Thursday, March 26, 2020

Grocery Delivery, I Miss You.

First of all, I want to start by saying that I know we are lucky to be relatively healthy in an acute way right now and I appreciate all the hard work that grocery workers are doing right now. I can be frustrated in the breakdown of the system without being angry at the people that are just doing the best they can in a difficult situation.

With that said, all the shutdowns of grocery delivery are incredibly frustrating for me in multiple ways. From a food allergy standpoint, it is frustrating that I can't access a way to cut down on time taken shopping. You see, I have to read every label of multi-ingredient items every time I purchase them. This makes shopping in stores take longer than it does for most people. If you see someone slowly making their way down each aisle, reading label after label, it's someone with food allergies. We can't just pick up a different brand and roll with it, because that brand might not be safe for us. I know a lot of families that call and speak to a representative of every brand they buy to ask about manufacturing practices. This takes forever and is infuriatingly slow on a regular day, let alone one where call volume is infinitely higher than usual.

Some textures aren't the same across brands, and something that is a safe food for someone with food aversions is not the same in another brand. The look and feel and overall textures of certain foods are comfortable and safe and known. New foods in a time that is already full of upheaval of routine is adding fuel to the fire and making a difficult situation even harder.

Trying to find the balance between getting enough to last for a while in case your safe foods aren't back soon, and not taking so much that another family that is in the same situation can't also do the same is so hard. Watching the breakdown of the food delivery system is... something else.

On top of having to carefully read each label, which takes forever on a good day, add in my chronic illnesses and it is a recipe for extreme frustration and fatigue inducing. Trying to shop in store is challenging for me on a good day, with all the stimulation and uncontrollable factors. With people panicking and being absolutely awful to fellow humans, it is something that brings feelings of complete dread even thinking about. The hours for “elderly and sick” customers are way too early for so many people, and I am nowhere near able to do any sort of shopping that early in the morning. The fact that many people that NEED to use these hours are also people that rely on rides and public transportation, and it is inaccessible for many people that need them.

Grocery delivery made my life so much easier. I didn't realize just how much I relied on it until it was no longer accessible. I am lucky that I am able to make due without it, and I have support to help me if needed. A lot of my friends don't have that same support and safety net.

I spent an hour putting together a grocery order only to have them tell me HALFWAY THROUGH CHECKOUT that there were no slots available anymore. This was an advertised service. Why are you advertising your service if it isn't actually available? Infuriating.


Saturday, March 14, 2020

FREE Home Learning Activities

Black text on a purple background that reads "FREE home learning activities to help keep children busy while stuck at home.

Most of these resources are going to be for younger age groups as that is what I need for my child, but I will try to add resources for older kids/teens as I become aware of them. This will be updated as I find new and interesting things.

I am going to try an only post things that are free, to help minimize financial impact to people who were not expecting to have their children home for weeks or months. This post may contain affiliate links, but they won't cost you anything to use.


Duolingo, is for learning languages and has an online version and also android and apple app. The free version is great and you only have to watch/view an ad after a lesson. There is a paid version but you can get by just fine on the free version.

If you have a kindle fire tablet Kids Edition tablet, the Freetime Unlimited that comes with it has a ton of educational apps, books, and videos. You can set daily educational goals and manage apps and content from your Amazon Parent dashboard.


Teachers Pay Teachers has a LOT of free resources if you have printer access. This has worksheets and lesson plans for all grade levels. There are paid resources but there are a lot of free ones, just make sure to use the "free" filter when searching.

Here is an awesome Google Doc with all kinds of links and ideas for activities to do. I am unsure of the original source, please let me know if you find it so I can credit them!

Here is another amazing Google Doc from Amazing Educational Resources that shows a bunch of websites that are offering free services due to the novel coronavirus.

Yet another fantastic Google Doc with a list of Virtual Field Trips.

Scholastic has put out a 20 days of reading webpage that is free, and they provide you with a login. This is mostly aimed at Elementary aged children.

This is a great Special Education list of resources.

Please note that if you are a lower income family, internet companies have been offering free services for people with specific guidelines. Check with your local provider to see if they are offering free internet services for the short term due to this crisis.

Please comment any resources that you know about below! Thank you to all my wonderful friends that have shared resources with me, I appreciate all of you.

It might help to keep on their general schedule. Make sure you schedule time for play and snacks!

Kitty from That 70s Show drinking a margarita out of the blender. Text above reads "Me when I realized the kids are probably headed home for a 24 day weekend.