2020, A Year for the Books

What a year 2020 has been, not just for a few of us but the whole world.

We were hit with so much this year, so many changes and learning.

In the beginning and let’s be real I still have hard days, but in the beginning my anxiety and mental health was greatly affected. My sleep changed and became so poorly as well. I was glued to the news and when not watching on TV, I was reading up on Twitter.
2020 has made me appreciate so much more about life.

Holiday celebrations this year has been so bitter sweet. My kids social life (in person) has been put on hold including mine. I have weeks were I have my shit together and emotions are not running thru my head and heart, then I have days where I don’t know how much longer I can take this. I want to be with family and friends, I want my kids to return to in school learning, to playdates, to go on trips, on trips to local attractions, etc…. I know that it has been hard for so many people and much harder for others. I am so lucky to be able to stay at home with my kids and have them do online learning. I have learned on those hard days to just let myself feel all the feels, if I need a good cry, I let myself have it, because when I use to fight them, those sad hard days lasted much longer.

Things that have helped me feel better and getting thru these times;

-Getting ready in the mornings, (some days makeup and all) but everyday out of pjs and get ready for the day.
-A good daily routine (having this makes days feel some what normal)
-Remind myself that it could be much harder, more positive thoughts
-Give myself down time (read, watch Netflix, YouTube, a long shower, or even a simple coffee alone in quite)
-Appreciate the slowness of life (no over packed schedules, no rushing)

-Getting back into an old hobby, trying a new ones
-Once a week (or every other week, depends how long my polish lasts)do my nails (at home)
-FaceTime with family and friends more often (FaceTime dates with friends)

-Going for a walk
-Letting things slide more
-Letting the kids pick out what we will do
-A nice drive with a Tim Hortons coffee and loud music


Do you have any tips to share with us?

Even though I can’t wait for regular life to return there are some things I have learned &/or enjoyed and will continue with once life is back to normal. Some of these things are, enjoy the little things more, no more over booking for all of us, having an off day is ok and to allow myself to feel all the feels, to never take gatherings, social events, even simple trips to the park for granted. The appreciation for the simple things in life, and so much more.
Do you have certain things you want to continue with even when life gets back to normal?
This time has taught me a lot of things, and when you learn from things that is a positive thing so not everything that has happened this year is all bad. 2020 has been the year I really learned we have a lot and really we only need a little. Things have really took the meaning of stuff/extras and a bonus to have but difinitley don’t need, I now realize we don’t really need. My biggest takeaway from 2020 is being thankful for the little things, I have learned that the little things are what means the most and the most important.

I am really loving all the extra slow family time we have together as a family of six and two fur babies. Love creating fun moments with my kids like, pj day during the week, even movie night during the week (we start it earlier in the evening) which never happened unless we were on holiday (ex: Chrismtas Break, summer break), all the time we have for so many extra crafts, how we transformed our backyard to a fun place to be, just a few things/examples to share with you. 2020 will definitely be a year we will never forget. A year for the books, a year our kids will tell their kids about.

When your feeling like you can’t, take a deep breath & remind yourself how far you have come.

Instead of only thinking how hard 2020 is/was, think of the good things that came out of it.
For me I started getting back into baking (which is something I loved, but didn’t always have the time for), For the slow mornings without having to rush out the door, I have made it thru online learning with the kids (which was hard to get into to at first), I also learned a lot about online learning to be able to support the kids, we started a new routine since we are all home now, I got to learn new things, I started new hobbies that who knows might become more then a hobby one day and if not I still learned and enjoyed, I got to try new recipes that I never would have the extra time to spare in the event it didn’t turn out and would have to make something else, more time for selfcare,I got to cuddle more with my babies, and all the times I could actully join in with my kids doing crafts. There is so much that is also positive about this time and when I have my down days I try to remind myself of the positive too. We had some many great bonding moments.

I also wanted to thank my online community for engaging, for sharing, for starting a new friendships, for following along, and all the support. I love sharing, blogging, making new connections, and I am so thankful for my online community.

What has been the best part of 2020 for you?

Before I end this post I would like to reach out to anyone needing a friend, going though a hard time and needing someone to talk to please feel free to contact me at isho.sandy@gmail.com.

This post also marks the last post for 2020, I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season and just know tho that even though this may continue into 2021 we can cheers to making it thru 2020 and are ready to continue pushing thru in 2021 and hoping for the best. Wishing you all and your families a Happy New Year filled with peace, love, & good health.

Remember be nice to everyone, please don’t judge anyone on their choices. We are all in this together, we are all trying to get through this the best way we know how.

Update: Virtual School

Hope you are all well ❤️.

I thought I would share how our online learning (Remote Learning) is going now that we are one month in. I have two kids in Elementary and two in High School. Let’s begin with the Elementary, Madison grade 3 and Ava grade 5. In all honestly I am very happy with theirs. Their teachers are great and it is much different from online school this past Spring. They are actually learning, the teachers are amazing with helping when need be, the lessons are get and well planned out, there is real interaction with the teachers and students/classmates. The teachers really worked hard in the start to get to know each student and also teach the kids (more for my grade 3) how to work Google Classroom with less help from parents. We do run into tech issues at times, but it is not often and if ever the meet link isn’t allowing kids to get on, the teachers have made other ways to still be able to learn lessons and get work done. We have a great morning routine and are now in full swing of weekday routines with school and around school (breaks,etc..).

Our board (as many others) have announced a change in learning, we had to deicide again what learning way we want for our kids. I was really stressed out about it because they are doing great just the way they are and have settled in, love their teachers and now again another change is to come. For my elementary kids our decision was due this past Sunday, I have made the decision to have them in strictly Remote Learning. I made this decision due to I personally think it would be very hard for online kids in younger grades to be able to do Hybrid learning. This opinion of mine is no hate towards any teachers, just want to put that out there. I believe it will be hard for these online kids to get exactly what they need as they are currently getting. The teacher in class teaching both online and in class is a big task and I give them all the praise for even trying and making it work the best they can. It’s lot to take on, he/she has to give attention to both those online and those in person. I just don’t know how this will work well, I also don’t believe that it will be smooth sailing and that there will be a lot of tech issues due to how many will be on that same server. I do realize that in selecting that choice my kids are not able to return to school if we want to switch. They remain remote for the remaining of the year until June 30th, 2021. Thankfully I am in a position where I can have my kids at home and be at home with them and that is why I am also able to pick these options. I shared our school room at home from the Spring. I did change having the girls together this time around because of how it would be more like a classroom learning this time. Madison, my grade 3 continues in that school room that I shared and Ava, my grade 5 got another area in our home setup with everything she would need.
What have you deicided? Are you kids in school? How do you feel?

Now, let’s get into High School, with my other two I was very stressed out with the continued delays to their start date, not having teachers, unable to start courses at the same time as the first, and still some classes having to be changed due to no teacher. I get it, tough times for all, this is new, etc… What I can’t understand is that the government knew this was going to happen, with all the fear of the second wave put out there long before time, knowing some of the already large numbers from August’s suvery. I also think that August was too late, they should of been planning and getting things ready way before. They were the ones to report of the second wave coming in the Fall way before, they knew and they should of got on it. They delayed getting ready and then made all these choices and threw it at us for us to deicide with so little time as if we weren’t stressed enough from all of it already.
I do believe everyone should have the choice to change to remote, but I don’t believe that in my situation where I submitted my decision in August. It’s not my problem that from one deadline they continued to extend the deadline for more people to join. My problem with this is that they should of already had those families who decided early on in classes with teachers, and when the teachers started being short due to the number of people switching then those should be the ones waiting for a teacher. My daughter has both classes as she was to have, one started way later then the other. Thankfully she has caught up and is doing well. My son who is graduating only had 1 class until last week, I mean come on and to top it off they had to change a course to something that’s not even his pick in order for him to still get a credit. Like what?!? For these issues I just mentioned, this made me think about if I would continue to keep them remote. If we get the option for Highschool (which I think is coming soon) I will select Hybrid for my older kids. One reason, they are much older and can handle to learn that way. Second, there will not be a problem of not being able to get a teacher for the course selected. This way I can still have them do school from home, but have them back into their school with the option of return at any time if this way does not work for us.

2020 sure has been a year, I shared in another post my struggles and emotions. In all honestly I still have my moments, I am not perfect just trying to handle these situations the best I know as so many of us are. There are moments where I am on my game and then all of a sudden back to feeling overwhelmed and unsure. It’s ok to not be ok, and I have learned to accept that. I also, would like to take the time to reach out, if anyone ever needs someone to talk to feel free to email me ishosandy@gmail.com We are all in this together, we will get thru these hard and uncertain times together. You are not alone.

What are your thoughts or/& feeling about all this?

Our School Room

Today I thought I would share our school room with you all as back to school is soon approaching here in Ontario. I deicided to dedicate an area for a school room back when schools were shut down due to Covid-19 and online learning started in April 2020.

At the begining of online learning, we did first start off just on our kitchen table. A day or two later I quickly realized it was not going to work. With our family room right next to our eat in kitchen, with snacks, and lunch breaks, we were always having to move things and then to setup all over again. Also, with having four kids ages 17 years old and younger there were different distractions. I quickly came up with a solution, I deicided to turn our home office (which is a pretty good size) into office/homeschool room. Budget friendly was also in mind when I thought about it, so I took a look at the space and then went shopping in my basement. I took a folding table and chairs, that we use for parties & large gatherings (which clearing we aren’t and wont be using for a while) and I also had on hand one plastic container with drawers. I used a party plastic table cover (from the dollarstore) to cover the table which is perfect and easy to change/clean.
I, then went thru our craft bin and picked out things we can use. After collecting what I had, we put the room together and made note of things I can pick up to add to our room.
I always have a homework bin stored in our main closet with extra school supplies which I refill every August or/& thru out the year as needed so we always have extra for those “in case” things got left at school or for projects that come up. Once I knew what I wanted/needed I took a quick trip to Dollar Tree where I picked up a map of Canada to add to our wall. I got some poster boards I could use for words of the week, days of the week, certain information provided by their teachers for easly finding, etc… I also picked up some extra popicle sticks, clay, wooden cubes, and a weekly calendar (dry ease) so we could write their schedule for the week as the teachers provided it.

Some great sources I used; Pinterest to find some fun activities for them to do and I also saved some learning activities in case I felt they weren’t getting enough from online or simply to change up the way they learned. Though out the online learning I also pinned some great learning material in the subject or area they needed help with. YouTube videos also helped with learning. I would just search and find a kid friendly video example: long division grade 4 for kids. Youtube was also a great pick for kids dance, exercises, kids yoga, etc… and lots of learning videos on whatever you need.

When the girls saw the room complete, they were so excited and it helped them gain a more positive look on doing school from home. They also loved seeing their work on the wall as we went on. A great tip I learned, use painter’s tape to hang these temporary things, they come off so easily and does not peel off the paint on the wall.

I will admit it, we did have our days, it was not always clean and simply. I did learn to accept that it won’t be perfect and we won’t always have great days, but it’s ok and we will get thru it and I too will learn more in areas I myself needed to grow in, in order to better help them. It took a lot of patience some days, there were also days I felt like I couldn’t keep up. In the end everything worked out and we got thru it.

With our current situation here in Ontario, we are in the middle of the hardest decision, to send our kids to school or not to. Which ever you choose I do not judge, this is a hard deicison for parents to make. Every person/families have different situtions, and opinions which should be respected by all.

I personally have decided not to send back any of my four kids back to school this September, we will be doing the online learning. I don’t feel comfortable with sending them and with everything you hear on the news, social meadia, I don’t know how much to believe or not to anymore in all honestly. No one knows enough on this virus and so therefore I deicided to not send them. I also feel that the government is rushing back the return of schools without having things in place. In my opinion, the government knew September would be coming and they should of started putting plans into place and getting schools and teachers ready. Instead they waited and are rushing to get things done, promising to implement things that take more then 3 weeks to do.

There’s things that confuse me, just like we are not allowed to have an outdoor birthday party 10-15 kids, but you can have 20+ kids in a classroom with a not so great ventilation system, where social distancing can not happen, and wearing masks for some but not all. Plus, I think 6 hours with a mask is a lot. I wear mine with simple errands and as soon as I walk out I am so happy to take it off.
Too many do this and not that, then ok you can do this and that in other situtions, you know what I mean? Also, there will be so many changes and restrictions that school will not be the same. Even tho I would love to send them to be with their friends, regular learning, fun times/events, etc… I feel it wont be. I know as well that online learning wont be all fun and games (as I know from earlier this year), but I will try my hardest to help them in any way and try to make the best of it.

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Thankfully I am able to make this deicison because I am home and can help them when needed, more for my younger ones. I will send them back once I am comfortable with it. I am just sharing what we will be doing, not saying at all it is the right way. We as parents want the very best for our children. Every parent as the right to make their deicison without judegment.

Are you sending your kids back to school or will you be doing homeschool/online learning? Do you have helpful resources to share or tips? Or if you would like to share your home school room, comment below.

Have you read my previous post? Can you relate?

Covid-19 Emotions& Struggles

Hello my friends,

It’s been a while since I have posted on the blog, I hope this post finds you well. I have to admit that my moods have been up and down. I thought I would share some of my struggles and my emotional rollercoaster during this time. There is no right or wrong way on how we are dealing with life right now, everyone’s decision on what they do is what is right for them and their family.

In the beginning of all this, (back in March & beginning of April) I thought I was ok, but as we got more into April, l  realized I was a mess. Consuming way too much news and social media regarding Covid-19. It was affecting my mental health, having a hard time sleeping, and not wanting to do much other then what needed to be done for my family. Anyone else go thru it? I do suffer from Anxiety, which I believe made it easy for me to fall in this hole. I know there are much worse types of Anxiety out there, but just sharing mine. It felt that once Covid hit, so much more happened in our world that is very emotional changeling, we also became aware of so much more, and wanting to learn about it all. That can take a toll on our mental health, so much devastating news on top of a Global Pandemic.

 Once I realized how this was really affecting me, I decided to limit all news (social media & tv) to once a day, usually being around later in the mornings or late afternoon. I started filling up my day with things that took up my time and made me tired so I could get some kind of back to normal sleep. Yup, I started deep cleaning areas that I never had time for, organizing, and looking for new recipes, etc.. on top of trying to keep the kids entertained safe at home.  It took a few days, but it worked and just getting more sleep helped a whole lot. Once that came into place I was able to come up with a new routine and planning more fun things we could do at home and in our neighbourhood. Now, being honest here, we don’t always follow our routine or go by it 100%, but it did help with getting some normal back into our lives. I also experience days were I have it all together and do not feel the impact and then all of a sudden I am not on my game anymore and have those blah day(s) and that’s ok. It’s ok to slow down and let our bodies feel all emotions, get it all out and then get back up again. 

 In realizing that I was not the same person and losing interest in all regular things made me not want to continue in that path. I was feeling miserable no matter what I did. I knew I needed to take control before I couldn’t or get too lost in it where the problem controls you. Don’t get me wrong, everything isn’t great and smooth sailing everyday, but it has improved so much. It was a lot to handle and it was completely normal to go thru these feelings and moods. I do have these nights every so often where I am so tired but can’t sleep, of course with everything happening in the world, not just with Covid-19, also the unknown of things at times,  it is completely normal for that to happen. That fog brain feeling was the worst, couldn’t focus on things, feeling drained, etc… I am glad that I was able to make it happen less. I say less because yes it does happen here and there but at least it wasn’t going on for many days and very often. Did you get fog brain?

Just in case you think I have it all together, I am here to share I don’t. Some days are great and we go with the routine, other days are just go with the flow. I am totally off my blog content game. When I launched this year, I had so many great ideas, events, and content, and was all in.  Then Covid hit and everything was put on hold. I had to work, be a teacher, and everything else. It was a lot and I had to slow down on something. From all this I have learned it’s ok to fall off the line and that we are all in this together. It’s ok to think of the unknown, but to not let it consume my day. Many people that I have come in contacted with on Instagram dm’s or in person are going thru similar up and downs. This is a time for us to deal with each situation as best we can and allow us to step back too. We can plan our days, but we need to know it’s ok if the day doesn’t go as planned or if we end up doing nothing at all. We also need to support each other’s ways or the path others are taking. Everyone is dealing with this the best way they know how and no one’s ways are the same, each family knows what is best for them and their families.

As I wrap this up, I would like you to know if you need to talk to someone I am here. Please feel free to reach out to me by contacting me at ishosandy@gmail.com 

We are all in this together and we will all make it out together. 

Be kind to everyone, you never know what battle they are struggling with.

If you would like to share how this difficult time has been effecting you, or would like to share fun ideas to do during this time I would love to hear them, comment below.