Saturday mornings are usually somewhat rushed, what with needing to drop Daddy off for the remedial French "family" lessons that Elizabeth's school strongly suggested we ought to do, skating classes at St Laurent arena and then dashing back to school so that Elizabeth could participate in the last half hour of French class.
I have somewhat perfected the art of putting skates on one kid while baby wrangling but admittedly it got more challenging when Matthew outgrew the infant car seat and started trying to eat other people's skates (we don't go into the change rooms anymore).
This particular Saturday was more logistically challenged than usual, as there was a Come Sing Messiah rehearsal and an important meeting at church. In the end we opted to skip French class and I took the kids to the second half of the Messiah rehearsal after Elizabeth's skating class. They were pretty well behaved, even if Matthew DID try to eat my score.
After rehearsal we headed back downtown to pick up Daddy. He wasn't quite done but the streets were all blocked off and we could hear music - it was the Santa Parade! I've never actually seen a Santa Parade but since we were right there I thought it might be fun to check it out. It was SO much fun! It started snowing really hard - I felt a little sorry for the second marching band that kept having to shake the snow off their instruments. Also kind of funny was the float with the completely superfluous snow making machine.
I asked Elizabeth what I should write about the Santa Parade and this is what she said:
"First when I got candy it was a hard yellow one. There were treats and a lady had a red stick and her asked me and I said yes and she put it on my nose. That's why I gotta red nose.
First when I came I saw horses. The little horses were cuter than Matthew. Matthew's pretty cute but they were cuter. Outside there was lots and lots of snow.
There was a truck and people were standing and singing. C'est dangereux. Isn't that not safe Mommy?"
After supper, Elizabeth wanted to go and play in the snow, but she was coughing quite badly again and we thought she'd had enough outdoor time. So we brought some snow inside and let her play with it in the sink.
It was Matthew's first year "helping" make our Christmas cake - he was a little younger than Elizabeth was for her first time. Elizabeth was at school and sadly didn't get to help.
She was rather put out. On the other hand, she also didn't want to miss school. "There's too many fun things to do", she said rather wistfully.
Isabelle was dedicated today. Auntie Heather came too, but vanished at the end of the service before we could take a picture of everyone in all their finery.
Auntie Karen's dad kindly took our photo - and then I felt badly because we promised to take a picture of him with his grandkids back at Dave and Karen's house but between naps and other commotion it never happened. So next time he gets the first picture!
We went to the park after Saturday skating / French class. Matthew rocked his boots while playing in the leaves.
Elizabeth struck up a conversation with a random little girl playing in the park and they played hard together. We can't quite pinpoint when this happened, but suddenly we've gone from super shy and won't make eye contact with strangers to confident kid who tries to interact with practically everyone she meets.
For instance, Daddy is shopping for skates. "Excuse me. Is your hair dyed?" pipes up our child, who has been gazing intently at our sales person. Her colleagues nearly choke laughing. Luckily the salesperson was a good sport. "Yes", she replied. "Oh" said Elizabeth. There was a pause. "What's that thing in your nose?" "A nose ring" "What? Why? Why do you got a ring in your nose?" said Elizabeth rather incredulously, prompting fresh giggles from the coworkers. "I think it looks pretty." said the salesperson. "But it would be OUCHY" said Elizabeth in outrage. "Yes" agreed the salesperson, "but I like it." I hastily explained that it wasn't currently painful, to Elizabeth's visible relief.
At nine months, Matthew loves to walk around and around and around the furniture. At least when he isn't motor-crawling across the floor in a quest to get into all the things Daddy has told him he mustn't touch. There might be a bit of mischief in this one... He also has definitely started the temper tantrum stage. Luckily he is usually pretty smiley and cute. Plus he is quite capable of amusing himself, which is helpful. He especially enjoys playing with Elizabeth's toy tea set. This is only allowed while she is at school since he isn't old enough to rat us out yet (let's just say that Elizabeth doesn't necessarily want to share all her baby-appropriate toys).
Matthew is a definite flirt who loves to play peek-a-boo. He particularly likes to make other people do things such as clapping or pressing the keys on the piano during Elizabeth's nightly piano practice. He is very talkative and while we aren't quite ready to say he talks, he does have a credible "da da da" and "muuuuummmm" sound when looking at Mom and Dad, and an "Ah duh" when signing all done.
After such a promising start, I am sad to report that Matthew has started rejecting food, depending on his mood. We're guessing part of the increased pickiness is due to a very stubborn cold that Elizabeth has shared with her brother. Poor Matthew has spent weeks coughing and gagging on his nasal excretions. It probably also doesn't help that he is continuously teething. He's up to four teeth! In any case, Matthew is pretty definite about what he wants to eat signing done as soon as a food he doesn't want makes an appearance. Cheerios are rarely appreciated - he's like our own personal pez dispenser. Insert dry cheerio, and out pops slimy cheerio. Despite some food rejection, he still eats exponentially more than Elizabeth ever did. He very much likes grapes and cucumbers. Rice is popular, as is sucking out the insides of a tomato. Matthew is an extraordinarily messy eater but when he's hungry he literally shovels the food in, two hands at a time. He can do unspeakable things to a muffin and the floor under the highchair is often crunchy after meals.