Showing posts with label momlife. Show all posts
Showing posts with label momlife. Show all posts

Friday, February 05, 2021

Virtual School Update

 Here we are almost 6 months in!




We decided on Virtual learning in September and it has been a great choice for our family. Our school board created a separate school just for Virtual school that is not associated to our physical school they went to last year. Which works out great because our teachers and schedules created are focused on virtual school only. Learning is a bit different, different for each class. We have a SK and a Gr 4. They both adapted to this style of learning right away. They enjoy it and we are happy with their growth and milestones! 




The whole family is home, The husband included and working from home. I have blogged about our tips and tricks (Here and Here )  a few times and share many milestones on Instagram too!


I know many families and situations are different. I can only speak to our own based on our own family dynamic and the age of our kids too. 


Here's a bit of background. 

Years ago I was a fulltime working mama (IT at a Bank) with a long commute to work. My kids were in daycare from 7:30am to 6. Our evenings were short and stressful. Our kids had separation anxiety and we struggled to make it work. This is the reality for soo many, and I remember it all too well. 




Especially one snowstorm in 2017. When driving home from work took 6 hours. My 1 year old was in daycare and sick with a fever, the daycare could not give him meds. I left work at 3pm that day in the snowstorm. I got to my 1 year old's daycare at 6pm (during this time my older son was in the after school program at his school and my 1 year old  was at a home daycare 10mins away). My 5 year old still at school waiting to be picked up also. 

When I picked up Baby M, I drove straight to the pharmacy, ran in with him to buy Tylenol and gave him a dose right there in the store aisle. My 5 year old at school with 1 teacher waiting for us. I was 10mins away but the streets to the school were backed up with traffic and my husband who was also driving home in the storm was trying to get to him also. I was stuck on a street with traffic with no way out. Finally my husband got to my 5year old at 8pm! Baby M and I arrived home at 9pm that night! 




That's when we decided that our family needs a change! The process of making the changes took a few years but we knew we had to make changes. We decided a few years ago to make a BIG move. We sold our home that we just built and customized and moved North. Where I could work part-time from home and not have the kids in daycare.

Fast forward just 1 year and we are hit with a pandemic! All 4 of us home! 

I think about when things will get back to normal and oh my,  I am going to miss this time soooo much! I'm soo grateful to be spending so much time with my kids and honestly feel like I could homeschool them for years to come if they wanted to.

Truth be told, they love virtual school too and cringe when I say next year they will be back in school Ha!




I love that we have been able to really get to know our children. Their strengths and areas they needed a little extra help in. I love that they can learn at their own pace without classroom distractions. I have seen my shy kids really grow and become more social with us and online. They also play online games, create videos and video call friends daily. Some might not agree that these are needed skills, but guess what, these are all life skills that build confidence and emotional intelligence and what better way to learn them than with mom and dad helping them navigate the how to! Things we had to learn and trial and error ourselves, we are teaching our kids without the outside noise. They are getting more confident and both boys are learning to embrace their strengths and differences. I have been in many different scenarios over the years, I have learned that adapting and making the best out of every situation is what will make the outcome that much better. Although we all can’t wait for lockdown to be over so we can go out and about! I am still so grateful for every moment! 


Thanks for reading friends! XO

Mama T

Be sure to follow Mama T on Instagram @aka_mama_t 

More links here linktr.ee/MamaT



Monday, January 04, 2021

Back to school - virtual school

 2021! Today it's back to school! Mama is on her second coffee!




DH also works from home so one of us always runs out first thing in the morning to grab a coffee. 

We are continuing this new year with all 4 of us home. It's been all 4 of us home since March 2020. We are so grateful to have the options that we do.  The kids really enjoy virtual learning and we have a great schedule that works for our family. 


I wrote this other post in 2020 click here


Some tips on what works for us. . 




1. Keep breakfast simple. Cereal and milk, Oatmeal, Fruit and yogurt, Toast with butter or straight up simple waffle. Keeping it simple allows for breakfast to be quick and less clean up for mom and dad. 

2. Sit in a bright space. Lots of lighting is important! We work in our kitchen because it’s the best lighting with all the windows. 

3. Print out each childs schedule and have it visible. Even though everyday is the same, it’s just easy for mama to glance and get reminded, or hold it up to the kids when they ask haha!

4. Use a phone timer or if you have google home we just yell out the timers as we need. Hey google put a timer for back to class at 11:30!

5. Keep the house quiet. No background noise. No TV or Radios on. School day is the school day. (No iPads or video games allowed on break times either)

6. Provide earphones if you they have them or if they can work independently. My kids have them off and on throughout the day. 

7. I make easy lunches too. I usually make lunch on their first nutrition break which is around 11am. That way their second break is playtime where they head outside or to the basement to release some energy. That's usually my time to tidy up a bit. 

8. I work when they work. I work for myself so this I know is much harder for working parents and their scheduled meetings. When DH is on his meetings I usually play referee making sure there's no noise around him haa.

9. Try not to stress it. They are kids and had to adapt soo much in 2020! Give them a break too. I have a sticker reward system and they get stars for all the great things they did. Even as simple as getting to class on time, listening to instruction, sitting through the lesson. All of this deserves praise. 

10. Close the computers at the end of each day! Our teachers give us independent work blocks to finish homework. So by 3pm they are done. We close their laptop and school is over. The evening is their time to do what they want!  (My kids are SK and grade 4, so this may look different depending their age)

Every family has their own challenges, these are some tips that works best for us as we navigated virtual learning in September 2020. The main thing is to be gentle with the process. It does not need to be perfect. It's new for everyone, our kids, parents and teachers, so let’s be kind to everyone including ourselves. 

- Tania 

Thanks for reading! Be sure to follow Mama T on Instagram @aka_mama_t 

More links here linktr.ee/MamaT

Thursday, December 17, 2020

Part 3 - My Boys

Let’s talk and DH and Mr M

These 2 boys holding it down! 




DH working full time from home with little M by his side. Keeping M happy and fed and dressed ha! DH finding his clothes had to be the best part though.




Mr M directed daddy on how mommy does things around here. How I cook, clean, and put him to bed. These stories were the cutest to hear.

Mr M told daddy to blow the bubbles when the pasta was boiling haha and was soo excited to help daddy cook. 



They both did their part cleaning up and made sure to tell me they did haha 



Daddy made sure the Elf knew that we were away but still showed up to play with Mr M.



He even brought crafts 



He even tried his first burger with daddy haha 


They played! 


They made dance videos! 





Mr M missed us but had a blast with daddy.

While DH was in meetings Mr M knew to quietly play. He owned being a big boy! He’s just 5! I’m so proud of how grown up he handled this whole situation! 



DH worked all day then drove to drop off M at my sisters then would gather items I needed (this was fun getting him in my drawers to pick my clothes ha) 

Mr M had a blast with his cousins and even slept over one night! He wouldn’t stop talking about it!



Mr M has the sweetest soul. He was soo happy to hear that we were coming home. He reminds me to give K is medicine and makes sure to tell me if K is touching his belly button haha. He is so concerned for his brother. 



We missed this little cutie soooo much and we are soo happy to be back cuddling him!!!


Thanks for reading! Be sure to follow Mama T on Instagram @aka_mama_t 

More links here linktr.ee/MamaT

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Part 1- Perforated Appendix- WHAT!

Hi! 


If you’re new around here I’ll give you a little breakdown. Firstly, I write like a talk, so if you know me, you’ll definitely hear my voice in your head ha! Also, so you follow along, DH- means dear husband, K or Mr K is my 9 year old and M or Mr M is my 5 year old. 



Welcome to today’s story time, it’ll have to be broken up into 2 blog posts because it’s 2 weeks of info here! 


Ok, so you know when you feel a pain in your lower right pelvic area and you immediately think it’s your appendix and google what the symptoms would be, like sharp pain, fever, vomitting and in most cases it’s just gas or something. Well, for one, google doesn’t have all the answers. Heck neither did our doctor. We were all shocked. 

The last week of November my older son K complained about his tummy hurting. It was an on and off pain and we thought maybe it was gas pains or anxiousness since there were no other symptoms. It also was sporadic like one day pain, one day no pain. A few days later on a Sunday we went to the park. I noticed he looked pale but he was playing like normal with no complaint. I even told my sister, that maybe he’s coming down with something. We both thought maybe he looked tired from late nights?



The next day, Monday, he woke up and had pain urinating. I got on the phone and we had a virtual doctors appointment. We told our doc that  he’s had on and off tummy pain and just recently looked pale with loss of appetite the last few days and also pain that morning in the bathroom. Our doctor told us to head over to the office and see another doctor in person and get an ultrasound. 

This pic was taken on our way to the doctor not thinking much of it other than maybe a regular virus or something. Ugh! 

That afternoon we saw another doctor in our pediatric doctors office. She tested his urine for a bladder infection. Felt where his pain was, made him jump(one of the appendix tests I guess) . He looked sick but nothing stood out to her. She said keep an eye out for fever etc but he was fine.  I asked her for the ultrasound requisition and I got on the phone and booked the ultrasound for the earliest they had which was that Wednesday. 

That night, in the middle of the night K woke up screaming in pain. I was worried and was ready to take him to the ER but he fell back asleep and said it went away. 

Tuesday morning he crouched in pain. I called the ultrasound clinic near our home and begged them to take us in at 9am... they did. The technician kept asking questions like how long he had the pain, if the doctor  requested blood work and why they took soo long to send him for an ultrasound. So at this point I was panicking. I asked him if I should go to the ER, he said he couldn’t tell me, but there is something there and to call my doctor ASAP and he will send the report ASAP. 

I just knew deep down that this was way more serious than I ever expected. K looked sick. He was pale and weak and could barely walk at this point. Like how could I have not seen this coming. I felt sick to my stomach..but mama bear powers kicked in. 

I called my husband and told him I was driving straight to Sick Kids Toronto. We live about an hour or so from this hospital. On my way down I kept trying to get in contact with our doctor with no luck. Right about the time I was exiting the highway to get to sick kids, I got through. They told me to get to the ER ASAP that his appendix already ruptured. I told them I was way ahead of them and getting there right then! 

Our guardian Angels got me a parking spot right beside the elevators, thankfully there was a wheelchair right at the entrance too because K could barely walk. I sat him down and wheeled him in. 

Thankfully it wasn’t busy. They took us in immediately and I showed them the report the doctor had emailed me just then stating the perforated appendix and abscess that had already formed.



They had to take him in for their own ultrasound and at this point they weren’t sure if operating was a good idea because of how the infection spread in the abdomen.  Sick Kids has a team of doctors. We spent a few hours in the ER talking to multiple doctors as they decided what the best option would be. They started him with antibiotics as we waited. K was soo sick and soo scared, getting the IV AND covid test on a scared sick child was the worst!!!! My heart was breaking in a million pieces! Trying to calm my son down while keeping my own emotions at bay. 

They then wheeled us to a room and we spoke to all the doctors again. Their first option was to try and clear most the infection with antibiotics and then come back to take out his appendix (not sure how that would have worked out) but they explained that if it didn’t rupture it would have been an easy surgery of removing the appendix and basically in and out no complications. This wasn’t the case. Finally Wednesday they decided to operate.


 

K couldn’t have anything to eat because the surgery was the next day, I couldn’t leave his side, I was soo worried. I had 1 water bottle in my purse that we shared and I had a granola bar in my purse to hold me over. That night I sat in a chair all night and didn’t sleep. I kept checking him to make sure he was ok. I prayed soo hard over him, we were all soo worried. 



M was home with DH, DH kept M busy so he wouldn’t worry. He was missing us so much. Sending us pictures of the family he drew. 

M directed DH on how to make his favorite pasta too! 




(The pic above was when I was in the waiting room, when I thought after surgery it would all be over....)

Finally Wednesday surgery day. It was so hard seeing my son so scared and in pain. He couldn’t understand it. He was worried himself and didn’t think he was going to be ok. He was soo brave as they wheeled him in. We told him that he will wake up and not even know anything happened. He was wheeled in around 2pm and I ran to get something to eat. I was shakey and nervous and overcome with worry. I couldn’t think. I just ordered a grilled cheese and tea from Starbucks.  Texting family and friends helped me through. All the prayers and messages kept me occupied while I waited. The room was full of moms waiting. All of us in tears worried sick about our kids. I met another mom waiting 10 hours for her son in surgery. We all sat there giving each other sympathetic gestures, all of us praying. K’s surgery took longer than expected which worried me more. I paced the room as it got empty and I was one of the last ones in the room. The tv that had the names of the kids in surgery even turned off and the secretaries left for the day. 

Finally the doctor came out, he told me his appendix was so badly perforated it took longer to clear  but they cleared out the infection and took out his appendix. They told me we had a tough kid considering how long he went with his pain. 
They explained why the pain was off and on, that by the appendix rupturing it relieves the pain/pressure but leaks the toxins into the abdomen. Yikes! I was soo confused. The doctor said they got him on antibiotics and operated just in time. A huge sigh of relief hearing the doctor feel confident about the surgery.



His surgery was around 2pm and I finally got to see him around 7pm. I was soo foggy too that when the nurse asked me a question about K’s puffers, “when was the last time he had his puffer”  I thought she said hot peppers. We all had a good chuckle. 



After surgery K slept and just woke a few times to use the bathroom.  I was soo relieved and thought after surgery we would be in the clear. I had no idea what the next few days and 9 more days in the hospital was to come. 

We are so grateful for all the prayers and messages that helped us through this. God and our guardian Angels. 

I’ll continue in part 2 tomorrow! This was pretty long! If you read till now thanks for reading! 

Be sure to follow Mama T on Instagram @aka_mama_t 


More links here linktr.ee/MamaT

Friday, October 23, 2020

Life of a Virtual School Mama

 Here we are! Week 6 of Virtual Learning!

Here is a little glimpse of how our day looks like :)



I wake up around 7am and get my mama self ready for the day. 

I'll usually plan one of my Instagram posts around that time too :)

I set my coffee timer for the night before so it's ready for meeee OR i'll run out for a quick Tim's run. 




Around 8am I wake up the kids and head downstairs to make breakfast. We have super simple breakfasts during the week. Cereal/Milk, Waffles or Granola bars. Fast and Easy. The kids usually like to watch some cartoons as they get ready for their day. 

Google Home is our assistant. Ha! Yup! We set all the timers on it so we can easily stick to schedule. 




As soon as the timer goes off around 8:50am the kids go and sit at their Chromebooks. We have our set up in the kitchen.  We did start off in the office, but we noticed that the sun coming into the kitchen and having more space was just better :) So Monday -Friday my kitchen table is School! We have all our supplies and books set up in easy to move baskets. (Friday after school I move everything to the office to have a clean kitchen table for the weekend) 

The kids have a set schedule that consists of online meetings with the teacher, break times and independent learning. Just like a regular school day. 




They adapted really well to their schedules. I am more of their hall monitor haha! ensuring they are listening and controlling their volume haha. 

I usually make their lunch during their first break. That way their second break in the afternoon they get a good 40 min to play with eachother.  They usually go into the backyard for "recess" or up to their playroom. This is also my mama break too and I catch up on my reading or any online work I have. 




We have SK and Grade 4 here and their schedules are bit different. SK has the last hour of school online and my Grade 4 has the last hour offline for homework.



During their independent learning I help with homework. It's also great for me to really see the kids strengths and areas they need a little more help in. I can also regulate their day, say for example if they had a "big" learning day with "big" milestones, I'll make sure their Homework time is shorter so they don't over stress themselves.   Or if they had a light day, then I know spending that extra time on a topic they need more help in is the day to do it. 


Afternoon donut breaks happen sometimes too.



The kids are usually done around 3-3:20 , They close their laptops and run around  ha! I tidy up and go straight to dinner prep! 

It's definitely different here, but I must say, we are fully embracing this different way of learning. It feels more like 1-1 learning and with mom and dad around to help ha! (oh yes DH is also home, working from home). Our routine is super simple and it's working best around here for these crazy times. The kids really enjoy it and love learning from home so it makes it easier. 




Today is Friday so we will get takeout and have a movie night with lots of popcorn, oh and definitely hit the swimspa to relax for the weekend!

For more about my day in the life go over to my Instagram page! @aka_mama_t



Monday, May 25, 2020

New Recipe Alert!!



Ohhhh yessss! 

This recipe is now a favorite and will be added to my weekly dinners! 





Crispy cabbage! This will make it easy to up my veggies at lunch and dinner! 

Sooo easy! 

set oven to  425˚F 
1 package of coleslaw mix or shredded cabbage 
Cookie sheet lined with parchment paper 
Nonstick cooking spray
1tsp of olive oil 
2 tbsp Of Everything but the bagel seasoning 
(I got mine here
Sea salt / pepper 

Lightly coat parchment with cooking spray 
Toss ingredients together and lay a thin layer of cabbage on cookie sheet

Cook for 15 min turning once and until cabbage is dry and edges look brown and crispy 






And there you go! A yummy veggie addition to your meal! 

Enjoy! 

Friday, May 15, 2020

Easy meals!

Let’s talk easy healthy meals!

We all know the deal! Veggies, fruit, protein, healthy carbs! 
So how do we put it all together the best way to get the most nutrients from our meals!? I’ll show you some examples! 

Take a look at these combos. Nothing special, no crazy recipes with tons of ingredients you need up rush out to buy. Just every day foods! 

Let’s plate it! 



Here’s breakfast. Whole wheat English muffin topped with an egg, I think I might have a slice of cheddar cheese under there too. Some bacon and heck I threw in a broccoli from dinner left overs 😛. This! This is a balanced breakfast! Even better with Stonemill bread which is my favorite whole grain bread. 

Lunch! 



Another easy meal! I split the whole wheat tortilla in half because it was a big one. Stuffed it with deli turkey, cheddar cheese, mustard and lettuce. With a side of more veggies! So easy and balanced! 

Dinner! 


Protein and lots of veggies!!! Salad, cauliflower bites mm mm and grilled chicken. Soo good. And soo easy.

Eating healthy doesn’t need to be hard! Use what you have, keep it balanced and there you go! You’re eating healthy!

Now go try it! Plate those healthy meals and tag me on insta!! @aka_mama_t 


Wednesday, May 06, 2020

Home School fun or not so fun

It’s been a month of homeschooling our kids and I can’t complain THAT much. Our school has provided us with the online tools based on their grade and their teachers have been soo supportive. 

Of course some days are harder than others. I mean, homework with mom and dad! Plus the distraction of TV and toys all around! Plus tired Monday’s! 



They rather play with their toys! Thankfully we have found a good balance that works well for us. 

1-2 hours in the morning after breakfast Monday to Friday has become our routine. After that it's lunch time and Mommy gets time for herself! ha! but do we really!



I have found that since everything is mostly computer based for the kids, especially for my 8yo. I wanted some extra tools for writing skills. So amazon to the rescue ha! I got some tracing books for my JK and flash cards, a Grade 3 Math book and an Affirmation book for journal writing. Just a little bit a day to keep up writing skills.




How are you all holding up? Do you homeschool longer than 1-2 hours? For my kids age/grades I find that’s plenty of work for the day. The rest of the day is “creative” play as we call it. Playing with each other and their toys, inside and outside in the backyard. 

As I’m writing this, I realize that we have a pretty good routine going on! Adapting to back to school will be a whole other ball game! 






Sunday, April 26, 2020

Health and Wellness INSIDE OUT

When it comes to our overall health, we can't forget about our Mental Health!



Health and Wellness 100% starts from the inside. The foods we feed our bodies, the daily choices we make, the way we speak to ourselves, how we treat ourselves, how we treat others.



I've been reading Personal Development books ever since I was a teenager! I've been working on ME, ever since I can remember. I have been to therapy to help me grow from my trauma. It’s set me free from my limiting beliefs and has helped me learn how to grow and understand that learning and growing never stops! I'm always picking up a new book, or audio book. I want to hear other peoples stories. I love being reminded that we are STRONG, and WE CAN DO ANYTHING we put our MIND to! No one is perfect, we are all just trying to live our best life. We make mistakes, then grow from those mistakes. Life will throw us a curve ball now and again. How will we react to them? Some harder than others too.



Now more than ever, I have my book selection at my fingertips! As soon as I finish one, I'm on to the next. Our minds need the training, just as much as our bodies do!

Every book I read, teaches me something new. My latest book was Mastering Your Mean Girl. And boy does my mean girl like to take a hold over me sometimes. This book reminded me to lead with love. It can get confusing at times, so I've been repeating to myself "lead with love""respond in love" . Do I always? Nope, I'm still learning haha. This is life though. Learning, growing and evolving.



Are you reading any books right now? Drop me a comment below. I'll add what you recommend to my list!

Here's my list of my current Personal Development Books!
https://www.amazon.ca/shop/aka_mama_t