Parenthood
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Our neighbours highly recommended the OAC for swimming lessons, so we decided to try them out. Elizabeth took Preschool A/1 from Dovercourt or Sea Turtles (City of Ottawa Red Cross program) four times and it was looking like Preschool B/2 was going to take even longer. She was despondent that her best friend can actually swim ("even though I'M OLDER!")


Five private lessons at the OAC later, not only do I not have to deal with chlorine every week since it's a salt water pool, but Elizabeth's almost done Swim Kids 1.


Matthew's doing lessons too because it's actually cheaper than the outrageous "drop-in" fees for us to just hang out in the pool during the lesson and we thought easier than keeping him out. It's interesting because they don't bother with toys, games or songs. The pool is cold. The location is inconvenient for us. The fees are rather expensive. But it is working and the kids are loving it. Go figure. And at least there is a hot tub for me to warm up in afterwards ;)



   



We're back in the routine of skating. It only took about forty minutes for Elizabeth to shake the awkward haven't been on skates all summer feeling and start zipping around the ice. She completed kinderglider 4 last time. We figure she's got all the kinderglider 5 skills down cold, except maybe the t-push. Not quite sure what she'll be working on during the second half of the class but she's signed up for a more advanced class in the winter picked by friend Adi.


We tried out low ratio classes for the preseason and fall sessions. Unfortunately the only other kid in her class is not nearly at the same level she is (couldn't glide!), but after we complained the head coach took her under his wing a bit. She's still very right footed, but boy is she getting fast. Her stops are getting pretty amazing - Brendan reckons she's better at stopping than he is now.


Skating is definitely one of Elizabeth's favourite parts of the week. Matthew is less keen, mostly because he desperately wants to skate too. He pats his head constantly (I want a helmet too!) and points on the ice. Playing with Daddy is an okay substitute, even if he insists on holding him instead of letting him explore unfettered. Strangely, we think toddlers running around the concrete arena isn't a great idea...



   



Here be our official 18 month and 5 and a half picture with a bear portraits.


That stick Matthew has? That's part of my curtain rod that he dismantled.



   



At 19 months Matthew has started walking down the stairs. Standing up. Mommy and Daddy seem more terrified than impressed. He does not like help.


There's a lot more talking, or at least emphatically pointing. He tells us about everything he sees from "querr" (squirrel) to "Dee Dee" (Elizabeth). Sometimes this is useful, like the time I forgot his coat at playgroup and he threw a fit until I slowed down and listened long enough to hear what he was telling me! He also tells a lot of stories about things he did in the past that he'd like to do again. Like catching chickens. He'd quite like to catch Chippie and Ippie (our backyard chipmunks - Ippie is the one with the longer tail). Matthew says he would eat them if he caught them, but I think he was joking... Luckily he doesn't have much chance of catching any of the surprising variety wildlife that currently lives in our backyard.


Nineteen months brought the discovery of "no". It was cuter when he just shook his head. But at least he still likes "uh huh"! He claps for himself when he wants to say "good job!" Sometimes he runs to the toilet and points, but says no when asked if he actually wants to use it. Sigh. He's usually dry overnight and will use the toilet first thing with coaxing, but we don't always have time. In any case he then usually pees his diaper again within five minutes. Double Sigh.


Matthew is obsessed with washing machines now and likes to tell visitors about how they go round and round and round. He's unfortunately also obsessed with pressing buttons on my computer. I've taken to locking it, which is very annoying as I frequently misplace the only key but less annoying than having things turn off abruptly when I'm in the middle of an email. Daddy sternly tells him off whenever he thinks about pressing the buttons on the UPS but somehow the urge to see what will happen often overrides his desire to follow the rules. Buttons are the best, especially if they are forbidden ones.


He loves washing dishes. In fact, he enjoys washing dishes so much that he's figured out how to operate the tap. I still find his climbing abilities rather incredible, though I'm happy to report he has stopped trying to climb on the stove. Now he has discovered chairs...


Play dough is a favourite toy. He does lots of play cooking and vigorous eating. Actually, he does most things with a fair amount of vim. This month he's started pretending to be a kitty, which involves a lot miaowing around my legs. He loves to read. Still loves to colour and put stickers on things. Not always on paper.


Food-wise he eats rice, meat and pasta and tries many other things. Sometimes. Sadly, we have a second unpredictable eater. He does like chocolate, but only if he recognizes it as chocolate. If he doesn't know what it is, he won't eat it and he will NOT negotiate to eat anything he's decided not to eat. For the moment we're keeping things low key and hoping his natural tendency to emulate his sister will work in our favour.


He's started napping again, usually just after lunch for about an hour. Then we put him to bed (after Elizabeth, who demands the privilege of being first!). In theory this happens at seven, but sometimes it's closer to eight or even later... Then he wakes again at 11 and spends the rest of the night nursing on and off until Elizabeth's wake up song plays at 6:50 am. There's a lot of nursing "Mum, mum peeeeees".



   



I have a new favourite restaurant. It's gluten free. They inquire about and can handle other allergies too. I can eat their French fries(!)... The food is amazing.


They are speedy enough that we were able to arrive there at four, order and eat both supper and included kids dessert and make it to the skating rink on time to start skating at five.


Love Cat's fish & chips!



   

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*Swimming
*Skating
*Picture with a bear
*19 months
*Cat's fish & chips

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