Are Play Couches and Playsets Worth It?

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Thanks to all of you who left comments on my last post and viewed the slideshow with Zackaël’s videos. In addition, thank you for your votes on the Grief Myths; I am keeping the poll open for now, in case some of you didn’t have the chance to vote yet.

In mid-November, in the midst of the pandemic and with the onset of winter, we decided to invest in some indoor activities for the kids. We ordered a small gym for Adélie, a “jungle gym” play structure for Maxandre and a modular couch.

Adélie’s Gym

This small gym by Wedanta Kids was recommended to us by Adélie’s physiotherapist and was the first structure we got. Not only does it allows Adélie to burn some energy, but it allows her to practice her balance, flexibility and strength, which is important after a brain injury. The structure can be used during her physiotherapy sessions, which she has 1-2 times a week. Adélie loves to climb the bars and use the slide.

Here is a video with Adélie. You can see how better she got with her right hand which she wasn’t using last year!

Limikids Playground

We also decided to get an indoor playground for Maxandre. This jungle gym set is from the Canadian company Limikids. We opted for the Jupiter model, in green of course. It was a nice birthday present for Maxandre! See below for our review.

Price: prices vary depending on the set, here is the link to the products offered.

Quick tip: We shared the delivery costs with 3 other Ottawa families. All three orders were delivered, to our house and the other families came to pick up the boxes, allowing us all to save on shipping costs.

The Joey Modular Couch

Finally, we ordered the modular sofa “The Joey”. We were lucky to have been in their first pre-order. After more than 4 months of waiting, we received the Joey this week!

Joey Couch in Pink, source:

I know, it’s a lot of expenses in a short period of time. However, we have good reasons. Maybe these reasons will help you (or your spouse!) justify a future order? 😉

8 reasons why we Invested in Interior Activities
  1. We knew the pandemic and the lockdown were going to last and so we’d be stuck at home a lot. Sports and activities had been canceled.
  2. Our kids deserve to be spoiled after the horrible year they had (the accident), and to top it off, a pandemic!
  3. Both the structures and the couch allow Adélie to work on her mobility and do physio exercises.
  4. Maxandre no longer has his brother to play with. We are trying to find other games and fun things for him to do.
  5. They are a great way to get physical exercise and stay away from electronic devices.
  6. The modular sofa can also be used as a comfortable playing surface and an extra sofa. It can even create extra beds, perfect for when we have family staying over or when the kids have a sleepover. Goodbye inflatable mattress!
  7. We are spending less money on entertainment activities (no museums, no travel, etc.) because of the pandemic, which helps to justify higher expenses for our household activities.
  8. Even I can use them for exercise!

    In order to make all this safe, particularly with Adélie’s mobility issues, we have surrounded the equipment with gym mats to cover the floor.

Our Experience with the LimiKids Indoor Playground

The structure was a fair bit of work to install. If we had a drywall ceiling, it could be installed directly from ceiling and floor with pressure (no need to drill holes). However, with a drop ceiling we needed to install particle boards on the ceiling studs to create a solid surface. Carl’s mom Judy helped us install the ropes for the ladder, rings, trapeze and spider web when she was in town.

LimiKids customer service has been extremely helpful as some parts of the installation were a bit tricky.

At this time, the LimiKids playground is mainly been used by Maxandre. He loves to use the trapeze as a swing and also likes to use the rings. He finds the monkey bars a bit rough on the hands, but I’ll encourage him to use gym gloves.

Our ceiling (in the basement) is a bit low to take full advantage of the monkey bars since Maxandre is not able climb on top without bumping into the ceiling. A higher ceiling would be ideal, but is not possible in our basement.

We also bought the parallel bars kit, which allows us to do more exercises. I plan to start using it more for myself.

Here is a video with Maxandre:

Our Experience with The Joey Couch

Last year, I had heard great reviews about “The Nugget” modular couch. But as Nugget’s inventory was completely depleted due to the pandemic, I was happy to hear about another similar couch on the way “The Joey”. Best of all, it is from a Canadian company, called Chew Chew Baby Roo (CCBR)! Helen, the mom and creator, along with her team have been offering outstanding service with regular updates about shipping and their products. They also have a Facebook Group to allow discussions between parents about their products.

What is The Joey?

The Joey is made up of 7 pieces and can be ordered in 9 different colours.

  1. The Base
  2. The Support
  3. Half-Moon Arm Rest Pillow
  4. 2 x Small Wedges
  5. Waterproof Liner
  6. Single-Brushed Microsuede Suede Outer Cover
Joey vs Nugget vs Foamnaisum

Price: The price of the Joey with taxes and delivery is approximately $ 338 CAD. For the Nugget and Foamnasium, they cost around $ 400 CAD.

Protection: The biggest difference between the Joey and the Nugget is that the Joey comes with a waterproof protective liner between the foam and micro-suede.

Pieces: Aside from the protective cover, the Joey comes with an arm rest pillow which is not included with the Nugget.

My first impressions:

We chose to order 2 Joeys to offer more flexibility in the configurations we can build. They were ordered in November and we kept it a surprise for the kids. We were hoping to get them for Christmas, but only just got them last week! Here’s a video that shows the kids the first time they saw their Joeys:

First of, no installation is required! The quality of the product seems fantastic and the zippers look solid. The micro-suede was a bit wrinkled at first, which isn’t surprising considering the cushions were all compressed in a box. But I am happy to say that they have quickly smoothed out. One of the half moon cushions was badly scuffed and appeared to be faulty, but after 2 hours it became full size!

Sage is a lovely subtle colour, but it’s a bit pale so care must be taken to keep it from getting dirty. Fortunately, the covers on the couch are completely removable and washable, in addition to having a waterproof liner! If I could re-choose the colour, I think I would go with the navy. However, navy was not available when we ordered. CCBR continues to add colours and is adding teal to the next pre-order. The colours are all gorgeous, I am a little jealous to see some of the new colours!

Since the couch offers endless possibilities, I had fun creating some configurations last weekend. This is right up my alley as I’m a creative person and I also like the kids getting excited over new builds! In my next post, I will display some of these configurations.

I will also share Maxandre & Adélie’s “tests” on the different modular configurations, and ratings for each! Finally, I plan to provide my opinion on the different pieces and whether any I think any additional pieces would be useful. Subscribe to the blog to not miss our Joey posts!

Adélie in the Joey couch
Next Pre-order

Their next pre-order is on April 3 at 3pm, don’t miss it if you’re interested! Due to the pandemic and containers shipping delays at sea, it can take about 90 days to receive the order. We are all patient at this time!

Do you have indoor gyms or modular couches, or would you like some? If so, feel free to share your thoughts in the comments!

That’s it for now. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts in the comments!
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Adélie update – Mise à jour Adélie

English follows…

Juste avant que je commence ma publication d’aujourd’hui, j’aimerais vous laisser savoir que j’ai mis à jour celle à propos de l’arbre à l’école, notamment rajouté une photo avec les lumières! Si jamais vous passez, n’hésitez pas à rajouter une petite décoration ou lumière.

Beaucoup de gens me demandent souvent “comment Adélie va?”. Voici un petit résumé à propos d’Adélie et quelques mises à jour.

Sa thérapie continue et elle fait des beaux progrès. Nous avons passé 103 jours à l’hôpital avec elle, remplis de hauts et de bas. Nous sommes sortis de l’hôpital le 27 février, le lendemain de la fête à Zackaël. Depuis sa rentrée à la maison, nous avons fait de notre mieux pour continuer sa thérapie (par nous-mêmes ou en ligne) pendant le confinement. Durant ce temps, elle a continué à réapprendre à marcher et par la fin mars elle marchait par elle-même. Nous continuons à travailler très fort sur sa mobilité de ses membres du côté droit, particulièrement son bras et sa main. Elle porte également et encore aujourd’hui une orthèse de soutien pour son pied et sa jambe. Sa jambe et son pied sont beaucoup moins raides avec son orthèse. Depuis la fin juin, nous avons pu reprendre les services de thérapie pour Adélie. Elle obtient des services hebdomadaires d’ergothérapie, de physiothérapie ainsi que d’orthophonie. Nous sommes choyés de travailler avec une équipe fabuleuse de thérapeutes. Nous sommes tellement fiers d’elle et de sa détermination. Elle est une petite fille très enjouée qui adore les gens.

Adélie a recommencé la garderie le 2 octobre (elle n’était jamais retournée après l’accident). Depuis le début octobre, elle a toutefois passé beaucoup à la maison dû à des rhumes et une infection (qui est maintenant complétement traitée). Elle a également reçu certains traitements et rendez-vous médicaux récemment, dont j’en parlerai dans une autre publication.

Ci-dessous vous trouverez deux vidéos et une photo prises à son retour à la garderie, presque 11 mois depuis l’accident. Pendant presque 1 an, elle n’avait pas joué avec ses amis (à part une visite à l’hôpital de sa meilleure amie Addison). Vous pouvez voir qu’elle était très excitée de commencer la garderie! “Bye bye!” nous a-t-elle dit. La photo est avec son frère Maxandre.

Encore une fois, merci à vous tous qui nous ont aidé durant la dernière année. Merci également à vous qui continuez à nous écrire et de démontrer votre appui.

Adélie Flintoff

Just before I start my post today, I’d like to let you know that I updated the one about the tree at school, including added a photo with the lights! If you ever pass by, don’t hesitate to add a little decoration or light.

Here’s a quick recap about Adélie over the last year and some updates. Her therapy continues and she is making great progress. We spent 103 days in the hospital with her, which was filled with ups and downs. We were released from the hospital on February 27, the day after the Zackaël party. Since coming home, we have done our best to continue her therapy (some on our own or online) while in lockdown. During this time, she continued to relearn to walk and by the end of March she was walking on her own. We continue to work very hard to recover her mobility of her limbs on her right side, especially her arm and hand. She also still wears a supportive brace for her foot and leg. Her leg and foot are much less stiff with the brace. Since the end of June, we have been able to resume therapy services for Adélie. She obtains weekly occupational therapy, physiotherapy and speech therapy services. We are blessed to work with a fabulous team of therapists. We are so proud of her and her determination. She is a very playful little girl who adores people.

Adélie started daycare again on October 2 (first time since the accident). However, since the beginning of October, she has spent a lot at home due to colds and an infection (which is now fully treated). She also received some medical treatments and appointments, which I will discuss at some point in another post.

Above are two videos taken on the first day back at daycare, almost 11 months since the accident. For almost a year, she hadn’t played with her friends (other than a visit during her stay in the hospital from her best friend Addison). You can see that she was very excited to start daycare! “Bye bye” she told us! The picture is with her brother Maxandre.

Once again, thank you to all of you who have helped us over the past year. Thank you also to continue to write to us and show your support.