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February 28, 2011

Taking after Grandpa J Elizabeth has started singing Happy Birthday to herself at every opportunity.  She has even decided that this is so much fun that we should all sing happy birthday to each other pretty much non-stop...  Breaking her birthday up across two days may have helped prevent present overload but it appears to have some unintended consequences. 


As for the presents, this morning Elizabeth saw a gift bag sitting unopened and promptly walked over to it and started pulling things out.  She thoroughly enjoyed finding her "English Doggie" inside and played nicely for a few minutes pretending that the doggie was nibbling on her finger.  Then just as abruptly as she had charged over to the bag she was done and announced "more!".  Oh dear.  We did have one more present (small pots and pans for her play kitchen) but we kept it for the evening.


February 27, 2011

We celebrated Elizabeth's birthday today.  I asked her what she wanted for lunch and to my surprise she demanded pizza.  So we had make-your-own-pizzas with broccoli on the side.  I didn't ask what kind of cake, since we all felt that something chocolate was rather obvious! I told Erika we would have worms for lunch.  She didn't quite believe me but was very happy to help me and Elizabeth decorate our "dirt cake".  I made a chocolate cake base, some homemade egg-free chocolate mousse and crushed Kinnikinnick gluten free oreos for the topping. My mouth is watering just remembering...


Grandma and Grandpa J, Uncle Dave and Auntie Karen, Auntie Janice, Uncle Chris, Erika, Maria, Auntie Heather and friend Jesse all crowded around the table with us.  Elizabeth wasn't quite sure what to do with the candles on her cake, so everyone helped her blow them out.  She had no trouble figuring out what to do with the cake itself.


After lunch we let lucky Elizabeth open the large assortment of presents, which she did with alacrity. Auntie Janice asked Elizabeth what she wanted for her birthday and Elizabeth told her she wanted a dragon.  So Auntie Janice has spent the last few days secreted in our guest bedroom making pounding noises.  Lots of jokes about our woodpecker infestation and we were even starting to wonder if woodpeckers were dragon food or something!  Isn't that sheet fantastic???  Can you believe Janice stencilled every single dragon by hand???


Auntie Heather brought Elizabeth two singing ducks.  One walks and tells you off if you pick him up by his ears and the other flaps his wings and giggles if you tickle him.  Elizabeth loves them.  At first she wanted to bring them to bed with her but I think we've convinced her they belong in the basement.  (Singing ducks at 4am would be very unpopular with Daddy, and this child already knows how to turn the off switch back on.)


When Janice was little, Uncle Dave decided one Christmas that he needed to get her "the biggest bear he could find". So I guess I shouldn't be surprised by the enormous sheep that has come to live with Elizabeth.  Based on the size progression the next stuffed animal he buys may not fit in his car.  Auntie Karen observed that "Fat Sheep" is going to become "Flat sheep" - Elizabeth likes to pretend to ride it "like a horsie".


Elizabeth also received some play food (sushi! toy lettuce with velco-detachable leaves! garlic!) from her cousins, books from Uncle Dave, Auntie Karen and Auntie Janice and a snazzy new life jacket from Grandma and Grandpa.


She had a couple of other gifts still hidden away, but we opted to open them another day!


February 26, 2011

We don't celebrate Halloween, but that doesn't mean Elizabeth has been deprived of the opportunity to dress up!  Recently we borrowed a set of three costumes from the OEYC toy library.  Elizabeth has been putting each of them on in turn, several times a day, running to the mirror and cooing at her reflection.  She's much better at taking them off "by self" than putting them on.


The first day "unicorn" insisted on going to wake up Auntie Janice and Daddy to show off her costumed self.  Auntie Janice was amused to hear Elizabeth knocking on her door. "There's a horse out here", she heard.  Sure enough, a horse did indeed poke her head around the door.  Mommy wishes she had Daddy's reaction on video.  He opened his eyes and nearly jumped out of his skin!




February 25, 2011

Elizabeth and I have been doing a small "science" experiment lately.  We mixed different colours of food colouring into water, poured it into an ice cube tray and put it into the freezer.  She was seriously confused when we added blue and yellow and got green - I wish I had been able to get a picture!  I got Elizabeth to touch the water before we put it into the freezer so that she could feel that it was liquid.


Later we brought out the ice cubes and Elizabeth got to feel them too.  "Cold and 'ard", she said wonderingly.  "And cold!"


We put the ice cubes into separate ziplock bags and let them melt.  Elizabeth liked this.  "Melting!", she informed everyone who came into the kitchen.  When Elizabeth was a baby every now and then I used to let her play with a ziplock bag quarter filled with water to her great delight - best! toy! ever! (obviously I had to closely supervise to make sure she didn't try to eat it).  So I didn't think twice about letting her play with one of the bags full of melted water.  Turns out that babies aren't as strong or as fine-motor-control advanced.  Who knew?  For the record, my nearly two year old finds it funny to squeeze the bag vigorously and squirt Mommy, her socks and the kitchen floor with red food colouring.  She pretty much destroyed the bag in a matter of seconds.  "Oops..." she said.  "Making mess!"


February 23, 2011

Today was National Aviation Day, career day and the first anniversary of Auntie Janice's Humpty Dumpty impression.  We ignored the last milestone...


The Aviation Museum opened their new wing to celebrate and we got to meet some of the Snowbird pilots and technicians.  We being Grandma J, Angie, Erika, Maria, Elizabeth and me!  Janice was there too but she had to work or something, much to Erika's disgust.


The Snowbird Commanding Officer LCol Maryse Carmichael personally gave Elizabeth a sticker of the Snowbirds crest to put on her sweater.  Elizabeth was very proud.  I don't know why, but I was surprised to learn that the Snowbirds are part of the Canadian Armed Forces.  Equally surprising was the fact that there are female Snowbirds!  Although thinking about it I have no idea why I would have thought they were all men. 


I forgot to bring Elizabeth's stroller, so the three girls had to share Maria's stroller. Elizabeth was particularly keen on having her turn last as long as possible.  We stopped to watch a video of an early airplane taking off and all three girls were fascinated.  Elizabeth's attention waned before anyone else's and the next thing I knew she had charged off with Maria's stroller and nearly mowed down another visitor!


We paid a visit to the nicely soundproofed RCAF Hall of tribute.  Erika and Elizabeth chased each other around and around and around.  At one point the girls decided to pretend they were babies crawling around on the floor.  Maria gamely walked around chasing, but you could tell she thought the crawling was just silly.  If she could talk, she would have told them that she's spent a long time figuring out how to walk so that she could be just like them and she was NOT about to start crawling again.  Pretty hilarious!


Later we got to talk to an enthusiastic Aviation Technician Marc Frenette/Price who told us all about being in the Snowbird squadron.  Apparently flying is very noisy (he'd be deaf without the ear protection) and uncomfortable (because they have to sit on their gear).  He specializes in safety equipment, checking over parachutes and ejection seats and the like.  He obviously loves his job, even if the hours can be long. 


I can't remember exactly what he said, but he made some comment about how the Snowbirds have special holes in the cockpit (or engine?) that allow them to rapidly change the pressure.  And that it's a myth that holes in the cockpit lead to sucking people out into space. There are nine airplanes that fly in a show, but actually eleven in the fleet.  Two of the airplanes fly ahead to venues to get things ready.  I'm not quite clear on how often this happens, but apparently if one of the airplanes is unable to fly for some reason, they fly the replacement back to Moose Jaw to repaint the airplane with the broken airplane's number and pilot's name.


It only takes three hours to fly from Ottawa to Moose Jaw in the Tutor, but they have to refuel twice.  Since each stop requires about an hour the whole trip pretty much doubles.  Sometimes refuelling is very tricky.  The manoeuvring required to refuel nine large airplanes off a single gas pump in a tiny airport sounded like it would be worth watching!  They often have tight deadlines.  Marc told us about a problem they had when flying over 150 cities for the 150th anniversary of Canadian flight.  They landed in the prairies at a single gas pump airport and the pump quit after the first thirty seconds.  They were nervously wondering whether they'd have to spend the night when the gas pump was finally repaired.  (Snowbirds don't usually fly at night.)  In the end I guess they didn't get to fly over quite as many cities as they had hoped, although I gather they did manage to pass at least 150!


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