October 5, 2010

Grandma J brought Mommy dragonboating for "family night" on the last day of the paddling season, which meant that Elizabeth went to bed with Daddy for the second night in a row.


Elizabeth goes to bed quite peacefully for Daddy the first night, but every subsequent night without Mommy she complains a little bit more and tends to be a bit clingier the next day.  Mommy thinks this is a pity because skipping the bedtime nursing session means fewer washroom trips in the middle of the night.


Or maybe Mommy just slept much more deeply after the dragonboating...  It was fun, but extremely good exercise.  And I'm told that they went very easy on us for family night!

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October 3, 2010
Happy Daddy Day (Reprise)

We all got together at Grandma and Grandpa J's for palatschinken and sachertorte in honour of Brendan's birthday.


Elizabeth has had a lingering cold for the last week so we didn't make it to church but instead we went for a walk and enjoyed the unusual fall sunshine (it's been raining and raining and raining).


After our walk I tried a nut free version of Nutella for Dave.  I thought it was pretty good, especially considering it was sugar free too!

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October 2, 2010
Happy Daddy Day

We were going to go to the Ottawa Public Library's "Big Wheels" event to see the city's big trucks but by the time we were all lunched, coats and shoes on and ready to go we realized the event was almost over.  (Mommy made a mistake when she looked at the time!) 


So we drove to Gatineau Park to see the leaves instead.


We hiked around the Champlain Lookout trail from finish to start.  I have no idea why we usually do the trail backwards, but it's practically tradition.  Elizabeth walked or ran more than half of it - the entire trail is 1.4 km, but we figure she went over a kilometer.  Mommy thinks she might have walked further, but it was starting to rain, the trail was getting steeper and she was getting chilly so Daddy decided to carry her back to the car.


Uncle Chris kidnapped Daddy for a secret birthday expedition as soon as we got back, so Auntie Yukiko and I took Elizabeth and her cousins to the Arboretum to visit the ducks.  Then we came back and had lasagna and birthday brownie.

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September 30, 2010
19 Months

Elizabeth is nineteen months old!


Elizabeth loves to draw.  She's pretty good about colouring only on paper, but if we aren't paying attention she sometimes scribbles on paper that we didn't intend her to use.  Like Grandma H's pension form.  Or Mommy and Auntie Janice's quilting patterns.  I gave away reams of paper a few years after I graduated from university, because clearly I wasn't going to NEED paper anymore.  Now I think we may need to buy stock in a paper company.


Frequently Elizabeth demands that Mommy or Daddy draw pictures for her.  Dogs, cats, cars, polar bears, trains... She adds water and grass under the various animals I draw and has started to tell me about what she is drawing.  I've uploaded an example, along with her captions.  Interestingly, she is very keen on drawing birds ("tweet, tweet, tweet").  Mostly very small birds, but the odd large one.  She's also very keen on using many, many different colours. Especially the darker ones.


She's talking a lot more, and while we don't always understand what she says, she often can make herself understood just based on intonation.  We're actually able to have basic conversations, which is pretty exciting.  Her favourite word is probably "yeah", not counting "mum mum".  The "yeahs" are completely adorable.  She says them in such a little voice but SO expressively. Visitors are also quite shocked to her her say please and thank you.  We've been working on this and so far she is doing very well.


With the days getting shorter, she's noticed that the sun disappears earlier.  "Sun?  Sun? SUN?" she worried tonight when she was heading to bed (ie where did the sun go??)  I told her that the sun had gone to bed.  "Yeah" she said.   "All gone?" she then asked. "Yes", I said.  "Oh", said Elizabeth. "Bye bye".


She's very keen on doing what Mommy and Daddy are doing.  She helps wash dishes after nearly every meal, helps set the table and loves to do as much cooking as we allow.  She especially loves to crack open eggs.  She's much better at dressing herself and can even take her shoes off by herself.  After she gets dressed she always goes to admire herself in the mirror to see if she's "cute".  She's also started to pretend things.  She pretends to take naps, pretends to feeds her stuffed animals and crawls around the kitchen pretending she's a baby.


She goes up and down stairs by herself.  Distressingly, she's started going down the stairs standing up.  By herself.  (Eek!)  She is very well behaved most of the time though.  If I ask her to sit somewhere, she usually will until I tell her that she can get up. 


If she gets hurt, kisses make everything better.  She usually insists on kisses from both Mommy and Daddy, and Auntie Janice too if she's home.  Right now she has a tiny scratch on one knee, and we've learned that she needs to wear pants or leotards until that heals because otherwise she demands kisses everytime she sees her "boo boo". 

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September 28, 2010
Cost of Baby

I've been tripping over a lot of commentary recently about the expense of raising children, and honestly I have to wonder what on earth some of these so-called experts are buying for their kids.  Apparently having children is "one of the most underestimated expenses for couples".  Most people spend more than $10,000 during their child's first year, not including daycare, and the experts expect the final bill to average out at $166,549. 


As it happens, I was brought up to keep track of my expenses and can quite easily tell you what we've spent so far.  Several thousand dollars of our expenses for Elizabeth would definitely fall into the "frivolous" category, such as baby sensory classes, museum subscription, books, art supplies and her playstructure.  Despite our best efforts, we still are nowhere near the $10K figure.


Elizabeth's first year?  $2460.  To date at nineteen months? $5111.


That includes:

Prenatal classes

Diapers (both cloth diapers and some disposables that we bought while waiting for Elizabeth to grow into the cloth ones)

Thank you cards

Vitamin D drops

Stroller + infant car seat

2nd stage Car seat


Breast Pump rental

Lansinoh etc

Birth certificate registration

Bottles and sippy cups

Booster seat / highchair

Pregnancy pillow

Ultrasound pictures


Baby wipes, baby shampoo, nasal bulb, Qtips etc

"Labour kit" items (including a hairdryer)

Clothing (although granted we've been blessed with many gifts and hand-me-downs)

Children's tylenol


Camping mat for Elizabeth

Baby sensory classes

A two-year subscription to the Museum of Science and Tech / Aviation and Space / Agriculture

And the big ticket item, costing well over half our total spending on Elizabeth: the cedar playstructure extension to our deck and playhouse underneath.


We get a bit closer ($5512 for the first year, $8163 at nineteen months) if you consider that our grocery bill for the year increased $2000 as compared to our five-year average, our electric bill was up $821 and our water bill was up $231.  We did keep our house warmer and do a lot more laundry.  But the cost of electricity and water also went up very significantly, the number of other people living here increased and we entertained quite a lot more so it's hard to say how much of that is directly attributable to Elizabeth.


We've been very lucky not to have had to purchase many clothes for Elizabeth, but even if we had purchased all her clothing I don't think that's the difference.


Is breastfeeding, cloth diapering and avoiding commercial baby food THAT much cheaper?

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