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"It's amazing that one could live more than 60 years and know so little about bees." Thus proclaimed my dad's facebook at the beginning of a gripping account of our family's recent education with how not to remove African bees from a leaky roof. Why yes - you read that correctly. My parents recently were attacked by so-called killer bees...

 

Cue tales of swarming bees repeatedly stinging Grandpa's exposed head at the top of a ladder; a rapid descent and subsequent flight fully dressed into shower to drown the persistent enemy; quality time with a pen knife to remove 30 odd stingers from the scalp (mom got stung too); and angry bees flinging themselves against the window panes for days after the initial attack.

 

So Elizabeth decided she wanted to be a bee for Halloween. To scare Grandpa...

 

Auntie Janice helped carve Mr pumpkin (from our own garden!). The kids did not enjoy scooping out the seeds. Matthew stayed far away after making his displeasure known.

 

After beef stroganoff stuffed pumpkin for supper, Elizabeth went to a couple of houses next door (all people we knew) and was especially thrilled to receive some stamps! Afterwards she helped hand out granola bars before bedtime.



   



Matthew and I have been taking Xander to the French playgroup that I used to take Elizabeth to at Marius Barbeau.

 

The first week was hilarious because I had never before met "shy Xander". He stared straight down at his feet and seemed quite put out that all of a sudden everyone was speaking French. He doesn't say much in any language yet but was able to clearly communicate his annoyance that EVEN Auntie Mary was suddenly speaking gibberish. He kept very, very close to me the whole time.

 

But there were trains. And dinosaurs. Did I mention there were trains? He was too excited to eat much snack (we saved that for the car trip home).

 

By the second week he was a little more comfortable and confidently answered "ME!" when asked his name during circle time. Now he's obviously completely comfortable and sings along with all the songs at circle time. Matthew does too. Neither of them make noises that resemble the actual tune. 

 

It's interesting doing this for a second time - even Matthew interacts with the other kids more than Elizabeth ever did (but boy has she ever come out of her shell this year!) Matthew really likes play dough. Actually he's interested in anything the "big kids" are doing.

 

Xander has a friend Jakob who likes to play trains with him. Xander is very focussed on the trains. He will sit down enthusiastically to do a craft, or eat snack, but suddenly remember that the trains might need playing with and want to go check on them. So funny! Then he cleans them up - he's a GREAT cleaner-upper - and dives back into the next thing that has caught his attention.



   



Behold, a fun experiment to demonstrate that Elizabeth's hand washing techniques require more work.

 

First we cut a piece of bread into three pieces. Then we put one piece in a bag as a control. Elizabeth did NOT quite get the concept.

 

Then we touched one piece of bread with freshly washed hands.

 

Finally we got our hands dirty and touched the last piece with them. Elizabeth did NOT want to go and get her hands dirty. I wanted her to rub her hands on the dirt but that was clearly not happening. Finally I suggested she play in her sandbox for a while instead. Luckily it was *just* warm enough, but getting her to touch the bread before washing her hands nearly caused her head to explode.

 

Little brother does not share her qualms about getting dirty...



   



Elizabeth had her last appointment with Dr Duncan today. I was too shy to ask for a photo (maybe we'll see her around another time), partly because we accidentally showed up an hour late due to a daylight savings technology issue. (GAH!)

 

Dr Duncan was very pleased with how Elizabeth's nose has turned out. There are a few "baby acne" spots on the scar still which will go away. Dr Duncan did offer to remove them with a needle but Elizabeth politely declined.



   



Our first attempt at a family fall picture for this year's  Christmas card was too dark, so we waited until the light was all wrong, the kids were good and cranky and off we biked / walked / pushed stroller to Dow's Lake for round two. Elizabeth's mood improved noticeably after I managed to stuff her helmet into her cagoule in order to keep her ears warm.

 

Despite ourselves we managed to have fun and get an acceptable, if not perfect photo, but I need your mailing address if you want to see it!



   

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