June 22, 2021
Karate Mats

We should have done this earlier in the pandemic, but we finally got tired of Elizabeth's karate bo damaging our floor and the floor damaging Elizabeth when doing her katas and ordered karate mats.


So now we have our own personal dojo and in addition to moving our furniture in and out of the living room on a regular basis we now also put together a floor. The main downside is that there is some kind of coating on the mats which makes the floor extremely slippery when we remove the mats. We're hoping this will settle down with time and in the meantime the living room in non-dojo configuration has been dubbed "the skating rink".

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We picked up a new-to-us display cabinet from our friends Iain and Renée today and you will not be surprised that I took the opportunity to quickly check out Iain's zoo. He's gotten into salt water aquariums so his collection has shrunk in quantity to make room (but not quality)! I hasten to add that covid rules in QC meant that we were allowed to go indoors, something that seemed very strange having not done so at all for many many months.


Matthew is doing a research project on blue animals right now so he was very interested to see my photo of Iain's blue frog!

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June 20, 2021
Father's Day

Father's day this year was very cheesy.  The kids all gave daddy a different kind of cheese.  We also had lunch with Grandma and the Sunnyside crew.  At the end of the day Lorianne and her brother popped to say hi.

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June 19, 2021

We got a new telescope through our buy nothing group and so Elizabeth gazed at the moon while Daddy took pictures.

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June 18, 2021
Virtual School: Week 38

Amelia's class did a virtual field trip to meet some kids that communicate in ASL and she learned a few signs. They also visited an entomologist. Amelia liked the butterflies the best. She and Michael were also very excited that Mommy and Daddy got a new mattress, freeing up the old one to use as an indoor "trampoline". There has been much jumping for the past few days.


We biked to parliament hill with Erika and Auntie Yukiko. Daddy got a flat and everyone was very impressed when he simply removed his spare from his bag under his seat and changed it. All told it was a delay of about ten minutes. After that everyone decided they needed to have their own spare tube and bike change tools. Actually we did a few rides to parliament this week, as well as up to to Hartwell locks.


It was the last week for forest school for Matthew (sniff) and we all got to go for a picnic at the end. Elizabeth was busy but Amelia and Michael and I went to fly kites, eat lunch and play on the play structures. Amelia and Michael even got to help in Ylan's garden. Matthew's shop class this week focussed on getting the playhouse ready for painting.


Elizabeth was experimenting with patterns in art class this week, as well as continuing her own doodling with Pokemon and painting. In person karate tournament team in the park has started up again. Elizabeth is even willing to bike at least one way - a huge milestone for us! In class she did a group science project that required making various different paper airplanes and measuring how far each of them had to go.

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Paint night 3

Paint night three was a bit different because everyone was physically present in one of two locations. We found this changed the dynamic completely as we couldn't really hear much of what anyone was saying. As a result those at each location spent the entire time chatting to those at their own location rather than interacting together. The other crew were outdoors under a tent in the rain, which looked entertaining. We had fun painting as a family - it was the first time that everyone here tried to follow all the instructions.

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June 16, 2021
Covid shot 2

Accelerated second shots are now available for those of us aged 40+.  Unfortunately the demand for said shots FAR FAR exceeded supply.


Booking a covid shot was somewhat less sketchy for us personally than the first time - no calling random personal cellphones - but it did involve navigating the Ontario central booking system. Many reams of ink have been spilled on the disaster that is Ontario's covid shot "hunger games" but I thought I'd summarize our own experience for posterity.


First of all, the website was not capable of handling the demand, so there was a "waiting room" page that kept you in line. You couldn't book multiple appointments at the same time. There was a cute little guy who walked along while you waited and waited and waited.


Once you got to the head of the line, you had a limited amount of time on the site before you got booted and had to start all over again. The time allotted was seemingly generous, except that the process for booking was ridiculous. You would enter your location and it would then pop up numerous clinics with booking times to select. Unfortunately, people took the appointments so quickly that selecting the location often would lead to a page with a message telling you that there were no available appointments. If you happened to get times, often they'd vanish while you were in the process of clicking on them. Long story short, there was a lot of refreshing and clicking required.


The system was so difficult to navigate that a volunteer system sprang up on Twitter and Discord called "Vaccine Hunters". Volunteers would help you figure out eligibility (not always easy with ever changing circumstances) and contacted pharmacies and mass vaccination sites to get tips on when appointments would be opened. I helped a number of people get appointments with the help of vaccine hunters, including one helpful volunteer who managed to wrangle an appointment at a Walmart for Grandma J by first reserving it for himself and then entering her details(!)


Part of the problem of course was that there were many different waitlists. In any case, St Laurent opened many appointments about 2 minutes after my window with Brendan's information got booted out. So I was able to get an appointment two days before Brendan based entirely on luck. It was supremely frustrating to be watching the little man walk while being locked out and knowing appointments were being snapped up but thankfully there were a few left when we got back in.


My experience getting my shot at St Laurent was uneventful. They were short staffed so it wasn't quite as smooth as Elizabeth's shot but overall pretty safe. I still would have preferred an outdoor waiting option.


The next day I felt a bit off and cranky. Brendan had very mild flu symptoms - he was tired and a bit dizzy for twelve hours. Definitely no big deal.

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