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Now that Matthew can communicate better, the kids actually entertain themselves pretty well - at least most of the time!


   



I have a collection of random photos that I can't quite make up my mind to delete but that don't really deserve their own post.


-From last summer during a mega rain storm... photographic proof that we still need to improve our drainage (although the floods receded within a couple of hours and thankfully not into our house)

-The kids adore doing science experiments

-Home Depot is the best place ever

-Matthew was terrified of frogs. People found this hilarious, because I ... um... collect frogs and used to keep quite a number of live ones too. So I have a very large collection of frog themed stuff. Matthew in particular did not appreciate the numerous semi-realistic plastic frogs with which I thoughtfully provided my children and would insist that we put them away if he noticed them while playing. If they got too close to him, he often would take a hammer to them (to try and squish them?). There is one stuffie we have in particular that he found particularly scary because it has a zipper mouth in which you can put finger puppet bugs. Luckily he seems to be getting over his trauma, although he still regards them with great suspicion.



   



We skated to and from church today despite bitterly cold wind.


It takes us about 25 minutes to get from Patterson to the NAC - Elizabeth's no longer the limiting factor. At one point Brendan stopped to adjust his hat and when he looked up we were totally out of sight. He had to really motor to catch up.


Matthew was sad we didn't let him skate the whole way, but we did put his skates on for the last little bit and he practiced skating from Mommy to Daddy. It was only about a metre unassisted, but we were quite impressed!



   



Elizabeth had a school holiday today so Adi came over. "It's a friend morning and a Grandma afternoon!" she declared when she found out they were playing together for the morning and then both girls were going to hang out with their respective Grandmas in the afternoon...


She had a full itinerary planned. First - playing in her room (Without Matthew). Then - a craft. ("A craft?" I said dubiously. "What do you have in mind?" "Oh just something with paper and scissors and markers and glue and we can make it up as we go." We talked about a few options and settled on foamies, pompoms and glitter glue. I nixed the scissors because Matthew would have wanted to some too and he is still rather SCARY with scissors.) After that, Matthew had a sportball class and I promised the girls I would take them skating on the canal AND they could have a beavertail. "But I won't tell Matthew about the beavertails", said Elizabeth, "because then he'll be sad."


After skating, we had lunch and there was a little more "playing in her room" which turned out to actually be playing with the taps in our bathroom (!) Elizabeth was sad to see Adi go, but the promise of swimming at Grandma's made up for it. "And afterwards" she declared "Grandma always makes hot chocolate and cookies." I was pleased to see that Elizabeth can easily swim unassisted about 3/4 the way across the short end of the pool, and I strongly suspect she could make it the whole way.


When we got home, she wanted to know if she could make dinner. Apparently I get to cook lots and lots and no one else ever gets a turn and it isn't fair. So I talked her through making pork chops, rice, kale, peas and brownies. I took things out of the oven and drained the peas but other than that she did everything, including scooping the ice cream. She's making lasagna next, apparently.



   



If I had to sum up the last few months with a single word, November would be "Exhausted", December would be "Sick" and January would be "Skating".


I'm not planning to post about every single time we go on the canal, but today's expedition was notable because Matthew got to put his skates on too! I was intending to skate a little around Patterson Creek and then stuff him into the stroller so as not to cramp Elizabeth's style but she took off and he insisted on skating after her. By the time Daddy chased her down (setting some ground rules about staying closer to us) Matthew and I'd made it nearly as far as Pretoria Bridge.


Matthew's standing more on his own and is able to shuffle forward without too much support now. He's not exactly stable enough to just go though so as soon as the stroller reappeared I (my back!) was quite ready for him to stop skating. He was very unimpressed by this and cried and cried until after I promised to let him skate again a bit later and distracted him with people walking over our heads (on the bridge). Then he just kept hollering "More skate, more skate". We did let him skate a little bit more, but it was sadly not quite enough to prevent an epic temper tantrum upon leaving the ice.



   

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