Parenthood
July 14, 2013
Joel and Kate

One of the "kids" from youth group back in the day got married today, making us feel all nostalgic.

 

We're really missing our "real" camera; it has a defective sensor on the lens. Sigh. We did get some cute photos of Matthew all dressed up for the first time.

 

When we got home after the wedding, Elizabeth wanted to know if perhaps we could ask Kate and Joel to "do it again, but maybe a little shorter". I gather she likes weddings! It was a lovely ceremony.

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July 12, 2013
5 months

At five months, Matthew is officially mobile. He can get up more or less on all fours, but doesn't know what to do next. Mostly he spins in circles or scoots backwards away from his desired target. When he really wants to move forwards, he tends to flop onto his tummy, lift his head like a turtle and tries to swim through the air.  It's hilarious, but beached whale is not an effective way to move around. So frustrating! On less smooth surfaces (ie bed with comforter on it) he can get where he wants to go (albeit slowly) and is starting to figure out how to get out of bed. Time to lower the crib!

 

He can sit unassisted, but rarely sees the point. Usually something shiny grabs his attention and off he wiggles. Standing is much more popular, though he tends to lurch sideways suddenly when he gets tired.

 

He is more and more talkative and makes a wide variety of emphatic noises, including a MMMM sound when he really wants milk. He is still signing too. He knows change, diaper, milk, all done and more, but doesn't quite agree with mom and dad on the meaning. Milk seems to mean he wants liquids (he signs milk when he wants his sippy cup too!) He often uses "diaper" as "want" and "change" when he just wants to be doing something else.

 

He's still extraordinarily grabby and I'm still losing fistfuls of hair at a time. Elizabeth sometimes tries to put the casualties back on my head. Speaking of Elizabeth, Matthew LOVES to watch his big sister doing things. She seems to love the attention and is starting to interact with him much more - incorporating him into her games and giving him a role like "doctor". She also likes to bring him toys to play with. She has definite ideas about what is appropriate for babies to play with. She isn't keen on him playing with "her" toys in case he "ruins" them. "You never know when it comes to babies, after all".

 

He still loves to bounce in the jolly jumper but is now starting to enjoy other activities (lying on the floor with some toys, excersaucer, play mat with dangling toys, etc...) and will focus on a given activity for a good 30+ minutes at a time as long as he isn't too tired. He has a great laugh and finds all sorts of things downright hilarious.

 

He really, really, really (did I mention really?) wanted to have some big person food. Anyone who has eaten with us recently has commented on his fixation with what we are eating. Current research recommends that children of celiacs start wheat between 5 and 6 months, so we let Grandpa H give him his first solids before leaving. Elizabeth haaaated food as a baby, so I was very nervous. So far, Matthew seems to love it. He tends to tip his head way back like a baby bird and smacks his lips for more. The sippy cup is very popular too. The biggest problem is that he wants to feed himself but isn't really coordinated enough! So far we've given him barley oat cereal ("may contain wheat and gluten"), wheat cereal and Indian Butter Chicken. He made hilarious faces and wanted more.

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July 11, 2013
Leaving on a jetplane

We said goodbye to Grandma and Grandpa H today - six month furlough is over and they are heading back to Angola.

 

We are definitely going to miss their three dimensional selves, but are grateful for modern technology that helps us stay in touch!

 

We all trooped out to the airport to send them off in style. Elizabeth is less keen on becoming an astronaut now that she has tasted space icecream (not a fan!) She does want to know when she gets to fly in an airplane next though.

 

We hung around the airport long enough to get hungry and (re)discover the little restaurant with a view of the runway. So entertaining! I highly recommend if you enjoy watching airplanes.

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July 9, 2013
Berry picking

Yesterday was so eventful I didn't even tell you it was Matthew's first time going strawberry picking!

We heard a reliable rumour that the berries were particularly plentiful this year, so Elizabeth, Matthew and I met Grandma H at the farm and proceeded to collect 20 litres in about an hour. Elizabeth decided very early on that the leaves were "scratchy" and picked only the berries you see in her basket.

 

I was underwhelmed by her efforts, but glad to have mom along - one adult to play with the kids in the shade, the other to pick under the broiling sun. It was HOT, so we traded back and forth. Elizabeth made little nests out of grass.

 

It was clearly the end of the season, but I have never seen such a crop! They tasted lovely too.

 

 

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July 8, 2013
Happy Birthday

We celebrated Grandma and Grandpa H's birthday today. Grandpa was especially surprised since his birthday isn't for a few weeks but since they are headed back to Angola soon it seemed like the thing to do.

 

We had sausages and many salads for supper. Potato, strawberry and chèvre, broccoli... I made Shrimp-a-doodle-doo. Two birthdays meant two cakes. Grandma's was almond torte with cherry jam filling and whipped cream. Grandpa's was almost Black Forest cake (but with crushed strawberries so that those allergic to cherries could have some). The cherries came from cousin Heather's tree, the strawberries from our berry picking expedition.

 

The H cousins made shirts as gifts. On Grandma's shirt, Elizabeth and Matthew jointly made the blue butterfly. Xander and Isabelle made the green and yellow one. Grandpa's lion shirt shows Elizabeth in yellow, Xander in orange, Matthew in red and Isabelle in brown. Originally we were going to handprint Isabelle but Matthew's lack of cooperation made us reconsider that! He did NOT want to open his hand (silly grasp reflex). Finally we decided to paint his knuckles instead. As soon as we did, THEN he opened his hand, but not really long enough to get good prints. It reminded me why we used to do these projects with Elizabeth naked except for her "painting diaper". Imagine how fun it was to clean the paint off afterwards with his hand tightly closed around the paint.

 

I was happy enough with the end results though :)

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