January 14, 2015
Art for Mary

Auntie Mary got to choose some of Elizabeth's daily artwork on her way back up North after Christmas.

"Not the one that has Matthew's name on it", she said. "I drew that for Matthew". She especially wanted me to take a photo of Mary holding her drawing of a science experiment she'd done at school that day (the one with milk and food colouring and soap) to show Grandma and Grandpa. So here it is.

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January 13, 2015
23 Months
At 23 months Matthew is a very friendly and talkative little boy. He tends to greet everyone as he sees them. "Hi!", he says cheerfully. There's a lot of narrative going on as well. Look at the dog. I see a digger. Where is Elizabeth? (A frequent question on school days) We're clearly approaching two as the frequency of temper tantrums have picked up. For example, he'll ask to have Mommy cut his banana. But then once it is cut it is ruined FOREVER!!! Elizabeth has taken to rolling her eyes and telling him to stop being silly because the banana (or whatever it is) is just fine. She was perturbed to hear she did exactly the same thing. The funny part is that he can "ruin" his own food - I guess if the result doesn't match his vision he gets really really frustrated. He has started eating breakfast with the rest of the family, and it doesn't have to be rice, eggs or corn either. He usually wants the same cereal as Elizabeth. She gets a little frustrated with how much he copies her sometimes but recently they have started playing together very nicely for quite an extended period of time. His play has also gotten a lot more complex. He'll build things with blocks instead of throwing them on the floor. He loves to be read to demanding "book, book!" His favourites are currently Diggers Go "beep beep boom!" by Steve Light, an animal atlas and anything Richard Scarry, but he's not terribly picky except at bedtime when only Diggers will do.
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January 12, 2015
Commuting by skates

Elizabeth had piano after school but since it wasn't too cold and the canal was open we reckoned it would be fun to get there on skates instead of driving.

So Elizabeth and I skated from Patterson to Bank Street bridge - as far as we could go! One of her classmates was really confused as to why she had skates with her. "It's not time to play hockey", he kept muttering darkly. "I just skated to music, that's all" responded Elizabeth airily.

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January 11, 2015
School lunches

For those of you that enjoy cute food preparation as much as I do... I am still having fun with the lunches, though I do feel like I'm not being quite as creative this year due to lack of time.

This year, the lunch pattern (as defined by Miss Elizabeth) is Sandwich Monday, Pasta Tuesday (and it's pretty much always fresh pasta with alfredo sauce by popular despite suggestions to broaden horizons), Nori Wednesday, Unclear Thursday (she keeps changing her mind. I think technically right now it's Soup or Snack lunch) and Pizza Friday. We're working on getting her to decide what she's eating for lunch other than the pattern items and then I try to surprise her from time to time as well.

Morning snack is apparently supposed to be a fruit, so I usually send a banana, half an apple, applesauce, grapes or half a grapefruit.

Other popular items: cheese and crackers, salad and other veggies, devilled eggs, dried fruit.

What do your kids eat for lunch?

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January 10, 2015
Matthew's first skating class

When we realized that Adi and Elizabeth weren't going to be in the same class at school, we consoled the girls by promising playdates and extra curricular activities together. Unfortunately, our schedules and skill levels for extra-curricular activities didn't work together until the winter term, but we signed Elizabeth up to take skating at Brewer Arena with Adi, and while we were at it we thought Matthew might as well try for some lessons as well. He's not technically old enough, but Adi's mom has pull so she fixed it up.

Sadly, Elizabeth outgrew her last pair of skates over the holidays and she was skating extremely tentatively during the evaluations. Predictably - she and Adi didn't get placed in the same class as a result. This was very frustrating to watch because we KNOW she wasn't skating to her usual level. The instructors agreed to re-evaluate her next week and see. Elizabeth of course is not happy to be at a different arena than she's used to and wants to go back to St Laurent "where all her friends are". Sigh.

Matthew's first lesson on the other hand went much better. He was able to stand unassisted for a few seconds right from the very beginning and he's able to get part of the way up by himself (in terms of getting up he's probably already where Elizabeth was around the time she was three). But while Elizabeth could not stand by herself the first lesson, once she figured out her balance she started shuffling on her own pretty quickly. I suspect it will take Matthew considerably longer because he is less cautious by nature and immediately started trying to run on the ice. He thought it was super funny to let his legs slide out from under him in an uncontrolled glide. This does not bode well for Daddy's back, since there is probably a limit to how long Mommy is going to be able to participate in the lessons!

The canal happened to have opened today as well and when Elizabeth heard that she was super keen to go for a skate even though she had just had a skate lesson.

So we popped Matthew into the stroller, dragged Grandma onto the ice with us and skated from Fifth to Concord for a beavertail/hot chocolate and back again. Elizabeth skated completely normally on the canal (!), though by the end she was pretty cold and tired.

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