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Turning four was a highly anticipated event for Elizabeth. Ever since she's taken every opportunity to let people know that she's four (AND a big sister). Four is apparently big. As Elizabeth said: "I can do it by myself. Four year olds can do such things."

 

One of the things Elizabeth was excited about was getting to wear her new light-up shoes. We'd bought them on sale a while ago and told her she could wear them when she was four. Apparently she decided that meant her feet would magically grow to fit overnight since she would finally be four. Actually there was quite a lot of begging to try them on in advance, although it was pretty obvious she still fits into her old half-size smaller shoes. In any case she put the new shoes on first thing in the morning and spent the rest of the day practically floating.

 

She had very definite ideas about her birthday celebration, and asked very nicely if she couldn't have candles on her cereal. I don't think we've ever tried that before, but it is trickier to pick wax off Mini Wheats than a cake. Elizabeth had been asking for a combined Hello Kitty and Zoo cake, which was a bit much for Mommy, so I compromised by making her a Hello Kitty cake for her actual birthday with a zoo cake coming for her party on Saturday.

 

At four Elizabeth measures 100.5 cm and weighs 32.8 lbs. She's not a picky eater at all anymore. There are a few things she prefers not to eat if given a choice such as tomato chunks, onions and carrots, but she does eat them. She can be a rather slow eater, especially if she is tired. Then she whines plaintively that she "needs feeding". There is a bit of a tendency to whine, though we think it is getting better.

 

Her favourite activities haven't changed all that much in the last year. She has quite the imagination and can play by herself without any problem. She's not nearly as worried about alligators anymore; now she's worried about wolves. One of her favourite games involves cuddling under a blanket and pretending that she's a toad in her hibernaculum, courtesy of about a billion repetitions of Crazy Stew's "Insectabet" song.

 

She's still a chatterbox, though her vocabulary and pronunciation have improved a lot. She loves big words, which can be rather amusing at times. Her "French" is still rather incomprehensible though.  Part of the problem is a tendency to throw in random English, Japanese and what we strongly suspect is gibberish of her own making if she doesn't know the words she wants to use. She's quite capable of printing fairly legibly, but sometimes she prefers to just draw random squiggles and call it "writing" and we think she does the same thing with language!  She can colour inside the lines, but mostly prefers to scribble wildly. In other words, she can be a bit impatient...

 

She's starting to try to sound out words and is pretty good at connecting letters to the proper phonics. This doesn't *quite* translate into "getting" the word but she's convinced that she's a good reader and all she needs is a little more practice before she'll be reading books like Mommy. Which is certainly true enough!

 

All in all she's a delightful and very proud four year old and we are lucky to have her around.



   



Matthew is officially two weeks old and Elizabeth is very nearly four, which makes it time to take pictures with the bear! Originally we were going to take the photos separately but Elizabeth insisted she had to be in the photos... After all, she IS the big sister! Note new trend of pulling faces when having her picture taken.

 

When Matthew first came home from the hospital I was worried that he was coming down with a cold because he was very snuffly and had liquid coming from his nose. It turned out to be breast milk. If I nurse him lying down and hold him at the wrong angle I end up totally drenched from the fountain spurting out of the one nostril.  Unfortunately Elizabeth has had a cold and now Matthew seems to have caught it too. The hazards of having siblings!



   



Elizabeth has been demanding we procur some packing snow so that she can replace her snowmen that melted with the last great thaw. We've had quite a lot of snow but it's never the right kind (she's been checking!)

 

When packing snow finally arrived she and Daddy made a ginormous snowman complete with hat and belly button. Unfortunately it was quite warm and his head fell off the next day but Elizabeth seems to have gotten over the trauma of melting snowmen. She is already wondering when we'll have packing snow again.



   



Elizabeth had her first music recital today. She's been taking Music for Young Children classes since September and although it's a prekeyboarding class, teachers Mrs Shana and Miss Hannah like to have all their students participate in recitals to get them used to the concept.

 

Elizabeth quite enjoys music class, but she's been a bit of a pill in the actual classes since late last year, being difficult about participating, scowling and refusing to make eye contact with the teachers. We're not quite sure why, though it is quite embarrassing (especially since she sings the songs at home and "teaches" her own music class to her dolls...). She also can be slow to warm up in new situations and in front of an audience, so needless to say we were a bit worried about how the recital would go.

 

Grandma and Grandpa J, Auntie Yukiko, Uncle Chris, Erika, Maria and Auntie Janice all came to cheer her on. We even brought Matthew. Uncle Chris immediately took charge of the baby and worked such magic that Matthew didn't peep once through the whole recital. Matthew seems to enjoy music; Chris said every time a new piece started Matthew craned his neck trying to get a look!

 

Elizabeth scowled through most of the recital but did go up on stage multiple times (with Mommy) and eventually started participating with a little bit of coaxing (okay - so actually a lot of coaxing!). The promise of a lollipop helped too! By the end she'd decided she wanted to do another recital "next week". Mommy is suspicious that this might be due to the magnet and sticker she received as a present from her teachers at the end....



   



So today was venture gingerly downstairs for the first time day. As if that wasn't exciting enough we also got to venture outside and down the street to the midwife's office. Matthew was predictably unimpressed by being bundled up to go out but did settle right down within a few seconds of being taken out into the bright sunny -24 with the wind. By the time we made it to the office five minutes later he had actually fallen asleep and was equally unimpressed to be unbundled and poked and prodded. Matthew's doing well. He got a thorough check out amd was declared to be doing well. He does have some bleeding from his belly button (he lost his umbilical stump possibly due to a tug on his clothes) but it seems to be ok and we were just asked to keep an eye on it. His growth has slowed a bit but is still quite acceptable at about 20 grams per day. Mommy got orders to take some iron supplements as her iron level is quite low after the surgery. After our appointment we were faced with the long journey home. Now seasoned travelers we managed the return trip without incident.


   

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