Now that she has the proper cricket disposal outfit, Elizabeth is brave enough to help shake the crickets (to properly coat them in vitamins) and even hold the container to feed Pica the Chameleon a couple of crickets up close...
Elizabeth had her first sleepover without Mom and Dad. We survived! She had a good time! They all went blueberry picking and they got to stop at the St Albert's ice cream store (I gather a big hit). We did pick her up again slightly too late and by the time we got her to bed she was crying about how tired she was. Apparently Erika didn't "let her have a nap" and they went to bed "too late when she's still just a little kid". "Tomorrow, Mommy, I am going to have a nap AND I am going to go to bed at one o'clock", she declared. I struggled to keep a straight face, as you might imagine. We didn't hold her to the 1pm bedtime, although it was tempting... By the next day we were hearing all about how she got to stay up late and sleep in a tent in the backyard with Erika and could she go for another sleepover soon pretty please Momma? Much thanks to Uncle Chris and Auntie Yukiko for having her and taking pictures!
While Elizabeth was off gallivanting, we were having our own adventures. Daddy and Matthew went to help Uncle Dave lay a new stone walkway. Auntie Karen watched the three under three, who really wanted to supervise the Daddies a little closer than they were allowed...
I got to go to the spa with friend Janice... Le Nordik is supposedly the largest spa in North America and I cannot believe it took me so long to go here! I really enjoyed myself. There are all kinds of saunas and hot tubs to relax in for a few minutes, cold waterfalls to tighten your pores and then in-between places to lounge. We indulged in the pool that is supposed to have the same salinity as the Dead Sea (probably the closest I will ever get). It was dimly lit with changing coloured lights. I regretted having shaved that morning (somehow missed seeing the provided earplugs, shower caps and salve for cuts on the way down). But once I got comfortable and relaxed in the water it was as if I was the only person in the world. It was very nice to have a day to catch up and just relax.
Auntie Janice helped us properly celebrate Christmas in July with a festive tablecloth and candy canes. I let the kids eat chocolate and whipping cream for breakfast (okay, there were raspberries in there too, but I don't think Matthew ate most of his!). There might have also been chocolate chip muffins and hot chocolate with sprinkles...
We participated in a Friday fun day in the morning (playground plus pool is definitely my kids' idea of a perfect July Christmas)
Then I made a bûche de Noël, because I don't really have time in December but they are so yummy!
Since it was "Christmas" (and since Elizabeth has been dying to use the leash we were loaned), we took Black Beauty out for a walk. Matthew got up the courage to pet the bunny. He was pretty proud. Little neighbour Elizabeth from next door came by during the outing and hopped around as well.
Then Elizabeth headed over to Erika and Maria's house for her very first sleepover!!!
We're lucky enough to get to look after not one but two sets of pets in the next couple of weeks.
Black Beauty the bunny arrived last Monday, and next Monday we get to look after Iain's zoo! We were lucky enough to be invited for lunch with Iain and Renee (and to get a refresher course on looking after the animals). Elizabeth is still not fond of crickets, but is consoled by her frog feeding outfit that she chose out of Renee's special box. Plus she agrees with me that the frogs are pretty cool (not quiiite as cool as the chameleon though...) Her favourite frog is "sticky frog" also known as a red-eyed tree frog.
Pre-kids Margaret and I used to go berry picking nearly once a week during berry season, but strangely it is more difficult now. Margaret always tells me about how her kids would eat strawberries, leaves and all from the stroller. But Elizabeth wouldn't eat any kind of berry until recently and Matthew was showing all signs of being the same. As a result, while they enjoyed the outing, both kids were usually ready to go long before our baskets are full!
There is hope though - Elizabeth picked a full basket all by herself! Matthew has obligingly slept through the last few times we went picking, giving the further entertainment of sending Elizabeth to check if he is getting overheated (sweaty).