September 11, 2014
19 months

At 19 months Matthew has started walking down the stairs. Standing up. Mommy and Daddy seem more terrified than impressed. He does not like help.

There's a lot more talking, or at least emphatically pointing. He tells us about everything he sees from "querr" (squirrel) to "Dee Dee" (Elizabeth). Sometimes this is useful, like the time I forgot his coat at playgroup and he threw a fit until I slowed down and listened long enough to hear what he was telling me! He also tells a lot of stories about things he did in the past that he'd like to do again. Like catching chickens. He'd quite like to catch Chippie and Ippie (our backyard chipmunks - Ippie is the one with the longer tail). Matthew says he would eat them if he caught them, but I think he was joking... Luckily he doesn't have much chance of catching any of the surprising variety wildlife that currently lives in our backyard.

Nineteen months brought the discovery of "no". It was cuter when he just shook his head. But at least he still likes "uh huh"! He claps for himself when he wants to say "good job!" Sometimes he runs to the toilet and points, but says no when asked if he actually wants to use it. Sigh. He's usually dry overnight and will use the toilet first thing with coaxing, but we don't always have time. In any case he then usually pees his diaper again within five minutes. Double Sigh.

Matthew is obsessed with washing machines now and likes to tell visitors about how they go round and round and round. He's unfortunately also obsessed with pressing buttons on my computer. I've taken to locking it, which is very annoying as I frequently misplace the only key but less annoying than having things turn off abruptly when I'm in the middle of an email. Daddy sternly tells him off whenever he thinks about pressing the buttons on the UPS but somehow the urge to see what will happen often overrides his desire to follow the rules. Buttons are the best, especially if they are forbidden ones.

He loves washing dishes. In fact, he enjoys washing dishes so much that he's figured out how to operate the tap. I still find his climbing abilities rather incredible, though I'm happy to report he has stopped trying to climb on the stove. Now he has discovered chairs...

Play dough is a favourite toy. He does lots of play cooking and vigorous eating. Actually, he does most things with a fair amount of vim. This month he's started pretending to be a kitty, which involves a lot miaowing around my legs. He loves to read. Still loves to colour and put stickers on things. Not always on paper.

Food-wise he eats rice, meat and pasta and tries many other things. Sometimes. Sadly, we have a second unpredictable eater. He does like chocolate, but only if he recognizes it as chocolate. If he doesn't know what it is, he won't eat it and he will NOT negotiate to eat anything he's decided not to eat. For the moment we're keeping things low key and hoping his natural tendency to emulate his sister will work in our favour.

He's started napping again, usually just after lunch for about an hour. Then we put him to bed (after Elizabeth, who demands the privilege of being first!). In theory this happens at seven, but sometimes it's closer to eight or even later... Then he wakes again at 11 and spends the rest of the night nursing on and off until Elizabeth's wake up song plays at 6:50 am. There's a lot of nursing "Mum, mum peeeeees".

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September 10, 2014
Cat's fish & chips

I have a new favourite restaurant. It's gluten free. They inquire about and can handle other allergies too. I can eat their French fries(!)... The food is amazing.

They are speedy enough that we were able to arrive there at four, order and eat both supper and included kids dessert and make it to the skating rink on time to start skating at five.

Love Cat's fish & chips!

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September 6, 2014
Bug Day

It was bug day at the Museum of Agriculture so of course we had to go and check it out!

Elizabeth got to hold a giant cocoon! There were cockroach races and many creepy and cool bugs. Matthew and Elizabeth made butterfly crafts and Elizabeth got her hand painted. Matthew absolutely refused to consider getting his hand or face painted, which was fine with me. (Note to future self - face painting is better than hands because kids don't want to wash their hands if it has picture painted on it...)

I was very interested in the bee exhibit they had - I hadn't realized that we have so many different varieties of bees in Canada nor that some bees look like flies - though the more interesting colours (green!) are mostly not Canadian. I also didn't realize that many bees don't live in a hive with queens - they are just solitary and fly around pollinating things. Huh.

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September 5, 2014
Happy Hearts: Clothes

Elizabeth is participating in a fashion show for kids organized by our next door neighbour Noemie. Called "Happy Hearts", eight year old Noemie hopes to raise ten thousand dollars for our local Children's hospital (CHEO).

Noemie had previously made a small fashion show in her friend's backyard at a sleepover and raised $22. Her mom, a pediatrician at CHEO got Noemie hooked up to present the money to one of the bigwigs on the fundraising committee. To his credit, he took her very seriously and gave her a big hug and a personal tour of the research labs etc to show her where her money was going. "I'd like to do more", she thought.

She talked her mom into giving her rides to various stores and helping her organize the event.

37 kids, 12 kid's clothing stores and over 80 donated silent auction items later...

Elizabeth had no clue what a fashion show was before this, but she LOVES Noemie and was prepared to do anything she wanted her to do. When we were invited to the stores for a fitting, I was amused that they all communicated with Elizabeth directly. "Dear Elizabeth" ran one email. "I understand you have a busy schedule with school during the day and after school activities, so I'm hoping that one of the following times will work for you." When we arrived, they were careful to check Elizabeth's opinion on the clothes she was modelling (it was clear they were focussed on dealing with the kids, not the parents - which I found pretty cool)

Here's a sneak peek of some of Elizabeth's favourite outfits...

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September 3, 2014
Auntie Mary

We are always very pleased to have Auntie Mary stay overnight with us on her way to or from the Hippo place (Southern Ontario) and up north (Pangnirtung). This time we were spoiled with two nights! Elizabeth was very excited - Mary came bearing balloons and took her for a walk and saw her off at the bus stop AND she made her a special napkin for her lunch. Matthew was excited too - finally someone who will lift him up to ring the doorbell as often as he wants!

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