October 17, 2010
Happy Birthday Grandma J

Yukiko is still in Japan so I had Maria yesterday while Chris and Erika were at Japanese school.  Elizabeth and Maria made waffles and then we fingerpainted a t-shirt for Grandma's birthday.  Afterwards Daddy was so tired he needed a nap.  Luckily Maria took one too.  Elizabeth pretended for a while but after fifteen minutes she was ready to play again.


Elizabeth made the flowers on the left, Maria the flowers on the right.  Erika made the butterfly when she came for lunch.


Grandma and Grandpa, and Chris and the girls came for lasagna, apple turnip, salad, swiss chard, carrot cake and of course presents!  Elizabeth was so excited that at one point she was literally running in circles around the coffee table.  Erika helped Grandma blow out the candles.  Grandpa expressed relief that there were no boyfriends.  "You are a very silly Grandpa", said Erika. 



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October 15, 2010

I don't think we ever posted pictures of the "finished" playstructure and play house exterior, so here's what we've done so far.  The play kitchen still needs a stove and a fridge, the sandbox fabric is lurking in our stairwell begging someone to please make it into a cover, we need to source playground tile to put around the whole thing and we haven't cut little animals into the sides of the railings.  But other than that we are completely done. 


I'm trying to avoid finishing it too much though because really the kids should be able to make the space their own...


Elizabeth seems to really love the playhouse in particular although she's a bit perturbed that all the deck furniture is currently cluttering her house (winter storage!)  The slide is also very popular.  She's in a dolly does everything phase so we've been spending a lot of time sliding babies up and down and up and down the slide. 

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October 14, 2010
Baby Teeth

My dentist is keen to ensure that Elizabeth doesn't have the same dental problems that I've experienced, so he sent home a toothbrush before she even had teeth with strict instructions that she use it "to get used to the idea", and every visit since he checks to see whether she's using it.  When he first heard we'd had a baby he took about half an hour or maybe longer to give me a basic overview of emergency dental care for children from zero to eighteen. 


Now we've been requested to bring Elizabeth to our next couple of appointments so that she can observe Mommy or Daddy having fun at the dentist, get to know the dentist and possibly sit in the chair for practice if she's brave enough.


This visit I was also reminded that I should start thinking about introducing Elizabeth to the concept of flossing and sent home some children's flossers to try out.  "Make sure that the gums are getting massaged adequately when she brushes her teeth.  Brushing the face of the teeth isn't important but focus on the gums!"


He also wanted to make sure that we were careful about sticky food, especially dried fruit or fruit rolls.  "Dried fruit may be natural, but it's loaded with sugar and stays stuck to the teeth."  I actually knew about this already because a five year old girl from our church had to have 11 fillings, 2 root canals and crown last year.  Most of the fillings were between the teeth.  The parents were very shocked because she wasn't allowed to have candy, but did eat a lot of raisins and fruit bars.

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October 12, 2010
How did THAT get there?

Auntie Janice here.


The other day I walked downstairs to wash my dishes when suddenly I noticed something out of the ordinary. "Mary...?" I called to the living room. "Um... how did a bus transfer get into this Nalgene?"

The reply was rather amusing. "The real question is... 'How did Elizabeth get a hold of a transfer?'" Probably she found one lying around the house, and decided it would be really fun to put it into something.


Now the only question is... what's next? and where will it end up?


Auntie Janice over & out.



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October 11, 2010
Butterfly Adventure

Chris and Brendan needed to make some repairs to Chris and Yukiko's deck, so I took all three girls to visit Carleton's annual butterfly exhibit.


Last year Erika, Elizabeth and I went mid-week, in the pouring rain.  We walked right in among the butterflies and spent a long time wandering around practically by ourselves.  Elizabeth crawled around on the floor while I lifted Erika up high.  So I was a little shocked to discover half the city in line in front of us when we arrived. 


The last weekend of the exhibit is apparently always pretty busy, but the Carleton staff (volunteer?) commented that they've never had so many people, with lineups starting today as soon as the greenhouse opened.  The line snaked around the block, with people shuffling slowly around the greenhouse holding pieces of orange up high in the hopes that a butterfly would land.  A good environment for the claustrophobic it was not.


It was a great way to meet other Ottawans though.  The kids played with sticks, stones and dirt while the parents chatted.  Many people discovered they knew each other or had mutual friends.  In fact, the family right behind us has a son in Erika's Japanese language classes.  I was one of only a few people there by myself, so the children had to stay close to me in the line, but many people commented on how well behaved all three cousins were.


I thought I was doing pretty well until I took Maria out of the stroller and turned around to stop Elizabeth from marching right back out the door.  A little boy around Elizabeth's age seized the opportunity to abscond with the stroller and sped off down the hall with it, nearly crashing into a couple of other butterfly visitors in the process.  One of the Carleton representatives decided that I could use help parking the stroller at that point!


I clearly couldn't bring the double stroller into the greenhouse, nor could Maria crawl around without danger of being trampled.  This posed a bit of a challenge, because Maria can't walk by herself yet.  Elizabeth is perfectly capable of walking by herself, but jealousy plus uncertainty over the number of people plus zooming insects meant that she wouldn't.


For a few minutes I tried carrying both girls, but soon another parent offered to help me and I gratefully accepted his offer.  Someone else gave Erika an orange and she was thrilled when a butterfly actually landed on it.  Elizabeth, not so much - she nearly had hysterics seeing the butterfly so close to her beloved cousin.  I gave Maria and Elizabeth pieces of orange too.  Maria ate hers (and Elizabeth's too). 


The little girls were getting hot, hungry and cranky so we soon left.  Both also needed the toilet facilities, so all four of us piled into a single bathroom stall.  The little girls and I then trooped out to allow Erika to go without an audience.  Meanwhile a line had formed for the bathroom.  You should have seen their faces when I informed them that the stall was still occupied!


Although I discovered that you can easily fit all three children on the stroller, Elizabeth and Erika actually ran most of the way home.  Elizabeth chasing, and Erika going on ahead and then stopping periodically to let herself be "tatched" with a great big hug.

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