It's Elizabeth's third year helping make Christmas cake! She was pretty excited because hanging out with Grandma and Grandpa J is one of her favourite activities in the whole wide world.
She helped me weigh and pour the fruit (number recognition!) and stir in a bit of flour. Then she got hungry and ate five cookies and drank nearly an entire mug of hot chocolate. She was a bit disappointed that she didn't get to eat the Christmas cake right away, but at least we still have a bit from last year left.
By the time I got her home she was so tired that she actually fell asleep with her head on the table before dinner!
I'm back into morning sickness (due to heartburn?) Also, I'm 90% sure baby is currently breech. Midwife said last time if it is breech at 30 weeks then I'm headed for C-Section #2. Boo Hiss. On the other hand, babies are cute which makes up for a lot.
We may have harvested the garden earlier in the fall, but it took us a while to deal with some of the fruits of our labours... All the potatoes came from leftovers that I didn't find last year. The sweet potatoes came from a single yam shoved in the ground as an experiment just before we left for the cottage in August!
Janice harvested the sage and peppermint. She uses them for tea - she swears by sage as a natural decongestant.
I planted a hot pepper plant on a whim, thinking I could use them for pest control (being annoyed about the untimely demise of my poor, poor cucumber plants). Unfortunately, peppers grow slowly and the cucumbers were a distant memory before my bumper crop of peppers ripened.
Now, we have a bit of family lore surrounding hot peppers. Mom grew a hot pepper one year, and led astray by a television advertisement my brother was foolish enough to eat one right off the vine. I remember vividly finding him drooling over the garbage can and wondering what on earth happened. I was very amused, but the blisters in his mouth were impressive. It took weeks for those burns to heal, None of us will ever bite a pepper without first checking if it is hot! So I wasn't about to try my peppers raw.
Instead, I cut the smallest one up for a large chili I was making and just about melted the inside of my husband's stomach. We did not insist Elizabeth try even a small bite. We did eat the chili, but diluted with equal parts yogurt and cheese, followed by copious amounts of milk and water. I wiped the counter and washed my hands. Then I accidentally touched my lips with my supposedly clean hands and yelped. Turns out that this pepper was potent enough that only generous amounts of lemon juice used as "soap" could remove the spice. Poor Jesse who lives with us used the cutting board before I figured this out and ended up with unexpectedly spicy fish for supper.
Brendan decided that rather than attempt to use all our peppers before they rotted we should try drying them in the oven. (It was cold enough that we couldn't just air dry them, they got mouldy!) Three days in the oven later, the great pepper experiment was declared a great success. I haven't actually had the courage to use a small amount in my cooking yet, but if I still have some come cucumber season I have a plan!
Elizabeth's skating teacher requested that they wear costumes to class. We don't usually celebrate Hallowe'en but we have no objection to getting dressed up so Elizabeth duly put on three pairs of pants and two sweaters under her dinosaur costume in lieu of snowsuit. Now she always wants to wear multiple pairs of pants "because it's comfy cozy".
Elizabeth was in a split class this time. The other kids in her class are all five, but mostly couldn't skate at all. "Why do the other kids spend the whole class on their knees?" asked Elizabeth. Daddy was supposed to be on the ice to help for the first three classes, but it was obvious that the instructor needed an extra pair of hands since the others couldn't even stand independently for the first five classes. We were pleased with Elizabeth's progress though; she's learned to get up off the ice if she falls by herself, she started gliding (although mostly on one foot!), can do little jumps on the ice and has even started to skate backwards.
She now skates forwards faster than Daddy can skate backwards. "Maybe Daddy needs lessons" said Elizabeth.