Thomas’s 3rd Birthday

Thomas turns 3 years old today!

  • Cloth diapers since October of 2018
  • Temporary glasses
  • Gates off the stairs
  • Potty training very recently with success
  • Speaking sentences
  • Huge vocabulary
  • Loves the outdoors
  • Loves horses and cows, especially when we go for a drive

We kept his Bithday gifts minimum and Thomas had a great day!

  • Created a playlist on youtube with songs from Baby Shark. Played, sang and danced along with that.
  • Homemade decorations throughout the house
  • Picked up a cake from Sobeys and used my own container.
  • Local jigsaw puzzle as a gift
  • A singing Baby Shark toy. Almost bought a plush teddy just because, but thought about a baby shark toy would be more fitting! Thomas loves baby shark
  • Picked up some candy from Bulk Barn
  • Collected $5.00 worth of coins for Thomas to put into his money can
  • A few suckers, he loves them
  • Grammie and Grandad dropped off some surprises  too.

No need for a bunch of toys as we already have so much. He can start using Lego now and we have many many puzzels for him to work on! Not to mention, Christmas is coming. We tried to make the day special and I believe we succeeded. 

Halloween of 2019

Happy Halloween!

Our household decorations are very simple. We did not decorate outdoors this year, just inside. We reused decorations from previous years. I cut up some streamers from construction paper which can be reused next year. The kids made some ghosts with Google eyes which were repurposed from other crafts. If need be, we can reuse them again. We used masking tape for hanging decorations, on PEI masking tape is compostable. We also used my homemade glue, still going strong since I made it back in March of 2019 or before then. I got the recipe from Bea Johnston, here is a version online I found. It is found in her book too, Zero Waste Home. The only difference I do, is take some of the water from the measurements, and mix it with the dry ingredients first before heat is added. No clumps this way!

Our kids got their face painted for Halloween at school this morning. Tonight as well for trick or treating. Last year I found that coconut oil is a great product to use to get the face paint off! The paint just smears off with so much ease! I get mine from Bulk Barn. I did buy more face paint, which will last us a long time. I want to find more natural paints, I really did not like buying into these fake paints.

Usually we are out trick or treating, so there is no need to stock up on give away treats. Though it’s good to have some on hand. This year I chose treats wrapped in foil from Bulk Barm, not Nestle brand. Next year I need to get more creative, I feel like I fell off the ball.

I sent some homemade cookies with the school kids to school. I had to make 2 batches yesterday! Decorated with falls leaf sugar sprinkles.

Daniel dressed the same as last year basically, Zombie. Home outfit.
Alaina dressed as The Joker, though she doesn’t really know who The joker actually is 😉. Home outfit.
Julia dressed as a vampire. Already had the outfit.
Jack is going as Spider-man. Already had the costume.
Thomas is, well, he does not want to dress up! I have a traditional dragon costume everyone used when they were young and he did not want it! Nor a skeleton. I guess maybe paint his face a tiny bit?

We got some pumpkins yesterday. We were very late getting pumpkins this year. One farm had none, the stores had none. The last place did, thank goodness! Though, they did not have the traditional round orange pumpkin we normally try to get. Instead, they had different kinds, weird shapes and different colors! Instead of stressing out trying to find the 7 best ones (one pumpkin for everybody), I decided we would have funky pumpkins! Not one alike, all strange looking! I love the look of it! We carved them up after supper, though me and Chris were too tired to carve ours. Mine looks good as is anyways, it’s full of bumps and looks creepy without added decoration. Chris’s pumpkin is wacky! I don’t think it is really carvable! Again, it looks good as it is!

The night of carving went so fast and we were so tired, I didn’t even think to stop Chris when he took out the compost to save seeds. It was my plan all along, but I totally forgot until this morning. I’m not going through our compost bin now, but, oops! I’m going to ask some farmers from the Summerside Farmer’s Market on Saturday to see if anyone wants our pumpkins for the animals. Composting is great, but if we can feed some farm animals that would be awesome. Even if we went for a little drive and throw the pumpkins in the woods for the wild animals.

Thomas and his “warty” pumpkin
Jack and his pumpkin, one of my favourites! Yellow with orange stripes!
Julia! Dark orange/red pumpkin.
Alaina and her white pumpkin. Guess what colour the insides were? Green!
Daniel chose the regular pumpkin, though it is not orange!
My pumpkin, super bumpy all over!
Chris’s pumpkin, I love its design!
Thomas
Jack
Julia
Alaina
Daniel, Minecraft Creeper

Vampire Julia, Joker Alaina and Zombie Daniel
Me and my Earth face. Love the Earth!

 

Trick or Treating Time!

Daniel went out with one of his friends so Chris and I  took the other 4 out and about. Thomas finally let us put the dragon costume on, I was so exited! The costume was handed down from my cousin and all our 5 kids wore it in the past 6 years!

We did not go too far. Maybe about 30 houses. The young boys had enough and I stayed home with them while Chris took the girls out for another half hour.  It was raining a bit when we started, then tapered off to a bit if a mist. By the time Chris and the girls got back it was training pretty good. It was not cold, which really made a big difference staying out, forecast called for 15 deg. celcius. The kids had a great time!

While sorting the candies and undoing the treat bags, a thought came across me. I always rip the treat bags to empty the treats inside. This time, I untied the ones with twist ties and set aside the good treat bags. They can be re used next year or for something else!

Thomas as dragon
He likes it now!
Jack as Spider-man!
Shooting webs!
Julia as a vampire! Scary!
Alsina as The Joker. “Why so serious! “
Hahahahaha!
Daniel as a zombie.
Treat bags to be saved for reuse, plus 4 more from Daniel’s take home.

We had about 15 visitors to our home, more than usual.

2019 Nature Fest

Today was a blast!!! Summerside put on a fun event at Heather Moise Heritage Park. There was a tracker/wagon ride, bouncy castles, petting zoo from Island Hill Farm, pony rides, face painting, pumpkin painting, hay bale maze and more.

I’m not going to go into detail about our day, except a tiny bit about the pony rides! That’s right, all the kids got a turn to ride the ponies! Even little Thomas!! I was so surprised that he got to go by himself while the pony was lead around the circle. He did not cry or want down! Smiles and then a serious face as his time was coming to an end. I think he was happy not being so far away from us, but in a serious way. Hahaha!

Around the end of the pictures, you will find some hilarious ones!!! You will laugh out loud!

Alaina getting her face painted!
Yup, soccer!
All ready to go!
Great balancing Daniel!!
Cutie pie
Hello!
The bigs!
Julia in the bouncy castle
Up she goes
Jack waiting his turn, patiently
Daniel, Alaina and Jack.
Jack and Daniel going head to head. Daniel’s legs there!
Jack and Daniel, same position
Daniel first, Jack had a great race!
Ummm, Alaina is leg!
Up she goes!
Thomas on the hay bale maze.
Julia joint him! We spent a ?or of time here!
Jumping from bale to bale
What now?
Julia on the pony!! First time!
Alaina on the pony, first time!
Julia coming back round.
Alaina coming back round
Daniel on the pony, first time!
Jack on the pony, first time!
Daniel coming back round
Jack coming back round
There goes Thomas!
Looking good!
Thomas coming back round
Done! Very happy!
Julia got her face painted at the end.
Julis loves pictures,
Showing some cool moves!
Last one!! Lol!!!
What we did
  • Face painting (Alaina)
  • Falcon sighting
  • Bouncy castles
  • Alpaca visit
  • Hay bale maze
  • Pony rides
  • Free apples
  • Petting zoo
  • Pumpkin painting (Julia, Alaina and Thomas)
  • More hay bale maze fun (Thomas, Alaina)
  • Daniel ran laps around the park and took Jack to paint pumpkins together!
  • More face painting (Julia)

No balloons or single use drink packs. Brought our own water. Waste free event for our family. The kids loved the animals!

So much fun! Thank you City of Summerside!

Hurricane Dorian, 2019

Atlantic Canada was hit hard by Hurricane Dorian September 7, 2019 after it came up from the South. Living in Summerside, we did not worry about having to store water, as the city has water towers to supply it.

Things we could have done to get ready for the storm, waste free
  • Instead of buying bottled water, fill up containers already at home
  • buy dry goods for foods and canned.
  • flashlights and candles at the ready
  • solar lights at the ready (sort of a decorative source)
  • Store away items outdoors to prevent damage/replacing
  • Wash all the cloth diapers before the storm hit (my stash lasts 36 hours, would have gone to underwear if need be, find a place to wash soiled diapers too.)
  • Pack a bag of clothes, just in case of evacuation
  • Dishes caught up as well as laundry
  • When buying groceries, not stocking up on perishable items (buy what is needed for a couple days, and use it up)

I am sure the list can grow longer.

Our home actually did not loose power. Though, we were ready for it to go out. Thomas had fallen asleep with me in the chair, so he went to bed easily. Jack on the other hand did not want to go to bed, he was too scared of the wind and noise. Even knowing the power could go out. We let him stay on the couch for as long as he needed. His bedtime is 8:30 pm, but he did not fall asleep until around 11:00pm on the couch. As Chris was working away upstairs (or playing a game), me and the 4 kids were cuddled together watching a movie, waiting for the power to go out any minute. I felt bad having Thomas upstairs, I wanted him closer as all the other kids were togther. Julia and Alaina fell asleep during the movie and I was next to go. I woke up when the movie ended, surprised the power still on. Daniel turned off the t.v and cuddled in his blanket to go to sleep. Jack was asleep by then. I was not very worried about the storm to be honest, but wondering why we did not loose power! I stayed on the couch staying cozy as possible.

Jack on the couch, Daniel in the front, Alaina in the middle and Julia at the back. They made nests on the floor with comforters . Fun night, like a slumber party!

During the movie time after Thomas went to bed, me and Chris slipped outside after realizing the two large trees by our drive way (mostly just one) had blown down on the other property next door. Though luckily, there was no damage to the building or the car parked under the tree. Our driveway, in the corner got ripped up as the roots of the tree were pulled out, and just the earth was pulled up around the corner of the garage, not damaging it.

Our van. Trees down on next property.
Two trees.
This one lifted from the ground some. After some rainfall the next day, it lifted more.
Corner of the driveway is lifted
Earth is lifted around the garage, but garage is fine.

In the backyard, one of our fences were blowing over, just a two piece partition. The wind was howling through there. We lost a large shrub which was blown over by that wind. There are two and the second one was slightly pulled the opposite way. The kids called these shrubs The Bumble Bee Trees. In the spring it is covered in yellow flowers and smells so good! In turn it is covered with bee’s, busily buzzing about from flower to flower. Bumble Bee Tree also known as Forsythia! We saved the shrub blown over and trimmed it down. We also trimmed the second one too, we will move them to another location which in turn allows more open space in the back yard.  We were planning on trimming them anyways this fall. Though I am afraid the flowers will not return next Spring, which saddens me. Extra effort to be made to leave the dandelions and put out more flowers for the bees.

Forsythia. Picture from Spring of 2019. The shrub on the left blew down to the grown. The other was pushed slightly to the house. Bumble bee tree.
After Hurricane Dorian
Base is broken.

Our roof leaked water, which is a big headache. It is an older roof in need of repairs, but the storm really pushed more than we thought it would. Long story, not going there.

Morning came and all was well. Power still on, kids happy but yet surprised of the damage around town. It was like going to go see Christmas lights, but not in a good way. Lots of “Whoa’s” and “look at that one”. I am happy no one on PEI was injured.

Adventure Time With Thomas

So this past week, 3 big kids are in school and Jack, our second youngest went to grammie and grandads’ house for a few sleeps. This gave some great open time for me and Thomas to hang out. Chris of course, hard at work supporting our big family.

Day 1

I packed my backpack with essential supplies such as a cloth diapers and reusable wipes, a wet bag for soiled diaper, spare pants for Thomas, snacks like trail mix, apple, banana, juice if needed and my reusable water bottle. In my backpack is always packed first aid supplies, mug, cup, bowl, utensils, bar of soap and a small towel.

Me and Thomas took a walk with the stroller to the boardwalk. My main goal was to go up to the Credit Union Place and go see the horses at the track. Thomas is always looking for horses on drives and loves seeing them! For a nearly 3 year old, he can say the word “horses” so clearly! Amazingly cute!

On our walk, it was a breezy cool day. My ears were starting to hurt, so we ventured off the boardwalk onto more sheltered streets. When we arrived at the horse track we saw one horse training. Also, there was a tracker grading the track. Thomas loved it! I sat him on a post and held him close as he watched.

We walked around a bit more and found a couple more horses in pasture as well as a couple mules. Thomas learned a new word, mule. We ventured into Credit union place to warm up and I decided to get a coffee, in my own mug. I asked the lady at the counter and sure enough my mug was accepted for filling. Mind you, this was my first cup of coffee in about 3 weeks. It was yummy and hit the spot! I had a choice to use the single use creamers (x2) or a jug of milk to add to my coffee. Normally I use cream, but opted for the milk, much less waste! I got Thomas a cookie as well, but it was bagged (compostable bag) before I even knew it. Next time I need to ask, no bag! Some of these choices are up to us, ask and choose better!

Before we left, Thomas needed a diaper change and myself the bathroom. Easy switch of the cloth diaper and I used my scent free bar soap and towel to wash and dry, saving on smelly liquid soap and paper towel. I really do not like using other soaps. The smell that is left on my hands leave me the feeling of not clean and very uncomfortable.

After our rest, we started home. We stopped quickly at the Notre Dame Community Garden. Lots of veggies and fruit growing! I was happy to see the spot was greatly used!

After we were home for a short time, Thomas dozed off and had a great little nap. Of course I moved him to the couch!!

Day 2

Today I took Thomas to the pool at the Credit Union Place. This was his first time (maybe once when he was a little baby, don’t remember). He was super excited about the news of going to the pool, in the water splashing and playing with toys. All that changed once we entered the shower room. The water provided for a pre rinse was so nice and warm, but Thomas would not have it. He is actually not one for water fun, but I was certain he would enjoy at some point.

We got to the pool area, put on a life jacket and headed to the water. He was calm until we got to the water. He became uncertain and clinged to me. He was not very happy in the water. I tried using toys and a ball to cheer him up. He did stay quiet for a short time. I tried using a kiddie boat with his life jacket on to see if that would make him more calm and have fun. Same situation, so I tried nothing but me, mom. Held him, chased a ball around and got him to throw it. Thomas still was not comfortable, until we saw a horse racing by the window outdoors. The racing track is just outside, and you can see horses pass by. Thomas was excited to see it, and that was the highlight of the pool. I decided it was a good time to head out, we spent maybe 30 minutes in the water.

I brought my shampoo bar and body wash bar, wrapped in a towel. Easy transport in my backpack. Rinsing after the pool is my favourite part, nice warm water and usually a great cuddle with one of the kids, but not Thomas. He would not have it unless a stranger came walking by talking to him. Shy fellow.

Jpeg

Since we were not there as long as I expected, we took a drive to see if we could find some horses. We scored, found 4 of them grazing. Seen some trackers too which Thomas was excited about! We got home, had some lunch and he had a nap afterwards.

Day 3

This day, I will probably spend at home, catching up on house work. Easier to do the extra special things with less distractions around (kids, hahaha). I think me and Thomas will make some cookies too! yummy!

Reusable Lunch Baggies

Last weekend at the farmer’s market I picked some cloth lunch bags for the kids at school. I am trying to cut down the number of dishes that need washing. Also, containers take up a lot of space in the kids lunch cans. No pre wrapped snacks go to school with my kids. Snacks are bought at Bulk Barn or are homemade. Crackers are the exception, have not tried to make them myself yet. Also, fresh fruit and veggies are usually bought package free.

Inspire Essential Oil Heatable Bags makes all kinds of bag like items from reusable grocery bags to money purses. Definitely worth a look if you in the area! I will be purchasing more in the future for school. Super simple to wash them too, just put them in the next wash cycle. I find the containers are very tedious. Takes a long time for them to dry because of all the crevasses, let alone washing them 5 days a week, gets tiresome. 4 containers per lunch can = 12 tops and bottoms per day. Sometimes I get away with reusing some that had dry goods inside like crackers or pretzels.

Anyways, not really wanting to rant, lol. This bag here is my favourite. It makes me think of my daughter Alaina.

 

Last Berry Pickup From a Local Farm

We never did make it to a strawberry u-pick farm this year. Time flies so fast and I have a hard time to just plan and go.  Also, I don’t really have the space to store/freeze a bunch of berries. I have not planned on making jam this year either. It will be easier next year I imagine when the little people are another year older. Thomas is still in cloth diapers, there seems to always be housework to do and so much fun outdoors doing other things. I can not imagine bringing Thomas to a u-pick either. I would just be chasing him and not picking. lol.

On Saturday, Daniel, Jack and I went to Compton’s Vegetable stand to get some more berries to snack on at home. I brought my own bowl, as last time I was in, they allowed me to dump there crates into my bowl and they could reuse the crate.  They were very happy to do it again. I found out today was the last day for the u-pick. Deep inside, I really did want to go and at least get enough for snacks during the week and also just take the older 4 kids. But, I missed my chance, and that is okay. I bought 4 crates and used my bowl.

July Beach Day at Kenny Shore

Our first official trip to the beach this year was amazing! The kids are easier this year to manage and everyone had so much fun! Thomas is still cautious of the water, but now and then he tested it, then falls in as this beach has a bit of a drop. He was fine! Nothing wrong with a bit of a dunk!!

Grammie Jean and Chris’s brother Steve was there too. Grammie brought water guns for them to play with. What a fun adventure they had! I got to go swimming, have not done that for a couple years at best. Always stayed close to shore with the kids. It was so nice! Me and the girls played too, carrying them on my back and trying to swim away from them as fast as I could while they chased me, so close to my toes.

Chris got in the water with Daniel right away. They walked out to the sandbar, still knee deep at least; it was high tide when we got there. Chris usually likes to go for long walks along the shore, but he did not get a chance this time. I am sure we will get there again soon!

Daniel sure has grown to like the water. Though he can not swim yet. He makes fun by dumping a bucket full of water over his head. So funny!!

Alaina spent much of her time digging a hole at the shore line. She found a baby shrimp or fish in her bucket. She set it free so it could go back to its mommy! So sweet!! Floating logs are another favourite, but sticking very close to the shore.

Julia liked going in the water if someone was with her. Otherwise, she was playing in the sand or squirting everyone she could!

Jack also mostly played in the sand beside Alaina. He came in the water a few times. Jack had lots of fun with the water guns too!

Thomas spent most of his time on the sand. He did not stick around the water very much and did not want us to take him out in it. A couple times he tried on his own, but fell into the water.

Chris’s sister Catherine and niece Isla came to the beach later in the afternoon. Isla is a good swimmer. No fear in her! Isla and Jack spent lots of time together too. Best cousins! Though, I have no pictures to show of these two, forgot . . .

Julia and Jack settling in
Alaina got her first bucket of water already
Chris and Daniel in the background, found the sandbar. Thomas running and Jack digging.
Hair down!
Uncle Steve playing with the kids. Big kid at heart here!
Jack
Water guns are out! Steve has two!!
Steve running after a floating shovel.
Dramatic leap over the shovel.
Kids are highly amused!
Got the shovel.
Lost his saftey glasses though. (Found the next day on the shore by brother Mike. Yay!)
Chris and I. Picture perfect!
Thomas squirting dad with a squirt gun!
Here comes Julia
Refilling and going after dad
Another floating toy, another dramatic rescue!
Julia trying to race Uncle Steve.
They made it!
Chris, looking tired from the sun.
Thomas going along with the fun
Filling up the water gun
Look out for Jack!
All 5 kids. Alaina, Daniel, Thomas, Jack and Julia
Alaina playing with the log.
Thomas by the water exploring
Daniel and someone, can’t tell.
Water gun play and gang up on Unlce Steve
So much fun for the kids
Alaina running for a refill in the bucket.
Uncle Steve now has a bucket of water as defence.
Look out
Can’t remember if Alaina is looking for help from Steve or is going to squirt me!

July 25, Out With the Kids

Busy day once the chores got finished. From about 2:30 – 7:00 we visited two parks. First we went to Central Street. This park has the splash pad, but also many play areas. Daniel, Alaina, Julia and Jack played hide and seek. They had so much fun! I got to follow Thomas everywhere he wanted and could go. He is one busy boy!

Alaina, Julia and Jack running off to hide
Daniel counting.

Thomas is not afraid to climb! He surprised me on a curved ladder!

There he goes, 4th time and no accidents.
Almost, my heart pounding!
Making it! Ta-da!!

We got some swinging time too! The kids love to swing. I wish there were more swings at this park; there used to be before it got revamped.

Jack and Thomas side by side
I love that he can use the big kid swing!!
Julia
Daniel and Alaina swinging. Julia playing in the dirt.
Switched Thomas over so the big kids could swing. He still fits!
Hot day!

While the big kids were playing hide and seek, Thomas got on the slides as well.

Down Thomas goes.
Here he is.

So, by 4:00 it was time to go home. Need to get some supper into everyone. Not long before we got home and before I started supper, the power went off! All over the city. Oops!

So after finding some good snacks for everyone, they all went outdoors. Boys oh boys did they get loud!! No one was listening to me either, so I packed up a few items in my bag went outside and told them we are going out again! Need to burn some more energy!! We went to Heather Moyse Heritage Park. Big open space, lots of paths and little bridges as well as a running track!

I got everyone out of the van and told them to just go and have fun. Be loud here!! LOL. We walked the trails and bridges. Daniel found a frog, sitting in the pond soaking up the sun.

Keeping close to Thomas, you never know!
Kids running laps around the area. It has 3 bridges which leads in a large circle.
Off they go!

After the many laps around the bridges, I took them further down the trails. We went down another circular path then I let the 4 oldest dart for the track. Out of sight, but on a one way path to the destination. Me and Thomas took our time to get there. I could hear them in the distance, lots of joy, I knew they arrived!

Daniel turned left before I could get his picture with the group!
Full circle back to where we started, while the big kids headed to the track
Thomas loves to explore and is not scared to be by himself!
Getting up to the track

Once I got to the edge of the track, Daniel had already made a full circle run and met us there. Jack was not too far behind him, but he too made the full circle! Alaina made it half way then cut through the field to meet us. Julia was plodding along, in her flip flops. She certainly did her best too! They played in the field a little then we headed back, kids were thirsty and we left our belongings back were we started.

Hey Daniel!
Jack coming up the track
Rest time, but not for Thomas, lol!
Here he is!
Kids down the way!
Here I am, there they are
Julia coming around
Jack boy
Alaina
Julia made it back!
Cuties. Alaina is great at watching Thomas! Daniel too! I will call to them, look after so and so, and its never a problem!
Time to head back.

Once we got back and refreshed, I hauled out the pack of chalk I have been hiding and waiting for the perfect moment to give to the kids. They were overjoyed! (I do not buy the small packs as they are wrapped in plastic. This big box is plastic free! Always check and look at the options available!)

Many many colours!
Hands in!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I let the kids colour the bricks along the walk ways. It was shaded and cool! Perfect! I even got to put my feet up for a while! I also made a hopscotch for the girls.

Daniel, marking #14. Lol. He does not know why!
Share share share! Lots to go around!
Alaina is so quiet, sweet and pays attention to detail! She is making a snowman! LOL!
sit back and enjoy!
Feet up, kids are busy
Jack using all the colours per brick!
Daniel used a whole purple chalk stick! oh my!
Alaina’s work. Rainbows so sweet!
Julia, here and there.
Hop scotch.

A boy and his mother arrived shortly after. The boy was riding his bicycle for the first time! He was doing great and Julia wanted to try! She politely asked if she could have a turn and it was no problem. She got to try a few times, and she did not too bad. Just needs to learn to keep peddling! Next trip here, I am packing the bikes. That is one area we have not worked on with the kids, bike riding! I did not take any pictures.

When we got home, the power was on, the stove clock read 12:07. We were just on time! Everyone got cleaned up, Pj’s on, popcorn and a drink for snacktime. I put on Toy Story #1. The house got super quiet, Thomas fell asleep after his snack was finished. Everyone is in bed, here I am finishing this post!

Quiet Day at Home

Its been a quiet day at home. Kids are in and out. Playing games and swinging outside. I got the grass cut and currently making shepard’s pie. Super yummy!! I guess I should get a recipe up for that!! Really did not do too much today, pretty lazy. Looking forward to the next few days. Hoping for some beach time with the family!

Meanwhile, I took a walk around to see what everybody was up to!

Cooking super!
This guy, sleeping with his food!!! Lol! Wrapped in so many blankets!!! How!!!?
Jack is not camera shy!
This girl, well . . . Isn’t she sweet!! Lol!
Happy go lucky Alaina!
Daniel doing his favourite thing!