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.
Yesterday me and Chris went to our first zero waste markets, which was held in Charlottetown at The Riverview Country Market and Cafe. Hosted by the Market, Urban Daisy and Forest Child Natural Beauty. Little did I know, it was an outside event and we were not dressed for the outdoors, oops! Next time, pack a coat just in case! Chris’ mom came down to our place to watch the kids with help from our niece as well. That’s right, we got away child free! Thank you Jean and Bailey! Xx
Sad to say, I did not take any pictures of the market, too busy going from vendor to vendor and holding our mugs of hot apple cider and hot chocolate. Yup, I packed mugs so we did not need a disposable, even if it was a paper cup. But I did take pictures of our products when we got home. It was so nice to finally put faces to names I knew from other online groups and companies. Some of the vendors put in a lot of work into what they make and truly recycling products into new fashions. I met up with the owners of Unpacked, which will be opening in Charlottetown next month, the Island’s first zero waste store.
First off was my new bamboo toothbrush. The Bristles are made of castor bean oil and the whole toothbrush is compostable. I heard of some people using the stick as a fire started once the brush has come to the end of its life, which I am told it should last as long a regular toothbrush before it needs replacing. Moonsnail Soapworks is where I got the toothbrush, $7.50. I also bought toothpaste tabs/bites which are fluoride free, but also plastic free. LUXE Beauty Bar sells it by the ounce, which in turn is about $6.00 for a couple weeks. May be pricey, but compared to other savings made in the long run, it makes up. Also, like I said, plastic free. I tried these out when I got home, and I was surprised with the toothbrush. Works great, does a great job cleaning and the size is perfect. Also, the bristles are so soft. The toothpaste bites, will take some time getting used to, but I’m down with that!
Chris bought a safety razor!!! He has been looking for quite some time and never seen one for sale until now! It was a pricey purchase, but in the long run, no more buying disposables. I’d say it will pay for itself within a year. (Sorry, also can not remember the vendor’s name, I try to find out)
This vendor, Nellie and Gabe really astonished me. Everything she sold was handcrafted by her and mostly came from products she recycled into her own new product. This bracelet is made from hemp, and the beads are reused from her thrift shopping trips. Can not get much more zero waste there, two thumbs up!
Chris convinced me to buy this sea sponge from Freckles and Porcelain. I always used to use the plastic bath sponges, but mine become unusable a while ago. Since then I just wast with my hands or a facecloth, but I found I could not scrub or reach areas very well. I thought someday I would find a loofa sponge, but I have not seen any for sale as of yet. So, sea sponge it was. I used it today and it works well and is so soft!
Great event, looking forward to more in the following months. I encourage you all to go to events in your area and support your local shops, they are counting on you.
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!
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 . . .
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!
Thomas is not afraid to climb! He surprised me on a curved ladder!
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.
While the big kids were playing hide and seek, Thomas got on the slides as well.
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.
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!
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.
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!)
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.
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!
This weekend we all went to Chris’s parents for a big family get together for a one night stay! His cousin was getting married, and lots of family came home from away!
His sister Catherine and her husband Johnny as well as their 3 kids arrived. Steve and Michael, Chris’s younger brothers also arrived. The house quickly filled up, with a norm of 3 people living there, that number grew to 17 once we arrived!
Its been a long while since everyone was together. For The night, my mom took our 3 oldest. We kept Jack and Thomas. We had plans to party, Chris and I have not been able to party together for many years! I will guess 6 or 7 for sure!
Let me start from the beginning before we left home
Before being able to commit to staying overnight on the weekend we needed to make sure our regular routine was complete. Basically, every Friday night is a simple grocery run for the items I do not get locally and/or plastic free. Saturday morning is the big grocery run where I visit many stores to complete our weekly shopping. The Summerside Farmer’s Market, Superstore, Bulk Barn and The Summerside Butcher Shop. Not only did all this shopping need to happen but pack for our overnight stay. Not just an overnight stay, a possible beach visit and we brought extra food to help make up for what our family of 7 may eat and spread out to the rest of the family there. Not only pack that but pack for 7 of us, one of which is still using cloth diapers (No disposables for special occasions, I am committed!).
I am Notorious for making lists!! I always make a list for everything that needs packing and things that need to be done. My mother in law always laughs at it. When our first born was a baby, we went on a trip to Moncton and I wrote everything we brought on a list right down to the toys and clothing! Guess what, no list this time. It would be too long!! LOL!
All the kids packed their cases with their overnight items. I had a bag of spare clothes for everyone and for towels. A bag with food. Me and Chris had a bag. A bag for diapers and another for soiled ones. A bag with a cleaner for real soiled diapers as well as sunscreen, Tylenol, heat bag (for Julia’s sore legs once in a while. We ended up needing it, glad I packed it!). My trusty backpack with reusable dishes in case we went for ice cream.
By the time we were packed and ready to go, it was about 2pm. Pretty good timing I think with regards to what was needing to be done. I might have completed some house chores as well. I did not want to come back home to a messy house trying to settle everybody back in and unpack! Have I mentioned I like to be organized?
Left home and traveled the hour to West Prince
What a crowd we all made! The kids were all over place, inside and outside. Catherine’s daughter, Isla, was super happy to meet her cousins again. The last time we seen Isla she was turning 2. She is turning 4 very soon! They brought a sprinkler for outdoors by which the kids loved. Our niece Bailey, her boyfriend Drake and her pup Samson were also there. Steve, one of Chris’s younger brothers was ganged up on by the kids. There is always that fun uncle!! After supper I took Daniel, Alaina and Julia up to my moms home, they are just a 10 minute drive away.
Next was time for the little to go to bed. Snack and drink and a nice nest of blankets made up on the floor in the bedroom. Jack and Thomas had everything they needed right down to their teddies. Jack was out first and Thomas after with no issues!
While we were here, Chris’s cousin was married. We were planning on going out after the reception to celebrate. First, I needed some drinks. I brought along the bottle of Vodka and some oranges. I started out with a couple shots and Bailey followed suit after. Off we went to the hall which was a 5-10 minute walking distance. While there, ordering a drink with Chris, I realized I did not bring my own cup. I felt awful! Using the single use plastic cup that was offered. I should have just passed up on the drink (Later I would have totally agreed with that statement! lol). Once my drink was gone I wondered if the bartender would refill the same cup. I totally had to find out! Sure enough it was no problem. They were happy to as it would save on the cup usage. Me and Chris reused our cups and I told the surrounding family, by which I have no idea if anyone reused. We got home later and I was out!
Night out, Pictures taken by me with Baileys phone, permission to post pictures too
This was one of the best days in a while. Lots of fun, family and laughter.