I am that mom. While we all used to have adventures, tips, and fun stuff to share with you, this pandemic has me at a loss.
My family doesn’t go anywhere.
The most exciting thing we’ve done in the last year is a walk in the River Valley, right after that little dump of snow. It was magical, and our COVID pup Missy enjoyed herself immensely. My poor daughter had a hard time getting back up these stairs, cause, well, we don’t do anything!
And we checked out one of the Edmonton swings, just you know, for something to do on the weekend.
I don’t have the ambition or drive to plan anything.
My kids spend A LOT of time on their devices. Most of the time it is connected to their friends via Kids Messenger while playing games, and this is essentially their socialization outside of school so I’m not taking that away from them. I want to run away completely. The mountains, the ocean, anywhere but here. But hubs and I both work, and we need to work and we are lucky to work. And we don’t really have anywhere to escape to. I also am very cheap and don’t want to spend money….cause maybe if I save it, when this is all over we can go somewhere so far away and cool, it’s like COVID was just a blip.
In June 2020, I found myself pregnant with my second child. I rolled my eyes at becoming a part of the now famous “Covid-baby club.” It’s a popular club for a reason and I was now a happy member. We had just recently and successfully hosted our 8th annual SkirtsAfire Festival in March, about a week before the lockdowns began. I remember enjoying the spring and the start of summer, feeling optimistic that in a month or two, things would return to normal and we would all get back to our festival city as planned. Then slowly but surely, things started getting postponed, then canceled, and our case numbers took a sharp turn for the worse. Through it all, as I grew this baby mostly isolated to my home, we planned for SkirtsAfire 2021: a return to indoor in-person performances in a safe way.
Having a baby in a pandemic is different. This baby will be welcomed into the world with masks and the strong scent of hand sanitizer and the rough touch of overly-washed chapped hands. No gatherings of friends and family to hold and kiss the fresh being that just entered the world. Instead, there will be more screen time than I’d like to admit my newborn will have, more time spent with me on my phone texting and emailing pictures and updates, more time spent alone, just our small family. I think of my friends who have had babies in 2020 who have no family in the city, most out of the country even, who have had no relatives allowed to visit and have no known date in the future they’ll get to meet the new addition. My sisters live in Hong Kong and I don’t know when they will get to meet their new nephew. Things I never thought I’d need to feel sad about before.
SkirtsAfire in Edmonton is self-described as “diverse and daring”. Things are a little different this year, but it will still be 10 days of engaging and entertaining performances and experiences!
We have taken in their 2017 through 2020 MainStage Productions as well as Opening Night Parties, and of course, the fantastic SkirtsAfire Skirt Design Competition. This year they will be bringing the heart of SkirtsAfire into your home! Check out SkirtsAfire’s engaging online content as well as outdoor offerings, where you can expect a covid-safe trip around Old Strathcona experiencing art, design, and music.
Hey, 2020 – Burn Baby Burn!
Just kidding of course, but if you have space to safely do a ritual burning of your 2020 agenda as suggested by the Wall Street Journal, we are not going to judge.
Let’s talk New Year’s Eve with the family. Your household family of course I mean, this being COVID times.
What can you do to make it special and fun for everyone?
We have a few thoughts!
KID-FRIENDLY OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES – a recent post, from one of our amazing contributors has some great ideas to get out and about!
3 Part Series… Part 2 , Part 1
Part 3: GIVE Skills/technique or appreciation-based praise & AVOID person, looks, or talent-based praise.
I had been called ‘fatty’ by some family members for a large part of my childhood years. I was actually within a healthy weight according to medical standards, but I started to believe deep down, I was ‘too fat’ (aka not good enough.)
But when I hit puberty, my body changed and one day I was suddenly ‘complimented’ by a female member of my extended family who said “Oh wow Ashley. You’re so skinny now. You’ve lost so much weight. You look great.”
I was 12 years old. I was floored. My mind jumped with excitement.
I had never been called ‘skinny’ before! Throughout my formative years I was told I was fat.
So, what happened? I glommed on to this new-found approval, beginning my infatuation with wanting to be skinny so I could retain the approval I was getting… The ‘fatty’ comments I got before were constantly telling me that I was “not good enough.”
Where did this land me?
Although some parts of the province have already *gasp* seen snow there is still time to do some leaf art with the kids. Not only is this easy to do the clean up is minimal! No glitter all over the house with this project.
This is also great activity to get you outside. Not only will you enjoy a walk you will get the opportunity to pause and look closely at different shapes, sizes and textures of the leaves with the kids.
What you need:
- leaves and twigs
- cardstock or other thick paper
- glue (I used a glue gun to make sure it stuck flat but white glue or a glue stick works too)
- On your walk collect different leaves and start thinking about what they could be.
- Arrange the leaves on the paper the way the child wants and glue the leaves and twigs down.
- Draw funny faces, legs, arms and other details on the leaf and around it.
This is one of the easiest fall activities and they make great artwork for the fridge!
What’s your favourite Farmers Market haul?
Featuring many local artisans who create unique items like candles, jewelry, woodwork, signs, bath bombs, skincare, flowers, paintings and so much more, Callingwood Farmers Market in Edmonton is just full of goodness.
Fresh and fun, there are so many amazing and healthy options at the market.
Growing up in a small town outside of Edmonton there was always one field trip we looked forward to the most – Fort Edmonton Park.
It was always in June close to the end of the school year when we packed into school buses with our pockets full of change to spend at the candy store. I still can’t walk into the park without thinking about those raspberry and lemon hard candies that came in the little brown paper bag. Even though the candy store was definitely the highlight when I was 10, I still credit Fort Edmonton Park and the way their incredible interpreters brought Canadian history to life for my love of the past.
Open Farm Days is an annual favourite for many connecting Albertans to their food sources: farmers. For some (myself included) we are generations removed from the family farm, and I have absolutely zero clue about farms, animals, electric fences (they’re a thing), and how they get cows to move to a new pasture. It’s completely mind-boggling to me.
Last week we were invited to Metis Crossing which is Alberta’s first major Metis Cultural Interpretive destination. Located about 1.5 hours North East of Edmonton by the Town of Smoky Lake, it is an easy day trip through some beautiful country.
With Covid cases rising we are on the lookout for more things to do with the kids that create a sense of “normal” for them without risking being exposed. We were reassured by the Metis Crossing staff that protocols have been put into place to still get the experience you want with the safety you need. Plus, with all of this online learning from home, the trip is kind of like a field trip!