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.
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.
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!
We had about 15 visitors to our home, more than usual.
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!
What we did
Face painting (Alaina)
Hay bale maze
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!!
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.
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.
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!
Since packing plastic free snacks for the kids lunches at school last year, the lunch cans were crammed with containers. Some days it was hard to pack everything in and then having all these containers to wash for the next day. I ended up having just enough containers to stretch for 3 kids over two days. But still, so many to wash and dry, and the clutter it created was frustrating.
Today’s lunch cans were packed with much more ease, and they felt lighter too.the kids liked the bags the first two days of school and they love the patterns. I must say, it seemed faster to pack the snacks too! No having to neatly pack pretzels so I can fill the container for example. Now, just toss in a handful, zip up and done! I’m very impressed! Also, with the liner inside being water proof, I can use these bags to pack wet foods like carrot sticks. Though, I will continue to use containers for meats and soft fruits. Convenient for the kids to eat from a dish sometimes and I don’t want soft fruits to get squished.
The snacks vary from day to day as well as their taste buds! The only snack packed that comes from a plastic source is basically just the crackers. Everything else comes from Bulk Barn using my own containers or are whole foods bought plastic free. Soon I am going to make a new batch of yogurt and I am going to trial using small mason jars to pour the batch into, so I can pack those to send to school.
I highly recommend these snack bags! If you are handy with the sewing machine, make some!! Make it yourself and/or support local before buying from away, including big box stores.
It may be expensive up front, but you will save in the long run! Use what you have, invest a little at a time and you will be set! Supporting local helps local families near you. Local cuts down the carbon footprint for travelling as well as packaging.
When packing snacks try to stick to whole foods, they need less packaging from the stores! Homemade is best too, you know what goes into the food and they do not need to be individually wrapped.
We switched our youngest child, Thomas, to cloth diapers back in October of 2018. We had some difficulty in the beginning but got on board soon after. I’d say (with potty training for 3 months in between the time) we saved about 1000 disposable diapers from landfill since then.
My regret is that we did not switch with child #1. We put 4 children plus (Thomas)1.5 years through disposable diapers. I had the idea and curiosity back with child #4 to switch to cloth to save money. But I did not have the will (ick factor).
I remember the first time with cloth diapers, using reusable liners, I thought to myself, what am I getting myself into!!? But you know, it’s not that bad! Really! You get used to it, and it becomes the new normal. You do what you got to do. Having access to soap and water makes it all a breeze (not of fresh air though, lol!). You get used to that too!
This is how extreme the other way I was before jumping to cloth diapers:
If one of the younger kids had a #2 accident, I would lay them on the floor, cut the underwear off them, peel it off like a diaper and toss it. No way was I making a mess trying to get underwear off or even touching or cleaning them! The blinders on me were huge! I would not even think about how I would possibly clean them! Such a waste!!!
Dirty diapers sit in a container, inserts taken out so they can be easily washed of course. Poo diapers, recently, I just rinse off on the toilet bowl. I used to use the bathtub (after putting the poo down the toilet) to rinse the liner and reusable wipes, but the whole bathtub would then need a good cleaning. The toilet bowl is much smaller, there is already water in it (less water usage in my opinion), and it can always use a cleaning anyways. Though I must say, its not nice in the winter, the water is freezing.
Once most of the diapers are used up I put them in the washer for a rinse cycle. I use cold water for this and on a medium load.
After the rinse cycle, I fill the washer with hot water. I add some detergent such as liquid Tide unscented. I tried other detergents and even the lovley laundry soap from the farmer’s market, but I end up with a mineral build up and the liners do not absorb liquids anymore. Diapers stop holding the pee, and it’s a constant mess. The Tide liquid was bought as a slight emergency and a powdered version was not thought of at the time. Once the container is empty, I will switch to the powdered version, Super store has it in a box.
I also add about .5 cup of Borax and 1 cup of liquid Oxygen Bleach. I do not want to use Oxi Clean as there are too many chemicals I am uncomfortable with for using, even the smallest amount. I also can not find it in a box form in Summerside, just the plastic container.
I run this on the longest aggitation cycle with just the one hot water cycle. The second part of the wash is cold water and I finish with an extra rinse.
Because I only have 13 cloth diapers, and I wait for almost all of them to be used before washing, I stick them in the dryer on low heat for about 45 minutes with wool dryer balls. I’m not set up with a clothes line, though I really really want one. The younger kids will not respect it and clothes will be on the ground. Pick our battles!
I wash the diapers about every 36 hours.
I pre fold them once dry, 2 inserts each and the reusable liner. Wipes get stored ready to refill the wipe container once empty.
The wipes I use are from am old sheet, though polyester. It’s what I had and used when I made them 10 months ago. Not ideal type of fabric, but I’m using what I had and saving money spent on other material. I started out using scraps of cotton fabric, but I felt they did not hold up to a good job wiping. Flannel would probably be better (fabric knowledge is not strong with me, yet).
So I cut the sheet to wipe size pieces. I have a long container by which I fill with about 3 cups of warm water, about 3 Tbsp of Down East dish soap and a drop of tea tree oil. I used to add coconut oil, but I don’t think it is necessary. I mix the water solution up and full it with the wipes. Now and then I flip the wipes in the box as the bottom ones are super soaked. They will drain to soak the now dryer bottom ones. Rotation. These wipes get washed with the diapers as well.
This bin is our dry marker storage until I take it to Staples for recycling. That’s right, Staples will send these to Terracycle for recycling into new products. Check it out here. Another company that will take back markers is Crayola, but from what was shared to me and my own looking, Crayola burns them to make fuel. Check it out here.
I seen a tip from another group member on Facebook about wetting the dry markers to bring them back. I tested it and it works!! In the main picture (above), the markers in the bin did not come back, but the rest did!
I took a cup of water, wet the end of the marker and stood it up to let the water drain inside. Right away it was working! The kids were thrilled as we were running low on markers.
These pictures and test were done July 7, 2019. Today is August 5, 2019, and those markers are still in use!
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.
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 . . .