Parenthood
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On Sunday we did a little school, read a lot of stories, went to church and played in the snow.


In the afternoon we went to Great Aunt Joanne's benefit concert to raise money for Syrian refugees, which was dedicated to my Grandma. We really wanted to go as Elizabeth and Auntie Joanne are quite the music buddies and we thought it would be great for Elizabeth to see her perform! The concert was amazing - Joanne is quite an incredible pianist and the other two musicians were excellent as well.


The church also had the best nursery facilities I've ever seen. I especially thought the location overlooking the sanctuary was brilliant. Elizabeth and Xander were tickled pink to be allowed to travel in the same car. Elizabeth was quite happy to stay at the recital until the violinist played a Syrian piece evoking his feelings of displacement (it was TOO SAD), but she did manage to sit with Daddy all the way to the end unlike the other three kids (Isabelle and Theo were napping so stayed back at the hippo house with Uncle Dave).


She was not quite sure whether to be proud of being the big kid who was able to stay through the whole concert or jealous that the others all got to play with toys while listening to the concert. Eventually pride won out, but only after she extracted some time to play of her own. She wants to be able to play piano "just like Auntie Joanne when she's an adult".



   



My grandmother has finally been released from her old body and is headed on her next adventure. It goes without saying that we will miss her greatly.


We headed down on Saturday immediately after karate. We stayed briefly during the visitation but left after about half an hour in order to put the kids to bed. It was nice to catch up with cousins, aunts/uncles and great-aunts/uncles during the meal provided for us beforehand. Elizabeth especially enjoyed playing with Isabelle's new doll that requires soothing or it will cry quite realistically. I do not quite know what to say about crying dolls aside from that if my kids ever get one I suspect we will experience a sudden battery shortage.


The kids were mostly well behaved during the ride, though Amelia was done before the car ride was over. I amused myself greatly texting pictures and status updates to Dave and Karen, who were travelling down at the same time. They reciprocated with their own pictures and horror stories about bathroom break pit stops. Xander texted us to say "I don't need any wheels 'cuz this car is going into space!"


Other trip highlights: I let Amelia eat paper because we didn't want to stop in Toronto. By the time we hit Cambridge, we'd decided we weren't going to stop. As I put it to Dave: "Mainly because I think A will utterly lose the plot if we stop and then put her back in the chair of doom" Elizabeth started demanding an update on how many minutes left in the trip every ten minutes. Dave suggested we increment our estimates and see whether she noticed. "How many more minutes?" asked Elizabeth. "36" I replied "How many hours is that?" "5" (we have to amuse ourselves somehow). We passed the time telling jokes, including the Asimov horse joke. "How many more minutes?" "14" "That's tooooo looooong" Brendan: "That doesn't count stopping to get the horse." Elizabeth: "Daddy, that's not even funny"


"How many more minutes?" Amelia: "Waaaaa"

Suddenly great consternation from the back seat. "DID WE BRING THE SLED??!!??" "No" "WE HAVE TO GO BACK TO OTTAWA!" Needless to say we were very happy to get to Wellesley.



   



We had Pastor Jared (our curate) and his family over for raclette recently and there was enough left to initiate Lorianne in the mysteries of scraping cheese. She's had raclette before, but not properly! Now she's an expert, right Lorianne?


   



The canal is open! Ottawa folk were obviously pretty excited about this as the canal was very busy.

Amelia slept through her first time on the canal. The ice quality was not very good and it was pretty chilly so we just skated from Patterson to Fifth for our first beavertails of the season and back.



   



I mentioned before that Elizabeth does her own laundry. She's finally mastered opening the dryer safely so she can do it from start to finish all by herself - though it does tend to sit unfolded and not put away unless someone "encourages" otherwise. I don't think I noted that Matthew now needs to help do his laundry as well.


The kids are responsible for taking off their own sheets, washing their towels and all of their clothes (including checking the pockets for treasures!) Elizabeth is in charge of the soap and most of the swapping from and to the dryer, mainly because Matthew just isn't tall enough (and let's face it, he is NOT responsible enough to be allowed to touch soap yet... I can just imagine the disasters!)


It's usually the first chore they do on Saturday mornings, hence why Elizabeth is in her karate outfit and Matthew is not wearing any clothes.



   

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