January 6, 2012
Packing List

Brendan and I have a list of life skills we'd like Elizabeth to acquire by "the age of reason", and this week it seemed logical to focus on how to make a packing list.


Over the course of a few days, Elizabeth figured out what she'd need. Then Mommy wrote it down in a list, complete with pictures so that Elizabeth could read it by herself.


At packing time she was able to go through the list, get all the items she needed and put them in her little suitcase. She managed surprisingly well.

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January 5, 2012
Happy Birthday Janice

We filled the house with smoke from the wax paper on Auntie Janice's Cherry-free "Black Forest Cake" (we used strawberry-rhubarb filling instead).


Elizabeth had fun "jumping into the sun".


There was sparkler art (see Uncle Dave's blog for pictures of the whale Auntie Janice drew!). There were taco-fajitas. There was mass chaos when six kids ten and under felt like twenty.


No wonder Auntie Janice is getting older!


Happy Birthday... Sorry we forgot to give you your presents...

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January 3, 2012
Erika and Maria

Lacking siblings, Elizabeth's lucky to be able to spend a significant amount of time with her various cousins. Maria's closest chronologically in age, but when Elizabeth, Erika and Maria hang out, it's usually Erika and Elizabeth playing and Maria doing her own thing.


When Elizabeth goes to Erika's house, she seems to shed her clothes nearly instantly. I've learned to budget an extra 20 minutes to find stray clothing and convince Elizabeth to remove her borrowed finery in favour of the boring old stuff she left home in.


In part because they would like more dress-up time, Erika and Elizabeth have been campaigning for another sleep-over. Since Auntie Yukiko is away in Japan, we thought Uncle Chris might like to have a bit of a break and offered to have the kids here for a night. Mommy took the three girls to the Museum of Nature first where we met up with Auntie Heather, Josie and Daniel briefly. We were able to borrow the double-seat car stroller, which was a great treat for the girls (not so much for me!) 


On the way out of the museum, Elizabeth and Maria got into a bit of a kerfuffle. One pushed the other. The other pushed back. This led to pinching (Elizabeth) and slapping (Maria). Elizabeth apologized but Maria was having none of it. So she had to walk until she was ready to say sorry. Elizabeth was so upset by Maria being in trouble that you would have thought that Elizabeth was the one who had to walk.  Eventually they made up, but by that time we'd missed our intended bus home and were in danger of missing the last one altogether. So then we had a nerve-wracking march across the street with Maria howling about her hands being cold (because she absolutely and completely refused to wear her mittens) and Elizabeth howling about Maria howling. Erika was a model child, which was just as well! We made it to the stop and huddled like ladybugs to keep warm in the absolutely frigid temperatures. We made it home, but I think such adventures are better kept for earlier in the day, when tempers are a little less frayed around the edges.


The actual sleepover was much less eventful. Elizabeth insisted on sleeping on the floor like her cousins. Erika ended up moving across the room to find "a quiet corner where NO ONE IS GOING TO TICKLE ME ANYMORE Auntie Mary" (though she may have done her share of the tickling). Daddy, too afraid to stay upstairs lest his sleep be disturbed, slept in the guest room. Actually everyone slept pretty well in the end, though you wouldn't have known it by how sleepy they all were in the morning!


Elizabeth thought maybe the girls should move into her room permanently, but luckily agreed that it would be just as nice to have Daddy back upstairs again.

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January 2, 2012

As soon as we had snow, Elizabeth wanted to use her "little red sled", but we used it as a transportation device on flat ground. Daddy thought we should take it to an official hill and go sliding.


So this marks the beginning of Elizabeth's love affair with tobogganing. I don't think I've actually ever been sliding down a hill on any kind of sled or magic carpet myself, but it does look kind of fun, especially if you bring someone who will pull you back up the hill after every slide down. We stayed on the "gentle" slope. Mommy held the sled until we were familiar with the hill, then Elizabeth was allowed to go by herself while I ran down beside the sled, just in case.


Some of the other parents (caregivers?) were rather more cavalier about safety, encouraging their kids to go down regardless of whether other kids were still in the way at the bottom. I thought I was possibly overreacting until I seriously watched one kid accidentally slam a five year old into a tree. Five year old was upset but appeared to be okay. In related news, I also vowed that Elizabeth isn't going to get to use a crazy carpet type sled, at least not on a hill with trees. None of the kids (or adults!) had any kind of control over their direction, which was a little insane given the terrain.


Speaking of the terrain, who pushes their toddler down a steep slope that is positioned such that you have to avoid large tree on one side, and stone wall on the other? Someone built a ramp at the bottom of said slope for extra danger points. Toddler hit side of ramp and hit the stone wall. (That family left with screaming child immediately afterwards.) Yikes.

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January 1, 2012
Happy New Year!

We had pancakes. In our pyjamas. With all of Elizabeth's babies. Elizabeth has decided that the "monkeys" (technically goats) she received from Uncle Mark are "soothers" for the babies.


Elizabeth was very happy. We had raclette for dinner with the other half round of cheese. (Ed. note: The first of a series of lunches and dinners over about two weeks!) I cannot recall how Elizabeth ended up playing cards in her pyjamas with Kevin. She did change out of them during the day, though we have no photographic evidence of this.

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