Matthew and I have been taking Xander to the French playgroup that I used to take Elizabeth to at Marius Barbeau.
The first week was hilarious because I had never before met "shy Xander". He stared straight down at his feet and seemed quite put out that all of a sudden everyone was speaking French. He doesn't say much in any language yet but was able to clearly communicate his annoyance that EVEN Auntie Mary was suddenly speaking gibberish. He kept very, very close to me the whole time.
But there were trains. And dinosaurs. Did I mention there were trains? He was too excited to eat much snack (we saved that for the car trip home).
By the second week he was a little more comfortable and confidently answered "ME!" when asked his name during circle time. Now he's obviously completely comfortable and sings along with all the songs at circle time. Matthew does too. Neither of them make noises that resemble the actual tune.
It's interesting doing this for a second time - even Matthew interacts with the other kids more than Elizabeth ever did (but boy has she ever come out of her shell this year!) Matthew really likes play dough. Actually he's interested in anything the "big kids" are doing.
Xander has a friend Jakob who likes to play trains with him. Xander is very focussed on the trains. He will sit down enthusiastically to do a craft, or eat snack, but suddenly remember that the trains might need playing with and want to go check on them. So funny! Then he cleans them up - he's a GREAT cleaner-upper - and dives back into the next thing that has caught his attention.
Behold, a fun experiment to demonstrate that Elizabeth's hand washing techniques require more work.
First we cut a piece of bread into three pieces. Then we put one piece in a bag as a control. Elizabeth did NOT quite get the concept.
Then we touched one piece of bread with freshly washed hands.
Finally we got our hands dirty and touched the last piece with them. Elizabeth did NOT want to go and get her hands dirty. I wanted her to rub her hands on the dirt but that was clearly not happening. Finally I suggested she play in her sandbox for a while instead. Luckily it was *just* warm enough, but getting her to touch the bread before washing her hands nearly caused her head to explode.
Little brother does not share her qualms about getting dirty...
Elizabeth had her last appointment with Dr Duncan today. I was too shy to ask for a photo (maybe we'll see her around another time), partly because we accidentally showed up an hour late due to a daylight savings technology issue. (GAH!)
Dr Duncan was very pleased with how Elizabeth's nose has turned out. There are a few "baby acne" spots on the scar still which will go away. Dr Duncan did offer to remove them with a needle but Elizabeth politely declined.
Our first attempt at a family fall picture for this year's Christmas card was too dark, so we waited until the light was all wrong, the kids were good and cranky and off we biked / walked / pushed stroller to Dow's Lake for round two. Elizabeth's mood improved noticeably after I managed to stuff her helmet into her cagoule in order to keep her ears warm.
Despite ourselves we managed to have fun and get an acceptable, if not perfect photo, but I need your mailing address if you want to see it!
This is a mishmash of photos that I took of my garden. If I'd been organized I'd have posted about the garden as it grew from first seeds haphazardly "planted" by my enthusiastic small helpers (Xander and Elizabeth) until last frantic harvest before frost. Since that frost held off until Oct 23rd, we had a pretty amazing run!
The cucumbers didn't get devoured by bugs this year, so we got to eat quite a few and we tried three different kinds of pickles. Not that I've actually been brave enough to try EATING any of those pickles yet!
I thought I'd taken a few more pictures of a daily harvest - suffice it to say that we had beans and tomatoes coming out of our ears as usual. The tomatoes were very, very slow to ripen, so by the time they were ready to can I was already sick of canning. I didn't end up canning nearly as many as I usually do - hopefully I do not regret this too much in February.
We tried carrots for the first time and they were an enormous success - probably the sweetest carrots I've ever hard.
But the big garden story this year was definitely pumpkins. Turns out third time is the charm! We could have had seven pumpkins, but one got knocked off the vine and one got eaten by slugs and other creepy crawlies.