At three and a half, Elizabeth weighs 13.15 kg (29 lbs). That puts her almost on par with her Uncle Chris when he was one! She's approximately 95.25cm (37.5") tall.
She's very keen to start school, but wants to bring Mommy or Daddy so they can "watch her for a very long time". She's much better at playing by herself, and even will sometimes play happily in the basement while we do other things on the first floor. Crafts, cars, cooking, trains and BABIES all still very popular. She loves singing, nursery rhymes, stories and writing letters.
Although she has a hard time without an afternoon nap, it's rare that she'll take one. Instead she prefers to wriggle quietly in bed for three quarters of an hour. Mommy rarely agrees to nap too, mostly because it tends to end with sleeping Mommy being gently tapped awake. "Mommy, are you wakeable yet?" loudly whispers the toddler. "I think it must be wake up time!"
After she turned three, she started to tell us that she'd stop nursing "when I'm four". I first noticed that she didn't want to nurse for comfort anymore when she was stung by those wasps, and by cottage time she'd pretty much dropped nursing when she first woke up, leaving only a rather sporadic nap time session. I *think* she has now stopped entirely.
She's become much more acrobatic and confident, though new situations can see her revert to a mute cling-a-saurus. She's not very adventurous around slides until she's sure it's not faster than she can safely descend by herself (and won't "static" her). She's developed a fear of the dark. There might be alligators or wolves waiting out of sight to gobble her up, you know. She loves jumping and hopping on one foot or another. It's more fun with an audience who can watch "the biggest jump you ever saw". Biking is still extremely popular. She's fast enough now that Mommy can bike beside her. Did I mention she can put her whole head entirely under water?
She's more insistent about getting her point across and gets very frustrated if adults don't listen, or worse, try to guess what she's saying in order to speed up the story. She does like to tell very elaborate stories - nothing wrong with her imagination!!! She likes to ask if her story was "amazing" or "prising" (aka surprising). Frequently she ends a story by saying "and Mommy was very amused." She loves stories about fairies, goblins etc (such as Enid Blyton's Wishing Chair series), but can get very worked up about stories that don't make sense. Flying chairs - no problem. A house that has chocolate milk coming out of the taps? Great agitation. "But MOOOOMMMY - taps are SUPPOSED to have WATER". We tell her it's just for pretend, but it doesn't help. It's too "silly". Mind you, occasionally she has the same reaction to ordinary facts. She did not at all like hearing about molten rock deep in the earth, though the idea of mountains burping smoke had some appeal... When she gets upset, she usually asks for a hug. Hugs make everything better!
We wouldn't call her a picky eater anymore. She started eating berries and all kinds of previously rejected foods - not always in great quantities, but happily and without protest. She still has some dislikes - tomatoes definitely not popular - but protests quite mildly before eating them.
She still sleeps well, but has lately been waking in the middle of the night to call for someone to replace her covers. No matter how well we cover her, she seems to kick them off early on and then gets cold. Unfortunately she doesn't like Mommy's idea that she should just wear warm "jamamas" (pyjamas) and forget about the blanket altogether. Sigh.
Still she's so much fun that we wouldn't have her any other way...
Elizabeth wrote her first letter "all by herself" to Great Uncle Carl, but it was too funny not to share this for posterity.
Writing so many letters in a row is very tiring, so she got fed up half way through and decided to dictate the rest. She was very anxious as to whether I was writing down "exactly" what she was saying. Seems she thinks she can trust that I'm giving her the right letters to spell out but dictating her thoughts needs repetition. Mind you, she does get carried away even when I'm spelling words for her. She adds extra letters willy-nilly.
Ryan's seen many tourist attractions in the last year, so we decided that he should visit the Diefenbunker - Ottawa's "secret" underground bomb shelter built to protect the Canadian government in case of nuclear attack. It's rather unique.
Every time I go I'm struck by two things:
1) Only the whole world being utterly destroyed would be enough incentive for me to put up with the decor - such a depressing work place!
2) It would be super fun place for a giant game of laser tag
This was our second visit, and Brendan found it seemed much smaller this time. Especially given how many people (approximately 500) were supposed to live there!
As soon as Elizabeth realized that Ryan was willing to read her endless stories, she warmed up to him very quickly. She was sad to see him go home...
Cousin Ryan visited all the continents this year, so naturally we made him promise not to neglect our little part of the world!
He came this weekend and I had planned my favourite meal with greek salad, homemade pita bread, homemade tzaziki (cucumbers from our own garden!), souvlaki and flaming cheese. This is undoubtedly why I chose lunchtime to accidentally consume four slices of whole wheat bread, rendering me totally unfit to eat any dinner at all, let alone greet our guest. There was a lot of puking in a very short period of time.
In my defense, the bread was labelled "Sunflower Rice bread", cost $7 for a small dense loaf that tasted like most commercial gluten-free bread (in other words, I was unimpressed) and was on a shelf with a price tag indicating "gluten free". Turns out someone had moved it into the wrong slot and it was actually some kind of uber healthy organic loaf. Let's just say that it's been determined that a) I am still celiac and b) I will never neglect to read the ingredients list again.
I did manage to make it downstairs in time to see the flaming cheese (and Xander's reaction to said cheese).
We went to the cottage at Bondi Village with the whole J family again, except Uncle Mark (who stayed in China) and Auntie Yukiko (who had to work!)
There was paddling. There was swimming. There was biking. There was playing of "pink ball" (ping pong). There was shuffleboard. There was teeter-tottering. There was lots of wildlife, other than the young savages that populated our abode. (Deer! Herons! Loons! A merlin!) The blue jays harassed the poor chipmunks and red squirrels constantly. We learned that Woody Woodpecker's distinctive laughter is actually based on the REAL call of a pileated woodpecker!
There were also chickens, as usual. We didn't gather eggs this year, but Elizabeth scattered food and actually managed to catch her own chickens to cuddle.
We went to Robinson's and climbed the Dorset Fire Tower. Mommy has a good head for heights but coming down STEEP stairs with overexcited preschooler made me think I might sort of understand the feelings of those of you that don't. Spectacular view though!
We went to Huntsville library for Sister Dorothy. Elizabeth got overexcited during the performance of the five frogs on the speckled log, somersaulted off her chair and thunked her head hard into the concrete. We went to Swiss Chalet because the "gluten-free friendly" restaurant we tried first had a sign letting us know that their gluten free menu was only for those making a "lifestyle choice" and not people who might get sick with the inevitable cross-contamination from their kitchen setup. Let's just say that I was displeased that they had advertised on celiac.com.
Nancy from Bondi let the kids have a little ride on Squeegee the pony. Last year Elizabeth wasn't too happy about even petting him, but this year she actually had a ride! She had a chance to go again week two but opted to just pat him. I wasn't sure if it was the lack of cousinly peer pressure or what, but she insisted that she was just feeling "wobbly" because she was "too tired".
We let her stay up until past ten o'clock several times, so it wasn't surprising that she got tired! One night we went stargazing and saw shooting stars. Another night a couple dozen of us were treated to a private wolf howl with Algonquin Park's chief naturalist (coincidentally on sabbatical). Elizabeth was deeply impressed. We walked in dead silence to a clearing in the woods. There was howling, and the wolf pack answered TWICE! It was really eerie and totally cool. The only drawback is that now Elizabeth likes to play wolf howl...
There were a lot of crafts, especially while all three cousins were together. Elizabeth was particularly thrilled by the glitter (not allowed at home). Strangely the adults were less thrilled by the resulting cleanup required. It's going to be a glitter-filled Christmas (We made the Christmas crackers!)
There was scavenger hunting and dinosaur bone excavation. There was sand castle building and many little girls covered from head to foot in sand (except Maria who insisted that her arms remain free!).
Elizabeth improved her "watermelon" (aka corn kernel) spitting technique. Last year she barely managed to dribble the seed from lip to ground. This year she spat it quite vigorously into the ground. By the second week she'd figured out that she needed to aim straight ahead and tripled her distance. Her record is 3'5". Mommy, Daddy and Elizabeth all came first in their age categories the second week!