in Isolation

“Life itself is the proper binge.” – Julia Child Cooking is something I enjoy. I’m not artful at it, but I like to try to new recipes or to recreate childhood comforts. In the three weeks that we’ve been in isolation, I’ve been cooking more. It brings me calm to be in the kitchen silentlyContinue reading “Cooking & Finding Calm in Isolation”

Focusing on Wellbeing and Family Time During Self Isolation

“In times of test, family is best.” – Burmese Proverb Three weeks & several meltdowns later, we’re finding our groove with this stay/work/school at home 24/7 without killing each other thing. We’re accepting things are not business as usual & letting go of the pressure to keep things as such. As scary & uncertain asContinue reading “Focusing on Wellbeing and Family Time During Self Isolation”