Santa, Snow and Soothing Hong Kong Style Borscht

Thanks to the shorter colder pandemic days, we started Christmas early this year. Last weekend, we celebrated the hubby’s 40th birthday. He and T also set up the Christmas tree. We also unboxed our 8 feet tall balloon Santa, who had hibernated in our basement. To say T was excited was an understatement. He hadContinue reading “Santa, Snow and Soothing Hong Kong Style Borscht”

Celebrating Daddy’s 40th Birthday!

The hubby turns 40 today! T and I celebrated his big day starting with a homemade dinner last night. T was very excited all day yesterday. Birthdays, Halloween and Christmas are his holy trinity. We took it easy yesterday. As the sun began to set, the three of us decided to do something productive andContinue reading “Celebrating Daddy’s 40th Birthday!”

Challenging Conversations with Kids: On Death

During bedtime two weeks ago, T asked me, “Papa, are you old?” “I’m older than you. Why do you ask?” I replied. “When you get old, will you die?” He asked. I was caught so off guard. My gut reaction was, “Are you kidding me? It’s past your bedtime. I am so tired. And IContinue reading “Challenging Conversations with Kids: On Death”

Enjoying A Last Burst of Summer

We took advantage of an unusually warm weekend and soaked up the sun and outdoors. The weather forecast gave me the will to get through what felt like a long week and it looked even better as the weekend came upon us! Early November is an interesting time as Autumn gives us one last burstContinue reading “Enjoying A Last Burst of Summer”

Creating an Individualized Education Plan for Our Kindergartner

Last Friday, we were notified by T’s child and youth worker that a parent had complained to the teacher, specifically about T not giving a classmate personal space. I read this entry in her daily log entry late Saturday evening after experiencing the high of a wonderful Halloween celebration with T. It bummed me out,Continue reading “Creating an Individualized Education Plan for Our Kindergartner”

Creating A Haunted House Scavenger Hunt

Halloween is very different this year but we wanted to make sure we celebrated one of T’s favourite days. So we created a surprise Sugary Scavenger Hunt around the house, including turning our family room into a haunted surprise. The fake cobwebs and spiders blended in nicely with the real ones! As soon as itContinue reading “Creating A Haunted House Scavenger Hunt”

Bedtime Stories We Loved: Volume 2

T’s teacher recently started a Reading Log program; one new book is sent home every day for us to read with him at night. These are simple books with patterned structure (e.g. Here is a box… Here is a bat… Here is a broom) to help T build his sight word vocabulary and learn aboutContinue reading “Bedtime Stories We Loved: Volume 2”

Finding Fitness and Wellbeing In Lockdown

The days are getting shorter and I think even more about wellness as we look ahead to the pandemic winter ahead. A recent poll reported that 1 in 4 Canadians reported their mental health is worse now than in the first wave of the pandemic. One thing I’ve missed a lot during this pandemic isContinue reading “Finding Fitness and Wellbeing In Lockdown”

Preparing For A Return to Homeschooling in Lockdown

Creating hands-on learning tools, restocking supplies and reconfiguring our kindergartner’s learning space were things I prepared for a potential return to lockdown homeschooling. I took the past week off work to recharge. While I spent most of it relaxing, I also used the free time for homeschool prep. COVID cases are at a record high.Continue reading “Preparing For A Return to Homeschooling in Lockdown”

Giving Kids Chores and Building Their Confidence

While I was preparing to take out the recycling bin to the garage, T chirpily asked to help. It was overflowing in the pantry and I helped him pull the bin out; a mountain of plastic and boxes spilled onto the kitchen floor. T insisted on carrying the box down the hallway, out the doorContinue reading “Giving Kids Chores and Building Their Confidence”

Family Day Trip to Enjoy the Beauty of Fall

It’s Canadian Thanksgiving weekend and our family enjoyed a scenic Saturday afternoon outing in nature. We had planned to leave the house by 9 to maximize our day. T and I woke up at 10 and the hubby an hour later. By the time we left the house, it was Noon. But long weekends areContinue reading “Family Day Trip to Enjoy the Beauty of Fall”

Taking Our 5 Year Old for a COVID Test

We had quite the unexpected start to our week when T was sent home midday Monday from school. He was sneezing and had a runny nose. He also told his teacher he had a fever. He didn’t and doesn’t have a fever – it’s his default word for everything – but because of his coldContinue reading “Taking Our 5 Year Old for a COVID Test”

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”

Working with Teachers to Maximize A Special Needs Child’s Success

The first day of senior kindergarten is in the can and we are looking ahead to the new school year with cautious optimism. T got a fresh haircut from the hubby last night, went to bed early, got 10.5 hours sleep and woke up rather pleasant. We are thankful to be starting in a veryContinue reading “Working with Teachers to Maximize A Special Needs Child’s Success”

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”

Tiny Homes, Big Dreams

Less is more is an adage I believe when thinking about home life and our five-year-old T’s future adult life. I found this story of father and son co-living through a tiny home and this story of a father and his 15-year-old creating a shipping container home to be so charming. For anyone not familiarContinue reading “Tiny Homes, Big Dreams”

Wearing Red Shoes to Honour FASD Awareness Day on September 9

T is wearing red shoes to day camp today in honour of FASD Awareness Day. Commemorated annually on September 9, to symbolize the ninth month of pregnancy, this day serves to raise awareness about Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, specifically about the plights of drinking during pregnancy and about the struggles of individuals with FASD. WearingContinue reading “Wearing Red Shoes to Honour FASD Awareness Day on September 9”

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”

Visiting Our Old Home and Playground

You can go home again and we did. This past Sunday, we took a late afternoon drive to our old neighbourhood. T had been feeling nostalgic and wanted to see the old playground and we spent close to two hours playing there in the late afternoon. The hubby and I lived in this previous homeContinue reading “Visiting Our Old Home and Playground”

Discussing and Normalizing Death, Adoption and Difficult Topics with Kids

At a recent camp pickup, the staff told me they had a sad moment. T told her he had a dream that his Daddy and Papa died. He told her that “he got very sad because he’ll be all alone.” T also recently told me that he had a dream where he saw me inContinue reading “Discussing and Normalizing Death, Adoption and Difficult Topics with Kids”