Yukiko and I took the girls (and Matthew) to Cosmic Adventures.
The last time the cousins went together was in 2009! Maria was still in utero and Elizabeth was 2 months old. I spent the whole time crawling in the tunnels with Erika. We went again when Elizabeth was 11 months old but it was so traumatic for this slightly germ phobic mom that we haven't been since.
I'm happy to report that there was no vomit this time. It wasn't super busy but it's still a rather intense experience. Elizabeth and Maria weren't quite sure about the big tunnels full of shrieking pushy strangers so Yukiko and I ended up taking it in turns to crawl through the tunnels with the kids. Matthew even made it up the tunnels with Mommy at one point to watch them going up and down the slides.
Elizabeth really enjoyed herself, but I was exhausted afterwards!
Reza (Ray) and Jesse have lived with us so long that Elizabeth can't remember a time when they didn't!
In fact, Ray predates Elizabeth and is responsible for the fact that Elizabeth has had a facebook and gmail account since birth. Jesse's been around since before Elizabeth could walk. Before they arrived, we had new tenants nearly every year, but Elizabeth doesn't remember that. We are out of practice, but all good things must come to an end and they are both leaving us this summer.
Ray's new job is in Toronto and he couldn't be convinced to telecommute. Jesse is heading to Waterloo for his masters.
The house is very quiet without them. They will be missed.
Elizabeth is mollified by the promise that she gets her very own room now that we have more space (we won't rent out both rooms anymore). She doesn't really fit that well on the old crib mattress anymore. Must be growing up!
Early on in my journey as a parent, I read Gene Weingarten's award winning article about how it happens that a parent can forget their child in the car. (If you haven't read this, you should, even though it is deeply disturbing.) We have tried to make sure we are always mindful of our children around the car as a direct result of that article.
I read recently that some kids have experienced hyperthermia after hiding in a car too long. Elizabeth knows she isn't allowed to hide in enclosed spaces in general but wanting to make doubly sure she wasn't inclined to hide in the car we decided it was time to show her just how hot the car gets.
It's hot enough to bake cookies!
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.
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.