August 6, 2013
Cottage Days: Visiting Lindsay & Anna

Matthew helped Mommy and Elizabeth wash dishes for the very first time. Then we headed off to visit cousin Lauren and Donna (Elizabeth's second cousins Lindsay and Anna). We've been to their cottage before but this was our first look post-renovation. It was fun before but now it is lovely.


Elizabeth wasn't too sure at first but soon warmed up to Lindsay who showed her how to somersault over the sides of the couch and play "doctor" with her dolls. Then they decided to play construction. Lindsay put in windows with the same hammer she had been using to "check" Matthew's reflexes.


Grilled cheese and tomato soup for lunch, then stories and naps / quiet time before the kids begged to go swimming. It was a little chilly for Matthew but the girls splashed around happily and made sandcastles on the beach. Then we warmed up on the end of the dock with peaches and brownies.


On our way out, Elizabeth asked if we couldn't stay "forever and ever, or at least have a sleepover. Or maybe her (Lindsay) could come to my house for a sleepover". I guess she had fun!


It was wiener roast night at our cottage when we got home, and first corn of the season for Bondi - YUM! I brought my own gluten free graham crackers. Elizabeth wasn't too pleased to see the loud potato guns but forgot her annoyance in the excitement of her latest "spit" competition.

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August 5, 2013
Cottage Days: Erosion Edition

The girls survived all sleeping together on the back porch, despite a tug of war over blankets in the evening. All the same, Maria decided to sleep with Mommy and Daddy the next night in order to have more space!


One of the more popular beach activities: dig trenches and pour buckets down the hill, creating rivers, pools and waterfalls. Then we played in the water until everyone turned blue. Warm baths all around afterwards.

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August 4, 2013
Full car
Mommy stuffed about three full days worth of activity (pickling cucumbers, cleaning turtles, ...) and about five cars worth of stuff into our car (exersaucer, pedal bike, life-jackets, cooler, ...) and off we went to the cottage.  323 kilometers with no stops.  Somehow we weren't even the last to arrive even though we were the last to depart Ottawa...  Once we arrive Erika drew a very nice impression of Matthew while he played happily in the exersaucer (which he was very relieved to see once he was finally let out of the car).
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August 3, 2013
Plasma Car

Elizabeth has wanted her own plasma car for years. They are very expensive hunks of plastic so Mommy and Daddy told her that if she really really wanted one she had to use her own money and it would probably use up most of her funds. So at work time she started telling me that she was working towards "her" plasma car.


Fast forward about a year.


Finally she got serious. "Do I have enough money yet for a plasma car?" she asked. The piggy banks were getting heavy and I was curious too. Besides, we were running out of pennies and work time was getting expensive as Daddy was forced to substitute dimes, quarters, and the odd loonie.


So we spent an afternoon counting her money and trading in great fistfuls with the bank of Mom & Dad for higher denominations. I was quite impressed to discover she had more than enough to purchase a plasma car. She was quite impressed by how many work times this represented.


Daddy and I decided that it would be better not to clean her out entirely and helped her look for a plasma car on Kijiji. It took a while - for some reason people lately were only selling them in pairs (?!?) Eventually there were a few available. I showed her the picture of one possible plasma car selling for $35. We made an appointment with the seller.


Elizabeth and I showed up on the doorstep of the seller. I'd explained to Elizabeth that she was buying the car, not Mommy and after some arguing she "practiced" with me ("Moommmm - I already KNOW how to buy a plasma car") I told her that once we saw the car, she'd have three choices. She could pay the seller, she could decide she didn't like that one and we'd go find another one right away today or if she thought the plasma car wasn't quite what she was hoping she could ask the seller if they'd give her a lower price. "Why would I do that?" she asked. "Well, maybe it will be scratched, or maybe you might decide that you don't want a blue one" I said. "But blue is my FAVOURITE colour!" (Lesson learned: Brendan's going to be the one who teaches her to haggle.)


At first no one answered the door. We rang, the dogs barked, we rang again, the dogs barked some more. Finally I located the seller's number and called. "That's why the dogs are barking!" the woman said. Then she answered the door wearing only a towel around her waist and on her head. Elizabeth duly enquired about the plasma car and decided to purchase it. She handed over all her money. She patted the woman's pet bunny.


Then she tried out the plasma car on the way to the car. She couldn't stop grinning all the way home. As soon as we got home, Daddy had to see her ride the plasma car too.

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August 2, 2013
Farm Camp

Elizabeth has been doing the summer camp program at the Agriculture Museum this past week.


Day 1 - "There are rabbits in our classroom. The first bunny rabbit was named Oreo. I fed the chickens. Later on my whole school went out to the chickens. When we got there we pet the chickens. And one little boy was scared of the chickens. But they weren't scared of him. The teacher picked him up. We fed the chickens too. I don't know what they eat."


Day 2 - "We named a rabbit poop. Because that's what they do. The other one was called Thunderstorm. The black one. (Ed. note. There is no rabbit named Poop. I checked.)

There were water beads. It's a box with water. And beads. And they were squishy.
We went on a treasure hunt and there was a box and we couldn't open it because it was locked. And there was a friend. And she opened it and there were pompoms and beads in so many colours. So many things.
Her came around with them. I gotta peek. Her brought them to each table. Roxanne went somewhere and her didn't come back. One of the other kids was sick and wasn't there. They didn't mind cuz they had me!

We made our bottle. We glue gunned the lid cuz you aren't supposed to open it. So no one can steal our treasure! After I played everywhere. We played outside. I actually got a shirt. I was busy playing there when Mommy came. We played what time is it Monsieur loup and my teacher was the loup Then I saw goats and I fed goats. They said baa baa and I frew some hay at them and lamb sheep food and they gobbled them all up. I was close to the gate and it squished my toe. And I was a little bit frightened. So my teacher picked me up. The whole class petted the goats. I was right inside the cage with the goats and I patted them.

Day 3 - No tears at dropoff today! It was difficult to get information out of her today - she was so wiggly that she couldn't sit still. As we tried to find out what she had done, she was literally crawling on the floor, turning somersaults and rolling round and round.


First attempt: "We made blueberry muffins but I didn't want to eat one so I had juice instead. The teacher sprayed me with the hose. It was chilly I didn't get a chance to pet the rabbit because my arms were too short. That is all."


Second attempt: "I only petted the pacas. I watched the baby cows. I did help brush the baby cow. First one boy or girl came up and brushed her. Then one more and one more and one more and then finally it was my turn and I brushed her. Then when we got back to farm camp we had to wash our hands. It was fun."


Third attempt: "Oh yeah we made cow toothpaste. The lady put stuff in a bottle. It was not nice stuff. The lady put a towel on her head to make magic. She said it was her hair but it wasn't (Ed. note Outraged tone of voice!) We smelled the bottle and it was very smelly. It was nice and yucky. I don't think cows really use it to brush their teeth."


On the way out she asked if she could sleep at the farm.

Day 4: "I said Mommy don't go, don't go but then I did a colouring sheet. Isn't it beautiful? We were trying to find the Queen bee but she was hiding. I didn't get wet cuz there was a plastic cover and my teacher holded it over me like a raccoon. But my pants got soaking wet and on the way back I needed the cover and my teacher did too and I ran and got soaking at the end. But luckily I had new tshirt so I grabbed it and went in the girls washroom and changed. I didn't care that my pants were wet it was just the bottoms so I left em. After I did a pepper craft. My teacher gave me lots of colouring crayons and I had my name and we put it on the farm mural. One teacher had pink sparkles. Another teacher came over with silver sparkles and I got silver and I put it on the thing. Then I washed my hands and went and played. There are so many toys there I can't remember. Then I had snack and I had some lunch. Then we had a volcano show!" (Skeptical Mom looks at schedule of proposed activities - "Did you mean Lava lamps?" "Yeah!") "We put medicine in a bottle. In something red. And they the teacher gave one to each kid. Even one to me. Then we waited. The teacher said we could go and play but I said I wanted to wait for my mom. The bottle bubbled. Wow. Then my teacher leaded me over to the pigs. I went into the cage with the pigs and all the other kids. Her gave me an apple and I dropped it into the cage and the pigs ate it all up. Then we went out of the barn. But before that we gave them a shower but the pigs didn't want a shower cuz it was too chilly so we cleaned up the end of the cage for the farmers. Wasn't that nice for them?"

Day 5 did not go as planned. We arrived at the farm all excited to have a wagon ride and a special show put on by the kids in the afternoon! But before we even got into the farm Elizabeth suddenly threw up all over in the parking lot. She was very upset at the thought of going home and claimed she was feeling all better. I spoke to one of the staff members who was just arriving, and she encouraged Elizabeth to come to camp anyway (hmm). I decided to sit and watch the horses with Elizabeth for a bit to see whether she was just over-excited or actually ill. Elizabeth didn't want to go into camp, though, so I figured she was feeling rotten. Sure enough, she got greener and greener. I suggested maybe we could make a castle at home out of cardboard to rest in and take the wagon ride another day. She decided maybe going home would be okay. Then nearly threw up again. She curled up into a ball on the ground and wouldn't get up when I went to advise the staff that we weren't staying, so her councillor helped carry Matthew while I carried her back to the car. She threw up on Daddy as soon as we got home. I made the promised castle and then she slept and slept and slept and slept. Such a sad end to a lovely week!

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