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”

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”

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”

Every Child Needs and Deserves a Hero

The late Terry Fox took his final steps in his unfinished Marathon of Hope in Thunder Bay, Ontario. We visited the Terry Fox monument on our first day in Thunder Bay on Monday. It honours his memory near the spot where he took his last step. Terry Fox is a famous Canadian athlete whose rightContinue reading “Every Child Needs and Deserves a Hero”

Loving and Supporting the Often Misunderstood Special Needs Child

While standing first in line to be let in the outdoor pool, T tells me he’s peeing. I look down and sure enough, a puddle of pee on the pavement with 20 people looking at my 5-year-old. I feel mortified and I could not hold in my embarrassment. “That is disgusting, why would you doContinue reading “Loving and Supporting the Often Misunderstood Special Needs Child”

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!”

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”

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”

We Can and Must Do Better

Like many others, the horrifying murder of George Floyd weighed on my mind this week. Since we adopted T, I often view and process news and events through the eyes of being his Papa. I often think to myself about how I can protect T from the horrors of the world while he is young,Continue reading “We Can and Must Do Better”

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”

Saying Thanks For Things I’m Grateful For

T’s teacher gave a wonderful assignment that asked T to watch a video explaining what gratitude is and to create a thank you card for something he was grateful for. The hubby and T worked together to create a simple card (pictured below) and T said he was thankful for the playground, even though itContinue reading “Saying Thanks For Things I’m Grateful For”

“Papa, you’re my hero.” – Heartfilling Moments In Isolation

I feel worn down from this self isolation marathon and on some days, it is hard to remember the many positives. What I find so difficult is this unsustainable balance to work and take care and school our T. Two very different full time jobs compressed into time allowed for one. The level of anxiety,Continue reading ““Papa, you’re my hero.” – Heartfilling Moments In Isolation”

Self Care in a Pandemic for the Special Needs Parents

The one thing I often half joke about is that T can have a full blown meltdown without consequences, while us adults have to be more dignified about our emotions. Well, midway through this week, I had a grown up meltdown. My bottled up stress of the pressure to keep up T’s schooling, my work,Continue reading “Self Care in a Pandemic for the Special Needs Parents”

Sharing A Little Love, Hope and Cheer on Our Windows

We started drawing art on our windows to share cheer and positive energy with our neighbours. We used washable markers that we ordered from Amazon and got the idea from a neighbour down the street. Our time and energy is admittedly all focused on T and our work, so we don’t get to focus moreContinue reading “Sharing A Little Love, Hope and Cheer on Our Windows”

Discussing Feelings and Building Empathy

“You can only understand people if you feel them in yourself.” – John Steinbeck For all the anxiety and exhaustion our little T often causes us, one consistent strength we can always count on is his caring nature. Last summer, during an after dinner outing to the playground, an older boy, who must’ve been nineContinue reading “Discussing Feelings and Building Empathy”

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”