That darn smoke

For 9 days in September, we had toxic air quality in Vancouver due to the wild fire smoke. Our home was not in an area that was under threat of evacuation and we were lucky for that. Adam put a new air filter in our whole house fan right before the air got bad and the ran the fan 24/7. We also read an advisory to strap an air filter to a box fan for living space. I wasn’t sure either was doing much, but I was wrong!

So we basically spent 9 days inside. I decided it was the worse stretch of time since the pandemic started. I would take snow, freezing temperatures, or rain over hazardous air quality again. No being able to go outside was incredible hard with kids Sloane and Soren’s ages. On top of that, we were doing online school (this was before in person days) and we had moved Soren to a real bed. He was not getting tired out during the day, so we tried to skip nap. That lead to him just falling asleep a couple times at 4 pm.

So we let the kids do things like jump on the crib mattress in the living room floor in their bathing suits. Sloane pretended she was the trainer and Soren was a dolphin. And finding all my childhood dolls for Sloane (and Soren if she ever lets him) to play with. Hurdling over the hot pink Dolly the Dolphin tube. Looking at my baby photos. Also, Soren was obsessed with wearing Sloane’s Frozen 2 night gown.

We also watched Mary Poppins. I had to force the kids at first. I told them they had to give it 5 mins. 45 minutes later they had not made a peep. Since then we’ve been singing the songs and dancing around. Sloane even likes to do the accents!

Once the air quality dropped below 100, the kids and I took a walk around the block. They were crazy excited! It was also suddenly fall.

In person Kinder

Our school district was able to start in person kindergarten with small groups. We decided to have Sloane participate because the protocols seemed acceptable and it seemed like a good start for Sloane to ease into the demands of school, including wearing a mask for longer periods of time and being away from us.

On the first day, she was so VERY excited and kept saying ‘I am going to real live kindergarten’. Soren was a little jealous and kept saying to Sloane ‘You no going to kindergarten. I going to kindergarten. You a big kid and I am going to school.’ Soren insisted that he needed his backpack too and has worn it every day since. Soren and I walked Sloane to school on her first day. They have dots 6 feet apart to stand on while we wait for her teacher to come get them. Sloane’s group is 4 students including her. Mrs. Morrison came out, said hello, asked if they were ready, and away they marched. I had to ask Sloane if she wanted a hug- she was just ready to go!

Soren lost it after she left. He was missing Adam that day already and Sloane leaving was devastating. He kept saying he wanted Daddy. And then I had to carry him home. At just under a mile, it is too far to have to carry a three year old! About 3/4 of the way, he finally let me put him on my shoulders. It was very strange to just have one kid around! At first I kept looking for Sloane. But it is just a little over 2 hours of school on Mondays and Tuesdays so it flies by.

This is Sloane’s 4th week. We have really been enjoying it because it eliminates all live class time. She has a handful of assignments to do each week on her Chrome book and she can mostly do them without help. It is impressive how she has learned the icons and buttons to complete her assignments.

Soren is 3!

This little one is so adorable. He started to love playing pretend recently. He does an incredible gorilla, chest beating and walking on his knuckles. Here is a video where he pretends to be a flamingo.

Soren has a unique fashion sense. He loves his hand-me-down pink raincoat, sparkly red pants, pink helmet, Doc McStuffins sunglasses, and kitty shirt. Then he thinks outside the box like wearing a hat he found at Nini and Papa 2’s for dinners and naps; or a life jacket for playing on the porch.

We got a real bed with a trundle for Soren in early September. One night in his crib, he had asked me why his bed at a cage on it, so I started looking for a bed. At first he didn’t want it, but once we told him he could help us with the screwdriver to take the crib apart and with moving the pieces out, he was in. He has been sleeping in the bed since and had his first fall out of it after a month! The trundle rolls out and pops up so Sloane and Soren can have sleep overs in his room on weekends. It worked on the third attempt because Sloane rubbed his back and hummed to him.

For his birthday, we went to the zoo. They require reservations and masks. The experience with reservation was actually really nice because it meant less people and more consideration with moving to see the animals. The kids loved running around and see the animals. Nini and Papa 2 came along for the fun. We had a family dinner (because what else do you to celebrate during a pandemic on a rainy day with a 3 year old). Soren was most excited about his cupcakes. We asked if he wanted us to sing to him and he ask if he could sing too. Then we did the whole candle and singing with cupcakes again the next two nights! We gave him an umbrella, a magnifying glass, and a mirror- they were big hits!

He got a tee ball set from Nini and Papa2, an extension of his train set and velcro catch game from G and Pa, a cute stuffy from the Montana crew, and a bowling set from Cam, Jesse, and Lida. They are all big hits. He’s been loving the new physical games to play and he has been sleeping with his new stuffy.

Soren is crazy physically active. We finally decided we could play on play structures with extra hand sanitizing. He can climb to the top of the ladder that is higher than my head. I was spotting him and after he made it to the top, Sloane told me I did a good job, which was nice to hear.

In addition to running around like a crazy person and talking super loud, he is a cuddly sweetie. He insists on kissing us on both cheeks and being kissed on both his cheeks at bed time. Soren will throw in a nose kiss often too. He has a soft touch and will rub your shoulder if you seem sad or hurt. Then occasionally he bites his sister.

It was a year ago that he was diagnosed with TEC. He has been doing great since that resolved. He has been growing so much since then! He is now 37 inches and 34.25 lbs. And thriving even in the crazy mess of 2020.