Celebrations and the Pandemic

When my Dad turned sixty my sister planned a big celebration dinner with some of his closest friends and family. I was set to meet my husband after work and join them but unfortunately ended up in lockdown and missed the whole thing. 

A few weeks ago my Dad had another big milestone, not only was he set to retire but he also turned sixty-five. While my Mom and I had been brainstorming in early March about where to have the party, whom to invite, what to eat etc. we lacked the foresight to think it may not happen. Unbeknownst to us, the world would suddenly come to a standstill, we would be told to stay in our houses and instead of a big party my Dad would celebrate quietly at home. 

Please Stay Home!

My youngest had a hard time understanding why it was that while we were out of quarantine she was still not allowed to go see Poppa on his birthday. We re-explained social (physical) distancing rules, that people who did not live in the same house shouldn’t be gathering together regardless of whether they are all family or not. Disappointed but understanding, she came up with a plan – she would make a cake (my Mom was making Dad a cake at home) and we would FaceTime with him and sing happy birthday. So that is what we did, thanks to technology we FaceTimed my Dad, sang happy birthday and he even “blew” out the candles. While this was perhaps not how he imagined he would spend his birthday it is one I’m sure he won’t forget.


Picture of the cake she made, photo taken by me.

Celebrating in a new way

Today as I write this, it is Easter. A time usually reserved for many gatherings for our family, from an Easter egg hunt in the city to a turkey dinner with my in-laws. It is also  our Grandson’s first Easter and while we try and make this occasion as normal as possible I can’t help but be a little sad as this year seems anything but normal. We will still have the Easter egg hunt and a ham dinner (even if it’s eight of us instead of twenty) and we will FaceTime with our family and friends. We are all doing our best to adjust to a new way of living and I am sure that once we can get back out and visit with others again we will have a new appreciation for everything we once took for granted.

How are you coping with celebrating right now? Are you missing the parties, the family dinners, and get-togethers with friends?

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Grocery shopping amid the Pandemic


Today I ventured out of the house for the first time in 2 weeks. I feel like I won the “get-out-of-jail-free” card (Monopoly), even if the only place I could go was to the grocery store.  If you read my blog last week you’ll remember that we have been self-isolating since our return from Florida and while we have been fortunate to have family and friends drop off the essentials we needed to re-stock the freezer and pantry.

Hunger or Boredom?


Photo Courtesy of makeameme.org 

I’m not sure if it’s boredom, hunger or if now that I am working from home that I notice, but WOW can my kids eat, alot! This week alone they have polished off a 30 pack of eggs, 5 bags of milk and 4 loaves of bread. This was almost enough for me to consider getting some backyard chickens, a cow and making my own bread….almost! One thing I will say about being cooped up at home with limited food – it’s amazing what you find at the bottom of your deep freeze. For example, my husband told me we have enough frozen fruit to make smoothies everyday for a month, however, that butter supply he made fun of me for – well it turns out that we were on our last one.


To market, to market 


Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels

This past week has been filled with me asking friends and family what it was really like out there in the grocery stores. I felt like I needed to be prepared for what to expect going in so that I could ease my anxiety a little. I got some great advice and as it turns out, for once social media has also been pretty accurate on what to expect at certain stores, for example – leave your reusable bags at home or in your trunk, line ups, etc. So this morning my husband and I left the house early to head out to Costco before they opened and get enough food to hopefully last our family more than a week. We got there early as I had been warned about the long lineup to get into the store, we got in line, respected the 6-foot rule, had our hand sanitizer, etc. and soon enough we made our way into the store. I must say I was impressed at how well Costco has looked after keeping its staff and customers safe. I think my worry about going to get groceries amid the Pandemic stems from the fact that my daughter returns to work tomorrow at a supermarket. Having a large family (including a wee babe in the house), I worry about what she may be exposed to and bring back into the house. I worry that there are people out there who have also returned recently from travel and ignored the 14-day mandatory self -isolation rule. I am still hearing every day that people are ignoring the social distancing measures that have been put in place by our government and are risking the health of themselves and others.

Home Again, Home Again


Photo by Bruno Cervera from Pexels

We left Costco with a cart full to the the brim and now it was time to head home and unpack our groceries. How many of you you have seen the video about washing your groceries when you get home, everything from your fruit and vegetables to pizza boxes? To be honest, up until now I had only watched a few minutes as all the information seemed overwhelming. Have you also had a chance to read this article disputing some of the original “tips”? I read the article before finishing watching the whole video and quite honestly a lot of his fact-finding made a whole lot of sense. 

I already remove the packaging from my fruit and vegetables and put them into Tupperware, the same with the Club size packs of meat. I am not a fan of Lysol, I find the smell overwhelming and nauseating and did you know when using Lysol wipes to disinfect that the surface must remain wet for 10 minutes? (Lysol.com)  I prefer to wash my hands regularly, especially when handling food and use soap and water to clean the outside of any plastic or cardboard surfaces. I realize this is a hot topic right now and one with varied opinions, how are you shopping amid the Pandemic? Are you sanitizing your groceries when you get them home? 

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Photo Credit – Pexels

Recently we traveled to Florida to spend some warm days in the sun by a pool, we rented a beautiful Airbnb that screamed relaxation. Our family has been through a lot the last couple of years and I thought this might give us the peace we needed. I looked forward to catching up on reading, swimming and relaxing at night in the hot tub. I had no plans for our vacation other than swimming and hanging out as a family and maybe the odd shopping trip. In reality, the vacation consisted of a trip to the store to grab the essentials, kids playing endless games of Marco Polo in the pool (queue fighting because ‘someone’ wasn’t playing fair), time outside in the warm sun and mom watching endless updates on the border closing, COVID -19 Pandemic, and social distancing. I spent most of the vacation worried about being able to return home. I envy my husband who was able to put his anxiety aside, but for me, this vacation was anything but relaxing!

Home Sweet Home


Photo Credit – Pexels

Our family of eight has been home now for a week, and we are halfway through our mandatory 14-day quarantine.  Let’s be honest at this point we are getting on each other’s nerves and it will be another week before one of us gets to escape to the grocery store, and even the thought of that makes me anxious. Two of us are working from home which is impeding my family’s internet use as I have instituted a ‘no internet while we are working rule’. I had some glorious yet unrealistic expectations that this time would give the rest of the house some time to catch up on spring cleaning, meal prep and more. In reality, they are spending their time catching up on beauty rest (aka sleeping ‘til way past noon) and complaining that they can’t go out anywhere so this is boring. Being that I am working from home during the day I am struggling with instituting rules and routine, never mind school work. As we enter week two of quarantine and with most of the country being on shut down I wonder how I will get them back into a routine of completing schoolwork, getting fresh air and being physically active?

Working from Home


Photo Credit – Pexels

I’d always thought I would enjoy working from home, but after one week I realize this is a lie! Sure it’s been convenient – no commute to work, I can wear my PJ’s, throw in a load of laundry during my break – but I miss having a routine as well as the social interaction with my colleagues. I work in an open office with three of my colleagues who do the same work as I do, we all have our own clients that we support but also back each other up. This week has been a struggle as we have been forced to navigate a new way to work together while apart.

It’s not just my office mates that I miss, it’s everyone else in the office that I am used to seeing in person whether it’s grabbing a cup of coffee in the kitchen or when they stop by to grab candy from my candy dish. So on Friday night a handful we had a Facebook Messenger Call, it was the most laughs I had in a week.

I want to hear from you! How is your family coping with social/physical distancing? How are you managing to balance working from home and keeping the kids in a routine? What are the grocery stores really like?

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COM0011 – Blog#1 – Social Media Confuses Me

Okay, I’ll admit it, social media confuses me!

There I said it, I can’t be the only one right? As a mom to four kids ranging from 11 to 19 I have had to learn my share of social media sites, or are they called apps – these days I’m not really sure? I have mastered (or so I think) Facebook and Twitter and I am pretty well versed in Instagram but TikTok or Snapchat are beyond my understanding. However I believe that I have a moral responsibility as a parent (who has kids on social media) to know what they are posting and sharing with friends. My kids have been the target of online bullying, they have had “finsta” accounts and yes we have had to have conversations about what is appropriate to share on social media. Heck, they are still naive to think that just because it’s on Facebook it must be real. No kids (and adults alike) not everything you read is real. How many of you are old enough to to remember the National Inquirer at the grocery store check out?

Maybe I’m old but I don’t understand the need to document everything you did all day in pictures. Is it because you’ll forget? Is there an instant satisfaction that comes with getting an abundance of “likes”? If so what about if you don’t get enough “likes”, is that somehow equated to popularity? As a society are we more concerned with “likes” than connecting with friends through shared experiences? I worry how social media has changed society, how we perceive things, how we interact IRL (in real life) and what effects this has on our mental health. I am perhaps envious of those who can walk away from their social media and take a break, or for those who don’t have it all. Are they missing out or are we the ones missing out on what is happening because we are so focused in documenting our lives for all to see?