December 14, 2014
Auntie Karen's birthday

We celebrated Auntie Karen's birthday with Swiss Chalet and a pretty cool jello cake that I have to try out ASAP. Karen explained how a butter bell works, but we still want to see it in action...

Elizabeth and Matthew were thrilled to be able to help decorate Auntie Karen's little tree.

Also notable: the kids have hit a milestone - they went to play downstairs by themselves! There's apparently some pretty cool toys there.

18 photos / videos

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December 13, 2014
22 months

Picture with a bear day... A month late (oh dear!)...

The light wasn't good and Matthew had zero interest in posing but we decided they would have to do.

At 22 months Matthew's vocabulary has exploded. He had a fair number of words before, but all of a sudden he's communicating with other people - who are commenting that "Matthew has just learned to talk!" He tends to double many of his words "Up, Up, Down, Down, Round, Round" (Meaning: Pick me up, take me downstairs and let's do laundry!)

Mum Mum, Da Da, Dee Dee (Elizabeth) are also favourites, as is "Nay" - no he's not usually talking about a horse - he means he wants a drink (he uses the same word for nurse).

He insists on having a "nigh" (knife) at suppertime, which we humour unless he starts waving it around or threatening to throw it. It is a sad but true statement that he is more diligent about using his knife and fork correctly than Elizabeth.

Unfortunately, along with the vocabulary increase there was a definite volume increase as well. Quiet is not a concept he has embraced.

Favourite toys include his new pretend power tools from St. Nicholas that make noise just like Daddy's and light up. He spends many hours drilling and sawing.  Zooming trucks around like Elizabeth is also pretty exciting, as is getting pushed in the little toy stroller / pushing big sister in the little toy stroller. We would be remiss if we didn't mention Tickles the Elephant. Elizabeth always carefully rotates the animals that sleep with her, never really settling on one favourite stuffy. Matthew must have Tickles at bedtime, whom he lovingly tucks in beside him and holds up to nurse too. Poor Tickles has taken a lot of abuse but he is fiercely loved.

Night weaning is still not popular but Mommy has no more milk and is very much ready to quit so the "nursing" is down to a few minutes at bedtime (usually) and a few minutes in the morning (if Mommy didn't manage to sneak out of bed quickly enough). His appetite for real food has thankfully picked up dramatically as a result - I can't remember if I mentioned that we realized he was nursing 6-8 hours at night which was part of why I got serious about the night weaning... Sadly he's still waking up a couple of times a night, but mostly for diaper changes which is probably fair.

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December 9, 2014
Weather board

I've been meaning to post about our "weather board" for quite some time (I guess that's obvious from the dates in the pictures!) but it took me a while to gather up a year or so's worth of photos and then somehow I never got around to it.

But I'm determined to clear out my "pending" blog posts so here it is...

We spent quite a lot of time looking at other people's ideas for a weather and calendar board on Pinterest before we settled on the current iteration. 

What's it for, you ask?

-Teaching days of the week (English and French)

-Today's weather (we'd really like to get into trends and graphing but haven't done anything with that yet)

-Progression of time over the week and year

-Planning / anticipating activities (We print our own stickers! At first we used a random calendar, but now we use our family calendar which has the bonus of reminding the kids about who various relatives are and showing birthdays.)

-Changing of liturgical and calendar seasons.

-Place to remind Elizabeth and ourselves our current bible verse and any other stuff we're learning

-Number recognition, fractions (dividing up the month into weeks and tracking whether we are 1/4, 1/2, 3/4 or all the way through for example) and counting by units/tens

Depending on the season, it's played a bigger or smaller role in our morning routine but overall we've been pretty happy with it. The only problem now is that we could really use a second calendar for Matthew's stuff, so we want to figure out how to combine that without duplicating the entire thing...

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December 7, 2014

Daddy and Elizabeth were treated to a performance at the Nutcracker by Grandma and Grandpa J. Brendan thinks it's the first time he's ever seen it.

Elizabeth enjoyed it very, very, very much.

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December 6, 2014
St Nicholas and Grandpa's birthday

During the wee hours of the night (how wee we will not get into) St. Nicholas snuck into our house and filled a great many shoes with goodies.  So many goodies that the shoes were feeling a bit dwarfed by the piles surrounding them.  Obviously he's got a van or something.  However the logistics all played out the kids were thrilled when they woke up to find many things to unwrap and eat.  Matthew in particular was very interested in eating things - wrapper and all.  Later in the day Grandpa got older.  How old doesn't seem to be as relevant as how many pieces of cake one may have.

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