Ramadan 2019- Post #4: Week 2 Recap

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Day 8: 

  • H started memorizing surah falaq. She worked on the first two ayaat.
  • For Arabic today, we played Arabic Bingo, an activity we found in the “Allah to Z Activity Book”. The kids also wanted to play one round of the matching card game.
  • Given the interest in nature and our focus on finding bugs during Sunday’s Urban Wild Nature Program along with H’s themes at school this month, I thought it would be a good time to incorporate some more books about bugs and trees. We briefly looked at some pages about different types of trees and leaves and settled on this page, which talked about different animals that trees house and nourish. I also showed them the page about counting rings on a tree to determine its age (something I had told H about the day before). We practiced by counting rings on a tree cookie magnet we have. I alluded to the idea of sadaqah jaariyah and this is something we will explore further in a future circle.

 

Day 9:

  • H memorized the third verse of surah falaq.
  • We read “My First Ramadan” by Karen Katz. I told the kids a story about my first camel ride as a child visiting Pakistan.
  • Activity: We smelled and appreciated some beautiful flowers that we were planning on giving to some special people this week. The kids each made a card for the recipient of their flowers. It was great to see how excited Y was about making the card and how he attempted to demonstrate his understanding of the process of giving the card to someone else. H brought her flowers to give to the janitor at her school the following day and Y reminded me he would give his flowers to the library on Thursday. I was the one who picked the recipients of the flowers (perhaps I will expand on why in a future post).

 

Day 10:

  • H worked on the fourth ayah of surah falaq.
  • To practice Arabic, I had H pull an Arabic block out of the bag. She would identify the letter and then Y was tasked with using the block to build a tower. I constantly have to come up with ways to involve Y and modify any activities so that he also has a meaningful (but developmentally appropriate) experience.
  • Craft: We made paper chains today. H cut out a few strips and then I cut out the rest. She developed a pattern and would ask Y for the next colour. His job was to add glue to the strip and her job was to make links for the chain. Alhamdulilah I love when they are able to work together on things. H did this two years ago so it’s so meaningful for me to reflect on what’s changed since then. At the time, I remember Y, who was just a few weeks old, was laying on the couch while I helped H.

Day 11: We didn’t do a circle today. I ran out of time and energy. On a positive note, it was Y’s second birthday alhamdulillah. I can’t believe it’s been two years with this kid already. His speech has taken off in the past few days. I say this as he yells “mo hoomus and nun plis” (More hummus and naan please) from the kitchen.

Day 12: H was off of school today so the kids had some time to play at home. It was interesting to see how the themes of their play are influenced by our current reality. They were pretending to eat suhoor and iftaar, pray, read Quran and of course save the day in their superhero personas.

  • H memorized the last ayah of surah falaq.
  • We played the matching card game as per the children’s request. I was super surprised when Y recognized “zwa” as I’m making no formal effort to teach him the alphabet in any language. I also used the cards as flashcards in a fast game to identify which letters H still gets confused.
  • Since it was Friday, we read a book called “It’s Jummah!” by 2curioushearts. It’s a really simple board book that Y enjoyed as he tried to copy some of the actions. While young children are by no means required to know the etiquettes at such a young age, I think reading the book on Fridays is a lovely little tradition to establish with young children. I’ve had this book since December but haven’t shared it with the kids until now. **I just checked out their website and the books are only $5cdn!!
  • We also did page out of a fantastic activity book by Ruqaya’s Bookshelf called “The Adventures of Malik and Ameerah.” The page we did was related to healthy eating since that’s something H has been talking about since she is exploring it at school right now.
  • We did the sunnan mentioned in the board book like bathing, cutting nails, wearing nice clothes etc. I was planning on taking H to the mosque for jummah but something came up so we planned to go as a family for asr instead. H expressed that she just didn’t want to go so we let it be. I took the kids to a new park instead.

 

Day 13: We did the learning circle at my inlaws’ place today. It was late so I shortened it.

  • We started Surah fatihah and worked on the first three ayaat.
  • Activity: We read the book “Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns.” After reading the book, I fanned out some paint samples and had the kids pick a card without looking. They had to find something in the house that was the same colour as the sample. While I designed this activity more for Y (he just turned 2), H really enjoyed it as well.

 

Day 14: We were at my inlaws’ again but since it was earlier in the day, we were able to do the full circle.

  • We reviewed the first 4 verses of Surah fatihah.
  • We played Arabic bingo. We used small ripped-up pieces of paper as our bingo markers since I didn’t bring anything with me.
  • We talked about gratitude and used the activity book to record a list of things we are grateful for. I appreciated hearing H’s rationale, for example “The big tree in our backyard to climb.” I was also touched to see that both of my children included their sibling in their list of things to be grateful for ❤ Since I believe that learning should be an integrated approach, I love how this experience allowed not only for reflection and gratitude, but also literacy, discussion and classifying information- I suggested that H put stars next to Y’s answers. She took the liberty of putting clouds next to my answers. Then, H started colouring in a thank you card on the adjacent page.
  • Activity: when I was consolidating all of my past Ramadan posts before starting this series, I came across one of the first activities I did with H when she was just 18 months old- it was a dua bucket (or prayer pail) and I felt sad that I hadn’t thought of doing anything similar for Y, who was turning 2 shortly. I decided I wanted to have him create a prayer bucket too, which at his age will essentially just be a collection of photos representing things he likes. The goal is to go through the bucket every day (I’m thinking before nap) so we can practicing thanking God for our blessings. This is what the process looked like for H when she was a toddler. For Y, I will just refer to it as his thank you bucket. I started with Y by allowing him to pick out the style of alphabet stickers he wanted to use to spell his name on the bucket. Then, I had the kids go through flyers to find things they were thankful for. They are also able to draw items or include photos. We may modge podge some photos onto rocks or lids for a more tactile experience or if H chooses, she can write the names of things onto popsicle sticks. The prayer buckets are personally very meaningful for me because we did do this with H as her speech was emerging and alhamdulillah, it became a habit, even as she outgrew the bucket. Every night before bed, she continues to thank God for specific things from her day.
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Ramadan 2019: Post #3 – Week 1 recap

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Alhamdulillah our learning circles are going well. H has told me many times she enjoys doing them and Y pops in and out depending on what we are doing. On the 3rd day of Ramadan (after only two circles), H brought home this picture that she drew at school of us having our learning circle and learning Quran (she told me her favourite part is memorizing surahs and the fun surprise).

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This is what our learning circles included this week:

Day 1 (we were at my in-laws but alhamdulillah still managed to do the circle):

  • Memorized the first 2 verses of surah ikhlaas. While H is familiar with a few different surahs, we haven’t formally taught her any until now. I am focusing on pronunciation and tajweed.
  • Practiced the Arabic alphabet in a qaida that my husband bought from India. Maybe it’s because of my Pakistani background, but I do prefer the Pakistani ones. The paper pages are non-glossy, making them easier to mark up and they seem to progress through the level of difficulty at a slower rate. I saw some at a meat/grocery store last week so plan to buy it the next time I’m in the area.
  • Learned about the sunnan around meeting Muslims – I’ve been thinking about how to introduce the importance of greeting others to H given her more reserved temperament around adults she is unfamiliar with.
  • Craft: stained-glass shapes – I did this with H two years ago and really loved how it turned out. I decided to do it again this year and open it up to both kids. Once again, I just free-handed the cutouts instead of using a stencil. The children really enjoyed doing this and I was surprised by how engaged Y was! He’s taken such pride in his art which is now hanging on the window in our home and is really trying to string words together to communicate what happened…”teetee star. Glue…more glue…more glue. Press! Dadi house. Aapi moon.”

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Day 2:

  • Memorized the 3rd verse of surah ikhlaas
  • Practiced the Arabic alphabet through a poster
  • Learned about some sunnan regarding eating
  • Activity: made stuffed dates – we looked at this terrific book and used cream cheese and mini chocolate chips (nut allergies). Special thanks and duahs for my Mushtaq Mamoo who ordered, shipped and ultimately gifted me this book along with its companion from the States back in 2014 because it wasn’t available in Canada)

Day 3:

  • Memorized the 4th verse of surah ikhlaas; added her first sticker to Juz Amma Tree Chart
  • Practiced the Arabic alphabet through a poster; I involved Y by asking him to point to letters that H then had to identify
  • Learned about some sunnan regarding drinking and then gave the children each a cup of water to help reinforce the lesson
  • Activity: H coloured in a Ramadan card she was gifted by her aunt; I gave Y a colouring sheet from a Ramadan colouring book my husband printed off for H last year

Day 4: H came home from school very tired. I offered rescheduling the circle but she insisted on continuing. Given her state, I shortened my plans.

  • We discussed the meaning of surah ikhlaas. There were a lot of (challenging) questions and I was reminded that it’s hard for children to grasp abstract concepts until around the age of 7.
  • Practiced the Arabic alphabet with a memory matching game. I made these cards using stickers, construction paper and then laminating them. Although it was a little tedious and time-consuming to make these, I was motivated by the potential hassanat of my kids learning it from me and inshaAllah passing it on to their own families. Besides, I was able to listen to a live stream of tarweeh from the East coast while I put them together. Playing a memory matching game with all 28 letters was taking a long time so I adapted the game. The children really enjoyed it and asked to play it again tomorrow.
  • Activity: I shared my family’s Ramadan tradition of making and drinking Rooh-Afza. I ultimately decided to put aside my reservations around the red food colour and sugar-laced syrup in the name of tradition. I did add a smaller quantity than I typically would for myself. (Un)fortunately for my kids, it won’t be a daily Ramadan tradition for us.

Day 5: This was also a challenging day. This time, H took me up on my offer to reschedule the circle and we decided to do it much later in the evening, between dinner and bedtime.

  • We reviewed surah ikhlaas and worked on surah nas. H was familiar with the surah so we mainly worked on tajweed.
  • As per the children’s request, we practiced the Arabic alphabet through the matching card game, this time, using 30 cards instead of 56. It was actually quite fun for all three of us- I was grateful for the laughs that had replaced the cries and tantrums from earlier in the day. They have requested it again for tomorrow.
  • We talked about the sunnah related to putting on shoes. While this wasn’t something I realized would become part of our daily circle, the children really seem to enjoy learning sunnan related to everyday life. I have been sourcing them from the book in the photos below which I “borrowed” from my mother-in-law years ago.
  • Craft: H worked on this DIY lantern kit she got from her aunt at the beginning of Ramadan. I think it is such a cool concept. Of course, Y also wanted in on the action, so I cut him some sheets of wax paper from the kitchen (although in hindsight, I think parchment paper would have been a better option) for him to draw on.

Day 6: Considering it was a weekend, I found it more challenging to find the right time to do the circle. Instead of sitting down and doing everything at once, it was spread through three different parts of the day in a different order than usual.

  • Activity: we read the book Bismillah Soup and made the recipe provided on the website. I made a few adjustments (you can read about them below). Y was too busy eating and playing to help but H helped by washing the vegetables and tasting the soup (and telling me it needed more salt). Alhamdulillah the soup turned out quite flavourful. Both the kids enjoyed the soup and H went with her dad to drop some off at her grandparents’ house.
  • We played the Arabic alphabet memory game again and once again, it was a hit.
  • We finished reviewing surah nas and H got to add another sticker to her chart. I’m so proud of how well she is catching onto the rules mashaAllah.

To make the soup, I sautéed onions and garlic in EVOO. I added the cut-up (and skinned) chicken and added a teaspoon of salt, two heaping teaspoons (they were probably 10 ml spoons) of the xawaash spice mix and a few bay leaves. Then I added 4 cups of homemade chicken stock and 2 cups of water, covered and cooked. After some time, I added the vegetables and then reduced the heat as I took the kids to the park.

Day 7: We spent quite a bit of time outdoors today- 3 hours in the morning at the Urban Wild Nature Program (including travel time) and another 2.5 hours in the early evening at the park and doing some gardening. To be honest, I didn’t think we would get around to the circle but H remembered during dinner and insisted.

  • We revised surah Nas and surah ikhlaas and learned the first ayah of surah falaq
  • We had a lovely discussion about the importance and role of trees in our lives. Given how much time we spent outside today, I thought it would be a good time to talk about Islam’s view on caring for the natural environment. I led the discussion by asking the children questions like, “Why are trees important?”  We talked about ideas like trees can provide food for humans and animals, trees can help clean the air we need to breathe, trees can provide shelter or places to rest, trees can be homes to animals like birds, bugs and squirrels, trees provide beauty, trees provide ways to play (climbing and swinging) and trees can be used to make paper and wood products.  I also spoke to them about how future generations can reap the benefits of the trees we plant today. I definitely want to take this further and have some resources in mind that I will implement and share.
  • We played the Arabic card memory match game.
  • Activity: We did this Ramadan scavenger hunt that I made a few years ago that the kids really enjoyed. Since it had photos of objects, it was perfect for a toddler like Y to do as well. You can download your own free copy here.

This first week of Ramadan, we did more than I originally anticipated. I was planning on taking it easy with the children’s programming and focusing on my own ibadah this year, but it turns out that as a mother, my worship is directly linked to their upbringing. I consider it such a blessing and honour to raise these kids and over the past 9 years of having my life tied to others, I realized the mercy of Allah and the beauty of this deen where almost anything is considered an act of worship if that is the intention. I’ve done what I can to set myself up for success this Ramadan, including hiring a babysitter to come in so I can have dedicated time to read Quran along with whatever I’m doing with the children. In full disclosure, I wasn’t fasting this past week. We’ll see what I have the patience and energy to follow through on in the subsequent weeks. I’ve already given my kids a heads up that we will not be going to the park tomorrow as I take some time to adjust.

 

A trip to the mountains

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It finally happened. After years of talking about how our small family should just take an overnight trip with the kids to get a break from our daily life, we finally did! This was a first for us- we typically travel with extended family. We had a budget in mind and planned accordingly.

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On the cusp of the Easter Long Weekend, we headed to the rockies. H did not have school on Thursday so we planned to leave Thursday morning (was closer to 11:30 am by the time we were actually on the road), making a stop at Troll Falls, in Kananaskis on the way.

Despite the spring-like conditions in Calgary, it was windy and cold as we headed towards the mountains. Fortunately, my over-preparedness came to the rescue. The kids were outfitted in splash pants, toques and mittens and so we all had an enjoyable walk. H was quick to find a walking stick and just couldn’t understand why the rest of us didn’t want one.

That hike up was my favourite part of the whole trip. It’s not often we all get to be outdoors together (my husband has very little tolerance for the cold). I loved watching Y trudge along the trail, seeing how passionate and excited H was to be among such beauty, and then hearing her passion turn to frustration as she got tired. I saw my first Canada Jay and we marvelled at what a social and curious creature it was. We happened upon some horses from the ranch next door. And as we neared the falls, we experienced firsthand the snowy and slippery conditions that spring is a work in progress. Watching my husband navigate those slippery sides while carrying Y reminded me of when we found ourselves in a somewhat similar predicament on some off-trail slopes in Niagara when he baby-wore a then 9-month H.

On the way down, we took the path less traveled (well actually, we took a wrong turn and took a rather long way back to the parking lot). It felt like it lasted forever with two tired children who were adamant they could no longer walk. But it was beautiful. Those blue skies. Those mountains. It reminded me of why I agreed to move out here almost a decade ago.

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We got to our hotel in Banff, just after 4 pm. The room was a great size for our family and the hotel in general, was a good fit for us. It had a swimming pool (H’s favourite part), gift shop and two-three restaurants on-site. And the fact that it was at the edge of town made for an exciting bus ride to travel into the heart of downtown (Y’s favourite part). I had packed a few activities for the kids that kept them engaged while we did things like pack or nap, because let’s face it- kids will start their days bright and early.

It was nice just strolling through downtown Banff. H picked out a pair of Moose binoculars and Y decided on a moose backpack. We found a park to stop at. It was overcast and drizzly but still so beautiful.

We were fortunate enough to pray jummah in the mountains with the local Muslim community and alongside other tourist families who were from other places in Alberta, and the United States.

The rest of the day was spent between our hotel room and a trip back to downtown (literally only a few kilometers from our hotel). The next morning, we packed up and got on the road. The scenic drive was my husband’s favourite part. Y finally fell asleep so we decided not to stop in Canmore (earlier options we had talked about included Lake Louise, Johnston Canyon, and Lake Minnewanka) but decided to keep on driving because Y had just fallen asleep. We opted for a detour to Cochrane (a small town west of Calgary) instead.

Here we found another beautiful park. I love the return to more natural looking playscapes. I’ve seen them popping up around Calgary and during my visits to Ontario. We did a short walk since H was ready to go get ice cream and then we drove to MacKay’s Ice Cream Shop. We had the chance to enjoy our ice cream in the sun while a senior played the piano. The kids danced and H got a brief piano lesson.

It was a lovely weekend and we hope we can do more trips (day and overnight) as a family together this year.

Birds

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At some point last spring, a few months before his first birthday, Y started noticing birds. His dad would stand him at the window and point out birds to him. At the time, I thought it would be a passing phase, but his love of birds intensified as the days went by.

Many toddlers are drawn to animals- Y loved all the animals we saw last summer but for some reason, he holds a special place in his heart for birds.

I used to find birds quite annoying. I often complained to my husband that they would be outside our window and start chirping at 3 am and how it made it so much more difficult for me to get back to sleep after a nursing session, but as Y’s love of birds grew, so did my appreciation.

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His gleeful shrieks when he would spot a little bird in our tree made me smile and I started thinking that maybe they weren’t as bad as I first thought. I decided to order him a book about birds from amazon, and the book that I ordered turned out to be one of my favourites. Have you seen birds? is simply fantastic. I can’t get over how well-written it is. It is such a joy to read aloud–I am amazed by the number of verbs used to describe birds (my brain thought they were adjectives at first)! The illustrations are done by Barbara Reid, someone who’s work I first encountered in my kindergarten class. In case you’ve never heard of her, she does wonderful lifelike illustrations, completely out of plasticine! Not only is this book “a feast for the eyes and ears” as put by a prominent book reviewer, but it also nourishes the mind. I love how the author, Joanne Oppenheim, has classified the birds into different categories.

We also enjoyed the illustrations in Lucy Cousin’s Hooray for Birds! 

We have some kind of berry tree in our backyard that attracts lots of birds. Last summer, I counted 5 species that visited our tree just to eat. You can imagine what a thrill it was for the kids (and me) to see so many different birds flying in and out. I knew that the red breasted bird was a robin, but beyond that, I was stumped. I took to google to try to identify the birds and soon discovered a few bird websites that lead me to an app called Merlin Bird ID. It’s a fantastic app to help identify birds! You fill in a bunch of criteria including where the bird was spotted, what date it was spotted, the size, the colour and what it was doing and it generates a list of possible birds. You can also hear the bird calls and songs, view a map of where that bird is typically found and see different photos (this was especially helpful because for some species, the males and females differ from each other and may also look different when they’re ready for mating).

*In case any of you are wondering, the other birds that frequented our tree are black-billed magpies (an extremely common bird in Alberta but one I never saw growing up in Ontario), sparrows, black-capped chickadees and northern flickers. Other birds we routinely see around the neighbourhood or flying above include crows, pigeons, gulls and Canada geese.

I saw this “toy” earlier this fall during one of my annual visits to the mall (I don’t like going to the mall so my trips are seldom). I decided it would be a great thing for Y to interact with. It’s essentially two-motion activated birds that start to chirp and move when they detect motion or sound. Y and H loved this and would often play with it. It’s currently out of batteries but I’m curious to see what Y would make of it now as it’s been out of commission for a while.

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Through one of the bird websites I found, I came to learn about a cool annual event called the Great Backyard Bird Count. Essentially, it entails you spending 15 minutes outside and counting the different types of birds you see and the number of each. We were planning on doing this over the Family Day long weekend with my neighbour and her kids (her toddler is also a huge fan of birds) but we never got the chance to. I do look forward to doing a future one though. For more information on this global annual event, check out their website The Great Backyard Bird Count.

My neighbour and I did recently end up taking our children to the Inglewood Bird Sanctuary, a wildlife reserve that allows people to walk trails and spot birds (among other wildlife). I’ve been wanting to go since last year and so glad I finally made it, because it was definitely a place that soothed my soul. Despite the cold and overcast day, we still managed to see/hear birds including crows, black-capped chickadees, black-billed magpies, mallard ducks, gulls, house sparrows, European starlings, Canada geese and what we suspect was a ring-necked pheasant taking flight (this was a new one for me!) We also saw some tracks on the frozen pond made by Canada geese. During our walk, we saw this poster that was essentially a checklist of common birds seen in that given month. I’m curious to see what different species may be spotted as the months change.

A natural outcome of watching birds for me has been slowing down. After Y’s intrigue piqued my own curiosity, I’ve been noticing things that for 30 years, I never really did. I now marvel at how varied those once annoying bird sounds are. I see the way their tails flare out when they take flight and the way they wings flap (or don’t). I notice how some birds soar so high above in smooth trajectories while some little birds seems to flutter haphazardly between trees and roofs. Lately, on the walks we’ve been taking, I’ve started noticing nests and how birds have been flying with twigs in their mouths, building nests to welcome their babies and feeding on various things.

Slowing down and spending time outdoors with or without my children is something that’s important to me, and along that vein, I’m so happy to see the number of forest schools and outdoor education programs that have been popping up in Calgary over the last five years. Many of these programs have been in quadrants of the city that are too far to frequent regularly but over the winter months, my neighbour did tell me about a program that I think is truly wonderful for families with young children. Urban Wild, founded by Alexandra O’Rourke, is “connecting families to the natural world, and to each other.” We were registered in the Family Winter Program and both H and Y deeply enjoyed the experience which featured walks, play-based educational activities and snacks (always a highlight for H).

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Due to the rough winter weather we experienced, our group was not able to meet as regularly as expected but we were given a credit, which we applied to the spring session. I’m really looking forward to visiting different parks in Calgary and spotting new birds and nests. Registration is still open so check out their current programs here. Urban Wild is currently offering a weekend and weekday option, morning and afternoon option and North and South option so there is A LOT of flexibility so you can find what works for your family!

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I know there are people who check out this blog from all over the world. I would love to see some photos of birds local to your area and share them with my children. It would be lovely if you could share them in the comments.

Jumping into Spring

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In Calgary, we are blessed with chinooks, essentially warm winds that we receive courtesy of our locations in between the rocky mountains and the plains. These winds help give us bursts of mild weather and surprise us with warmer than average temperatures, helping us get through the long winters. I really have come to expect snow at anytime between October and April.

Last week we had such temperatures and so the great thaw began. Snow started melting and the “little rivers” that start flowing under and around surface ice appeared. The sudden onset of water resulted in…

MUD!

And so after some mild splashing this past week, we took to our community park on Monday. The combination of sand and thawed snow resulted in some very impressive muddy puddles.

So H had a big hurrah. And I quickly learned that Y enjoys his puddles on a smaller scale.

And through books.

I bought this book (Split Splat) for H a few years ago and can’t help but sing it (no seriously, I don’t think I’ve ever actually read it). It’s so delightfully written and the kids and I just love it.

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There’s this book that Y really enjoys because it stars Peppa Pig.

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And this one because it features a dog, who is aptly named “Muddypaws” along with farm animals.

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And these ones that I ordered last month, but have yet to give to the kids. I think we will look at them soon.

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Mud and puddles bring H so much joy. The above picture shows her at 2.5 years old. I’m glad to see that three years later, her passion persists.

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Seriously, the grin on her face as she pushed her feet through the water, her boots filling, and mud flying all over me, and into her own mouth – priceless!

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We actually had to empty out her tall rainboots 3 times during this outing. And 30 hours after we came in, the faux fur lining still wasn’t dry.

During my almost 9 years living in this city, I’ve quickly learned that when you have weather that you like, take advantage of it! It will almost always change the next day (if not a few times that same day).

I woke up to my backyard and car covered in snow this morning. Good thing we haven’t put away those winter boots yet.

This year, spring has become my favourite season.

Fall Musings

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Things have been more quiet over here as we adjust to our new normal. After spending summer with both kids full-time, it is very different to have H in full-day school and to have Y in the throes of toddlerhood.

Routine has become a huge part of getting through each day and through the week. It makes me a little sad because there isn’t as much time for spontaneous play (we still do what we can). But we aren’t able to delve as deeply or as entirely as we once did.

Y’s foray into loose parts continues. Whether it’s playing with random loose parts after dinner …

Or playing with a jar of pom poms …

There is something so novel, yet so familiar about watching him work.

His love for books and being read to and his natural desire to connect lead us to be away from home every day, except for the days when the hermit in me says I just want to be alone. And then my house implodes. Because keeping a toddler home (almost) all day is just asking for trouble…

So far, this fall has not witnessed any pie making, or leaf collecting, although we do play outside nearly every day after school.

Instead, laughter and yelling, shrieks of joy and hot tears, the pitter patter of little feet running across the hard floor and crunching leaves (or snow) seem to fill my days.

And the only pumpkin we’ve seen or touched was just for H during her field trip.

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The increasingly normal blurring of summer, fall and winter here in Calgary, provide us with sun, leaves and snow and calm starlit nights.

They play dynamic between H and Y shifts. Here, H creates “Lost” posters in case Y ever loses his beloved Dinosaur.

The last leaf has almost fallen from the tree in our backyard.

This time always passes too quickly.

But not without H turning the big 5.

 

“The World is Not a Rectangle”

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I found this book in the library last night. We read it before bed today. Quite timely, wouldn’t you say?

I picked it up because I was intrigued: a Muslim woman architect inspired by nature who lived during our time.

What I didn’t anticipate was reading it today, coincidentally on International Women’s Day, and then rereading it tonight with my daughter.

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It led to so many questions and discussions, google searches and connections to the other work we are doing around art and geography and what is beautiful.

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It was an honour to have found and share this book. I am mesmerized.

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