Uncle Chris (my hero) looked after five cousins while I was at my dance class and Brendan was building his TV antenna.
Uncle Dave and Auntie Karen dropped Xander off while they had a hot date at Home Depot. We got all the cousins to make faces at the camera for next year's calendar, and generally had a good time.
Josie and Daniel even got to Skype with their mom and dad in Simcoe, even though they were still busy playing outside. Technology is pretty amazing!
I was very amused by the dynamics between the kids, especially once Xander arrived. Maria started crawling around pretending to be a baby. Normally that would be Elizabeth's response, but since Maria took that role, Elizabeth grabbed a doll and started "mothering" it. I was just as happy not to deal with the play-crying, since toddlers seem to need to "cry" a lot more than the real babies I know! Josie was looking after Xander, giving him truck and bouncy horse rides. Daniel and Erika (the five year olds) weren't interested in babies (yech!) and so took off somewhere for a wild game of something or other upstairs.
We had Josie and Daniel for the weekend, and they happened to come for schnitzel night (we've been planning out our meals a month in advance recently).
So Elizabeth and Daniel were tasked with making the schnitzel while Josie chopped many vegetables for the next day's lunch. No one even nibbled at the raw pork, though we had some near misses.
The next morning they cleaned bathrooms, scrubbed mirrors, washed dishes and generally tidied.
I can't remember if I posted pictures of Elizabeth's finished sandbox, but we replaced our ugly blue tarp with curtains last fall and it is now D.O.N.E.
Except that apparently the "brass" fasteners we purchased are actually steel with brass coating, and therefore are rusting. Sigh...
The idea was that a vertical piece of fabric would dry quickly and not gather spiders, ants and wood lice underneath. This is working. A cover is necessary to avoid our lovely neighbourhood cats from treating it as their personal litterbox, and although the fabric does have gaps on the side, we figured that most cats prefer not to feel trapped.
This also seemed to be working, until a couple of weeks ago when Brendan noticed one of the curtains flapping loose in the wind. Have I mentioned we have raccoons? Apparently one or more opened a curtain, then couldn't get out, panicked and ripped a curtain right off on the other side. Luckily it was easily reattached, but now my lovely curtains have claw snags and raccoon prints as "extra" decoration.
I was thrilled to discover that they did not use the opportunity to use the facilities. Apparently they save that for the car hood roof of our garage, which is infinitely preferable to the sandbox. The 'coons haven't returned, so hopefully they were just curious and got a scare.
A couple of days later at breakfast Elizabeth and I actually saw two of them heading for bed. One walked along our fence, and the other tightrope walked along the cable TV line!
Elizabeth went to her three year old medical check up at the end of February, but I totally forgot to blog about it until I recently got around to downloading photos from Brendan's phone. We've been a wee bit busy with work lately...
Officially she measures 92.2 cm and 11.88 kg, which means she's now in the 10th and 20th percentiles. In other words, more or less following her curve. Elizabeth pretended to be mute during most of the appointment. The various questions they asked weren't memorable, except where they asked us whether Elizabeth was talking in sentences of at least five words. She sure is, said Daddy.
The actual appointment was pretty uneventful, except that we were THRILLED to discover that Elizabeth has a new pediatrician (Dr Lynn Jacoby). You may recall that our previous health care provider hassled me about breastfeeding (and stated that breast milk lost all nutritional value after Elizabeth turned one). Or his colleague that counseled coke for "electrolytes". I got to the point where I really felt I had to guard every word I uttered about Elizabeth in case they decided that concerns I have might be related to some "unusual" parenting decision we've made. Old pediatrician made me feel like we were being graded and not measuring up (not that I agreed with his scale!)
Unlike her predecessor, Dr Lynn took her time getting to know Elizabeth. She seemed to know her stuff and I came out of the appointment feeling rather giddy. It's just so nice to feel that the doctor that looks after Elizabeth might be someone I can trust and respect. New pediatrician makes me feel like she wants to be on my team.
Elizabeth rode all the way to the park on her little bike for the very first time today. According to Google, that's a distance of 550m. Admittedly, Mama carried the bike home while pulling Elizabeth in her little wagon, but given that she hadn't been allowed out of the driveway before I was very impressed!
Later that day we went to the library and Elizabeth figured out how to scan her own library books. It's a bit tricky as it requires you to push the book in a straight line, at an appropriate pace until you hear the beep. Then you have to wait for the "thump" as it demagnifies the anti-theft device.
I was teasing her that the next thing I know, she'll be biking to the library to take out books all by herself. She looked at me rather alarmed and said seriously: "I still need my Mommy you know!"